Hobart Handler 140 vs. Lincoln Weld-Pak 3200HD

I'd like to hear from some of you more experienced guys, if you can
spare a few minutes, about which of these two machines you'd prefer:
the Hobart Handler 140 or the Lincoln Weld-Pak 3200HD. These are both
110V-level MIG/fluxcore machines in the 135/140 amp class, and I'm
having kind of a rough time deciding which way to go.
Please don't suggest some other machine. It WILL be one of thse two.
And as far as what it'll be used for, the answer would probably be,
"routine MIG and fluxcore welding, mostly in plain 1/8" mild steel."
In other words, nothing extreme or excessive. We're not building an
offshore oil rig here....
Are there any really significant differences between these two welders
that should bear on the decision?
Ron M.
Reply to
Ron M.
Loading thread data ...
Ron-
I looked at both of these machines pretty carefully and decided to go with the Hobart myself, based on postings by a lot of different users on different forums. The major points for me were:
1) The Hobart wire feed mechanism, which is also in the MillerMatic 135, appears to be superior.
2) The Hobart gives excellent results on thin metal (ie 24 gauge) and also has a little extra on the top end. Keep in mind that to get this extra top end you have to dedicate a 110 circuit to it and may have to play a little with the wire feed to that circuit and its breaker, but its there to go after if you need it.
3) One thing that concerned me about the Lincoln is that they don't even rate the machine as being capable of 1/8" steel with solid core wire. Take a look at the owner's manual on their web site, the settings chart only has settings at 1/8" for flux core wire. To be fair, 1/8" steel with solid wire is pushing the limit for both of these machines, and if you are planning to do a lot of that you should consider a 220 unit. In my case I have only occassional need for 1/8" usage, but I at least wanted the machine to be capable of that. You could probably argue that Lincoln is being conservative in their rating, and as I said neither machine is any good for heavy usage on 1/8" steel, but I've seen reports of Hobart 140 users welding 1/8" with a single pass of solid core wire and getting good results.
I don't think you can go wrong with either machine as they are both well liked by their users, but the Hobart 140 users seem to have a slightly higher "rave rating" factor than the Lincoln users. I would rate the Lincoln resale value as higher since they have better name recognition, but I didn't care about that, and you can get parts for the Hobart at any Miller dealer, most of the parts are the same as the MillerMatic 135.
Good luck-
Paul T.
Reply to
Paul T.
I forgot to mention one thing, if you decide to go with the Lincoln, the Weld-Pack 3200HD, the SP135T and the Pro Mig 135 are all the exact same Lincoln machine with different labeling. The SP135T is the version they sell at welding dealers while the other ones are the "retail" versions you'll find at the big box stores, but its all the same machine with different skins, so shop around to get your best price.
Paul T.
Reply to
Paul T.
Ron - I had the same question about three weeks ago and decided on the Hobart (owned by Miller and has many Miller parts).
I think they're both great machines and there isn't a significant difference between them, but here's my thoughts:
Hobart - better warranty - made by Miller (best name in welding) - as the other gentleman wrote (sorry can't remember his name) - appears to have better characteristics. I'm skeptical about this one though, I think they're probably the same in terms of capability
Lincoln - Big box carry parts for them (tips, etc.)
I found the best price (by far) for the Hobart at BRWelder.com. They were easy to deal with and were quick.
Happy shopping
Reply to
MH
I like Lincoln myself but it's mostly because that's what I'm familiar with. Looking at the Specs the Hobart looks better, including the warranty but there is one thing about it that I don't think I would like.
They call it "wire feed speed tracking" and it varies your wire speed automatically. I haven't actually used it but I've heard negative comments from some who have. To me it seems like it would be kind of like the helper that Microsoft added to Microsoft Word. It thinks it knows what you're doing better than you do and adjusts accordingly. I'd prefer to know that the wire will feed at the rate I set so I can adjust the weld by changing the position of the gun.
Just my $0.02 worth. :-)
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall
Not to hijack the thread, but how important is infinite voltage adjustment.
I'm looking at the Millermatic 175 which has infinite adjusment, but also Lincoln and Hobart like the Handler and Weld-Pak that don't have it.
R> I'd like to hear from some of you more experienced guys, if you can
Reply to
Marty
Most of the reports you get of users not likeing the wire speed tracking is with the MillerMatic 135/175's. These machines have continuous voltage controls unlike the 4 voltage taps on the Hobart 140 and the Lincoln's we've been talking about. With the continuous controls, when you're trying to treak in your voltage you also get small changes on your wirespeed, and some users don't like that, they want to be able to tweak them independently like you can on the Lincoln + series machines.
On tapped machines you can only make large changes to your voltage, which are generally going to require a change in wire speed no matter what. The Hobart minimizes the change in wirespeed you have to make by making the wirespeed relative to the tap selection. For example, with the same 0.030 wire size, on all 4 tap settings on the Hobart machine the typical wirespeed setting is in the range from 3 to 4, while on the Lincoln machine you would see the wire speed settings have a much wider range over its 4 tap settings.
I don't think this really makes much difference, with either machine you're typically going to have to set a different wire speed when you change the tap, it just changes how far you have to turn the knob. You'll find some users that don't like the wire speed tracking on the Millermatic but do like it on the Hobart 140 and 180's.
I got a chance to do a little 1/8" steel welding with my new Hobart 140 last night using 0.030" solid wire and C25 gas. I feel the machine is at its limits at this thickness. With care I think you can do usable welds at this thickness for non-critical applications, but for critical welds I would want to use a 220 volt MIG machine. I couldn't get quite as much penetration as I would like for a critical weld using a single pass. Probably using flux-core wire would fix this issue, but that's not an option for me and we don't have a bigger MIG, so I'll be using our TIG machine for any critical 1/8" welds. The MIG will be great for smaller stuff though, I've only had it for a few days but I like it so far. The included gas regulator and ground clamp are on the chintzy side, but I knew that coming in and its the same situation on the Lincoln.
Paul T.
Reply to
Paul T.
Makes sense. Thanks for the good explanation!
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall
Just wondering.. why is that not an option for you? I mean, was it just a situational thing, like you didn't have any flux-core wire handy, or is there some broader reason?
Also, how about using CO2 instead of C25? That would give you more penetration.
Ron M.
Reply to
Ron M.
Its a feature that most experienced welders would state is nice to have but not 100% necessary. In fact many welders who are used to using a tapped voltage machine don't like the fully adjustable voltage ones, they're used to quickly setting the tap and then tweaking on the wirespeed to optimize the weld.
Personally I would prefer an adjustable voltage machine as it allows you to get the best possible setting for all metal thicknesses and weld setups and I don't mind having to tweak 2 knobs to get there. However, the fully adjustable machines (Millermatic 135/175 and Lincoln SP135+/175+) cost about $150. more than the tapped machines. I needed to keep our purchase price down, so I went with the tapped Hobart 140, and so far its working well.
Good luck-
Paul T.
Reply to
Paul T.
You're right, either flux-core or CO2 would improve the penetration. The flux-core is not an option because of weld appearance and working environment, the welds are on a product and need to look good and we don't have a good enough venilation system in our shop to use the flux core.
CO2 is probably something to consider, but since we currently don't have to do that many 1/8" welds I'll fire up the TIG if they need to be maximum strength.
Paul T.
Reply to
Paul T.

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.