Which Is the Best TIG Welder? Mechanopedia’s Top Picks
If you don’t know or aren’t using the best TIG welder, you are definitely missing out on one of the best tools to join metal in an accurate and precise matter. Actually, TIG stands for Tungsten Insulated Gas, which is the technology to go for if you’re looking for high-end finishes and sturdy works that will stand the test of time.
It’s easy deciding to buy one of these tools, but picking the most suitable model for your workplace is a whole different ballgame. In your quest to find the perfect one, you will have to search through an absurd amount of products in the hopes of reaching your goal. As you might have guessed, this will significantly waste your valuable time.
Worry not, though, as we’ve done the heavy lifting and compiled a list of the best TIG welders on the market. So, all you have to do is read along with this review, and you’ll end up with a satisfying product that’ll help you get your job done in the most convenient and proper way!
The Best TIG Welder – Our Picks
When it comes to the features and price point, this is best TIG welder you can get today. Read on to know why.
First of all, the AHP Alpha TIGfG200X sports dual voltage output: both AC and DC, so you can work just fine with both aluminum and steel. The output current is controllable thanks to the panel or even the foot pedal. It’s in the range of 10 to 150 Amperes at 120 Volts, and it reaches 200A at 150V.
Additionally, being the best TIG welder for amateur use when looking for power, this tool works at a 60% duty cycle when at 200A output. This parameter is even higher at lower values of current. This combination proves to be the ideal one when working with metals with a thickness of up to 3/16 inches.
What sets this product apart from the others and makes it the best TIG welder is the sheer number of advantages it offers, especially for its average cost. To name a few, it sports AC balance control, 2T-4T operation, compatibility with foot pedals, and pulse welding.
The only inconvenience with this TIG welder is that the reputation is questionable, as the official site is far from being professional. The FAQ section has default text instead of actual questions, and the link to the manual of the product doesn’t even work.
With that said, the AHP Alpha TIGG200X is a significant risk that comes with an excellent result. Even though it comes with a warranty of 3 years, other trusty brands are releasing more reliable machines, hence the risk. However, they are far from surpassing this one when it comes to the number of features versus the price to pay.
What we like about it
What really makes this product one of the best TIG welders around is the outstanding performance it offers considering the moderate price, as well as the unmatchable number of features it sports that bolster its convenience and ease of use. Even though there’s barely any online presence to its brand, it’s well worth the investment.
This product is the best TIG welder when it comes to the price, as it is highly budget-friendly. However, as expected, some features are lacking compared to the previous product. Namely, it produces only DC output, so welding aluminum is out of the question for it.
When it comes to the output current, this machine provides from 10A and 140A on 120V, and from 10A to 80A when it’s operating on 110V. There’s only one way to control the current though, which is by using the designated knob as it does not come with a foot pedal.
This machine has a duty cycle of 100% when operating at 50A and 110V. It is reduced to 35% when at 80A and 110V though. You can get a duty cycle of 100% at 85A and 35% at 140A after increasing the voltage to 220V though. This allows you to work on steel with a thickness of up to 1/8 inches without any troubles.
What makes this product one of the best TIG welders is the portability it offers as it is light and has a convenient size. Moreover, it has a warranty of 5 years against defects, and the reputation is supported by its 10-year history in the market.
Even though it is the best TIG welder budget-wise, it does have some drawbacks that might break the deal. Mainly, there is no air regulator included, and the ground and torch cables are on the short side being only 5-feet long.
All in all, this is an outstanding product that proves to be worthy for the price, so if you have money constraints, we recommend the Everlast PowerARC 140 ST for you as it can work well with steel of up to 1/8 inches in thickness.
What we like about it
What we like the most about this product is that it offers good perks for the indicated price, along with providing excellent portability. We recommend it especially for those who work occasionally and on small jobs so that they get what they need for the minimum price possible. We think that it is the best TIG welder in the budget-friendly category.
This product has a price that is in the same range as our first reviewed product. Similarly, it produces both AC and DC output so you can use it whether on aluminum or steel.
This machine can produce current in the range of 30A and 200A. Particularly, when used at 150A and 110V, you can expect a duty cycle of 60%. You can obtain the same value for 220V and 190A. This lets you comfortably handle metal of up to 3/16 inches in thickness, or even 1/4 inches if you push on it.
More options for advanced users help make the TIG200 one of the best TIG welders as it has various selectors for parameters like pre-flow, voltage, and downslope, among others. This gives ample over the welding process, including the quality of the result.
Disadvantages to this product include limited portability and a short warranty of only a single year. However, these only mildly affect the reputation of the product as it is similar to our top pick in terms of performance.
All in all, this product makes for a gently risky but fairly rewarding product, and the whole package makes it one of the best TIG welders around.
What we like about it
What we like the most about this product is that it is full of features that make your welding process extremely convenient. Moreover, very few drawbacks limit this machine’s performance, which makes it the best TIG welder, alongside the first one we reviewed, in terms of performance to price ratio. This makes the LOTOS TIG200 a competitor to our first product for being the best TIG welder.
The LOTOS TIG140 will strike you with its impressive portability as it is really lightweight, sitting at only 9 pounds, which makes it the best TIG welder in this category. You can easily place this unit alongside the rest of your compact tools, such as your electric screwdriver, Laser Level, and This doesn’t mean that it lacks in power though, as it still packs a punch relative to its size. In fact, it produces both AC and DC output current, and at 110V it goes up to 80A while at 220V it can produce 140A.
This product best works when welding steel of a thickness that doesn’t surpass 1/8 inches. This is due to the output values it provides, which are 65A at 110V, and 100A at 220V, both at 60% duty cycle. The impressive power is one of the factors that help it rank among the best TIG welders around.
Of course, being a product that is on the cheap side, it doesn’t offer much in terms of extra features other than the control for the output current. That doesn’t keep it from being the best TIG welder for those who are on a budget, as the combination of power and portability more than makes up for this drawback.
In conclusion, we recommend this product for users who are looking for a powerful, lightweight product but cannot make a heavy investment, as it doesn’t fail to deliver while costing far less than the others on our list.
What we like about it
What we like the most about this product is that it is the best option among the budget-friendly models, offering outstanding portability that isn’t matched by its competitors while still delivering remarkable power. This is why we think it is the best TIG welder in its price range.
This is a model that is neither as light as many of the other competitors, nor as powerful as some others. To top it off, it’s even high up on the price spectrum. So you may be wondering what brings such a product to the list of the best TIG welders on the market?
Well, we have a valid reason.
The main reason we are reviewing this model is that Hobart has been in the industry for a whole century, as it started making machine back in 1917. Moreover, a 5/3/1 warranty style is even more guarantee of the quality of the 500551 TIG Welder. This means that the torch is covered for one year, the electronics for three, and the generators along with the stabilizers and transformers get a whole five years of coverage.
The performance of this model is not too shabby either as it provides a dual output at 220V and current in the range of 10 to 165 A. It produces 80 A at a duty cycle of 60%. This makes for an ideal product to weld steel and aluminum of up to 1/8 inches of thickness.
The longevity of this product makes it one of the best TIG welders on the market, and it is its main selling point so only very few competitors can match it. This is why we recommend it for you if you want to make a purchase that will last.
What we like about it
We love that this product is made for durability as even though it is far from being the best to do this type of jobs, it will do them for such a long time that it is worthwhile to have. And that’s exactly why it’s the best TIG welder when it comes to the lifetime of the product.
Choosing the Best TIG Welder – Buying Guide
No matter how pretty a finished metal project is, you wouldn’t be able to identify it if you’d look at what it started like. As almost every job is made out of separate pieces that have to be glued together to form a whole, in the beginning, it’s just a bunch of ordinary metal pieces.
Sticking these pieces together in the right fashion to get the finished products is where TIG welders come to offer convenience and perfection. With this type of tool, you can join any kinds of metal pieces which will enable you to set free your creativity.
Pulse Width, Pre-Flow Time, Post-Flow Time, and Pulse Amperage
To be clear, the first three are not applicable when dealing with a DC-only welder. Some advanced versions offer a pulse mode in which output oscillates between two values for controlling the temperature.
The explication to these parameters is as follows: AC output is a variable value that varies between two values, moving up and down between them through time. This way, the supply has a negative and a positive cycle, of which you can control the duration using the pulse-width know so you can improve your weld’s quality.
Other parameters for experts include the pre-flow and post-flow control that regulate the delay between the start (stop) of shielding gas flow and arc initiation (termination) respectively.
HF Start vs. Lift Start
There are two methods for starting the arc between the metal and tungsten electrode depending on whether or not there’s contact with the metal. Lift start necessitates gently touching the electrode, while the HF start does not. Another method needs scratching rather than touching. HF is the best of the three as it gives the best finish among them.
MIG vs TIG Welding and Welders
To clarify the difference between MIG vs TIG Welding, let’s break down the departments in which they differ.
With TIG welders, you have to dual-wield it to execute the task. One hand would hold the torch, while the other holds the filler material. Then you do as follows: you start by melting the metal in the area of the joint then shut the hole with the filler. On the flip side, the MIG type can be held using a single hand, and the filling is done automatically by the gun’s wire at the same time the melting is occurring.
The ease of use is great with the MIG variety as even the most amateur of users can get the hang of it quite fast. On the contrary, TIG welders are on the harder side as the learning curve is steeper. It will take you a much longer time to master this type of wielders.
MIG welders are the much faster variant when it comes to the welding rate. On the other hand, TIG welders are a lot slower as for the same amount of work they might take even ten times more time. So if you’re looking for the quickest execution, it’s obvious which one you should go with.
The finishing is, without a doubt, where the TIG welder leaves the MIG one largely behind. The beading TIG welding leaves behind is vastly superior to its MIG counterpart. Mainly, you don’t need much cleaning after going the TIG route, in contrast to the MIG one where you’ll have to do a lot of work in grinding the area, so it looks as clean as the first type.
The difficulty when welding this particular metal is especially daunting when working with a MIG welder as you will need costly equipment to help you finish the job. TIG welders have no problem with it whatsoever.
This is another department where the MIG welder overshadows its TIG counterpart as the two-handed wield makes the latter a lot harder to achieve tacking.
When you put these differences together, it becomes clear that if you are in need of short work on aluminum or metal and want high quality, you should go with the TIG welder. On the other hand, if you do mostly time-consuming work only on steel, you should opt for the MIG type.
Picking the Best TIG Welder – Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need an AC and DC output?
It’s true that machines that provide DC-only output are more comfortable to use as they have fewer controls, but they miss out on welding aluminum, which is an essential usage of TIG welders. Choosing the best TIG welder is up to the materials you will work with when it comes to this choice.
TIG welders were considered solely for industrial use when they first came out before home users began to slowly adopt the technology. Now, people are using TIG welders more than ever, and it’s justified by the many uses they find for it.
It’s definitely easy deciding to get the best TIG welder for the work you will need it for, but it’s hard to pick the right one for the job. The catch is that with this particular tool, a high price doesn’t necessarily mean better quality as there is little correlation between the two. A product that might cost half the price of a given one might perform better than it, and this is something we’ve witnessed and shown above.
Don’t let all of that overwhelm you, as you’ll be able to make the right choice by checking our reviews and buying guide.
What are you waiting for, then? Those pieces of metal won’t weld themselves together; so get your new TIG welder and start working!
- Our own experience