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Millermatic 135 vs. Hobart 190

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  • Millermatic 135 vs. Hobart 190

    I realize I am on a Miller forum, asking about a Hobart, but I know there is a lot of experience here with different welder brands.

    I currently own an Millermatic 135. I have been using it for probably 15 years. I am to the point where I need more power. I have been looking at the millermatic 211 but I just can't afford it. I'm wondering if I would be dissapointed going with a Hobart 190. My only real reservation is the tap voltage settings rather than the infinite type adjust-ability that the Miller has.

    I am a hobby welder, only welding for myself. This is for off-road fabrication. I will mostly work with.120 wall DOM tubing but will be tackling up to .250 plate on some current projects I have.

    Any input is appreciated.

  • #2
    I dont have any experience with either of those machines but, in my opinion, more power is better. You can turn down the power when you need to but, you can not turn it up if it is at its max power setting and cant go any higher. I have dealt with tap stick welders and tap mig machines in the past and I had no issues with them as I learned deal with their welding parameters at each tap setting. I would not hesitate on the Hobart since it is actually built by Miller and is an "economy" built machine by them. Some parts in them are not held to the higher standards as in the comparable Miller machines. Sorry that I could not exactly answer your question.
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    • #3
      Thanks for the response, actually you exactly answered my question, you don't have any issue with just having the tap settings on the voltage and that really is my only conern. I would love a bigger welder but at nearly twice the price I just can't justify the 211. I can get the Hobart right now for $669 while the 211 is $1300

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      • #4
        I have 3 Miller machines. My MIg is a Millermatic 185 that I bought new in 1999. It's a great machine and is still chugging along. A friend asked for advice on a new machine and I suggested the Hobart 210 MVP. It's a transformer based machine vs. an inverter, which the MM211 is. A lot of folks aren't' sold on inverters because they have more electronic boards than a transformer machine, thus more to go wrong and repair costs can get quite expensive. My buddy bought the Hobart 210 and it welds like a dream. If my 185 ever craps out, I will be buying a Hobart. Just my 2 cents. The Hobarts and accessories can be gotten at Tractor supply.

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        • #5
          Nothing wrong with a tapped machine, and the HH190 has a reputation that it was set up pretty well for the taps. I've had the following: MM135, MM175, HH135, HH210, and a couple Lincoln SP and ST machines. Some are tapped, and some have the dial. I've never had a tapped machine I didn't like. The short-lived HH180 was one of few that had a bad rep that it could have used another tap somewhere.

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          • #6
            Is the HH210 worth nearly $200 more than the 190? I have absolutely no use for the MVP. My old welder has never left my garage and I have 220 already set up.

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            • #7
              My point of view would be yes, the 210 is worth the extra money. As smawgmaw stated, It's better to have more power than you need than not enough. Plus the 210 is dual voltage, making it that much more versatile. I'm not trying to steer you away from the 190, I'm just saying I would prefer the 210. It's like buying an air compressor. Buy the biggest one you can reasonably afford, and you won't be upgrading to a more capable unit a few years down the line. I made that mistake a few times, until I went for a 5hp, 60 gallon Ingersoll Rand. I wish I had gotten the Ingersoll form the get-go. Even though you're a hobby welder, you never know how your needs may change in the future.

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              • #8
                I’ve used the 210 on a number of occasions and would not hesitate to add one to my shop if the opportunity presented itself. It’s probably the best bang for your buck these days.

                But have you considered the used market for machines? Nearly all of my gear was obtained that way and I’ve never regretted it.

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                • #9
                  So with the responses here I feel comfortable buying the HH190, but now I am wondering if I should indeed get the 210. Bigger is better right?

                  I looked up the current price difference at my local tractor supply which currently has the cheapest price on the HH190, on sale for $669. They sell the HH210MVP for $949. So that is 280 dollars more to go from 5/16 max thickness to 3/8. They both have 30% duty cycle but the 210 at a 20amp higher rating, so i guess it won't work as hard to do what I am doing. Again I mostly will be welding .120 wall tube, bumping up to 1/4 plate on occasion.

                  I have no need for the dual voltage. I know people say "you never know when you might need that". My millermatic 135 has not left my garage in 15 years. I already have a 50amp 220 circuit for this new welder.

                  Am I missing anything? Try to sell me on the 210.

                  Here is a side by side on specs.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post

                    But have you considered the used market for machines? Nearly all of my gear was obtained that way and I’ve never regretted it.
                    I have been looking for a couple months, the only thing I have found in my price range is a MIllermatic 175 for $600. The Hobart seems better in that it will come with a full warranty and its not 15 years old.

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                    • #11
                      I just noticed that on the 210 specs under "material thickness" it is rated 1/4-3/8, that must be a typo. I am pretty sure its rated down to 24ga. like the 190.

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                      • #12
                        My HH210 is from before the MVP era. I've no experience with the HH190. I love my HH210. It does indeed do any thin sheet metal job I've ever asked of it.

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                        • #13
                          Eacook, if you're satisfied the 190 will do all you need to do, then by all means go for it. If and when the time comes, you could put that 280 dollar difference to use and add a spoolgun.

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                          • #14
                            My two cents--you will most likely be very happy with the 190. I have to agree with those who say always buy the most power you can afford, and like others, when someone asks me what to buy, I invariably say the 210--I think it's the best bang for the buck in the world of welding today--but if you're sure you just don't need the MVP and the small amount of power improvement, I'd agree with Metjunkie--buy the 190.

                            Seems like your mind has been put to rest on any concerns about tap switching vs variable voltage control--I'll just add a little reinforcement to the "don't worry about it" line of thinking. I'm pretty confident you won't find it to be a problem. In my estimation, it's much less of an issue than a tapped stick welder--they always seem to me that I want just a little more or just a little less, and I find myself compensating by changing arc length. As a result, I have never owned one--saved my money until I could get one with continuous current control when I bought my first one.

                            However, with mig, you can fine tune the wire speed and adapt quite nicely. I switch back and forth between my old transformer MM211 (continuously variable voltage) and my REALLY old MM200 (uses voltage taps) welding from 16 ga tubing to 3/8 material, and just never have any issue at all. The nice thing about the Hobart compared to other small migs is that there are (I think) 7 voltage taps, as opposed to the average of 4 or 5 on many of the small machines, so it provides enough taps that can get pretty close to the ideal. Being a transformer machine vs inverter, it's going to be pretty much bulletproof. And if it does break, it's likely not going to cost a fortune to repair it. Go for it.

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                            • #15
                              You could probably spend half that budget and get twice the size machine used. So what if it’s 15 years old. Those old machines are still working while these news one seem to have all sorts of wonky issues. Not all of them of course. My big mig is an early 90s model and is a beast of a machine. Not sure what year model the feeder I just got is, but it’s a bad mammerjammer and welds flawlessly, almost certainly older than 15 years though.

                              Sounds like you want the Hobart 190. I say get it. It has a small foot print and, by all accounts, runs pretty good.

                              I agree with everything said about tapped voltage settings, too.

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