Hobart Handler 190, Lincoln EasyMig 180 and Forney 318 are all MIG welders with MIG and Flux-cored welding capabilities. These three welders not only have the abilities in common but they also run on the same input power of 230V. Although the three welders are almost similar in functions, there are certain attributes in each tool that make each one of them different from the other. Let’s clearly specify the differences by comparing the welders and their aspects distinctively.
Output power of these three welders is almost same, only with slight differences. Hobart Handler 190 offers power output ranging from 25A to 190A, Lincoln EasyMig 180 ranges from 30A to 180A and output power of Forney 318 ranges from 30A to 190A.
When the welders are compared based on output power, Hobart Handler 190 is a more versatile tool, whereas Lincoln EasyMig 180 seems less powerful than the other two welders as its maximum power output is only 180A. All the three are powerful enough to accomplish any application related to metal fabrication. You can choose according to your power requirement.
Like every MIG welder, the three are applicable for welding mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum. These welders are ideal for light industrial applications. However, each of the tools has different penetration ability. All of it can weld materials as thin as 24-gauge, but the thickness differs;
Hobart handler 190 can weld up to 5/16 inch thick metals, optimal for various metal fabrication tasks related to maintenance, construction, auto body workshops, farm or ranch, rental shop and home DIY projects. It’s designed with easy use features and ideal for both entry level as well as expert welders.
Lincoln EasyMig 180 is recommended for welding materials up to 3/16 inch thick and good enough to accomplish any welding job, whether you are a farmer, fabricator, hobbyist or a backyard mechanic. No matter if you are a novice or an expert; it has been built in such a way that anybody can use it effortlessly.
Forney 318 is capable of welding up to 3/8 inch thick materials in single phase, quite good for farms, boats, automotive, general fabrication and repair welding. Be it learner or professional, it has been designed for both types of users.
When the three welders are compared according to ability, Lincoln EasyMig 180 has the least capability as it can’t penetrate too deep. If you deal with thinner metals up to 3/16 thick then it’s your optimal choice. For slightly thicker materials, Hobart handler 190 is more capable than Lincoln, but again not as strong as Forney 318. Out of the three I would recommend Forney 318 if you are likely to work with bulkier materials that require higher penetration.
Duty cycle implies the capacity of the welder, and you would definitely like to consider and compare the duty cycle offered by each welder. Both Hobart Handler 190 and Lincoln EasyMig 180 offer duty cycle of 30% at 130A, whereas Forney serves 25% duty cycle at 120A.
The more the duty cycle, the longer will the welder operate continuously without needing cool down time. Better go for the tool that has more duty cycle if you need to weld for prolonged periods, and in this case, out of the three, Hobart Handler 190 or Lincoln EasyMig 180 is recommended. If you don’t need to weld continuously, but still require a more powerful welder then Forney 318 is the ultimate option.
Even though these three welders offer better duty cycle than other welders of the same category, all of it is approved only for light industrial tasks. For heavier welding applications, welders of higher category are recommended.
Both Hobart handler 190 and Forney 318 operate on 230V input power, so you can use these tools wherever you can find a 230V power plug. Lincoln EasyMig 180 on the other hand runs on input power of either 208V or 230V.
When compared to the other two, Lincoln EasyMig 180 can run on two input power. A 230V welder can’t possibly be operated on normal household power outlet and would require special setup, and some users might not be able to afford the necessary power supply. As Lincoln EasyMig 180 can also run on 208V, it’s more user convenient. Choose the welder according to your power affordability.
For remote welding sites you might also want to consider a welder that is compatible with generators. Hobart Handler 190 and Lincoln EasyMig 180 can be powered by 7000 watt and 6900 watt generator respectively. Unfortunately, Forney 318 is not compatible with generators, so better not choose this if you have to work at remote sites regularly.
When talking about portability, weight is the basic aspect to be considered. Lincoln EasyMig 180 weighs 66 pounds, which is portable enough and easy to transport, making it ideal for rental shops or sites where you need to often move the welder around. Hobart Handler 190 weighs 68 pounds, quite heavy but you can easily transport it by using a cart. Forney 318 weighs only 63 pounds and is easily transportable.
Among the three MIG welders, Hobart handler 190 is the heaviest and its portability is somewhat constricted. Lincoln EasyMig 180 and Forney 318 have slightly different weights. If portability is not of much importance in your field then go for the tool with other aspects that best suit your applications.
Each welder has unique set of features that make them different from each other. Let’s take a closer look on the features of each welder;
Hobart Handler 190 has features like 7 Voltage options, Infinite wire feed speed control, Built-in spool-gun control circuitry, Patented built-in wire feeder technology and contractor, Dual groove drive roll system, Easy accessible polarity changeover, Self-resetting thermal overload and motor protection.
Lincoln EasyMig 180 also has many advanced features such as Diamond core technology, Industrial cast aluminum drive, Brass-to-brass gun connection, No hassle tool-less design, Spool gun ready and tough PC board protection.
Forney 318 comes with some very useful attributes like Upgraded cast aluminum wire drive system, Larger cabinet, Euro connect torch with tweco style consumables, Torch with built-in strain relief, Integrated feet and torch wrap.
Every single feature of each welder has its own specialty and function that makes the welders superior, high performing and convenient. Forney 318 comparatively seems to have lesser advanced aspects than that of the other two, which can be a drawback to this welder. However, having advanced features doesn’t really signify superiority, as it depends more on the capacity and capability. If you want to consider durability of the tool then I recommend choosing Hobart Handler 190 or Lincoln EasyMig 180. Don’t hesitate to browse through the product reviews if you want to know more about the specialties of each feature.
Cost has always been an important aspect when comparing between welders. Lincoln EasyMig 180 cost around $700, Hobart Handler 190 cost around $850, which is a very good deal when all their qualities and features are considered, and Forney 318 costs nearly $650.
Forney 318 is the most affordable welder among the three. Though it’s the most powerful one and has many cool features but due to its low price rate, it also lacks certain advanced qualities that are available in the other two welders. It’s up to your budget estimation and needs that make you decide among the three. In case you have no budget limits and your welding demands are higher than what these welders can offer, you can check some other more advanced and higher-end MIG welders.
I would also like to let you know some of the main advantages of each welder over the others;
- Hobart Handler 190 is a bit more durable and risk-free than the other two welders, due to the overload protection feature.
- Lincoln EasyMig 180 is eco-friendly and safer for the environment than the other two welders. It is also strong, rugged and more resistant to shock, vibration and more versatile as it can run on two input power.
- Forney 318 is lightest and most portable among the three. It is less expensive than Hobart Handler 190 and Lincoln EasyMig 180.
You can compare the benefits that each welder offers and choose the one that finally meets up to your expectations.
With certain benefits, come also a few drawbacks. Here are some of the limitations of each welder;
- Hobart Handler 190 is more expensive than other welders of the same category. Forney 318 and Lincoln EasyMig 180 belong to the same class but these have a slightly lower rate.
- Lincoln EasyMig 180 have maximum output power is the only 180A, which is lower than that of other two welders. In comparison to Hobart Handler 190 and Forney 318, it can’t penetrate much thicker materials. If you have to deal with thick metals, better go for either of other the two.
- Forney 318 have duty cycle is lower than other welders. Most probably it can’t run on generators, so using the tool at remote welding sites is constricted. Features are not as advanced as Hobart Handler 190 or Lincoln EasyMig 180.
I hope, by now you must have sorted out the differences between the three welders and have also realized that none of the three welders is superior or inferior as each one has its own set of specialties and drawbacks. It depends upon your need and requirements to decide which of the three best suits your task. Also, don’t ignore going through the reviews provided by our verified buyers; this will be of much help. If you are interested in other categories, you can browse throughout the site.