Hobart Handler 190 Review

Hobart Handler 190 is a low cost MIG welder that is capable of welding both aluminum and steel. This machine offers a lot of versatility, packs plenty of power, it’s robust and sturdy, and is very easy to use, even if you’re a beginner. In this Hobart Handler 190 review, we’ll look at all the features of this welder, find out what makes this machine so popular and see if there are any drawbacks.

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Who Is It Suitable For?

hobart 190 reviewHobart Handler 190 is designed for non-industrial use. However, it’s still got quite a bit of power, so it will be able to tackle an occasional heavy duty job.

The system can weld materials 24 gauge and up to ⅚” thickness. This thickness range, as well as the machine’s power capabilities, make it suitable for use in construction, maintenance and automotive work, and different home DIY projects.

This Hobart welder is very compact and can be powered by a generator, so it would also make a perfect choice for anyone that is looking for a portable machine.

Moreover, this MIG welder was built with simplicity in mind. So if you’re just starting out with welding and haven’t yet learned the ropes of the process, this machine will offer quick and easy learning.

Hobart Handler 190 Features

Power

The Handler 190 requires 230V input power. So keep in mind that it doesn’t use a standard household outlet. However, the benefit of this is that you can power it with a generator and work in remote locations.

The machine also offers 7 voltage selections, enhanced magnetism and infinite wire speed control. The combination of these features makes it simple to control the output parameters and provides enhanced arc performance and less post-weld cleanup. The reduced spatter also helps to make better beads.

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Welding Range

The wide welding range allows the user adjustments from 25 to 190 amps. It’s a good range, but still, keep in mind that it won’t be able to weld very thin or very thick materials. The material thickness it can be applied for is from 24 gauge to 5/16 inches.

Duty Cycle

The 30% duty cycle at 130 amps operation, means that you get 3 minutes of welding and 7 minutes of resting. Duty cycle refers to the amount of time the unit can operate at maximum rated load without the machine overheating.

Which Materials Can You Weld?

hobart handler 190 featuresThe system can handle mild steel, stainless steel, flux core steel and aluminum.

This product also comes with a spool gun SpoolRunner 100 that eliminates any feeding issues that are usually associated with aluminum wire welding.

All the required circuitry for it are already pre-built in the system. So no extra controls or kits are needed. You just directly plug it in and start your work. A simple selector switch also makes it very quick and easy to go from using the MIG gun to spool gun.

The spool gun can also be used with mild steel and stainless steel wires.

Easy to Use Controls

hobart handler 190 reviewOn the front panel of the system, you will find a control switch, a knob with the 7 voltage selections, a knob with the infinite wire speed options and the trigger lead connection.

The welder comes with a manual that is printed on the machine itself and which can assist you in how to choose the right parameters for your specific task at hand. Depending on the material you’ll be welding, you’ll need to select a certain wire type, feed speed, voltage and shielding gas settings.

The dual groove drive roll system allows quick and easy switching from using one wire size to another. Additionally, the quick select drive system has 3 different grooves, allowing selection of different wire sizes and flux-cored wire.

Hobart Handler 190 also comes with the built-in patented wire feed technology. It allows a quick and easy release of the drive roll lever, making threading new wires simpler than ever.

Safety Features

This MIG welder features a built-in contractor, which works by keeping the wire electrically cold when the machine is turned on but is not being used for welding. It will remain cold until you pull the trigger and resume your welding.

The Handler 190 also comes with the short circuit protection that helps to prevent current overload. Other safety features include a self-resetting thermal overload protection system and motor protection that keeps wire feed from overloading.

Compatible Weld Wire

The following are the weld wire sizes that you can use for Hobart Handler 190:

  • Flux-cored: .030 – .045 inches.
  • Mild steel/stainless steel: .024 – .035 inches.
  • Aluminum: .030 – .035 inches.

Portability

Weighing around 89 pounds, this unit is relatively easy to move around using its robust handle mounted on top of it. Though it would probably be best to get a wheel cart to move it around. The unit itself without all the attachments weighs around 68 pounds.

What’s Included In the Box?

  1. Handler 190 with built-in gas valve
  2. SpoolRunner 100 spool gun
  3. 10 ft. MIG gun
  4. 8” spool adapter
  5. Dual gauge regulator and gas hose
  6. 10 ft. power cord
  7. 10 ft. work cable and clamp
  8. .030 contact tips
  9. Spool of .030 flux-cored wire
  10. Manual
  11. Set up guide

Warranty

The product is covered with a 5-year limited warranty. It gives you 5 years on the transformer, 3 years on the electronics and 1 year on the MIG gun.

Hobart Handler 190 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great price to performance ratio.
  • It delivers a clean and efficient weld no matter what you’re welding or the process you’re using.
  • It’s a versatile system that allows to weld a variety of metals.
  • Offers easy aluminum welding with the use of the spool gun.
  • Allows a lot of adjustabilities, including the power output, wire speed and voltage settings.
  • The machine comes with all the necessary safety features, making it safe to use and enhancing the durability of the welder.
  • The system is very easy to set up and you don’t need to be a professional to understand how to use it.
  • The compact and lightweight design makes it easy to transfer the unit from one location to another.
  • Good warranty coverage.

Cons

  • This MIG welder is not suitable for heavy industrial tasks.
  • Requires a 230V receptacle. So keep in mind that you’ll need to wire a 230V receptacle or you can also run it on a generator that should have at least 7000 watts.
  • This system is more expensive to other welders in the same category. You can find cheaper and more basic welding machines. However, with this product, you’re buying from one of the most popular brands in the industry that is known for providing quality and performance.

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Bottom Line

Hobart Handler 190 makes a great option for anyone looking for a solid entry level MIG welder. It can handle most household repair and small shop projects, making it suitable for both beginners and more experienced individuals. It comes with all the necessary attributes for creating beautiful welds. The product also has a great warranty and Hobart’s customer support is known for always being helpful. And as you can see in this Hobart Handler 190 review, there are not that many flaws to this welder. However, if you’re looking for a slightly cheaper welder and also with less power, Hobart has another product, Handler 140.

We also recommend checking out our reviews of welding safety gear: welding helmets and welding work boots.

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