TIG is an acronym for Tungsten Insert Gas and by using a TIG welder, you are able to produce stable arcs. The process of TIG welder involves holding a torch with one hand and feed the filler rod with the other.
The best TIG welder is the AHP AplhaTIG 200X, which can produce thin and precise welds as well as having dual input power phases.
Unlike a MIG welder that uses a continuous feed of wire, a TIG welder uses long welding rods for producing stable arcs. It can also be used for welding a range of metals such as aluminum, steel, copper, brass and much more.
Table of Contents
- Best TIG Welder
- TIG Welder Buying Guide
Best TIG Welder
|TIG Welder||Power||Duty Cycle|
|AHP AlphaTIG 200X||AC/DC||60% @ 200A|
|Miller Maxstar 150||DC||35% @ 100A|
|Hobart EZ-TIG 165i||AC/DC||20% @ 165A|
|Everlast PowerTIG 250EX||AC/DC||60% @ 250A|
|Lotos TIG200ACDC||AC/DC||60% @ 200A|
Thanks to the advancements in welding equipment, most TIG welders can be adjusted to suit AC or DC inputs. This means you are able to easily switch depending upon your welding requirements.
To ensure that you get the best value for the money, you will want to choose a high input TIG welder. This will allow you to tackle a range of thicknesses and gauges of the material that you are welding.
Below is a list of the best TIG welders that can be powered via AC or DC inputs and are suited for professional or home use..
AHP AlphaTIG 200X TIG Welder
The AHP AplhaTIG 200X is a premium TIG welder that is the most accurate whilst welding with thinner materials. It work with AC and DC inputs that you can adjust to suit the welding requirements that you desire.
In terms of the performance, the AlphaTIG 200X will easily weld 1/4 inch aluminum and 3/8 inch mild steel.
Other features of the AHP AplhaTIG 200X include:
- 110V and 220V input
- 60% duty cycle at 200A
- Suitable for aluminum, stainless or steel and more
- Digital display option
- Adjustable output frequency
- Improved inverter technology
- Weighs 69 LBS
- 3 year warranty
For those that want maximum control whilst using a TIG welder, this model has the choice of a hand or foot pedal for enhanced control.
If you require a TIG welder for thin and precise welds, the AHP AplhaTIG 200X is the best option. It comes with a premium price tag but compared with other welders, it offers great value for the money. The unit even has dual input power phases so that it can be more versatile.
Miller Maxstar 150 TIG Welder
Miller are known for the automotive welders that they produce and are the preferred option of many professionals. The Maxstar 150 model uses a DC inverter with lift arc features and can easily switch between TIG or stick applications.
A standout feature of this TIG welder is the compact size. At just 13.2 x 5.5 x 9 inches, it is by far the smallest and most portable.
Other features of the Maxstar 150 model include:
- 35% @ 100A duty cycle
- Dual voltage with a MVP plug
- Remote control to control amperage
- Weighs just 13.7 LBS
- Thermal overload protection
It is worth noting that the Maxstar 150 TIG welder doesn’t come with a foot pedal and this will need to be purchased separately.
Overall, the Miller Maxstar 150 follows the brands excellent reputation for superior performance and quality. The portability of this compact welder makes it highly desirable for those that require frequent transportation of TIG welder.
Hobart EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG Welder
The Hobart EZ-TIG 165i is an easy to use TIG welder that is suitable for both professionals and beginners. In terms of the performance, it will weld 22 gauge up to 3/16 inch and is powered by AC or DC voltage input.
To ensure that the unit is long lasting, the brand have integrated a “Fan-On-Demand” system and high temperature shutdown functionality.
Other features of the Hobart EZ-TIG 165i include:
- Duty cycle rated at 20% @ 165A
- AC/DC TIG Welder
- Infinite amperage control
- High frequency start to prevent non-contact arc start
- Weighs just 50 LBS
- Made in the USA
Overall, the EZ-TIG 165i by Hobart is an excellent all-round TIG welder that offers high performance, portability and the latest technology. However, it is fairly expensive compared to the alternatives but a great investment at the same time.
Everlast PowerTIG 250EX AC DC TIG
Another AC/DC TIG welder that is the Everlast PowerTIG 250EX, which is suited to professionals and enthusiasts. In terms of performance, it is one of the most powerful units available with a 250 amps of welding power.
A desirable feature of this TIG welder is the low amp start. This allows you to weld thin gauge materials with ease.
Other features of the Everlast PowerTIG 250EX include:
- Duty cycle rated at 60% @ 250A
- IGBT power module for improved performance
- Includes a NOVA foot pedal
- High pulse frequency capability
- Pre and post flow control
- Intuitive interface for ease of use
- Includes a 5 year warranty
The Everlast PowerTIG 250EX is an impressive TIG welder that features a range of functionality that is unique to this unit. It provides superior welding performance with a range of additional controls to suit to your welding requirements.
Lotos TIG200AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder
Lotos are a reputable brand within the welding industry and produce a range of high quality welders. The TIG200ACDC model in particular is suitable for stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum and other metals. However, if you are looking for a TIG welder for aluminum, this Lotos unit is the best option.
Features of the Lotos TIG200AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder include:
- AC/DC input
- Easy arc start
- Welding capacity of 3/8 inch
- Maximum output of 200A
- Duty cycle rated at 60% @ 200A
- Square-wave inverter for accuracy
- 1 year warranty
Overall, it is a cheap TIG welder that is suitable for a range of metals but excels with aluminum welding. This is due to the AC square-wave inverter that provides accurate welding. The TIG200ACDC model will not disappoint and is a great unit for professionals and beginners looking for great welding results.
TIG Welder Buying Guide
Tungsten insert gas or TIG for short is slightly difficult to learn to begin with but is very versatile once you have mastered your technique. Unlike other welding devices, it is able to join a wide variety of materials with a clean precise finish.
TIG welders are fairly expensive when compared to MIG, flux core and stick alternatives but are very desirable for professionals and enthusiasts. Many can even double up as a stick welder.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding TIG welders.
Why Choose a TIG Welder?
Unlike a MIG alternative, a TIG welder will weld at a slower rate in order to have greater precision. This is a major requirement for welds that need to be aesthetically pleasing such as expensive machinery and makes a TIG the best option.
They are also more easily applied to thinner materials that require superior weld produce with or without filler metal. The TIG welder will produce lower distortion without the addition of any splatter too.
In terms of the weldable materials, it can weld aluminum, mild steel, copper, brass, titanium and other metals at a range of thicknesses.
AC, DC or Both
TIG welders are available as an AC, DC or one that can switch between the two. Direct current for welding provide faster deposition rates, which results in a deeper penetration. This makes it ideal for stainless steel and other hard facing metals.
An alternate current for welding has a reversed direction of the current and magnetic field of the arc. This makes it ideal for magnetic materials and it is the best option for welding aluminum. However, the quality of the weld may not be as neat as the DC alternative.
Due to the advancements in technology, you now have the option of a AC/DC TIG welder. This will allow you to switch between AC or DC to suit your welding requirements and is highly recommended.
To ensure that the TIG welder you choose is suitable for a range of application, you will want the widest possible amperage range. All the recommended TIG welders above offer great flexibility and start from as little as 5A to as high at 260A.
If you plan to use a TIG welder for aluminum, you will require a high amperage unit. Trying to save money with a cheaper alternative may reduce the thickness of the material you are able to weld.
The duty cycle of a TIG welder refers to the amount of time it can run before requiring a cooling down period. Most manufacturers specify the duty cycle as a percentage of the total active time, which is usually 10 minutes.
Depending upon how powerful the welder makes a big difference to the duty cycle. Most premium examples that perform the to highest of standards can operate for over 6 continuous minutes (60% duty cycle) before needed to cool down.
Whether you weld via a DC or AC input, a current must flow from the tungsten to the welding material. Starts can become an issue as to begin welding, it must defeat the resistance of the tungsten.
One method of achieving this is by scratching the surface to form a short circuit. However, there is a potential for the electrode to stick the surface, which results in the tungsten being mixed into the weld.
Using a lift arc such as a blast of high frequency that lasts for microseconds is the best solution. It breaks through the electrode to allow current to flow without sticking to the surface.
The weight, size and design of the TIG welder will make a big difference to how portable the unit is. If it is going to remain within a fixed position, a heavy duty unit is perfect. However, the majority of people will need to use it within various locations and you should therefore pay particular attention to the weight and handles on the welder.
Digital Display & Automatic Features
The latest TIG welders have become far usable compared to the older manual welders. They include automation such as thermal overload protection, digital displays and an array of controls for precision welding.
If you are beginner, these new and improved TIG welders make the process of welding far easier. TIG units are notorious for being difficult to use but automated functionality found on modern welders solve this issue.
Investing into a quality TIG welder will be expensive but worth the money. They are capable of welding a variety of different metals with great accuracy and finish.
All of the recommendations above are suited for beginners to professionals and a range of different budgets. You may be tempted by some of the cheap or unknown branded units but we highly recommend sticking with reputable brands.