Best TIG Welder for the Money: Professional’s Choice

Best TIG WelderThe 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.

IMAGENAMEDETAILS
Everlast powerARC
  • Megapixels: 20.1 MP
  • Lens: 24-200mm, f/2.8-4.5
  • Viewfinder Type: EVF
ESAB Rebel EMP215IC
  • Megapixels: 20.1 MP
  • Lens: 24-200mm, f/2.8-4.5
  • Viewfinder Type: EVF
Everlast PowerTIG
  • Megapixels: 20.1 MP
  • Lens: 24-200mm, f/2.8-4.5
  • Viewfinder Type: EVF
Vulcan OmniPro 220
  • Megapixels: 20.1 MP
  • Lens: 24-200mm, f/2.8-4.5
  • Viewfinder Type: EVF
Lotos TIG200ACDC
  • Megapixels: 20.1 MP
  • Lens: 24-200mm, f/2.8-4.5
  • Viewfinder Type: EVF

1. Best Everlast TIG Welder


EVERLAST PowerARC

 

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.

Key Features:

  • Digital display screen for current setting
  • DINSE 25mm style connectors
  • 120/240v dual voltage
  • 17v torch handle with inbuilt manual gas valve
  • 6ft length clamp and cable for easy movement around large works
  • ICGBT inverter from PowerARC series
  • Automatic hot start setting and lift TIG features
  • 20 × 12.5 × 13.5 inches Plastic carry case with comfy straps
  • 3 rubber plastic cups (size 5-7)
  • DC Power source
  • 35% duty cycle
  • Design material; metal
Pros
  • Welds aluminum seamlessly with no porosity as it does with steel
  • Portable design with high mobility
  • The auto hot-start cuts off sticking of electrode
  • Highly dynamic; processes GTAW and SMAW on DC
  • Low on power consumption
  • Does not require extra battery
Pros
  • One of the most pricey models
  • May not be ideally for high frequency start

2. Best Esab Tig Welder


ESAB EMP215IC

For works demanding TIG welding, MIG welding, and stick welding at the same time, this ESAB Rebel EMP215IC 120/230-volt multi-process welder comes in handy. It beats using multiple units to the dust with an almost zero duty cycle. First off, it’s a triple welder for the money when compared to the price of Lincoln sp220 and Miller 907693 multi-process machine. Another upside is it doesn’t need a foot pedal control once you learn to set it up properly. It is an equal output with Miller’s 208/230VAC wheeled system.

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.

Key Features:

  • Multiprocess 120/230-volt professional DC system for TIG/MIG/Stick
  • 120-130volt adapter plugs
  • 4 extra multipurpose 6013 stick electrodes
  • 180 MIG Tweco fusion gun with 10ft cable
  • MIG gun spare part kit (drive rolls and contact tips included)Tweco
  • TIG torch (ground clamp, leads, and other accessories included)
  • 6.5ft/2m length arc holder clamp cable
  • 3/8inch/9.5mm maximum thickness of arc gun plate
  • 2T/4T trigger hold function
  • Adjustable built-in arc control
  • Auto-detect input power
  • Maximum welding output; 240amp
  • 90 VDC open circuit
  • Maximum spool diameter; 200mm
  • MIG duty cycle; 20%/STICK duty cycle; 25%/TIG duty cycle; 30%
  • LCD/TFT display
  • On-screen and paper user manual
  • Dual mode (basic and advanced)
Pros
  • LCD display is intuitive
  • Easy switch through different processes with low duty cycle
  • Burn-back control is highly adjustable
  • Gas flow-time adjustment is easy
  • Hot-start is adjustable
  • MIG performance and Stick performance are professional-grade
  • High durability with the steel housing protection
Cons
  • Not really good for aluminum welding
  • TIG torch and Fusion gun are bulky
  • Fusion gun may not give a good spray
  • Breaks the bank
  • Bulky design
  • Can’t spool

3. Best AC/DC TIG Welder for the Money

Everlast PowerTIG 250EX

 

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.

Key Features:

  • IGBT inverter module
  • 250 amp AC/DC system
  • 3 phase connection with 240v power
  • 60% duty cycle
  • 18 series water-cooled torch
  • 10ft cable with work clamp
  • A/C frequency and A/C balance control knobs
  • 35 series DINSE style connectors
  • Low amp start (5 amps)
  • STICK welding ARC force control
  • 2T/4T remote control function
  • Foot pedal control
Pros
  • Best deal for the pricet
  • Portable design with high mobility
  • Company’s customer service is excellent
  • Good arc delivery with spineless result
  • Highly recommended for welding thin metals
  • Post flow and pre flow feature for shielding is an extra
  • Puts out quality weld
Pros
  • Doesn’t come with a tungsten
  • No dry torch

4. Best Vulcan TIG Welder

Vulcan OmniPro

 

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.

Overall design is okay but just like every other models out there, OmniPro 220 has its own downsides too. And I’ve listed it all below.

Key Features:

  • NEMA L6-20P back plug
  • Duty cycle; 40% for 100amp and 100% for 75amp
  • 120v-240v dual volt system
  • MIG, DC TIG, DC STICK, flux core welding
  • 50-500 wire/minute wire feed speed
  • Full-setting control knobs with 4.3inch LCD color display
  • DC only system
  • 132 pre-loaded programs
  • 220amp output
  • Overall design weighs 49lbs
Pros
  • High versatility
  • Portable unit with intuitive design
  • Easy and fast to set up
  • No need for an adapter for the spooling gun
  • Multiple power cables fits in anywhere
  • User-friendly interface
  • Sturdy and durable material
  • 2 years warranty
Pros
  • Need to spend money on shielding gas
  • Pricey when compared to other 220s in the series

5. Best Aluminum TIG Welder

Lotos Aluminum Tig Welder

 

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.

Key Features:

  • Welding capacity; 3/8”
  • Automatic dual voltage AC/DC system
  • TIG/STICK maximum output; 200A AC/DC
  • TIG/STICK minimum output; 15A AC/DC
  • Foot pedal control for heat regulation
  • Inbuilt remote control in TIG torch
  • HF (high frequency) start
  • 110v/22ov input
  • 50/60Hz power
  • Square wave inverter
  • Machine efficiency; 80%
  • PAPST cooling system
  • Adjustable striking arc current
  • Handheld protective mask
Pros
  • Best price for an aluminum welding machine
  • Portable design with high stability
  • 1 year warranty and 30 day money back policy
  • Easy to setup and handle
  • Highly recommended for a clean and accurate aluminum welding
  • Easy to move and store away
Pros
  • Holding the torch in one hand and the rod in another maybe straining
  • Included mask may be a joke

6.Amico TIG-160DC: Best 110v tig Welder

Amico TIG-160DC

 

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 welder for the price.

Key Features:

  • 110v/230v Dual voltage input system
  • Processes; MIG/TIG/STICK
  • Welding capacity; 3/8”
  • Maximum output; 160
  • Duty cycle; 60%
  • 1o feet work cable and clamp
  • 160DC professional torch gun
  • 2 piece of tungsten; 1/16 in
  • 2 pieces of electrode; 1/8in and 3/32in
  • Hi-tech professional rectifier inverter
Pros
  • Strong welding power source
  • Dynamic machine with low input
  • Comes with a user’s manual and a year warranty
  • Smooth arch with zero spatter
  • High mobility and easy to store away
  • TIG gun is professional
  • Best for learning how to set up a tig welder for aluminum and use it
Pros
  • Doesn’t come with hose, argon tank, foot pedal, and regulator
  • It doesn’t hot start (lift start only)
  • Not ideally for large works
  • Duty cycle may be an issue when working on high power

7. Hobart 500551: Best Hobart TIG Welder

Hobart 500551

 

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 to 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?

Key Features:

  • 230v dual voltage AC/DC system
  • 20% duty cycle
  • Minimum output amperage; 10amps
  • Maximum output amperage; 165amps
  • Input voltage; 230volts
  • Maximum welding capacity; 3/16inch
  • Dual torch remote control (RFCS-RJ45 foot pedal and hand control)
  • 12.5ft work cable with attaching clamp
  • High frequency start
  • Argon shielding gas with gas hose
  • Gas regulator with flowmeter
  • A single dedicated control knob for specs settings
  • An automatic shutdown on high temperature
  • Ergonomic straps for transport
  • Inbuilt automatic fan
Pros
  • Super lightweight compact design
  • Quick and easy to set up and running
  • Delivers superior weld performance on aluminum
  • High mobility
  • The single control knob adds to the system’s simplicity
  • Amperage control is infinity
  • Recommended for tig beginners
  • Inbuilt fan stops debris from building up in the system
  • Durable built material
  • Great price
Pros
  • Not ideally for welding super thick steel

8. Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG: Best Lincoln tig Welder

Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG

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.

Key Features:

  • Dual voltage AC/DC system
  • Maximum welding capacity on steel at 110v; 3/8”
  • Maximum welding capacity on steel at 220v; 1/2″
  • High frequency start on stainless and steel
  • TIG torch and STICK connected to one power source
  • 2 pieces of 3/32” and 1/16” tungsten rods
  • Maximum output on 110 and 220v; 200amps
  • PTA-17 style torch
  • Duty cycle; 20%
  • User’s manual
  • 3 years factory warranty
Pros
  • Versatile system with dual capability
  • Great functionality
  • Super intuitive and user friendly
  • Phenomenal system for aluminum welding
  • Hassle-free setup
  • Quality arc start
  • Doesn’t overheat
Pros
  • Not for large production
  • Pricey

9. Best Lotus Multipurpose Welder and Plasma Cutter

Lotos TIG200ACDC

 

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 a S7 TIG foot pedal, 2M cable, and 7-pin plug.

Key Features:

  • TIG/STICK welder with plasma cutting solution
  • 110v/220v dual voltage DC system
  • Maximum plasma cutting capacity; 3/4inch
  • TIG/STICK maximum output current; 200amps
  • TIG/STICK minimum output current; 15amps
  • High frequency arc start
  • Argon regulator
  • Air filter regulator
  • Plasma cutting torch
  • STICK/MMA clamp and cable
  • Inbuilt PAPST cooling system
  • NPT 1/4inch plug
Pros
  • High dynamic multipurpose system
  • 1 minute setup
  • High portability
  • Delivers smooth clean plasma cut
  • A lot of solutions for the system
Pros
  • No foot pedal

Special note:

Often than not, making a blameless purchase on a welding system is difficult. Most especially today when you are easily overwhelmed with the available almost endless options. The best way to go about it is knowing precisely the problems you want to be solved, how you want them solved, and in what precision. Moreover, there’s no one-solution-fits-all system anywhere. So in most cases, you may want to make a list of your personal needs before going to the market. With a useful list as that, you avoid reading misleading random reviews and go straight for a welder that gets your job done.

With that said, you may consider the best welder buying guide I’ve provided below to know what to look out for in a welder.

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 the 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?

Chances are your tig welder gets delivered to you but you couldn’t use it right out of the box because you need to assemble it first. So what do you do? Here’s how to set up a TIG Welder easy and fast in 9 simple steps.
  • 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