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What would be a good second MIG for a 'home hobby-type' welder? (for over 3/16")

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  • What would be a good second MIG for a 'home hobby-type' welder? (for over 3/16")

    I have a Handler 140, but can easily imagine wanting a more powerful machine capable of thicker material at some point. What would be a good supplement to my little 110V Hobart? I kind of wish now that I'd just got a bigger Millermatic, or something similar, to start with and had 220V put in my garage. Of course, a TIG would be nice too........:S

    I'm just a tinkerer/hobbyist for the most part, so I'm not just doing one specific type of project. Thanks.

  • #2
    My first Mig was a Lincoln SP 175 220 volt. Good all around welder altho I thought the quality was inferior, but I found myself needing more as my jobs got bigger. The Hobart Ironman 230 was highly recommend and after researching the name brands I made the purchase. I don't regret it. The price was well within my budget and its quite capable of doing anything the so-called backyard welder such as myself would be taking on. I keep a 24/7- 365 welding and repair ad on craigslist, so lots of repair and fabrication work comes my way. The Ironman handles everything with ease, everything from .024 to .045. Also I purchased a spoolgun to do aluminum and I'm still honing my skill with that. I give it my highest recommendation. I have since sold the Lincoln and just recently purchased the Handler 140 for the smaller wire jobs and I'm just as impressed with it as the Ironman. I will use it for .023 and .024 jobs only. I also recently purchase a Hobart Plasma cutter. Another quality piece of equipment. So to answer your question, for the money the Ironman can't be beat.


    • #3
      If duty cycle is not a issue, the Miller 211 or Hobart 210 would be a start. Both are 115/230 volt machines.

      If you want more amps, skip the in between models and go to the Miller 252.


      • #4
        Thanks for your advice guys-----I will keep that in mind. If a job comes my way at some point in the future where I can justify the purchase of a bigger machine and circuit installation, I may do that.


        • #5
          I have seen hobart 190 mig welders for $630 at several places .I like the hobart mvp 210 mig welder ,seen it sell for $798 .you can find the iron man 230 welder for $1339 .


          • #6
            If your already thinking of something bigger, don't get anything less then a 250 amp machine with good duty cycle. Some of these machines have ridiculous duty cycles.
            Miller dynasty 350
            Miller syncrowave 250
            Miller deltaweld 450
            Miller cp-300
            And one fancy microwelding setup


            • #7
              On home hobby level, I would sell the HH 140 and replace it with the MVP 210.... And yes get 220v put into garage....

              Anyway that is what I am contemplating.....

              Hobart MVP "refurbished" (when in stock) is something like $729 plus shipping...

              Last edited by Dale M.; 08-04-2014, 10:09 PM.
              "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..


              • #8
                Truthfully, a high percentage of hobbyists could get by just fine with a Handler 190. Compared to the 140 and 190 is a major step up in output power.

                Owning a Hobart Ironman 230 and an ESAB Migmaster 250, I honestly can't see why the average home hobbyist would need more top end power or duty cycle than the Ironman 230 offers. Once you get the output up to around 24 - 25 load volts and 200 amps you can weld any thickness of steel that the average hobbyist is ever going to want to weld.
                Last edited by Dan; 08-05-2014, 11:17 AM.
                MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
                Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.

                PM 180C

                HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MarkG View Post
                  ... What would be a good supplement to my little 110V Hobart?...
                  ESAB Miniarc 161LTS stick welder. Works on 120V or 240V.

                  $410. delivered for the stick version, $575. with TIG accessories :


                  --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                  Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.