I was on the lookout for a high-quality welding machine that’s also easy to use and lightweight. I read great reviews about the Hobart 500551 and decided to give it a try (admittedly, after a great deal of deliberation).
Hobart 500551 TIG Welder Review
Let me break down some of the key features to explain better what I love most about this machine:
Easy to use interface with one knob and one switch control
It’s no exaggeration when I am saying that this is the easiest to use welder out there. Thanks to the complete 230V AC/DC welding package featuring a single knob control, setting up this machine is a breeze. All you have to do is plug into the 230 VAC, connect the gas, select the right material and thickness settings, then you are ready to start welding. As far as I know and understand, this is the fastest and easiest welder to use. To be very honest; initially, I was reluctant to pay the high price tag and was leaning more towards cheaper Chinese models. However, reliability is a major issue with cheap welders and I was also put off by the mostly mixed reviews on them. I finally made up my mind and chose this one, and it hasn’t disappointed me even once.
AC output for superior aluminum welding, DC output for mild and stainless steel
The welder performs outstandingly well on both aluminum and steel. It welds 22 gauge – 3/16 inches in both AC and DC. I bought it primarily for welding aluminum and so far the results have been terrific. Initially the results weren’t so great, but that had more to do with my welding skills than the machine’s performance. With practice, I have gotten better at it. Now, I can do a pretty neat welding job. I think the machine is suitable for everyone as it can be used just as efficiently at an auto body shop (or for any other professional welding work) as it can be used for at home DIY projects. I know this for sure because I lent it to my brother who owns an auto body shop. Since he was having issues with his machine, I let him use mine for a few days. He was truly impressed with the performance and ended up later buying one for himself.
Inverter-based power source provides a more consistent welding arc while using less power
Frankly, I love just how smooth the arc is compared to my old machines. Initially, I did a lap weld on 20 gauge aluminum scrap and the result was great. It welds exceptionally well on 16 gauge aluminum and thicker.
This is an excellent feature as it enables the fan to only work when the welder is in use and the unit needs to cool off. The fan stays off at other times which means that dust and debris don’t get pulled into the unit.
Lightweight and Portable
The machine weighs only 50 lb, which makes it super easy to be carried around. I don’t have a very spacious workshop, but the Hobart 500551 does not require too much space for storage. This was an important factor for me while selecting the right welder. Also despite the light weight and portability, the machine is not lacking anywhere in features and performance. Therefore, it’s a total win-win package.
The package includes a 12 feet work cable along with a clamp. There’s also a shielding gas hose, gas flowmeter/regulator. It also comes with the 12.5 feet Legacy 17 Weldcraft TIG torch. The product manual is very comprehensive and includes clear instructions that anyone can comprehend and follow.
Hobart 500551 TIG Welder Review – Final Verdict
Frankly, this is an excellent machine for both beginners and professionals. It will take a little bit of familiarization with the Hobart 500551 initially, of course. However, compared to other machines, this is certainly the least complicated welder to use. Professionals who are already familiar with the fundamentals of using a welder will find working with this machine an absolute breeze (my brother seconds this).