Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welders stand out due to their excellent operational control over the weld, more than any other competing welding technique. Mastering the TIG welder requires skill and patience. We give you a run-down of the best TIG welders for the money to see which deserve your attention.
What is TIG Welding Best Used For?
TIG welders are the ideal option to use for thinner metals because they produce more precise and neater welds. While MIG welding is easier to control, the TIG welding machine takes skill to master. However, once you've got the hang of TIG welding, you will be able to weld almost all metal types, including aluminum, steel, and titanium.
This machine uses Tungsten Inert Gas to build the bond, melting the metal's surface to bind two pieces together. This welder produces less slag and is ideal for challenging shapes and curves.
The Best TIG Weldings
With a wide variety of TIG welders available on the market today, narrowing down the search can be challenging. Listed below are our top 10 best picks to help you decide which is the right TIG welder for your needs.
1. Primeweld TIG 225X AC/DC TIG Welder
This TIG welder uses a state-of-the-art inverter with pulse-width modulation, which utilizes on/off pulses to control its power and efficiency. This machine’s technology works well with steel, aluminum, and sheet metals.
The Primeweld TIG225x is an AC/DC unit with 225 amperes with a dual voltage of 110V and 220V. This is a versatile welder that is capable of working in a domestic setting or a commercial space.
The package comes with several accessories, including a welding face mask and foot pedal to increase the accuracy while operating the machine.
- It uses inverter technology, which has replaced transformers as the best means of controlling the current and the voltage, making the welder suited for various tasks.
- It comes with all the accessories needed to get working straight out of the box.
- It has a duty cycle of 40% at 140 amperes, using 120V, and 40 percent at 225 amps on the 225V setting. You can increase the cycle to 100 percent when setting it at a lower amperage.
- It is costly compared to other semi-professional welders.
2. Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder
This welding machine is a popular choice for industrial settings and workshops because of its powerful and precise features. It is a great welder for body shop repairs and metalworks that can weld sheet metals and 0.25-inch-thick steel.
The Eastwood TIG200 has a dual 120V/240V output with a maximum of 225 amperes and a 60% duty cycle at 90 amperes. This is the best ACDC TIG welder for the money and comes with an industry-standard WP-17 torch setup with a 12-foot connection.
This machine features a pedal but falls short when it comes to convenience and ease of use.
- It features a pre and post metering that prevents damage to the weld even when the welding is active.
- It has a duty cycle at 90 amperes and stands at 60%.
- It has AC/DC welding capabilities that give you flexibility in handling welding works.
- It is expensive when compared to a good MIG welder. This welder is twice the price of an equivalent MIG welding unit.
- It comes with an unsatisfactory foot pedal.
3. Alpha TIG200X 200-Amp Welder
This AC/DC unit is capable of welding mild steel, stainless steel, and sheet steel. You just have to switch to AC, and you can weld aluminum. The Alpha TIG200X has a 200-amp capacity and has both 110 and 220 volts for domestic and industrial applications.
This machine features the same smart inverter technology with pulse-width modulation just like its Primweld counterpart. The Alpha TIG200X features a high-frequency TIG start for better accuracy and efficiency.
It has a 60 percent duty cycle at 200 amps, so you only need to rest the torch for 4 minutes out of every 10.
- It’s very lightweight at only 69 pounds. You can maneuver this unit to the job site or at home without straining your back. This is a versatile welder for DIY repairs as well as bigger welding projects.
- It has a high-frequency start. You can easily position the TIG torch over the spot where you want to weld and pull the trigger. You get better accuracy and less chance of arc-eye since the arc forms instantly. It is safe to use since it increases your overall control of the equipment.
- It has a pulse-width modulation that works by controlling the motor with a series of on/off pulses.
- Like any other TIG welders, this unit isn’t cheap. You can get cheaper models, but they are still more expensive than similar MIG welders.
- Poor customer service.
4. Amico ARC-160 TIG Combo Welder
When it comes to price, this welder could be at the top of our list. It costs less when compared to other welders we featured. The duty cycle for this welding machine is at 80%. That is 20% better than the more expensive welders.
The Amico Arc-160 is a multi-purpose welder with stick welding capabilities. It comes with a hot-start function, a current intensity control function, and a thrust adjustment function to deliver the best possible results. This welder even comes with a 230V to 115V power adaptor.
- It’s cheaper compared to other TIG welding models. It’s a perfect entry-level welding machine. A great unit for anyone learning the ropes of TIG welding.
- It’s lightweight and only weighs 13 pounds, which makes it the lightest model on the list. This is a very portable welder that you can bring around from your garage to your other projects.
- It has a duty cycle of 80% at 160 amps.
- It falls behind when it comes to quality and lacks adjustable functions compared to the more expensive models.
5. Sungoldpower TIG Welder 200 Amp
Sungoldpower is a budget welder that is priced to attract beginners and hobbyists, rather than the professional user. It has a duty cycle of 60 percent, competing with some of the premium models. This welder has an overload monitor with a hot start function to target the arc where it is needed.
It features a smooth welding adjustment from 20 to 200 amps and inverter technology that allows increased controls and precision of the amps, voltage, and temperature.
- It is a cheap welder that is ideal for the starter marker or the hobbyists who want master TIG welding.
- It uses inverter technology, which gives you greater control over the amperage, voltage, and efficiency of the machine.
- It is compact and lightweight.
- It doesn’t include a TIG torch. Though this model is cheap, you have to consider the added cost of purchasing a separate TIG torch.
- It has low build quality.
6. YesWelder 205-Amp Dual Voltage TIG Welder
This is a dual-voltage machine that utilizes soft switch technology and has an amperage range of 15-200. This feature will allow you to handle thin sheet projects or more robust repairs. You can use either a 110V or 220V output depending on your power requirements.
The Yeswelder machine features a high-frequency start mode so you can use it even without waiting for the torch to heat up. It also has automatic compensation for voltage fluctuations, over and under-voltage protection, as well as overload protection.
- It has dual-voltage capabilities. You can easily switch between 110 and 220V, which makes it ideal for home and garage repairs. It is also a great tool to use for a more demanding role.
- It is lightweight and portable.
- It features an automatic voltage fluctuation control that makes it a safer welder option.
- It is designed for those with a tight budget so it is also built on affordable materials.
- It is less powerful when compared to other welding machines on the list.
7. Lotos TIG 200-Amp AC/DC Aluminum Welder
The Lotos TIG 200-Amp is the best aluminum TIG welder for the money. It utilizes a 200-amp square inverter for the most efficient aluminum welding. It features an easy arc start, a stable welding arc, and adjustable arc current, which significantly improves the starting process.
Aside from being a rockstar in welding aluminum, it can also weld stainless steel and mild steel. It features a high-frequency start hand-torch control and an incredibly accurate foot pedal. It has a maximum output of 200 amperes and a minimum output of 15 amperes, making it versatile enough to weld thin sheet materials.
- It is ideal for welding aluminum. It is an ACDC welder with a square-wave inverter, making it more efficient that its sine-wave equivalents.
- It has a wide amperage range that starts at 15 and goes all the way to 200.
- It can be used for both home use and industrial welding. It is relatively cheaper and is perfect for beginners, but can still handle industrial-level tasks.
- It is not the cheapest option in the market.
- It doesn’t have the best build.
8. Mophorn TIG Welder 160 Amps
The Mophorn TIG welder is a 2-in-1 welding machine that is affordable and compact. It is capable of both stick and TIG welding, making it a versatile machine for both home and garage.
It features dual voltage so you can plug it into the domestic supply. This machine also has simple controls, making it a perfect tool for beginners. It has all the control you would expect from a compact welder. It is also one of the safest best TIG welders for the money because of its overload, over-voltage, heat protection, adjustment current decay time, adjustable gas delay setting, and powerful cooling system features.
- It is a compact and portable machine, making it a perfect choice for home and garage welding use.
- It features protection circuitry.
- It is super-affordable.
- It is not suitable for professional welding tasks since it can only handle lighter tasks.
- Poor build quality because of its cheaper price.
9. Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i AC DC TIG Welder
The Hobart 5000551 has the easiest control system among the welders on this list. It features a dual voltage setting and AC/DC controls that allows it to weld aluminum and metal easily. It has a high-frequency start that eliminates non-contact arcing. It also preserves the purity by removing material contamination.
The only disadvantage on this machine is its price. This welder is a pretty expensive choice when compared to other TIG welders.
- It is an industrial-grade welder that is ideal for professional use with heavy-duty welding requirements.
- It features a very simple control system that makes it easier for beginners to use.
- It has an infinite amperage control that provides a broader operating range with higher accuracy.
- It costs 10 times the price of the Sungoldpower model. It’s one of the most expensive TIG welders on the market.
- It only has a duty cycle of just 20% while most TIG welders feature 60%.
- It’s only suited for industrial use since it has a 230V power requirement.
10. Power ARC 140ST 40-Amp TIG Welder
If you want to know what is the best TIG welder for the money that is perfect for beginners, this machine is the one you are looking for. This Power ARC TIG welder is easy to use, gives you complete control, and comes with everything you need to get started. It features an auto-adaptive arc control and a hot start that helps you avoid electrode sticking. It delivers a 35% duty cycle.
This is a low consumption machine with a clear LCD to help you with easier control of the settings.
- It is reasonably priced for its quality.
- It features an on/off switch and an amperage dial that gives you an easier control of your machine’s setting. This is a perfect tool for a beginner. Once you fully master this TIG welder, you can always graduate to a more complicated welder.
- It is compact and portable. This welder has its own carry case to make it easy to transfer. It weighs only 24 lb and can be stored easily.
- Power ARC offers a 5-year warranty for their units so you will have peace of mind should it malfunction.
- Its package doesn’t include a TIG torch so you have to buy it separately.
How to Choose the Best TIG Welder
Before spending a dime on a welding machine, it is crucial to know to consider when looking for the best TIG welders for the money.
Ease of Use
It is best to choose a TIG welding machine that is easy to use with minimal design. Opt for a machine with an adjustable heat and voltage controls, and a foot pedal to control the amperage.
Wide Amperage Range
If you are a welder, you’ll know the lowest amperage range is as important as the maximum. High amperage increases your project capabilities and enables you to undertake bigger, more ambitious tasks. On the other hand, a lower amperage will allow you to work on delicate metals like sheet steel without any worries.
This machine covers both the AC and DC range which means you can work on a broad range of metals. The AC control allows you more application versatility and gets better results with aluminum and magnesium, while the DC control allows you to work with steel.
The Duty Cycle
A welder’s duty cycle determines the length of time you can use the machine before resting to cool the electrode. It is calculated on 10-minute bursts. If you have a 30% duty cycle, it means you can weld for 3 minutes and rest for 7. A good TIG welder should have at least 30-60% duty cycles.
Welders that feature all the welding techniques (TIG, MIG, Stick) are the best options if you want to avoid paying more. Buying separate machines with different welding capabilities will surely cost you an arm and a leg.
TIG welding machines are far more challenging for us than other welding machines with MIG and stick capabilities. It is also a more expensive welding machine than the other options. However, there are tons of benefits you can get from TIG welding that you cannot achieve with the other welders. The good news is that most of the welders on our list are multi-functional, so all you have to do is choose the right welding equipment that suits your needs the best.