Best TIG Welder Reviews 2016 – 2017
- 1 Best TIG Welder Reviews
- 2 TIG Welder Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion
As frequent as its usage, TIG welding is very popular in highly cosmetic applications and purposes, usually those that involve thinner metals, requiring stringent heat control. This extremely precise process tends to result in very clean welds without spatter, while creating very minimal smoke. Hence, such process is widely-used throughout different automotive applications, experimental aircraft, sculpture, leisure pursuits, and more.
Fortunately, the market now offers wide selections of TIG welders, coming from different manufacturers and brands. But, the selections could become quite challenging and overwhelming. So, in order to get the best TIG welder, here are some of the top-rated products that provide you with the most reliable designs and technologies so as to complete your welding tasks in no time.
Aside from the TIG welder reviews, this article also provides a comprehensive buying guide, giving you more information about the deciding factors that will surely contribute to your decision later on.
|Picture||Model||Editor Ratings||Our Review|
|2016 AHP AlphaTIG Tig/Stick Welder|| (4.6 / 5) |
|LOTOS Technology TIG140 TIG welder|| (4.5 / 5) |
|TIG Welder Maxstar 150|| (4.9 / 5) |
|Thermal Arc W1003203 Welder Stick/TIG|| (4.5 / 5) |
|Everlast PowerTig 250EX TIG Welder|| (3.5 / 5) |
Best TIG Welder Reviews
The first product on the list is the AHP AlphaTIG 200X with an average customer rating of 4.6-Stars on Amazon. This TIG welder from AHP is a very powerful machine, featuring a 200-amp AC/DC and a stick function, providing hobbyists, the weekend warriors, and the professionals with a wide range of opportunities.
This particular model is available in a professional quality, like no other, while coming with an affordable price tag, giving every first-time welder the chance to explore the efficiency of such equipment. The AlphaTIG 200X boasts Power with Modulation (PWM) design as well as the IGBT technology that results in the most dependable and long-term power source.
Its high performance can be maximized on both 220-volt and 110-volt with complete pulse range features, including an AC cleaning control. This cheap TIG welder allows for the utmost versatility within its price range. Also, this machine offers standard TIG torch consumables, alongside its WP17 flex hose torch.
Moreover, there is a separate TIG control switch for operators who want to add the trigger switch with the torch. A heavy duty metal control for the foot pedal is also provided for utmost convenience.
All in all, the AHP AlphaTIG 200X is the newest design with 200HRTZ on arc frequency and pulse frequency, including a new torch. It works in ¼-inch aluminum and 3/8-inch mild steel. Highly capable of welding 6013 and 7018, this advanced inverter technology also works with stainless steel as well as thinner-gauge materials, producing high-quality welds with ease of use.
With a 4.7-Star rating, the LOTOS Technology TIG140 is a dual-voltage, 140-amp TIG welding machine. It is a stick welder and/or a lift-start DC TIG machine, featuring an automatic adaptive hot start, like no other.
This compact, inverter TIG welder is able to provide DC stick as well as DC TIG welding capabilities, considering its IGBT design that results in high performance and optimal efficiency. This machine is perfect for welding projects that require portability at its best. Despite the position, this machine can perform Omni-bearing welds through stainless steel materials, copper and virtually all ferrous metal.
The 120-volt/240-volt capability of this equipment makes it perfect to operate in different locations, as long as there is power outlet available. In fact, the TIG140 is useful with compact clean powered generators as well. Among the upgraded features include the newly-designed PCB board, plus a more efficient cooling system.
The maximum rated output amperage can be increased from 85-amp to 100-amp at 120-volt input. It is also a dual-frequency machine, having 50Hz/60Hz frequencies with 35% duty cycle at 100-amp, 120-volt input.
When it comes to its welding capacity, this TIG machine can weld stainless steel and mild steel from 18-gauge to ¼-inch at 240-volt, while 1/6-inch at 120-volt. It can work with maximum metal thickness of 1/8-inch at 240-volt and 1/12-inch at 120-volt.
The impressive features of this machine simply make it a top-rated product and much-loved by several consumers, which are beyond its function and performance. Overall, the LOTOS Technology TIG140 package includes the TIG torch, ground clamp, stick electrode, pigtail, TIG accessories, brush, a hand-held shield and argon adapter.
Next up is the Maxstar 150 STL TIG Welder with an average rating of 4.9-Stars from its customers on Amazon. This could be the best TIG welder for the money, considering the performance and efficiency of this machine.
The Maxstar 150 STL features 115/230 AC input voltage with welding processes that include stick, TIG, and polarity. It allows you to work with steel materials and mild steel with thickness, ranging from 0.020-inch to 3/16-inch. It also boasts a DC inverter as well as lift arc features.
In addition, this machine has a multi-voltage plug, allowing for connections to either 115-volt or 230-volt power receptacles without any added tools for support. The Fan-On-Demand is its much-loved cooling system feature that only works when necessary. This particular system tends to reduce energy consumption, including pollutants and noise emitted from the equipment.
The improved output amperage comes with the introduction of the Adaptive Hot Start style of welding, while preventing the electrode against creating an inclusion at the same time. This machine also provides accurate amperage control through the remote control, helping significantly in controlling the welds, especially on thin surfaces.
Indeed, it is one of the best TIG welders on the market today, considering the lift-arc technology that allows for welding with a frequency higher than usual. Hence, the Wind Tunnel technology also keeps unwanted dirt away from electrical components and the PC board. These endless and impressive features make the Maxstar 150 STL accepted by the professionals in the field, while a top pick for the hobbyists and the novices, despite its hefty price.
When considering a portable TIG welder, the Thermal Arc W1003203 Stick/TIG Package could be the best option. Garnering an average rating of 4.8-Stars, this machine’s portability is ideal for DIYers, beginners and the home improvement enthusiasts. Not only that it is portable and affordable, this welding equipment is also able to create high-quality welds.
It has lift and stick TIG capabilities, delivering a 95-amp of power on a 115-v circuit, allowing the operator to handle varieties of tasks such as repair and maintenance works, light fabrication, and more. At only 9.7 pounds, the inverter power source is really portable.
Unlike ordinary TIG welders, this particular model features an overheat indicator light, power and fault indicators too. There is a weld amp control knob as well as a lift TIG/stick process switch that allows for easy selection.
Hence, TIG welders reviews indicate that this machine is inexpensive, yet functioning similar to the costly brands. The entire package offers almost everything that a beginner needs to start welding. While a separate purchase of argon bottles is necessary, the overall cost of the main TIG package still makes it a wise choice for the hobbyists and the professionals alike.
Some customer reviews focus on the durability of this machine, saying that it still works perfectly after a three-year of service life. Thus, its portability is fantastic without sacrificing its efficiency and performance, resulting in great welds of stainless water tank fittings without leaks and progressive bead buildup. Other owners of the Thermal Arc W1003203 maximize its potentials in welding rusty underground water pipes, and many other projects.
The final contender on the list is the Everlast PowerTig 250EX with a 3.9-Star average customer rating. Similar to the previous products, this particular model of welding machine also has a lot of features to boast.
For one, these Everlast welders tend to offer smooth and stable arc characteristics, including great puddle wet in. The PowerTig 250EX is also very portable, lightweight, and with compact design, but is highly capable of providing industrial capabilities. Additional benefits include adjustable weld parameters, wallowing for either 2t or 4t operation.
Furthermore, there is a pulse function that helps in increasing the weld quality, while preventing the total heat input at the same time. An easy-to-connect torch is likewise provided. This also allows for a quick setup. Also, a clean power generator connection allows for a go-anywhere capability.
When compared to other good TIG welds, the Everlast PowerTig 250EX is beyond the ‘good’ category. This is mainly because of the unmatched features and benefits that this machine has in store. In fact, it also boasts a digital readout for the precise setting of the amp controls with easy-to-understand, color-coded controls too. On top of the mentioned features, this welding equipment also offers ergonomic-styles torch, plus accessories.
Over and above, it is product worthy to consider by the professional welders, beginners, hobbyists, and the weekend warriors. The built-in 240-volt receptacle has been engineered, especially for the use with PowerCool 300 Water-cooler from Everlast, while the extended AC cleaning range provides maximum adjustability for optimal welding performance, like no other.
TIG Welder Buying Guide
Surely, inverter TIG welder reviews are helpful for any probable buyer of such equipment, especially for the first-time buyers and operators. However, there are more things that should be considered when shopping for this machine. Below are additional buying factors that you will find equally essential to the product reviews.
The amperage range is an important factor to consider when choosing TIG welding machines. It is essential to pick a model with the widest amp range, yet at a reasonable cost. TIG welders with too narrow amp range can limit the varieties of materials that you can weld. However, an equipment with an amp range of 5-amp to 230-amp can provide the utmost flexibility necessary in welding thinner materials like 24-gauge stainless steel and up to a ¼-inch thin aluminum.
Keep in mind that aluminum materials require higher amp ranges that stainless or mild steel. So, a machine that is incapable or reaching at least a 200-amp will restrict the max thickness of aluminum materials that you can work on. With a wider amp range, the machine will be more useful in different applications, without having to buy other equipment.
Low Amp Welding Performance
Aside from a wide amp range, it is also important to pick a model with good arc stability, say below a 10-amperage. Such feature allows for an easier start, better arc control, including an exceptional fill capability through the weld’s end. While TIG welding is a process performed on thin materials, you will desire for an arc without hot start or lots of high frequency.
There are some models that claim to have great starting designs, those that help in establishing the arc; however, these claims only produce a hot start. The best TIG welder for aluminum should never create a hot start, because the equipment actually spikes up towards a higher amp and a higher starting amp might create a too intense arc, burning through the material, instead of just joining them together.
A hot start is not helpful when it comes to arc stability during a welding process. It does not help the operator too in maintaining good arc control during a crater filling. Stability at low amperage is very critical, while finishing the weld, which is equally an essential nature of TIG welding.
The AC/DC options are very useful if you are planning on welding not just stainless steel or mild steel materials. Also known as Alternating Current and Direct Current respectively, these options offer greater versatility when it comes to the TIG welding machines. An AC TIG welder, for instance, is used with self-oxidizing soft metals such as magnesium and aluminum. The DC option is useful with hard metals like deoxidized copper, stainless steel, and steel.
When choosing the right TIG welder, it is also crucial to consider the thickness or thinness of the material that you are working on. Remember that this machine is highly efficient with thin metals that require precise heat control. Therefore, working with a ½-inch thickness is impossible with the use of a TIG welder.
The duty cycle largely depends on the amperage you are requiring for the weld. When it comes to this feature, a 20% duty cycle is said to be low, while a 40% and 50% duty cycles are in the medium category, while 60% to 80% duty cycle are considered high.
The control system, primarily the heat control is another crucial factor for a great TIG inverter. This feature, again, is very useful when working with thin materials, allowing you to control the heat input so as to reduce the metal’s war page. A pulse weld feature is a reliable option of controlling the heat input without compromising the weld penetration. A pulsed TIG welder tends to alternate between low background current and a high peak current, maintaining the arc and allowing the weld to cool down.
The best AC DC TIG welder should have such built-in feature, providing a reliable heat input control. Such option is also a famous training tool, which can be adjusted, helping the operator to time the filler metal application into the weld puddle. In short, a TIG-pulser helps in achieving a constant-looking ‘stacked dime’ weld bead that is associated with great TIG welds.
Ease of Use
Of course, a dependable TIG welding machine is not only versatile and flexible, but also offers a user-friendly interface. This feature is most important among the beginners in the welding field. While TIG welding procedures are oftentimes associated with complexities, the machine itself does not need to be that complicated.
Fortunately, the reliable brands today, especially the featured products in this article provide easy-to-understand controls and an overall design. Some key accessories you might to consider include a metal foot pedal amp control that simplifies the process by letting the operator either decrease or increase the welding amp when necessary. Hand amp controls also exist, but the former design is said to be more convenient.
Overall Design and Quality
The overall design and quality of the best inverter TIG welder are likewise associated with additional features. These designs usually contribute to the service life span and the durability of the entire machine. A few of the key features worth-considering include a cooling fan or a cooling system and a removable TIG torch. One of the featured models above boasts an automatic cooling system, which activates only when necessary.
In a nutshell, selecting a reliable TIG welder is essential because this type of equipment is very useful in different applications and purposes, ranging from home improvement projects to automotive applications, maintenance and repair works, industrial and construction fields and more.
Getting the best AC DC TIG welder is equally crucial as this welding machine can be a long-term investment, and maximizing its potentials and usefulness for the longest possible time will be worth your money, without a doubt. And, in order to arrive at the best TIG welder, it is wise to consider the featured products presented in this review, including the buying guide for an additional deciding factor.
Check out other Welding Equipment too!
- Best Heated Jacket (also here)
- Best Welding Jacket
- Best Butane Torch (also here)
- Best Soldering Iron (also here)
- Best Welding Gloves
- Best Welding Boot (also here)
- Best Plasma Cutter (also here)
- Best Welding Glasses
- Best Welding Apron
- Best Welding Cart
- Best Welding Sleeves
- Best Mig Welder (also here)
- Best Tig Welder (also here)
- Miller Tig Welder
- Miller Mig Welder