Choosing the right MIG welder to get your heavy-duty job done these days can be a real nightmare.
In a sea of great (and not so great) MIG welders, Hobart Ironman 230 MIG welder really stands out from the competition.
This welder offers some durability, good features, fine settings and guarantees you a amazing welding experience.
What are those useful features and impressive settings we are talking about? Find out in the Hobart Ironman 230 review below.
Hobart Ironman 230 review
The Hobart Ironman 230 is a rugged built, heavy-duty and durable welder that offers spatter free, good arc control, which makes your everyday welding and post-weld cleaning easy. Hobart Ironman 230 is among the best welders out there when it comes to voltage control and arc quality and it is suitable for both MIG and Flux-core welding.
Features And Specifications For Hobart Ironman 230
Here is a quick list of features this machine has to offer.
The 12 tap voltage control as well as infinite (0-700 IPM) wire speed control for better, spatter free, arc quality
Delivers huge power output range of 30A to 250A
Heavyweight and durable cabinet with cylinder rack
Fixed side cable hangers to help you with cable management
Automatic wire alignment to keep the smooth wire feed
Inside door chart and well-written instruction manual to help you with setup.
Easy entry to the wire drive system and quick spool changes provided by easy to lift the hinged door.
Reversible drive rolls to decrease spare parts usage
Package includes: 15-foot MIG gun, high-quality gas regulator, gas hose, optional spool gun
Inbuilt overheat and overload protection
Hobart 5/3/1 warranty
60% Duty cycle
Read more about all the features below.
When it comes to power output, with a range of 30A to 250A, Hobart Ironman 230 makes an ideal choice for both light industrial, hobby capacity as well as professional, complex, and demanding welding projects.
As the name states Hobart Ironman 230 operates on the 230V input power. As much as an advantage, know that this MIG welder is not suitable for 110v household power supply outlets as it is recommended to use it in a large workshop or large garage nor it can be patched up to work on lower voltage.
When it comes to the duty cycle, Hobart Ironman 230 offers a duty cycle of 60% at 175 amps. High amperage power and 60% duty cycle is more than enough to weld thicker materials also making welding metal sheets and in a single pass easier. (Also welding wire diameter and type of metal that you will weld plays a role here)
Weight and Transportation
Speaking about weight, keep in mind that Hobart Ironman 230 is a full size, heavyweight but not industrial welder with a weight of 185 lbs. In order to provide more portability, this welder has a built-in wheel kit and cylinder rack that will allow you to move both your machine as well as your shielding gas cylinder around your workshop.
When talking about the wheels of running gear, note that they are not designed to withstand rough outside ground, and if you are not a fond of of a hernia surgery carrying (185 pounds) this not so little unit around is not an option. All this makes the Ironman 230 machine best used to complete indoor projects. Hobart Ironman 230 has side cable hangers to help you with cable management when you move it.
Wire Speed and Voltage Settings
One of the great things Hobart Ironman 230 has to offer is the incredible control options. That makes it perfect for welders that like to fine-tune their machine and control their arc, bead, and spatter.
Precise twelve tap voltage control knob offers users the ability to control their arc performance, making the welding arc constant and smooth.
As for the wire feed speed control, the Ironman 230 welder offers a fine wire feed speed tuning in the range of 0-700 IPM. This allows you to control your weld bead, its appearance as well as penetration and spatter.
If you are a welding beginner and you are still learning how to set up your welder, you don’t have to worry. Hobart Ironman 230 comes with a package where everything enough is included so you can simply start welding.
Another thing you will like is especially well-written user manual you should check, and if you still have some troubles, this welder has a perfectly clear and precise inside door chart you can check and you set up your machine.
When it comes to the utility of this top-level welder you will be amazed. Hobart Ironman 230 can weld mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum (with optional Hobart DP-3545-20 spool gun). With a high duty cycle performance, you will be able to weld up to 1/2 inch thick steel and mild steel in a single phase.
With the twelve different voltage tune, you can control working with the thickness of up to 24 gauge sheet metal.
With all the impressive settings that provide superior arc quality and amazing weld bead shape when MIG welding (flux cored or aluminum), you will be satisfied a lot with the various usability of this welder.
Mild steel (stainless steel) wire: 0.023 – 0.045 in.
Aluminum wire: 0.030 – 0.035 in.
Flux-cored wire: 0.030 – 0.045 in.
This machine also features an integrated spool hub which will help you change your different size range wire spools easier enough than other welders.
Drive rolls And Wire Feed System
In order to provide smooth wire feed, avoid MIG gun clogging and “bird nesting” in your wire drive system, double metal reversible drive rolls are included. Single drive roll comes two wire V-grooves made to fit two different wire sizes.
Once you fit your wire size to a proper drive roll groove, poor wire feedability, bird nesting and burn back problems are solved.
Choosing a proper drive roll type to fit your wire and protect it from getting damaged is important. Metal v-groove type rolls that come with this machine fit solid MIG wire best. They are not recommended for the flux-core (softer) wires as they require extra push best provided by knurled type rolls.
Accessing the wire feed system as well as changing the wires has been made simple by added hinged door. You can easily lift them and access the wire feed system, and integrated spool hub ensures simple change of the spool.
If you are considering buying this great product, you should know that Hobart line does not make cheap welders. (I know you can’t have your cake and eat it) That means that Ironman 230 like rest Hobart welders will cost you more than quite a few bucks. However, don’t let that get in your way. If you can purchase this high-quality welding machine, excellent value for the money spent will guarantee high performance unit.
In order to protect the value of the money invested in this machine, Hobart offers a 5/3/1 warranty for their products.
The warranty of most parts is 5 years long, while you get 3 years for the parts that are not on the transformer and one year for all components outside weld cover and a battery.
Ironman 230 offers a couple of safety features to protect your welder purchase and make buy less replacement parts. One of them is a built-in thermal overload feature, making your your welder protected from overheating.
Another useful feature is a fan on-demand feature which turns on the cooling fan only when the welder starts to heat up. This ensures a much longer lifespan as well as a cleaner welder.
Who Should Consider Getting a Hobart Ironman 230 MIG Welder?
Hobart Ironman 230 (serial number Hobart 500536) is a unit mostly suited for professional welders but it can be also be used by occasional welders, hobbyists, and people that like some seriously heavy-duty business.
All the fine voltage and infinite wire feed speed settings, high power and high input power required (230v), imply that this unit is made for experienced welders that know their way around welding machines.
This state-of-the-art and powerful Hobart machine with many useful features will serve you best in-home use, auto body, auto repair shop as well as in construction and fabrication. Higher power output and required power makes this unit also suitable for industrial work done on the proper industrial sites.
Pros and cons
Here is a list of a good and the bad, as well as things we liked and disliked about this machine.
Delivers highest power rating output (30 amps – 250 amps) and duty cycle (60% at 175 amps) in class range
Sturdy and heavyweight design, made to last
Maximum control of voltage and wire feed performance
Perfect arc and weld bead control
Welds different thickness material, mild steel, steel aluminum (from super thin to 1/2 inch thick)
Quite easy to set up and ready to start your heavy weld work
Capable of welding thicker metals (stainless steel) better then similar welders
Has power overload protection and automatic temperature control
Comes with standard Hobart line warranty and customer service options
Comes with with quality gas hose, two gauge regulator
Very heavy (185 pounds) but not that hard to move (wheels) and best used indoors
Higher price than other similar welders
Short power and ground cables need to be little longer
Requires a high power input (230 v) and not compatible with generator
Considering all the things you could see in this Hobart Ironman 230 review, we can say that this is overall another powerful and reliable unit of Hobart products, that will provide you with many years of heavy-duty welding experience. Ironman 230 (Hobart 500536) will cover all your MIG needs as it can be used for MIG welding, as a flux-cored welder, as well as aluminum welder (with a proper spool gun).
One thing to consider when buying this machine is the price and weight. If you would pay extra for the quality provided, Hobart Ironman is the right machine for you.
If you want to buy this Hobart machine to complete couple of home project welds you need to think again. If you want to spend some time working on serious welding works, this is the right machine for you.