How to Buy a Reliable TIG Welder
Buying the best TIG welder in 2018 is a complicated matter, particularly if this is your first attempt at purchasing a machine. The market’s filled with multiple units, and manufacturers aren’t making it easy for customers, as they launch new and improved models on a yearly basis. Regardless of the variety of details you need to consider, one of the most important factor is your own requirements. Carefully estimate your needs and preferences before choosing a welder.
We have put together a concise buying guide which we hope that will help you correlate your expectations with the features of the chosen unit. Here’s what you should ponder on before analyzing your alternatives.
Flexibility derives from amperage range. The widest, the better. For example, a machine that comes with a range between 5 and 230 amps will give you the freedom to utilize it both on thin materials and on thick aluminum, since the second requires high amperages compared to its steel or stainless counterparts.
Low amperage and arc stability
Welding depends on good arc stability, so buyers need to know that the machine of their choice is capable of starting well and of providing good arc control even at below 10 amps. Finishing the weld depends on stability at low amps, particularly because creating a concave weld crater on aluminum could just as well lead to cracking.
AC and DC welding
Aluminum and magnesium generally require AC, but steel, stainless steel and deoxidized copper require DC. If you intend on utilizing your welder for both soft and hard metals, you might be better off with a TIG machine that has both AC and DC. Furthermore, a detail to look for is AC balance control, as it will give you the freedom to adjust the level for the amperage you’re using.
It really goes without saying that going through the best TIG welder reviews should play a major part in your initial research. Other buyers can tell you exactly what to expect from a machine, and although reading their opinions may seem time-consuming, it’s an investment in the long run.
Top Rated TIG Welders in 2018
To make matters easier, we have selected three of the most acclaimed models of TIG welders that currently exist on the online market. All of the following units have managed to gather the appreciation of American and worldwide customers alike, which brings us to the conclusion that they take the cake in matters of convenience, affordability and reliability.
This is a DC unit that we’ve found to be among the top rated TIG welders of 2018. It provides a smooth and stable DC arc and is relatively well known for being easy on the power consumption. The DC on this product allows users to utilize it both for steel and stainless welding.
Since it weighs only 24.8 pounds and measures 20 by 12.5 by 13.5 inches, it is remarkably portable and easy to carry around.
If you end up choosing this model, you’re likely to benefit from reduced electrode sticking, as the machine comes with an automatic hot start system.
The package includes the high impact plastic carry case, the wire brush, the lift tig feature, a 6-ft work clamp and cable, the 17V series TIG torch and the stick electrode holder and cable.
The voltage of this model is 240 volts and the amperage capacity is 140A.
Customers are raving about this product, as many buyers state that it managed to exceed their expectations. Although this is technically an inverter stick welder, it is TIG capable. Most individuals speak highly about the dual voltage and the digital amperage display.
Even though it might be a little out of the budget of some people, this model is certainly worth having a look at. This is a welder that has dual voltage, allowing customers to select between the 110V and the 220V. The amp output is 150A. It will work on ¼-inch aluminum and on ⅜-inch mild steel.
One of the first things to consider with this machine is portability, as it weighs in at 38 pounds, which makes it a bit on the heavy side. The dimensions of the product are 19 by 23 by 12 inches.
The really neat thing about the unit is that it’s an AC and DC TIG welder, thus speaking to the needs and requirements of both hobby and professional welders. Versatility is an innate feature of the AHP AlphaTIG welder, as it has a wide range of pulse features and cleaning control for AC.
Let’s see what customers had to say about this model. Believe it or not, this unit has gathered 95% in 5-star ratings, which is practically otherworldly. Buyers characterize it as being excellent and easy to use. The ratio between the offered value and the item price is great, as attested by the best TIG welder reviews.
We’ve saved this unit for the last, as it is a tad more pricey than the ones we have previously described. A high price does deliver quality, in this case, as this is the easiest AC/DC TIG welder to utilize and set up. Extreme welding performance is part of the deal with this one, what with its ability to weld both aluminum and steel, stainless steel and chromoly.
The package includes the inverter-based power source complete with the primary cord and plug attached, a 12.5-ft TIG torch, a 12-ft work cable with clamp, a gas regulator/flowmeter and shielding gas hose and a foot-operated control, complete with the RFCS-RJ45 remote foot control. Instructions are provided by the manufacturer in an owner’s manual.
Yet another detail that makes the difference between the two aforementioned models and the Hobart 500551 is its weight. The machine weighs in at 62.6 pounds, which might be an inconvenience for some people. The product dimensions are 27 by 21 by 14 inches.
As is the case with the formerly described AHP AlphaTIG TIG/Stick Welder, this one beats the game in matters of customer reviews. More than 90% of the people who have purchased it were satisfied with its quality and have provided 5-star ratings.