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TIG welding stands apart from other types of welding because it permits more operational command over the weld. Heat control is key when welding, and no welding process controls heat or produces better welds like a TIG machine.
For these reasons, TIG welding has quickly become the most popular and versatile welding process. It not only results in finer-looking end products but also allows you to weld thinner metals with more precision.
But just like any other tool, TIG welders aren’t created equal.
Depending on your welding needs, you’ll find that some TIG welders perform better than others. That’s because different machines will have different ampere ranges, power output, welding arc, input power, and duty cycle.
Understanding these terms and why they are important considerations when buying a TIG machine can help you get the best welder for your needs. This guide will look into these considerations and list the best TIG welders for your needs. Let’s dive in!
3 Best TIG Welders 2023
What Is a TIG Welder?
TIG is an abbreviation for Tungsten Inert Gas. Hence, TIG welding is an arc welding process that utilizes the aforementioned elements to create fine welds. Tungsten has a high melting of 3,422 degrees Celsius and therefore doesn’t melt during the welding process.
Is TIG Welding Good for Beginners?
While TIG welding is increasingly gaining popularity among first-timers, MIG welding is the most beginner-friendly type.
MIG welding is a faster process and easier to learn for beginners.
TIG, on the other hand, is a slower process that requires more time to master.
On the upside, TIG welding is considered superior to other welding processes and produces more precise welds on a wide range of materials. TIG is the best choice for maximum weld quality, regardless of the material used.
How Much Does a TIG Welder Cost?
The cost of TIG welders varies greatly based on their features and the quality of the welder.
Generally, TIG welders cost between $100 and $3,500. The more expensive ones come with additional features that result in finer welds.
What are the Disadvantages of TIG Welding?
Undoubtedly, TIG welding results in the best quality welds. However, it’s not without its downsides. Here are the three limitations of TIG welding.
1. It’s Expensive
TIG welding is more expensive than other welding processes available. The welding costs of TIG are higher than MIG costs because the process is slower and has low deposition rates.
2. TIG Welding Is Time Consuming
TIG welding will test your patience. The process is slow and time-consuming. For the kind of quality and precision it’s known for, it requires a lot of time.
3. TIG Welding Is Difficult
If you thought you could just wake up and start TIG welding right away, you’ll be in for a rude surprise. Operating a TIG machine is not a walk in the park. It takes special handling and years of experience to master.
What to Look for When Buying a TIG Welder
As mentioned, TIG welders come in many shapes and sizes.
What’s ideal for industrial use might not be the best option for your DIY project. That said, there are some things to consider before buying a TIG welder for your unique needs.
1. Duty Cycle
The duty cycle refers to how long you can use the welder before it can cool down.
Most welders have a duty cycle of 30%. This means you can use the machine for 3 minutes before it cools down for seven minutes.
A 30% duty cycle is sufficient for most welding projects. However, a welder with a higher duty cycle is preferable because it can get more done in a shorter period. But unless you intend to use your welder continuously without resting, you don’t need a duty cycle.
2. Ampere Rating
A welder’s ampere rating refers to the maximum output current it can produce.
Ampere rating is critical because it determines the metal thickness you can weld and the speed at which you can weld it. If you plan to work on or join heavy metals like steel, you’ll need a powerful TIG welder that can deliver up to 400 amps.
But if you’re working on thinner metals like aluminum, an ampere rating of 200 will get the job done. That said, a versatile TIG machine should have a high ampere rating.
3. Type of Input
You’ll find two types of TIG welders on the market today: AC/DC and DC-only welders.
AC/DC welders can work on both alternating current and direct current. These welders allow you to work on a wide variety of metals. DC-only TIG welders typically have limited applications, so it’s advisable to go for a machine that supports both AC and DC.
Different TIG machines come with different weights.
Some machines, particularly the more powerful ones, can pack a lot, making them heavy. Although not a dealbreaker, weight can be an important consideration.
The weight of a machine will typically affect its portability and ease of use. The weight is also related to its size. Large welding machines tend to be very heavy. If portability is important to you, you’ll want to go for a machine with a manageable size and weight.
Also, if you have limited storage space, you’ll also want a compact machine that can easily fit into your small space.
5. Multi-Process Capabilities
Except for specialized machines for welding aluminum, the best TIG welders are multipurpose machines.
In other words, they are designed to perform more than one type of welding.
For instance, some machines can perform stick welding—a type of welding that uses a metal stick as a filler material. Others can do plasma cutting—using the welding torch to cut metals rather than join them. Craftspeople and hobbyists might enjoy the multi-process capabilities offered by some top-end TIG welders.
The 6 Best TIG Welders on the Market Today
We waded through a crowd of machines for you to find these six best TIG welders. We had a ton of help from our community of metallurigsts who shared with us the brands and models that performed well in a professional seeing as well as analyzing the customer sentiment for all available tig welders as of November 2022:
1. Best Overall TIG Welder: PRIMEWELD TIG225X
The Primeweld’s TIG225 won our top choice as the best overall TIG welder you can find on the market today. This welder offers the most versatile mix of features you’d expect from a quality AC/DC machine.
This TIG welder has a dual voltage of 110V & 220V and a power output of 200 amps. It has a 100% duty cycle at 108 amps, enough power to continuously weld on a 1/8 metal. At full power rating, this unit has a 40% duty cycle.
The TIG225X is powerful enough to weld stainless steel ranging from 22-gauge to a quarter-inch thick. And when it comes to safety, the TIX225 doesn’t disappoint either. It offers surge control, arc blow control, and overheat protection. The company further adds extra protection with a 3-year warranty.
Due to its versatility, the TIG225X is ideal for both home and commercial use. The unit’s pulse width modulation and IGBT design give it the most reliability, so you’ll never have to worry about it breaking down or not performing as expected.
- Pulse Live modulation
- Dual input: 110v and 220v
- Precise width control
- Amperage: 10A to 225 A
- Duty cycle: 40%
What we love
- Extra wide 10 to 225 Amp range
- 3-year warranty
- Has a CK17 Flex torch
- You can use it in many welding applications
What can be improved
- Price – the unit costs more than others in its class
The Primeweld TIG225 is an excellent option for those who want a powerful TIG welder that can be used in a wide range of applications. But at a price of $869, it’s more expensive than others in its class.
- 225AMPS TIG/STICK WELDER WITH PULSE FUNCTION WORKS GREAT WITH ALUMINUM, STAINLESS STEEL AND THINNER METALS
- CK Worldwide 17 Series Superflex TIG Torch with Flex Head AND CK SUPERFLEX HOSE, ALSO INCLUDES CK DINSE CONNECTOR USA MADE
- 200HRTZ on PULSE FREQ AND AC FREQ will do 1/4" aluminum and 3/8" mild steel and 110/220 volts and is capable of welding 7018, 6013
- Both HF start hand torch control and precise foot pedal welding heat control
- Advanced Inverter Technology with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) Using IGBT technology
2. Best TIG Welder Under $1,000: WeldPro Digital TIG 200GD
The WeldPro Digital TIG 200GD is another excellent option for those looking for a versatile yet powerful TIG welder under $1,000.
This unit goes beyond welding steel and aluminum; it also offers stick welding. Ideal for beginners, hobbyists, and small fabricators, the TIG 200GD comes with a 200A rating. It can work with both 240V and 110V supply as per your requirements.
As you’d expect of a high-performing product, the TIG 200D has both AC and DC modes, allowing you to work with a wide variety of metals without issues.
This unit uses state-of-the-art technology to achieve precision welding. It can achieve welding speeds of 0.5mm per second with less than 1% error, making it ideal for industrial applications as well as in home workshops.
What’s more, the unit can be adjusted in different ways to meet the needs of the weld, such as upslope and downslope welding.
- 120 to 240 volts dual power
- Wide 10 – 200amp range
- Angled control panel
- 40% duty cycle at full amperage
What we love
- AC and DC welding
- Can weld aluminum, steel, stainless steel, and other metals
What can be improved
- No foot pedal
The WeldPro Digital TIG 200GD is an excellent option for home and commercial use, thanks to its powerful features and versatility. But at a price of $920, it’s out of reach for many people.
- Weldpro's flagship 200 amp AC/DC TIG welder that goes beyond simply welding steel and aluminum. AND NOW WITH A FULL 3 YEAR WARRANTY!
- The model 200 is also a digital designed TIG welder equipped with full function TIG welding features found on machines priced much higher.
- Start and end amps, upslope, downslope, fully adjustable pulse, AC balance, AC frequency. 2T-4T
- Excellent Professional design rocker style foot pedal without annoying intermediate amperage control. And now available with the optional CK Worldwide superflex cable and flex head number 17F torch with independent trigger switch.
- Also fully capable MMA stick welding function with stinger included.
3. Best Welder for Beginners: YESWELDER TIG-205DS
If you’re just starting out with TIG welding, you’ll love the YESWELDER TIG-205DS welder. Compact yet powerful enough to carry our tough projects, the TIG-205DS is every DIYer’s favorite. And at under 15 pounds, this unit is incredibly portable.
Note that this is a DC welder, not an AC/DC.
While it can work on a range of metals, it’s worth noting that it can’t weld aluminum as it doesn’t have an AC module. However, it’s capable of welding thin sheets of steel, chrome, and cast iron with a metal thickness of 0.3 to 5.0 mm, thanks to its 205 amps. Plus, it has an outstanding duty cycle of 60%, which ensures long time welding.
Features-wise, the TIG-205DS offers overload protection and automatic current balancing, which ensures it maintains stability even under fluctuating power conditions. There’s also a 2-pin foot pedal, though it can’t adjust current.
- 120 – 240 volts dual power
- Amps: 205A
- 60% duty cycle
- IGBT soft switch technology
What we love
- Easy to use, perfect for beginners
- High-frequency feature for easy TIG starting
- Competitively priced
What can be improved
- Foot pedal is only an on-off control
- Can’t weld aluminum
YESWELDER TIG-205DS is a powerful yet excellent tool for beginners. While not for aluminum, it works with a wide variety of metals. And a price of $279, this unit is competitively priced for its features.
- [MORE POWERFUL] Up to 205 and more amps,very suitable for welding most types of thicknesses regarding work-pieces, the outstanding 60% duty cycle can also ensure long-time welding.(Foot Pedal Included)
- [HIGH FREQUENCY ARC STARTING] High-frequency (HF) for non-contact arc initiation.
- [HF TIG/STICK 2 IN 1] Capable of either DC TIG welding (stainless and mild steel) or Stick Welding.
- [LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE] Portable in the shop or at the jobsite — at 13 pounds, the handle allows the end user to easily move from location to location.
- [ADDED SAFETY] Certificated by ETL, Automatic compensation for voltage fluctuation, over current protection, over load protection,temperature control.
4. Best TIG Welder Under $200: S7 TIG Welder
If you’re looking for an affordable TIG welder with impressive power and features, the S7 TIG Welder is an excellent choice.
This low-cost unit offers a surprisingly good feature set.
It’s a dual-voltage high-performance machine with a handy HF start, capable of welding steel, copper, cast iron, and other nonferrous metals. Additionally, it offers an outstanding duty cycle of 85%, which ensures long time welding.
Plus, it can go up to 200 amps (something that only high-priced machines achieve) and work with a wide range of welding jobs. And at just 22 pounds, the machine is portable and easy to move around and store. However, it lacks AC, which means it can’t weld aluminum.
- Duty cycle: 85%
- Amperage: 20A to 200A
- AC/DC: DC only
- Automatic compensation for voltage compensation
What we love
- The unit is lightweight and budget-friendly
- Also offers stick welding
What can be improved
- It can’t weld aluminum
For $197.99, the S7 TIG Welder makes a strong case for being the best TIG welder for the buck.
- 🛡️【★Versatile Welding】TIG/ARC 2-in-1 welder with Tig Torch, Earth Clamp, Electrode Holder, and Welding Tong. Suitable for welding Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Mild Steel, Copper, Cast Iron, Chrome, and other non-ferrous metals.
- 🛡️【★Powerful Performance】High Frequency Start TIG and Non-Contact Arc Initiation reduce tungsten and material consumption. Rated Input Frequency 50/60Hz, Duty Cycle 85% improves the performance of the welding machine. TIG welding thickness 0.3-4.8mm, ARC welding thickness 15-42mm.
- 🛡️【★Portable and Convenient】Portable handle makes it easier to operate, and the lightweight design makes it more convenient to carry. Perfect for on-the-go welding projects.
- 🛡️【★Energy Efficient】Automatic compensation for voltage fluctuation, over-voltage protection, under-voltage protection, over-current protection, and over-load protection. Saves energy and reduces costs.
5. Best Portable TIG Welder: TOOLIOM 135A Stick Welder
If you’re looking for a portable and affordable TIG welder that gets the job done, the TOOLIOM 135A is your best bet.
This unit is not only compact and lightweight; it comes with an adjustable shoulder strap that makes it convenient to carry around—at home or between job sites. And at only 5 pounds, the TOOLIOM 135A is one of the lightest TIG welders on the market today.
And much like other popular TIG welders, this unit supports 110V and 220V input voltage.
The TOOLIOM 135A provides an outstanding duty cycle of 60% for high-efficient welding. It can weld up to 1/8 inch at 110V and a 9/64-inch plate at 220V.
Adopting an IGBT inverter power system, this unit can work on many metals, including cast iron, mild steel, and stainless steel. Additionally, the unit has many safety features, including over current, over current, and overheat protection.
- Duty cycle: 60%
- Amperage: 135A
- Support 110V & 220V input voltage
- Digital display
What we love
- Incredibly lightweight and portable
What can be improved
- Some customers have complained that it doesn’t hold a stable arc
The TOOLIOM 135A is an excellent choice for those who want a powerful TIG welder without paying a fortune for it. At a price of $101, this unit will give you the best bang for your buck.
- Upgraded MMA/Lift TIG Welder:Come with lift tig torch,capable of either Stick Welding or Lift Tig Welding.
- Compact and Portable:With adjustable shoulder strap,is convenient to carry between job sites or use.
- Ideal for most 6010, 6011, 6013 and 7018 rods.Adopting IGBT Inverter power system,suitable for mild steel, cast iron, stainless steel as well as thin material precision welding.
- Safety Guarantee:Different safety features available in the stick Arc welders are over-load, over-current, overheat protection.Built-in excellent anti-stick,arc force,hot start and other functions,easy to operate,safe and convenient for beginner.
- Dual voltage input design:Support 110V & 220V input voltage
No welding process controls heat or produces excellent welds like a TIG machine.
Despite being more expensive and time-consuming, TIG welding results in the best weld quality regardless of the material used. If you’re in the market for the best BIG welders, check out these units handpicked by our review experts. Also, be sure to check out what we think are the best welding helmets for the money based on recommendations from our community of metallurgists. We also produce a similar study to find the best MIG Welder that might be of interest if you want to look beyond TIG.