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Old 03-25-2002, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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miller vs hobart

Ok not to beat a dead horse to death or anything but I have a quick question. For those of you that bought the Hobart 135, do you wish that you spent the extra $$ to get the miller?? Specificaly the variable voltage, and non plastic inards.

Am I wrong to think that If I got the Hobart I would run the damn thing at or near max heat all the time, making it stupid to get the variable?

Already have the stick machine, soooo it is down to the Miller or Hobart 135, and I'd like to hear both sides on this one.
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Old 03-25-2002, 03:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I got the hobart handler 175 for xmas and I love it. Don't let the plastic parts mess with you - the plastic parts are very strong for what they are. Hell - you can swap the Miller stuff in it if you want. And what can remember is plastic on mine - is just the spool assembly. I hope you aren't going to break that . Now I don't know what to say about the variable voltage part - but I haven't needed it yet
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Old 03-25-2002, 03:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I am in the process of buying a new welder for school.
Looking at Hobart and Miller.
Both made by the SAME company now BTW.

I'll probably go Miller cuz that is what the other shop has in the school. But, they are both very good.

Cory
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Old 03-25-2002, 04:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Sorry for the long reply, but I agonized a long time over similar questions before getting my MIG.

I bought the 135 and don't find the 4 voltage settings to be a serious limitation, if any.

When welding you only really care about how much heat and how much filler you are putting down. You still have the wire speed, stick-out, and travel speed for tuning. Having one less adjustment to fiddle with is not something I worry about.

My stick welder has infinatly variable amp setting, yet I rarely, if ever, tweak it "just a little". As long as current setting is in the right ball park, you naturally compensate with travel speed and arc length. I've used a Lincoln "tumbstone" buzz box, with selector switch too, and did not find that to be limiting at all.

As for the plastic parts, My buddy Bob has had an old version of the '175 for many years. (Case style is different, and I think it has different model number but same ratings as the '175.) For not being a professional welder he uses it quite a bit. Probably has run 3-400# of wire through it. The plastic parts are still holding up fine. I've borrowed it a few times, liked it, and that is why I chose a Hobart. He blew up one filter capacitor, which he was able to have repaired locally the same day. If those plastic parts ever break, I am sure it will be nearly as easy to get repair parts.

Even though the '135 is a 120V machine, you still need an honest-to-god 20A circuit, and a 30A circuit would be better, so don't expect to "plug it in anywhere". Still, there are a lot more 120V 20A outlets in this country than places to plug in a 230V machine. Bob actually recommended I get the 120V machine, as he had used one, and felt that it did as well as the '175 on light material. I have a stick welder that will take care of anything beyond what the '135 can handle.

To answer your question, no I don't regret not buying a better machine. My finances are such that I had to wait a long time and catch a good sale to afford the Hobart....so in my case the difference for a Miller would have been almost double. I'm happy that I didn't break down and get a Century or some other real cheapy though.
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Old 03-25-2002, 04:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I just purchased the Hobart handler 135 used and am happy w/it. It had seen fairly heavy use before me, but still works fine. Since I'm usually welding 3/16" or 1/4" it's almost always on max voltage, but I definitely appreciate the variable wire feed. It's technically not rated to weld 1/4" but will do it. And since you can just use Miller parts for basically everything they're easier to come by.
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Old 03-25-2002, 05:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just got a Hobart 175 and when I opened it up, all the little boxes all said Miller on them I like it a lot. A frien has a Miller 175 and seems to think they are pretty identical as well.
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Old 03-25-2002, 06:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bones
I just got a Hobart 175 and when I opened it up, all the little boxes all said Miller on them I like it a lot. A frien has a Miller 175 and seems to think they are pretty identical as well.
My hobart 175 was the same way with some of the stuff being in Miller boxes....except the autoshade helmet..not miller(the helmet); but, the helmet is mighty nice(included with the welder)..I am plenty satisfied with mine

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Old 03-25-2002, 07:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a Hobart. I am completely satisfied with it. We have a Miller 130 @ work, I don't see enough of a difference with the variable heat to make a difference.

Also, on a side note, The Hobart Hoods are nice. I like having the shade adjustment on the outside. It helps when switching between the MIG and Plasma.

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Old 03-25-2002, 09:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hobart vrs Miller

OK here's the insider scoop. I was a Senior design Engineer at Miller until November 2000 when the Rocky Mountains called me west. I spent 15 years there designing their inverter welders. My babies - Maxstar 90, Maxstar 150, Maxstar 175, XMT 304, Maxtron 450. Originally, Miller was family owned, but around 1994 ITW (Illinois Tool Works) bought 'em out. Around 1997 ITW bought Hobart and the ITW Welding products group started. The Hobart management was consolidated into Miller and the Hobart brand was set aside as the "Consumer" product while the Miller name was reserved for the "Industrial" stuff. It is true that the Miller and Hobart "low end" Mig systems are very nearly the same with minor feature differences. This explains the Miller parts labels in the Hobart box don't it? I'm somewhat spoiled using multi thousand $ equipment but either of the lesser units will do a respectable job. These cheaper units "do" have sweet spots though, and finding the ideal conditions takes a little effort and practice. I will say though, that the welding engineers at Miller or Hobart are some of the most demanding in the industry. Getting designs through their testing is a challenge.

Sorry about the nostalgic dump but the story needed tellin' to fellow 4x4ers.
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Old 03-25-2002, 10:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Hobart vrs Miller

Quote:
Originally posted by sgeissler
OK here's the insider scoop. I was a Senior design Engineer at Miller until November 2000 when the Rocky Mountains called me west.
Cool... so now tell us how to use up our surplus IGBT's and make a nice TIG unit.

I have a 20 year old Hobart TIG welder, love a machine rated for 200Amps at 100% duty cycle!!!

Oh, for playing with IGBT's... take a look at something different (288V @ 1400Amps... one big plasma ball if you drop a wrench). EV Dakota Nothing like a 300 ft-lbs of torque at 100 rpm

Left Motorola last year, doubt if anyone even knew how to charge it after I left! Sigh, it was great fun for sneaking up on people, then tapping the horn.

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Old 03-25-2002, 10:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Like sgiesler said. the new hobarts have the sam electronics as the millers. But the Hobart is the home depot version, it has cheaper guns, rollers ect. I have a old hobart and it rocks. But if I were going to buy one a new one, it would be a miller.
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Old 03-26-2002, 12:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Hobart vrs Miller

Quote:
Originally posted by sgeissler
OK here's the insider scoop. I was a Senior design Engineer at Miller until November 2000 when the Rocky Mountains called me west. I spent 15 years there designing their inverter welders. My babies - Maxstar 90, Maxstar 150, Maxstar 175, XMT 304, Maxtron 450.
At my old workplace we had an XMT304. What a beautiful piece of equipment!!! My hat's off to you!
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Old 03-26-2002, 12:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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You should get a miller 210 , a very nice unit! If you were to buy it from up here in canada it would be cheaper than the lower modles bought in the USA , 1900 canadian = 1200 US
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Old 03-26-2002, 07:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I bought a holbart 135 a few months ago, and have been really happy with it, I'm on my third spool of flux core wire, and 2nd .035 tip, but other wise have had no problems with it. Like was mentioned above, you really need a good solid circuit to run a 120 welder. a 20 amp minimium, 30 amp would be better, but even more important is having good large gauge wire all the way to the welder, I had mine plugged into a a long and light extension cord at first, and was very disappointed in the performance. Then I bought a short 12 gauge extension cord, and plugged it into the closest 20 amp plug to the breaker box, and it performers like a whole new welder. The wiring in my rental house is probably pretty cheap though, in a decent house, it might not matter.

Also, I like the lower voltage settings for thin stuff. I've used mine on the 1 and 2 settings more than once. Actaully last weekend, I used the lowest settings it had to reweld a door seem on my fiancies truck that had rusted out, the low settings are very easy to control, especially on light metal like body panels.

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Old 03-26-2002, 01:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i got my hobart 135 about 2 months ago and just finished off my first 10lb spool. I absolutely love the thing, period.

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Old 03-26-2002, 01:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have the 175. Very happy with it. Hobart is scaled down for a DYI person. If you were a pro using it daily for work then spend the coin for the Miller with the better drive.
Another thing to concider is going with a 220 unit. Duty cycle on 110 units tends to be weak on any brand. If you read the instructions on a 110 unit it clearly states a dedicatd 15 amp line.
I have in the past barrowed a 110 Lincoln and it was drawing enough current that I kept poping breakers because the lights in my shop were on the same circuit that was only rated 10 amps.
Sounds like you got the 220 in your shop since you have a stick. THe handler 175 comes with the regulator also.
www.cyberweld.com seems to have about the best prices on Hobart and Miller.
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Old 03-26-2002, 02:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Just because I have a 220 welder doesn't mean I have a place to plug the damn thing in...LOL! Next year I should, and that will give me the power for the big shit.

Thanks for the advise everyone, I ordered up a hobart from www.cyberweld.com/ yesterday. I'll be welding again in no time!
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Old 12-17-2002, 08:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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How does the Century/Craftsman compare?
Their 155GS is 120v
20% at 105amp (vs 20% at 90amp)
30-150 amp (vs 30-135 amp)
infinite heat control (vs 4 settings on Hobart)

What if any makes Hobart/Miller superior

FYI NorthenTool.com has Hobart 135 for 399.00!
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Old 12-17-2002, 09:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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one other point,, which i wonder how it makes a difference to us??
is duty cycle, there is a difference between the hobart and millers duty cycle when comparing say the 175 model.. i would think more power for a longer period would be a good thing,,the millers are not that much more money,, and it should last a long time..
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Old 12-17-2002, 09:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have the 175 and love it. I bought it on E-bay. The price was great. Much lower than the Miller which is why I bought it. I shopped and was told that for the DIY's it was more the fine. It has been.

Does anyone know exactly what is different in the Hobart and Miller? Driver...I thought they were exactly the same?
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Old 12-17-2002, 10:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
 
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Go BART!
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Old 12-17-2002, 10:51 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The main diffrence is that Hobart uses Al windings, Miller uses Copper windings. All the small parts and consumibles are interchangable. If you have a Hobart it says Miller on the gun.

Miller has a 3 year total waranty, Hobart has a 1/3/5 limited set up.

And the for mentioned plastic roller thing.

With all this get the one you like. I have a century right now, but I also have a 230 amp AC stick welder. So I didn't need a big welder when I got my MIG, about 5 years ago. I have run alot of wire thru the century, 50-80 lbs a year. It's not a huge amount but not bad for a home use welder.
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:46 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
OK here's the insider scoop. I was a Senior design Engineer at Miller until November 2000 when the Rocky Mountains called me west. I spent 15 years there designing their inverter welders. My babies - Maxstar 90, Maxstar 150, Maxstar 175, XMT 304, Maxtron 450. Originally, Miller was family owned, but around 1994 ITW (Illinois Tool Works) bought 'em out. Around 1997 ITW bought Hobart and the ITW Welding products group started. The Hobart management was consolidated into Miller and the Hobart brand was set aside as the "Consumer" product while the Miller name was reserved for the "Industrial" stuff. It is true that the Miller and Hobart "low end" Mig systems are very nearly the same with minor feature differences. This explains the Miller parts labels in the Hobart box don't it? I'm somewhat spoiled using multi thousand $ equipment but either of the lesser units will do a respectable job. These cheaper units "do" have sweet spots though, and finding the ideal conditions takes a little effort and practice. I will say though, that the welding engineers at Miller or Hobart are some of the most demanding in the industry. Getting designs through their testing is a challenge.
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Old 12-18-2002, 07:23 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I just got the Hobart 175 and it is great I don't have to worry about getting good penetration. Too bad I didn't have it 2 years ago when I welded all the stuff on.
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Old 12-18-2002, 08:00 AM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Well it's been about 9 months now (see post above), and I still like my little holbart mig, but the duty cycle limitation is a pain. With all the welder experts in this thread, I was wondering if anyone knew if it would be possible to upgrade the transformer in my 110 V to a 220 volt transformer? Would I have to change a lot of other stuff, or would it be easy. I'm guessing I'd be money ahead just seeling mine and getting the 175, but I was curious. Any thoughts

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