Best Tig Welder To Look For In 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
- 1 Introduction
- 2 What is a TIG Welder and what is it used for?
- 3 Best TIG Welder with reviews
- 4 How to Choose the Best TIG Welder
- 4.1 1. Input Type
- 4.2 2. Amp Rating
- 4.3 3. Thickness of Metal
- 4.4 4. Power Input
- 4.5 5. Ignition Type
- 4.6 6. Adjustment Settings
- 4.7 7. Duty Cycle
- 4.8 8. Weight
- 4.9 9. Digital Control
- 4.10 10. High Quality Arc
- 4.11 11. Pulsed Welding
- 4.12 12. Foot Pedal
- 4.13 13. Portability
- 4.14 14. High-Frequency Settings
- 4.15 15. Plasma Cutter and Stick Welding
- 4.16 16. Air-Cooler Torch Vs Water Cooler Torch
- 4.17 17. Budget
- 4.18 18. Warranty
- 5 Benefits of Using a TIG Welder
- 6 Drawbacks of Using a TIG Welder
- 7 Common Mistakes When Operating a TIG Machine
- 8 FAQs
- 8.1 1. What’s easier MIG or TIG?
- 8.2 2. Can all TIG welders weld aluminum?
- 8.3 3. How much do TIG welders cost?
- 8.4 4. What is the best TIG welder to buy?
- 8.5 5. What is the best TIG welder for a beginner?
- 8.6 6. What are the best TIG welders for aluminum?
- 8.7 7. Does my welder come with TIG and stick welding option? And how should I adjust?
- 8.8 8. What is the duty cycle and how does it affect my welding?
- 8.9 9. Which size of TIG welder should I consider?
Also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, the Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is a process of arc welding that uses a non-consumable form of the tungsten electrode to weld together two surfaces.
What is a TIG Welder and what is it used for?
The TIG welding method gained popularity in the 1940s because of its ability to combine aluminum and magnesium. In order to protect the weldpool, instead of using a slag, an inert gas shield was used. This method became an overnight success and a popular replacement for manual and gas metal arc welding. TIG also became one of the reasons for the acceptance of aluminum in structural and high-quality welding projects. The TIG process uses a tungsten electrode (non-consumable) in order to create the weld. The inert shielding gas protects the electrode and the weld area from atmospheric contamination and oxidation.
The TIG method can be used to weld non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminum, and magnesium alloys and stainless steel. Using this method, the users will have better control over their weld, resulting in high-quality and stronger welds. The TIG method is, however, much more complex and cannot be mastered very easily. Moreover, it is slower than other welding options.
How does a TIG welder work?
When compared to other welding methods, this is a little difficult because the welder has to have good coordination. The method requires the use of both the hands because, for most projects, the operators will have to use one hand to feed the metal while the welding torch is manipulated by the other hand. A short arc length should be maintained while making sure there is no contact between the workpiece and the electrode.
An electric spark is provided by the high-frequency generator and this is needed to strike the welding arc. When this is done, the torch is moved in little circles to produce a welding pool, and the size of the welding pool is based on the amount of current given and the electrode size.
A constant separation between the workpiece and the electrode is maintained while the torch is moved back and tilted slightly. Finally, to the weld pool’s front end, the filler metal is manually added.
Best TIG Welder with reviews
1. Miller Electric Maxstar STR TIG Welder
The Miller Maxster STR TIG welder comes with a 210 Amp stick and a lift-arc DC welder for TIG. It can deliver power to weld 5/32 inch diameter for E6010 and E7018 electrodes.
• Memory card data port
• 1- and 3- phase input voltage
• Updatable software
• Power source form 110-480 V
• 100% duty cycle at 175 amps
• High-frequency arc starting
• Low amperage power output welds
• No TIG torch
2. Hobart EZ-TIG 165i TIG Welder
The Hobart EZ-TIG welder is one of the best valued and most effective machines available in the market. It is a professional device mostly used for industrial purposes.
• 10-165 amperage power output
• Includes regulator and torch
• Consistent welds
• Multiple current outputs for versatile use
• High-frequency start
• Technology for fan-on-demand
• Auto-post flow
• Hobart EZ-TIG is Expensive
• No stick welders
3. Mophorn TIG-165S TIG Welder
The Mophorn TIG-165S is a 2-in-1 welding machine that can be used as a TIG and stick welder. It is perfect for professional TIG welding and for repair works.
• 60% Duty cycle
• Electrode diameter is ≤3.2 mm
• 93% power factor
• Weight- 7.4kg / 16LB
• Output Current: DC 20-140 Amps
• 8-foot torch lead
• Comparatively lightweight
• Inverter powered
• Lift start arc
• No foot pedal, only hand controller
4. Primeweld TIG225X TIG Welder
The Primeweld TIG225X is one of the most versatile DC welders with easy-to-use features. It has a 200-hertz frequency pulse and has a 100 percent duty cycle at 108 amps.
• High-frequency arc starting
• Inverter powered
• Pulse width modulation
• Includes regulator
• Extra wide 10 to 225 amperage range
• Includes metal foot pedal
• Has CK17 US-made torch
• 3-year warranty
• 200-hertz pulse frequency
• Poorly documented manual
5. ESAB Rebel 215ic TIG Welder
This TIG welder is designed to IPS23 standards and is perfect for the outdoor duty. Built to industrial standards, the machine is made for all-weather use.
• Large display screen
• Flux core, TIG, and MIG
• 3-year warranty
• Heavy-duty weatherproof case
• Dual 120/240 volt input
• Comes with a gas regulator
• Automatic settings with override
• User manual on the display
• Includes TIG torch and MIG gun
• DC TIG welder only
6. Lincoln Electric 200 TIG Welder
This welder is a 200 amp portable TIG welder for artists, hobbyists, craftsmen, and small fabricators. It is an easy-to-use machine for beginners but with advanced features, providing a good experience.
• Dual voltage 120/140 input
• 10 to 200 amperage range for TIG
• AC/DC processes
• High-frequency no-touch arc starting
• For TIG cleanings, 60-90% AC balance
• 20 pulses/second for heat control
• Comes with a good regulator
• Has a foot controller
• Quality control is inconsistent
7. Everlast 255EXT TIG Welder
The Everlast 255EXT TIG Welder is an AC and DC pulse welder that has a 100 percent duty cycle. This is a good device for home workshop welders.
• Multiple AC waveforms
• Dual 120/140 input power
• TIG 240 volt duty cycle with 100% at 200 amps
• AC and DC TIG welding
• 2T/4T torch trigger lock switch
• Pre flow and post flow for better shielding
• High frequency and lift arc start
• Pulse modulation frequency up to 500 Hz
• 240 electric TIG power output 3-250 amps
• No water cooler but it comes with water-cooled torch
8. AHP AlphaTIG 200X TIG Welder
The APH AlphaTIG 200X is an easy-to-use welder that has both AC and DC TIG and it runs on dual 120/240 volt input power.
• Comes with a foot pedal
• 2T/4T hold switch
• 120/240 volt dual power
• Wide 10-200 amp operating range
• Pulse modulation of 200 Hz
• Pre flow/post flow for cleaner welds
• APH AlphaTIG 200X has a high-frequency pilot arc
• AC balance, for better cleaning oxidation
• DC and AC welding
• Pedal in APH AlphaTIG 200X is not of a high quality
9. Eastwood TIG 200 TIG Welder
The Eastwood TIG 200 TIG Welder is well known for its paint and body tools, blasting cabinets, metalworking machinery, and body hammer sets. It is best valued among automobile restoration shops.
• DC and AC TIG welding
• Square Wave inverter
• Dual 120/240 input power
• 3-year warranty
• Can weld up to ¼-inch plate
• 12-foot torch connection
• WP-17 torch (industry standard)
• Pre flow and Post flow, for cleaner welds
• Duty cycle 60% at 90 amps
• High-frequency pilot arc
• Many users do not like the foot pedal
10. Amico TIG-225 TIG Welder
This welder brand is a dual input 120/240 volt, low-cost welding machine with a 60 percent duty cycle at 220 amps.
• High-frequency TIG torch
• 1-year warranty
• Dual 120/240 volt input power
• IGBT inverter technology
• Torch connection-13 foot
• 60% duty cycle at 220 amps
• Works on “dirty power” fluctuations
• 16-pound, lightweight
• 15-220 amps working range
• No gas regulator
11. Forney 322 Multi-Process Welder
If you are a hobbyist looking for an affordable option, then you could consider the Forney 322 Multi-Process Welder. It does not have a wide range of welding features but is perfect for a beginner.
• 47.2 pounds
• 140 A amperage capacity
• 1-year warranty
• Multi-process machine (3 in 1)
• Comes with MIG and Stick ready
• Easy to operate
• Good write feeding system
• Reliable warranty service
• High portable
• Not suitable for massive and long project
• Does not include TIG torch
• 20% duty cycle in 100 amps
12. Lotos CT520D
The Lotos CT520D is one of the best multi-process welders in a durable price range. This device features a compact plasma cutter with a comfortable grip and perfect handling.
• Works on dual voltage (120V/220V)
• 50 amp power output, plasma cutter
• Uses non-hazardous compressed air
• Small size and lightweight
• Good built quality
• Optional foot pedal
• MMA and TIG welder
• Plasma cutter
• Only works on DC, no AC output
• Pilot arc not included
• Small-sized cables
13. Lotos LTP5000D
The Lotos LTP5000D is perfect for cutting through a variety of metals, including mild steel, stainless steel, copper, alloy steel, and aluminum. For a small workshop, this machine would be best.
• Non-touch pilot arc technology
• MOSFET transistors
• PAPST cooling system
• Compact and lightweight
• Affordable price
• Great cutting capacity
• Efficient and clean cuts
• Not made for heavy-duty use
• Short warranty
14. Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG
The Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG is one of the best welding machines that deliver superior weld performance on various kinds of materials.
• AC- 230V:21A, DC- 230V: 23A
• Max. Open circuit voltage
• 20% Duty Cycle: 150 A at 16 VDC, 150 A at 16VAC
• Very affordable
• Unique single-knob control
• Available in a lightweight design
• Delivers amazing welding results
• Includes cullet and a cullet body of 3/32 inches
15. Razorweld Digital TIG
This is a good TIG welder to consider since it is loaded with many amazing features. It is popular among amateur and professional welders.
• Contains post gas and pre gas
• Includes AC balance control
• Has a variable pulse parameters
• HF start with 2/4 T trigger control
• Dual voltage of 115 V and 230 V
• Pulse function
• High-frequency ignition
16. Lincoln Electric K5126-1 Square Wave TIG 200
The Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 is one of the most wanted welders in the market. The device offers stable and smooth welding on many materials like steel, aluminum, and chrome-moly.
• 0.1-20 pulses per second
• 46 lb (21 kg) weight
• 120V/ 230 V input power
• 60 to 150 Hertz AC frequency
• Ability to work on various projects
• Contains gas regulator
• Has stick electrode holder (200 A)
• A little expensive
• Cannot alter the time on pulse and background amperage
• Ground clamp is short
17. Lotos Technology TIG200
The Lotos Technology TIG 200 is popular for its reliability and both beginners and professionals can use it very easily. It is an ideal tool for people looking for a robust welder with industrial-quality features.
• 26.3 kg (58 pounds)
• AC/DC power source
• TIG-welding, installation type
• 80% power efficiency
• Extra flexibility
• Effective welding heat control
• Offers maximum accuracy
• Easy to control
• Handling foot pedal may be tough
• No pulse feature
• Replacement parts cannot be found easily
18. Everlast PowerTIG 250EX
With impressive versatility, this machine can last years and still offer amazing welding performance with great results.
• AC/DC power source
• 240 volts
• 60 pounds (27.21 kg)
• 250 A, amperage capacity
• Affordable welding machine
• Pedal offers an impressive control
• Not very heavy
• Can be easily set-up
• Flow meter reads in LPH and not CFH
19. LONGEVITY Tigweld 200D
The LONGEVITY Tigweld is a powerful machine that works at 200 amps and is specifically designed to offer the person mobility. It can be used for both home and commercial projects.
• 39.7 pounds (18 kg)
• 240 Volts (voltage)
• Corded-electric power source
• Automatic voltage detection
• Thermal overload protection
• Easily controllable arc
• Does not have a regulator
• Not suitable for aluminum welding
20. Weldpro Digital TIG 200GD ACDC Welder
It is a good choice for industrial welders and hobbyists, who want high-performance welders.
• 79 pounds (36 kg)
• 40% duty cycle at full amperage
• Has swift start-up capabilities
• Sloping functions
• High-frequency start
• Pulse arc capabilities
• Best value for money
• Well-designed foot pedal
• No finger switch
• Settings cannot be changed easily
21. MTS-205 205 Amp Arc Combo Welder
This machine has MIG, TIG, and stick, and if you are looking for a multi-functional welding tool, then you could consider this machine. Using this machine, a user can weld alloy steel, aluminum, and mild.
• Power supply: AC 100V-240V/50-60 Hz/Single Phase
• 0.85 power factor
• Fan cooled, cooling method
• 93% efficient
• Three-different welding options
• Overheating and voltage fluctuation protection
• Advanced IGBT technology
• Could have better customer service
How to Choose the Best TIG Welder
1. Input Type
Each TIG welder has a designated input standard. On a TIG welder, the different electrical inlet types are DC and AC. For hard metals like copper, stainless steel, and steel, DC welds are better and for soft metal, with self-oxidizing properties (e.g. magnesium and aluminum) AC would be more suitable. If you are unsure of which input source is present at your end, then you could get a welder that supports both.
2. Amp Rating
It is best to choose a model that gives the widest range of amperage. Your welding works will be limited when your welder has a lesser amperage range. A welder with a 5-230 amp range will be flexible enough for thin materials.
3. Thickness of Metal
No matter what process you choose, the thicker the material you are welding, the higher the requirement of current. Therefore, you must choose a welder that can provide enough current you need for that material.
4. Power Input
When the machine’s voltage rating increases, the capacity of the machine will also increase. This means that you can weld a lot of metals with a high voltage device. But the voltage at the source should be equal to or greater than the TIG welder’s voltage rating to power the device properly.
5. Ignition Type
When starting the welding process, ignition is required. Different TIG welders require different types of ignition methods. The most common ignition types are lift start and high-frequency start.
6. Adjustment Settings
Adjustment settings on TIG welders should include control over functions like current ampere, current frequency, pulse time, etc. Based on your requirements, you can manage these settings.
7. Duty Cycle
This shows how much uninterrupted work a machine can do in a given time interval, at its highest current. When this threshold is reached, the equipment must be left aside in order to cool down. Duty Cycles are usually represented in percentage values.
Larger TIG welders weigh around 100 pounds or more while smaller ones weigh only around 50 pounds. Smaller ones will provide enough power for smaller jobs and are a lot more versatile.
9. Digital Control
Most welders have digital controls which makes them safe to operate and easy to use. The screen will show information like power, voltage, and many others. The information will make the task more accurate and perfect.
10. High Quality Arc
Arc stability issues are seen in the cheaper models of TIG welders and unsteady arcs could become the reasons for problems with the look of your weld. Therefore, welders with high-quality arcs are important.
11. Pulsed Welding
TIG pulsing is used for working on thin metals, difficult joints, or stainless steel where extreme heat can cause it to rust. But pulse rating is high in TIG welders, making the weld stronger. The pulsing rate can help welders have a cleaner weld by allowing them to travel faster over the metal.
12. Foot Pedal
A reliable foot pedal is very important in TIG welding. A pedal will allow you to control the heat used, ensuring the weld puddle does not become very large. Make sure the TIG machine’s foot pedals are responsive and have a natural angle.
This is important if you transport the TIG welder to different places. Usually smaller welders are easy to move around.
14. High-Frequency Settings
High-frequency settings would make it easy to control the arcs when compared to a TIG welder with low settings.
15. Plasma Cutter and Stick Welding
If you want greater versatility and some extra features, then consider purchasing a TIG welder with both plasma cutting and stick welding capabilities. When plasma cutting and stick welding is available, you can save time on projects that require metal cutting and you can do any work that comes your way.
16. Air-Cooler Torch Vs Water Cooler Torch
During a high power output, the torch will become warmer but most people do not see it as a problem. A water-cooled torch can do a finer work in tough spots because it has a smaller head. Many welders using water-cooled torches really appreciate not experiencing the intense heat on certain jobs, where the air-cooled torch would not be enough.
A TIG welder can be found in many price ranges depending on the equipment, packages, brands, and features. If you are a hobbyist welder, then a device below $500 dollars would be enough while for professional welders, a welder ranging around $1000 would help. However, if most of your work is on titanium metals, more expensive models would be required.
Most TIG welders have a warranty of 2-5 years and the longer the warranty duration on the product, the more reliable your device would be.
Benefits of Using a TIG Welder
TIG welding produces precise, clean welds on any metal. A few other benefits include:
• Filler metal is added by hand when required
• It uses a non-consumable tungsten
• Produces clean, high-quality welds
• Shielding gas protects the tungsten and weld
• It welds more metals when compared to other processes
Drawbacks of Using a TIG Welder
Some few drawbacks of a TIG welder are:
• TIG welder is slower than any other welding machines
• Filler deposition rate is lower
• Initial cost is high
Common Mistakes When Operating a TIG Machine
Some common technical mistakes when operating a TIG machine are:
• Poor gas coverage will lead to contamination- This usually occurs when shielding gas is switched off.
• Choosing the wrong current- depending on the type of electrode and metal, use AC and DC.
• Weld grittiness- this is usually caused when welding at a very high temperature
• Not cleaning materials- make sure your materials are cleaned before you begin welding
• Using high amperage on aluminum- this creates a broader outline and can burn through.
1. What’s easier MIG or TIG?
When compared to TIG, MIG process is more common. The MIG welding process is much faster and lot easier to learn.
2. Can all TIG welders weld aluminum?
Aluminum can be welded by any TIG welder but the quality, ease, and appearance of your projects are influenced by other factors.
3. How much do TIG welders cost?
To find the best TIG welder for the budget, it is important to decide what equipment and functions you need. Also, consider the length of the warranty as well.
4. What is the best TIG welder to buy?
Miller Electric Maxstar STR TIG Welder is considered to be the best overall because of all its advantages. The only con of this welder is that it does not include TIG torch.
5. What is the best TIG welder for a beginner?
For a beginner, the Weldpro 200 Multi-Process is the best because it is easy to set up and use.
6. What are the best TIG welders for aluminum?
The best TIG welder for Aluminium is Alpha-TIG200X. It has advanced IGBT inverter technology and it easy to control.
7. Does my welder come with TIG and stick welding option? And how should I adjust?
Most TIG welders will offer both TIG and stick welding options. Although they are compatible, some welders may not offer the full package. To enhance this option, you only need to buy the stick.
8. What is the duty cycle and how does it affect my welding?
The duty cycle is the percentage of time that the welder can operate safely, at given amperage, within a certain time period. Once you have hit the duty cycle time limit, the quality of your weld can decrease.
9. Which size of TIG welder should I consider?
The size of the machine you should get is a balance between possible large job expectations and daily use, as well as the cost.