Heat management is critical whether you’re working with aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, or thin sheets. TIG machines manage heat and make beautiful welds like no other method. Commonly referred to as TIG, Heli-Arc, or GTAW, this procedure is of the highest caliber. This two-handed technique is also the most gratifying to learn. However, if you're not sure what you truly need, a TIG machine might be rather expensive.
TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding had once been deemed to be the most complicated welding technique to perform. While this is still true for the most part, TIG is a versatile process that results in visually pleasing welds. In addition, TIG welding is now more accessible to home welders than ever before, thanks to advancements in welding technology.
Our Selection of the Best Home TIG Welders
PrimeWeld TIG 225X TIG/Stick Welder
The Primeweld TIG225X is a fully featured AC/DC TIG welder with price modulation and AC phase control, allowing you to alter bead width and depth. Thanks to its AC waveform function, it allows you to perform several tasks, such as cleaning the weld puddle, removing contaminants, and reducing the need for bead cleaning. At 108 amps, this machine boasts a 100 percent duty cycle. You can weld on a 1/8-inch steel plate continuously. However, some users have complained about variable build quality, with some laptops arriving with cables disconnected and missing components.
The Primeweld TIG225X boasts a 225-amp 40% duty rating. With these specs, you can work on a ½-inch steel plate for a total of 4 minutes at maximum power. It comes with a regulator, metal foot control, and a CK17 torch with flex lines. If you want to perform welds of various lengths and project sizes, this machine is a keeper. In addition, it also comes with a 3-year warranty.
This unit is well worth considering despite it leaning towards the more expensive end of the spectrum, compared to the others in this list. It has dual 120 volts and 240-volt input, massive adjustability, and an extensive output range.
- Pulse Width Modulation
- High-frequency arc
- A 200-hertz frequency of alternating current and pulse
- Durable CK-17 torch
- Metal foot pedal included
- Inconsistent quality reports
- The instruction manual is unreliable.
Amico TIG-160DC TIG Welder
The Amico TIG 160DC is compatible with any standard power supply because it is a dual-input 120/240 volt, low-cost welding equipment machine. It can do DC stick welding and is rated 160 amps DC power when powered by 240 volts. At 220 amps, this machine can perform on a 60% duty cycle, which is above competition within the same price range. The TIG-160's high-frequency lift-type arc initiation is another noteworthy feature.
This is a lightweight yet powerful inverter-powered welder. The Amico TIG-160DC includes a forced fan design to keep things cool for much longer, which is one reason it has such an excellent duty cycle at maximum power. This machine has a 13-foot torch lead. Each electrode clamp and grounding clamp connection is ten feet long.
This Amico unit includes an 8-foot argon hose and a 120-volt adaptor for hooking into 20-amp home power with the TIG-160. Most machines in this price range do not include a gas regulator. In addition, a one-year warranty covers the Amico TIG-225.
- A working range of 15-220 amps
- Powered by "dirty power" fluctuations
- 16-pound weight limit
- Duty cycle of 60% at 220 amps
- Torch connection of 13 feet
- It doesn't come with a gas regulator.
- Cannot weld aluminum
Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma and TIG Welder
The Lotos LTPDC2000D is a relatively unique product from Lotos. It uses both TIG and stick welding and comes with its own plasma cutter set. That's three valuable tools crammed into a single compact gadget—a complete package if you ask us! You can slice metals up to 12" thick cleanly with the plasma cutter. The TIG and stick welders can be set at a range of 15-200 amps. Unfortunately, this model lacks a TIG welding foot pedal and is not capable of TIG welding aluminum.
Although it may be operated on 110v or 220v power, it is not designed to work on a regular residential 20AMP circuit. A double 50AMP breaker and thicker wiring are required. You're better off powering it with 220v, which not everyone can accomplish. Even at 42 pounds, while it’s not the heaviest, it's also not the most portable.
- A 2-in-1 machine, TIG, and Stick welding
- It has a built-in plasma cutter.
- Electricity is required at a voltage of 220 volts or 110 volts with a double 50 amp breaker.
- Aluminum cannot be TIG welded.
- There is no foot pedal for TIG welding.
Mophorn TIG-200 TIG Welder
In our review, the Mophorn TIG-200 welder provides various functions, which is why we consider it our Budget TIG welder. Dual 120/240 dual voltage input power, 200 amp power output, and 60% duty cycle—quite the bargain for a TIG / Stick welder at this price point. That’s right, you can perform both TIG and stick welding with this handy machine within a 20 to 200 amp TIG working range. You also get a hot start and an analog amperage control you can adjust to your heart’s content.
The absence of pedal control is a severe drawback—a fingertip control takes its place. Regrettably, it also does not take any available pedal system.
The TIG technique already necessitates two hands: one to hold the flame and the other to feed the welding rod into the puddle. A second-hand control does not make an arduous task any simpler. Therefore, the foot pedal is used in TIG operations.
Consumers observed smooth welding and were surprised by the price vs. performance ratio of this TIG equipment.
- For TIG or stick, you just have to flip the switch.
- 8-foot torch lead
- Weighs under 20 pounds
- Inverter powered
- Lift-type arc beginning
- There is no foot pedal, simply a hand controller.
- There have been reports of malfunctioning overheat prevention.
Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder
Eastwood knows what you need from a TIG welder based on a reputation developed over decades in the car repair products industry. The Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder has pulse width modulation, and it is even compatible with both 120 and 240-volt inputs. This is an actual AC/DC TIG welder. AC welding allows you to weld aluminum, which is ideal for rebuilding and replacing engine accessory brackets.
The Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder, which was marketed as a substitute for the Lincoln Square Wave 200 at 90 amps, has a 60 percent duty cycle. The torch (WP-17 torch 12-foot) is designed according to industry standards for pre-flow-post-flow gas control to make your work much more convenient. Some customers were not too keen on the included foot pedal heat control. However, the foot pedal is actually an industry standard—you can always change it to your preference.
For clean, strong results, this machine has pre-flow and post-flow gas control to ensure that the shielding is in place before striking an arc and that the weld is still coated in gas after you stop. In addition, running lengthy beads without holding the trigger is made possible by the 2T/4T trigger lock included in the Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC.
- 60% duty cycle at 90 amps
- Industry-standard WP-17 torch 12-foot torch for pre-flow-post flow gas control
- A pilot arc with no touches
- Gas regulator of low quality
- The foot pedal lacks smooth control.
Things to Look Out For in a TIG Welder
TIG welders have a plethora of features and specs that might be perplexing to a beginner or a hobbyist looking to expand his or her skills. However, understanding these phrases might assist you in making the best selection on which welder is ideal for you.
When looking for the best TIG welding machine for home use, consider the following:
- Rating for input power
- Power output
- What kind of work you are planning to do
- The type of welding procedure you want or prefer
- Considerations for available space
Most of the machines are intended to favor one or two of these criteria above the others, so it's crucial to aim for a balance of features here.
The sort of job you wish to accomplish should always be the primary determinant in selecting a welder. In addition, the way you want to use your machine at home influences decisions about which procedure to utilize and how much power you require. These criteria will, in turn, influence the size, weight, and price of your ultimate option. If you know you'll be making furniture or fence out of massive 1/8-inch thick diameter tubing, for example, you'll need 90-plus amps, and the ideal method is stick or flux unless you're making race car roll cages, in which case TIG is the smarter choice.
TIG and MIG are the most used methods for welding extremely thin metal. However, stick arc welding has been the preferred tool for angle iron to fix quick and dirty fixes for quite some time in the past.
Required space and size
The bigger the welder, the more powerful it is, and the more intricate the procedures you choose. Some machines with three processes and dual-voltage input could weigh up to 90 pounds.
Ensure you have enough area for a machine like this. For convenience, you can designate a cart for all your welding equipment, tools, and accessories. Wheeled storage is always a good idea, especially if you’re planning to perform different-sized projects and in various parts of the house.
It should go without saying that welders with more features and more power will also be more costly. There are low-cost welders available that may be adequate, but it all depends on your demands.
Consider whether the initial investment includes accessories like:
- Long leads for gas regulators and quality clamps.
- TIG machines sometimes necessitate the acquisition of an additional regulator or heat control pedal. In addition, some do not even contain a TIG torch, which is not the same as a MIG torch.
- You may weld aluminum with a MIG machine and a spool gun.
All of these things might raise the price of your original purchase. Most flux core and stick welders, on the other hand, are almost ready to use straight out of the box.
Amperes, or amps for short, are the units used to measure a welder's output. A higher amperage implies that your weld will receive more heat. Higher heat is beneficial for welding thick material; for steel, one amp is required for every 0.001 inches of metal thickness. A 100-amp machine can weld steel up to 0.1 inches thick, whereas a 250-amp machine can weld material up to 0.25 inches thick.
Other metals require significantly greater heat to be welded. Because aluminum and copper spread heat more quickly than steel, they require higher amperes to weld. Choose higher when working with these metals. Greater amps, on the other hand, typically indicate higher expenses.
When welding extremely thin material, such as automobile body panels, you'll require a very low amperage. You can blast holes in sheet metal if you set the amperage too high. If you know you'll be conducting many sheet metal welds, go for the lowest amperage available.
TIG welders are rated at 110 volts, 220 volts, and occasionally even higher power inputs. Therefore, more amperage equals higher voltage. You can plug these babies directly into most residential wall outlets (electrical circuits of 110/115/120 volts)
Although 220-volt machines provide higher amperage, they are only used in ovens, dryers, and HVAC systems. If you don't have an extra 220 outlets, you can have one installed in your store. However, this necessitates contacting an electrician to install the outlet. The added power is worth the investment, but it raises the initial cost of a new TIG welder.
The duty cycle of your welder shows how long it can run without overheating. It represents the percentage of time your welder may be turned on and off at a specific amperage level. The calculation is as follows:
Duty cycle percentage = minutes on / (minutes on +minutes off)
A welder with a 20% duty cycle can operate for two minutes and then cool for eight minutes (2/[2+8]=20%). This is a low-wattage cycle. Duty cycles of 40-50 percent are considered medium, whereas duty cycles of 60-80 percent are considered high. Some machines have a duty cycle of 100 percent, but these are heavy-duty industrial machinery. Factories require equipment that can work continuously for eight hours, but home welders do not.
The direction of current flow is referred to as polarity. The welder sends a direct current (DC) to the electrode and then back to the welder. Direct current (DC) with reverse polarity goes from the welder to the workpiece, then to the electrode, and back to the welder. Alternating current, or AC, alternates between polarities at a rate of 60 to 120 times per second.
The optimum current for welding steel and iron is direct current (DC). Other metals can also be made to work with DC. AC is ideal for aluminum because it produces a scouring action on the surface required for the most delicate aluminum bead.
Although DC machines are less costly, AC/DC machines may rock any metal. AC/DC welders are more costly, but they are more versatile and helpful.
For many years, starting from scratch was the only way to acquire an arc. To generate an arc, the electrode is softly scraped over the workpiece and then raised. Unfortunately, this might cause the electrode tip to be damaged or contaminated, resulting in poor weld quality.
High-frequency start pulses greater amperage for a brief period to create an arc, then decreases the current to the value you choose. Although this is an extra expense, it maintains the electrode clean and is effortless to use.
Some welders are solely capable of TIG welding, while others are capable of several processes. For example, combo TIG welders may be capable of stick welding, MIG welding, or even contain a plasma cutter. These additional features may assist you in performing a wider range of welding tasks, or they may just be extra costs that you do not want.
Stick welders allow you to work on rustier or dirtier metals than TIG welders and allow you to weld outside. MIG welders are the most user-friendly type of welder. Plasma cutters may be as expensive as a new welder, so having one included with your welder might save you a lot of money.
In conclusion, the best TIG welder for home use...
Depends on what your needs are. TIG welding is a significant step up from basic welding abilities, and TIG machines are significantly more expensive than other welders, with hidden capabilities not present on other machines. Avoid spending on things you don't need by educating yourself about terms and functions from the manufacturer's website to welding forums.