The Best TIG Welders Under $1000: Precision Welds Without Burning a Hole Through Your Pocket
Last updated ago
9 min read
By 
Welding Buddy Experts
Published 
March 8, 2022

The Best TIG Welders Under $1000: Precision Welds Without Burning a Hole Through Your Pocket

Last updated ago
9 min read
By 
Welding Buddy Experts
Published 
March 8, 2022
BEST VALUE
BEST CHOICE
PREMIUM PICK

Did your ever-reliable TIG welding machine spark its last arc? As you may already know, TIG welders are complicated and highly specialized pieces of metal fabrication equipment. While you can certainly have them repaired, you will eventually have to accept that they might be beyond saving. If that's the case, you have to start looking for a suitable replacement.

You can rely on a $5,000 TIG welder to do absolutely anything that you wish. Whether you're working with mild steel and thinner metals or heavy-duty metal materials, you can expect that such a high-end AC/DC TIG welder can handle either. But, unfortunately, the average fabricator doesn't have $5,000 just lying around. So what other options are there, and which one is the best budget TIG welder?

If you are excited to know the answer to these questions and more, scroll down and keep reading!

What Should You Notice When Shopping for an Affordable TIG Welder?

best tig welder under 1000 - Fabricator working at a shipyard

The metal fabrication market offers a multitude of welding products and fabrication equipment. As a result, you might find it overwhelming to choose a capable yet affordable AC/DC TIG welder. So what specifications do you have to check? Which features would be good for a TIG welder to have? We have gathered below some features that you might want to consider.

Pulsed Welding

Do you take pride in making clean and near-perfect welds? If so, you may want to check if the AC/DC TIG welder you are considering has a pulse arc welding feature. But what is it anyway? In pulse TIG welding, you utilize a constantly pulsing waveform rather than a steady current. You can use this feature to weld thin metal and mild steel and challenging joints without burning through material like stainless steel.

Foot Pedal

Seasoned metal fabricators will always tell you about the importance of a decent quality foot pedal. This piece of equipment becomes especially important in TIG welding because of how challenging it can be. As both of your hands are busy holding the electrode rod and the TIG torch, you will find a foot pedal necessary to adjust the heat output.

Portability

Do you often work on large welding projects? Big welding jobs require you to frequently move from one side of the shop to the other. As such, your TIG welder must be light enough to carry around. When shopping for one, consider portability features such as a sturdy handle. You might be surprised by how much weight can affect your workflow.

Interface

Having a good workflow can make your welding sessions less exhausting. That's why you should check whether the TIG welder's interface can make your job easier and faster. Some welders have too many knobs and buttons to tinker with, making starting an arc a tiresome chore. Moreover, adding an LCD and presets can help you start working on your project sooner.

Multi Process Welder

Aside from TIG welding, there are also other welding processes that you can utilize, such as MIG welding and stick welding. Depending on the welding job you are working on, one welding process might be more suitable than the others. Fortunately, a multi-process welder can help you switch from one welding process to another with a simple flick of a switch.

What Is the Best AC/DC Tig Welder Under $1000 for Your Fabricating Needs?

Are you a cash-strapped fabricator? It is definitely not an easy task to nail down the best TIG welder under $1000. You can't blindly go for the cheapest option you stumble upon. Cheap TIG welders may have traded quality and reliability for affordability. You get what you pay for, as they say.

We picked the five best affordable TIG welders to help you out in your search! You can consider the specs and features of each one to make an informed AC/DC TIG welder comparison. One thing's for sure: you can never go wrong with any of these options!

YESWELDER ARC-145DS

best tig welder under 1000 - YESWELDER ARC-145DS

A two-in-one welder, the YESWELDER ARC-145DS is an affordable option for new metal fabricators. It has a maximum output rating of 145 amps which is more than adequate for different fabrication projects. In addition to being a capable piece of equipment, it also comes with a set of reliable safety features. This TIG welder is a great choice if you're a welding novice!

Specs at a Glance

  • Available on Amazon for $159.99
  • Has an output rating of 145 amps
  • Has a duty cycle rated at 60% at 110V and 220V
  • Suitable for use with 6010, 6011, 6013, and 7018 electrodes
  • Designed as a multi-process welder: MMA and lift TIG
  • Starts TIG weld arcs quickly thanks to its automatic hot start feature
  • Automatically adapts arc force for cleaner welds and less spatter
  • Compatible with either 110V or 220V input voltage
  • Comes with basic TIG accessories

Filled To The Brim With Safety Features

You might doubt how safe the YESWELDER ARC-145DS is because of how cheap it is. Moreover, the welder is also from a lesser-known brand. However, this affordable welder has safety features to protect itself from all sorts of damage. For instance, it automatically shuts itself off once it detects overheating or an overload. In addition, it also has an IP21 rating against minor water damage.

Two-in-One Machine

Primarily a stick welding (MMA) machine, the YESWELDER ARC-145DS is also capable of TIG welding. If you work on a wide variety of fabrication projects, you might appreciate the flexibility such a multi-process welder offers. In addition, the package comes with a WP-17V TIG torch, so you can use its TIG mode right out of the box.

Stable Performance

Equipped with an IGBT inverter technology, the YESWELDER ARC-145DS performs for long periods without any hiccups. This welder enjoys better performance and substantially less core loss thanks to its efficient inverter technology. Its efficient performance, coupled with its low price tag, can translate into savings in the long run. Moreover, this switching frequency is beyond human hearing, so you don't have to worry about making noise!

TOOLIOM TL-200T

best tig welder under 1000 - TOOLIOM TL-200T

With a $200 price tag, the TOOLIOM TL-200T might just be the best TIG welder under $500. In addition to having both TIG welding and stick welding (MMA) functions, it has a powerful maximum output rating of 200 amps. This high energy output makes it suitable even for some professional-grade welding jobs.

Specs at a Glance

  • Available on Amazon for $199.99
  • Has an output rating of 200 amps
  • Has a duty cycle rated at 60% at 110V and 220V
  • Reduces TIG weld material consumption with its non-contact art start
  • Capable of both TIG welding and stick welding (MMA)
  • Compatible with either 110V or 230V input voltage
  • Features a simple and easy-to-use set of controls
  • Comes with ESL-certified safety features

Dual Voltage Flexibility

If you have to work in multiple locations, one of your frequent problems must be the power source. Unfortunately, the voltage rating of the power source may vary depending on your location. The TOOLIOM TL-200T can be powered by the typical 110-volt household outlet but can also be fitted with an adapter to make it work with 220-volt outlets. You can say goodbye to your power source-related worries!

Digital Display and Controls

Your workflow can suffer if you have to fiddle with the confusing knobs and buttons on your welder. The TOOLIOM TL-200T comes with a simpler set of tactile controls while introducing a digital display. So if you need to know the values you are currently working with, you can glance at the display.

For instance, switching between TIG welding and stick welding (MMA) is only a matter of flipping a switch. Amperage control also comes easy as you only need to turn a highly visible knob. This barebones interface makes it easy to start working on your welding project as soon as possible.

Professional-Grade Performance

Most TIG welders at this price range only have a maximum output current adequate for most situations, such as bike repair and your weekend fabrication projects. So if you are a casual or hobbyist fabricator, those kinds of welders will serve you well.

However, the TOOLIOM TL-200T goes above and beyond your average TIG welder with its maximum current output of 200 amps. As a result, you can depend on this welder to handle anything from mild steel to thick metals with thicknesses up to 4 millimeters.

LOTOS TIG200

best tig welder under 1000 - LOTOS TIG200

While still below the thousand dollar price mark, the LOTOS TIG200 is undeniably one of the more premium options on this list. More so, it is far from being the most affordable TIG welder for aluminum out there. Still, its square-wave inverter makes it a solid option for fabricators who regularly work with aluminum. 

In addition, its impeccable build quality is cut above the rest. You truly get what you pay for as this machine can last a lifetime.

Specs at a Glance

  • Available on Amazon for $562.60
  • Has an output rating of 200 amps
  • Has a duty cycle rated at 60% at 110V and 220V
  • Equipped with a square-wave inverter technology
  • Suitable for precision aluminum welding
  • Comes with a 30-day moneyback guarantee
  • Covered by a one-year limited warranty
  • Capable of stick welding (MMA) and TIG welding
  • Produces deep and clean weld pools
  • Starts arcs easily and quickly
  • Works with a foot pedal for heat control
  • Compatible with 110V and 220V power sockets
  • Equipped with a PAPST cooling system

Most Suitable for Aluminum

New and seasoned metal fabricators know how challenging it is to work with aluminum. Achieving near-perfect welds with aluminum is near-impossible if you don't have the right technique and the proper equipment. 

The LOTOS TIG200 is equipped with a square-wave inverter that makes welding aluminum a walk in the park. If you have used cheaper TIG welders before to work on aluminum, you will certainly notice how easier it is to achieve cleaner and more accurate welds with the LOTOS welder.

Precision Welding

Achieving more precise welds has become easier thanks to the built-in square-wave inverter of the LOTOS TIG200. However, having the proper equipment is only half of the journey. You can nail down the proper welding techniques easier and faster while using the foot pedal that comes with this welder. In addition, with a responsive foot pedal, controlling the heat and getting used to a workflow becomes less difficult.

Outstanding Build Quality

You might have noticed how many options in this price bracket are made of substandard materials. It is because manufacturers have to cut costs on many elements of the welder to keep the price down. However, LOTOS kept a premium price tag and decided to stay true to its reputation. As a result, the LOTOS TIG200 has a noticeably robust build quality compared to its peers.

PrimeWeld CT-520D

best tig welder under 1000 - PrimeWeld CT-520D

As you surely are aware, metal fabricators not only weld two metal materials (such as stainless steel) together. They also need to cut workpieces into the proper proportions and shapes. As a three-in-one machine, you can consider the PrimeWeld CT-520D as the jack-of-all-trades option on this list. 

Not only does it weld using the TIG and stick welding processes, but it also has a plasma cutter function, satisfying your fabrication needs.

Specs at a Glance

  • Available on Amazon for $399.00
  • Has an output rating of 200 amps for welding and 50A for cutting
  • Has a duty cycle rated at 60% at 110V and 220V on all processes
  • Capable of both welding and cutting
  • Can weld using the MMA (stick welding) and TIG welding processes
  • Weighs a measly 32 pounds
  • Covered by a three-year warranty
  • Backed by a 24/7 customer service team

Cutter and Welder in One

Metal fabrication is not a cheap hobby. So if you are a casual or hobbyist fabricator, you probably don't have a thousand dollars to spend on welding equipment and consumables. That's why the PrimeWeld CT-520D is perfect for beginners and casual fabricators.

Instead of buying three different machines, you can go ahead and purchase this one. It can be used as a TIG welder, a stick welder, and a plasma cutter, making it a three-in-one machine. The price tag is not bad as well. Some standalone TIG welders can be bought for the same price.

Portable and Featherweight

The lightweight and portable design of the PrimeWeld CT-520D complements its three-in-one selling point. This machine weighs only 32 pounds which is already light compared to its rivals.

However, if you consider that it is essentially three machines in one lightweight package, you will better appreciate how good of a deal PrimeWeld CT-520D is. You get to carry three different machines for the weight of a single one.

Impressive Duty Cycles

Since the PrimeWeld CT-520D is a three-in-one machine, you might expect that it does all three functions very poorly. Fortunately, this machine went above and beyond most people's expectations. 

For example, its welding function is rated to have a maximum output of 200 amps, while the plasma cutter performs at 50 amps. Considering how standalone welders and plasma cutters perform, the PrimeWeld CT-520D certainly did not compromise performance to fit three machines in one.

Final Thoughts

If you are still unsure which one is the best cheap TIG welder, remember that it all depends on your needs. Each TIG welder on the list above has its unique features and strengths. However, you also have to consider how much money you are willing to part ways.

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. The less money you spend, the poorer the performance you will get. The reverse is true as well. The more money you spend, the higher the quality of the machine will be. It is only a matter of which features and specifications you are willing to give up to save more of your hard-earned cash.

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