Comparing two “Near Identical” welding tools or machines is a hard task at the very least. Sometimes, comparing two machines is like splitting the hair when the price point and features are “Nearly” the same as well. Such is the case for Hobart Handler 190 vs Lincoln 180 face off.

You’ve got to pull all your experience of handling these objects as well as some state-of-the-art knowledge about how these things operate and perform. Expert opinion helps. That’s why I’m here. I’ll be pouring in every ounce of my expertise and knowledge in this article to discuss certain aspects.

I’ll be going over these products in individual reviews. I’ll also point out similarities between Hobart 190 and Lincoln 180 as well as the differences in a systematic manner. I hope this rather long article helps you by pointing out specific points. These will help you in choosing the machine that’ll suit your needs.

Reviewing the Two Welding Machines

Before we go into comparing Hobart Handler 190 and Lincoln 180 against each other, it’d be best to look into these machines individually. In the following section, I’ll be reviewing each of these machines to see what these things have to offer and how they fare in the actual welding tasks. These reviews are not super long. I touched on the important points.

Dissecting Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder 230V

Hobart Handler 190 is one of the best when it comes to dishing out welding tools that work with a single voltage option. Why do I say that? You’ll have to consider the fact that this thing works with 230V of power. Yes, even when welding, it can take some heavy loads. There’s no middle ground.

Hobart 500554 Handler 190 MIG Welder 230V

With this amount of input power, the users can very well handle professional welding in a jiffy. Add to the fact you have a broad range of amperage from 25 to 190 Amps. In my time with the product, I found the range to be beneficial as it could handle a number of metals.

Speaking of “Metals,” Hobart 190 handles mild steel, flux core steel, and the traditional stainless steel. Of course, the repertoire includes lightweight metals such as Aluminum as well. Being a welder that costs more than 1000 dollars, this is to be expected.

This is versatility if there ever was one. Although the duty cycle is 30%. Meaning, you can get 3 minutes of continuous runtime when welding before this thing needs a break.

I can understand if you want some finesse in your job. Hobart 190 MIG Welder can handle 24ga to 5/16th inch of welding in one go or pass. I had to go through twice or thrice just round everything up and make the metal piece all fine and dandy.

Get Hobart Handler 190 at Amazon

Want some more versatility while we’re at it? Take into account the fact that you could tinker with as many as seven voltage-related settings to make the welding experience more enjoyable and less taxing on us. Combine good magnetics with it and you have it all.

Now, good magnetics and wire speed control (consider it to be infinite) can make the output performance better. Namely, you’ll get better ARC performance with reduced spatter when we’re going about our jobs. That’s less maintenance for us to worry about.

I’d use this for home DIY projects, garage tinkering, and a bit of farm welding if I were you. But the product really comes into its own when you use it for “Auto Body Welding.”

This is what I call a “Low Cost” option when welding things. The users won’t need anything else to do the job. Everything you need is included in the kit. Yes, from the MIG welding gun, sheathed power cords, and flux core accessories right down to the spool gun.

You’ll get pliers and a welding gel if you so choose. However, if you want the MIG welder only, there’s option for you to get that too. It comes down to what you do and how.

What I Love About The Welder

  • Yes, Hobart 190 is a cheap machine but the performance is top-notch when it counts.
  • The thing with this machine is that it’s stable. You can run it on a generator as well.
  • One can customize voltage options, Amps count, and even spool gun speed.
  • At one pass you can weld metals from 24ga to 5/16 inch. Versatility at its best.
  • This is what I’d call a beginner-friendly device with a simple setup and handling.

Things That Can Be Improved

  • If you have a generator with a minimum 7000 watts, only then it can run the welder.
  • I’d say the cables (specifically, the power cable) are too short.

Getting Inside Lincoln Electric PRO-MIG 180 Welder

One thing I like about Lincoln PRO-MIG 180 is the fact that the connectors are state-of-the-art. I had no room to complain with the “Brass to Brass” connectivity that helps to ensure a “Leak-Free” welding with no short circuits whatsoever.

Getting Inside Lincoln Electric PRO-MIG 180 WelderAlso, the motor Lincoln 180 uses is noise-free. Lincoln offers great torque when it comes to welding tough metals as well as thin materials (I’ll get into that momentarily) I’d thank the makers for ensuring a “Cast Iron” construction to house the motor within.

Make no mistake, this little wonder will cost you nearly 1000 dollars. One good thing is that you’ll have everything you need to make sure the “Welding” part of the tinkering job goes as smoothly as possible. This includes spool guns and customized Lincoln wires as well.

Speaking of tinkering jobs, people can weld mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and other thin metals comfortably. One can weld 24ga to 5/16-inch worth of materials in a single pass. That’s not all! You can extend the welding thickness to ½-inch if you use FCAW-S wires.

Get Lincoln 180 at Amazon

These are made by Lincoln using the self shielding technology. Add to the fact that Lincoln has a forgiving ARC when it comes to cutting or joining metal shields together. This allows beginners to learn the art of Flux Core MIG Welding more effectively.

If you want to do the welding without gas, no problem! The default mechanism of this tool allows for you to go for general MIG welding. You can attach or pick apart the flux core part. This will add on or take off some extra weight and make it more portable.

Motor and steel welding thickness aren’t the only things Lincoln is good at. The control panel I found on Lincoln 180 is equally good as well. You can adjust the voltage option and spool gun wire feed to match with the amp counts to get an optimum performance.

Speaking of the spool gun, the wire drive they gave us is fully adjustable. One can adjust how much wire they need and how fast depending on the wire diameter using the dial system. There’s a system in place to prevent wire crushing or tangling as well.

This will help people who have a habit of doing too much with their machine and heating it up frequently. This will reduce the amount of welding wire you need and in turn, your costs as well. I love how cost-effective Lincoln 180 turned out for me in the long run.

My one beef with this machine would be the fact that you won’t find the warranty to be too much appealing. I expected an extra year or two on top of the three-year period to be blunt.

What I Love About The Welder

  • This thing runs on dual-voltage capacity. Users can weld for different projects.
  • You get to work with an efficient machine which hardly malfunctions or overheats.
  • This is a beginner-friendly machine as well with the detailed control panel you have.
  • I loved the spool control mechanism. You get to fine-tune different aspects of it.
  • The self-shielding wire technology from Lincoln enhances welding capacities.

Things That Can Be Improved

  • Compared to all the benefits, the Amp count remains stagnant at 180.
  • This is one heavy machine with all the accessories added; you won’t find it particularly portable.

Similarities Between Lincoln 180 and Hobart 190

I get the fact that nobody expected me to point out similarities between the two MIG welders when I’m about to do a Hobart 190 vs Lincoln 180 comparison. Fair point, I take it. Yet, you won’t know what the difference is between the two models unless you know the similarities. So, here are the similarities before we go to the differences.

  • Want to Do Flux Core Welding? You Can!

Both Hobart 190 and Lincoln 180 feature the apparatus needed for flux core welding and gas welding when needed. I, for one, didn’t have to buy my accessories when using gas with these machines. Of course, I could do normal metal work as well. No complaints there.

Both the machines have a protection for overheating as well. Gas welding can be tough as you’d need constant refilling of substances. Thankfully, both the models have instructions that will tell you how much you need and how to set the gas tank up if you’re a beginner.

  • Both of These Machines Have Dual Voltage Support

This is one area where I breathed a sigh of relief. There are obvious price differences for these two competitors. Yet, the voltage option remains a 2-step process should you choose to opt for it. Thanks to this, both the machines can do a multitude of tasks for the owners.

Yes, these are the machines to go for if you’re a hobbyist, a tinkerer at the garage or have your own little workshop just beside your home. On the other hand, these same machines take care of industrial jobs to a certain degree. You’ll be amazed by their performances.

  • There’s No Significant Weight Difference at All!

Yes, that’s one more thing these two models “Aced” in my opinion. Hobart 190 will weigh somewhere around 66 lbs. whereas Lincoln 180 weighs around 68 lbs. The weight makes it somewhat difficult for you to carry them around. However, if you use a cart, it’s different.

If you want things to be less in weight, separate each part after you’re done and then reattach them again when you need to. Or, you know, buy a cart to tow these devices around. It’s completely your choice. Performance matters at the end of the day.

  • You Can Weld Various Metals with These Two

This is one area where these two match each-other’s strides. You can cut or weld Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Mild Steel, and even thinner materials with these welders. One can even experiment with different thicknesses of flux core welding wires as well.

There are hardly any differences in duty cycle or ARC performance when you do the welding. If anything, these machines give you a forgiving ARC just so you can get your heads around the machines without stressing too much. Both are beginner-friendly tools after all.

Lincoln 180 vs Hobart 190: Comparing the Two Models

FeatureHobart 190Lincoln 180
Welding Method Mig Mig
Max Amp190180
Weld in single pass5/16 inch3/16 inch
Weight78 pounds
66 pounds
Voltage230 V230 V
Dimensions24.2 x 13.3 x 18.714 x 18.6 x 10.2
Price Check Price Check Price

Now that we’re pretty much done with the in-depth reviews and the similarities these two models have, let’s go into the nitty and gritty. Let’s analyze both the models for what they are and see what one of these tools has that the other doesn’t. But first, a little rundown for you guys to help in understanding some of the aspects of these machines.

  • The Difference in Thickness When Cutting Metals

One thing I mentioned earlier in this article is, both the machines can weld or cut thick or thin metals such as Steel, Stainless Steel, and Aluminum. I wasn’t lying. They can. However, there’s a catch. The amount of thickness or thinness of the metals vary.

In other words, how deep these machines can cut a metal or weld it in one pass, varies. For example, Hobart Handler 190 cuts 24ga to 5/16-inch-deep in one pass. If you want to cut deeper, you’ll have to go over the spot a second time.

One the other hand, Lincoln 180 can cut through 24ga to 3/16-inch thickness in one pass. Again, if you want to cut deeper, you’ll have to go over it a second time. However, Lincoln 180 is more forgiving when it comes to ARC welding. So, it shouldn’t be a problem.

  • The Power Input Presents a Stark Difference

This is an area where Lincoln 180 is a clear winner over Hobart 190. Hobart’s tool can function where the power input is 230V exclusively. Any lower, and you won’t be able to operate it. Yeah, you guessed it right! Typical power outlets at home don’t have such plugs.

This is the welding machine that’s suited for garage tinkering, welding at a farm or a small shop where you need that sort of power consistently.

On the other hand, Lincoln 180 can run with 208V to 230V of power. This is more suited to home welding. You can use it in any sort of outlet that you see fit. The upper voltage limit for it is 230V on an average. So, it can take care of jobsite gigs all the same.

  • Notice the Power Output Difference

Although it’s more subtle, you can and probably will notice the power output differences.The lowest power output is 25Amps in case of Hobart 190 and 30 in the case of Lincoln 180. On the face of it, the difference hardly matters. But welders will know that Hobart wins.

Thanks to this subtle difference, Hobart can weld thinner materials than Lincoln can. The difference of 5 Amps means the duty cycle will increase if people go slow (I’ll cover this in detail in the next point). Thus, you can weld thinner metals with that much care.

When it comes to the higher range of Amps, Hobart gives you 190 whereas Lincoln stops at 180. The difference here is obvious. Lincoln gives out when it comes to cutting through or welding thicker objects on par with Hobart’s device.

The difference between 5/16th of an inch and 3/16th of an inch should be obvious, right?

  • Wire Feed Speed Difference Should be Considered as Well

For people who don’t know what this is, “Wire Feed Speed” means how fast or slow the welding wire is shot to the motor and how fast the motor can weld with it. Well, this is how a layman would put it. By looking at the table we see a stark difference in data.

Wire Feed Speed is measured in “Inches Per Minute.” As it’s evident from the chart, Hobart 190 gives us a speed of 40 ipm at its slowest and 700 ipm at its fastest. Lincoln on the other hand, gives us 50 ipm at the slowest and 500 ipm at its fastest.

Putting it in layman’s terms, Hobart 190 is adept at welding or cutting materials slow when you need it to. It can reach a good speed when you need fast speed as well.

Lincoln is not that good with slow welding or cutting when I compared it to Hobart. The slowest speed of this thing is still faster than the competition. It can’t do delicate welding jobs as carefully as Hobart will do.

When it comes to doing it fast, Lincoln’s spool gun fails by a significant margin. Hobart 190 reaches up to 700 ipm with the spool gun and shoots wire to join parts faster. Lincoln will take more time in finishing up your job with the speed of 500 ipm.

  • Different Ways to Counter Accidents

Accidents are a norm when welding different metals under different circumstances, right? We wear protective gear to deter accidents to some degree. Thankfully, modern welding machines come with one or two ways to counter this as well.

For example, Hobart 190 comes with an “Overload Protection” system. Whenever the welder deems something beyond its capability or you end up putting too much strain on it, the Overload light flashes. As a result, the machine will turn itself off to prevent damages.

Lincoln 180 takes a different approach to it. The makers opted for eco-friendly, clean power when coming up with the idea of this tool. You have electricity in the form of a sine wave. That’s why the fluctuations are minimal. Also, one can run it with inverter generators.

Lincoln 180 features a shortcut protection system as well. We all know what it does. Whenever there’s an abnormal surge of electricity, the circuit breaks.The machine shuts down.

There’s no fear of you being electrocuted when using it either. When we’re not using it, the machine remains electrically inactive.

Which One Would You Choose and Why?

This is the question after doing a Hobart Handler 190 vs Lincoln 180 comparison, isn’t it? Well, the answer to this question is rather simple. It all depends on what type of work you do and how. For example, if you want to do some tinkering at home, the Lincoln 180 should be a better option.

Lincoln 180 gives you the option to run the machine at a lower voltage requirement and lessens your bills in the process. You’re getting a sine wave electricity to run through the circuits which is clean and less prone to hazards at home.

Add to that the “Overload Protection.” These two features safeguard you and your family from numerous hazards that are a genuine possibility when tinkering with welding sparks.

Professional tasks demand a bit more finesse and proficiency. Hobart 190 grants you a greater range both in output power and the thickness you need to cut or weld the metals together. This is exactly the thing we need for jobsite gigs. Since it runs on 240V power or thereabout, input is just perfect.

Also, standard overload protection and duty cycle allow people to be a bit more comfortable with their machines. As a result, you can rest easy while operating it. A heap of attachments allows you to do MIG AND Flux Core welding when and where you need them. What more could you want?

About The Author

Hi, I’m Josh, the chief editor of Inboxq and I’m borderline obsessed with everything related to welding. When I am not toying with heavy-duty tools, I’m either sweating it out in the gym or playing with my chihuahua. Whenever I run out of ideas, I go to Burger King for inspiration.

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