Since its launch in 2011, the Hobart Handler 190 MIG Welder has gained immense popularity and has become a simple, reliable piece of equipment sold by a well-known and respected brand.
So it's not uncommon if at some point you ask yourself if this unit meets your store's needs.
This article contains all the necessary information about Handler 190, as well as what some actual users have had to say, to help you evaluate whether it's right for you.
What is included
- 10 ft (3 m) HR-100 gun
- user manual
- 10 ft (3 m) work cable with clamp
- Built-in gas solenoid valve and dual gauge regulator with gas hose.
- Sample spools of 0.030" (0.8 mm) self-shielded flux cored wire
- 0.030 in (0.8 mm) contact tip
- For 0.6 mm (0.6 mm) or 0.8/0/9 mm (0.8/0/9 mm) solid wire and 0.8/0.9 mm (0.8/0.9 mm) 0.030/035 inch (0.8/0.9 mm) flux cored wire Quick Select™ drive rollers
- power cord with plug
- Welding Guide and Material Thickness Gauge
|Welder type||MIG, flux core|
|Input voltage||220/230/240 volts|
|duty cycle||30% @ 130A (21.5V)|
|Amperage||25 – 190A|
|voltage control||7 positions|
|Wire feed speed control||endless|
|Weldable material||Mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum|
|Mild Steel Thickness (Single Pass)||24 Gauge to 5/16 Inch|
0.023 – 0.035 inch solid wire
|Wire speed||40-700 ipm (under load)|
|Spool size||4 in. and 8 inches|
|Spool gun at the ready||✅|
|Welder Dimensions (H x W x L)||12.375 inches x 10.625 inches x 19.5 inches|
|user rating||★★★★★ 4.7 stars (155 ratings)|
|price|| Check out the best price Northern Tool here
- Simple setup appeals to first-time welders
- Triple Groove, Quick Select™ Drive Rolls
- Built-in automatic wire feed motor and thermal overload protection, no need for fuse or circuit breaker reset
- Spool gun at the ready
- Comes with a convenient stock thickness gauge
- Cast aluminum housing for wire drive mechanism
- Wires cold until the trigger is pulled for safety
- Automatic thermal protection and wire feed motor protection
- can run generator
- Strong warranty
- 230V input voltage only
- Voltage selection limited to 7 taps
- no thermal overload lamp
- Regulator not recommended for C100 gas
- Weight compared to competing units
where to buy hobart 190
The Hobart Handler 190 is a well-stocked welder with several retailers, so you shouldn't have any issues.
Every retailer runs their own sales from time to time, so it's worth checking out the following:
- northern tools
- Brian's Farm and Fleet
- tractor supply
What You Should Know Before Buying a Handler 190
This welder is one of the easiest to set up and use. Because of this, many welders consider the Handler 190 to be a good first welder.
It allows new users to learn without being bogged down by complicated controls. Plus, the arc and wire feed are good enough for both novice and experienced welders to put down some nice beads.
This welder only uses 240v input power. So if you need to run a MIG welder on 120 volts, this is not the welder for you. Make sure you have a 240 volt outlet protected by at least a 30 amp circuit breaker.
Another option for powering this welder is to use a generator. The Handler 190 can be powered with a 7000 watt continuous generator for full output capability. To get an output of 130 amps, you need a 5000 watt continuous generator.
Related Reading : How Big Is a Generator Needed to Run a Welder?
Weldable blank thickness
Handler 190 puts out 25 to 190 amps and can MIG weld mild steel and stainless steel ranging from 24 gauge to 5/16 inch thick. This is usually all a beginner or welding enthusiast needs. However, if you plan to handle more industrial, thicker stock, you will need larger equipment.
The Handler 190 is spool gun ready, but you must purchase the spool gun separately. This means you must evaluate your aluminum welding needs before making a decision. You can buy the spool gun separately should you need it in the future, or buy the bundle that includes it now.
The bundle saves you money compared to buying the welder and spool gun separately. However, if you're not going to buy aluminum for the foreseeable future, the basic unit without the spool gun will have the lowest initial cost.
Whatever you decide to do, once you have your spool gun you can use 16 gauge to 1/4" thick aluminum.
While you do get a gas regulator in the box, it is not recommended to use it with C100 gas. This is because the frosting effect of carbon dioxide gas can damage regulators that were not designed for their use.
However, many welders do prefer to use the C100. If you're one of them, be prepared to supply your own pure CO2 regulator if you decide to buy a Handler 190.
The unit weighs 68 lbs. Therefore, the core unit is light enough that you can move the welder around if necessary.
But if you want something more portable, there are lighter options on the market today.
For the most part, Hobart includes everything you need to get started (except MIG welding gases). But it's not enough to keep you going for very long.
Therefore, if you purchase a Handler 190, it is best to add the consumables to your order.
What makes Hobart 190 great
Hobart designed the Handler 190 to be easy to use. Take a look at the control panel and you'll see that they really designed a clean, simple machine: two knobs and a switch. There are no lights or digital displays to confuse things.
To make things easier, a setup chart is printed on the inside of the wire compartment door. Just look at the welding settings, turn both dials to the correct setting, and start welding. For this reason, many users consider this welder to be a good choice for a new welder.
Users have found that the Handler 190 places good quality beads with relative ease. The simplicity of the welder, combined with the smooth arc and reliable wire drive, make it easier than many competing welders.
Three-groove wire drive roller
Hobart has made few changes to the Handler 190 since its original introduction. But one of the changes was upgrading the drum from 2 grooves to 3.
The Handler 190 now includes a triple groove roller that allows you to run solid or flux cored wire. Therefore, you can run solid wire from 0.023 to 0.035 inches in diameter and flux cored wire from 0.030 to 0.045 inches in diameter using the one roller provided.
This feature isn't usually found on competing products, and it's easy to use. Simply push in the roller and turn so the retaining pin "pops" into the correct slot for your wire size and type.
Spool gun at the ready
Not all "novice" MIG welders accept spool guns. But the Handler 190 has internal circuitry, so whenever you decide to use aluminum, your welder is ready to go.
Once you have your gun, plug it in and flip a switch in the wire compartment to set it up. Converting from steel to aluminum and vice versa is easy and quick.
Wire feeding mechanism
Users have found that the Handler 190 provides smooth wire feed which facilitates good bead placement. It's also easy to set up and reliable. Plus, the Quick Select wheel makes switching tool-free and easy.
The wire feeding mechanism is one of the strengths of the welding machine. Even experienced welders will appreciate its reliable performance and ease of use.
Wire feed motor protection
Your wire feeder motor is working so hard it may burn out. To address this, the Handler 190 does include electronic protection. If the motor is overloaded, the circuit will cut off the motor. Just release the trigger of the flashlight and wait for the circuit to automatically reset.
thermal overload protection
Just like your wire feed motor, the transformer in your welder can be damaged. To prevent this, Hobart provides a thermal trip device that will shut down the unit if it gets too hot. If it does trip, just wait for the unit to cool down, it will automatically reset when it is cool enough.
Cold Wire Safety Features
With the Handler 190, your wires are electrically "cold" when not in use. So you don't need to worry about accidental arcing from accidental short circuits. The wire won't get "hot" unless you pull the trigger on the flashlight.
Hobart has been a welder for a long time. One thing they are known for is their warranty. There is a reason for this. The 5/3/1 warranty is one of the best you will find.
5 years warranty on transformers, voltage regulators, rectifiers; 3 years on generators, PC boards and drive systems; and 1 year on MIG guns.
The Handler 190 is a good choice for new welders. But the spool gun is extra, which drives up the price.
If you know you'll be working with aluminum, you can save some money by opting for the Hobart package, which includes a welder and spool gun. Everyone likes to save money.
For those who like to consider all options, you might want to take a look at the Eastwood MIG 180i. It compares very well to the Handler 190 spec.
But it's also inverter based, lighter weight, lower cost, better duty cycle, runs on 120v and 240v, and has extra control features. So overall, it's a better package for a newer unit in my opinion.
|Handler 190 MIG||Eastwood MiG 180i|
|power input||240V||120V or 240V|
|output amplifier||25 – 190A||30 -180A|
|duty cycle||30% @ 130A||30% @ 180A|
|polarity change||interior compartment||plug on the front of the device|
|weight||68 lbs.||26 lbs.|
|Suggested retail price|| 💲💲💲
Check out the best price Northern Tool here
Check out the best prices here
You can find a full overview of the Eastwood MIG 180 here.
The Handler 190 attracts new welders with its simplicity. It's very simple to set up and use. Plus, the wire drive mechanism and arc are smooth, making it easier to create beautiful beads.
But the ability to handle 24-gauge to 5/16-inch thick steel also makes it a practical choice for any maintenance/repair, auto body, DIY, farm/ranch, or metal sculpture shop, as long as they're not doing heavy lifting or industrial work.
While the Handler 190 isn't the cheapest welder in its class, it's made by a reputable company. In addition, Hobart offers a strong warranty. So, for those who want the peace of mind of a brand name and a good warranty, the price is good value.
So if you want a unit that's no-frills, time-tested, and easy to use, you might be willing to pay a little more for the Handler 190 MIG. It's a solid welder that allows beginners to professional welders to lay quality weld beads. Remember, it's limited to light to medium duty steel and aluminum tasks.
Other Hobart Reviews
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