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Which welder to choose for the long term?

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  • Which welder to choose for the long term?

    So I'm in need of a different welder now. My current Northern Industrial 140 gmaw welder is probably too small for what I need to do and I can no longer get a spool gun for it. Back in October, I had picked up a dune buggy for FREE that had been sitting in a shed since 1994. Wheel base is too short and the welds on ot are absolute garbage (tons of undercut, porosity, etc), so I'm going to do a weld-a-kit, pretty much all the steel tubing is already cut and bent, just needs to be tacked and weld it together. I'm also going to be making a few furniture items (ottoman, bookshelf, TV stand possibly).

    Considering that the Dune buggy chassis is more or less similar to a roll cage, need a bit of wire stick out to do complete welds. As much as I would like to get a Miller 211 auto, $1300 is a bit out of my price range. I would do the Vulcan or Titanium from Harbor Freight, but I question whether or not they'll hold up long term, but they do have a voltage and wire feed speed digital or at least LCD and not just a set it and forget it type preset knob. So the two that I'm looking at are the Hobart 190 and the Hobart 210 MVP. I know the 190 is 240 volt only, which is fine. My garage will be setup for 240 volt, so that's no problem. I've never used either machine. In college for welding we used Miller, Lincoln, and ESAB. The Lincolns were C300 education multiprocess machines (stick, tig, mig, carbon arc gouging, stainless, pushpull for Aluminum). The Miller I don't recall what machines they were, other than they were Industrial gmaw machines. ESAB was a 2200i GTAW. So I'm more used to having a digital readout for fine tuning voltage and amperage.
    Do the dials on the Hobart 190 or 210 allow for easy fine tuning or is it not that user friendly?

  • #2
    If you understand preset voltage taps and how to adjust heat by "stick out" and "wire feed" speed either the 190 or 210MPV will do what you want.... If you are going to do a tube frame buggy kit (knock down) most of the tube you will use will be .120 th or less which a HH140 would actually do the work although a bit on the "light weight" side.... Many buggies over the years.... Last one I built on left was a total parts build for auto cross racing one on right was a complete disassemble and restore from bare chassis up.... Before these several tube frame sand rails........ Both roll cages were done with .120 wall DOM TIG welded by professional race car builder, as I don't trust my skills that much but all other chassis work and such were done by me.... This is where I learned to weld thin sheet metal VW pans...

    If you really want digital read out for fine tuning, then you will have to step up to more expensive machine....



    At times I wish I had gotten a bigger machine than the HH 140 but it really does about 95 percent of my work... Associate of mine just got Lincoln 256 and all the bells and whistles, its a beauty but way above my needs.... I have never used a machine with digital read out or auto set, but at times I try to convince myself it would be good, if you really want a auto set or digital preset machine, by all means you will not be happy with anything less....

    Dale
    Last edited by Dale M.; 11-08-2020, 10:38 AM.
    "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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    • #3
      If you were going to go with a larger machine, what would it be? The dune buggy knock down I'm looking to get is the Acme Warrior.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BeachComber View Post
        If you were going to go with a larger machine, what would it be? The dune buggy knock down I'm looking to get is the Acme Warrior.
        Warrior is well proven chassis with long history as a Barriens (SP?) before ACME bought them out.... As for what machine would I get, for my needs and my skills I can not get past a 210MPV, But my skills and needs are limited, but the 120/240 capability has some advantages if you ever want to go portable to location with no 240VAC on 120VAC it function just like a HH140... IF Hobart came out with a digital interface machine that was 200amp and under $1000 I would probably jump on it...

        Might be better to wait and see what others have to say....

        Dale
        "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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        • #5
          I have a HH 190, love it. Bought it from hobart as a refurb.... it looked brand new when it showed up. I had a HH 175 prior for a really long time, it worked well - just wanted more taps.
          HH190
          Hypertherm 380

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dale M. View Post

            Warrior is well proven chassis with long history as a Barriens (SP?) before ACME bought them out.... As for what machine would I get, for my needs and my skills I can not get past a 210MPV, But my skills and needs are limited, but the 120/240 capability has some advantages if you ever want to go portable to location with no 240VAC on 120VAC it function just like a HH140... IF Hobart came out with a digital interface machine that was 200amp and under $1000 I would probably jump on it...

            Might be better to wait and see what others have to say....

            Dale
            I've only been able to find this at ACME tools and Northern Tool, I'm not even sure if it's an official Hobart welder or some off brand that slapped the Hobart name on it, due to it not being advertised on Hobart's website far as I can tell but, the have a Hobart Multi Handler 200 that does have a digital display and is a multiprocess machine. Starts out just a hair over $1000. I have not been able to find anyone with it or many reviews. https://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools...AaAgPbEALw_wcB

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            • #7
              I guess my above post won't be approved anytime soon. Anyway, I'm not sure if this is an official Hobart product or not since it is not advertised on official Hobart catalog, but the only welder they have with a digital display is the Multi-Handler 200 multi voltage. Starts just a bit over $1000. Acme Tools and Northern Tool are the two main places I've seen it for sale online. Can't find any reviews of it, let alone any official specs on it.

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              • #8
                Sorry about that, I was out of the office yesterday. Yes this is a new Hobart product with an official launch date of 11/16 more details to come on Hobarts social media and website next week!

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                • #9
                  I've always wanted an LTec/ESAB Migmaster 250, or better yet an ESAB Multimaster 260 multi-process unit. I've seen a couple used units that seemed to be well priced.
                  --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

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

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hobart Expert View Post
                    Sorry about that, I was out of the office yesterday. Yes this is a new Hobart product with an official launch date of 11/16 more details to come on Hobarts social media and website next week!
                    Not a problem at all. Very nice machine they have introduced. I'm at least curious to know what they say it'll be capable of next week. If the pricing on those places is correct and not place holders, then I think there'll be a few people that'll jump on it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BeachComber View Post

                      I've only been able to find this at ACME tools and Northern Tool, I'm not even sure if it's an official Hobart welder or some off brand that slapped the Hobart name on it, due to it not being advertised on Hobart's website far as I can tell but, the have a Hobart Multi Handler 200 that does have a digital display and is a multiprocess machine. Starts out just a hair over $1000. I have not been able to find anyone with it or many reviews. https://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools...AaAgPbEALw_wcB
                      Might be nice for some, but don't want or need multiprocess..... Don't like stick and only had about 30 minute experiment with TIG and it was a disaster, it was more like how fast can you ruin the tungsten.....

                      Straight FCAW/GMAW is all I need.....

                      Dale
                      "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dale M. View Post

                        Might be nice for some, but don't want or need multiprocess..... Don't like stick and only had about 30 minute experiment with TIG and it was a disaster, it was more like how fast can you ruin the tungsten.....

                        Straight FCAW/GMAW is all I need.....

                        Dale
                        Ironically enough, I do better TIG than I do stick or oxy-acetylene welding or brazing. I do see the benefits as it's just one machine that can do most. I'm assuming its DC only, so no Aluminum TIG welding, guess we'll know more.

                        I've looked into getting a multi-process welder just so I don't need to have 3 separate machines, as that does get very expensive fast.

                        i know you can run stainless steel wire through the standard mig gun, but does that lead to contamination? I want to do some stainless steel welding (not good grade stainless) and aluminum welding as well. Is it better to have two spool guns to avoid contamination or is it safe to swap them around? In college, with our aluminum welding we had push/pull guns for Aluminum with nylon liners. For flux cored, stainless, and mild steel wire, we just used the same mig gun, as we were not concerned with any contamination, since were were just learning the processes.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dale M. View Post

                          Might be nice for some, but don't want or need multiprocess..... Don't like stick and only had about 30 minute experiment with TIG and it was a disaster, it was more like how fast can you ruin the tungsten.....

                          Straight FCAW/GMAW is all I need.....

                          Dale
                          LOL!!! I'm with you Dale. : D
                          Last edited by Nipper; 11-10-2020, 01:12 PM.
                          Polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BeachComber View Post

                            I've looked into getting a multi-process welder just so I don't need to have 3 separate machines, as that does get very expensive fast.

                            i know you can run stainless steel wire through the standard mig gun, but does that lead to contamination? I want to do some stainless steel welding (not good grade stainless) and aluminum welding as well. Is it better to have two spool guns to avoid contamination or is it safe to swap them around? In college, with our aluminum welding we had push/pull guns for Aluminum with nylon liners. For flux cored, stainless, and mild steel wire, we just used the same mig gun, as we were not concerned with any contamination, since were were just learning the processes.
                            I would recommend at the very least a different liner when using stainless wire vs. steel. I personally would keep a spare gun with a liner that only gets used for stainless if I was planning on mig welding stainless on a regular basis.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hobart Expert View Post

                              I would recommend at the very least a different liner when using stainless wire vs. steel. I personally would keep a spare gun with a liner that only gets used for stainless if I was planning on mig welding stainless on a regular basis.
                              That's what I figured. On the main site, the replacement mig guns are only for the HR100, the Flux Cored only, the 230 Iron Man, 125EZ and 130. Are they all, more or less compatible or would I have call up Hobart directly to order an extra one say for a 190 or 210 MVP?

                              Also just noticed that the 200 Multi-Handler is up on the online catalog officially. I'm guessing on the 16th we'll know the duty cycles and what not? Kind of bummed it doesn't work with a foot pedal for TIG, I haven't done any TIG welding without a foot pedal, never done scratch start only either.

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