Best TIG Welder Reviewed [Buyer’s Guide for Small & Portable to Big and Powerful TIG AC/DC Welding Machines]

image of best TIG welders

It is common knowledge that TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is one of the more complicated types of welding processes as you probably already know.

You also know how hard it is to pull out a good TIG weld without a good TIG welding machine and finding amazing TIG welder that also is not “over the roof” expensive is the hardest part

So to shorten your search I have prepared a list of the welders that I believe them to fall intro category for “Best TIG Welder”!

There will be budget welders and semi-professional welders with AC/DC capability for aluminum welding and some other machines that I consider worthy of mentioning so please hop on and let’s start…

Just a quick shout out guys! Rest assured that I put these products on the list due to their quality and my personal opinion as let’s say, experienced welder (burn marks, ruined eyesight, and all).

I just want to be transparent with you and inform you that my site Weldingpros.net may obtain a share of sales or other monetary compensation from the links on this page.

So, buddy, I hope that using this article you pick a great welder and put some nice bits on that metal (and if not just grind it a little ;)).

Adam Mason ♠

Table of contents:

  • Comparison table.
  • Welder Reviews.
  • Things to consider when selecting your welding machine.

Best TIG Welder Quick Comparison

Image
Best For the Money
yeswelder 250p ACDC
Editor's Choice
2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC...
Everlast PT-250EX PowerTIG STICK Pulse...
TIG Welder, Diversion 180, 120-240VAC
Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG...
Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 TIG...
TIG welder
YESWELDER TIG 250P ACDC
2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC...
Everlast PT-250EX PowerTIG STICK Pulse...
TIG Welder, Diversion 180, 120-240VAC
Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG...
Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 TIG...
Rating
10% off Coupon Code:
"October-10% WeldPros"
-
-
-
-
Voltage Inputs
220V
110V or 220V
220/240V
120V or 220V
230V
120V or 220V
Output Current Type
AC/DC
AC/DC
AC/DC
AC/DC
AC/DC
AC/DC
Amperage Output
TIG 5-250A
TIG 10-200A
TIG 5 A – 250 A
10 A – 180 A
10 A – 165 A
TIG 10 A – 200 A
Duty cycle
TIG 60% at 250 amps
TIG 60% at 200 amps
TIG 60% at 250 amps
20% at 150 amps
20% at 150 amps
TIG 25% at 200 amps
Features
Great price to quality ratio, Very high duty cycle, Portable, Start-end amps, AC balance/pulse/frequency settings, TIG pedal included, 3 year warranty
A lot of settings, good quality, 3 year warranty
Low 5A start, ton of settings, 5 year warranty
USA brand, High quality, Advanced AC squarewave, 3 year warranty
USA brand, High quality, 5/3/1 Hobart warranty
USA brand, Easy to use, Superior torch quality
Dual Voltage
Best For the Money
Image
yeswelder 250p ACDC
TIG welder
YESWELDER TIG 250P ACDC
Rating
10% off Coupon Code:
"October-10% WeldPros"
Voltage Inputs
220V
Output Current Type
AC/DC
Amperage Output
TIG 5-250A
Duty cycle
TIG 60% at 250 amps
Features
Great price to quality ratio, Very high duty cycle, Portable, Start-end amps, AC balance/pulse/frequency settings, TIG pedal included, 3 year warranty
Dual Voltage
Editor's Choice
Image
2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC...
TIG welder
2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC...
Rating
-
Voltage Inputs
110V or 220V
Output Current Type
AC/DC
Amperage Output
TIG 10-200A
Duty cycle
TIG 60% at 200 amps
Features
A lot of settings, good quality, 3 year warranty
Dual Voltage
Image
Everlast PT-250EX PowerTIG STICK Pulse...
TIG welder
Everlast PT-250EX PowerTIG STICK Pulse...
Rating
-
Voltage Inputs
220/240V
Output Current Type
AC/DC
Amperage Output
TIG 5 A – 250 A
Duty cycle
TIG 60% at 250 amps
Features
Low 5A start, ton of settings, 5 year warranty
Dual Voltage
Image
TIG Welder, Diversion 180, 120-240VAC
TIG welder
TIG Welder, Diversion 180, 120-240VAC
Rating
-
Voltage Inputs
120V or 220V
Output Current Type
AC/DC
Amperage Output
10 A – 180 A
Duty cycle
20% at 150 amps
Features
USA brand, High quality, Advanced AC squarewave, 3 year warranty
Dual Voltage
Image
Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG...
TIG welder
Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG...
Rating
Voltage Inputs
230V
Output Current Type
AC/DC
Amperage Output
10 A – 165 A
Duty cycle
20% at 150 amps
Features
USA brand, High quality, 5/3/1 Hobart warranty
Dual Voltage
Image
Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 TIG...
TIG welder
Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 TIG...
Rating
-
Voltage Inputs
120V or 220V
Output Current Type
AC/DC
Amperage Output
TIG 10 A – 200 A
Duty cycle
TIG 25% at 200 amps
Features
USA brand, Easy to use, Superior torch quality
Dual Voltage

Last update on 2020-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best TIG Welders Reviews

Let’s take a look at a selection of TIG machines that can be utilized for various uses of TIG welding.

1.  YesWelder TIG 250P ACDC – Best TIG Welder for the Money

image of the YesWelder TIG 250P ACDC

 

YesWelder TIG 250P ACDC is an amazing TIG machine that offers so much for not so much money. It is the best TIG welder at its price point, which means that it will provide you with the highest value for the money you invest in it.

This TIG machine is meant for professional work, but it is also very beginner-friendly. It is easy to set up and use, and you can smoothly perform almost any work with it.

It is an AC and DC TIG welder; it supports HF arc start, it has a bunch of professional features like upslope and downslope settings, pre and post flow settings, it supports a low 5 amp start, which is crucial for thin metal.

It supports and comes with a TIG pedal, it has a squarewave for AC TIG welding which makes welding heck of a lot easier and better, there are AC balance control settings, it can do both AC and DC pulsed TIG welding and a lot more.

Overall, a great TIG machine with excellent build quality also does stick welding with a lot of features.

10% off Coupon Code: “October-10% WeldPros”
Specifications
  • Processes: TIG (GTAW) and Stick arc welder (SMAW).
  • Weld Thickness Range: Steel – 24 ga. – 3/8 in.
  • Weldable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum.
  • Input Power: 220 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: alternating/direct current.
  • Rated Output: 250 A @ duty cycle 60%
  • Amperage Output Range: TIG 5 A – 200 A.
  • Weight: 35 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Top pick TIG welder for the money.
  • You can TIG weld with a fully adjustable pulse rate
  • High Frequency Start
  • It has controls for start and end amps
  • AC balance control
  • Squarewawe AC
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Very good Aluminum TIG welder
  • A brand with good customer service support

Cons:

  • Works only on 220 volts

Extended review of this welder is here

2. AHP Alpha TIG 200X 110v 220v IGBT TIG/Stick – Best TIG Welder Under 1000

The AHP Alpha TIG welder is a machine that adds superior inverter technology. Combine it with PMW and IGBT inverter technology, and you get a good welder that can cut metal and aluminum with great success. Besides being a portable machine the Alphatig 200x price is its greatest advantage.

Thanks to the added technology the AHP Alphatig 200X TIG welder is able to provide unprecedented performances among its peers. Something that AHP Alphatig 200x also offers is pulse width modulated inverter and AC frequency control.

AHP Alphatig 200x is a great machine for aluminum welding, steel, stainless, alloy steel, and thin gauge materials. Depending on the needed work, you can use it both in DC and AC modes. The pulse feature is more than useful as it allows you to adjust the amount of heat generated. Another thing that I need to mention additionally about the AHP Alphatig 200x TIG welder is its usability. Its welding application is smooth and it will increase the quality of the weld.

It comes with a foot pedal which increases productivity and enables better welding control and operation.

Sale
2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE 110v 220v 3 YEARS WARRANTY
  • 2020 models are in. 200 HZ on PULSE and AC FREQ, NEW TORCH, 3 YEAR Warranty
  • will do 1/4" aluminum and 3/8" mild stee and 110/220 volts and is capable of welding 7018, 6013
  • Advanced Inverter Technology with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) Using IGBT technology
  • quality TIG welding on aluminum, stainless or steel and precise welding of thinner-gauge materials

Last update on 2020-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: TIG (GTAW) Stick (SMAW).
  • Weld Thickness Range: Plain steel – 24 ga. – 3/8 in.
  • Weldable Materials: Steel, Stainless, Aluminum
  • Input Power: 110/220 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: alternating/direct current.
  • Rated Output: 200 A @ 60% duty cycle.
  • Amperage Output Range: TIG 10 A – 200 A.
  • Weight: 69 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • A lot of control options
  • AHP welder has ability to High Frequency start
  • Foot pedal included
  • AHP alphatig works on 120 and 220v power source
  • 3 Year warranty

Cons:

  • AHP alphatig is heavy at 69lb

More on this machine here

3. Everlast PT-250EX Power TIG 220 Volt Inverter Based Pulse Welder -Best TIG Welder For Aluminum

The Everlast PT-250EX Power TIG welder is a both a versatile and an economic welder. It is more than suitable for usage for both professionals for heavy duty and novice welders. The Everlast Powertig provides versatile solutions when it comes to welding which is backed up by performance.

It is capable of displaying  250 amps of TIG weld power on single-phase 240V. It also means that it comes with a 60% duty cycle while doing it. Besides this, the Everlast Powerarc comes with numerous features that include AC balance control,  AC frequency, a  fully adjustable pulse,  stick function with stick options like arc force control, and surprisingly enough a 2T 4T switch for remote control.

The Everlast Powertig welder operates efficiently on both 240 input voltage single-phase and 240 input voltage 3 phase power. The Powertig 250EX is extremely light as well. Alongside it, you will get an 18 Everlas series TIG torch, DINSE style connectors with a 10-feet long work cable.

Everlast PT-250EX PowerTIG STICK Pulse welder 220 Volt Inverter-Based AC DC
  • Pre flow and post flow control for maximum shielding Gas protection before and after
  • Improved hf start circuit for reduced maintenance issues
  • Consumable starter kit (Tungsten not included)

Last update on 2020-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: TIG (GTAW) Stick (SMAW).
  • Weld Thickness Range: Plain Steel – 24 ga. – 1/2 in.
  • Weldable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Input Power: 220/240 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: alternating/direct current.
  • Rated Output: TIG 250A @ 60% duty cycle.
  • Amperage Output Range: TIG 5 A – 250 A.
  • Weight: 65 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Perfectly suitable for beginner and professional precision welding jobs
  • Low 5 amp Start feature
  • Packed with adjustable settings from amp start to features like spot weld timer
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Comes with TIG welder equipment
  • High Frequency start
  • Built in 240V receptacle on the TIG welder for water cooler
  • 5 Year warranty

Cons:

  • Can only be used on 220/240V power input
  • It is heavy so not really portable

Read more here

4. Miller Diversion 180 TIG Welder 120V/240V TIG Welder

The Miller Electric Diversion 180 TIG Welder is specifically made to cater to the needs of novice and everyday welder. Miller maxstar products aim to help people who are learning to become welders and not just professionals. Besides ease of usage, this TIG machine is also portable and easy to move and has a suitable price.

Some of the prime features include both 120V and 240V plug compatibility. There is also the inverter-based alternating/direct current power source, which is both an efficient and consistent source of power.

Also, the Miller Electric TIG welder comes with HF ARC starting. The Arc Start helps with better arc control and arc stability. Not allowing you to contaminate the weld pool when working. Finally, the Miller TIG machine comes with the auto post flow that will automatically adjust depending on the amperage output.

Read more on Miller Diversion on this page

TIG Welder, Diversion 180, 120-240VAC
  • Price For: Each Series: Diversion 180 Aluminum - Material Thickness: 0.025" to 3/16" Mild Steel - Material Thickness: 0.030" to 3/16" Includes: 12.5ft. Torch with Backcap, Ceramic Gas Cup, 3/32in...
  • Power Source Weight: 50 lb. Welder Min. Output Amps: 10 Features: Inverter-Based, AC/DC Power Source, Fan-On-Demand, Portable Uses Miller's MVP(TM) Plug for Multi-Voltage Usage, Digital Display,...
  • Application: Aerospace, Construction, Heavy Equipment Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Railcar, Shipbuilding, Boat / Yacht, High Purity Processing Input (Amps): 11.3/16 Rated Output: 60A...

Last update on 2020-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: TIG (GTAW).
  • Weld Thickness Range: Plain Steel – 24 ga. – 3/16 in.
  • Weldable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Input Power: 120/220 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: alternating/direct current.
  • Rated Output: TIG 150 A @ 20% duty cycle.
  • Amperage Output Range: 10 A – 180 A.
  • Weight: 50 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Multivoltage TIG welder. Works on 120 and 220v power input
  • Great for workshop heavy duty use and hobbyist welders
  • High Frequency start
  • Advanced AC squarewave for deeper and fast freezing weld puddle
  • Foot pedal included
  • Fan on-demand feature (great to protect from dust and other containments)
  • Relatively low unit weight and size
  • Availability of spare parts
  • USA brand product
  • 3 Year warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Low duty cycle

5. Hobart 500551 TIG Welder 230V (EZ-TIG165i)

Don’t be put off by the Hobart EZ TIG machine price range. It may be a bit pricy for novices, but it is an excellent machine for any welding process you have in mind. With both the AC and DC power options available, this TIG machine can weld aluminum, magnesium, steel and stainless alike.

Its prime feature is the easy to adjust knob which allows you to adjust the amperage range based on metal thickness. Finer amperage range also means finer control. Inverter based power sources also account for better arc force control. Also, the High Frequency start offers contactless arc start eliminating material contamination.

Finally, you can move the machine anywhere as it weighs only 50 lbs (23KG). It may be on the expensive side compared to the 10 best TIG welders, but it offers great value for money.

Full review of this machine is here

Sale
Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG Welder 230V
  • Easy-to-Use Interface | All you need to do is power it up, select your material, and set the material thickness range
  • Welder Dimensions – 9.87” W x 23.87” L x 17” H | Input Voltage – 220/230/240 V 60 Hz | Material Thickness – Steel: 22.00 ga. - 3/16 in. | Amperage Min/Max – 10/165 A | Torch – WP-17,...
  • HF start to allow for a non-contact arc start to eliminate tungsten and material contamination
  • Infinite Amperage Control provides broader operating range with finer control. High frequency starts

Last update on 2020-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: TIG (GTAW).
  • Weld Thickness Range: Plain Steel – 22 ga. – 3/16 in.
  • Weldable Materials: Steel, Stainless, Aluminum
  • Input Power: 230 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: alternating/direct current.
  • Rated Output: 150 A @ 20% duty cycle.
  • Amperage Output Range: 10 A – 165 A.
  • Weight: 50 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • This model offers precise amp control based on metals thicknesses
  • Welds beautifully
  • Simple beautiful unit design and easy to use settings
  • Availability of replacement parts for the TIG welder
  • Fan on demand feature
  • USA brand product
  • 5/3/1 / Hobart warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Low duty cycle
  • Needs 230 volts input

6. Lincoln Electric Square-Wave TIG 200 TIG Welder

The Lincoln Electric Square Wave is a perfect TIG machine for beginners. It is more than easy to use and is perfect for hobbyists or people who are expanding their welding skills. Probably a top 10 best welder for starters.

Besides TIG, this one is good for various other welding applications like a stick welder and can be used to cut aluminum, steel, stainless steel, and chrome-alloy.

The user interface is easy to use as you just need to set the power input and weld. This TIG machine is pretty light. Portability is definitely its advantage as it weighs some 46lbs. It offers a 120/230V option with the power output is 10-125A TIG and 10-110A Stick at 120V and 10-200A TIG and 10-170A Stick at 230V. Pulse welding is available at 0.1 – 20 pulses per second.

The Lincoln Electric K5126 can weld metals of up to 3/8″ steel thickness and 3/16″ aluminum and achieve better penetration.

Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 TIG Welder, K5126-1
  • Advanced features yet easy to use
  • A great TIG machine for aluminum
  • TIG and stick from one power source
  • Take it Everywhere, Plug in Anywhere.

Last update on 2020-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: TIG (GTAW) Stick (SMAW).
  • Weld Thickness Range: Steel – 22 ga. – 3/16in.
  • Weldable Materials: Steel, Stainless, Aluminum
  • Input Power: 120/220 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: alternating/direct current.
  • Rated Output: TIG 200 A @ 25% duty cycle.
  • Amperage Range: TIG 10 A – 200 A.
  • Weight: 46 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Very easy to use with a simple display for reading
  • This TIG welder is portable given its dimensions and weight
  • Good for beginners who don’t mind the price tag
  • Multi voltage power input
  • Sturdy case with a really nice appearance
  • USA brand name TIG welder
  • Superior torch and foot pedal quality and other components
  • Provides a smooth arc leaving a very nice bead appearance with little spatter
  • This welder does TIG and Stick tasks

Cons:

  • Expensive

7. Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A 110/220V TIG Welder

The Lotos TIG200 is a great starter kit for beginners. You would probably not see it as part of an experienced welder’s arsenal, but it is a good budget TIG welder that will enable you to learn and do some home repairs and other simple welding projects. It does come with a square wave inverter technology, suitable for copper, tin and aluminum.

This welder also is pretty good for precise welding. It has an High Frequency start hand torch control combined with precise foot pedal heat control. A dual input power at 110/120V 220/240V 50/60Hz.

The price tag for the welder is pretty affordable especially when you see that it comes with a power supply, TIG torch, foot pedal, MMA /Stick clamp and ground clamp, Argon regulator, and a 220V/110V converter pigtail. Also, the added PAPST cooling system will help the plasma cutter cool down faster for stable and durable performance.

Sale
Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder with DC Stick/Arc Welder, Square Wave Inverter with...
  • ★ ALUMINUM WELDING--200A AC Square-wave inverter for accurate aluminum welding.
  • ★ RATED OUTPUT: Maximum 200AMP AC/DC TIG Electric Current Output; Quality TIG welding on Aluminum, Stainless or Steel and Precise Welding of Thinner-gauge Materials; Power efficiency: 80%.
  • ★ PRECISE WELDING-- HF start hand torch control and precise foot pedal welding heat control. Suitable for welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal materials.
  • ★ STICK/MMA WELDER: 15-200AMP DC Stick/MMA Electric Current Output; Easy ARC Start, Stable Welding Arc; Deep Weld Pool and Beautiful Welding Shape; Adjustable Hot Striking Arc Current which Can...

Last update on 2020-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications
  • Processes: TIG (GTAW) Stick (SMAW).
  • Weld Thickness Range: Plain Steel – 25 ga. – 3/8 in.
  • Weldable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Input Power: 110/220 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: alternating/direct current.
  • Rated Output: TIG 190 A @ 60% duty cycle.
  • Amperage Range: TIG 10 A – 200 A.
  • Weight: 58 lbs.
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Affordable light duty machine
  • Multi voltage input support
  • Lotos models are lightweight and portable
  • High Frequency start
  • Pedals included
  • This TIG welder does both TIG and Stick tasks

Cons:

  • Not for heavy work
  • TIG pedal doesn’t allow for fine amp adjustments

8. YesWelder TIG-205DS TIG/ARC -Best Budget TIG Welder – Best Budget TIG Welder

[The Cheapest Welder with HF!]

Image of a YesWelder TIG-205DS

The YesWelder TIG-205DS is the cheapest TIG welding machine that has an HF start of all welders on the market. If you look at other welders in a similar price range you will see that none of them comes with HF functions which extend the life of the tungsten electrode. Additionally, this welder is both versatile (Stick/TIG), provides great functionally, and is capable of delivering great results.

Its efficiency is not only credited to some advanced functions that are not seen in the same price range. It is durable and has a quality build. Its efficiency and functionality make it a good tool for a hobbyist. It delivers perfect results for its cost and is good for any DIY projects, maintenance, or simply fixing anything around the home workshop.

Another great feature of the TIG-205DS HF ARC YesWedler is that it has automatic compensation for input voltage fluctuation, automatic temperature control, IGBT soft switch technology, and 110V/220V dual voltage input. It is sure to deliver and nice clean weld and a welding job done with accuracy.

10% off Coupon Code: “October-10% WeldPros”
Specifications
  • Processes: TIG (GTAW) Stick (SMAW).
  • Weldable Materials: Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Input Power: 110/220 V, 60 Hz.
  • Input Phase: 1-Phase.
  • Current Type: DC.
  • Rated Output Power: TIG 205 A @ 60% duty cycle.
  • Amperage Range: TIG 15 A – 205 A.
  • Weight: 34 lbs (lightest in the review).
Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Incredible value considering a really low price
  • Two voltage power input
  • HF start
  • Simple to use for newbie practice or as a hobby welder. Easy to get started.
  • Durable and well made tig welder
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Welds TIG/Stick and leaves really nice bead

Cons:

  • The lowest amp setting is 15 amps. It would allow for even thinner metals if it had ten amp setting but the fact is that considering the price, it is acceptable.
  • No AC output. DC Welder only.

More on this welder here.

TIG Welder Buying Guide

So you can better understand what to look for in the TIG machine here are some basic guidelines. Put on your gloves for safety and let’s learn how to weld. And if you want to learn more about TIG welding it self check out this page

Welder Power and the Thickness of the Metal

image of stainless steel metal

Probably the main thing when choosing a welder is the thickness of the metals you will be working on. A machine with good capabilities will help you with precision work or any issues that you may have with different thicknesses of materials.

However, if you are not really sure about the maximum thickness that you will be working on, it is best to pick a TIG welder machine that has a high amperage output. But besides a high amperage output, you also need a wide range as well. Going with a machine with a power output of 200A doesn’t account for adjustability. You need a machine that can in addition to a high output also offer a low amperage as a setting.

One of the best TIG welders offers the ability to work on both thin and thicker materials. TIG is usually used for thinner materials, like welding aluminum. So an amperage range rate of a minimum of 5 to 10 amps is more than suitable.

But if you know the thickness of the material you will be working on, make sure to check the amperage range or see if it comes with amperage control.

Performance at Low Amperage

image of a welder doing a TIG weld

Welding thin materials still require good performance at low amperage. Simply having a welder with amperage specifications that go as low as 5 amps or 10 amps may not be enough. Welders with low amperages may also experience fluctuations or impairments and especially as the arc strikes. This means that the quality of the weld can be compromised.

If you want to be sure that you don’t run into this problem you need to get your hands on a good unit. The ones mentioned in our reviews are all stable and have amperage control. You won’t have to check gauges all the time. Accounting for a better weld. Brands like Miller, don’t only offer precision with their units but stability as well. It allows users to have a sustainable amperage from start to finish of their welding jobs.

The Numbers on the label: Duty Cycle

The duty cycle is another important aspect of a welding unit. The duty cycle represents how much actual work your unit will be doing in a span of 10 minutes and how much will it rest. After rigorous work, each welder will require some time to cool down. This mostly depends on the quality of the machine and the cooling system it has or the cooling equipment you are using.

The duty cycle is measured in percentages. So you will often see labels that provide a duty cycle operation of 60% or 50%. So if the number on the label says 60% this means that your device will be able to work for 6 minutes before rest.

Therefore, each machine has rates for specific amperages to determine their duty cycle. It also helps with determining the peak current that you will be using. This is one of the requirements that you will need to look for before making your decision and you purchase your new unit.

Here is also a nice video by Kevin Caron explaining it.

About Heat:
Heating protection is directly tied to a better duty cycle of your welding machine. More expensive welders that are plugged into 220v outlet frame or higher should have more than one fan to distribute the fresh air and remove heat from the machine more efficiently and reduce the intake of dust and debris.

Accessories: Foot Pedal

A good thing to have from the TIG welding accessories is a foot pedal.

There are torches on which you can make an adjustment to amperage setting and gas flow, but if you are sitting and working from your welding table the solution is to have is a foot pedal.

You don’t need to be an expert level welder to operate the foot pedals. You will develop a skill quickly and changing the heating input to a base metal will ease the job immensely so check if your welder has a connection for a foot pedal.

Price, Quality, and Warranty

Even though some people like the YesWelder Digital TIG 200P, that offers the best value for the money you still need to think carefully before you make your final choice. You need to think about flexibility and versatility equally. But most importantly, you have to be sure that the machines will do everything that you plan to use it for.

Determining the pros and cons is a good idea. But research says that more poplar brands like Hobart, Miller, Lincoln or Everlast provide more capabilities. The thing is that they are more than capable of allowing you to work all day.

However, if you just need a machine for regular work or as a hobby and don’t plan to do any entire-day welding, than any of the mentioned units in this article is more than suitable for you. Always make sure to strive for quality fabrication in terms of your budget.

Warranty tip:
Another important aspect to consider is the warranty, More expensive machines come with an extended warranty. Extended hours of welding will accumulate a lot of wear and tear on your machine. In the long run, it might affect the operating range of the machine and diminish its welding capacity. Five years of work can wreak havoc on your machines. So having a better warranty may be more favorable here.

AC Capability for a TIG welder

image of a welder worker

When looking for a suitable TIG welder, there is a good possibility that you will be welding aluminum at some point. Subsequently, you will need to be looking for a TIG welder that comes with AC capabilities. Most of the TIG welder reviews that I have on our list include machines that have both AC and DC welding settings. However, picking a machine with suitable AC capability is important to weld aluminum.

DC (direct current) is used for welding thicker materials. Most high-power machines run on DC. However, this type of current does not work well with this type of material due to its special properties and lower melting point. AC (alternating current) is more suitable for working on thinner materials like aluminum and magnesium.

Most of the machines that I have reviewed both have an AC and DC power option available, But always be sure to choose the product which comes with AC for welding TIG.

Weight and Portability

This part is probably the easiest to understand, The weight of your machine can hamper and also influence the quality of the work you are doing. It makes moving about the job site much more difficult (you may need a welding cart) and will put a strain on the welder, especially if they are working long hours.

Therefore, if when you are picking your next welder, besides durability and the offered adjustments, be sure to consider the weight.

Weight:
Lightweight products will make it a lot easier for you to finish the job well. You can even seek for some with a shoulder strap to make it easier to move around. All in all, a lightweight welder will be easier for you and any kind of welding project you are working on.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

Why are TIG welders so expensive?

A: First of all, they are expensive because of the quality of the weld they deliver than they use pure Argon as a protective gas to shield the arc and molten metal pool from contamination. Also, the technology of a TIG welder is much more complicated than for example on a simple inverter stick welder.

Is TIG stronger than MIG? (TIG vs MIG)

A: Yes in some applications, but both MIG and TIG have their own pros and cons and their own applications, the operations are completely different.

TIG welding is much more expensive then MIG. Much slower and handles dirt very purely but looks much better and gives the most quality welds possible. MIG welding, on the other hand, is much faster, very easy to learn and quite inexpensive.

With the TIG process, the heat input is done through the TIG torch ( electrode holder ) and an electrode made of tungsten alloy with 2% of a radioactive element called Thorium and “add material” is done trough filler rod with your free hand.

With the MIG welding process, the consumable wire that comes out of the welding gun acts as an electrode and as a filler material that automatizes the process and speeds it up immensely.

Both use gas for shielding the arc and the welding pool from the oxidation of the weld. The shielding gas exposure to the weld will help in reducing the possibility of contamination. It is also important for the welded material not to come in contact with air before it cools off so one has to check the flow meter of the gas cylinder and gas shutoff when working.

Can All TIG Welders weld aluminum?

A: Yes, TIG welding is a process primarily used to weld aluminum and stainless steel.

Do you TIG Weld Aluminum on AC or DC?

A: Welding aluminum is done by using AC. DC is usually used when welding steel. On the other hand, AC is the go-to method for welding aluminum. AC offers welders with the melting and cleaning option at the same time and will resolve the problems that one usually comes when welding aluminum. With AC the current switches by default and allows for both cleaning and melting to be balanced out just right.

Should I buy a TIG welder?

A: Buying a TIG welder is a good idea for many reasons. However, one should take into consideration the actual need for getting one first. TIG welders are useful for many things. They are necessary for working on thinner metals and can provide quality work. They allow consistency and are used for visually appealing welds.

If this is something that you strive for and will need to do at some point, the verdict is easy and you should definitely get a TIG welder. But the process is hard for beginners and it takes more time to master than with some other types of welders.

Conclusion

If you are on the hunt of a good TIG welder but don’t have the budget to spend on a really expensive one, check out the ones on the list above. I understand how hard it is to choose the right one as there are many of them on the market. Each product here is a good option for inexperienced people without much expertise but they also come with some major features that pros will enjoy.

There are a variety of machines out there and every person will eventually choose based on their own needs and preferences. Our reviews is here to help you better understand the choices in front of you and make a better decision. Spending more does not always have to mean good performance, think economically and still get everything that you need.

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