You are probably interested in TIG welding because of its precision, accuracy, and strength. It has a lot of benefits that other forms of welding cannot offer. Purchasing a TIG welder represents a considerable investment. If you are going to spend your hard earned money on something, it is understandable that you want to get to the best TIG welder for the money that you are going to spend.
You can read TIG welder reviews until you are blue in the face and still not have a clear idea of what the top TIG welder is for you. So what I have done is combined a mixture of reviews and personal experience to take some of the guess work out of the equation. After reading this review, you should be in a position to make a conscientious purchase or at least know what TIG welder you want to learn more about.
Our Top TIG Welders
|AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE 110v 200||19 x 23 x 21”||38 Pounds||Our Review|
|LOTOS Technology TIG140 140 Amp IGBT Stick/Lift Start DC TIG Welder, Dual Voltage||12.5 x 20 x 13.5”||9.9 pounds||Our Review|
|EVERLAST PowerARC 140 140amp Lift Start TIG / Stick IGBT Welder Dual Voltage||20 x 12 x 13”||24.8 pounds||Our Review|
|Lincoln Electric Precision TIG 225 208/230VAC||25.6 x 14.5 x 20.7”||245 pounds||Our Review|
|Everlast Powertig 255ext Digital Ac Dc Tig Stick Pulse Welder Dual Voltage Inverter-based Ac Dc||24 x 9 x 17”||85 Pounds||Our Review|
|Hobart 500551 EZ TIG 165i 230-Volt Inverter-Based AC/DC Welder||27.8 x 22.7 x 15.8”||60 pounds||Our Review|
|Miller Electric Maxstar 150 STL DC 115/230VAC TIG Welder||13.2 x 5.5 x 9”||13.7 Pounds||Our Review|
|Forney 324 190-Amp MIG/Stick/TIG Multi-Process Welder||20.2×10.2×16||51.4 pounds||Our Review|
|Everlast Powertig 185 Micro AC DC Tig Welder 110/220 Volt Inverter||24 x 9 x 17”||40 Pounds||Our Review|
|LONGEVITY Tigweld 200sx – 200 Amp AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with Digital Display 110v 200v||19 x 12 x 23”||37.6 Pounds||Our Review|
Best Tig Welder Reviews
AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE 110v 200
The AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder is perfect for professionals as well as hobbyists. It is a TIG welder that provides a wide range of functionality while at the same time has an affordable price. When you couple this quality TIG welder with some of the best welding helmets on the market, you get the complete package that provides you with both high performance and pinpoint accuracy.
- Versatility: The more you get accomplished with your welding machine, the better. This unit not only allows you to work with stainless steel and aluminum, but it also allows you to work on other common metals.
- Easy to Control: The ability to control your welder not only impacts the quality of your job, it also impacts safety. This model has a foot pedal, which is perfect for TIG welding.
- Flexible and Portable: When you look at the model, it doesn’t really seem that portable. But then when you realize that it only weighs 38 pounds, it’s easy to move around your home or your garage.
- When ordering online, you can expect exceptionally long shipping times.
At the end of the day, this is a nice unit that offers the versatility and power that makes looking it over worth your time.
LOTOS Technology TIG140 140 Amp IGBT Stick/Lift Start DC TIG Welder, Dual Voltage
The LOTOS Technology TIG140 140 Amp IGBT Stick is a versatile dual voltage stick welder that has a TIG welding mode. It has a duty cycle of 35 percent when the welding output is 140 A. This unit is able to weld copper, mild steel, stainless steel, as well as other metals.
It is very easy to operate, has a clear and easy to understand control panel, is very portable, and has both 120 V and 240 V capabilities.
- Simple and Practical Control Panel Design
- Lightweight and Easy to Carry
- Dual 120/240 Voltage Welder
- Pulse Width Modulation and Advanced Inverter Technology
- At 35 A, the unit has a problem holding a stable arc. This makes welding thinner metals a challenge
- Flimsy torch hose can lead to leaks
With the LOTOS Technology TIG140, you get a quality product that’s easy to carry around and move to different welding locations. It is flexible and can work on metals that are as thin as 18gauge and as thick as one quarter of an inch.
EVERLAST PowerARC 140 140amp Lift Start TIG / Stick IGBT Welder Dual Voltage
The EVERLAST PowerARC 140 is an energy efficient welder. This only adds to the value this welder provides for the money. It allows you to do a great job while at the same time saves you money on your electric bill.
Novices and experts alike will appreciate this welder because it has a digital display for clear and easy current settings. Since there are only the necessary knobs on the machine, even a beginner can get a hold of the machine and master it quickly.
At under 25 pounds, the welder is light and easy to move. It is versatile thanks to its dual voltage 120/240 V design. This is the best TIG welder for someone looking to buy a powerful unit that is cost-effective.
- Energy Efficient
- Easy to Use Controls
- Includes Multiple Accessories
- Digital Display
- Poor Customer Service
As long as the product works out-of-the-box, it is a good buy. It is going to save you money on electricity and give you a quality weld.
Lincoln Electric Precision TIG 225 208/230VAC
The Lincoln Electric Precision TIG 225 is the best TIG welder for individuals who are interested in general manufacturing, automotive work, and for use at professional schools. With this model, you have power, accuracy, and performance. You can expect exceptional results.
This welder allows you to do arc beginning, welding, and weld catering. It’s easy pulse management design and auto balance feature make this a great tool for professionals and those learning the trade.
- Great for Stick Welding/TIG Welding
- Auto Balance Feature
- Large Storage Area
- 10 Foot Function Cable
- 9 Foot Input Cord
- Not Designed for Common Use
Lincoln produces products that are known to last for decades, and this welder is no exception. It is a well constructed unit that promises to offer you the best TIG weld. This is definitely a professional model with a price that is in excess of $2,000. This might be a little bit more expensive than what a person starting out with TIG welding will want to pay, but for a professional, having a machine like this is a must.
Everlast Powertig 255ext Digital Ac Dc Tig Stick Pulse Welder Dual Voltage Inverter-based Ac Dc
Everlast has created a superb product in its PowerTIG 255 EXT Digital welder. This is the best inverter TIG welder on the market. It provides power and performance. You will be blown away by some of the features that this unit has, which include advanced AC poles, output for both TIG and stick, as well as memory and waveforms. This unit is above and beyond its competition.
If your welding house focuses on aluminum, then this is the choice for you. It is reliable and can be operated on either 120 or 240 voltage, making it an extremely versatile unit.
- The Ability to Weld Thicker Material Than Other TIG Welders in the Same Class
- The Ability to Weld Aluminum without Working or Burning the Material
- The Ability to Operate at Longer Intervals
- Portable/Outdoor Use
- Complicated to Operate If You Are Not Familiar with the Style of Welder
- Not for Novices
This is a powerful professional grade tool. If your shop focuses on welding aluminum and other metals, then this is definitely right for you. It is expensive, but it has some superior features.
Hobart 500551 EZ TIG 165i 230-Volt Inverter-Based AC/DC Welder
The Hobart 500551 EZ TIG 165i features a single knob control and 230 V AC/DC power source. It is a easy welding machine to operate, it is easy to control, and it is energy efficient.
Setting the machine up is simple. All you do is plug in the 230 VAC, connect the gas, and that is it. It can weld material as thin as 22 gauge all the way up to 3/16 of an inch. It has a foot control, it is lightweight, and it has a unique inverter design. This is the best TIG welding machine for someone who wants power, performance, and reliability.
- Single Knob Control
- Ease of Setup and Ease-Of-Use
- Robust Weld Performance
- It is sold with a 3/32″ cullet and cullet body. If you have 1/16″, 0.040″, or 0.20″ electrodes, you are required to order separately for them.
This is a solidly designed machine. It can be used in vocational training, by hobbyists, as well as professional shops where repairs and fabrications are taking place.
Miller Electric Maxstar 150 STL DC 115/230VAC TIG Welder
If you’re looking for a solid machine that you can rely on to provide you with a consistent weld time and time again, then the Miller Maxstar 150 STL is the best TIG welder for you.
This is a versatile welding machine that can function properly with a broad range of materials. It can switch from being a TIG welder to being a stick welder. It is useful on small projects as well as large projects.
It’s portable since it only weighs 13.7 pounds,and has a nice shoulder strap. You can move it from place to place without a cart. This is a compact product that is designed to remove unwanted cable clutter.
- Multi-Voltage 115 V or 230 V Power Receptacles
- Fan On-Demand Cooling System
- Auto Line Technology
- Adaptive Hot Start
- Precision Amperage Control or a Remote Control
- User-Friendly Interface Making It Easy to Operate
- Can’t Weld Aluminum
- Limited to a 15 Amp Output
- Has a Short TIG Torch
- Lacks a Foot Pedal
It is a portable, powerful machine. It will allow you to do on site repairs without a lot of inconveniences. It lacks some of the features of other machines in its class but makes up for this with a slightly lower price point.
Forney 324 190-Amp MIG/Stick/TIG Multi-Process Welder
The Forney 324 190-Amp is a welder that has received one positive TIG welder review after another. It is a multipurpose machine that can handle MIG, TIG, and stick welding.
It is a versatile, multipurpose welder that can use 220 or 120 V. Its versatility allows you to use it on automotive jobs, industrial jobs, on home repairs, and more.
It has an extra long power cord, allowing you to use it wherever you need in your home or in your shop. You are able to do flux core welding as well as weld a mild steel with gas. It has the ability to weld up to 3/8 of an inch steel.
- It’s a 3 in 1 Welder
- Produces Less Splatter and Offers a More Precision Weld
- Very Friendly Customer Service
- The Wire Feed Speed Selector Can Be Problematic
- The Stinger in the Ground May Be Short for Some Users
This is a nice 3 in 1 welder. It’s great for people who have to do multiple types of welding jobs. It delivers consistent quality, and it has an affordable price.
Everlast Powertig 185 Micro AC DC Tig Welder 110/220 Volt Inverter
When you read a TIG welder review about the Everlast Powertig 185 Micro, one of the first things you will read is praise for the IGBT inverter design. It allows the device to be compact and have a smooth arc while at the same time keeping splatter to a minimum. The machine is lightning fast.
As many inverter TIG welder reviews point out, since the machine is so light, it can be easily moved around your shop by just one person. It makes your job a lot more efficient.
- The ability to weld 0.007 inches all the way to 5/8 of an inch steel
- The ability to switch from DC to AC
- The ability to weld aluminum
- The post flow adjustment can be faulty
- Technical issues may require you to have the unit repaired soon after purchase
This is a decent unit that has some relatively good qualities. It can be used on a wide range of projects. However, it does seem like the company does not have as good of a quality control department as some other units on this list, and so the unit is prone to breakdowns.
LONGEVITY Tigweld 200sx – 200 Amp AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with Digital Display 110v 200v
The LONGEVITY Tigweld 200sx is not the cheapest TIG welder on the market, but it does provide excellent value for the money. It is high quality, it is reliable, and it has a good warranty.
This machine is able to weld either with 110 V or 220 V power. It’s compact, versatile, and has controls that are easy to understand. It has an efficient IGBT inverter and allows you to operate the machine with a foot pedal or using the panel.
- Thanks to its digital set up, this is an easy unit to set up and use.
- Switching from 220 V 210 V is easy.
- Superb built in thermal overload protection.
- Thanks to its lightweight, it is easy to carry the unit from one location to another.
- If you are looking at welding smaller projects, the torch of this unit might be a little bit too large for what you need.
This is a good cheap TIG welder. It is perfect for someone who wants to do work out of their home, a hobbyist, or a professional. While lacking some of the features of more expensive models, it is definitely a great place to start with TIG welding.
What Is TIG Welding?
One of the first questions to answer before purchasing a TIG welder is, what is TIG welding? TIG stands for tungsten inert gas. The TIG electrode is made of tungsten.
TIG welding requires three components to work. They are:
- Filler Metal
The heat is created by electricity that passes through a tungsten electrode. This creates an arc to the metal.
Shielding is produced by a bottle of compressed gas that protects the weld pool from the air. In times past, helium was used, but today it is more common to use argon.
The filler material is a metal wire that is put into contact with the arc and melted.
The way everything works together is relatively simple. The first step is that the welder turns on the gas. As the gas flows, it immediately protects the work area from the air. Then a torch is put over the welded joint. But it is far away so that it does not touch the metal.
The welder puts their foot on the pedal, and the TIG torches tungsten electrode creates an arc.
The arc causes the two pieces of metal that are being joined together to melt, creating a puddle of metal.
Once the puddle is established, the welder will start to use the filler material. They will dip the welding wire into the arc, thereby filling the joint.
At the end of the day, the process makes one solid piece of metal. It is not as easy as MIG welding.
Factors to consider When Choosing the Best TIG Welder
Purchasing a TIG welder is a considerable investment. With all of the models and brands to choose from, it can be a challenge to identify what really is the top TIG welder for the money.
If you are new to welding, then you’re going to want a beginner TIG welder, but you also want it to be good enough so that it can grow with you as you progress.
If you’re shopping on a budget, you want a good cheap TIG welder that’s not going to fall apart on you after a few days of use.
The following is a list of things you should consider when looking for an affordable TIG welder.
You want to find a unit that has a wide amperage range and that is still in your budget. The wider the amperage range, the more metals you will be able to work with.
The amperage range you will need will vary depending on the metals you intend to weld. For example, if you’re going to work with steel, then you might get by with a lower amperage than you would if working with aluminum.
The recommendation is that your TIG welder has an arc stability under 10 A. With a lower amperage arc stability, you can work with certain metals and not worry about them warping.
This will also allow you improved arc control, improved filler capacity, and will reduce the stress you have when you are starting up.
When searching for the best cheap TIG welder, it is a good idea to look for one that can do both AC and DC welding. This is because you need different currents when working with different materials. AC is perfect for aluminum, and DC is best for steel.
The duty cycle is the amount of time you can weld continuously during a 10 minute period. Once the duty cycle is exceeded, you will need to stop using the machine and allow it to cool down.
When you read about the duty cycle, you see that it is expressed in percentages. So a TIG welder that has a 50 percent duty cycle can run for five minutes continually before you have to let it cool down.
You may need to do some investigation to find the best portable TIG welder for your needs. There are some very light weight TIG welders, but usually these are not made for industrial jobs. These are usually for do-it-yourself at home jobs.
There are industrial models that are portable, but they just may require a couple of people to move them around.
Portability also includes the ability to use different plugs. You want one that is adaptable to both 110 voltage and 220 voltage. If there is no electricity around, a good cheap AC DC TIG welder will have the capability to plug into a gas generator.
Heat control is key to welding. It doesn’t matter the metal that you’re working with. However, heat control is more important with materials like aluminum.
Aluminum can weld very easily. Pulse welding is a great way to control the heat. It still completely penetrates the metal, but it controls the arc and heat output.
What is the purpose of having the top TIG welder if you can’t use it? You want a model that has clear controls, easy-to-use controls, color-coded controls, and the minimum amount of controls possible.
Some more expensive models have an autosave feature that allows you to save your settings. This is excellent, especially for working with the same type of metals over and over again.
Look for a TIG welder that has special features designed to increase its life. These include fans to control the temperature and auto shut down controls.
The best cheap TIG welders are those that allow you to do multiple jobs with less equipment. There are some high-end units that can do any job you need done. If this is within your price range, get one because it will save you money in the long run.
There are also a lot less expensive models that are very flexible, get the job done, and do not take a lot of space to store or transport.
TIG Welding FAQ
Q: Should I Use AC or DC for TIG Welding?
Materials like aluminum that have a tenacious oxide film on its exterior need AC power. This is because AC power switches between electrode positive and electrode negative polarity around 50 times every second. The electric positive removes the oxide and cleans the surface.
Q: What Type of Shielding Gas Should I Use for Aluminum Welding?
With TIG welding, it is recommended that you use pure argon when you are working with aluminum that is .5 inches or thinner. If you are working with aluminum that is .5 inches or thicker, you may want to use a argon helium mix to increase the weld penetration. Never use any gas that has oxygen or carbon dioxide as this will oxidize the aluminum you are working with.
Q:How do I prevent contamination?
Contamination is caused by a lack of shielding gas. This may occur because the gas was not turned on, or there is too much or too little gas. It can also be caused by the gas shielding being blown away. Make sure that you’re using the right type of gas for TIG welding, as well as having the right gas flow rate. As a rule of thumb, it should be 15 – 20 ft.³ per hour.
Make sure that your fittings and hoses do not have leaks that are pulling air into the gas stream. Finally, make sure you have a full cylinder and a tank that has not been contaminated by moisture.
Q: Why Do I Have Craters at the End of My Weld?
Craters sometimes happen at the end of a weld and can lead to cracking. Craters happen when you reduce your welding power too fast, which in turn causes the welding pool to cool too quickly. They can also happen if you remove the filler rod too quickly.
The best way to fix crater cracking is to continually feed the filler rod, while at the same time slowly minimizing the current at the end of the weld. There are some welders that have a crater control function that can help to minimize this problem.
As you can see, there are a lot of the TIG welders that are available on the market. They range in price from over $2,500 to somewhere around $800. More expensive units have more features and better control than even the best cheap TIG welder.
What you should look for is the best TIG welder for the money. Ask yourself, what do you need your welder to do, and where do you intend to use it? The answers to these questions will help you select the unit that is right for your needs.
In this review, we’ve looked at a few models produced by different companies. It is good to take the reputation of the company producing in the welder into consideration since this speaks volumes about the quality of the product you are going to purchase.
Now it is time for you to make a decision. What welder is right for you? Once you have sorted that out, it’s time to buy.
You have the option to purchase a welder at a brick-and-mortar store. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, there are a lot of advantages to purchasing your welder online from stores like Amazon.com.
In addition to having the welder delivered directly to your home, you have the benefit of being able to read reviews and do comparisons between products without having the pressure of a sales person behind you.
Welding is a fun hobby and a lucrative profession. The welders we have reviewed provide quality, function, and durability.
So what are you waiting for? Find the welder that is right for you and buy it. You will not regret your decision.