Recently, we have received a fair amount of emails from our readers inquiring what are the essential aspects for a TIG welder. Apparently, choosing a TIG welder is now more difficult than ever, especially when the market is flushed with hundreds of models of TIG Welder.
That’s why we have put some effort into our best TIG welder reviews to help with your decision during your TIG welders hunt. In this article, we cover how TIG welding works, the crucial aspects when you are choosing ones, and a couple of TIG welders we really liked after testing them out.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
- What is Tig Welder?
- How To Choose The Best Tig Welder
- Best Tig Welder Reviews 2020
- Best Tig Welder Under $300
- Best Tig Welder Under $500
- Best Tig Welder Under $1000
- Best Tig Welder Around $2000
- Wrapping Up
What is Tig Welder?
The term TIG is an abbreviation of Tungsten Inert Gas which is also referred heliarc welding by others. This melting technique uses an electrode made out of Tungsten which has an extremely high melting point. As such, people refer to it as a non-consumable electrode due to its non-melting properties.
Though, just to clarify, the term non-consumable is not equivalent to forever-lasting. Instead, it means the electrode won’t melt and becomes filler metal as a part of the weld. An arc of electricity is generated between the base metal, and the electrode heats the base allowing for material fusion during the cool down 3.
Advantages of TIG welding
If you are somewhat familiar with welding, you probably have already noticed the sort of benefits that TIG welding properties have over other welding techniques.
The non-consumable electrode significantly boosts accuracy in any welding process that requires sophisticated handling and great details. Despite having the capability to produce high-quality welding products, welding services that utilize TIG is also surprisingly known for its affordability (with its exception depending on the particular tasks).
The last and most notable advantage of TIG welding is the metal purity of the welding result. As mentioned, the TIG welder uses an electrode with an extremely high melting point, and it does not melt and becomes part of the metal base. As a result, the joint metal base would only comprise of the metal components of the original metal bases.
Disadvantages of TIG welding
Now onto some disadvantages of the TIG welding technique, there are three of them which you should know about. Once you the metal bases have been melted and joined, it is almost impossible to separate them. The worst-case scenario is when you have to pick them apart. It would require a couple of very seasoned welders to get the job done without completely wrecking the product.
Quality usually comes along with long hours requirement, and it cannot be more accurate with the TIG welding process. To produce a quality result with a TIG welder, you must avoid rushing it at all cost, or it will ruin the entire process.
Incremental expenses are perhaps the final challenge you might face for TIG welding. Yes, affordability is what TIG is known for, and it is also mentioned in the advantages section too. TIG welding is known to be affordable due to the low cost of most TIG welders, equipment, and materials required for the job. However, as the process is long and meticulous, it is usually performed by professional and incurs additional expenses via long labor hours.
Of course, such can be avoided if you make sure optimal working efficiency is achieved and thus limiting the long labor hours.
How To Choose The Best Tig Welder
When we are asked which TIG welder to choose, and how much money should be invested, our answer is always the same. What is your intended use, and what are your budget?
If cash is not a problem for you, then without any further question, you should go and simply buy the most expensive industrial TIG welder out there in the market. Otherwise, you should first consider the intended use for the TIG welder and the budget available to achieve said goal. Once these two are clear, determining which criteria is more crucial, and which can be sacrificed during the decision making become exponentially easier. Below are several most important aspects to be considered for any goal you may have:
Power output and working space
If the project you are working on does not require a huge power output, and you only have a small shed as working space , then the 120V welders would be your ideal choice (or 240 for power demanding projects).
The thickness of the material
The thicker the metal base is, the more amperage you would want your welders to be. Working on a thick piece of metal with a TIG welder and undesirable amperage would drastically delay your work as well as risk ruining the metal base.
This is quite often regarded as trivial by most welders, but we think it is also quite crucial in the long run. It is even more so if you are looking to purchase a TIG welder for a project that requires both hands and long hours of gas control using feet.
The inappropriate inclination of the foot pedal might cause severe fatigue or even minor nerve damage in your ankle part of your leg.
Torch cooling type
Generally, there are two types of torches, Air-cooled, and water-cooled. Some welders wouldn’t mind the heat and opt for the air-cooled torches for various reasons. However, with a unit that gives off a huge amount of heat, you might want to consider a water-cooled torch. It provides significant relief in terms of heat endurance.
Pulses per second
A dominant factor that has a significant impact on your ability to control your welding accuracy is the number of pulses per second. Most TIG welders on the marketing have a rate of about 4500 ~ 5000 pulses per second. If you are looking to mitigate welding hours and material wastage, it is recommendable to prioritize on TIG welder with higher pulses per second
Being able to roll around the working space might not be as relevant for a small shed owner, but might be crucial for a larger working station. Having a portable TIG welder could fix a huge chunk of issues If the project you are working involves big and heavy metal bases which are mounted or placed in its fixed location.
Best Tig Welder Reviews 2020
|Tig Welder||Voltage||Amperage||Dimensions||Weight||Editor’s Rating|
|Amico TIG 160 Amp Torch ARC Stick DC Welder||110/230V||160 A||16.6 x 7.5 x 11.8"||15 lbs||4.7/5|
|Amico TIG-225, 220 Amp High Frequency TIG Welder||115/220V||140 A||15.7 x 6.3 x 11.4"||20.2 lbs||4.1/5|
|Mophorn Tig Welder 200 Amp Tig Stick Welder||110/220V||200 A||15.7 x 6.3 x 11.4"||20 lbs||4.4/5|
|Welding Machine, 200 Amp HF TIG & ARC Welder||110/220V||200 A||19 x 14 x 10"||22.4 lbs||4.3/5|
|EVERLAST PowerARC 140||120/240V||140 A||20 x 12.5 x 13.5"||24.8 lbs||4.3/5|
|Everlast PowerCool W300||110V||250 A||18 x 13 x 10"||25 lbs||4.8/5|
|Reboot TIG Welder,110/220V Pulse Tig Welding Machine||110/220V||200 A||17.6 x 15.3 x 14.3"||26.9 lbs||4.5/5|
|PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225||110/220V||225 A||24 x 19 x 12"||90 lbs||4.7/5|
|AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200-Amp||110/220V||200 A||19 x 23 x 12"||69 lbs||4.6/5|
|Weldpro Digital TIG ACDC 200GD||110/220V||200 A||29.5 x 23 x 21"||60.9 lbs||4.3/5|
|LOTOS TIG200 200A||110/220V||200 A||28 x 13 x 17"||58 lbs||4.0/5|
|Everlast PowerTIG 200DV||110/220V||200 A||24 x 9 x 17"||60 lbs||4.9/5|
|Miller 951674 Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder||120/240V||230 A||21 x 13 x 11"||73.2 lbs||4.5/5|
Now, onto the products review, we will be reviewing products in group categorized by a general price tags.
Best Tig Welder Under $300
1 – Amico TIG 160 Amp Torch ARC Stick DC Welder
The Amico TIG’s performance and ability to produce quality welding is far beyond what its price should have been able to achieve. That’s why it won the award of Best TIG Welder Under $300.
Honestly, we were quite surprised during the testing. For a price under $300, the performance far surpasses most budget TIG welders on the market. The testing was done under the assumption that such a product would be primarily purchased for household uses. So naturally, test units were small things you would typically find around the house.
From things about ¼ to ⅛ inch plate, the lightweight and portable Amico welds them all almost perfectly. It operates extremely well on 120V, and has a wide range of amperage to cover both thin and thick metal bases. However, the Amico does have one most notable disadvantage, and that is control.
It is definitely a beast in the hands of veteran welders with a decent amount of know-how, skills, and experience whereas beginners might find it hard to control the arc a bit at the start, especially on 220V (which slightly offset its advantage of being dual voltage). Though, on the flip side, it can be seen as a good chance for beginner welder to practice and grasp the feeling of welding.
- Decent performance
- Runs well on 120V
- Dual voltage
- Wide range of amperage
- It requires a bit of skill and practice to get used to handling it.
While it may appeal to beginners as a challenge, it is actually the semi-veteran welders who would benefit the most of the TIG-160. Still, it is undeniable that it can get the jobs done with quality far exceeds its cost.
2 – Amico TIG-225, 220 Amp High Frequency TIG
In terms of performance and welding capability, it is on par with the TIG welder above. It can produce quality welding with the unit as thick as ¾ to things as thin as a pipe. Our experienced welders who tested the products complemented it greatly on the control part. The high accuracy of the TIG-225 comes from its Insulated Gated Bipolar Transistor technology. Designing the welder with IGBT tech has dramatically boosted its control over the welding arc.
The Amico TIG-225 is also a dual voltage welder like the TIG-160. However, the difference here is that it is easier to control when running on 240V. It comes with user-friendliness and ease of use. Triggers, buttons, and whatnot seem pretty straightforward and easy to get used to.
There are only two notable trade-offs which we could find. The smell from unpacking the box was a bit intense for our liking, and a small number of other users (not us) have reported a dead-on-arrival issue. Though they did get a full refund shortly after, it is still a waste of time, especially when you are in a hurry to weld.
- Decent performance
- IGBT technology
- Dual voltage
- High-frequency start-up system.
- Packages might emit an odor
- Minor delivery issue leading to dead-on-arrival issue
Perfect for beginners looking to start welding as a hobby, or for introductory purposes. Being easy to control, decent performance, superb dual voltage, and low budget are the ideal aspects for almost any household uses.
3 – Mophorn Tig Welder 200 Amp Tig Stick Welder
This is a 2-in-1 combo welding machine which can be used TIG welder and arc welder. It is perfect for both professional and household uses. The construction is both lightweight and portable.
It is dual voltage and easy to control the current output as well as being 60% duty cycle and 0.5mm molten pool. Upon testing, we found that it can actually hold a very consistent electricity arc, and switching from 115V to 230V and vice versa is very convenient too.
Similar to the ones above, it has an HF start which is also a plus for any welders. The torch is operated and controlled by a trigger, which makes controlling it a very intuitive task. As a result, even beginners can weld most units with high accuracy.
Though, the most praiseworthy thing about the Morphon TIG welder is its capability to handle the highest amp setting. Most other TIG welders under $300 would brag that they have an amperage range up to this or that. However, when you set them to maximum amperage, the electricity arc would start to look a bit “wonky”. Morphon is perhaps one of the few budget TIG welders that can truly handle high amperage setting consistently.
Regardless, it does have some minor cons, but what we found the most disappointing was the somewhat lacking manual. For those who couldn’t get their hands on a 220VAC outlet, the manual would suggest “swapping the plug” to deal with the issue but does not mention how to do so.
- Dual voltage
- 140 amp
- 2-in-1 combo
- IGBT technology
- Does not come with a regulator
- Manual is a bit unclear on some parts
Another perfect choice for hobbyist welders or if you are just starting to learn to weld. Though I do recommend talking to the manufacturer to find out how to “swap the plug” exactly if you foresee that you might not be able to obtain a 230VAC outlet.
4 – Welding Machine, 200 Amp HF TIG & ARC Portable Inverter Welder
The 2-in-1 combo and dual voltage advantages have already been mentioned several times so there is no need to further elaborate on it. All and all, it does the job well and also exceeded our expectations in every way possible for a welder under $300.
It can weld metal as thick as 35mm, which is quite impressive. The arc puddle is also quite easy to control. The machine works well with most rods, including the ⅛ and 3/32 which are the more commonly used ones.
Unfortunately, this welder is only good when it comes to tasks that require precision. For anything else and especially building materials, it becomes slightly harder to weld.
- 2-in-1 combo
- Dual voltage
- Can weld metal thickness from 15-35mm
- Duty cycle 80%
- For precision works only
If you mainly do repair works of smaller units or precision works, this welder is perfect for you. For veteran welders, you might even be able to weld heavy duty units too.
Best Tig Welder Under $500
1 – EVERLAST PowerARC 140 140amp Lift Start TIG Welder
The EVERLAST PowerARC 140 has enough power to spare for any sort of non-heavy duty works you would like it to face. Though, the supreme electricity arc control was the feature we loved the most. That allows precision tasks to be achieved without much difficulty. If the TIG welders below $300 on this list has an HF start, you can expect this welder which is under $500 to have the same feature too.
Plugging into a 120V would give you up 80 amperes and 220v for the full 140 amp. That means it can handle up to 3/16, which is very impressive. Other than that, the PowerARC 140 is also very lightweight coming as less than 25 lbs.
There are two downfalls to this machine. Firstly, it doesn’t have a foot pedal so beginners might need to practice pulling the tungsten out to end the welding. The second thing we find it weird is how the seller only accept returned product to refund, and refuse to send you parts of machine so that you can fix the machine yourself.
- Very decent performance
- Dual voltage
- 5-year warranty
- Very decent arc control
- No foot pedal
- Sellers only accept a return (read on to find out more details)
Being the best TIG Welder under $500, it is an extremely well-built unit. Even though it only has the most basic functions that any welder would have, the quality welding it brings for exceed most products on the market.
2 – Everlast PowerCool W350
Remember how we mentioned about choosing a water-cooled torch would help a lot with heat relief? The Everlast Powercool W350 Water cooler is here to offer you that relief. Even though, the machine actually doesn’t hold 2.2 gallons of water as it claims but that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that the water-cooled torch reduces a significant amount of heat. As a result, not only does it make welding more pleasant for welders, the Tungsten electrode would last longer too.
Other than that, the machine does its job decently via good arc control and whatnot. It is also worth mentioning that W350 is very easy setup. Essentially it is the typical plug and use type you would commonly see on the market.
There are not many cons to describe here apart from the machine not being voltage and some minor set-up problem. We had to turn the motor by hand to kick-start the machine manually, then it worked well until now.
- Watercooled torch
- Easy setup
- Fairly quiet
- Longer-lasting tungsten
- Might need to turn the motor to kick-start the machine manually
- Not dual voltage
Perfect for welders who can’t endure heat and are looking for a budget TIG welder that can still do the welding job well.
3 – Reboot TIG Welder,110/220V Pulse Tig Welding Machine
The Reboot TIG welder 200A is another choice for a budget and decent torch. Some test welding was done, and it seems to have a decent arc control too. The machine doesn’t really boast great portability, but it does have a suitable weight for a body type like that. Gas valve also works which is also a plus as there are TIG welders out there that usually comes with a faulty gas valve.
The 200A TIG welder also has other technical advantages that are worth noting. The machine is built with advanced high-frequency soft switch technology and power grid voltage fluctuation and compensation function. Additionally, the control panel is digital with friendly HMI and convenient adjustment.
With properties like that, the TIG 200A can be used extensively for various household applications such as welding doors, windows, pipes, hardware, and so on.
The only thing we didn’t like about it was bulky cable sheath. This is not very ideal for people with a small shed in the garden as a working station. Cable management might be annoying.
- Digital panel
- Various adjustment options
- High-frequency soft switch
- Good power grid function
- Wide amperage range
- Bulky cables
Decent performance overall and perfect for any sort of household uses. Though, you might want to invest a bit of effort for cable management to avoid getting tangled in your own workshop.
Best Tig Welder Under $1000
1 – PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder
Upon unpacking and examining the things inside the TIG225X box, we were utterly surprised by how neat it was. Most other TIG at this price tag would have a somewhat loose packaging and styrofoam to mitigate external force. However, Primeweld was able to basically pack everything into a box so perfectly that there was no space left. On top of that, the four corners are also installed with metal pieces that provide further cushion protection to dropping.
The torch actually has a real CK Worldwide flex head, and that is very impressive. Usually, under a price like that, most allegedly “CK Worldwide flex headed torches” are fake. Though, when we called CK Worldwide to confirm, it is legit which is another huge plus for the product.
Next up, we thought with meticulously designed equipment like that; then the shortfalls must be with the performance. We were wrong. We maxed it out to 225 amp and did a T-joint on two ⅜ thick steels and guess what, the machine can handle it. In addition, the lap joint was smooth beyond our expectations. The low-end controls of the machine is also very decent.
The only downfall we were able to find was a relatively loud machine, but you win some, you lose some.
- Tightly packed and high-quality delivery
- Comes with a handheld face mask
- Equipment is designed with very favorable small details (read on for more details)
- Real CK worldwide number 17 Flex head
- Very decent performance
- Not a very quiet machine
If you are looking for a TIG with small details that will surprise you and not just a machine that can weld, the TIG2255X is the one to bring home.
2 – AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder
AHP AlphaTIG 200X can achieve a very high power output even on just 110V, and you can achieve even more output when hooked to 220v (more than you normally could with other TIG). Again, it can weld metal pieces as thick as ⅜, which is more than enough to handle anything other than building or industrial materials.
The lap joint it can procure is also very smooth and on par with products at a relatively higher price tag. The machine is dual voltage and only as heavy as 50lbs which gives it high portability. That is always a convenient property to have.
Another enormous plus for the AHP is that the stick mode is also superb to use alongside the already decent TIG mode. A light swipe or a single touch and you can strike an arc without breaking a sweat. During the testing phase, there was no power loss, and the machine runs smoothly throughout the entire process.
The most notable con for the AHP is the confusing panel. While it does offer various adjustment options, it took us a while to figure out how it worked.
- Straightforward to use
- TIG and stick weld
- Weld with most common rods
- Duty cycle of 60%
- Great performance
- Noisy fans
- Confusing panel
AHP is an ideal choice for anyone who is looking to weld as a hobby but absolutely does not want to sacrifice quality. Beginners might have a bit of difficulty with the panel, but the manual should be able to help to some extent.
3 – Weldpro Digital TIG ACDC 200GD Standard Euro Torch – I Highly Recommended
Overall, the Weldpro 200GD is a quality welder that can handle most projects including carbon steel, aluminum and other kinds of metals. It can go up to 200 Amp to weld thicker materials while maintaining that smooth finish on the metal. Again, similar to other more high-end products on this list, there was absolutely no signs of power loss during the testing phase.
The most outstanding feature of the 200GD is the foot pedal. It was hard to tell at the start but after a while, we realized there was a tremendous amount of effort in the foot pedal. The inclination is good but the sensitivity on the pedal was superb. It means that welders you can expect precision works to be much easier with the 200GD.
The only drawback here are Dinse 9 stick only and 40% duty cycle. So you should expect a bit of time wastage since you need the welder rest more often.
- Great performance
- High-frequency start-up
- Great pulse control
- VRD function
- Great pedal
- Dinse 13 not available
- Only 40% duty cycle
Consistent quality and weld-anything are what you can get out of this welder. If you are primarily using it for household purposes and don’t have patience issue, the Weldpro 200GD was built for you.
4 – Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder
The Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A also has a real CK flex-head torch which means you can expect your Tungsten electrode to be quite long-lasting. The wide amperage range is always to have on any welders as it allows you to adjust the output appropriately. Though, it is still worth mentioning that the machine can hold itself up to 200A without breaking or losing power. That is an impressive feat for a machine with this price tag.
Although it can also weld other metal materials, we found that it is best for welding aluminum. The T-joint we performed on it was incredibly smooth, and the pulses were very decent too. The color could have been a bit better; it wasn’t really a huge deal.
So what’s bad about it? It is the pedal and the clearance effect. The pedal that comes with it has the common issue that most pedals have. You need time to adjust to it as you have hit that sweet spot to control it efficiently. Additionally, those of you are not very familiar with the clearance effect might need to do some research as the menu doesn’t really help at all.
- Extra kits included in the bundle
- Wide amperage range
- Automatic voltage switch
- Weld metal up to ¼ thickness
- Real CK flex torch
- The pedal is hard to use
- Confusing cleanse effect
Another ideal choice for the hobbyist as well as semi-professional uses. However, it will truly shine if most of your welding tasks are with aluminum materials.
Best Tig Welder Around $2000
1 – Everlast PowerTIG 200DV 200amp 110/220 Dual Voltage
The first and foremost thing to mention about the Best TIG Welder under $2000, the Everlast 200DV is that all the accessories which come with it are of the highest quality you can find. Most manufacturers will cheap out on some of it to cut costs here and there but not Everlast. Some examples would be the overbuilt, highest quality, and long-lasting electrode just for 200 amp, and the genuine commercial foot pedal.
Other than the 200DV also has a water cooler port should you decide to go for an upgrade later, and it provides pulse functionality and a wide variety of related settings similar to some of the above TIG welders.
The performance is, without a doubt, can only be described with the word superb. The arc is very controllable, and lap joint we did was incredibly smooth. It is not too far-fetched to say it is as smooth as other TIG welding machine that cost several times more.
We also found that the stick welding arc is also as smooth as the arc in TIG welding mode. Again, it is not an exaggeration to say it surpasses machines which were built to be stick welding dedicated.
It was quite a challenge to figure out what sort of flaw it might have. We tried it out in various modes and settings, and weld a variety of materials. The result was that not a single issue was found. The only disadvantage we can come up with is that the price has somewhat strayed away from the affordable path, but that is to be expected.
- Automatically detect voltage
- Soft-touch buttons
- Comes with high-quality accessories
- Proper flow meter
- Stoutly built
- Solid steel construction foot pedal
- Many adjustable options
- Not the most budget-friendly
If you could spare a thousand bucks and slightly more, then the Everlast 200DV is yours to bring home. It can accompany any sort of quality, materials or household needs you may have. Even commercial uses are not much of a problem for it.
2 – Miller 951674 Multimatic 215 Multiprocess Welder
For the Miller 215, it is only appropriate to start the review by mentioning an incredibly smooth arc. The drive motor of the machine starts up the welding process in a specific order and manner that was designed to ensure less splatter on the arc. As a result, welders would have a much easier time to control arc, and make smoother joints between the metal bases.
The machine also has auto-voltage detection for your convenience. However, even without the auto-voltage and auto-setting, the Miller 215 comes with a guide sheet with comprehensive guidance on setting up and configuration. The details on it are astounding.
It can weld up to ⅜ steel but unfortunately to TIG weld aluminum, you need to purchase a spool gun which is quite a bummer.
- Triple processes (TIG, MIG and stick)
- Auto-set function
- Easy setup and ready to use
- Weld up to ⅜ steel
- Easy to use
- Decent arc
- Spool gun needs to be purchased separately if you are looking to weld aluminum too.
If you find that you are always having trouble with manual configuration but can’t always rely on auto-setting, the Miller 215 is for you. It is designed for easy adaptable, and a meticulous guide sheet is also provided.
There you go folks, the above is basically everything you need to know about choosing a TIG welder that best suits you.
Thank you for reading my reviews and stayed tuned for more news on the Best TIG welder.