Best Tig Welder

In terms of fabrication, TIG welding is easily considered among the most challenging, because you will need to have the best insight when selecting the machine you will use for the project itself.

While there are plenty of TIG welding machines that are available in both offline and online stores, and many manufacturers will market them quite well, this can raise an important question – how would you know which one suits your needs? Reading reviews can help if you have plenty of time on your hands to do research, but sometimes that time is not really there – and chances are that you cannot make the proper choice unless you know all the brands and what they can offer.

This is why we chose to write this guide, so that you do not need to struggle through the search process alone. We have compiled the best ones you can check out, as well as give reviews on them and what you should look for when you go shopping for a TIG welder.

A quick comparison table

Welding machine
Power output
Power source
Welder weight (lbs.)
Check price on Amazon
AHP AlphaTIG welder with PULSE (our pick)
110/220V
AC/DC
50
EVERLAST PowerARC TIG welder (value for money)
110V/220V
DC
36.9
Miller Electric Maxstar 150 STL welder
115/230V
DC
13.7
PRIMEWELD TIG225X welder
110V/220V
AC/DC
90
W Weldpro Digital TIG welder
110V/220V
AC/DC
60

Best TIG welder reviews

AHP AlphaTIG welderour pick

This is the top pick for all the TIG welding machines, as evidenced by its major popularity. It is great enough to be versatile in its functionality, and handles almost anything from thick fillet welds to fine sheet metal tasks. It also handles a wide variety of metals very well, and it is particularly popular when it comes to aluminum fabrication.

Specs

      • Can handle aluminum of 0.25 inches and mild steel of 3/8 inches.
      • Uses IGBT technology, as well as Advanced Inverter Technology with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
      • Includes a foot pedal to give extra control, and a HF start TIG
      • Quality welds on steel and aluminum, and very accurate welding of thinner gauge materials
      • Power source AC/DC

This machine has a similar price range as you would get for a budget TIG welder, even though the quality of its build and its work is the same as a premium welder from a top manufacturer like Lincoln or Miller. The torch is also non-touch and high frequency, which allows you to form clean arcs without struggling with the equipment.

Even though the welding quality is highly impressive, the foot pedal is not as comfortable, and the earth clamp does not have as high quality as we would enjoy. However, considering its quality, these are not major areas to nitpick about.

This is offset by the finger switch, as well as the many accessories you can use to change your voltage, the torch cup, and many other aspects as you perform the welding. In addition, you can tune it to a variety of welding situations, such as different square wave sizes, pulse arcs, reduction or increase of the amperage, and much more.

Pros

      • Very affordable and gives you excellent service
      • Very many welding settings
      • Includes a great finger switch
      • Capable of pulse arcs
      • DC/AC to help in handling any metal
      • Has a high frequency start

Cons

      • The earth clamp is of poor quality
      • The foot pedal is not optimally designed

Verdict

While this machine does not cost you much, it still carries the title of having exceptional service for a long time. This makes it among the best choices you can find in the market today.

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EVERLAST PowerARC TIG welderbest value for money

Compared to the others on this list, this is probably the most reliable and strongest TIG welder when you place it in the group of 250A welders, although it is much more expensive than similar EVERLAST welders.

Specs

      • Portable and lightweight
      • HOT start, 35% at 160A
      • Built-in valve and 160A HF TIG STICK and DC
      • 30-days money back guarantee and 5-year warranty (labor and parts)
      • Dual voltage 220v/110v
      • IGBT Infineon molecules
      • Weight 36.9 lbs., power source DC with 240V voltage capacity

The welder is a single phase DC/AC welder with a range of between 3A to 310A, and it is capable of handling steel from 0.3mm (0.012 in.) to 12.7mm (0.5 in.), as well as aluminum ranging from 0.4mm (0.015 in.) to 9.5mm (3/8 in.). The duty cycle it has at 250A is 40%, while at 200A is at 60%.

There are plenty of reasons to love this welder though, aside from the good AC balance control it has. There are some useful memory features to it, which ensure your most recent settings are easily accessible, even if you switch from DC to AC and vice versa. In addition, the welder has a readout that shows a digital reading of voltage and amperage, as well as actual output data that allows for improved accuracy.

Pros

      • Very good price
      • Has a lot of welding power
      • Long warranty period
      • Capable of handling Stick and TIG welding efficiently

Cons

      • The customer support is not very good
      • It is more challenging to figure out compared to most of the advanced welding machines

Verdict

Even though this welder lacks some strong aspects of other premium welders, its build ensures it serves you for many years.

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Miller Electric Maxstar 150 STL welder – best for its ease of use

If budget is not an issue for you and you want a welding machine of premium quality, then the Miller Electric TIG welder might be the perfect choice for you. It may look smaller than most others, but do not let its size fool you – it packs quite an impressive punch.

Specs

      • Lift arc features with a DC inverter
      • Primarily deals with steel welding, thickness of 0.020 inches to 3/16 inches
      • Input voltage of 115/230VAC

The company itself, Miller Electric, is among the most reliable brands you can find in the market, and their machines are well priced for their immense reliability. Since they are meant to be the best welding machines for heavy duty use, it works well for beginners and hobbyists alike.

The package includes a Weldcraft TIG torch that measures 12 feet, which also happens to be a size larger compared to most TIG torches. In addition, there is a heavy-duty case, which will keep all your additional equipment and tools safe when you are not using them.

The welder has a very compact design, so you might assume it does not have much use, or it may not look like a welder. However, it still has all the aspects you need, and the build is compact enough to allow you to transport it to different places without much struggle.

Pros

      • Very good quality build
      • Heavy duty, and very reliable
      • Long warranty
      • Portable and compact design
      • Very good TIG torch
      • Easy to use and set up

Cons

      • Very expensive

Verdict

The Miller TIG welding machine might be small, but it is the classic example of power in a small space. It also has the advantage of being very easy to use, and it will not let you down.

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PRIMEWELD TIG225X welder – best for professional welders and aluminum welding

This is quite similar to our first pick on the list, the AHP TIG welder, but with a few differences that make it come up short. The range of settings between the two machines is also quite similar, which allows you to work with any of them if you are used to the other.

Specs

      • Stick/TIG welder that works very well with thinner metals such as stainless steel and aluminum
      • TIG torch that has a flex head, and includes a CK superflex hose as well as a CK DINSE connector
      • Heat control through its precise foot pedal
      • HF hand start torch
      • Handles 0.25 inch aluminum and 3/8 inch mild steel, 110/220 volts
      • Uses IGBT technology, as well as advanced inverter technology with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
      • Power source AC/DC

This is among the best welding machines to use if you are dealing with aluminum welding, thanks to the AC power source and the settings that are available. However, it is not as user friendly, and is quite heavy – so it might not be a good choice if you are a beginner who is just starting out in the welding process.

The standout feature of the welder though would have to be the CK superflex torch though, especially if you do welding at low amperage, due to its lightness, flexibility and comfort. However, do note that it can easily heat up if you are using high amperage, since it is not water-cooled. The customer service is also quite impressive as well, so you will feel completely satisfied with that.

The equipment includes a finger switch and foot pedal, all in-built in the machine. These will allow you to adjust your amperage as you go. Even though the foot pedal is not the most comfortable, it still helps you get the job done.

Pros

      • Capable of handling pulse arcs
      • Welds aluminum very well
      • Includes a finger switch and foot pedal
      • Easy to start arc
      • Excellent range of settings

Cons

      • Quite heavy
      • The foot pedal is not very comfortable

Verdict

This is a great machine, especially if you are a professional welder or are doing heavy-duty work. It might be too complicated for a beginner to use though, so be sure it fits your needs well before purchasing it.

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W Weldpro Digital TIG welder – best for budget users

This is among the most affordable options you can get, even when comparing to other welding machines that have similar specs yet are more expensive. It has a number of downsides though, which is why it is not our preferred pick.

Specs

      • Digital designed welder that has complete functions of a top TIG welder
      • Fully adjustable pulse, upslope, AC balance, downslope, Start and end amps, AC frequency
      • Rocker style foot pedal
      • CK Superflex cable, 17F torch with an independent trigger
      • MMA stick welding function that has a stinger included

Among all the features it comes with, the torch might be unusual if you are used to other TIG welders. While it includes a CK superflex torch that you have to pay more to use, the default torch is a Euro-style torch, which you might take some time to get used to.

The main metal it can handle effectively is aluminum, and its settings are wide enough to deal with the specific jobs that you will need to do. The only drawback here is the lack of user-friendliness compared to similar machines, such as the lack of the finger switch. The good news is that the foot pedal is among the best you will find, and makes it easy for you to adjust the amperage.

The lift TIG starts that you would expect in most welders are not an option here, which might make it unappealing if you prefer the lift TIG start. However, the non-touch start is quite easy to use, and will do a good task of making sure that there is no contamination of the weld.

Pros

      • Very affordable
      • High frequency start
      • Capable of pulse arcs
      • Has sloping functions
      • Very good TIG welder for general use
      • The foot pedal is well designed

Cons

      • Does not have the best TIG torch
      • It is not as easy to change the settings
      • Lacks a finger switch

Verdict

If you would like an efficient machine that can perform at a consistently high level, especially for welding aluminum, this is a great choice for you. It will also work well for both industrial welders and hobbyists, though it may not be a great option for beginners.

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What we do not recommend

Lincoln Electric square wave K5126-1 TIG welder

For a well-respected brand like Lincoln, it is unfortunate to find one of their products among the list of products we do not recommend. However, it is easier to understand why this is the case when you look at the features, which all fall short and make it a less-than-ideal TIG welding equipment.

While the machine has a good design and you can find all the important settings thanks to the smart design, the pricing is among the least favorable aspects. The torch and foot pedal are also quite good, and the machine is easy to use, so you will not need to rely on the manual as much. For the simplicity in features though, the machine is quite expensive, which is very disappointing.

For instance, the maximum amperage it can run on is only 200A, and the settings have very minimal adjustment options. That includes the post flow, which always runs at a maximum of 15 seconds.

Merits

      • Easy to use and a smart setup
      • Good torch and foot pedal

Demerits

      • Poor customer service
      • Very expensive
      • Poor packaging
      • Lacks a proper welder adjustment system

Verdict

Aside from the complaints above, many arise due to poor packaging, which means the machine comes broken or breaks after a short time. The customer service is also lacking, which makes it an unpleasant proposition to purchase.

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What to look for when purchasing a TIG welder

Any machine that performs welding work is a major power consumer, and you will require equipment that helps you do your job efficiently whether you are a professional or amateur welder. For many purchase cases, a buyer will only think about the factors they know well, such as comparing prices or appearance, even though they might not understand the purposes of each welding machine.

However, these factors rarely help you make a correct decision, because they are all superficial reasons. There are more important things to keep in mind when you are buying a welder, and we will discuss some of them below.

What are TIG welders and why are they important?

Before looking at the factors you should look at, it is important to know what these welders are and how they function.

TIG is an abbreviation for Tungsten Inert Gas, although the technical name is GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding). It works by using a non-consumable electrode that is comprised of tungsten, which will then deliver the current to the weld arc and heat the metal. More than any other process, TIG welding lends itself very well to metal welding.

The point that the base of the metal and arc meet results in a pool of molten weld, and a very thin wire that contains filler metal is handfed into this weld. After this, the puddle of the weld and tungsten are then cooled using an inert gas to protect them from oxidation, usually argon. The finished product is a weld that is free of slag, and it shares the same properties of corrosion resistance as the original metal.

What should you look for in a TIG welder?

Amperage

This is the most important aspect of the TIG welder, as it determines the efficiency level it has. The most versatile TIG welders always have the largest ranges of amperage, and the opposite is true. An instance would be a welder that has an output range of 5A to 230A, which permits you to weld any metal you want.

The most efficient TIG welders will always have very good performances, even when the amperage is lower. This is the secret to making them flexible, and gives you as much control as you need over the welding arc.

The thing you need to keep in mind though, is that the lower amperages will make the arc become bouncy and unstable sometimes, which makes you want to increase the amperage to make it steadier. However, this will prove to be a disadvantage when working with thinner metals, because the arcs will burn right through the metal. This is the reason necessitating one with a big range.

Capability of DC and AC

In order to have the greatest flexibility and control, you will need machines that preferably have DC and AC output. If you are handling softer materials that self-oxidize easily, such as magnesium or aluminum, you will require AC, while for harder materials like stainless steel, you will need DC.

AC output will allow you to clean up any oxidization that has happened as you are performing the welding process. You will also need DC to act as a counter control to the AC, as it can make the cleaning and welding cycles longer or shorter.

The best TIG welders all have good automatic balance control, which can adjust according to the output amperage. This will also improve the quality of your end result.

Control of heat

To achieve a good quality weld, it is very important to control the heat output of the TIG welder itself. This is particularly important if you are working with metals that are more delicate, as too much heat will warp them.

For some welders, the use of pulse welding is appealing when they want to reduce the warping of the metals. This means that the current is changing from high to low peak current as they work, while also allowing for stabilizing of the arc and reducing the heat that is getting to the material.

Solid duty cycles

These are the measurement that you will see when you want to know the output the machine runs for every ten minutes of welding. An instance would be having a 250A welder that has a duty cycle of 60% – which means that it will give an output of 250A for six minutes, then you have to allow it to cool down.

For the lower priced welders, they will have a duty cycle of 20% at most, and their power supply is also smaller. The best TIG welders, on the other hand, have a heavy-duty cycle of about 60%, while mid-tier welders have theirs at 40%, but the higher it is the more costly the welder will be.

The greater the power supply, the greater power it will use, which will then increase the price significantly in some cases. If money is not a problem for you when buying a TIG welder, then you can go for the ones with a higher duty cycle, or else the results will disappoint you.

The simplicity of the operation

The process of TIG welding will need plenty of skills too execute well. However, that does not mean the machine should be extremely difficult to figure out, even if you are a professional welder. You will want your machine to be easy to understand and adapt for your work.

The controls should have a smart design and you should understand them easily, and the inclusion of accessories can make the work much easier. This includes aspects such as the welder having a nicely designed foot pedal, which gives you extra control over the output and allows you to focus on the task at hand.

If you can, make sure t always have a proper foot pedal – otherwise, your task of controlling the power will be difficult. If the machine lacks a foot pedal, you are better off making an extra investment to supplement it.

Size and weight

Many buyers will end up looking for a light machine, because they want one that is easy to move around. However, this will depend on the nature of your job – if you or your welder mainly operates from a fixed position, then buying a heavyweight welder is fine. On the other hand, a more nomadic worker will do better with a more portable machine, which should ideally weigh less than 100 lbs.

The heaviest part of a TIG welder though would be the transformer, as it is the largest component and determines the size and weight of the machine. The disadvantage with some lightweight welders is their unstable handles though, so always make sure the handle is strong enough to support the equipment.

Automation and digital display

TIG welders are engaging machines and require plenty of user input and control, as we mentioned earlier. Some make the work easier for you though by including the digitization and automating the machine, such as adding automatic balance and automatic high-temperature shutdown. These help you maintain your clean welding results.

However, you might not require these features if you are highly skilled at using a TIG welder, so you can opt for the manual ones. For amateurs, the use of the automated machines is highly useful, as the digital display helps in following the regulations of the manufacturer In terms of preferred material, power output and voltage.

If there are preset amperage and voltage features, they can improve the accuracy of your operation easily.

Very common mistakes that you need to avoid when buying TIG welders

With the criteria for selection in mind, many people tend to make certain mistakes when buying TOIG welders, only to realize much later that they should have bought something else. Here are some of them and how to avoid that:

      • Incorrect input voltage – it is very important to ensure you know the power capabilities that you can work with. For example, some welders will work best with both 220V and 110V, with the power output at 110V being significantly less than 220V. Certain machines will also operate well on 3-phase or single power, so you should always check the welder’s input voltage. This will help you to know whether you have the sufficient power supply to match with the requirements of the welder.
      • The necessity of the AC functions – when your primary welding metals are magnesium or aluminum, then you will not require welders that have AC capabilities. Otherwise, it will significantly add to your cost.
      • Cooling units – if you are buying a bigger TIG welding unit, you will require a separate cooling system in order to utilize the full potential of the machine. This means that your cost is higher, so you need to ensure that it is what you really want to buy.

Final thoughts

Choosing a good TIG welding machine requires plenty of consideration, as it is a significant investment and it will serve you for a long time. We hope that these reviews will help you to narrow down your choices, and that the guide will also help you to make the right decisions that meet your needs.

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