Welding is a broad topic that encompasses a range of techniques. Before you can sit at the table of outstanding fabricators, you need to master TIG welding. This is by far the most complicated, and it requires a lot of skill, dexterity, and patience to create top-quality welds with clean beads.
From my years of experience doing fabrication work, I have come to realize that a great skill set alone cannot guarantee impeccable welds. It is equally crucial to have the best TIG welder, whose overall performance is beyond reproach.
My team and I took the time to test and review a range of machines available in today’s market. We have listed the top 10 models, starting with the LONGEVITY Tigweld 200D. Read along as we analyze a few units that are creating a buzz among fabricators.
10 Best TIG Welder Reviews
A good number of TIG welders impressed us during our initial tests. However, the machines that made it to our list also promise great value because of their reliable performance over time. Dive in and take a peek at our top 10 picks.
1. LONGEVITY Tigweld 200D – 200 Amp TIG/Stick Welder
We have done fabrication work for years, and Longevity is one of the brands we trust. Welding machines from this brand are designed to last for years, even with heavy-duty usage. This product has a sturdy foot pedal, and HF starts for enhanced control.
Whether you are a fabrication veteran or newbie, this is a unit you should consider having in your workshop. This is a dual voltage welder that supports 220V and 110V phases. You can adjust the amperage and post flow settings depending on the specifics of your operations.
Moreover, this multi-purpose machine allows TIG and Stick welding. Even though it uses DC only and cannot weld aluminum, it is still a versatile and useful tool.
When operating on low amperage, the duty cycle is at an incredible 60%. The duty cycle, however, reduces slightly when running on high amperage. You can expect greater productivity when handling light welding tasks.
Most units with the same features and functions as the Longevity Tigweld 200D weigh at least 50 pounds. This machine weighs only 37.9 pounds, making it one of the lightest multi-purpose TIG welders in the market.
The transformer is made using inverter technology. And this explains why the device is lightweight and portable. The welder detects 120V or 220V phases by design. This is an automation feature that makes it unnecessary to keep adjusting the voltage to suit your welding needs.
2. Forney 324 MIG/Stick/TIG 3-in-one 190-Amp Welder
This is one of the most versatile welding machines on our list. It supports a range of functions, including TIG, MIG, Stick, and Flux-cored welding. This allows you to work with different materials that need distinct processes.
The best part is that shifting from one welding process to another is remarkably smooth and fast. With this tool, you can do all kinds of light welding tasks at home. The device is Stick and MIG ready from its package, although there are components you need to buy separately to optimize all other functions.
We also liked the fact that this is a dual voltage machine with 230V and 120V options. Its maximum power output is 190 amps, and this means it can handle all kinds of tasks, including repairing sea vessels. Better still, it supports CV and DC power inputs, and this further enhances its versatility.
When handling light-duty projects, this unit has a duty cycle of 60% at 60A. You can depend on it whenever you want to work continuously in your workshop. It is, however, worth mentioning that this duty cycle lowers considerably when handling heavy-duty welding projects.
The portability of a TIG welder is one of the key aspects that most people consider before purchase. If you seldom work from a stationary workspace, this unit is ideal for you because it weighs only 43lbs. Its design ensures the weight is properly distributed to make lifting using the modified handle easier.
3. Miller Electric TIG Welder, Diversion 180, 120-240VAC
Now here is the best TIG welder for commercial and industrial use. The Miller electric TIG welder is a heavy-duty machine with a hardwired TIG torch. Even though it does not support Stick or MIG welding, it is designed to ensure unmatched precision and performance during TIG welds.
Miller Electric is a brand that stands out, and it’s easy to see why it commands respect in the market by just checking out the construction of this unit. It is made of steel and ceramic and thus guarantees enhanced durability.
This product delivers clean and smooth welds when working on steel and aluminum. It comes with a fan that protects the internal systems from dirt and debris and keeps the machine cool even during heavy-duty applications.
Another perk that cannot go without mentioning is that this is one of the best AC/DC TIG welders. It operates under both 240 and 120 voltages, and you simply need to make meaningful adjustments depending on the nature of your operations.
The high processing input of the device makes it perfect for industrial use. It’s easy to feel as though this unit has a low duty cycle. However, I think a 35% duty cycle is impressive, considering the high output power delivered.
This is a 50 pounds machine with two handles for easy carrying and transportation. It also has a digital display that shows the power output and input based on the settings dialed through the remote control system.
4. Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 Welder, K5126-1
If you are searching for the best TIG/Stick combo in today’s market, look no further than the Lincoln Square Wave 200. This is a simple to use tool that comes equipped with everything you need to start your welding operations.
It is an excellent choice for hobbyists and small-time fabricators as well as professional welders. With both TIG and Stick welding capabilities, you can use this machine on a wider array of metals, including aluminum.
The TIG option is designed for clean and accurate welds when working with thinner materials, while the Stick option ensures you can work with thick gauge metals.
Another excellent benefit is that this is an AC/DC TIG welder. You can, therefore, handle welding projects that involve using metals like aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. This dual voltage unit operates on 120V and 230V power inputs.
Users enjoy a 25% duty cycle when TIG welding at 124A, 120V. When Stick welding at 75A, 120V, the duty cycle reduces to about 20%, and this is somewhat low. On the bright side, the duty cycle does not go any lower when operating at 230V and higher amperages.
What is truly outstanding is the simple interface, thanks to basic control features such as the on/off switch. This machine also has a host of adjustment features that allow you to set the pulse frequency, AC frequency, voltage, amperage, and AC balance for an enhanced degree of control.
5. Razorweld Digital TIG 200 amp AC/DC
One of the best AC/DC TIG welders that caught our attention was the Razorweld Digital 200 amp. It comes with all the needed accessories to get you started on your TIG welding operations, although you have to buy a stringer separately to optimize Stick welding functions.
This is a robust and easy to use tool. Given the considerably steep price, we were eager to know what was in store for users. This is a small and easy to carry unit whose performance justifies its price.
Even though this tool cannot weld very thick metals, you can depend on it when welding average gauge hard metals like steel. Its performance when working with aluminum is also commendable. The device works under 110 and 220 voltages, and you can adjust the amperage depending on your project needs.
This is one of the few tools in the market that tick all the right boxes in terms of the quality of its components. One of the accessories I am compelled to talk about is the foot pedal.
It is one large, ugly foot pedal, but damn, it works really well. With a heel rest, it is super comfortable to use, unlike other sleek and aesthetically appealing foot pedals from other brands.
The quality of the hose, grounding cable, and TIG torch is also worth writing home about. Generally, there is nothing to dislike about the performance and overall quality of this device.
6. Everlast PowerTIG 210EXT 210amp AC/DC TIG Welder
Let me go straight to the feature that gives this unit an edge above the rest: the digital microprocessor control. Well, this is a feature that ensures more productivity and better quality of welds.
It also allows for more precise settings, and this means you can dictate the quality of your welds without breaking a sweat. This unit is the 2019 edition, and it was redesigned to address some of the concerns of previous models.
The new version is a digital inverter TIG welder that does a remarkable job when welding thin sheets of aluminum. It also features an improved AC frequency, and AC advanced pulse for cleaner starts during low amperage operations.
This is a perfect tool to invest in if you want better arc stability. By dialing in precise settings, you can expect the best results during TIG or Stick welding. Moreover, the device is lightweight and weighs only 60 lbs.
It has an inverter-based design, which makes it possible to pack an incredible 210 amps of power in a relatively small-sized machine.
Another great feature is the AC/DC pulse controls that help to minimize warping and overheating of base metals. When working with thin metals, this feature helps to ensure proper heat regulation. On the other hand, it enhances penetration when working with thicker materials.
7. Everlast PowerTIG 250EX AC DC TIG STICK Pulse Welder
Calling the Everlast PowerTig 250EX a premium welder will be an understatement. This is by far the most advanced multi-purpose welding machine in the market that has a smooth and stable start.
Even though this is a considerably small and lightweight unit, it is designed to handle a range of welding applications with remarkable ease.
This model also features High pulse frequency abilities. They help to lower the overall heat input, and this, in return, increases your chances of producing excellent welds while dodging the risk of warping or burning your workpieces.
Another awesome feature is the WP 18 series torch and gas fittings (quick-connect) for easy setup. To make this device even more user-friendly, the controls are color-coded hence easy to find when dialing unique settings for different applications.
Moreover, this tool has a greater cleaning range compared to other TIG welding machine. This enhances its welding performance when working with self-oxidizing metals. It allows AC/DC input power, so you can use it when welding aluminum or harder metals such as steel.
This is a somewhat heavy unit that weighs 65 lbs. While it may not be ideal for mobile fabricators, it is still a machine worth considering because it has an outstanding duty cycle of 60% at 250A. Its ease of use makes it a great addition to any home or commercial workshop.
8. Weldpro Digital TIG 200GD ACDC 200 Amp Welder
If you need an affordable welding machine that offers a user-friendly interface, this is a model I highly recommend. This is a multi-purpose unit that allows you to make various adjustments and dial settings that match your unique project needs.
The punch this small-sized, 30 pounds unit packs makes it just as good for professionals as it is for beginners. Even though this is easy to use the unit, it offers so much more than entry-level performance.
The 200 Amp welder is a MIG tool that also supports TIG and Stick welds. Its versatility makes it an invaluable tool for fabrication, construction, and general DIY work.
Some of the processes you can complete include Stick, MIG, Lift TIG, and flux core welding. The only major downside we noted is that this unit does not arrive ready for welding aluminum. In case you need to weld delicate self-oxidizing materials, you have to invest in a spool gun separately.
On the bright side, the tool is innovatively designed to offer unbeatable flexibility. You can adjust the voltage and amperage, and this enables you to create excellent welds, irrespective of the demands of your projects.
While the voltage settings are adjustable by +/- 20%, the voltage settings can be adjusted by +/- 10%. This unit comes with automated presets, although you can also customize the settings to suit the projects at hand.
9. PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT AC DC Welder
This is yet another affordable welder that is uniquely designed to match the needs of modern-day fabricators. It supports both TIG and Stick welding, making it a useful unit for both beginners and professionals.
You can buy with confidence because it comes with a 3-years warranty, and Primeweld provides excellent customer support. This Welder has wide amperage of 225 amps. The high amperage makes it possible to weld high gauge metals.
It also runs on both AC and DC, so you can use it to weld your aluminum workpieces. Moreover, the machine has an IGBT technology design for better arc stability.
Operating on a dual voltage of 110V and 220V enhances the performance of the Welder, and you can weld mild steel, aluminum, and more. The best part is that this machine is housed in a well-ventilated heavy duty box to prevent concerns that arise from overheating.
I also like the fact that it has a metal bar handle for easy carrying and rubber feet that keep it securely in place after assembly.
Let’s face it, most TIG welders under 1000 do not offer as many features as this multi-purpose unit. Even those that provide a suitable array of features will only support home and DIY projects.
This is a professional grade model that is not overly expensive, yet it has most features found on high-end machines. From my point of view, this product offers the best value for your money.
10. S7 200 Amp HF TIG&ARC Portable Inverter Welder
Are you interested in welding and want to try out different techniques for the very first time? Do you want to handle simple repairs around your house using a DIY approach? Here is a machine that is specially designed for beginners. Better still, it is the most affordable and energy-efficient unit on our list.
We were a little hesitant to test this Welder, but our curiosity got the best of us. I mean, a decent number of average quality units cost several times more.
To our surprise, this is a welding beast that comes in handy when handling all sorts of ferrous metals. It can weld medium carbon steel, stainless steel, alloy steel, and so much more.
This machine is built to last thanks to its stable heat dissipation. It has overheating and overvoltage protection, and this further makes it easy and safe for use for fabrication beginners.
Another feature that cannot go without mentioning is that this is a powerful 220V welder. It operates at a maximum of over 200 amps, making it equally as reliable as other highly-priced machines on our list.
The controlling knob allows you to dial in your preferred settings for different applications. Saying that this tool is a work of art is not an exaggeration because it has an incredible 60-80% duty cycle.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Irrespective of your level of skill, you must do more than simply choose the first welding machine you can find. These are sophisticated tools that differ in their design, style of operation, and functions.
For you to find the best TIG welder for home shop or business, there are essential aspects you need to consider beforehand.
One of the most vital factors to consider is the input power of a machine. After all, this is what dictates the kind and array of tasks it can perform. If you often handle heavy-duty projects, you need a unit with higher input power.
A powerful welder can allow adjustments to carry out operations that require a lower power input. However, it will still only handle tasks that can be performed within its maximum power input. You need to ensure that your regular operations are within the power input range of the machine you choose.
To find out whether a specific unit is ideal for you, also consider the type of material you weld. DC power input works perfectly when welding thicker and harder materials such as stainless steel.
On the other hand, low input AC ensures clean welds when working with lighter and more delicate materials such as aluminum.
It is also necessary to consider the power input you need based on the gauge of the metals you weld. In case you work with thick gauge metals, you again need a TIG welder that has higher input power.
The duty cycle of a machine is simply its ability to operate continuously. It is calculated based on the ratio or percentage of time a welder remains active within a 10-minute duration.
If you often handle commercial operations or you work with dense metals, consider choosing a TIG welder that has a higher duty cycle.
Machines with a 60% duty cycle can run nonstop for 6 minutes before they need to cool down. On the other hand, a unit with a 40% duty cycle needs to cool down after running for 4 minutes. A high duty cycle hence reduces time wastage while at the same time increasing your overall productivity.
The cooling system of a TIG welder also dictates its duty cycle. Now, what do I mean by that? Units that are prone to heating up can overwork the cooling system, and this drastically decreases their duty cycle.
Irrespective of whether you handle heavy or light-duty fabrication projects, always ensure that your welder of choice has a dependable cooling system.
Weight and Size
The weight and overall size of a TIG welder also matters. This is a crucial aspect to consider, especially if you are a mobile fabricator. In that case, choosing a lightweight machine that is ergonomically designed for easy transportation would be ideal.
I run a small welding business and often use my welding machines from a fixed position. In my case, a heavyweight unit with a bigger and heavier transformer is great. Once I unpack the device and get it assembled, I hardly ever need to move it.
TIG welders are precision tools. They allow better control of the arc, allowing you to create top-quality fabrications. Digitization and automation of welding machines make them more comfortable and safer to operate.
For instance, some units have an automatic high-temperature shutdown feature that makes them turn off when they overheat. This prevents unwarranted damage and helps to extend the lifespan of the Welder.
The digital display shows you the auto-dialed or manually dialed settings. If you are doing precision tasks, it’s easy to ensure you are using the correct power output, voltage, and amperage.
For beginners, the more digitized and automated features a machine can offer, the better. You want to use a tool that automatically adjusts the settings, depending on the material you are welding.
Price and Warranty
TIG welders are not cheap machines. Depending on the input power, duty cycle, features, and functions a device has to offer, it could easily cost between $400-$1000 or more. Take it from me; you only get what you pay for.
A powerful and high-performance unit is likely to cost more than an average light-duty TIG welding machine.
Generally, the more powerful and durable a welder is, the more it will cost. Even though there are affordable units such as the Amico TIG 160 Amp that are incredibly sturdy and reliable, the majority of bottom priced welders are not durable.
While considering cost, take note of the value you will get for your money. Additionally, take into account the ability of a specific machine to meet your primary objectives. Make sure your buying decision is not solely based on price.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the primary function of a TIG welder?
TIG welders use heat controlled shielding gas to join metals. These machines are also incredibly useful during technical welds because of their unmatched precision. For instance, you could use them when welding round objects or those with s-curves.
Is there any difference between TIG and GAW welding?
TIG and GTAW welding are one and the same thing. The only difference is that GTAW welds typically involve the use of filler metals. However, no fillers are necessary when doing specific tasks such as autogenous welds.
How does TIG welding work?
TIG welders use a tungsten electrode to melt and join metals. Even though these units are more complicated to operate, they also give you more control and increase your chances of giving your workpieces a clean finish.
What materials can you work with when using a TIG welder?
There are different metals you can work with when using a TIG welder, although this will highly depend on the power input or maximum amperage of your machine. Some of the materials that can be TIG welded include aluminum, brass, copper, steel, and stainless steel, just to mention a few.
Can a beginner use a TIG welder?
TIG welding may not be as easy as MIG welding, although it is also relatively simple to grasp. After all, users have more control over their operations, and TIG is mainly ideal for welding thinner pieces of metal. In case you are just getting started on TIG welding, ensure you choose a user-friendly welder.
The machines listed in this post are of above-average quality and performance. Even though they meet specific basic standards that make them better than other models in the market, you must still consider your personal preferences.
The best TIG welder for you must be perfect for your specific welding operations and also suitable for your typical work environment and fit perfectly into your budget.