Need a serious tool for metal work? In this write-up, we have put together a series of vital info on welding procedures, TIG welding, and presented unbiased reviews of top TIG welders. Reading through our best TIG welder reviews would help you to pick the right machine without much fuss. When we carried out a study, we found that at present the market is filled with different models of TIG welders. These units vary in their prices, features, and usability. So, to make the process of picking the right TIG welder easier for you, we have reviewed the best units available on the market currently.
What is TIG Welder?
The term “welding” is used for a sculptural or fabrication process used to join materials, particularly thermoplastics and metals. The procedure causes fusion (it’s a different kind of fusion compared to what we see in lower temperature material joining techniques such as soldering and brazing) and thereby joins two different metal surfaces aptly. A TIG welder is also often referred to as Gas Tungsten Arc Welder. These machines work by fusing the metal parts to be joined together by means of heat produced from an electric arc. The said electric arc gets established in between the work-piece and a non-consumable (something that wouldn’t melt) tungsten alloy electrode. The weld pool temperature can become as high as 4530 F or 2500 C during TIG welding. The inert gas (the gas used for this purpose may be helium or argon or a blend of both) used during the procedure plays a vital role in sustaining the arc and ensuring that the molten metal doesn’t get contaminated by the atmospheric elements. The process first came into being during the final years of the 1930s, a time when the need of welding magnesium suddenly became apparent. You can use a TIG welder in all possible welding positions. Underwater welding is also possible. That’s not all; these machines can be used in automatic, semiautomatic, as well as manual modes. What modes you will be able to use depends on the equipment you are using and the kind of job you are using it for.
Among all the units we tested during the study, this is surely among the ones that have the most amazing reputation. User reviews suggest that this unit helps people in achieving accurate welding. As a result of being extremely user-friendly and functional, the machine can be used both by beginners and professionals without any difficulty. The TIG200 Aluminum Welder from the house of Lotos is capable of delivering dual voltage, 110v AC/220v AC, and dual frequency, 50 Hz/60 Hz. Are you confused whether your welding project would require 220 V or 110 V? There’s nothing to worry about. The device would detect the suitable voltage for your job and adjust accordingly. The unit’s adapter plug would allow you to switch from 220 V to 110 V (& vice versa) quickly and easily. The next feature we found most intriguing is the unit’s ability to employ square wave inverter technology. This technology enables this Lotos product to weld aluminum with amazing accuracy. The technology is also known for showing excellent results even when welding stainless steel and mild steel. The square wave inverter technology provides the welder with the power of welding metals which are just 3/8 inch thick. How can you beat that? Another major plus of the product is surely its ability to complete both TIG and stick welding jobs flawlessly. When carrying out TIG welding the device produces 10 to 200 amps while for carrying out stick welding it produces 30 to 200 amps. In addition, you will get a foot pedal. You will be able to control the unit’s welding heat by means of the foot pedal, which would make maneuvering the unit even simpler.
Automatic dual frequency (50/60 Hz) and dual voltage (110/220V) operations
Uses square-wave inverter technology to weld aluminum accurately
Weighs 58 lb
Can function both as a TIG and Stick welder
Can operate both on AC and DC
ConclusionAre you wondering what kind of users would find the TIG200 Aluminum Welder most useful? With the welder, you will get a series of high-quality accessories, each one of which is either essential for running the device or would make using it easier for you. You will get a cable, a ground clamp, a TIG torch, an argon regulator and hose, a stick welding electrode holder, a collet body, two collets, two shield cups, a DC tungsten electrode, and a user manual. However, in spite of being a cheap TIG welder, it is pretty powerful and can be used effectively to complete almost all automotive and home projects.
Suitable for being used both in your home or a domestic workshop
The foot pedal enables easy welding heat control
Delivers maximum accuracy when used to weld aluminum
Carefully read the operation manual prior to using, installing and maintaining the electric welding machine for the purpose of preventing damages such as fire, electric shock and etc. from occurring. Please keep the manual for future reference.
LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter Tig Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine by Lotos
Lotos, one of the world’s most trusted manufacturers of welders, has always come up with products capable of meeting specific needs of users. The LTPDC2000D is another such creation. When you buy a Lotos LTPDC2000D, you will get a 200 A TIG welder, a 50 A plasma cutter, and a 200 A stick welder. In spite of offering so much, it will make you spend a little over $500. Lotos has made this product using robust Infineon IGBT Power Drive matrix. This construction plays a significant role in making the machine highly durable. Being a sturdy unit, the welder is capable of offering additional cutting power. You can use it to cut almost everything. Other than being a dual voltage welder, it’s also a dual frequency unit (it is capable of working with a frequency of both 50 and 60 Hz). This makes the device highly versatile. When testing the machine what we liked most about it is that it doesn’t get hot even after constant use. This has been possible due to the in-built PAPST cooling system of the welding. There are not many welders that carry such a state-of-the-art cooling system. We also loved the product’s Pilot Arc Feature. This feature ensures that the welder can effectively cut through rusty surfaces.
It’s a 3 in one welding machine (a plasma cutter, a stick welder, and a TIG welder)
Enables automatic dual voltage (110/220 V) and dual frequency (50/60 Hz) operations
Comes equipped with non-touch pilot ARC torch
Can be used to weld with various kinds of acidic and basic electrode
Conclusion Would it be a good decision to buy a Lotos LTPDC2000D? Yes, particularly if you are interested in saving a lot of money. The best thing about the product is that it performs each one of its three jobs with equal perfection. This TIG welder plasma cutter should be the go-to unit for anyone in search of a unit capable of carrying out stick welding, plasma cutting, and TIG welding. This means, having this one unit would ensure that you would not need to spend money on three separate machines. Another thing that testifies to the product’s impressive quality is the fact that the manufacturer is offering a three-year warranty on the product.
Thanks to its Infineon IGBT Power Drive matrix, the machine is extremely durable
The welder is capable of creating cleaner and stronger contact without any difficulty
The machine has three functions, which makes it extremely cost-effective
The device is light in weight and thus highly portable
Its welding leads are a bit smaller compared to what we find in similar units
Carefully read the operation manual prior to using, installing and maintaining the electric welding machine for the purpose of preventing damages such as fire, electric shock and etc. from occurring. Please keep the manual for future reference.
Do opt for clamping if the metal piece you are working on is not duly supported.
Are you looking for a TIG welder under 1000 that comes with more features than one would expect to get in such a low-cost product? If yes, then the AlphaTIG Stick Welder by AHP is surely a product you can consider buying. The company has constantly upgraded the product and the current one available on the market has been updated for the year 2018. It’s an ideal welder both for professionals and hobbyists who like completing welding projects in their spare time. The machine weighs around 68 Lbs. As a result, it is highly portable and perfect for a small shop, studio, or garage. To make maneuvering the device easier for you, AHP has incorporated some standard TIG accessories into the package. You will find a dedicated control switch for the unit’s torch; it also comes equipped with a foot pedal that can be used for using the torch. We found the process of setting up the welder exceptionally easy. Using the product is also pretty simple. You can use the unit to completing precision welds on bronze castings, sculptures, cars, motorbikes, or any other object that requires an aesthetically pleasing and smooth surface. Being a combination of a stick and TIG welder, this AHP creation would allow you to complete a wide variety of welding jobs. Another factor that makes the machine extremely versatile is its amperage range. The output range of this welder ranges between 5 and 230 amperes; as a result, it can be used for welding almost anything. The next factor that contributes to the welder’s versatility is its AC/DC capability. When welding steel, you will be able to complete the job using DC. However, for welding aluminum, you will need your welder to use AC current. When working on AC current, the user can weld and simultaneously clean the oxidization taking place on the metal. We also loved the fact that the device has a 60 percent duty cycle. This feature would allow you to use it for extended periods without experiencing problems like overheating.
WP17 flex hose uses standard TIG torch consumables
Offers full range cleaning control and pulse feature for AC
Conclusion This unit has been designed for people planning to buy a reasonably priced versatile TIG welder. The other factor that makes this AHP product one of the most sought-after TIG welders of current times is its ease of use. That’s not all; the unit also boasts the ability to complete welding jobs with absolute precision.
Comes with AC/DC capability
Light in weight and thus highly portable
Has a 60 percent duty cycle
Can weld almost anything
Offers a series of pulse features
Comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years
The unit’s display screen doesn’t show its amperage accurately
Doesn’t come with enough accessories
AHP AlphaTIG 200X Unboxing & Overview!
Yotube Video Review: AHP AlphaTIG 200X Unboxing & Overview!
PowerARC 160STH HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder 110/220 Dual Voltage by Everlast
Everlast has always been known for manufacturing durable and high quality products. This dual voltage welder boasts similar qualities. The biggest USP of this product is surely its ability to switch between TIG and Arc welding. In spite of being a highly user-friendly machine, the PowerARC 160STH HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder is a heavy-duty device and can be used for completing almost all kinds of welding projects. When working at 160 A, the device can offer a reasonable 35%. Expect it to offer an even higher percentage once the power is increased. The PowerARC 160STH by Everlast is a portable unit. It is light in weight and comes equipped with a sturdy shoulder strap, which makes traveling with it from one place to another incredibly easy. The welder can be operated both at 120 V and 220 V. This means, the machine can be set up and used wherever there’s a power source. The two other essentials you must have for getting started are some argon and tungsten.
Offers the options of working both at 120 V and 220 V
Includes both lift start and HF start
Comes equipped with IGBT inverter technology
Weighs just 36.9 lb
Conclusion This Everlast creation makes a great tool for almost anyone. You might be a first-timer looking to ensure that your initial welding jobs turn out to be fairly clean and decent or might be a seasoned professional in search of a tool that would allow you to produce finer results without any spatter; you will love the performance showcased by the PowerARC 160STH Welder. For people working to steel and other metal alloys, the device offers real value for money. The manufacturer has kept the price of the product under $600; this makes it an ideal buying option even for home users.
Has a compact structure and is light in weight
Comes with 5 years of warranty on parts and labor
The device works both as a TIG and ARC welder
Doesn’t have AC output and thus not suitable for people working with aluminum
Use magnetic test, spark test etc for determining the kind of metal you are working on.
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Square Wave TIG 200 TIG Welder K5126-1 by Lincoln Electric
Like all other Lincoln products launched to date, this one also scores impressively in terms of ease of use and quality. However, what makes the Square Wave TIG 200 even more special is the plethora of advanced features it possesses. The device would allow you to use stick and TIG from just one power source. What’s more, you will also get the opportunity of choosing between the AC and DC options when using this Lincoln Electric creation. If it’s a simple welding job, using the AC option should be the way to go, while for heavy duty tasks it would be wise to pick the DC option. It’s a dual voltage TIG welder and can run on both 120 V and 240 V. You will have to adjust the machine according to the thickness and density of the material you are looking to weld. The 120 V phase of the welder supports a duty cycle of 25% for TIG at 125 amperes. At the same phase, the duty cycle supported for stick is 20% at 75 amperes. To get similar duty cycles at 240 V, you will have to increase the amperage to 170A and 200A respectively for stick and TIG. One feature that we found most amazing when testing the product is the automatic gas shutoff. This helps in saving gas burnout and makes the machine even more user-friendly.
Conclusion The current price of the product is more than $1600, which makes it the most expensive unit in this list. As a result of being so pricey, it is not a great choice for home users who would need this machine on rare occasions. However, it would definitely be a good investment for welding professionals who want to work with 100% precision.
Light in weight and small in size
Works both as a stick and TIG welder
Will allow you to choose between AC and DC options
The device is quite expensive
Lincoln Electric Squarewave TIG 200 Unboxing and Review
Yotube Video Review: Lincoln Electric Squarewave TIG 200 Unboxing and Review
500551 EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG Welder 230V by Hobart
This is another expensive machine on our list. It might be costly, but the performance it would deliver would surely overpower its price. The EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG Welder by Hobart is a 230 V ac/dc tig welder for the money that enables a unique single knob control. To use the device, you will just need to take it out from the box and spend just a few minutes to set it up. You will not need to be an expert for setting up this welding machine. This Hobart creation has an inverter-based power source. As a result, the machine doesn’t need too much power to run properly but keeps producing an impressive welding arc consistently. The machine weighs just 23 kg or 50 pounds, which means taking it from one work site to another, will not be a problem. Here, it must be noted that a low body weight doesn’t make the unit less efficient and powerful. It is capable of completing a wide range of welding projects efficiently and flawlessly. The HF start, on the other hand, would allow you to protect the welder against tungsten and material contamination. Then, there’s the auto shut-off feature. The EZ165i shuts itself down the moment the temperature becomes too high. This means users would never need to worry about possibilities like the machine getting damaged by overheating.
Petite in size with dimensions of 26.8 x 13.7 x 20.8 inches
Conclusion The unit is powerful enough to be used in an auto body repair shop. When carrying out a survey on the product, we also find its use common in automotive fabrication plants and among people creating metal art. You can consider buying it even if you are a do it yourself enthusiast. The thing we liked most about the device is that it comes with a handful of features incorporated just for making the unit more user-friendly. For instance, the fan-on-demand feature of the product helps in keeping it clean by blowing away debris and dust whenever needed. The biggest pluses of the product are its versatility and ease of use. These qualities make it a good buying option not only for professionals but also for hobbyists who need to use welders regularly. The advanced features embedded in this welding machine make its high price justifiable.
Can be handled and moved easily by a single user
Offers dual functionality
Enables single knob control
Can work with different kinds of metals with equal efficiency
Has a sturdy body made of a highly robust material
PowerARC 200ST 200amp TIG Stick IGBT Welder by Everlast
This is the only TIG welder under 500 we could add to this list. That’s because no other cheap welding machine available on the market could match the performance showcased by the costlier units besides this Everlast product. The thing that made us fall in love with this TIG welder almost instantly is the speed it starts working at. You will have a tough time finding a TIG stick welder that starts at such a high speed. The next notable quality of the machine is its lightweight body, which makes it a perfect buy for individuals looking for a portable welding unit. Perfect tool to learn on. While the two features mentioned above are good enough reasons for buying this inexpensive Everlast welder, there are more mesmerizing features you will be greeted with. The device works only on DC current, which makes it a perfect unit for completing heavy duty welding tasks. The machine has incredibly high power output and a satisfactory arc force control. The Everlast PowerArc can be used both as a TIG and stick welder and delivers great performance both at 250 and 120 volts. All these qualities ensure that the user will not need to compromise with performance and results when using this low-cost welding unit.
Are you looking to buy a perfect TIG welder and don’t know where to start? If yes, then considering the following points is a must for ensuring that you are buying the right product.
Ideally, you should look for a piece that is offering the maximum amperage range for a reasonable price (a price that matches your budget). The wider would be the range, the greater would be your welder’s flexibility. For instance, if the amperage of a machine ranges between 5 A and 230 A, it would be able to weld thin materials such as stainless steel and thick materials like aluminum with equal perfection and ease.
Individuals, who have plans of using the welder for other materials besides stainless steel or steel, must buy a welder that offers both DC and AC options. Having the DC option is a must for welding hard materials like steel, stainless steel, and deoxidized copper. However, for welding aluminum, magnesium, and other soft, self-oxidizing metals, having a welder with AC option is a must.
The duty cycle of a welder shows how much welding it can complete uninterruptedly during a 10-minute interval. The specification is represented by a percentage value. On average, the TIG welders of highest grade has low, medium, and high duty cycle respectively of 20%, 60%, and 80%.
For getting precise results when welding thin metals, you must ensure that the welder you are using has the right heat control.
As expected, pricey products marketed by reputable manufacturers almost always turn out to be extremely efficient. However, with a little research, you will also come across inexpensive units showcasing amazing welding performance.
Types of Welding
MIG or Metal Inert Gas welding, which happens to be the most widely used industrial welding procedure, is primarily used for fusing stainless steel, aluminum, and mild steel. It involves joining two metal surfaces using a wire which remains connected to electrode current. MIG welders use a shielded gas together with that wire; the gas performs the job of heating up the metal surfaces to be connected. The other two essentials for this welding procedure are a direct current power source and constant voltage.
SMAW or stick welding
SMAW or Shielded Metal Arc welding, which is also often called Stick, is the most fundamental welding procedure. The stick works by using electric current for producing an electric arc connecting the metals to be joined and the stick. SMAW welding is primarily used for welding steel and iron and finds uses in repair as well as construction work.
FCAW or Flux-Cored Arc welding was originally designed as a substitute for SMAW. It has significant similarities with MIG welding. However, there’s also a strong exception. Unlike MIG welding, FCAW uses a specially designed tubular wire carrying flux and doesn’t always need a shielding gas. The other factors that make FCAW the favorite procedure of many construction workers are its cost-effectiveness and comprehensibility. However, it also has a number of limitations. The most prominent one among them is surely its inability to offer aesthetically pleasing results. Still, FCAW is frequently used for completing construction projects because of its remarkably convenient portability and impressive welding speed for sheet metal or exhaust.
TIG or Tungsten Inert Gas welding involves the use of non-consumable tungsten electrodes for producing the weld. You will know more about the process as you will read the rest of the article.
Material Types a TIG Welder Can Join
You can use your TIG welder for welding almost every metal alloy and metal that is currently in use. However, these machines have turned out to be most cost-effective when used for welding low gauge metals i.e. metals that have a thickness below 3 mm. What’s more amazing is that TIG welding often appears to be the most useful procedure when it comes to welding metals that are extremely tough to weld using other conventional welding procedures. Examples of such metals include the following:
Nickel, nickel alloys
Copper, copper alloys
Magnesium, magnesium alloys
Aluminum, aluminum alloys
Reactive materials such as tantalum and titanium
Carbon steels, low alloy steels
Additionally, it often turns out to be the only suitable option for joining alloy steels and carbon. But wait, there’s more in store; due to its ability to work with the most difficult metals, use of TIG welders is pretty common in aerospace industry and automotive industry. These devices also find use in metal furniture manufacturing. Invertec® v160-t tig welder is a good tool to work with.
Tig welders (also known as gas tungsten arc welders) use non-consumable tungsten electrode for producing the weld in order to carry out arc welding. The devices used for carrying out gas metal arc welding or shielded metal arc welding don’t use a non-consumable element. The TIG welders also provide the operators with much greater control over the job than individuals using other arc welders.
TIG Welder vs. Stick Welder
The primary difference between a TIG welder and a stick welder is that the former is a lot more versatile than the latter. TIG welders can be used for welding almost all kinds of metals, while stick welders are suitable primarily for welding works involving steel and cast iron. The other prominent difference between stick and TIG welders is that unlike the former, TIG welders are capable of completing the welding job cleanly. Stick welders often end up causing serious spatter and slag.
TIG Welder Common Problems – Troubleshooting Guide
Although each of the Tig welder models we have reviewed earlier in this write-up is highly user-friendly, the basic process of TIG welding is arguably extremely difficult to learn. This makes it important for you to know the problems you may face. The section below would help you get acquainted with some of the most common TIG welder problems.
Poor gas coverage might cause contamination If the shielding gas of the machine is not activated, weld contamination may occur. The other situations that might lead to weld contamination include excess or insufficient shielding. You might also experience contamination if the gas gets blown away. For troubleshooting this problem you will have to do the following:
Check the label of your gas cylinder to ensure that you are using a gas suitable for TIG welding (100% argon or a blend of argon and helium for aluminum)
Make sure that the gas flow rate is proper (ideally between 15 and 20 cfh)
Avoid using the regular collet body; instead, use a gas lens for enjoying more efficient gas shielding
Inspect all hoses and fittings to spot leaks (use a leak detection fluid for completing the inspection flawlessly)
Weld graininess This occurs mostly when the welding temperature becomes too high and the base metal gets excessively diluted. Here are a few things you can do for preventing the problem:
Try to find the temperature that is neither too cold nor too hot, for the materials you are welding; this will prevent the formation of grains on the welded surfaces.
Check whether you are using the right filler material
Don’t forget to remove all moisture, oil, and grease from the base and filler metal
Crater formation Craters are often formed during the final stages of the weld. The biggest disadvantage of having craters on the welded metals is that they often cause cracking of the structures. Common causes of crater formation include quick removal of filler rod and sudden drop in weld power. The problem can be avoided successfully by being a little careful or by using TIG welders equipped with a crater-control feature.
Oxidation or sugaring
Stainless steel often becomes a victim of oxidation or sugaring when the welded parts come in contact with oxygen present in the atmosphere. Having sufficient gas coverage at the back and front of the weld would help in avoiding this problem.
How to Use
You will have to begin by picking the right electrode. You will most likely have the right kind of electrode embedded in your TIG welder. For welding aluminum without undercuts, you would need a rod made of 100% pure tungsten. Alternatively, you can also pick a tungsten alloy (even the radioactive alloy thoriated tungsten will be a good choice); these alloys turn out to be useful particularly when welding metal alloys. Next, you will have to grind the device’s tungsten rod to a certain point. You will need to grind particularly when the tungsten rod would have a perfect cylindrical shape (new rods are mostly perfect cylinders) instead of the desired rounded or pointed tip. Here, it must be noted that experts believe that for AC welding, the rod must have a rounded tip and for DC welding, it must have a pointed tip. That’s it; you are now ready to use the device; here are the steps you’ll have to follow: Step 1: Insert the device’s electrode into the device’s collect Step 2: Choose the suitable settings Step 3: Turn the gas on Step 4: Get the welding table and metal ready Step 5: Wear the right welding gear Step 6: Check whether you can move the device freely Step 7: Start welding
TIG Welding Technique: Walking the Cup
Yotube Video Review: TIG Welding Technique: Walking the Cup
Before beginning to weld, make sure that you have set up the device correctly for current, voltage, gas flow and shielding rate, and material.
Make sure that people working around you are protected from IR and UV radiation flash. For that, you will have to either place a UV screen between the people around you and the working area or drop down the UV curtain.
The workplace doesn’t have any oxide or paint. This is essential for ensuring satisfactory electrical contact.
Keep your eyes and skin duly protected for avoiding damage from accidental welding flashes. Keep checking the device’s welding torch assembly from time to time.
When the job is complete or if the job gets interrupted, turn the shielding gas and machine off. Also, store the hand-piece in a safe place.
Care and Maintenance
Never use the welder beyond its capacity. The device’s duty cycle would help you to understand its limit. This makes it crucial that you pick projects carefully and keep track of the device’s performance. It’s important that you clean the TIG welder on a regular basis. Accumulation of debris and dust might end up covering the machine’s mechanical parts and thereby stop it from delivering optimum performance. Cleaning these welders is easy. You will also need to remove its cover and blow the machine with compressed air. At times, you might also need to apply lubricants in certain parts of the machine. After a few years of use, it would be wise if you get your TIG welder checked by an experienced and qualified technician. He or she will remove grime, dirt, and dust from the unit’s cooling fans, PC boards, and transformers and help in prolonging the machine’s service life.
Weight and Portability
It’s important that the TIG welder you buy is not too heavy. This would allow you to take it to various job sites whenever you want. Ideally, the weight of these machines should range between 30 and 60 pounds.
It would be good to get a device that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of three or five years. If that’s not possible, make sure that the welder you are buying has manufacturer’s warranty of at least one year. FAQ
Is there any color used for marking tungsten electrode?
Yes, pure tungsten electrodes are usually marked by the color green. Alloys also have their own color markings. For instance, thoriated tungsten electrodes are marked by the color red.
What are the causes of formation of yellow smoke or powder on the tungsten electrode?
This mainly occurs when the quantity of shielding gas is not enough and the tungsten starts reacting with the atmosphere.
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