Picking the right welding machine can be tricky business, what with the numerous manufacturers and their seemingly infinite number of welder machines available and their almost-identical features. People looking to get into the welding game should consider investing in a MIG welder which is designed to weld carbon steel, stainless steel, and non-ferrous metals like aluminum. Many tasks involving welding – from woodworking to car repairs – can be done with a MIG welder.
In this article, we’re going to take to compare two highly regarded MIG welders from Hobart – the 210 and the 190. They can both be considered versatile and usable welders, considering their relatively cheap price tag. Keep in mind that these units, though still a popular choice among beginner and even pro welders, are several years old by now, this doesn’t take away the fact that they both can do many if not all of the things you’d expect from more modern and costlier welders.
When purchasing a welder, it’s important to understand how much power it needs to run. You don’t want to invest hundreds of dollars on a machine that isn’t compatible with any available outlets or generators. The Hobart 210 is compatible with 115V and 230V with four voltage positions at 115V and 7 at 230V. On 115V, this machine has a welding amp range of between 25 and 140 A, while on 230V it’s between 25 and 210 A.
The 190 operates only on 230V. If your home only has 115V outlets, then you’re out of luck, unless you have a generator. The 190 is compatible with generators that provide at least 7,000 running watts. It has a wide amperage range of between 25 and 190 A.
Conclusion: Welding thinner materials can be done on 115V whereas thicker metals require heavier-duty 230V outlets. The Hobart 210 is the more versatile welding machine that can work on both voltages, whereas the 190 is set to operate only on 230V. However, the 190’s wide amp range gives it the versatility needed to weld both thin and thick pieces of metal.
Metal Thickness Capacity
It’s important that you adhere to the welding machine’s welding capacity in terms of how thick the piece of metal it can connect is. The 210 is designed to weld between thin 24-gauge sheet metal and thick 3/8-inch metal beams.
The 190’s welding capacity isn’t too different from that of the Hobart. Its welding range is between 24-gauge sheets and 5/16-inch thick metal bars or beams. The difference is that when working with thinner sheets, you have a higher risk of melting them since you’re working on 230V. Just be sure to adjust the amperage to a low setting before attempting to weld thin 24-gauge sheet metal.
Conclusion: Once again, we see that the versatility of the Hobart 210 makes it the better choice when welding thin and thick pieces of metal. Even though the 190 has almost the same welding thickness range, the 210 gives you better control at welding both thin and thick metal objects.
Duty cycle in a welding machine refers to how long it can operate before needing to rest. The 210 has a 20% duty cycle on 115V at 90 A and 30% on 230V at 150 A. The percentage refers to how long, within a 10-minute time frame, the machine can run continuously. When running on 115V, the 210 can run for 2 minutes before needing to rest 8 minutes, and on 230V it can work for 3 minutes before resting for at least 7 minutes.
The Hobart has the almost same duty cycle as the Hobart on 230V. It works at 30% at 130 A. If you crank the 190 to put out the maximum amperage, the duty cycle will fall down to around 20%.
Conclusion: When comparing both the 210’s and 190’s duty cycles on 230V, we can see that there’s a sliver of a difference. The 210 has a duty cycle of 30% at 150 A, whereas the 190 at 130 A is also 30%. Unless you’re a professional welder working on commission, the amount of time spent on resting the unit shouldn’t matter too much.
Thermal Overload Protection
Hobart 210 and 190
About the previous point, there might be times when you’re in the groove and don’t pay attention to how long you’ve operated the welding machine. This can be extremely dangerous to both the operator and the machine since it can lead to overheating and burns.
Luckily, both the 210 and 190 come with a thermal overload protection feature which automatically shuts down the machine when it’s reached the peak duty cycle. You can get back to welding as soon as the machine deems itself cool enough to function without risk of damaging any of its internal components.
The size and weight of a welding machine can help determine how portable it is. In truth, both of these machines can be categorized as “portable” welders. The 210 weighs roughly 79 pounds which is rather easy to load onto and unload from your truck. Note that the 210 will not run reliably on generator power.
The 190 is slightly lighter, weighing in at around 68 pounds. One of the best features of this machine is that it can run from a generator that puts out at least 7,000 running watts. This means you can operate this machine at job sites without any running power.
Conclusion: If you plan on taking your welding machine to work at different job sites, then both of these tools are lightweight enough to be transported easily to and from places. However, if you’re working in a remote area that doesn’t have any electricity, then only the 190 can be of any use since it can run off of a generator reliably. Consider investing in the Hobart cart to wheel the machine around easily (sold separately).
So between the Hobart 210 and the 190, which of the two would be the more appropriate welding machine to haveWe’re happy to say that for beginner and even professional welders, both of these machines perform superbly and with very few hiccups. However, if we had to choose, we’d say that the Hobart 210 would be the better overall option if you don’t plan on working at remote job sites.
It can connect to both 115V and 230V outlets so working in different settings at different power levels is possible. If you need to take the machine with you to job sites that either have no electricity or no 230V outlets, then you can plug the Hobart 190 into a generator to get it up and running.