In this guide we’ll look at the best TIG welders.
We’ve compared power, performance, design and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Are The Best TIG Welders?
More Detailed TIG Welders Reviews
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TIG Welder Portable Inverter 240V / 160 amp Review
The 160 Amp Rohr Portable TIG Inverter Welder is one of the best TIG welders on the market. This is a powerful yet portable welder, has excellent features and settings and comes with a good range of accessories.
This TIG welder has a wide array of features to assist with your TIG welding projects. These include auto hot start, anti-stick, arc force stabilization and thermal overload protection. It is also rated at a 60% duty cycle allowing you to weld for longer and reduce down time.
This machine is a perfect TIG welder for beginners and comes with all the accessories you need to get started. An earth clamp, clipping hammer, wire brush and mask mean you can begin work as soon as your TIG welder arrives.
A handy carry handle and light weight (just 9 kg) make this a nice portable welding machine so it is easy to transport and store.
The combination of portability, light weight, range of good features and reasonable price makes this one of the best inverter arc welders on the UK market.
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GYS 030077 Gysmi 160P - 160 A TIG Welder Review
The GYS 030077 160 Amp TIG Welder is another good portable welder.
Its inverter technology with piloted microprocessor enables you to finely control the thickness of your weld by allowing you to control the bead size very precisely.
Thanks to its high voltage capability the unit supports an immediate start function. This is a great feature because you don’t have to wait for the welder to warm up – you can get going as soon as you turn the welder on.
The unit is small and neat and measures just 34 cm in height, including the carry case, making this portable welding machine easy to store and transport.
All in all a good choice for a powerful yet portable TIG welder.
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200 Amp Inverter Welder- MMA Portable Welding Machine Review
The Parker Brand Portable 200 Amp Inverter Welding Machine is a very powerful machine, especially designed to work on thicker, heavy-duty metals. Its 60% duty cycle allows you to work more efficiently as the welding machine will run for longer before it needs a cooling off period. Other nice features are anti-stick and thermal overload protection.
However to reach its full potential and become a TIG welder you will need to purchase a TIG welding torch.
The welder comes with electrode holder and lead, earth clamp and a wire brush.
If you a looking for the best budget TIG welder on the UK this powerful welder makes a very good case.
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Sealey MW200A 200 Amp TIG Welder Review
The Sealey MW200A 200Amp TIG Welder is another good welding machine. The build quality is excellent, it is compact and lightweight, and features excellent cooling.
This is an effective inverter welder that can be used with a TIG welding torch. A decent sized ventilation hole allows good airflow to the internal components, allowing longer time for welding. The welder has a 20% duty cycle.
The product is made using high quality pressed steel, that is strong and durable yet lightweight. To add to this it is finished with a very nice powder coating. This helps the product resist corrosion and make it more robust.
This TIG welder is compact and lightweight and has a carry handle that makes moving and storing this portable welder very easy.
TIG Welder Buyer’s Guide
Below we have listed some key concepts and features that you should consider before choosing a TIG welder.
These days most TIG welders use inverter technology. Essentially inverter technology allows you to specify the size of the bead you create, thus giving you more control over your welds and making your job easier. By adjusting the weld’s bead profile you can make the bead wider or narrower, enabling you to achieve the correct size weld first-time round and eliminating under or over welding.
Under welding requires a second pass, resulting in a weaker and less tidy weld. Over welding requires more sanding/filing and more cleanup, thus adding to the time you spent on a task.
Auto hot start
TIG welders need to be warm to start welding efficiently. However, it is difficult to warm a welding torch up without welding with it. Therefore without auto hot start, you will often have to weld with scrap metal to warm up the machine. This wastes time and material. However, auto hot start enables you to start the TIG welding machine with the torch hot. This leads to good welds straight away and reduces wasted time or bad welds from starting with a cold-welding torch. Welding when the torch isn’t sufficiently hot will result in weaker and messier welds that will require more clean up afterwards.
Anti-stick works by automatically adjust the voltage and or amperage to control the heat and length of the flame or arc of the welder depending on your settings.
For example, if you are using manual or programmed settings designed for specific metals the welding machine knows this. If it starts to stick or catch in the same spot for too long it could be because the welder is melting the electrode to what you are attempting to weld. To avoid this the anti-stick function will reduce the voltage to reduce the heat of the TIG welding machine. It could also increase the amperage to reduce the length of the arc. This should free the welder from whatever it is stuck to and then the welding machine will resume its normal welding voltage.
Arc force stabilization
Arc force is the correlation between amperage and voltage. Arc force stabilization allows these two variables to remain consistent by stabilizing them. For example, when using a shorter arc length in your setting the voltage will drop. With arc force stabilization the TIG welding machine will increase the amperage to maintain a consistent weld that is clean and strong. If the voltage and or amperage fluctuate the heat and length of your flame are going to fluctuate with it, leading to inconsistent, weaker welds.
Thermal overload protection
Thermal overload protection is linked to the welding machine’s fan cooling system (see below) and the % duty cycle (again see below) of your machine.
When the welding machine gets too hot the thermal overload protection kicks in, turning the machine off so that is can cool down.
In addition, if when you have welding for a certain amount of time and have reached the % duty cycle of your machine, the thermal overload protection will again kick in, allowing the machine the required downtime it needs to cool down and be ready to weld again.
Fan cooling system
A fan cooling system is very important in a TIG welder as a cooler TIG welder will enable you to continue welding for longer. Without an adequate cooling system your welding tasks will take longer to complete.
% Duty cycle
The % duty cycle of your TIG welder also affects how long you can continue welding before the machine requires a “cooling off period”. The higher the per cent cycle the longer you can remain welding. If your welder has a 60% duty cycle you can weld for 60% of the time and have a down time of 40%, so over a period of 10-minutes, the machine must not be used for 4 minutes.
You will on occasion have to reposition your TIG welder, especially when working on large projects. In this situation a lightweight, compact TIG welder will make your job much easier, and a portable welding machine is much easier to store.
Accessories are an important part of welding. If you are buying a welder for the first time you might not have any accessories, so buying one that comes with the more important ones will not only save you the hassle of finding them but also ensure that you can start welding straight away.
The accessories you need will vary depending on the materials you are welding so it’s advisable to research and source gasses and rods upfront. However you will definitely need a torch, welding gloves, earth clamp and welding mask, so look for a welder that already comes with these accessories in order to save time and money.
A warranty demonstrates that the manufacturer is confident in their product. And if anything goes wrong they can repair or replace it for you. Always buy a TIG welder with at least a 1-year warranty.
What is a TIG welder?
TIG stand for Tungsten Inert Gas. For TIG welding you don’t have an automatic wire as with MIG welding. Instead, as you are welding you use a metal rod that you manually position into the spot where you require the filler material to be placed.
While you are using a TIG welder, tungsten gas is blown out of the torch. Tungsten gas is an inert gas that has two purposes. Firstly, it protects the weld from the atmosphere, therefore stopping any reaction taking place and ensuring the weld is strong and clean. Secondly, the gas helps to cool the weld down, so it sets properly and creates a strong bond.
What is a TIG welder used for?
TIG welders are good for most metal welding providing you use the correct rod. They are particularly good for welding two different metals together whereas other welders can only work with the same metal. You can weld most metals with a TIG welder, but it is worth double checking your metal before you start.
TIG welding machines shine when you have a difficult or awkward weld such as a curved weld or a weld that involves an awkward angle. The TIG welder allows you to be very precise yet at the same time quite free-flowing, allowing you to complete difficult welds more easily.
How do I use a TIG welder? / TIG welding for beginners
To begin with you need to ensure you have the correct rod for the material you are working with. If you are new to welding it’s advisable to start with some scrap material and just practice joining it together. A good starter material is aluminium, and to weld it you should use a pure tungsten rod. This rod will need to be sanded / ground to a point.
The rod will need to be placed inside a collet. This is the tool you hold in the other hand to the torch. You will want about ¼” of the rod to be protruding from the end of the collet.
Your TIG welder should have preset options of AC, DCEP and DCEN. Use the AC setting if you are practising on aluminium. You should then select the settings for cleaning / penetrating, air and amps. Look online to find tables that will help you select the correct settings for each of these.
Prepare your pieces on a welding table. Clamp your pieces so they stay securely in place while you weld.
Don your protective equipment. This should comprise a boiler suit, face and eye protection and thick welding gloves.
Your first job is to tack the two pieces of metal together in order to get the clamps out of the way. To do this create a few points between the clamps. Start at one edge and when a pool has formed, touch the rod in. Once this is completed you can remove the clamps.
You are then ready to start welding. Hold the torch in one hand and use it to melt the metal rod fitted into the collet that you are holding with the other hand. When welding work slowly and carefully. Your aim is to melt the tungsten rod to bridge the gap between your two pieces of metal.
How does a TIG welder work?
TIG welders work by melting a metal bar or rod into the gap between two pieces of metal. The metal then cools and hardens, joining the two pieces of metal together.
How to convert an Arc welder to a TIG?
Arc welders use a different kind of torch to a TIG welder. To perform this conversion you need to purchase a TIG Welding Torch Kit for Arc Inverters. Then by attaching a TIG welding torch to the arc welder’s negative socket and using argon gas you effectively turn your arc welder into a TIG welder.