Tig welding is one of the most common perhaps most difficult skills to master, but once you get your hands on it, it delivers high-quality welds without any spatter or smoke than any other welding technique. A tig welder is far superior for bonding thinner metals like stainless steel, aluminum, chromoly, copper, brass, nickel alloys, and even gold and can also be used in aerospace & automotive industries.
But, It might not be as easy it seems to buy a tig welder that fits all your welding endeavors. You may miss out on some essentials like welding arc stability, portability, foot pedal, frequency settings, duty cycle, controls, etc without a proper buying guide. To save you from this hassle we tested various tig welding machines and selected the best tig welders in the world befitting to most of your industrial or domestic welding scenarios.
But, Prior to buying a tig welding machine, it’s essential to know the difference between different welding processes & methods, the prerequisites of tig welding, and how many bucks a tig welder costs.
What is TIG Welding? (GTAW)
TIG stands for tungsten inert gas welding, the American welding society calls it gas tungsten arc welding(GTAW), you might have heard Heli-Arc welding also. Tig welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode that has an extremely high melting point (6,192°F) and does not get melted.
How is Tig Welding Different than other Welding Processes?
Tig welding uses a non-consumable electrode that does not become the filler metal, unlike the other welding methods using a consumable electrode that becomes the filler metal. Basically, a tig welder fuses components together, and if filler metal is required, a separate rod will be used.
Both tig and MIG welders use inert shielding gas that comes from high-pressure cylinders to work, but tig welders use argon or argon/helium(HE) gases mixture to work properly, on the other hand, MIG welders use Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas.
Welding Mate Top Pick for the Best Tig Welding Machine
Best TIG Welder with Reviews
- 1. AHP AlphaTIG 203XI – Best Inverter Tig Welder
- 2. PRIMEWELD TIG225X
- 3. Everlast PowerTIG 250EX AC/DC Pulse TIG Stick Welder
- 4. YESWELDER TIG-205DS- Best Small Welder
- 5. Lotos TIG200 – Best 110v Tig Welder
- 6. Weldpro Digital 200GD AC/DC – TIG/Stick Welder
- 7. Everlast PowerTig 185-Best 120v Tig Welder
- 8. Miller Maxstar Electric 150 STL – Best Portable Tig Welder
- 9. Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 K5126-1
- 10. Forney 291 Easy Weld 180 ST-Best Tig Welder for Home Shop
- How to Use a TIG Welder?
- How to Choose the Best TIG Welder 2022-Buyer’s Guide
1. AHP AlphaTIG 203XI – Best Inverter Tig Welder
- Equipped with HF(high frequency) start
- Multiple control options
- Welds aluminum , stainless steel & variety of metals
- Perform both TIG/Stick welding
- Stable arc
- Extended arc length
- Offer both 2T/4T options
- Inaccurate flowmeter reading
- Foot pedal design is’nt user friendly
Ahp AplhaTIG 203XI is newer and improved version of AHP AlphaTIG 200x that comes with fully controlled LCD screen featuring rapid action set unlike the older version having messy knobs on the front.Adding more to it this rapid action set lets you perform the tig welding quite quickly , all you need to do is select metal and tungsten thickness.
We heard welders bragging a lot about its stick welding, hence by testing it in different welding scenarios we found its stick mode to be holding up with its high-end competitors like Lincoln & Miller. The arc is very smooth and stable that requires a slight touch to the metal to initiate. Most professional welders or hobby welders tend to buy 203XI, once they have mastered MIG or Stick Welding.
We ran 6011, 6013, 7018, and 308l stainless rods through it in 3/32 and 1/8 and it performed quite well, however, we attempted 6010, but the machine could not run it, but the area ain’t to complain about as most of the inverter machines have issues running it.
Additionally, the welder offers three pulse settings, i.e amperage, frequency ranging from 0.5Hz to 200 HZ, & time. Moreover, the digital display lets you easily switch from AC to DC mode.
All in all, calling it one of the best tig welding machines in the world would be completely unfair. Moreover, the 3 years warranty that AHP offers on this machine makes it an easy gamble for money.
2. PRIMEWELD TIG225X
- Capable of welding mild steel up to 3/8″
- Advanced inverter technology
- HF start hand control torch
- Heat control system
- Excellent customer support
- Includes USA made CK dinse connector
- Difficult to operate
- Heavy weight
The Primeweld TIG225X 225 TIG/Stick Welder is an excellent machine that provides value to its price without compromising on quality. It offers a modern design that makes it a suitable option for both hobbyists and professionals. You can conveniently use this welder for different types of projects due to its AC/DC capability.
It’s also equipped with the latest IGBT technology that not only makes it an efficient machine but also durable as compared to its rivals. It comes with an extended 3 years manufacturer warranty gives you the liberty to use this machine without worrying about your investment.
The usage process of this welder is a bit daunting especially for beginners, however; anyone can master it in a short period of time. It can be used with both 120V and 240V output to tackle the toughest metals without any hassles.
The precise foot pedal option is included in this TIG welder so that you can control the heat during welding according to the job requirements.
This welder works great with aluminum, stainless steel, and other thinner metals without leaving behind any chances of mistakes. Due to its versatile specifications, it’s the most compatible option for a wide range of welding applications. Moreover, the air-cooled CK Superflex Torch is one of the best embellishments you get with this unit, which makes it perform astonishingly well at low amperages.
The unique design of this 110/220v TIG Welder has an excellent ventilation system that prevents all types of overheating risks despite using it for multiple welding projects at a time. It’s a highly portable machine that you can easily carry anywhere, thanks to its metal bar handle that makes it convenient for anyone to move it without any hassles.
In the last, if you are looking for a middle category welding machine, then there will be no better choice than Primeweld TIG225X 225A TIG/Stick welder to consider. Nonetheless, it’s one of the most reliable Tig welder machines available at a reasonable price tag.
3. Everlast PowerTIG 250EX AC/DC Pulse TIG Stick Welder
- Works on both high and low outputs
- User-friendly controls
- Good after-sale service
- Welds both aluminum & steel excellently
- 5 Years warranty
- May require separate torch for air cooling
Everlast PowerTIG 250EX is a new market entrant by Everlast, that is capable of performing various welding tasks quite remarkably.A durable machine that runs on both AC & DC modes & requires only 5amps to start, and can be used for virtually any thinner gauge metal, including stainless steel, chrome-moly, roll cages, copper, titanium, and steel.
This 250EX Welder provides ample power and flexibility to adjust your welding settings. You’ll need a TIG cooler to go along with this welder to take its full advantage. The welder provides a stable and smooth arc, which starts very quickly. Additionally, it also operates with single as well as three-phase power on 240 volts. Moreover, the unit gives a 60% duty cycle at 250 amp on single-phase 240V input.
Other features from the package include a Consumable Starter Kit (Tungsten not included) that provides you with everything you need to weld after setup, 2T/4 T remote, arc force control, spot welding timer, Stick function, and much more. There is also a pre and post-flow control mechanism that provides optimum protection before and after when welding with shielding air.
It features intuitive controls and benefits from a robust design. The industrial-grade TIG welder is compact and easy to handle and ensures quality welding. You can get perfect welds with excellent pulse function and reduced heat input.
4. YESWELDER TIG-205DS- Best Small Welder
- IGBT soft switch technology
- Reliable work tool
- Great arc stability
- Overload protection
- Short cords
YESWELDER TIG-205DS is a new entrant in the market but seems to capture a large chunk of the market by welding capabilities it offers at such low cost. If you are short on budget but want something that provides a reasonable quality, it’s the best choice for you.
It has IGBT soft switch technology that provides the best Arc stability, and suitable weld for the thin workpiece. The machine performs excellently on cellulose electrodes and is capable enough to weld ¼ to 5/32-inch steel on 220 and 110 v, respectively
Its lightweight and durability make this a very reliable device for personal and professional use. The settings are truly easy to use. Just input the thickness of the material you are about to weld, and it will automatically set the voltage and amperage. The machine offers a 60% duty cycle at 165 amp and 100% at 127 amp.
The features of steeples amperage control, fan dormancy, auto temperature control are also there. It also provides automatic coverage for overload protection, voltage variation, overcurrent protection, and over and under-voltage protection. It is an excellent machine for DIY repairs and simple metal weldings such as welding to trailer frames, car, and motorcycle restoration, making and repairing fences, and so on.
5. Lotos TIG200 – Best 110v Tig Welder
- HF start
- Welds great on aluminum
- Equipped with foot pedal
- Dual voltage
- Not equipped with pulse arc capabilities
- Foot pedal lacks in design
Lotos TIG 200 is one of the best tig welder offered by lotos. It works on both AC (Square wave) and DC mode,moreover it offers both TIG & Stick welding modes.
If you want a cost-effective producer, then the Lotos TIG200ACDC is an excellent choice. This welding machine is excellent for welding various types of metals. The uniform bead appearance, proper and adequate penetration, and gives impressive welding results.
However setting up the machine may be difficult for you as the user manual is unclear, but if you have basic knowledge of welding you can set up the welder quite easily.
The Lotos TIG200’s primary objective is to have dual voltage 110/220volt. The dual-frequency is 50Hz/60Hz, which allows the welder to move directly onto 220v 50/60Hz plus 240v 50/60 Hz voltages.
This welder machine detects the voltage required for automatic adjustment. The special adapter plug allows users to switch from 110/220volt. The welding capacity is 3/8 inch(9.5mm) for mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.
The panel of useful settings only requires a small amount of prior experience to use it, but for most forms of TIG welding, there are enough adjustments to set the welder up.
Unlike the lower-priced welders, there is a foot pedal. The pedal isn’t of the best quality, though, and is considered to have accuracy problems and lack of responsiveness. There is also no pulse arc, but you can set an automatic down-slope setting to finish off the weld smoothly.
6. Weldpro Digital 200GD AC/DC – TIG/Stick Welder
- Preflow/Postflow resulting cleaner welds
- Pulse arc capabilities
- Suitable for many welding scenerios
- High-frequency start
- Both AC/DC modes
- American made CK-17 torch
- Poor foot pedal quality
Weldpro Digital 200GD is a digitally designed best tig welder equipped with all features, only offered by some high priced machines. Though the welder is not heavy on wallets, still has downsides, which makes lower in our list.
The welder has similarities with AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp tig welder and PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp TIG Welder, but the tig torch is something that most users not get accustomed too if they haven’t used other tig machines before. The euro-style torch comes with a machine, that most users find difficult to use, but the use of CK Superflex torch overcomes this problem costing you a few extra bucks.
Inside the weldpro 200GD uses IGBT along with PWM(Pulse Width Modulation), making it more efficient than the other welders. Besides, it can be used as both HF TIG/Stick welder, making it more versatile and efficient.
The 110V/240 V machine works incredibly well on aluminum, mild steel & stainless steel, and also offers various settings that can be adjusted according to each specific weld. The high starting amperage of 200A makes it the choice of many.
The best feature of 200GD is its foot pedal. Although the inclination is decent, the sensitivity is perfect. You can expect precision works to be done amicably with this tool. It is also a powerful welding tool, providing multiple uses for every weld for its many settings. This unit is also capable of offering users the MMA stick welding feature along with an included stinger, in addition to the rocket-style foot pedal design. It provides a 40% duty cycle at full amps and a 60% duty cycle for DC and AC tigs, respectively.
The stock foot pedal is the best, and it has excellent pulse arc modes. It also has a fantastic design with its amp controls already on the machine’s side, providing ease of access, unlike others where consumers need to do it while still re-adjusting the foot pedal with their feet while also shifting their welding position. Moreover,2T/4T modes make the work easier for the welder.
Overall, the machine could be an excellent choice for both hobbyists and industrial users. Moreover, the machine is back up with 3 years warranty.
7. Everlast PowerTig 185-Best 120v Tig Welder
- Stable arc
- User friendly
- Welds good on aluminum
- No foot pedal
- Lacks in customer support
This welder has 185 Amps of enhanced power output. It is capable of doing both STICK and TIG welding. It comes with a low DC TIG arc. Therefore, you’ll need some time to get used to it. It offers a 35% duty cycle on 185 amp and 35% on 105Amp at 220v and 110v.
Although this is not a powerful welding tool, the IGBT technology complements the lack of total output. But still, the arc is still stable, thanks to the IGBT inverter, allowing you to go through 5/8 “steel in a single move.
You may make some changes to the control panel as well. You can set pulse time, switch from output AC to output DC, etc. It’s a lightweight tig welder, but it still comes with a wide range of features and configuration choices that compare with costlier welders.
The machine has a finger switch, but the package doesn’t include a foot pedal, which you may need to purchase separately to make your welding operations more efficient.
In the end, the customer support by everlast is something most users complain about, but still the many found it a useful tool for both their hobby needs & workshop use.
8. Miller Maxstar Electric 150 STL – Best Portable Tig Welder
- User-friendly controls
- Light weight & portable
- Excellent quality & reliable
- Offers 100% DC at 100A
- Welds vast variety of metal thickness
- It does not have any foot pedals
- Not meant to weld alumium
Miller Maxstar Electric 150 STL is one of the premium quality welder offered by renowned brand miller , the welder is your best bet if you are not budget constrained, to tell you more its a portable unit weighing only 13.7 lbs , but featured packed machine that delivers precise welds.
This model features a compact and portable generator that helps you to function without feeling cluttered in different areas. The IGBT technology that it offers guarantees that direct current and coated electrodes can be used for it. The latter will range in diameters from 1.6 to 3.6 mm. Besides, it runs on low power, so you don’t have to worry about high electricity bills.
The welder works on 115/230VAC input voltage. However, Multi-Voltage Plug allows you to switch between 120 V and 240 V input power quickly. Besides the amperage range from 5A to 150 lets it weld anything from 0.020″ to 3/16″ just fine, it is a strong welding tool, built to last. As well as being made with strong materials, it comes with features that improve durability.
It also allows you to work faster due to features like a solenoid. This integrated element pushes through the gas needed for welding and generates a steady stream for continuous welding. An external flame is not required to use the solenoid.
Well, these reviews are unbiased, the machine has disappointments too, on the one hand, it gives you excellent DC output, but it’s not meant for you if are looking for a machine with AC output.
Summing it up , the machine has got simple operating controls , but it’s not going to disappoint you when to comes to its welding capabilities.
9. Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 K5126-1
- It includes a foot controller
- Regulator equipped
- Advance welder, with the simple use
- A good machine for all skill levels
- HF non touch arc start
- Arc can be unpredictably strong
- Poor customer support
Lincoln square is a welder that gets your heavy duty work done in tight spaces quite remarkably.Moreover , it features a self cleaning system , that’s makes sure there’s no debris left once you get over with your project and a rapid release torch plug ensures no hazards during the operation as it eliminates any air pockets.
Additionally, this welding machine provides effective cleaning action if you frequently work on aged aluminum too. A simple interface for settings, a 40 percent duty cycle, and a dual 120/240 input voltage render it a versatile welding machine that can be used anywhere. It also comes up with a three-year warranty.
A high-frequency arc holds the tungsten electrode clean with a no-touch start. It welds from a sheet of 24 gauges to a plate of 3/16 inches. The AC TIG process for aluminum work features pulse width modulation to control the width of the bead. An adjustable AC balance removes oxidation at the surface and prevents impurities out of the weld puddle.
Overall, it a good tig welder made by a reputable brand, and best for you if are a brand enthusiast, however AHP AlphaTIG 200X or PRIMEWELD TIG225X offers you extensive features, at half the price.
10. Forney 291 Easy Weld 180 ST-Best Tig Welder for Home Shop
- Compatible with both 120v and 230v power plug
- Lift start tig
- Generator-friendly welder
- It supports 8000 watts power
- It does not come with any rods included
- The fan system takes quite some time to turn on
Forney 291 Easy Weld 180 ST is a versatile machine that features both stick and tig modes.Moreover, the machine is quite easy to move around as it weighs 14lbs only.But dont let its size fool you , as the machine is capable of welding 1/2” of mild steel at 180 amps.
The most exciting attribute of this welder is that it is generator-friendly, making it much easier to weld when you don’t have electricity. Besides, the unit is made with a metal case, which extends its durability.
The dual voltage features give you more power and let you use it to get over with your simple welds in the backyard, garage, or even in your shop.
It also has an easy start technology that allows for a quick and smooth start, and it also eliminates stuck electrodes. Though the machine has no foot pedal, and many users found it to be un convenient, Forney took care of that by equipping it with a lift start for tig.
Surprisingly, we couldn’t find any setbacks with the machine. Most of the users seemed to be satisfied with this machine.
How to Use a TIG Welder?
Using a tig welder requires more skill than a MIG welder, as you need to control 3 elements: a foot pedal, filler rod, and the torch, but it’s worth the effort as heat control lets you perform the welding more efficiently that ultimately resulting in cleaner welds.
The tig welder works by holding the tig torch in one hand to strike the filler metal and another hand on the metal being welded. The foot pedal lets you control the amperage produced by the welder. Like you need maximum amperage all you need to do is press the pedal all the way down and vice versa. This allows you flexibility, as you may need lower amperage, in the beginning, to prevent the metal from over welding. One more thing to need to ensure before starting tig welding is that the ground clamp should be attached to your metal workbench or with the metal being welded.
Besides, to protect the metal from contamination you’ll also need to release the argon gas to the weld pool. Make sure to hook up the argon gas bottle and regulator to perform the welding operations.
How to Choose the Best TIG Welder 2022-Buyer’s Guide
TIG welding is a significant upgrade from simple welding capabilities, and TIG machines cost a lot more than other welders, offering exclusive features that are not available on different machines. Before you buy just any machine, you should know about the essential features to look for in that machine.
Whether you’re a newbie or a professional welder, it is essential to buy a machine with specifications and performance that’s tailored to your requirements. You should consider the following factors while shopping for the best TIG Welders:
Smaller TIG welders weigh between 40-50 pounds and can move around fairly quickly. The bigger units, however, weigh 100 pounds and more. The only way those units can be moved around is with a cart. Smaller TIG welders still provide plenty of flexibility and power to complete smaller jobs where extended duty cycles aren’t required. Portability is also one of the main considerations that welders need to worry about after considering the power output and the duty cycle.
TIG welding requires the insertion of gas shielding, so it requires a method of connecting gas and inserting it into the weld. Some machines would have an in-built gas valve that turns on the machine when pressing the torch trigger. Typically, these machines will have integrated post gas and pre-gas features. Some machines do not have a gas valve built-in and will require a torch with a manually operated valve built-in.
If your main objective is TIG welding, then it will require a machine with a gas valve. If TIG welding is only necessary for infrequent jobs, or long-welded work, then the manual gas valve may be quite sufficient.
The input power is defined as the power the machine needs to operate. Before you buy any sort of welder, check its power rating. If the power rating is not stated, you can calculate it by multiplying the maximum current by voltage. You need to look for a welder with high input power for heavy-duty work.
The tig welder with the low price may end up offering lower arc stability. An unstable arc will create problems with the weld’s look, and that is a big problem because most welders use TIG welders when they need to create a high-quality weld that needs to be clean. However, pre-weld cleaning of the metal also helps to get great results.
For pulsed welding, you may want to look at the machine’s pulse rate. Pulsed welding is useful when dealing with thin metal parts that may crack with standard welding. It reduces the heat that hits the metal, so it doesn’t crack. While old systems produce between 4,000 and 4,500 pulses per second, and newer welders can produce up to 5,000 pulses. TIG welders with a higher pulse rating will give you more control and deliver a better weld.
Heat control is another significant factor that makes it more practical to work with thinner metals. Furthermore, seek to go for a high duty cycle, which is the capacity of a TIG welder to sustain a specified output in ten minutes.
For TIG welding, a reliable foot pedal is of crucial importance. Sometimes TIG projects are carried out in uncomfortable positions, and the TIG process itself requires two hands — one for the torch and the other for the filler rod. Pedals allow welders to control the amount of heat to prevent the weld puddle from being too large.