An AC/DC TIG welder is a machine used to weld metals such as copper, aluminum, stainless steel and more. This powerful welder will provide you with precision control when welding thin metals. There are a variety of different AC/DC machines available on the market, so it is important for you to read this article down to the very end.
Is TIG Welding AC or DC?
The alternating current (AC) can change its direction many times per second. On the other hand, direct current (DC) is able to produce a narrow stream of electricity that provides the tungsten with great control. The use of DC electricity in a TIG welding process is very efficient compared to the AC that runs in appliances.
When you are using an AC/DC TIG welder, you can switch between the two different types of currents depending on what metal you are working with at any given time. This allows for precision control over your metals and gives you great flexibility regarding how well your project will turn out.
One of the most significant advantages of an AC/DC TIG welder is that it gives you the ability to weld a broader range of metals. A welder with AC/DC features is a great choice for any metalworking professional or hobbyist who wants to weld aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. Additionally, an AC/DC TIG welder is more efficient than a standard TIG welder so that you can finish your projects faster.
The Best AC/DC TIG Welders in the Market
When it comes to choosing the best AC/DC TIG welder for your needs, there are a few factors you will want to consider. Price is always a major consideration, but there are other things you need to keep in mind.
The first variable you will want to check out is the maximum welding current that the machine can provide. The higher the welding current, the more powerful the machine will be. You will also want to look at the amperage range of the welder, as this will tell you how thick of a metal it can weld.
Another vital feature to consider is the duty cycle of the machine. This factor tells you how long the machine can perform before it needs to rest and cool down. The higher the duty cycle, the more powerful the machine will be.
You must also double-check how long your selected AC/DC TIG welder can operate before it needs recharging. The longer you are able to use your machine without needing a recharge, the better value for money you will get. This factor may vary in terms of power and performance compared to other models on the market.
Finally, you may want to look at what type of electrodes come with your new AC/DC TIG welder. Some machines include tungsten electrodes, while others do not. If possible, choose one that has these included because they are essential items when welding metals using this technology.
When you have all your factors lined up, it is time to purchase your welder. Here are some of the best AC/DC TIG welders on the online market today.
With Millermatic 211, you can enjoy maximum versatility with its advanced auto-set that includes five-wire/gas combinations. Its inverter technology has the portability of a 38-pound machine. The multi-voltage plug (MVP) can connect to common 120 or 240 volts power receptacles. Millermatic's new drive system comes with an angled cast-aluminum drive system. The Quick Select drive roll provides a faster setup while the Smooth-Start feature delivers a spatter-free warmup.
It is also compatible with 7K-watt generators, can auto-detect spool guns, and a cooling system. The Millermatic 211 boasts the following specifications:
- 6.5 feet power cord
- 10 feet MDX™-100 MIG gun
- 10 feet work cable and clamp
- Argon and AR/CO2 mix regulator/flow gauge with hose
- Hook-and-loop cord wraps
- Material thickness gauge #229895
- MVP™ adapter plugs for 120 volts and 240 volts
- Quick Select™ drive roll for .024 inch or .030/.035 inch solid wire, and .030/.035 inch flux-cored wire
- Spool of Hobart® .030 inch solid wire
- Two contact tips for .030 inch wire
Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core
This machine is perfect for hobbyists or small businesses who want to weld a variety of metals. It also comes with a cable assembly, input power cable, a gun, work lead, and a work lamp. The machine has a spool of self-shielded, chipping hammer/brush, welding hand shield, and flux-cored wire electrode.
Other features include:
- 35–88 amp output
- Compact, portable, lightweight and easy to use
- Cold contactor safety option that makes the welding wire electrically “cold” until the gun is triggered
- Welds up to ⅛-inch mild steel
- Plugs into household 115 volts and 20 amp outlets
Spectrum® 375 X-TREME™ with XT30 Torch
The Spectrum 375-XTREME with XT30 torch has a rated cutting capacity based on a traveling capacity of 15 inches per minute for a steady and precise cut. This unit comes with an automatic air regulation for optimum cutting capacity. You can also enjoy the ergonomic handle with a flexible cable that makes every maneuver easier. With its 19-pound weight and shoulder strap, you can quickly move the machine from one location to another.
Its protective case will protect the machine during transport or in storage. Other features of this machine include:
- 10-ft. (3 m) MVP™ power cord
- Auto-Refire technology for automatic control of the pilot arc
- Consumable box with electrodes, tips, deflector, and air fitting
- Heavy-duty work clamp with a 12-foot (3.7 meters) flexible cable
- MVP plugs 5-15P (120 volts and 15 amps), 6-50P (240 volts and 50 amps)
- Wind tunnel and fan-on-demand technologies for better internal airflow and cooling system
- XT30 hand-held torch with 12-foot (3.7 meters) cable
Miller AC/DC TIG Welder Dynasty® 210 DX
The Miller Dynasty 210 DX is upgradeable and expandable, made possible with the front panel memory card data port. It also has an auto-line power management technology that enables a single-phase or three-phase electrical input of 120 to 460 volts. The pro-set feature allows professional settings that eliminate guesswork when setting up the weld parameters. The stick features guarantee the smooth running 7018 or stiffer and more penetrating 6010.
Buy the Miller Dynasty 210 DX also comes with:
- Two 50 millimeters DINSE style connectors
- 8 ft. (2.4 meters) primary cord
- Adjustable shoulder strap
- Quick reference guide
Lincoln Electric Idealarc DC400
The Lincoln Electric Idealarc DC400 welder has rugged construction, easy-to-navigate controls, and a 100% duty cycle output rating. Invest in this machine and you can use it in heavy-duty shop applications. The outstanding feature SCR rectifier arc action delivers quality and faultless welds.
Acquire this welder and take advantage of the following:
- 115 volts, 15 amps, duplex auxiliary power receptacle makes it easy to power lights, grinders and other shop tools at your workstation (K1308-25 only)
- Flat-top case with a small footprint that you can place under a workbench
- Full range output voltage control for better operation and superior control
- Mode switch for selecting desired output characteristics
- Standard analog ammeter and voltmeter
- Windings and rectifiers (with a 7-year warranty) are protected against moisture and corrosive environments
Miller Electric Maxstar 150 STL
The Miller Electric Maxstar 150 STL AC/DC TIG Welder is a lightweight and portable machine perfect for hobbyists or small businesses who want to weld various metals. It has a maximum welding current of 150 amps and an amperage range of 10–150 amps. The duty cycle is 60% at 150 amps, which means you can use it for short periods without needing to cool it down. Additionally, this machine comes with a built-in TIG torch that makes it easy to get started right away.
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When it comes to Lincoln AC/DC TIG welders, they can be very expensive and typically out of the price range of most individuals. If you're looking for a great AC/DC machine but at an affordable rate, Millers may be a better option. They come with 110–120v power capabilities, so there's no need to purchase any costly generators or components to use when welding various pieces together. Additionally, both Miller and Lincoln AC/DC TIG machines have plenty of features that will help improve your overall experience while working on different types of projects.
Tips on How To Get the Most Out of Your AC/DC Welder
Knowing how to properly set up and operate your new AC/DC TIG welder is important if you want to ensure all of its components are working correctly when in operation. You should always consult the manual included with your purchase or contact customer service before starting any type of work involving this technology.
A few tips you might find useful include:
- Be sure the ground cable connects properly. Ensure that both ends of your ground cable are securely fastened, so you don't risk a dangerous shock or fire.
- Set the voltage correctly. Most AC/DC TIG welders have an adjustable voltage setting so that you can set them to the proper level for your work. This will ensure you are working with the correct amount of power, prevent damage from occurring, and reduce waste due to overheating.
- Make sure you are using a proper current level. To get good results when using an AC/DC TIG welder, it's important that you use just enough current without too much excess heat being generated by the machine itself. Too little current could lead to poor penetration, while having too high of currents may cause burning at the base metal junction where two pieces meet together during welding.
- Set the right amperage level. You can use your AC/DC TIG welder to weld various metals, but it is important that you set the amperage level correctly for each type. If you don't, this may lead to poor penetration and high levels of heat being generated, which could damage the base metal. It may also result in an inadequate bond between different pieces during welding.
- Be aware of your duty cycle. For safety reasons and effective operation, ensure you know how long your duty cycle lasts. Identify it before needing to cool down the welder again, so you know when it's time to take a break from work. Awareness will help prevent overheating problems and increase productivity while working on various projects with this technology.
Another Tip in Selecting an AC/DC TIG Welder
When shopping for an AC/DC TIG welder, you will need to decide if you want an inverter-based or transformer-based machine. Inverter welders are smaller and more compact, making them perfect for welding in confined spaces. The downside to this type of machine is that it has a lower level output than transformer-based AC/DC machines.
Transformer-based welders are usually more expensive and heavier than inverter models because they have greater power capabilities. More importantly, you will not be able to use the same transformer-based welders for both AC and DC welding.
Once you have decided on the type of machine you want, it is time to start shopping around. Keep in mind that machines are not created equal and some welders come with more features than others.
Acquiring a good AC/DC TIG welder can lead you to a better welding experience where you can produce quality output for every project. Our list contains both affordable and expensive AC/DC TIG welders. The good thing is that you also have the factors that will guide you when you buy one. Find an AC/DC TIG welder for sale near you today.
Whether you buy an affordable or expensive one, always take care of the machine, and you can use it longer than expected.
Welding can be a fun and rewarding experience when you have the right machine. With an AC/DC TIG welder, you have more flexibility to weld different types of metals, which means you can take on a wider range of projects. So don't wait any longer—get started on your next project today!