It’s easy to see why the Hobart Handler 140 MIG welder (model no: 500559) is one of the most popular small welders. Portability is tops, quality is great, and the price is very reasonable. Not to mention that Hobart is an established and respected name in the world of welders. This is a US company based in Ohio.
Seen by many as the best value light to medium duty MIG welder, the Hobart 140 Handler has a lot going for it. It will accommodate both MIG and flux core spools. Though using flux core wire can be a little tricky. It takes a bit of getting used to. This machine is extremely versatile, allowing you to weld virtually any metal with ease.
Anyone will appreciate the portability of this welder and the ease with which you can set it up and get straight to work. The Hobart Handler 140 weighs 57-pounds, not at all heavy for a transformer welder, and they sell an optional cart separately for easier transportation. It uses standard 115V household power, so you can set it up anywhere.
Although this is intended more as a DIY welder, it will hold its own in a small auto body shop. The Hobart handler is definitely a cut above the average light-duty MIG welder. The machine feels solid with an all metal body and pretty impressive 200A ground clamp, quality pipes and torch, as well as a durable metal regulator valve with brass fittings. When I say quality pipes and torch, I don’t mean industrial grade, just well above average for this caliber of welder.
Ideal Welder for Beginners
Beginners will be delighted to find how easy this machine is to use. It has a variable amperage dial (25A – 140A) and 5 position voltage dial. So the control panel is uncluttered and certainly not complicated. It has all the protection that one expects from a modern welder, like thermal overload, with automatic reset. The wire spool mechanism makes for quick and easy spool changes and the wire is protected until you start the feed.
For such a small and portable machine, the Hobart is immensely powerful. You should have no hassles obtaining a perfect weld on mild steel up ¼”. Though the duty cycle is not the most impressive I’ve seen, 20% at 90A. One reason why professional welders may find the Handler 140 a little frustrating to use.
This is a transformer welder, unlike many these days, that use an inverter. In many ways I prefer transformer welders. Sure this is old technology and doesn’t deal that well with unstable current, or have as much electronic protection, but there’s virtually nothing to go wrong. It remains perfectly reliable as it gets older and there aren’t too many long term maintenance costs. The only real downside is that there are few portable generators that can handle the load. Those that can, tend to be quite expensive. Of course, for general home and shop situations, this won’t be a problem.
For it’s market position, the Hobart 140 Handler is, arguably the best MIG welder. It’s somewhere between the general light-duty cheap welders and a more heavy-duty machine. Though the price tends more toward the light-duty welder sector. This great price includes everything you need to get started, except your gas tanks. As a small bonus, they’ve even thrown in spool of wire and replacement welding tips. The Hobart 5/3/1 warranty is a fairly recent upgrade to their warranty agreement. Basically you have a 5-year warranty on the more solid state components, 3-years on the majority of components, and 1-year for items like the torch, which always has a shorter warranty. Again, in its price range, the Hobart has a warranty that exceeds expectations.