Tungsten Inert Gas welding (TIG) is one of the standard welding technologies used across the world. What makes TIG welding stand out is the fact that it can join objects without filler creating neater welds. This type of welding is manual and therefore requires the welder to use two hands to weld; one hand is used to hold the TIG torch which produces the arc while the other hand adds the filler metal.
As much as this welding technology may be considered technical and challenging to master, it is more versatile when it comes to different welding metals. You will also appreciate the fact that TIG welding allows you to weld critical joints.
With the advancement in technology, many brands have come up with outstanding TIG welders. This also means that consumers with no technical knowledge may end up choosing the wrong welder.
This post will dig deeper and give you an insight into the recommended TIG welders and the features that make each one of them stand out.
- What is the Difference Between a TIG Welder and a MIG Welder?
- Our Best TIG Welder Reviews
- What Can You Do With a Tungsten Inert Gas Welder?
- 4 Basic Features that you Must Know from a TIG Welder
- The Verdict
What is the Difference Between a TIG Welder and a MIG Welder?
Metal Inert Gas welding (MIG), also referred to as Metal Active Gas welding (MAG) or Gas Metal Arc welding (GMAW) is the other common welding technology preferred by different industries.
Both processes between TIG and MIG welders are almost the same. But some elements differentiate the two. Here is a look at the various aspects that differentiate TIG welder and MIG welder.
The welding process
MIG welding process sets itself apart from TIG as it involves a continuous feeding of wire to a metal. The two metal objects are joined by the consumable welding supply of the wire. This creates a strong bond which makes this process preferred by different industries.
TIG, on the other hand, uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to join two metals. The electrodes run current through the metals and may or may not use filler metal in the process.
The use of thickest metals
You will also note the difference between these two processes when welding metals of different thickness. MIG is the most suitable for welding thicker metals as it uses consumable filler materials to join metals. This makes it ideal and saves time when welding more solid object.
TIG welding may not use filler materials as mentioned above. Therefore, to join two thick metals together, users will need to weld the metals hot enough to melt and form a bond of their own. This process is what makes TIG better when using thinner metals as it is easier and saves time.
First-time operators will mostly prefer MIG over TIG welding as it is easy to control and even when mistakes happen during the welding process, changes can be made.
Things are a bit different when it comes to TIG welding. Perfection can only be achieved when the process is handled by a professional as it requires precision, proper pressure, and timing control. The electric current being used should also coincide with the type of metal being used. To achieve better results when using TIG, you will need an automated CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine and good generators. This helps you execute identical welds.
Our Best TIG Welder Reviews
After analyzing different high-power consumer welders, we have come up with a list of some of the best the market has to offer. This list consists of the most high-quality TIG welders that will serve your purpose excellently. Other than just considering the afford-ability of a welder, it is also essential to look at other factors like input power, duty cycle, weight and size, and digital display and automation.
So without further ado, here are the top 5 TIG welders on the market:
|Product Name||Weight||Input Voltage||Warranty|
|TIG Welder, DC, Maxstar 150 STL||13.7 lb||115/230VAC||1 year|
|Everlast PowerTIG 250EX||60 lb||240V||3 years|
|AHP AlphaTIG 200X||69 pounds||110/220 V||3 years|
|LOTOS Technology NC-FXDR-KJUX||32 lb||220 V/110 V||1 year|
|Blue Demon BLUEARC-90STI||14 pounds||14.5 x 21.5 x 20.5 inches||1 year|
1. Maxstar 150 STL DC
The TIG, DC, Maxstar 150 STL is one of the top weldings on the market that have compact size and design. Its portability makes it ideal to use in different places. It is a top seller in most stores thanks to its IGBT technology that allows you to use it with direct current and coated electrode.
Welders and other trades of ironworks find Maxstar 150 quite useful as it offers maximum versatility. Mechanics and plumbers alike can also use this welder for repairs and small construction. Some of the materials you can work on with the DC, Maxstar 150 STL include copper, steel, or stainless steel.
Optimal and robust intensity can also be achieved when a user adjusts its intensity. A good number of TIG welding machines are heavy and bulky. However, the compact and lightweight of this welder makes it extremely portable. The best part is that compatibility does not affect its performance. It also comes with handles that facilitate its transportation. The small size also means it can fit into a trunk.
With 120V and 240V plugs, the Miller Maxstar 150 STL gives you enough options to get your job done. This also means you can adjust its intensity to weld different materials the two plugs also make it energy efficient.
The Maxstar 150 STL comes with different accessories that will help you achieve perfection. This includes a clamp, a torch, nozzles, a hammered brush, and a clamp electrode holder. These accessories also help speed up your work.
2. Everlast PowerTIG 250EX
Professionals and welding enthusiasts will find the Everlast PowerTIG 250 EX welding machine quite ideal. With excellence performance, users can be assured of top-quality results. The device comes with outstanding features including stick function, AC frequency, fully adjustable pulse, spot weld timer, and 2T/4T remote control functions among other features.
The fact that it also performs best on both 240V single and 3 phase power means it can work on different types of materials. The Everlast PowerTIG 250EX can weld ½ inch in a single pass and 1 inch in multi-pass for aluminum or steel. Therefore, this is one of the most reliable one for various applications making it a versatile welding.
This is an advanced square wave inverter based heavy-duty welder that comes with IGBT power modules. This feature increases reliability and performance. Its compatibility and lightweight is also the other reason on-the-go welders prefer it over other bulky welding machines. Therefore, it can easily be moved.
3. AHP AlphaTIG 200X
If you are looking for a welding machine that offers quality welds, then the AHP AlphaTIG 200X is one of the best from the market. The construction of this machine allows it to weld any metal and even weld thin metals of thinner gauge like ¼ inch aluminum or ¾ inch steel smartly and efficiently.
What makes AHP AlphaTIG 200X versatile is the fact that it was built with advanced inverter technology. This means that it can transform DC power to AC and input and output voltage and keep the frequency under control. Therefore, it can handle different materials.
Having control over a device makes it easy to achieve the best results when using it; that is what users get from this device. The comfortable foot pedal control means you can weld with both hands for precise welding. The HF start TIG, and the foot pedal also adds to the convenience the AHP AlphaTIG 200X offers.
Although its body may seem bulky at first sight, you can easily move it around or transport it since it comes with a handle and only weighs 69 pounds.
4. LOTOS Technology NC-FXDR-KJUX
Beginners and professional welders find the LOTOS Technology NC-FXDR-KJUX more convenient than most welders in the market as it works with non-hazardous compressed air to cut stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and copper. It also comes with a handle making it portable.
The 15-200amp DC TIG electric current output offers quality TIG welding on steel and stainless steel, something most welding tools cannot achieve. The easy ARC start is a critical feature that gives precise and outstanding welding shapes.
What makes the device, even more, user-friendly is the adjustable hot striking Arch current that improves the Arch-starting function. The versatility also allows you to use different kinds of acid and the basic electrodes. But this feature does not compromise the durability of the LOTOS as it comes fitted with the PAPST advanced cooling system.
If you are the type of a welder who does not like spending so much time setting up a TIG welder, then LOTOS NC-FXDR-KJUX will give you a break. It comes with a pre-installed NPT ¼ inch D plug and air filter regulator. Therefore, users can quickly connect to an air compressor.
5. Blue Demon BLUEARC-90STI
This is another 90 Amp TIG welder you can carry around for smaller jobs. It is the compact design that makes this TIG welder a must-have for both beginners and professionals alike. The small size does not in any way affect the quality of work; this Blue Demon BLUEARC-90STI produces more significant power outputs to give its users, not just unparalleled portability but enough power for different jobs.
Not only is the Blue Demon BLUEARC-90STI one of the top-rated TIG welders but also can run at an amperage range from 20 to 80 amps. Therefore, it can work at a duty cycle of 20% at 80 amps. This means that users can weld for 2 minutes at 80% power in ten-minute intervals. Since this is a small machine for small projects, it is more affordable as compared to most of the TIG welder out there.
The simple yet functional design is the other reason beginners need to get their hands on this machine. Not only does it come with a ten-foot electrode holder but also has a 6.5-foot ground clamp. The shoulder strap adds a sense of simplicity which means you can throw it on your shoulder and carry it to the working site.
What Can You Do With a Tungsten Inert Gas Welder?
Since TIG welding allows users to make use of a large variety of metals, several industries make use of this technology to create and repair different items. The top sectors that make TIG welding include automotive, aerospace, art, and repair. So here are some of the TIG welding jobs you can use with this type of welding.
Auto industry requires secure and robust construction to hold the parts of a vehicle together. The TIG strategies can reduce corrosion which means cars can stand the test of time without rusting. This also implies that vehicles that have been TIG welded are the safest.
TIG welding can also be used to weld spacecraft and aircraft. This can attribute to the fact that this welding offers strength and precision.
This is a standard domestic application of TIG technology. This is because TIG welding offers a superior cosmetic appearance making products made from it stand out from the rest. Therefore, industrial fixtures and metal sculptures will always rely on this welding process.
Different repair applications will also stand out if you use TIG. The best part is that you can also use it domestically to fix your child’s metallic toy. TIG comes in handy to repair a broken pedal car or other aluminum tools.
There is so much you can do with a TIG welder. Since it is free from spattering which is common with other welding processes, users are guaranteed neat looking joints with superior weld quality that is free of defects. Considering that the process offers excellent control of root pass weld penetration and the fact that it can also apply to thin materials, your imagination can only limit the application of this welding.
4 Basic Features that you Must Know from a TIG Welder
It is evident that users can benefit from the many advantages of the above mentioned TIG welders. Choosing the best brand in the market doesn’t necessarily mean you will have the best working experience. Some factors determine the quality of a TIG welder and the outcome of the work. Here are some of the features you need to keep in mind when shopping for a TIG welder.
1. Amperage Range
A machine that offers the most extensive amperage range will probably cost you more than an average machine. However, this is an important factor to consider as a wide amperage range means you can work on many materials without limit. You can choose a welding machine that exceeds the 200 amps limit to work on materials that require higher amperage like aluminum.
2. AC/DC Capabilities
Steels and stainless steels are often welded with DC output while magnesium and aluminum are best welded with the AC output. This means that you will need a machine that uses a combination of AC/DC output if you wish to weld a variety of materials. Experts will advise you to get a TIG-only machine if your application is strictly TIG.
3. Heats Control
A good TIG welder should offer enough heat control feature. This means that you need to look for a machine that comes with an extra TIG pulser which supplies good heat input control. It is essential to understand that the regulation of heat input lowers the metal’s warpage.
4. Balance Control
Welders are advised to take a keen interest in the AC balance control when looking for a machine. AC welding inverters use high current electronic switches to create weld output. Since the AC frequency varies, users can make use of a high-frequency to focus the arc. A good balance control is crucial as it affects the amount of surface cleaning the arc performs.
With that said, you now understand the real benefits of getting top quality, and highly rated TIG welders. However, buying involves more than just checking for the affordability of the machine. The quality of the product and the positive customer reviews should be the driving force towards finding a good TIG welder for you.