MIG welders a widely used by both professional welders and home mechanics. These machines are relatively inexpensive and extremely versatile. If you’re looking to repair a vintage car, fix a broken bike, or make a decorative trellis for your backyard garden, a MIG welder is the go-to tool. Even if you’re inexperienced, you can soon master how to handle a MIG welder in no time.
In this article, we’re going to compared two popular MIG welder kits that have received overwhelmingly positive reviews – the Goplus MIG 130 and the Hobart 500559. Both of these welder kits are highly regarded by amateur welders for being straightforward welding tools with little fuss. Both of these models make for good welders for home projects, but their use in industrial settings is limited. Without further ado, let’s jump right into our comparison.
Gas vs Gasless MIG
Goplus MIG 130
Welding can be tricky business, especially since we’re trying to connect two different pieces of metal together. The problem is that the welded metal doesn’t want to connect to the metal sheet we’re welding unless there’s a barrier of gas that separates the two metals. The Goplus uses a gasless MIG wire which is self-shielding so you don’t need an external gas canister on hand.
As for the Hobart, you have a choice – either use a flux-cored self-shielding wire or not. There are certain situations where you’d want to go for one or the other, and we like that the Hobart gives you the option. In addition, gas-shielded arc welding is neater and has reduced spatter. Gas canisters are sold separately.
Conclusion: Not every welder likes using flux-cored self-shielding wires, especially if they work in the outdoors and in windy conditions. This is what makes the Hobart so great – you get to choose one or the other.
Amperage Output and Voltage Levels
Goplus MIG 130
One of the first things you should decide is what you plan on welding and how often you’re going to do it. The Goplus can run at a maximum of 105 amps which is appropriate for thin sheets of metal. The machine also comes with a 4-position voltage control which lets operators manually select a setting based on the thickness of material they are welding.
As for the Hobart, it has an amperage output of between 25 and 140 amps. At 140 amps, you’ll be able to weld thicker sheets of metal than the Goplus could. Users can select between 5 positions to control the voltage output.
Conclusion: Both of these manufacturers boast that their welders can connect two pieces of metal up to ¼ inches thick which might be wishful thinking. However, it’s clear that the Hobart can work on all material thicknesses that the Goplus can and more. For this reason, we feel that the Hobart is the better welder in this regard.
Wire Feed Speed
Goplus MIG 130
Generally speaking, the faster the wire is fed into the weld joint, the better contact it will have, though there will be an increased risk of penetration. The Goplus comes with a speed dial which lets users manually choose the feed speed. It maxes out at 500 inches-per-minute (IPM).
The Hobart 500559 Welder has a similar 10-position wire feed speed dial, though the unit maxes out at 700 IPM. For welding corner together, you typically want to increase the feed speed in order to enhance penetration and make a solid connection.
Conclusion: For most DIY projects and light-duty applications, both of these machines provide adequate wire feed speed. The most important thing to pay attention to is accident burn-through due to too high a wire feed speed, so you’ll need to be extremely careful with any speed above 300 IPM on ¼-inch sheets of steel.
Goplus MIG 130
If you need a welder to use at various sites, then consider purchasing a lightweight model. Although they’re much weaker, they allow maneuverability and won’t weigh you down. The Goplus weighs only 35 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight MIG welders available on the market.
The Hobart weighs in at roughly 57 pounds, so although it’s lightweight and rather portable, you’ll probably need to invest in a cart so you can push the unit to and from your garage to wherever you need to weld.
Conclusion: We like that the Goplus is only 37 pounds heavy and extremely portable without the use of a cart, but with lightweight comes a reduction in power and application. However, since both of these welder kits offer the same power, merely from a power-to-weight ratio, the Goplus is the preferred option in terms of portability.
Goplus MIG 130
Though you shouldn’t purchase a welder based on what (free) components come in the box, they’re always nice to have. Apart from the main tool, welding gun, and ground clamp, this kit will provide you with two 0.35 contact tips, a spool of 0.35 flux-cored wire, a protection mask, and a brush. We advise purchasing a new mask since the one included in the box is of low quality.
The Hobart kit includes fewer supplementary items. You get a spool of 0.30 flux-cored wire, two 0.30 connector tips, and a gas hose (gas sold separately if you decide to use argon/CO2 gas when welding).
Conclusion: This is just a quick rundown of what you’ll get apart from the main welder items. The glass on the included Goplus mask is too dark to see anything unless you begin welding, so you’ll most likely end up purchasing your own mask later on (just like the Hobart).
Goplus MIG 130 vs Hobart 500559: Bottom Line
Between the Goplus and the Hobart, we favor the Hobart just a little bit more, though, in terms of portability, the Goplus MIG 130 is definitely the better model. If you plan on doing overhead or vertical welding, both of these models will suit you well, but the Goplus will be easier to handle.
However, what makes the Hobart 500559 the superior model in our opinion is that it’s a more versatile tool that can be used for more heavy-duty applications. The tool is sensitive enough for 24-gauge sheets of aluminum but powerful enough to weld ¼-inch pieces of steel together with no problem.
Keep in mind that the Hobart can be used in industrial settings, though its capabilities are limited. For DIY projects at home, either of these MIG welders could suit you just fine.
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