A Quick Review of the Miller Passport Mig Welder vs Hobart Trek 180
Is the Miller Passport Mig Welder worth the money?
What about the Hobart Trek 180 battery powered mig welder?
Which one is better?
Just like there is not single vehicle that is perfect or has every single feature you might ever want or need, Mig welders are the same.
There is no Perfect Welder that does it all!
Whats better? a truck or SUV? Automatic or Stickshift?
The two machines have similarities, but are very different also.
here is what i mean....
The Miller Passport mig welder is a dual voltage inverter welder.It can be plugged into 115v power for convenience and portability, but it can also be plugged into 230v power when its available simply by using a plug adapter.
What is so special about the Miller Passport welder?
It uses a self contained Co2 paintball gun bottle.
If you are thinking any Co2 mig welder would make a lot of spatter, you would be dead wrong.
The Miller Passport Mig welder has an advanced circuitry that tweaks the arc into submission when using Co2.
In fact, the arc from the Passport is considered one of the smoothest arcs out of all the Miller mig welder product line.
The Miller Passport has become especially popular with motor sports teams.
But isn't it like any other 115v mig welder? Like with no balls?
All I can say is this... If you get the chance to weld with a Miller Passport, I bet you will be surprised by the power even on 115 volt power. Its an inverter..
IF 230 volt power is available, you can use that and you will have all the power you need for short runs.
The Passport is the kind of mig welder you might want if you weld short runs and also need a certain level of portability.
Its low duty cycle and relatively high amp draw when plugged into 115v power will not let me recommend it for your only mig welder if you are a fabricator.
What I liked...
• The arc
• The self contained gas cylinder
• Accessory pouch
What I didn't like...
• The ground clamp
• duty cycle
• amperage draw plugged into 115 volt..( I kicked the 20 amp breaker after about a minute of continuous welding on a high setting)
How does the Hobart Trek 180 battery powered mig welder compare?
If you are a subscriber to my video newsletter, you might remember that I also did part 1 of a 2 part review on the Hobart Trek 180 battery powered mig welder a while back and it actually compares favorably to the Miller Passport Mig welder.
Remember! There is no perfect welder that does it all.
The Hobart Trek is designed to be used with either flux core or with bare wire and shielding gas.
I even pushed the limits of the Hobart Trek by welding a 3/8 thick multi pass groove weld.
the Video is below...
But The bottom line comparison is complicated.
The Miller Passport Mig Welder will run off 115 volt or 230 volt power and has a self contained Co2 gas cylinder that can be bought or refilled at places that have better hours than welding supply stores....but you are still tethered to a power cord.
The Hobart Trek can be used cordless...What????
Yes its good to go completely cordless for a few feet of weld.
Farmers, Race teams, off road enthusiasts, maintenance workers, and even the military will benefit from that kind of portability. Even if only for a few feet of weld ( around 60-100 inches depending on level of power used)
Even though the Hobart needs a separate cylinder of shielding gas if bare wire is used.
If self shielding flux core wire can do the job, ( like hobart fabshield 21b or fabshield 23) you are truly portable.
For shop welding, the Hobart Trek 180 can be plugged in so that the batteries are constantly charging. And the amp draw from the charger is low enough for you to charge the batteries or leave it plugged in while welding to a automotive power inverter.
For my money, I think the Hobart Trek 180 slightly edges out the Miller Passport Mig welder when you compare all the features.