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Hobart is a brand that commonly appears on blogs and videos about welding equipment. It is a popular brand, and it is as well-known and as heavily recommended as brands like Lincoln and Miller. So it’s safe to say it’s an exceptional brand.
You may think that just because something is popular, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. The point seems debatable, but what’s undeniable is the fact that top selling welding equipment brands do offer key benefits. These brands offer more online resources than their lesser known counterparts. So you’re more likely to find Hobart welder users sharing tips and troubleshooting advice, which are really helpful for someone just starting out. Also, replacement parts for popular welder brands are all over the place. You won’t have to worry about running out of consumables, because you can just purchase them easily.
Some beginners may shy away from established brands because they think they’re expensive. However, Hobart offers reasonably priced products with amazing features and tested versatility. Now, if you’re a fan of Hobart welders or are curious about the brand, it makes sense to know its origins.
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The company was founded by Charles Clarence Hobart in 1917. Offering products like dynamos, office chairs, and compressors, Hobart Brothers was a budding name in the manufacturing industry. It would, however, take 8 more years since the company’s inception before it starts to venture into the welding industry. This begins the company’s rich history in making welding equipment (1).
Hobart Brothers made its first welder in 1925. This kick-starts the company’s rise in the welding industry. It would later become a prominent name among professionals and beginners, especially due to its commitment to educate people about the art and science of welding. The company founded the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in 1930 to provide welding education to technicians and professionals who were interested in learning the craft. This institute would become a separate entity ten years later. Today, this institute has provided training to over 90,000 welders.
Hobart Brothers produced stick electrodes in 1937. Shortly after this, it served an important role during World War II by producing over 100,000 welders and about 45,000 generators. Hence, it received the Army/Navy E Award for its remarkable contribution during this difficult period. But the dream continued as the company launched the Hobart Ground Power. This was after the American Airlines asked the company to design a generator for big aircraft engines. Hobart then obliged and took off.
Hobart Brothers started making solid wires in the late 1950s and started producing tubular wires in the mid-1960s. These products were sold under the Hobart® brand. Growth continued in the succeeding decades, allowing the company to purchase Tri-Mark® and Corex® in 1986, thus incorporating metal-cored wire development in its technological arsenal.
Business acquisitions continued in the 1990s for growth and advancement. In 1993, Hobart Brothers acquired the McKay®, which added stainless steel filler metal to its product line. The company remained family-owned until Illinois Tool Works, a multinational manufacturer, acquired it in 1996.
ITW took Hobart to new heights, diversifying its range and adding more value to the welding equipment brand and putting it up to par with its brother, Miller Electric. In 2011, acquisition of MAXAL allowed Hobart to make use of aluminium fillers. All the acquisitions necessitated a consolidation of properties into a cohesive Hobart® brand, thereby streamlining its offerings and providing a comprehensive product line to its buyers.
Despite the changes the brand has gone through all these years, it remains a pioneer of innovation. Seen as a leader in the industry, Hobart continues to develop its products and ensure they are of the highest quality.
Are Hobart Welders any good?
Hobart is known for its MIG welders, although you’ll find awesome multi-process welders as well. They’re more affordable than Miller or Lincoln models but just as versatile and durable. Hobart makes portable welders for hobbyists and professionals alike. The best thing about choosing a brand like Hobart is its popularity and long history in the welding industry. It has a huge user base, and that huge number of users means you can get advice and tips from a lot of people. So basically you’re not walking in the dark wondering when your machine will break down.
Although Hobart makes different types of welders, what’s really popular in its lineup is its MIG welders. These welders are easy to use and can handle different types of applications. One of the MIG welders you may want to check out is the Hobart 500553, which is a versatile machine capable of joining thick pieces as well as thin sheets. You can set this machine for delicate operations to avoid burning through your workpiece.
Should you choose Hobart?
The other question is, do you do MIG welding most of the time? If you do, then you’d find the Hobart line sufficient. You certainly will find a MIG welder with the right features based on your needs. If you’re a TIG enthusiast, on the other hand, Hobart doesn’t offer much and you probably should look at other brands.
Nonetheless, Hobart offers entry-level models for beginners who are still exploring the ins and outs of the craft. For instance, the Hobart Handler 140 is a great option for beginners who want to focus on MIG. It’s not the most powerful MIG welder, but it can weld 24 gauge sheets as well as 1/4-inch steel. The duty cycle could be better, but there’s little to complain about this product if you’re just starting out.
The reason people are interested in making a brand of welding equipment is they want to understand its origins and maybe the vision of the company that gave birth to it. The rich history of Hobart says so much about the dedication of the company to innovation and training. Different types of welders choose it because of its reputation.