Best TIG Welder Quick Comparison Chart
- Best TIG Welder Quick Comparison Chart
- Best Dedicated TIG Welders
- Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 Welder
- WeldPro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Welder
- Lift Start Function
- Best Tig Welder In Its Class
- Multi-Function TIG Welders – The Best TIG Welders That Are Actually 3 in 1 Systems
- Esab Rebel Professional EMP 215 IC AC/DC Multi Process Welder
- What’s in the box?
- Primeweld TIG 225 Amp AC/DC TIG and Stick Welder
- Easy Set Up
- Miller Diversion TIG Welder With Dual Voltage
- Lotos TIG 200 AC/DC Stick, Arc and TIG welder
- What’s in the box?
- Forney 324 MIG/TIG/Stick 3-in-1 190 Amp Welder (220 and 110 V)
- Who’s this perfect for?
- Who’s this perfect for?
- What’s in the Forney welder kit box?
- WeldPro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Three In One Welder
- 2021 Everlast Lightning MTS 225 Welder AC/DC TIG With Pulse MIG Stick
- Multifunction TIG and Plasma Cutting: Best TIG Welder and Plasma Cutter Combo
- Primeweld Pilot Arc 50 Amp Plasma Cutter Plus 200 Amp TIG and Stick Combination
- What Is The Best TIG Welder on the Market?
- What’s The Best TIG Welder For A Beginner?
- How Do I Choose A TIG Welding Machine?
- What Is A Good TIG Weld For Aluminum?
- Common Terms Mentioned With The Best TIG Welders
TIG welding (short for Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is one of the preferred methods of welding both in industry and for do-it-yourselfers in their home garages.
The advantage of TIG welding is that this process enables greater precision. With TIG welding, the heat is more evenly distributed across the pieces of metal being joined than with other methods. Another advantage of the best TIG welder machines is that they tend to cool off quicker than other types of welding equipment – so there’s less lag time.
There are lots of choices out there. TIG welders can be acquired as standalone units – in other words, dedicated TIG welding machines – or more commonly, as one function of a multi-process welder. These multifunction machines offer a variety of welding processes – typically TIG, MIG, and Arc welding – and are quickly becoming a favorite in the marketplace.
These welders are AC DC machines, so you can be deployed not just in industry and commercial repair shops – but in home garages for your avid DIY types too. On rare occasions, you can score a multi-function welder that comes complete with a plasma cutter too.
You might be thinking that a quality, multi-function machine would cost a fortune. But you’re about to be pleasantly surprised by the budget-friendly options we found that are just a click away (as I write these words).
We’ve done the grunt work for you. On this page, you’ll find out top picks in the “best TIG welder” category. For your convenience, we’ve broken it down into 3 categories:
- Dedicated TIG Welders – Tig and Stick welding machines only
- Multi-Function TIG Welders – These welders are very popular as they can perform all of the TIG, Mig, and Stick (Arc) welding functions
- TIG Welders With Plasma Cutting Capability – Dual purpose machines that combine Tig welding and Plasma cutting functions.
Best Dedicated TIG Welders
Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 Welder
Here’s a quality, well-built TIG welder that’s easy to use. It provides both TIG and Stick welding from a single power source. And since it’s a dual voltage AC/DC Tig machine and portable enough – you can take it anywhere. This makes it ideal as a Jobsite welder – or one you can use wherever and whenever the need for a welder occurs.
It’s an excellent TIG welder for aluminum. If you do so now – or plan to work with aluminum in the future – this could be the best TIG welder for you. With nearly 100 buyers reporting, this welding machine scores a solid 4.4 out of 5 possible stars.
It makes it a great addition to any small commercial shop. And it’s equally useful for the at-home welding enthusiast working from the garage.
WeldPro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Welder
This TIG welder scores an impressive 4.7 out of 5 possible stars – from nearly 400 actual buyer reviews. With such a significant number of customers reporting, you’ve got to know that this is one of the qualifiers in the best TIG welder category.
But it’s not just the TIG welder. It’s actually a three-in-one machine with MIG TIG and Arc Stick welding capacity all built-in. The Weldpro 200 is a dual voltage welder serving up both 220 and 110 volts – so you can use it anywhere.
Lift Start Function
The Weldpro 200 provides lift start TIG welding and is excellent to weld aluminum (with the optional school gun). It features an intuitive design in both MIG and flux-core functions. As a combination unit, you get MIG, TIG, and Stick welding capability – from a single, compact machine.
Built-in to this unit is a digital display that allows you to set the amperage range and wire-speed for smooth and repeatable welds. Plus, the digital display is easy-to-read. That’s an important feature. If you can’t clearly see what those settings are – you’re going to run into problems. But Weldpro has you covered.
With overload protection, you don’t have to worry about working at high temperatures. The duty cycle on this machine in 220 Volt input is 30% at 200 Amps and 100% at 110 Amps.
Best Tig Welder In Its Class
If you’re looking for a welder that can pretty much do it all for your small commercial shop or do-it-yourself setup- The Weldpro 200 would make a good choice. It’s great for those projects where you need a long and consistent weld. This TIG welder can tackle many materials and is an ideal aluminum tig welder.
Many buyers use this primarily as a TIG welder – it’s that good. But since it’s also a three-in-one, multi-process dual-voltage welder, the possibilities for use are almost endless.
It’s no surprise that this TIG welder is of great value in many different ways including factory maintenance, automobile modifications, and in metal furnishings and hardware manufacturing shops. It’s good for the small shop – and your garage too. IGBT technology makes it powerful and versatile (it only weighs about 30 pounds) yet has a maximum output of 200 Amps.
If you’re looking for a solid, all-around welder for your own fabrication shop, this is it. It’s a TIG welding machine that can handle the different demands of specialty welding – this one is a good choice. Provided accessories – including MIG gun, TIG gun, ground clamp, flow meter, and spool gun – are all well-built components.
It’s a reliable welder at a budget price. And it never seems to tap out by reaching the higher end of its percent duty cycle. Synergic design automatically adjusts the voltage and wire speed making it easier – especially for the beginner to get quality welds every time you can also adjust the voltage manually plus or -20% which is quite a range
Use this for a while and get comfortable with the machine you’ll likely find that it works as well or better than welders that are much more costly. It comes with all the accessories needed – including a gas regulator, TIG torch and MIG gun with a ball joint at the strain relief for good flexibility. The ground clamp is of a quality build and this machine supplies a smooth arc, which makes welding easier.
For the price, you may think you’re getting something that’s a little on the flimsy side. But that’s definitely not the case here. It’s a robust welder. You’re getting a solid well-built machine that will stand up to the task. All you need is some argon gas and you’re good to go.
There are plenty of convenient features that the beginner welder will find helpful. This welder is well-engineered and solidly-built. To find something that performs better, you should be prepared to spend two or three times more money than you will on this beauty.Check Customer Reviews Here
Multi-Function TIG Welders – The Best TIG Welders That Are Actually 3 in 1 Systems
What used to require to three and perhaps four separate machines can now be achieved with a single device. Naturally this appeals to hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers. But it’s also a useful tool for many different types of fabrication and repair shops.
Not only does it prevent you from buying multiple individual machines, it saves you the space that each welder would occupy. It’s also much more advantageous from a cost perspective to buy a multipurpose welder than to buy separate individual machines in most cases.
A multipurpose or multi process welder enables several different types of welding styles including stick, MIG, TIG, and flux-core. Some multipurpose welders also include a plasma cutter. These combination units are excellent options for farmers, ranchers, trades-people, repair shops, as well as at-home welding enthusiasts.
Another excellent feature of the multipurpose is that you can take them with you load them in the back of the truck and go to a job site to weld on the spot. In most cases you’ll need a welder that is both DC and AC-powered which many of these multi process welders are.
Esab Rebel Professional EMP 215 IC AC/DC Multi Process Welder
Here’s a top-of-the-line three in one welder that’s a quality professional TIG welding machine – and more. It delivers superb performance as a TIG MIG, Flux-Core and Stick welder. There’s also a DC and AC switch feature – so you can run this on any available power. Included is a high-frequency start (in both DC and AC modes) balance adjustment, frequency adjustment, as well as pulse DC.
This one actually has “smart” technology built inside the MIG welder. This means that it automatically and continuously learns and adapts to the welder’s techniques and approach. This helps you maintain a stable arc and attain a top-quality weld over and over again. This one is a useful productivity booster for the experienced welder. For the inexperienced novice or beginner – it can also help by reducing training time. You’ll invariably find that the results you seek will come faster and easier on this than on other machines.
The Esab Rebel is portable and relatively lightweight – tipping the scale at 49 pounds. It’s a durable machine that can stand up to the toughest commercial and industrial applications. But if you’re a serious welder who wants a quality three in one combo machine at home – this would be a top choice. It scores an impressive 4.8 out of 5 possible stars from actual buyers.
There are no settings to worry about – a huge timesaver on every project – large and small. This welder learns how you weld and adjusts everything in real time to give you a better weld. It can be a complete game changer if you’re typically one of those who spend 15 or 20 minutes messing with the settings to get it right before you begin. It ships equipped with four programmable memory programs for each process. And you have the capability of adjusting and fine-tuning whenever you want.
What’s in the box?
Included is the welder itself with a solid power supply, Tweeco Fusion 180 velocity MIG gun, electrode holder, Heliarc HW-17 TIG torch with accessory kit, foot control, Victor argon flow meter regulator, 12.5 feet of hose, return clamp with leads, drive rolls, contact tips – plus an owners manual.
Primeweld TIG 225 Amp AC/DC TIG and Stick Welder
Primeweld offers IGBT technology plus AC/DC functionality in a combination TIG stick welder with pulse CK 17 flex torch. It offers a lot of power and versatility – and you get a full three-year warranty. Not surprisingly, this Primeweld model scores an impressive 4.9 out of five stars from nearly 500 actual tig welder reviews. That’s a huge number of previous buyers who think their Primeweld is the best TIG welder in the marketplace.
A pulse function is a great feature to have on your welder, particularly when working with stainless steel, aluminum – or any thin material – for that matter. With this Primeweld unit, you can easily weld ¼” aluminum and 3/8” inch thick mild steel. Having both 220 and 110 Volt configurations mean you can weld virtually anywhere and get great results every time.
You get a high-frequency start, superior torch control, plus a precise foot pedal that makes you the boss and your welding jobs that much easier. This top-dog TIG welder has a couple of technological advances built in that are worth mentioning, including an advanced inverter and pulse width modulation using IGBT technology.
Primeweld offers exceptional seven days a week customer service along with their three-year warranty. Customer support is based in the USA, so you get someone who not only speaks English well but actually knows the welding processes inside and out.
This machine makes a good choice for the hobby welder and the professional alike, due to its wide range of use potential. Pros like it thanks to the power modulation and IGBT technology provides and they give this welder top marks and reliability and performance. In its price range, Primeweld is one of the best TIG welders you can find and the high-quality foot pedal sets it apart from several competing brands.
Buyers love this compact workhorse. Experienced welders have commented that they see very little difference between the resulting bead this welder delivers and the results you get from the machine that would cost $5000 to $6000.
So if you want to achieve quality results with your welding – this could be the TIG welder for you. Beginners and those who don’t weld every day should not be intimidated either. Using simple and basic settings, these folks can create good quality welds that are clean and strong too.
Easy Set Up
Setting it up is easy thanks to the graphic representations. Everything is clearly marked so you know what each knob does and it’s easy you should understand – even when you’re not an experienced welder. It’s solid for a side hustle of home shop for the serious welder.
If you don’t mind spending 5 or 6K to land a few extra “nice to have” options – more power to you. But if you’re smart, you’ll realize that this machine has everything you need. It’s quality built and affordable. And the welds you produce will likely be as good as any other.
Miller Diversion TIG Welder With Dual Voltage
Miller is the popular well-known, American brand of welder that loads of commercial and industrial shops prefer. That’s probably because Miller has built their reputation on providing top-quality equipment that as far as we can tell, is still made in the USA. The downside is that it has a price tag that reflects the higher level of quality that goes with anything that’s American-made.
Miller uses an inverter-based AC/DC power source that allows you to control the amperage remotely from the foot pedal. It’s fully capable of handling most materials – including steel and aluminum. Typical buyers deploy the Miller Diversion TIG welder in construction, aerospace, manufacturing, heavy equipment manufacturing and repair, infrastructure, small manufacturing shops, shipbuilding, and rail car repair. Yes, there’s no doubt that these Miller machines are capable of just about anything. So if you’re an experienced welder who likes to use a top-quality name brand – this is well worth considering. It appears that many other manufacturers are simply trying to model their welding machines by using Miller as a prototype. Clearly, it’s an industry standard.
True to its reputation, this Miller welder is easy to set up and use. If you’ve ever used a Miller before on the job, you’ll have an automatic affinity for this beauty of a welder. It easily handles TIG and MIG welding and works great on steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Most welders who’ve had the pleasure of using a Miller machine on the job simply refuse to use anything else. That’s how much users have grown to like this nearly indestructible brand of welding machine.
Miller has many fans all over the country and around the world. Loyal supporters of the brand claim that anyone who gives this welder a poor rating simply doesn’t understand the job. In other words, they cannot be an experienced welder and not give this machine a high score.
Lotos TIG 200 AC/DC Stick, Arc and TIG welder
Lotos offers stick, arc, and TIG welder in a single unit, complete with square wave inverter, foot pedal, and dual voltage. If you’re looking for quality welding with steel stainless steel aluminum and other thin materials – in your commercial/home shop or on the Jobsite – this is a solid and precise welder worth checking out.
With this Lotus welder, you’ll get an easy (and stable) arc start, plus a deep weld pool so you can create perfect beads and strong joints every time.
What’s in the box?
Included in the Lotos TIG 200 is a capable welding machine with a built-in power supply, TIG torch, foot pedal, stick clamp, argon gas regulator, a 220 V to 110 V converter pigtail, grounding clamp, consumable supplies, plus an owner’s manual. Lotos offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty.
If you’re looking for a decent welder that can handle aluminum, mild steel, stainless steel, and other metals up to 3/8 of an inch thick – this one is worthy of your consideration. Lotos uses square wave inverter technology to provide accurate welding of fine aluminum. It’s got a lot of stellar features built right in including a high-frequency start, hand torch control and precision foot pedal to control the heat applied to your weld. The fact that this machine offers dual voltage makes it that much more valuable to have in the shop – or on the truck.
For accurate welding of fine aluminum, you’re going to need a square wave inverter welder like this. It’s excellent for the professional and the weekend welder too. You get quality commercial and industrial-grade welding features and solid build quality in a stable and affordable unit.
Although it’s fully capable of providing the professional with the welds they need, the simple mix of controls makes it easy for the beginner welder too. You can accurately set it up to perform well in a wide variety of situations – and locations.
Forney 324 MIG/TIG/Stick 3-in-1 190 Amp Welder (220 and 110 V)
The Forney 324 is a multi-process welder that provides MIG and TIG Stick welding functionality. It’s easy to set up – easy to use – and easy to start. In fact, it’s perfect for any welding enthusiast or home use – regardless of one’s level of experience.
A three-position switch allows you to change from one process to another quickly. So you can weld with whatever process you feel most comfortable. As you get comfortable with the equipment, you can then try the other methods in your own timeframe.
Who’s this perfect for?
Who’s this perfect for?
It’s a worthwhile welder for do-it-yourselfers, home use and general metal fabrication shops, maintenance work, farms and ranch work, and automotive shops.
Forney welders make it easy by helping move things along at the right speed to fit the style of work you’re doing. The flow meter controls and regulates the gas – so you get the perfect amount each time. As a dual voltage, three-in-one welder – it’s super handy to have around.
This welder comes with accessories for MIG and stick welding. To use the TIG welder, you will need to pick up the necessary accessories as a secondary purchase. Recommended accessories include the TIG torch, foot pedal and spool gun. With those – there are few limitations as to what you can accomplish with your Forney 324 welder.
What’s in the Forney welder kit box?
Included with your Forney welder is a torch with a 10-foot lead, stick electrode holder, 15-foot input power cable, ground cable and clamp, gas hose, and regulator. With synergic controls that adapt to your welding preferences automatically – even a complete beginner will be boding metals in no time.
This model weighs 52 pounds. And overall dimensions are 19″ x 9.5″ x 6.5″. It also comes with an adapter plug so you can use either 220 V or 120 V power source – so it’s the ideal welder in many situations. If you’ve got a 220 V single-phase set up in your shop – you’re ready to go at maximum power. But if you’ve only got 110 V – you can certainly use the Forney too. And if you’re worried that this machine may not be up to the task running on 110 volts -worry no more. Being able to plug into a standard outlet is a huge plus, particularly when you have to travel to do work outside the shop. This TIG welder is powerful and it does the job effectively.
It’s a steady performer for doing general maintenance and repair work, light industrial jobs, farm equipment repair, automotive, boat service work, and even general fabrication.
WeldPro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Three In One Welder
Here’s another good choice in the multifunction TIG welder marketplace. It’s from Weldpro and this device scores and notable 4.7 out of 5 stars – from well over 350 actual buyers. Buyers like this machine for a number of reasons – including Weldpro’s intuitive and synergic design that makes welding precise joints that much easier.
Weldpro comes with a solid three-year warranty – so that’s reassuring. It provides a true lift start for TIG welding as well as stick welding. And handling aluminum is a breeze with the optional spool gun.
Primarily this welder is used in commercial shop settings as general factory maintenance and equipment. It’s also commonly used for automobile modifications and small metal shops.
If you enjoy tinkering with, you’ll love having this one in your garage workshop too. With its synergic design, this welder automatically adjusts the voltage and the wire speed – making the task of welding like a pro that much easier. This is because you need to get those two numbers working together in harmony to create a perfect connection. For anyone who doesn’t weld every day – this is a big deal – and a huge help.
This machine also has a nice feature that allows you to adjust the voltage separately plus or minus 20% – which is a significant amount. Additionally, there’s an inductance adjustment – something you just don’t see a lot of welding machines
As a TIG welder – it’s one of the best. Weldpro comes with a lift arc TIG and TIG torch which produce a consistent and strong bead (as long as you make sure your metal is clean before you begin TIG welding).
This one has all the features you’ve come to expect in a multifunction TIG welder. But many say that it does it a little bit better than others. It gives the welder a number of choices without endless scrolling, which can cause some confusion – particularly for beginners. It’s easier to use as the welding parameters are more specifically and clearly identified.
All accessories including the MIG gun, TIG gun, ground clamps, flow meter, and spool gun are of good quality. So you’re getting a quality, well-made welding package at a rock-bottom price.
If you’ve been eyeing-up a Miller or Lincoln welder but it’s slightly outside of your price range – consider the Weldpro as an excellent alternative. You’ll be astonished with the bead this machine tends to lay down – whether you’re working with steel, stainless steel, or aluminum.
2021 Everlast Lightning MTS 225 Welder AC/DC TIG With Pulse MIG Stick
Looking for a powerhouse multipurpose welder? Here it is. Everlast Lighting boasts a 60% duty cycle at 200 Amps. It runs on both AC and DC so it offers unlimited flexibility as a TIG welding tool. It’s an adjustable and yet heavy-duty MIG/TIG and STICK welder you can use with most metals.
This is the latest from Everlast in their heavy-duty line of AC/DC TIG welders. As powerful as this welder is, it’s also a dual voltage unit capable of operating on 110 Volts. So whenever you need to carry the unit to a job, or if you only have 110-volt service in your home shop – you can weld almost as effectively.
Sure, you’ll have reduced output at 110V. But you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with this little wonder. And you won’t experience a lack of capacity due to the strong duty cycle this model offers. Full output on both the TIG and STICK welders offers a 60% duty cycle. And MIG offers 35% at maximum amperage. That means at 200 Amps – you’ll have a 35% duty cycle.
Multifunction TIG and Plasma Cutting: Best TIG Welder and Plasma Cutter Combo
One thing most combination units lack is a plasma cutter. On this product from Primeweld, the plasma cutter is included in the welding machine. So you get the most complete, all-in-one set up in a compact machine.
Primeweld Pilot Arc 50 Amp Plasma Cutter Plus 200 Amp TIG and Stick Combination
It’s ideal for any small commercial shop or hole welding operation where function and performance are important. And the Primeweld Pilot is equally effective when taken to a job site to complete work you cannot take to your shop.
Not surprisingly, the Primeweld Pilot plasma cutter and multi-function machine rates as a solid 4.7 out of five stars – from nearly 100 customer reviews. It’s a super-versatile machine that any one serious about the job they do would love to own.
It combines TIG and STICK welding – along with plasma cutting – in one convenient unit. By the way, this plasma cutter is capable of cutting any type of metal up to 6 inches thick. What materials can this multipurpose welding machine with plasma cutter handle? With this one tool, you can cut and weld virtually any type of metal, including stainless steel, aluminum, cobalt, nickel, titanium, copper magnesium, cast iron, and more.
Owning a Multifunction TIG machine is a beautiful thing. And it’s better when you have the added flexibility of a plasma cutter and multi-welder in one. Oh sure, you could spend more on another brand – but why? This workhorse does it all.
Naturally, On 110 Volts, it’s not going to cut quite as powerfully – but that’s to be expected. It will still cut through many materials though. Running on 220V of power – this thing can cut anything – including a three-quarter-inch piece of steel, angle iron, sheet metal – even railroad spikes. Whatever you can throw at it – this Primeweld combo package can handle. And it cuts through quickly and cleanly.
If you’re the do-it-yourself type, but you don’t necessarily consider yourself an expert welder – this machine can be of enormous assistance. In fact, some buyers say it’s a dream come true. The high-frequency start makes it makes welding easier. With a little practice, you’ll quickly develop the skill level to produce a beautiful and strong bead – no matter what materials you’re working with. And if you’re a beginner, you’ll have a lot of fun using this machine as you naturally improve your skill level.
The updated version of this welder/plasma cutter now ships with electronic switches, a separate argon inlet from the compressed air inlet, plus a standard 220 V plug and 110-volt adapter plug.
What Is The Best TIG Welder on the Market?
We’ve narrowed the field to the best of the best in each category from dedicated TIG welders to a multipurpose machine with plasma cutting capacity. What’s perfect for you might not be the best choice for the next person reading this article. The point is to figure out what’s most important to you in a TIG and to choose the model that checks as many of the boxes on your list as possible.
What’s The Best TIG Welder For A Beginner?
Assuming that you’re working from a home shop, the best type of TIG for the beginner is one that has dual voltage. It’s far more likely that you’ll have ready access to 110 volts in your garage or shed. As a beginner, want to learn to weld. So you don’t necessarily need a plasma cutter. And there’s no need to spend a fortune on a top-of-the-line unit either. A few of the TIG welders reviewed here are ideal for the newbie and our top pick would be this one.
How Do I Choose A TIG Welding Machine?
What we recommend is taking a good look at the welding jobs you want to do now as well as those down the road. What is your skill level? How experienced are you? What type of projects do you see yourself doing over the next couple of years? Then choose the model that’s the best match for you. There’s no one model that is the best TIG for everyone. But opting for one of the welders on our list will save you a ton of time and aggravation. With a little thinking and planning on your part, you’re far more likely to be happy with your selection.
What Is A Good TIG Weld For Aluminum?
When working with aluminum, you want to use a welder that can run on AC. There are loads of TIG welders that run on both DC and AC. But some welders simply aren’t worth the purchase price – as low as it sometimes is. Stick with our recommendations and make sure your machine has the capability to run on the standard alternating current. That’s how you get expert results when working with aluminum.
Common Terms Mentioned With The Best TIG Welders
Lift TIG Function
A lift TIG simply refers to a TIG welding machine that comes equipped with a lift start. The Lift Start deploys a simple swipe of the torch – where the tungsten touches the metal. It was developed as an alternative to “scratch starts” where the tungsten gets scratched on the workpiece in a similar fashion to taking a match and striking it on a matchbox. But the problem is that tungsten particles tend to fall off the tip and land on the metal, contaminating the joint. The lift start solves this problem. It’s also a better approach than High Frequency starts whenever delicate computers of computerized machinery is nearby.
Pulse Function Welding Methods
What comes to TIG welding you can output a post-electric wave rather than a steady current. What the pulse function does is it enables you to work at a steady rhythm. This is particularly useful when doing production welding.
Depending on your equipment, the pulse setting can be set on the machine itself or controlled with foot pedal. When welding, you want to sustain just the right amount of heat until the weld is perfectly formed. Since you can moderate the heat with the pulse function as you form the weld, it helps you gain more control over your work. It also helps to prevent burning through the material or using excess filler material. For the skilled opperator, pulsing helps create a smoother, more even joint. It keeps you working at a steady pace as it moves the weld puddle forward.
IGBT is short for Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor. Essentially, it’s a semiconductor device on inverter-based welding machines that helps provide greater efficiency and control.
An inverter is an electronic system that regulates the voltage by electrical components to convert the power from one form to another – specifically, from DC to AC and back, whenever the TIG welding machine is equipped with dual voltage options.
Dual voltage welding machines give you the option of not just using 220 Volts – like most traditional welders from in businesses – but 110 Volts too – like what is readily available in homes, garages and small workshops. This makes the TIG much more useful – particularly when you have a welding job that takes you away from your shop.
Although a lot of the 120 Volt welders are made for that do-it-yourselfer or occasional user who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money – they can also be valuable and versatile tools for commercial purposes too.
AC and DC Power
AC refers to alternating current and DC is short for direct-current. Direct-current is used on most welding applications – particularly in large factories. DC is used on TIG welding projects that involve stainless steel or common steel. But when you’re working with aluminum – AC is the way to go. That’s one thing that makes a multifunction machine so appealing.
Square Wave Inverter
A square wave inverter enhances the performance of a welding machine – particularly when working with a material like aluminum. This type of inverter uses advanced circuitry to quickly switch between the positive and negative half-cycles generated by alternating current. The quicker and sharper a welding machine can switch between the two polarities – the smoother the AC arc remains and the better the results. A welder that’s equipped with a square wave inverter gives you better balance and control – something that is very helpful when welding aluminum or magnesium alloys.
Buying a welding machine with square wave technology makes it easier for small fabricators, craftsmen, do-it-yourselfers, and hobbyists because it helps you expand your range of skills and the things you can do with your TIG.
Duty cycle refers to the percentage of time (within a 10-minute timeframe) that a machine can safely operate at its given amperage. A welding machine that operates at a duty cycle of 200 Amps at 30% means it will operate at the full 200 amps for three minutes in a 10-minute cycle. That means that for the remaining 7 minutes the welding machine switches to thermal overload to cool down and prevent it from overheating.
The duty cycle of any welding machine will change at different amperages. At higher amperage, the output of the machine heats up more rapidly, which lowers its duty cycle. For example, the duty cycle of a welder at 200 Amps could be 30%. The duty cycle at 110 Amps could be 100%. The welding machine heats up less when it gets switched to AC power.
Noel Davidson has been the owner of a small fabrication and welding business, a pressure pipe welder, a woodworker, furniture maker, home renovator, DIY’er, and is currently working as a home handyman.
Welding experience includes ASME section 9 qualifications for pipe welding using stick and TIG welding techniques. His fabrication business consisted of general engineering with a focus on decorative ironwork and light structural metalwork. With career change, he transferred those construction skills to home renovation and furniture making, including the use of steel and wood in furniture projects. For Noel, DIY has always been a lifestyle choice in that to build something that is unique, is quality, and is timeless – as opposed to mass-produced products that everyone has, designed eventually for landfills!