Tungsten Inert Gas welding (better known as TIG welding) is an arc welding process in which a non-consumable tungsten electrode provides an arc that is shielded by an inert gas, usually pure Argon. While MIG welding also remains popular, many welders prefer to use a good TIG welder since they can provide more precise welds for highly cosmetic applications and applications that involve thinner metals that require strict heat control. The process of TIG welding has become more popular as the technology advances and more exotic metals are used in welding applications.
Selecting a good TIG welder for beginners or advanced users is simple if you follow the proper criteria – the challenge starts when you consider the different types of TIG welders that perform differently for various applications. If you decide you’re going to go about buying a TIG welder based on cost alone, it can end up costing you more in the long run if it cannot meet your specific requirements. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the factors to keep in mind when purchasing the best beginner TIG welder or one for high-end use.
Why TIG is the Popular Choice
The process of TIG welding is exact. It can provide immaculate welds that aren’t overcome with spatter and only produce minimal smoke. This makes it a prevalent choice for welding applications such as automotive, sculpture, aircraft and home jobs. As mentioned, it is also commonly used for applications that have thin-gauge sections of stainless steel, chrome or light metals such as aluminum and copper alloys. Thin materials require complete heat control to prevent warping or burns through the base material. Hence, TIG machines tend to operate at lower amperages to provide precise levels of heat.
In the past, TIG welding was considered one of the most challenging welding processes to learn. But new developments in technology have made TIG welding more accessible than ever before. That means home TIG welders for personal applications have become more frequent, and there are many TIG welders for beginners available on the market. TIG is the popular choice for all because of its ability to provide excellent results with relative ease.
Features to Consider for Buying a Good TIG Welder
A good TIG welder, for beginners or advanced-level welders, should come with a wide range of features to support the user. These features distinguish the good from the bad and make a world of difference for your jobs. Here are some features we consider the most important when buying a TIG welder.
Just like with MIG welding, you have to consider the amount of power you need from your first TIG welder. TIG welder reviews are primarily concerned with the amount of power the product can put out. Whether you need 120 or 240 volts depends on where you plan to work and what types of metals you plan to work on. If you are working from home or a smaller shop, you may want to opt for a lower power home TIG welder, whereas larger shops and industrial facilities likely need something with more power and voltage.
Many good TIG welders have dual voltage, making it easier to weld a wide range of metals from locations with different outlets. The thickness of the materials you plan to weld will determine the amperage you need from your TIG welder. A good TIG welder will be able to provide you with good arc stability at low amperage for starting and finishing your welds on thin materials without burning through them.
If you want to weld a wide range of materials with one TIG welder, you’ll want a machine with a high amperage range. A good TIG welder that maintains excellent arc stability at a low amperage is great for thin metals, while higher amperage is needed for materials like aluminum.
A feature to keep an eye out for when shopping for a good TIG welder is pulse welding. TIG welding is all about controlling the amount of heat you apply to the metal you are welding. Pulse Welding with TIG allows you to more easily weld thin metal without the risk of burning through it.
Welders who use a high degree of pulse will be able to travel faster along with the metal, resulting in less extra material to remove, giving cleaner welds. When appearance is an essential factor in deciding if you have a good TIG weld, pulsing features will also work well for welding stainless steel without causing it to rust. Using a TIG welder with fully adjustable pulse capabilities, such as our TIG AC/DC 200 Amp Standard Euro Torch Welder, will allow you to reach higher pulse rates to achieve more control – resulting in good TIG welds.
Small TIG welders typically weigh around 40 to 50 lbs. and offer great portability, while larger units can reach 100lbs. or more. The only way to move these heavy units is with a dolly cart around your home or shop. Smaller types of TIG welders offer versatility and enough power to complete small jobs that don’t require a long duty cycle. Portability is often an essential factor when searching for home TIG welders you’ll want to use for hobby applications. It should be a top priority after the duty cycle and power output.
TIG welding requires a good amount of skill, but that doesn’t mean your unit needs to be complicated to use. When searching for a good starter TIG welder, look for one that makes the process more accessible with a foot pedal. A quality foot pedal is one of the most important features to consider when buying a TIG welder. Foot pedals allow you to manage the amount of heat more simply using your foot similar to a gas pedal in a car. It’s beneficial to choose a good TIG welder that offers a proper foot pedal without intermediate amperage control – as this intermediate control can quickly become an annoyance.
A good TIG welder for beginners will offer a completely dedicated foot control pedal with no interim current control. This design is a much sought-after feature for both beginner and advanced welders who dislike the idea of inadvertently changing amperage settings while readjusting the foot pedal with their feet as they change their welding positions. Look for a TIG welder that offers all amperage control settings made from the console on the machine’s face.
Higher frequency settings make it easier to control a TIG welder’s arc. All of our TIG welders adopt our company’s exclusive high-frequency technology as well as a pure square wave output, providing superior arc force and a wide range of balance control for aluminum cleaning.
Suppose you move around the shop or your home while welding, and you’re concerned about possibly bumping into the controls of your TIG welder while in the middle of a project. Inspect the controls to see if they snap into a secure position. While it may be a small detail and a personal preference, secure controls are optimal in a good TIG welder for beginners. Even advanced welders might ruin a project if this happens, but it’s vital for beginning users who may not be able to save a project. Sometimes it’s the small details in a TIG welder that are the most important.
Additional Design Features
Good TIG welders will have additional features such as AC balance and stick welding or plasma cutting capabilities. These can significantly expand the types of welds you’re able to accomplish with a single machine. Our ACDCTIG200 is capable of welding with either AC or DC current, allowing the user to choose DC welding for carbon steel, stainless steel, copper and other metals, while also being equipped to switch over to AC welding for aluminum and aluminum alloys. If you want a versatile machine that can go above and beyond standard TIG welding, this is the welder for you.
If you don’t plan on doing a lot of aluminum TIG welding, you may also want to consider a multi-process welder which offers MIG, TIG and Stick welding all from a single compact, space-saving unit.
Find a Good TIG Welder for You at Weldpro
Selecting the right TIG welder is more than shopping for a low price. You’re looking for a good TIG welder that can provide you with exceptionally good TIG welds on heat-sensitive materials. At Weldpro, we offer an excellent selection of different types of TIG welders suited for users of all skill levels. We’ve designed our TIG welders with you in mind and outfitted each with a great set of features that make a difference when it counts the most. Whether you’re searching for the best beginner TIG welder or you’re an advanced welder who knows exactly what they need, we have a good TIG welder for you. If you have any questions about our products, feel free to contact us. Our team of experts is always standing by, ready to assist you.SHOP NOW