Sometimes you just want to bring on the heat. And you want to do so in a quality way. In the realm of welders ready for some fiery action, Hobart and Miller are two names that have always stood out. But how do you know which brand-name welder to choose?
No need to worry, I’m here to tell you about the main difference between these two so you can decide which one is the better option. So, Miller vs Hobart – which one will be the winner?
Miller vs Hobart Welders: Overview
Now, I don’t want to be Captain Obvious here – but you’ve probably seen it: there’s a steep price difference between Hobart’s budget welders, like the Hobart HH140, and Miller’s fancy dollar tag.
So, what gives? Is there som premium her or something?
Yeah, there’s a fundamental difference in both welder operations and to what extent you can configure/tinker around with the settings. I’ll elaborate more on this later.
If you want a quick summary, here’s the gist of it:
- Hobart welders are generally suited for hobby welding or contractors starting out. You can grab one if you want an affordable welder you want to test out some cool ideas on. In 90% of cases, you won’t need anything beyond a mid-class Hobart.
- Miller tools are industrial-grade powerhouses. They come with heavy-duty construction and are a bit more challenging in terms of operation. You won’t need one for general DIY – the benefits kick in with more complicated and demanding projects. If you do grab a Miller welder, though, you’ll enjoy the raw power, top-class durability, and freedom of operational customizations.
Let’s dig deeper into this, shall we?
Hobart vs Miller: The Cevil Lies in the Setting Details
So, how can you distinguish between a welder that’s hobbyist-friendly and a fully professional one? Of course, factors like construction and power are important, but ultimately, the key to choosing the right welder for your needs comes down to how you operate the tool.
That’s where Hobart welders shine. They are known for their user-friendly design and ease of use, thanks in part to their “tapped settings” feature. Each level on a Hobart welder represents a specific fixed output, so you don’t have to worry about tinkering around with the voltage and current to get the right settings. Level #1 would be 10v, Level #2 ramps it up to 20v, and so on. You can’t tinker around with the voltage and set it to 15.5v, for example. Simply select the appropriate level for your project, and you’re good to go.
Sure, this is great for generic projects that don’t require much precision. Just adjust the level, and voila – you’re good to go. That’s what you generally do with the Hobart Handler series. So if you’re asking the question – are Hobart welders good – the answer is most definitely yes.
Kevin explains this very well in this video, I recommend you give it a watch:
For more demanding jobs, however, this convenience comes at a cost. That’s where Miller kicks in.
Contrary to Hobart’s tapped settings system, Miller’s MIG welders feature an ”infinite controls” system that allows for more precise voltage settings. There are no limitations in terms of levels, and you can tinker with whatever intricate voltage outputs you have in mind. While this may seem like a big advantage, is it really necessary?
For most general welding tasks, the convenience and ease of use that comes with Hobart’s tapped settings are more than enough. This is why both DIYers and contractors often choose Hobart for their welding projects. It’s just more convenient. And let’s be honest, most welding projects don’t require an industrial-grade monster with endless customization. Especially when it comes to DIY projects.
IMPORTANT: Be careful with switching the voltage controls — it is not recommended to do so while you’re welding!
Construction and Performance
When it comes to construction quality, both Hobart and Miller take it seriously and have exceptional build quality. They use tough aluminum shells that can handle the demands of welding. Miller welders are definitely a notch sturdier, but it’s worth noting that both companies produce a significant portion of their welders in the US. With their higher-end models, you won’t find a lot of cheap outsourcing to other countries.
While both brands offer reliable performance, Miller welders tend to have more amperage and power. For instance, the popular Hobart Handler 140 can output 25-140 amps, and you can upgrade to a Hobart Handler 210 for dual-mode amperage power that ranges from 25 to 210 amps on 230v. However, these models are still not as powerful as the mid-range Miller 211, which boasts a range of 30 to 230 amps of power.
Miller’s Continuum series is a real game-changer in the welding world. These machines boast an incredible amperage power output of up to 400 amps, providing unmatched strength for even the most demanding projects. It’s no wonder Miller is the brand of choice for serious industrial-grade welding work. Even the highest-end Hobart welders simply can’t match the power and performance of the Miller Continuum series. So, if you’re looking to take your welding to the next level, you can’t go wrong with a Miller welder.
What About the Warranty?
Nobody wants to think about their tools breaking down, but it’s an unfortunate reality of any profession. That’s why warranties are so important, so let’s see who wins here – Hobart vs Miller.
Well, both Hobart and Miller offer solid coverage for their welders. Hobart’s warranty varies depending on the model, but most machines come with a 5/3/1 warranty. Parts and labor are covered for 5 years, while the wire drive system, control boards, and regulator are covered for 3 years. For the MIG gun, contactors, and relays, the coverage is 1 year for general use, and 90 days for industrial use.
On the other hand, Miller offers a 3-year warranty on parts and labor, and engines are guaranteed for at least two years.
When it comes to warranties, it’s always best to be safe than sorry. You never know when a tool might malfunction or break down, and having solid coverage can give you peace of mind. Plus, it’s always fun to tell your friends that your welder is covered for longer than their car warranty.
Is Hobart the Same as Miller?
There’s a common misconception floating around about Hobart and Miller welders that I’d like to clear up for you. The truth is Hobart and Miller are completely separate brands with their own unique production processes and manufacturing facilities.
There’s a big discussion among welders surrounding the owner of Hobart. But despite what some folks might say, Hobart does not own Miller. In fact, both brands are actually owned by Illinois Tool Works or ITW for short. But just because they share a parent company doesn’t mean they’re the same thing.
ITW has made a strategic choice to diversify its brand offerings, which is why they have Hobart targeted towards hobby welding and entry-level contractors while reserving the more advanced Miller machines for high-end industrial welding.
Miller vs Hobart – Which One Will It Be?
So, to conclude this comparison, in probably more than 90% of the cases, Hobart entry-level welders are more than enough for most welding work done by contractors and DIYers. I’m almost sure that this also applies to your situation. You can’t go wrong with a Hobart Handler – any of the Hobart 140, Hobart 190, or Hobart 210, depending on your power needs.
If you feel like trying out a heavy-duty MIG welder: Miller will offer you an upgraded experience. Just keep in mind that their tools also come with a more complicated operation that needs you to know what you’re doing!
What will you choose as your brand-new welder for your DIY projects? Let me know in the comments.