Hobart Handler 190 Review

Are you looking for a welder that can tackle both your aluminum and steel welding projects? Well, the Hobart handler 190 is a low-cost welder, but with high functionality, offering its user’s output amperage levels from 24 to 190. The welder has been deemed to perform well when compared to welders of the same standard.

Hobart Handler 190 can be adopted for use by both users and professionals in the welding industry because it has been manufactured with simple and easy to use controls. The welder also comes incorporated with the relevant accessories for use that would also enable you to begin work immediately once out of the box.

Beginners who are yet to be conversant with the technique of welding then the Hobart welder is the perfect welding machine to help sharpen your welding skills. The welding machine also features a compact design complete with a comfortable carry handle to enable portability and ease of storage.

And even more interesting is that if your household receptacle cannot handle the 230v welder, then you can use it with a generator. Hobart handler has however not been designed for industrial applications but can be effective when repairing metals or performing simple metal construction processes.

What to expect from the Hobart Handler 190

For starters, users do get an infinite wire speed control, which gives them the liberty to work at their pace thus control the result of their project. And at 30% duty cycle a weld of 24ga to 5/16 inch is achievable on steel material and in a single pass. The duty cycle is the recommended amount of time that a welder can run without necessarily getting too overheated to be damaged.

The offered 24gauge welding range indicates that the machine cannot be used to weld very thick or very thin metals but with the low to very high amperage settings then you should be able to achieve an almost perfect weld.

Most welders come with fewer accessories that might force you to dig deeper into your pockets. But not for the Hobart handler 190 as it also comes incorporated with an inbuilt spool gun circuitry for maximum control. And mind you still have the option of using the direct plug-in spool runner 100 spool gun, which guarantees ease of use especially when it comes to feeding the aluminum wire.

New users who have no knowledge of how to set the welding parameters have been provided with a manual that has been printed on the machine. Therefore, with regard to the material that you are working on, you can easily set the right feed speed, shielding gas and wire type settings to help you achieve the right weld.

And given that you will most probably be utilizing different wire sizes, the machine has incorporated a dual groove drive roll system that will let you easily alternate between different wire diameters. What’s more is that the drive system features 3 grooves, so you can use welding wires of three different diameters.

And the feature that makes Hobart give other welding machines a run for their money is the advanced inbuilt patented wire feed technology, which will not only make it easy to release the drive roll lever but will also save your time because it is quite a quick process.

What are the key features of the Hobart Handler 190?

Handling electronics can be quite tricky and most manufacturers will shy away when it comes to granting warranty to their products. But for the Hobart handler, you will be slapped with a 5-year warranty, yes! That is some good length of time that should obliterate any doubts that you had about the functionality of the welder.

And just so you know that the welding machine is going to give you long service, the manufacturer has incorporated some safety features. One which is an inbuilt contractor, the feature will preserve your welding wire by keeping it electrically cold until you are ready to use the welding machine, so you can be sure of achieving some good weld with fewer spatters.

You must be familiar with the overload problem experienced in electrical units. So how do you protect your electrical equipment at home, because that should not worry you in case you decide to settle on the Hobart handler190? The reason is that the welder has been equipped with a short circuit protection component, which works to protect your welder from current overload and normally leads to disaster.

There is also the self-resetting thermal overload protection system, which are the electromechanical protection devices for your welder’s main circuit. The latter offers protection motors in case of a phase failure or overload, and will thus protect your wire feed from an unnecessary overload. Recommendations on the weld wire sizes to use are in the manufacturer’s manual on the welder.

But the most compatible types of metals that you can use with the Hobart handler 190 are aluminum, mild/stainless steel and flux-cored. So initially we indicated that the welder comes with some accessories that will enable you to carry out a couple of projects once out the box, and just to mention but a few, you will be able to first get the setup guide, which is very necessary if you have never interacted with a welder before.

You will also get a manual, not an accessory but still very important so that you familiarize yourself with what component does which function. Then there is the work cable and clamp, a 10feet power cord, a dual gauge regulator that comes complete with a gas hose, some contact tips and a spool of flux-cored wires, a 10 feet MIG gun and spool runner 100 spool gun.

How to carry out a perfect welding procedure

Welding enthusiasts know that for you to achieve that perfect weld and to successfully carry out a complete welding project there is more than just picking an electrode and firing it away on a plate of metal, so what exactly are you looking at when it comes to welding?

The first thing to consider is the current of your preferred welding machine, which should neither be too high nor too low. Therefore, if the current is too high then just know that the electrode will melt leading to a large and irregular molten spool. And if you want to achieve an irregular small molten pool then low current will more than suffice.

The reason is that the heat will not be enough to melt the base metal, and will even lead to a pile-up. And what about the currents travel speed? Just like the latter, the current speed should neither be too high not too low, because the former will lead to a non-reliable spool and will attract and lock in impurities and gas.

The results will, therefore, be a narrow bead with pointed ripples. And when the speed is too slow you will probably end up with a high and wide bead, and the metal will pile up. As concerns the electrode size there are so many factors that have to be considered such as the mass of work metal, can the electrode sustain itself in high current, the welding position, and the desired weld quality?

Remember that the joint that you are going to work on first has to be prepared, and during the process, the weld metal should not be injured and the deposition efficiency should be perfect. And the most important thing to keep in mind is that the metal that you are working on should be able to maintain its original characteristics when you are done with the welding.

If you have been welding for a while then you must be familiar with deep groove and fillet welding. The reason we are mentioning this is that, for you to comfortably work on them you have to achieve a perfect electrode angle. So if you have a fillet weld project the electrode should bisect the angle between the metal plates that you are working on while remaining perpendicular to the line of the weld.

Safety measures to observe in a welding workshop

A welding workshop is a high-risk area, and the measures discussed below also apply to users who use gas shielded welding techniques or have welding spaces at their homes. The first thing is, therefore, to ensure that you wear proper welding clothes that shield every inch of your body from the multidirectional sparks and spatter.

The welded area will remain hot immediately after welding so don’t dare to touch it, and do not entertain water in your welding space unless you want to make a quick connection with your maker. Your gloves, clothes and the environment you are working in should be moisture free because we all know how catastrophic it can be if electric current and water meet in combination with earth.

Take extremely good care of the gas cylinders, there is no way of stressing this enough because if it happens that the contents of the gas leaks and displaces the air in the room then people might be asphyxiated or they may even die. The valve is also not a plaything and once placed on safety it should not be tampered with, because the cylinder can very easily turn into a rocket.


  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • Price not very steep
  • Easy to set up as it comes with a manual
  • Can handle different types of metal


  • Cannot handle heavy welding projects
  • Must use a 230v receptacle


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Final thought

The best thing about the Hobart handler 190 is that it can handle different kinds of simple home projects and is a good welding machine for the beginner users to get their skills sharpened. What’s more, is that it produces good quality welds and will serve you for a long time.

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