Welding is a major part of various industries, such as automotive, construction, and shipbuilding. It is also widely used in many households for minor DIY repair works. One of the most used welding processes today is Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding, also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding. Are you looking to start a TIG welding-based hobby? Or maybe venture into the metal fabrication craft using a TIG welder? This article will discuss everything you need to know.
For starters, TIG welding is a type of welding process that uses a tungsten electrode for heating and fusing the metal. It also uses a gas shield instead of slag in protecting the weld pool.
TIG is responsible for high-quality welding in most industrial applications. It produces reliable, precise, and clean welds in any metal. It uses non-consumable tungsten and can weld more metals than any other process.
What is TIG Welding Used For?
- A TIG Welder can weld more types of metals and alloys. These include steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, chromoly, magnesium, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, and gold. Therefore, it is more practical compared to other processes. You can also use it for bike frames, fences, and door handles.
- It produces precise and clean welding results. In addition, it doesn’t have any sparks since the only needed filler metal is added to the welding puddle. It also doesn’t create any smoke as long as it is free from any contaminants, such as oil, grease, or paint. That’s why this process is highly recommended for welding sculptures and automotive tasks.
- Welding in all positions is possible with TIG. For example, you can weld in positions like horizontal, flat, vertical, or overhead. This is the proper process for confined and remote areas.
- TIG welding uses one shielding gas. So it only needs shielding gas such as Argon to weld all types of metals with different thicknesses. Still, you only need one type of gas which is Argon.
Factors to Consider in Buying TIG Welder
- Portability - A good welding machine can be moved from one place to another. One of its considerations is its weight. You can transport lighter machines without any hassle.
- Power Voltage - There are three options for a power supply: The 120V input is your standard household power supply, while the 240V needs a generator to start it. And other machines offer both 120V and 240V. It’s important to consider where you will be using it if it is just for household use only, better to get the 120V or the flexible one offering both of the power voltages.
- Material Thickness - It’s important to know what metal you will be working with. You should know what type of thickness you will be welding. A higher amperage range machine can weld thicker metal. If you’re not sure about it, get a more powerful machine.
- Multi-Process Function - If you need to do other welding processes, consider getting a multi-purpose welding machine. For example, you can get equipment suitable for MIG, TIG, and stick welding. But if you already have one, just go for a single-process TIG welder.
- Budget - It’s essential to get the best value for your money. TIG welders are known to be pricey. That’s why you need to choose the best features and design for high-quality machines.
Top 10 TIG Welder Models On The Internet
Check out the features, benefits, and some cons of these TIG welders:
Everlast PowerTIG 210EXT
The Everlast PowerTIG 210EXT shows great advantages with its features and settings. Such features include advanced pulse capability, dual voltage, and stick capability. In addition, this welding machine is reliable for precision in welding parameters due to its microprocessor control.
Also, welding professionals love this machine since it is perfect for TIG welding aluminum. It has three waveforms such as Advanced Square wave, Soft Square wave, and Triangular. With its advanced settings, welders can also fine-tune it for perfect welding performance. If you are a beginner, don’t be intimidated by its advanced settings and controls. You may use the flowchart interface to understand it.
Hobart EZ TIG 165i
The Hobart EZ TIG 165i is a lightweight machine weighing 50 lbs. It is easier to use and control since it is lightweight and flexible. Its built is durable and of good quality. It has a simpler interface with a single knob on the front. That’s why beginners and home welders prefer this one.
The only thing to consider is its 230V power supply. You can’t use it with the standard household power supply since it is not dual voltage. Also, it’s for home welding tasks and not for heavy-duty. Finally, comparing it to other manufacturers, this one is more expensive.
The Everlast PowerTIG is an excellent choice for your welding tasks. It is flexible which can be used using AC and DC power output. With this, you can weld magnesium, aluminum, and thicker steel plates. Also, it has a wide amperage range giving you an effortless start, arc stability, and excellent crater filling.
Also, the Everlast PowerTIG offers you a 250A maximum power delivery on its 240v motor. It means that you can use it for heavy-duty, industrial, and commercial uses. Plus, it also has post and pre-flow controls as a shield for gas exposure. Just be reminded to purchase an additional TIG cooler since this welding machine needs it.
Razorweld Digital TIG
The Razorweld Digital TIG has a 200A AC and DC power output. This machine is portable with its dual voltage of 110V and 220V. With this, you can plug this machine into your household’s common power source.
Moreover, you can use this welder for steel with an oxide layer on its surface and stainless steel. Welders also love its simple digital controls and very user-friendly. It also has durable add-ons such as foot pedals, torch, and hose,
Since it doesn’t have a wide amperage range, you shouldn’t use this machine for welding thick metals. But while it has a limited function for metal thickness, it still gives high-quality welding performance.
Miller Electric Maxstar 150
With its weight of 13.5 lbs. only, the Miller Electric Maxstar 150 is very much portable and lightweight. Without the hassle of handling heavy equipment, you can freely use it wherever you want it. Added perks include its high quality and durability.
Also, this machine is reliable for precision welding. You can use this welding machine for welding thin metal up to 0.020 inches. Also, its amperage range of 5A to 150A can weld steel up to 3/16 inches thickness.
However, this welder is not suitable for welding aluminum. You can’t also use it for heavy-duty use with its features.
If you’re looking for versatility, the Lotos LTP5000D is a piece of 3-in-1 equipment that you can use for TIG, Stick welding, and plasma cutting. This is a good investment precisely since it serves many functions.
Aside from its high-quality welding performance and durability, the Lotos LTP5000D offers a wide range of welding applications. It is also easy to configure and operate. That’s why beginners will prefer this machine.
Its plasma cutter also works well and can cut and weld steel up to ¾ inches thickness. It is efficient for casual and industrial use with dual voltage capability. However, it only provides a DC output and can’t be used for welding aluminum.
AHP AlphaTIG 200X
Are you looking for the best budget welding machine?
The AHP AlphaTIG 200X gives you the best value for your money while giving you a high-quality TIG and Stick welding performance. It weighs 50 lbs with a dual voltage power source. It’s also easy to use and set up. Also, welders prefer its flexibility and features such as digital amperage and 2T/4T function.
Though, its front panel options are pretty confusing for new welders. All you need to do is to carefully check on its manual to set it up. It’s also a little bit noisy, which other welders don’t want.
Forney Multi-Process Welder
The Forney Multi-Process Welder offers you versatility and high-quality performance in Stick, Flux-Cored, MIG, and TIG welding. No need to worry about switching functions since it is easy and effortless. Even beginners can efficiently operate and switch it.
Also, its high performance at low amperage gives you a precise and neat welding appearance. Its customizable configuration settings and multi-functional qualities make this machine a high-end overall welding machine.
However, this machine is not recommended for heavy-duty applications and aluminum welding. You can only use it for DC output.
Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200
The Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200 is highly durable and built to last due to its high build quality materials. Beginners and professionals prefer its excellent user interface, making it easy to use and operate. You just need to dial in settings simply, and you can already start welding. It is also dual voltage and flexible for DC and AC output.
The only issue is you need to be extra careful in welding thin materials since its arc drops down from 25.
A high-power welding machine such as the PrimeWeld TIG225X is excellent for its 225A max output. It has the highest power with 225x and can weld up to ⅜ inches of steel and ¼ inches of aluminum. It’s also versatile as you can easily switch to Stick mode and weld ½ inches of steel. It produces quality and seamless welding results.
Also, its knobs are user-friendly. It’s easier than scrolling through digital menus. You can also use them to fine-tune your adjustments. The digital display has a power output indicator, which makes it very easy to gauge the duration of your welds.
If you’re curious about the price, this one doesn’t break the bank. Though this brand is new in the market, beginners and even professionals trust this highly recommended brand.
TIG welding process offers precise and finer results, which is why it is one of the most commonly used processes there is. Through this, you can expect smoother and more efficient welds.
Keep in mind the application that you’ll use it for as well as the requirements needed for the welder to run. That said, we hope to leave you with a clearer idea of what TIG welder you should purchase.