10 Best TIG Welders

  • Input Voltage : 120/230V
  • Output : 125A & 200A
  • Weight : 73 pounds
  • Input voltage : 120/230V
  • Output : 180A max 10A min
  • Weight : 50 pounds
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  • Input voltage : 120/230
  • Output : 160A
  • Weight : 13 pounds

TIG welding is technically referred to as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). Instead of a wire being fed by a wire feed, or a stick electrode being struck against the metal, TIG welding uses a torch to heat the metal to its melting point at which time a filler metal is added to it forming the weld bead. The TIG torch uses a sharpened tungsten electrode to form a very precise electric arc surrounded by plasma that melts the base metals. The filler rod is simply dabbed into the weld puddle and as the torch moves along the weld joint more filler is added to make a weld bead.

Best TIG Welder

It is important to note right off the bat that TIG welding takes practice and finesse to get right and for the amateur welder there may be a steep learning curve. TIG welding also requires the use of an inert gas to shield the weld area and help the arc generate the plasma necessary to heat the base metals to the melting point.

One notable advantage to purchasing a TIG welder is that they double as a stick welder too. So anytime you need to weld something a little heavier or outdoors then you can switch over to stick and weld away.

In this article we will run down our top picks for TIG welders available online and list the specifications and the pro’s of each along with our opinion on the utility of each welding machine. To finish the article off we will provide a buyers guide to aid you in your decision.

10 Best TIG Welders

1. Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 TIG Welder, K5126-1

Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 TIG Welder, K5126-1

Lincoln Electric produces high quality TIG machines with some advanced features like Square Wave, that make TIG welding easier and more consistent. Being an AC/DC machine you can weld not only steel and stainless steels but aluminum as well. This dual voltage machine is a go anywhere and do anything machine that includes everything that you’ll require to get welding with the exception of the shielding gas and filler rods of course.

Verdict

This is a great machine for anyone who wants a machine that will do everything that a 120/230V dual voltage machine can do. Be it steel, stainless steel or aluminum all can be welded with ease and the advanced features hidden within the Lincoln make welding not only easier but better as well. 200 Amps is about all that can be expected out of a dual voltage machine and that amperage will accomplish most regular TIG welding jobs with ease.

Pros

  • Capable of welding aluminum
  • Portable
  • Dual Voltage
  • Square Wave Technology
  • : Input Voltage 120/230V
  • : Output (120V) 125A 25% Duty Cycle
  • : Output (230V) 200A 25% Duty Cycle
  • : AC and DC Output
  • : High Frequency AC with Pulse

2. Miller Electric Diversion 180, 120-240VAC

Miller Electric Diversion 180, 120-240VAC

This is Miller Electrics equivalent to our #1 pick and is the same dual voltage with high frequency AC. This model weighs in at only 50 pounds so it is very portable and with the dual voltage can basically be used anywhere. As with a lot of the name brand welders this model comes with everything you need to get started aside from shielding gas, metal, and consumables.

Verdict

While it does not have the 200 Amps that the Lincoln does this is still a do it all machine that will be a solid performer for a wide variety of TIG welding applications. The portability and dual voltage mean that you can take this machine anywhere that you may need to weld and the 180 Amps is more than sufficient to get jobs done.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Dual voltage
  • AC and DC high frequency
  • Can weld steel, stainless steel, and aluminum
  • : Input voltage 120/230V
  • : Output 180A max 10A min
  • : High frequency AC
  • : High frequency start

3. Miller Electric Maxstar 161 STL

Miller Electric Maxstar 161 STL

Miller Electric is another well known and respected name in the welding space and this TIG welder offers up a portable welding machine with everything you need. This model does come with a handy carrying case but lacks AC capability and high frequency so you will not be welding aluminum. Miller does however boast that its machines are capable of TIG welding at amperes as low as 5 amps which is great for really thin gauge metals.

Verdict

While not as versatile as our #1 or 2 pick this is still a great machine and will weld very thin materials since it can weld as low as 5 amps. If you do not foresee aluminum in your future this is a fine welding machine by a well respected manufacturer.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Can weld as low as 5 amps
  • Dual voltage
  • : Input voltage 120/230
  • : Output 160A
  • : DC Only
  • : Lift-arc start

4. Lincoln Precision TIG 225,208/230VAC

Lincoln Precision TIG 225,208/230VAC

Another offering from Lincoln, this one is worth mentioning for those of you who have a dedicated 208/230V power source. This model will weld aluminum and has an auto-balance feature that allows for automatic adjustments to the AC balance to give the optimal combo of cleaning and penetration for all your aluminum TIG welding. Being a bit larger it is probably best for in the garage or shop in a stationary setup.

Verdict

This is not a portable welder but for a shop or garage with a dedicated 208/230V power supply this is a great option. The high output amps mean that you can weld not only steel, stainless steel and aluminum but weld thicker gauges of these metals than other welding machines on this list.

Pros

  • High output amperage
  • Can weld steel, stainless steel and aluminum
  • Includes Auto-Balance
  • : Input voltage 208/230V
  • : Output 230A max 5A min
  • : AC/DC high frequency
  • : Includes all accessories required to get welding
  • : Includes pulse

5. Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i

Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i

Hobart has been building welding machines for a very long time and their TIG welders while not as advanced and the Millers or Lincolns, are still worth a mention and a look. This model while portable is not dual voltage so it is best suited for a shop or garage rather than being lugged around.

Verdict

Not a bad little welder for those who may want or need to move the machine around but still want to be tied to that dedicated 220/230/240V power source. The lower amperage of 165A should be taken into consideration as our #4 choice has 230A at the same voltage input.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Can weld steel, stainless steel and aluminum
  • : Input voltage 220/230/240V
  • : Output 165A
  • : AC/DC High frequency
  • : Portable

6. Weldpro Digital TIG 200GD AC/DC 200 Amp Tig/Stick Welder

Weldpro Digital TIG 200GD AC/DC 200 Amp Tig/Stick Welder

This is a budget friendly model that attempts to mimic the advanced features of the high end machines. This dual voltage model boasts both AC and DC welding with pulse and high frequency so you will be able to weld aluminum. It also comes with everything you need to get going as well. While it is inexpensive compared to the Miller’s or Lincoln’s it will lack all of the proprietary circuitry that the brand name welders have and us professional welders love.

Verdict

Not a bad option for those who want the features of the Miller’s and Lincoln’s without the price tag. The dual voltage and portability mean that you can take this anywhere as well.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Welds steel, stainless steel and aluminum
  • : Input voltage 110/220V
  • : Output 200A AC/DC
  • : High frequency with pulse
  • : Portable

7. AMICO POWER ATIG1852018 TIG-185/180 Amp HF TIG

AMICO POWER ATIG1852018 TIG-185/180 Amp HF TIG

Now we are getting into more of the budget models of this list. This Amico welding machine is a dual voltage 180 amp TIG machine that includes almost everything you would need to get started. This machine does not include a gas regulator/flow meter and even though it is listed as being high frequency, it is high frequency start only so this machine will not weld aluminum. It also doesn’t come with a foot pedal current control so it will be a bit tricky for the amateur welder to get used to.

Verdict

For the homeowner who only TIG or stick welds occasionally and has no need for aluminum welding machines like this one are a fine choice. The lack of a gas regulator/flow meter is unfortunate as is the lack of a foot pedal for amperage control.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Portable
  • Dual voltage
  • : Input voltage 110/230V
  • : Output 180A
  • : High frequency start
  • : No foot pedal control

8. CTS-200, 50A Plasma Cutter, 200A TIG-Torch & Stick Arc Welder, 3-in-1 Combo Cutting & Welding Machine

CTS-200, 50A Plasma Cutter, 200A TIG-Torch & Stick Arc Welder, 3-in-1 Combo Cutting & Welding Machine

This is a welding machine that was worth a mention simply because it also includes a plasma cutter along with the TIG and stick welding capability. While the welder is 200A the plasma cutter is only 50A but still good enough to cut up to 3/4” metal. This welder does not have high frequency or AC so aluminum welding is out of the question. Plasma cutting is a nice feature to have especially for thinner gauges of metal.

Verdict

I like that this welder includes a plasma cutter but buyer beware that plasma cutters require an air compressor of a sufficient output pressure to operate. This machine does not weld AC or include high frequency so there is no aluminum welding.

Pros

  • Includes a plasma cutter
  • Portable
  • Inexpensive
  • : Input voltage 120/230V
  • : Output 200A (welder)
  • : Output 50A (plasma cutter)
  • : Portable
  • : No high frequency start

9. Welding Machine, 200 Amp HF TIG

Welding Machine, 200 Amp HF TIG

Dual voltage and AC/DC this machine will weld aluminum, steel and stainless and with 200 amps it got plenty of power for most run of the mill TIG welding jobs. Dual voltage and lightweight mean you can take this machine anywhere.

Verdict

This is another budget welding machine but with 200 amps of power its got plenty of juice to do pretty much any TIG job that you would encounter around the house. It’s also portable and dual voltage but does not include a gas regulator/flow meter.

Pros

  • Dual voltage
  • Can weld aluminum
  • Portable and inexpensive
  • : Input voltage 110/220V
  • : Output 200A
  • : AC/DC high frequency
  • : Portable

10. AMICO POWER XYST20502018 ST-205 Amp Lift-TIG Torch/Stick/Arc Welder, Red

AMICO POWER XYST20502018 ST-205 Amp Lift-TIG Torch/Stick/Arc Welder, Red

This is as basic a TIG welder that you’ll ever find. It is a simple DC welder that runs off household 115/230V power but still delivers 205 amps of current. No high frequency, foot pedal, or gas regulator/flow meter.

Verdict

This is a welding machine that is as budget friendly as it gets. The definition of no bells and whistles this TIG welder is scratch start only and will not weld aluminum. Would be a good option for a hobbyist of homeowner who may not weld very often.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Inexpensive
  • : Input voltage 115/230V
  • : Output 205A
  • : Scratch start only
  • : Portable

Buyers Guide

Safety First

All arc welding uses an electric arc which emits ultra-violet radiation that will burn your skin and eyes if not protected. All forms of arc welding require the use of a welding helmet with the appropriate shade of filter lens and even though TIG welding has no sparks the body must be protected just the same. No skin should be exposed and the clothing worn must be non-flammable and thick, such as cotton, wool or leather. The fumes and smoke given off can be toxic so wear a respirator as well and only weld in well ventilated areas.

One hazard unique to TIG welding is the use of Argon as the shielding gas. Argon is heavier than air and if inhaled into the lungs is very difficult to expel. Care must be taken when welding overhead to not allow the flow of Argon gas to fall in such a way as to inhale it. Also be aware of welding in confined areas as the shielding gas will displace the oxygen in the space leading to asphyxiation.

It is imperative that no matter what you take safety very seriously because the damage to your eyes from arc flash is extremely painful and can cause permanent damage. The use of electricity as the basis for electric arc welding also means that you must take the risk of electrocution seriously as well.

Things You Will Need

TIG welding requires the use of an inert shielding gas which is most commonly Argon. These gasses come in high pressure cylinders and can be bought at your local welding supply shop. Tungsten electrodes are also required which is what conducts the electricity to form the arc. Steel and aluminum require different compositions of tungsten electrodes and require different shaping of the ends to weld correctly.

A bench grinder is used to shape the end of the electrode to a sharp point for welding steel and stainless steel.

Aluminum usually is welded using a pure tungsten electrode that has the end formed into a ball. The method for doing this is easy but outside the scope of this list information on how to do this can be found online or from your local welding supply shop.

Steel and stainless steel usually use a Thoriated electrode that is sharpened to a point which helps guide the arc to become very directed and precise. Other types of tungsten electrodes can also be used for welding the steels but 2% Thoriated is the most popular.

Aside from these in order to weld you need to have filler metals that are appropriate to the base metals that you intend to weld which the local welding shop can help you choose.

Which to Choose?

With so many options it can be hard to pick the right welder for your needs. The main considerations should be the input voltage, types of metal, portability and the ease of use. Aside from these the one last consideration as always for machines like these is your own knowledge of the art of TIG welding.

Input Voltage

For the most part any dual voltage machine will do just fine for the average homeowner or hobbyist but there are occasions where someone may have a shop or a garage set up with 208 or 230 volt service and never intends to move the machine. In these cases a TIG welder that is strictly 230 volts would be preferable. It is important to keep in mind that the output amperage will be significantly less with 110/115V power so keep that in mind. Also be aware of the amperage of the circuit breaker that will be used and the input amperage of the machine you use. Installing a 20 or 30 amp breaker over the standard 15 amp breakers will prevent you from having to constantly reset a blown breaker every time you push the amperage of the welding machine. Always consult local codes and an electrician before changing out circuit breakers especially for a welding machine.

Type of Metal

If you want to weld aluminum you need to have a machine that is capable of welding AC high frequency and you must have foot or hand amperage control. Foot controls are often easier to operate as they are just like a gas pedal. If welding steel or stainless steel only, than a DC machine is more than sufficient. High frequency start is a great option to look out for because it reduces contamination on the base metal from using scratch start to start the arc. For a lot of applications in welding steel and stainless steels a machine with lift arc or scratch start is sufficient especially for those who do not require high quality welds.

Portability

One of the nice things about these welders is the portability factor that comes with their small size add in the dual voltage and you can have a stick/TIG welder damn near everywhere you can think of the use of 115V power though reduces your ability to weld thicker materials so keep that in mind.

Ease of Use

Some of the higher end welders come with automatic features that make their machines easier to use but by far the best tool that will aid in making TIG welding easier for you is a foot pedal amperage control. Once you get the hang of it, controlling the heat of the arc becomes almost intuitive. Aside from what the machine does for us, TIG welding comes down to fine motor control and practice which all the advanced features in the world can not help with.

Knowledge

As with any tool, a welding machine is only as good as the person operating it. If you’ve never welded before it would be beneficial to take a class or two at your local technical college or welding supply store. TIG welding is not a difficult process but there is a lot of technical aspects when it comes to the tungsten, gas, or filler rod selection that should be understood before diving headfirst into this welding process. Any welding supply shop can and will point you in the right direction and answer any questions that you may have.

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