The next big gig is just around the corner. But the confidence to take the plunge is shattering away at the remembrance of the last job. You couldn’t even maintain a smooth arc. Each deep penetration for a perfect weld pool ended in sugaring and splattering. You tried to increase the cup diameter to keep a good gas flow around the tungsten but it went stiff. The shielding gas control knob won’t function too. So you had to go outside of your budget to hire a welding machine.
Now you’re here looking for the best TIG welder that meets your budget without having to go out of your way. Right? Here I have reviewed 11 top-rated portable tig welder and large multi-process welding systems to help keep your next job under your belt.
Overall Best Pick
- ★ PLASMA CUTTER--50AMP Plasma Cutter Current Output; Max Ideal Cut Thickness: 1/2" ; Max Severance Thickness: 3/4";...
- ★ TIG WELDER: 15-200AMP DC TIG Electric Current Output; Quality TIG welding on Stainless or Steel and Precise Welding...
- ★ SETUP WITHIN 1 MIN--The pre-installed NPT 1/4” industry type D plug and air filter regulator allows you to quick...
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The Budget Pick
- Powerful welder capable of welding up to 3/8" Stainless steel, Alloy steel, Mild steel, Copper, Cast Iron and Chrome.
- The full-size TIG & Stick platform, outperforming the competition on arc quality, voltage control, duty cycle and value.
- This is optimized to deliver a flawless weld, making spatter and post-weld cleanup almost non-existent.
- Dual Voltage Input (110V/230V) means you can plug into any common power supply.
- TIG torch & cable 13ft, Electrode holder & cable 300A /10ft, Work clamp & cable 300A /10ft.
|ESAB Rebel EMP215IC|
|Vulcan OmniPro 220|
Lift starting has always given a clear weld pool when pipe welding steel in large construction work. Most especially for starters in TIG welding. Where the problem sets in is lift starting an aluminum. On torch contact, your unit initially gives a low amperage output. Then the OCV sharply cuts back to a high amperage output immediately after you lift. And that leaves you struggling with an annoying contamination delay. Or maybe a sticking electrode.
Other than you’re working with a hot-start-delivering automatic TIG welder (Read: welder for beginners) like the Everlast powerARC 140amp, you’re sure to bounce back to a high-frequency start and end up jeopardizing precision.
The power arc 140amp is rated the best TIG welder from EVERLAST ever since 2015. It is a dual voltage unit with an adaptive arc force control and a digital current display. The overall design is a portable low power-consuming system delivering up to 85amp/120v smooth and steady output at the 17v tig torch end.
Stick weld with a 1/8” thick 6010 rod and watch it give a spotless arc start at 120amps. Scratch start, lift start or start with the automated high frequency with the included TIG torch. Unlike its peers in the 200amp series, this one comes with a full TIG kit right out of the box. The only downside is in the included MIG 180 tweco fusion gun. You can’t feed it with more than 475imp wire. And that leaves you spending extra bucks on a professional fusion gun for better spray transfer.
Hardly will you find a dual voltage system churn out 200amp at 110/220v input. The best of them is Mophorn’s TIG 200A. Meanwhile, the two systems spot exactly the same features.
Save money with Lotos’ best aluminum TIG welder and enjoy a steady 3/8” welding capacity on aluminum, stainless and mild steel. The system features a sturdy automatic square-wave converter running on 50/60Hz power on both AC and DC. A high frequency starts TIG torch with both an inbuilt remote control and an intuitive foot pedal to increase/decrease the heat as you weld. An ergonomic argon regulator which you’d buy separately. An MMA/STICK clamp and cable for extension. And a series of control knobs to make settings based on preference.
4.Amico TIG-160DC: Best 110v tig Welder
Practice makes one perfect. Especially when all you need to kick-start a practice is in one useful place. Like the Amaco TIG 160amp welding system that almost does the work for you. Giving you enough room to watch and learn how TIG welding is done as an enthusiast. Also, for TIG experts looking to get the job done real quick phenomenally with a rectifier adapter that converts 110/230v AC to DC with no hassle. Most users claim it tig-welds 1/8” thick plates on a scratch start even though the company recommends lift starting only. But I’d recommend sticking to the manufacturer’s recommendation to not compromise with the system’s durability.
So, what are the things you may do with this best 110v tig welder? You may perform multiple welding on chrome, copper, stainless, and any other metal with a maximum thickness of 3/8”. The system also serves as a traditional electric welder with a 60% duty cycle.
Once the plug is connected to a 110 volt, work clamp and cable set up, and a torch is fed, you may grab a 6011 stick and work from 70 to 160amp flawless weld.
If there’s one little dual-voltage best tig welder to send the new boys off with without having anything to worry about, this may be a lot of welder for the price.
5. Hobart 500551: Best Hobart TIG Welder
As a UK-based or Canada-based welder, sticking to the 230VAC All Western European standard is a must. So if you’re on the lookout for a rule-abiding system that gets a clean job done along the way, Hobart’s 50lbs super lightweight 500551 EZ-TIG inverter-based welder is the right gear.
Immediately out of the box and plugged into a direct 230 VAC power source, the 17 TIG torch gives a low amperage start for aluminum welding. While on the other hand, a high amperage starts DC output for mild steel and stainless steel. As an emphasis on the high amperage start, most users report a relatively short duty cycle of about 20% at 165amp. This makes it the right option for anyone looking to beat the annoying long resting time common in 165amp machines.
So, what’s included in the 60 pounds weighing packaged box? And why is it the best Hobart tig welder for aluminum weld?
6. Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG: Best Lincoln tig Welder
Here’s my last pick from the 200amps series and it’s coming from Lincoln. The Lincoln electric 200 TIG welder is yet another square wave inverter powered dual welding system. It is designed ground-up with craftsmen, hobbyists, small fabricators, and chop shop runners in mind. It gives you a high amperage start on aluminum and steel and maintains a steady arc with zero worries for fumes. What you’d really love about it if you seldom fry aluminum at home is the portable 17 torch that makes welding the tiny details work less. And the high command control pedals easy to step on while sitting on your welding chair and working.
If you want an all-in-one solution, a jack of all trades master of many, the Lotus CT520D may leave a good impression right out of the box. It is a turbo 3 in 1 system for TIG-welding, STICK-welding, and plasma cutting. The 50A pilot arc plasma cutting solution maintains a high speed cut with a near-to-perfection precision through every 1/2inch thick metal. And a low-speed drill cum severance cut through every 3/4inch thick metal including alloy steel, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Plug into a 110v-220v direct current, flick the control switch to STICK mode, and it delivers a minimum of 15amps for a low amperage start/weld. On maintaining the same input, it gives out a maximum of 200amps MMA electric current output to hot strike an arc and builds a deep weld pool.
Switch to TIG mode, and it becomes your regular 200amps tig welder. The only downside is, it doesn’t come with a foot pedal so you won’t find it comforting working on a large project. Except you don’t mind spending extra money on an S7 TIG foot pedal, 2M cable, and 7-pin plug.
Just so you have more aluminum and copper to weld than steel, here’s my second model from EVERLAST that is exceptionally AD/CD-based. First off, let me introduce the two downsides. One is… the foot pedal is not the best. Nevertheless, with the included spot time welder and a torch control, I believe that it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. But that leaves the pedal useless anyway. Another cut off maybe the water-cooled torch. But that too, considering the extra features, may be replaced with maybe say a wp17 air-cooled torch.
So, why should you go for this inverter-based 220-volt pulse welder? Number one reason is, it is set up with 4 wires for up to 3 phase 240 volt connection. Second, what you won’t get anywhere else is the fully adjustable pulse and the spot time welder for creating a welding routine. Third, in lieu of other 250amp systems with hot-start, the power TIG 250EX spots a low AC/AD amp start down to 5amps. And that makes it possible to make a good weld on mild steel of all thickness, a 25ga copper, and up to 1/8” thick aluminum. These, along with some extra features, listed below make it the best AC/DC TIG welder for the money.
Creating another option for your multiple welds, Vulcan develops the OmniPro 220 multiprocessor ground-up with enthusiasts and professionals alike in mind. Spool aluminum with it without an adapter. TIG-weld steel spinelessly with a 0.040-5/4inch thick electrode. STICK-weld around edges with a regular 1/8inch thick electrode with close to zero duty cycle. And Mig down large works maintaining a dual voltage 120v-240v, it churns out the same high output. Feed on 50 up to 500 wire to it every minute and set specifications on the 4.3 inch LCD color screen. This is just the right unit to stay on top of the job. Especially if you don’t want a system dictating your weld start. You may switch to and kick off with a 30A output for aluminum work. Then increase the output once the arc is stricken for a deep weld pool.
The overall design is okay but just like every other model out there, OmniPro 220 has its own downsides too. And I’ve listed it all below.
Choosing the Best TIG Welder for the Money-Perfect Buying Guide
Wide amperage range: Judging a tig welder by output amperage, a good system should feature a wide range of output. A range of 5amps-230amps is considered the best. It gives you the chance of welding metals of varying thickness while maintaining excellent arc stability.
AC/DC: If you mostly work with direct current, go for a DC TIG welder. And an AC welder if otherwise. Or better still go for an AC/DC to clear all doubts.
Smooth Controls: The heat control should not only be smooth. It must also be your kind of control. Once you’re familiar with it. However, a hand remote is advisable than pedals to TIG welding beginners.
Duty cycle: It is more important for seasoned welders to go for low duty cycle TIG machines. They speed up work progress and let large works to be done in time.
Weight/portability: This may not be necessary for enthusiast. But if you’re planning to travel with your wire-frying machine, get a portable one with low weight.
Price: All-in-all, make sure you go for the best TIG welder for the money budgeted.
New to TIG welding? Here are the basic things you need to know to get up and running fast.
What Is a TIG Welder?
A TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welder is an electrically powered system employed by engineers specifically for aluminum arc welding. Nevertheless, the functions of a TIG welder is also extended toward mild steels (4130 chrome-moly most especially). The reason behind tig welders being used on aluminum in the stead of MIG/STICK welding is because of aluminum’s high oxidation tendency. Hence a tig welder is built to overcome the defects caused by oxidation on aluminum including; porosity, burn through, lack of fusion, and craters.
If you haven’t seen one before, here’s a description to give you an idea of what a tig welder looks like. The tig welding system also called GTAW (Gas tungsten arc welder) is first of all recognized as an inverter. Immediately the AC-based inverter is connected to a power supply, it directs heat into the work lead (power cable and clamp). And then the work lead, in turn, redirects the heat to the output device called the TIG torch.
The TIG torch comprises a ceramic cup and a collet held in place together with a collet holder. It is inside of the collet that the inconsumable tungsten electrode is inserted. And once the first arc is stricken, there are holes in the collet holder leading from the shielding gas straight down to the tungsten’s mouth releasing argon gas to prevent oxidation.
An important feature of a tungsten inert gas welder is heat control. And it is of two types. One is the foot pedal control for controlling heat supply when working on a bench. Meanwhile, on the other hand, some tungsten inert gas machines spot a hand remote control built into the welding torch for working around limited spaces. Also, a TIG system may be set to automatically control the heat generated at the torch simply by tuning in to the impulse mode.
How To Set Up A TIG Welder?
- 1.Connect TIG torch to the inverter using the adapter
- 2. Connect heat control pedal to the inverter
- 3. Plug work clamp to the inverter and hold the metal to be worked on with the clamp end
- 4. Select polarity on the inverter settings
- 5. Sharpen or grind tungsten electrode
- 6. Open ceramic cup to expose collet
- 7. Insert sharpened tungsten into the collet
- 8. Plug inverter into an appropriate power supply
- 9. Strike the first arc and weld
Sean Coby is a welder par excellence and well respected among the welding community in Woodbridge, VA. He prides himself to be the fabricator and mechanic in the automotive/ diesel industry for the past more than eight years now. As the chief editor of his https://weldinginfocenter.com, he shares his experience to be safe during welding and to take proactive steps for becoming a successful welder like him.