What makes a reliable AC TIG Welder? Based on your level of experience and your intended purpose, what exactly are you looking for in a TIG Welder? What metals are you looking to weld? Are you considering welding aluminum? And, ultimately, how much are you willing to spend on a welder?
Your AC TIG Welder must be sound and reliable. After all, you are joining pieces of metal that must withstand all kinds of stresses. So, it must have a superb power output that could weld all sorts of metal of any thickness. On top of that, it must have a wide array of features that makes welding easy regardless of the operator’s experience.
TIG welding is a versatile method of welding an assortment of small and thin materials. Compared to the simplicity of MIG welding, TIG welding is a specialized process. It uses an inert gas shield to keep the weld pool as well as a tungsten electrode.
Often a slow and tedious process, TIG welding has a longer lead time and a more significant production cost. On top of that, welders must have specialized training to get precise and clean welds. As a result, TIG welding has better control and produces robust, accurate, and pleasing welds.
Tig Welding applies in almost every industry. It is suitable for superior quality welding. From aerospace engineering to cookware, you can find it in just about anything that needs precision welding. It is also the go-to welding process of designers because of its aesthetically pleasing welds.
Everlast PowerTIG 255 EXT
The PowerTIG 255 EXT by Everlast is a digital TIG and stick welding unit. It has a stable arc performance and can work on tougher and thicker metals because of its high output. Aiming for more serious welders, The PowerTIG 255 EXT is a fully-featured AC/DC TIG welder with a lot to offer.
Its most vital feature, the Memory Save system, allows the user to save settings for future use. This feature is available in both TIG and sticks modes, reducing the time set up for each job. Another thing worth mentioning is that the unit can run on both 120v and 240v—making it an ideal choice for garage projects in residential areas.
The machine itself is on the heavier side. Yet, it is portable enough to lug around. Besides that, it can run on a generator, making it handy for remote site usage. It is a high-performance machine that can weld aluminum and steel.
Standard TIG Welding supplies that come with the box:
- 12.5 Everlast 20 Series TIG Torch
- 12.5 Everlast 9 Series TIG Torch
- Stick Electrode Holder with 10 ft. cable
- Work Clamp with 10 ft. cable
- Foot Pedal
- Starter Kit
- 6 ft. Power Input Cable
It comes with air and water-cooled torches. But, the unit does not come with a water cooler attachment. For stick welding, it has a ground clap and stringer. It also comes with a gas flow regulator and a foot pedal.
What Makes It a Reliable AC TIG Welder
Now that we got a general overview of the machine, it is time to have an in-depth examination. There is plenty of stuff to consider when buying a TIG welding machine besides the cost. To see if Everlast PowerTIG 255 ETX is the best TIG welder, let us put it to the test.
Precision and heat control are what TIG welding is all about. More excellent pulse rates give you more control over the weld puddle. With that said, it lessens the chance of burning through thinner materials. Besides that, welders will have fewer materials to remove, leading to a much cleaner weld.
The Everlast PowerTIG 255 EXT has an Advance Pulse feature in AC, making it ideal for welding aluminum. With the same power as a gigantic machine, it offers extra penetrating power for thicker metals. The DC capacity is no joke either, boasting a standard pulse frequency of up to 500Hz. As a result, the Everlast PowerTIG 255 EXT helps you create exceptional welds regardless of the thickness of the metal.
Size and portability are some other significant factors welders think about. Besides the power output, the ability to move the unit around is vital for any welder. Weighing in at 85 lbs, the Everlast PowerTIG 255 EXT is quite hefty. Yet, it is light enough to be moved around your shop. With a dimension of 22 in x 9 in x 17 in, storage is never an issue. On top of that, it can run off a generator making it an ideal choice for remote site usage. Everlast designed the PowerTIG 255 ETX for both indoor and outdoor use.
It takes two hands to TIG weld, the torch in one hand and the other for the filler rod. On top of that, TIG projects often put you in awkward positions. So, a reliable foot pedal is a must-have in a TIG Welder. It allows the welder to regulate the amount of heat and size of the weld puddle.
The Everlast PowerTIG 255 EXT comes in with a stock foot pedal. It is a reasonably basic foot pedal that is comfortable enough to use over a long period. It is also responsive enough to control the heat—as it is a stock foot pedal, it offers just enough to get the job done. But, If you are looking for superb comfort and responsiveness, you might consider an upgrade.
The Everlast PowerTIG 255 EXT is a full-featured welding machine. That said, it can be somewhat intimidating for beginners. However, the controls are digital; you do not have to worry about going around and hitting the settings out.
Plus, it is programmable and has a Memory Save feature that lets you keep your settings. Besides that, it has built-in full diagnostics that alert you when it has problems. It may take some moment to study the controls of the PowerTIG 255 EXT. But, it can be rewarding; it can save you time and a lot of headache in troubleshooting.
Experienced welders choose TIG welding for its capacity to create clean and great-looking welds. But, an unstable arc can lead to a massive problem in your welds. That said, the Everlast PowerTIG 255 EXT has a built-in microprocessor and IGBT module that enable a reliable and stable arc.
The torch tends to go very hot at higher output. While air-cooled torches are usually fine, a water-cooled can dissipate extreme heat on specific jobs. As mentioned earlier, the PowerTIG255 EXT comes in with both air and water-cooled torches. But, it does not arrive with a water-cooling attachment. Instead, you have to buy a separate accessory to use the water-cooled torch.
Recommended TIG welding accessories:
- Power Cool 375 Water Cooler
- Foot Pedal
All in all, the Everlast PowerTIG 255 ETX is a reliable AC TIG welder that offers more features than you can imagine. The Advance Pulse feature truly is a standout with its ability to cut thicker metals. Besides that, the Memory Save is an exceptional feature that cuts your setup time to the minimum. Another innovation worth mentioning is the built-in full diagnostics, which matter a lot when it comes to safety during operations.
But, while the Everlast PowerTIG 255 ETX is the best TIG welder in its class, it is far from perfect. It is a full-featured welder of its kind, which means it is a bit intimidating for beginners. Another problem with the PowerTIG 255 ETX is that it has quite a hefty price tag. With a retail price of $2,499, it is relatively expensive for a typical hobbyist. Besides that, the Power TIG 255 ETX is heavy. 85 lbs is not manageable if you are moving it around a workshop without a cart.
To sum it up, the Everlast PowerTIG 255 ETX is an exceptional AC TIG welder. It is as powerful as the heavy-duty welders at an even higher price range. The Advance Pulse and Self-Diagnosis features are worth the extra money. Having the ability to weld aluminum and steel half an inch thick on a single phase is quite a mighty feat. On top of that, the Self-Diagnosis feature offers an extra layer of safety and reassurance.
The Everlast PowerTIG 255 ETX is a robust and dependable AC TIG welder ideal for its industrial applications. It is highly recommended, making it 2022’s most reliable TIG welder.