With a TIG welding machine you can weld steel, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, nickel, titanium, magnesium, and other exotic metals – it will do it all. And TIG offers a smaller welding area (compared to MIG or stick), which reduces distortion and heat.
A 110-volt TIG welding machine is great for making jewelry and delicate work.
In TIG welding, a tungsten electrode is used to heat the metal you are welding and (usually Argon) gas protects your weld puddle from airborne contaminants.
More metals. You can use TIG welding to join more metals than any other welding method allows.
TIG is very clean. No smoke, sparks, fumes, spatter. No need to remove slag and spatter afterward.
TIG is the best method to use in places where you need a very precise weld. It is also preferable to use TIG over MIG where the appearance is critical (automotive and art, not so critical for household and farming needs).
TIG is more complicated for a beginner because it requires the use of both hands – you’ll need to hold the torch with one hand while feeding filler metal with the other hand. Also, TIG often requires a foot pedal or a finger-controlled remote control to set the voltage of the welding arc during the welding process.
Just as with MIG welding, a shielding gas (typically argon) is required.
When comparing to MIG or Stick welding, TIG is slower because you’ll need to apply the metal by hand and control the heat while welding. MIG welders come with a wire feeder which is faster.
Use one shielding gas (usually Argon) for all metals. Because Argon can be used to weld all kinds of metals it’s all you need.
Weld in different positions. Make flat and horizontal welds as well as vertical and overhead. TIG is good for welding in all positions.
Should you buy the Hobart 140 MIG welder? Check out the video or read the text version of the Hobart Handler 140 review below for the welds and beads you can achieve with this 115V wire feed welding machine.
Click the video below to watch Hobart Handler 140 (500559) in action:
Check out the latest price and buy Hobart Handler 140 welder on Amazon:
Hobart Handler 140 review
Today we will be doing some welding and a review of a Hobart Handler 140, 115 volts MIG welder. In my last video I had just purchased it and started doing a video of welding with it right off the bat. I was having some trouble with it, even though I went through the setup with the machine two times and thought I had verified everything. I actually made a mistake and wasn’t able to find that mistake until after I’d already put out the video.
My error setting up the machine
Initially, I was really disappointed with the performance of the Hobart Handler 140 welder, but after discovering my error in setting up the machine, I was able to make some really nice beads with it. I’m not disappointed with the machine at all, especially for the $500 price tag and being made in the USA (about Hobart). Today we’re going to do some welding with it, and a short review.
1/4″ steel, first bead
Quarter inch is the Hobart Handler 140’s maximum rated welding potential for material thickness, and they also suggest with using solid core wire in the particular gas, gold gas that I’m using, to do this in multiple passes. I wanted to see if we could do it in one. This was the first bead I made, doing just a pause motion like this. As you can see it looks a little [inaudible 00:01:31], it’s not real big. When I did that one though, it then heated the metal so the next bead burned in better, which is this one here.
Max output test
For that I actually made, I don’t remember if it was overhand circles like that, or maybe it was underhand, I don’t know. Anyway, that is not a bad-looking bead for 115 volt welder single pass on quarter inch. Now that this metal is all cold, let’s give it a shot again right here and see how it comes out. We’re using 030 wire. The machine is set the weld chart. We’re on 5, it’s maximum output and 50 on the wire speed. We will be doing some overhand circles like that. [inaudible 00:02:28]. We’ll see how it comes out.
Single pass vs multiple passes
All right, here we go. All right, so that’s the bead, single pass on quarter inch metal with Hobart MIG welder 140. Now let’s add some multiple passes there like we were actually supposed to do on metal this thickness and see how it comes out. All right, there’s nothing to hide here. If you’re going to be welding quarter inch with 115 volt welder, I would recommend doing several passes. That’s three passes here. Once the metal is hot, you can get pretty good results in a single pass.
If I was at work using a big $8,000 or $10,000 welder, sure we can make real nice bead real quick in one pass on quarter inch, but for 115 volt welder, I don’t know what more you could ask for. That’s really good on metal of this thickness. One more little test here on the quarter inch. You’re welding this quarter inch flat bar to quarter inch plate. This half is beveled, this half is not.
We strung a straight stringer here, nice and slow, not oscillating, just to see what kind of bead we can leave on this metal. Again, this is really thick metal for 115 volt welder. For doing Jeep stuff or vehicle-related stuff. It’s very unlikely that you’re going to be welding anything more than quarter inch, if quarter inch for that matter. This one here is pulling the puddle like that inside the bevel. This bead here is pushing the puddle like that. With just really minimal pauses, basically just a smooth motion with very short pauses.
We’re going to do the same thing here, trying where it’s not beveled. You’re not even supposed to be welding a single pass according to the weld chart on quarter inch with this welder, but if you bevel your material like that, it’s not a super burned in super hot bead, but it’s definitely there. It’s not disappointing. It might [inaudible 00:05:38] 115 volt welder.
Now over here on the unbeveled side I will be doing some underhand circles, pushing the bead. We’ll see how that comes out and if it leaves a better bead on quarter inch than just a straight stringer. This is the last bead I just made doing a series of underhand circles or almost like U shapes underhand. This is also the non-beveled side of my flat bar. The bevel stops right there.
Impressed with beads (for a 110V welder)
By the time I got down here the metal is heated, but regardless, I’m impressed. For a 115 volt welder leaving beads like that on quarter inch material. That is absolutely awesome. I’m really pleased with that.
1/8″ material test
Now we’re getting more into the realm of what this welder is intended for. This is some eighth inch material here. Realistically this is probably the most common material thickness that you’re likely to be working with, with the exception of maybe three sixteenths plate or tube for steel bumpers, rock sliders, that kind of thing. For most practical applications eighth inch wall really stout stuff, at least in automotive.
Let’s fire this thing up and again, I’m going to change everything to the weld chart and keep it all on factory settings and see what we can do. Okay, this is the machine set to the factory weld chart on eighth inch material. With some time, a little bit more practice, I’m sure I can make better beads. I tried turning the machine down right here and it was just a little cold. On this side I started to adjust the wire feed speed and turned it up here. All in all, it’s fine. It’s not perfectly consistent because it’s me messing with the machine. That machine is very capable. I’m not disappointed with it at all.
14 gauge test
Now we’re going to step it down even further and weld some 14 gauge. It’s real thin stuff. This is representational of most exhaust pipes and that kind of stuff. We’re going to weld this with a little bit of a gap, because I don’t know about you guys, but it seems to me like any time I’m welding exhaust, I always have a gap to fill, so we’ll see what the machine can do.
I was running down hand in a straight motion, smooth as I can. It definitely looks good on the back side. I’ll show you here. Again this is fourteen gauge and the machine is set to the weld chart. This is a representational thickness of your exhaust pipe or sheet metal, that kind of stuff. Flip around here. That’s the back side, you can see it’s penetrated all the way through even running down hand, which is good. Nice and solid.
That’s probably the thinnest metal that I would ever find myself welding. The machine did really good on quarter inch, all the way down to fourteen gauge and thinner, if I had any. I’m happy with it. It’s doing really good. Here’s another bead I made with that welder off camera. This is also fourteen gauge tube. Running a straight stringer on it with small oscillations. This one here I already showed you. That was eighth inch with underhand circles, I believe.
Once I get a little more used to it, this machine will be a good addition to the tool arsenal for sure, especially for it’s size and portability.
The mistake I made when I first set up the welder is I read the manual. No, that’s not the mistake. I read the manual, and it comes ready to weld out of the box using flux core wire, which it also comes with. For the type of welding I like to do and will be doing the most of, I won’t have a need or use for flux core.
Comes set for flux core
I bought some gas and some solid wire, and to weld solid wire, you need to have the polarity on electro-positive. Since the machine comes set for flux core it’s also set on electro-negative. It should be at least. Without paying any attention to the polarity, where it actually was, knowing that it came set for flux core, I swapped the polarity around to what I thought was electro-positive and I was pretty positive with that.
Turns out it actually came from the factory set wrong for flux core, but set right for solid core wire, electro-positive and I swapped it around to electro-negative. When I started welding, and it wasn’t clear as day, it was welding kind of cold, but I could turn it up and make some decent-looking beads, but they weren’t penetrating. I should have known better, but this being my first time using 115 volt welder, I didn’t know what to expect.
Make sure you get the settings right
After doing that bumper job on my Jeep in the last video and uploading the video for you guys, I went back through again and double-checked everything for a third time, and finally realized that that’s what the problem is. After correcting that and actually welding on electro-positive with gas for solid-core wire, I’m pretty happy with this thing. It’s doing good. As long as you have reasonable expectations and know its limitations, it’s a really good unit for $500. I paid $500 for it out the door, it’s made in the USA. I don’t think you can go wrong for the price. I’m really happy with it.
January 3rd, 2017 – updated for 2017
November 2016 – added MIG welder reviews
August 24th, 2016 – added 110V & 220V comparison tables and Hobart Handler 140 review
August 5th, 2016 – updated for 2016
Feb 8th, 2015 – updated pricing and review counts (Mike)
Sept 3rd, 2014 – added new Millermatic model
Today, MIG is the most common industrial welding method, preferred for its versatility, speed and the relative ease of adapting the process to robotic automation.
Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding or Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is a type of welding method in which an electrical arc forms between a consumable wire electrode and the workpiece metal or metals. The metal arc heats the metals, causing them to melt and join together.
Originally developed in the forties for welding aluminum and alternative non-ferrous materials, GMAW was soon applied to steels because it provided faster welding time compared to alternative welding processes.
Best 110V MIG Welders
If you have no plans of ever getting 230V run into your garage then get one of the 110V machines, they’re cheaper and consume less power. They won’t allow you to weld as thick of a metal as the 200V ones but they are more than enough for most DIY welding jobs.
The upside of 110V machines is that they are very portable and can be run from most 110V household outlets. They usually only reach their max rated power if used on a dedicated 20 amp line, so on average they run at a reduced power level.
110V welding machines are suitable for most simple welding jobs that are needed around the house or farm and they’re a great choice as your first welding machine.
Looking for 220V welders? Scroll down for our top 220V welding machine reviews
Probably the most suitable MIG welding machine for a beginner.
Of course, there is no one welding machine that is suitable for all jobs but if I was to start welding all over again and was looking for a first welding machine for myself or any beginner, I would go with the Hobart Handler 140 MIG Wire Welder.
It’s a 115V MIG welder. Welds mild steel 24 gauge to 1/4 inch. You can also weld aluminum.
The welder comes with everything you need to start welding (flux core wire included) so just plug in, select appropriate voltage and wire feeder speed and you’re good to go. It is MIG ready as it comes, no additional equipment required.
Handler 140 is Hobart’s most popular wire feed welder, it is extremely versatile and suitable for the welder that wants to work on:
household repairs, or
even some heavier farm projects that require extra welding power.
A 5-position tapped voltage control selector gives you the ability to fine-tune your arc offering a smooth stable arc on all thicknesses. Built with an industrial cast aluminum drive system and a heavy duty work clamp the Handler 140 delivers a wire welding package with industrial performance.
Most importantly Hobart is a quality welding machine that you can trust to last (designed and built in Ohio, USA).
The new model (500559) has some useful upgrades over the previous model too:
I got one for my father for Christmas a couple of years ago. He needed one for welding sheet metal like car panel replacement. I knew that a 220-volt unit would be an overkill.
I also looked at other 110V units but they were either unknown names or cost even more than this unit. I own a few Lincoln machines myself so I put my trust in them.
What surprised me was its ability to also weld thicker material and on just 110 volts. And as expected, it works really well with 18 gauge sheet metal. One thing I missed at first was an infinite dial for power output. It comes with 4 settings and I’ve learned to pick one that will work for the job at hand.
Before getting this machine I had always thought that these cheap portable 110V machines are a joke and for people who can’t afford a real welder. Now, after using it for some time, I realize that this Lincoln machine has plenty of power to be the only welder I need for my household and hobby projects.
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 wire feed welder plugs into a 115V, 20 amp outlet.
Four voltage settings and continuous wire feed speed adjustment allow you to weld mild steel from 24 gauge to 1/8″ thick.
Lincoln Handy is a super easy welder to get started with since it comes with practically everything you need to MIG weld: gun and cable assembly, work cable and clamp, gas nozzle, gas regulator and hose, a spool of solid wire, contact tips and hand shield with filter plate and lens. Just add a cylinder of shielding gas and start welding away.
This welder is for you if you don’t have more than $300 to spare but want a reliable welder from a known manufacturer to use in your household and on hobby projects. I think it’s the best cheap welder you can get.
MIG (GMAW), Flux Cored (FCAW)
115V / 60Hz / 1 phase
35 - 88 A
70A @ 20%
Welds 24 gauge up to 1/8 inch mild steel
Maintenance, Construction, Auto Body, Farm/Ranch, Rental, Home
46 lbs (21 kg)
One year warranty on parts and labor.(90 days warranty on gun and cable)
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Lincoln Electric has more than 40 manufacturing locations
Currently, the best price for this unit we’ve found is on Amazon:
The MIGWELD 140 comes with a Tweco torch, 1 lb mild steel welding wire roll, a welding mask, chipping hammer and steel brush, gas flow regulator gauge, and a 300A grounding cable. Can be setup easily in minutes – start welding steel right away.
There’s an optional spool gun available for aluminum welding if that’s what you need.
If you need more power from your welding machine then read on for the 220V and dual-voltage MIG welders.
Best 220V MIG Welders
These welding machines are true workhorses. They’re for you if you’re a professional or want to weld like one.
110V MIG welding machines are typically very good for sheet metal and body work, however, they don’t have the power to produce good welds on heavier steel. These welding machines max out at 1/8″ steel and that’s when using flux core wire on a welder rated at 140A. Because of the low max output, 110V machines aren’t really suitable for any work with alum. A common issue with small MIG welders is that you can make a good looking bead on a thick steel but because the machine lacks penetration, the nice looking weld has no strength.
Most of the 220V MIG welders have been designed to run a spool gun for alum, and machines 200+ amps will run 3/16″ alum and more, depending on max power output.
Smaller 220V machines usually top out at 5/16″ or 3/8″ steel with flux core wire or gas. Larger MIG welders can weld in excess of 1/2″. These machines can also be turned down and used for welding thinner metal with no problems.
The only downside is that the 220-only machines require a 220V outlet, so they’re not as portable.
However, nowadays many MIG welding machines are dual voltage capable (110V/220V) meaning they have more power and can weld thicker metals but can also be used to plug into the 110V household current when needed.
I would say that Millermatic 211 is the ultimate portable MIG welder. It’s super lightweight, weighing only 38 lbs and it’s a dual-voltage machine, so you can use it with both 110-120V and 220-240V input.
211 welds mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum (need a spool gun). It can weld steel up to 3/8 inch thick in a single pass.
It runs really quiet and one of the aspects that surprised me the most is how clean the welds are. There’s almost no spatter.
And it’s easy to set up, too. Very positively surprised.
MIG (GMAW), Flux Cored (FCAW)
30 - 230 A
150A @ 40%
Welds material from 24-gauge to 3/8 inch in a single pass
DIY / Home Hobbyist
Farm and Ranch
Metal Art / Sculptures
Racing / Customizing / Restoring
Welder is warranted for three years, parts and labor. Gun warranted for 90 days, parts and labor
Solid Steel 0.024 in 0.035 in
Stainless 0.024 in 0.035 in
Flux Cored 0.03 in 0.045 in
Solid Steel 0.6 mm 0.9 mm
Stainless 0.6 mm 0.9 mm
Flux Cored 0.8 mm 1.2 mm
Handler 190 comes with the spool gun circuitry already built into the kit. Plus when you buy this package, you’ll also get the spool gun (10 ft, 150 Amp), so no extras other than a cylinder of Argon gas are needed to start welding aluminum.
It can weld steel from 24 gauge up to 5/16 inch thick and aluminum 16 gauge up to 3/16 inch thick.
If you want to weld 1/2″ or thicker material you want to look at a size bigger unit, like the Hobart 230.
Hobart Handler 190
MIG (GMAW), Flux Cored (FCAW)
25 - 190 A
130A @ 30%
Welds 24 gauge up to 5/16 inch steel
Maintenance, Construction, Auto Body, Farm/Ranch, Rental, Home
68 lbs (31 kg)
Hobart's 5/3/1 Industrial Warranty
Solid Steel 0.024 in 0.035 in
Stainless 0.024 in 0.035 in
Flux Cored 0.03 in 0.045 in
Aluminum 0.030 in 0.035 in
Drilling is hard work if you do not have the right tool. Luckily, with the availability of drill presses, drilling has become more easy to do. However, there are so many different types of drill presses available on the market today, that it’s hard to choose the right tool. I’ve been through this myself so I put together a comparison table of the best drill press reviews that I want to share with you at the end of this article.
When it comes to choosing a drill press, it is important to consider the following factors:
1. The type of material to be drilled.
This is one of the essential factors as you can not use a wood drill on a metallic material. Some metals are also harder than others and therefore calls for specialized drill presses as others can easily break down.
2. Cost. This involves both buying and maintenance cost.
Some of the drill presses are very expensive and, in my opinion, highly over rated (brand costs). It is important to bear in mind that the cost of any device does not necessarily reflect its quality. Just make sure you go for a drill press that will align with your budget. However, you should not neglect its quality.
3. Durability. This shows how long the device will last before calling for replacement.
Always consider the warranty duration offered by the manufacturer. The better brands usually don’t hide it and are happy to offer longer warranties. Also make sure to do your quality assurance by checking the reviews by former users who already have a past experience with the exact drill press. There’s a specific column in my drill press comparison table in the end of this article for that.
4. Power consumption.
This determines how much power the device will consume on its operation. However, this sometimes tends to be tricky to avoid as the larger the device, the more the power consumption rate and if the amount of work is bulky, then a larger drill will definitely be the best choice. It is possible to know how much power any respective device will consume by checking the power rating which is written on the device.
When it comes to the cost of drilling presses, they differ from one size to the other and also from one brand to the other. Therefore, the amount you will spend on purchasing a drill press will definitely depend on the respective drill that you go for.
After purchasing the right drill press, you should ensure that you have the required skill before trying any operation. This will put you on a safe ground as poor handling of any drilling device can cause severe injuries. It is also important to ensure that you dress right for the occasion when using any drilling device so as to be on the safe side.
Compare the best drill presses and pick the one that suits you