Are you looking for the best TIG welder for beginners? We’ve got all the important information you need to know about TIG welding including what to consider before making a purchase and reviews of the best on the market.
First, what is TIG welding?
Tungsten Inert Gas welding (TIG) is a form of welding in which fine quality weld is produced through the usage of argon and sometimes helium. The weld is produced with a non-consumable tungsten electrode.
If you’re new to TIG welding, you’ll need to purchase your own welder so you can practice often as it is very difficult to learn but once you master it, you’re going to love it as it is going to leave you with a fine quality result.
Read: Best Aluminium TIG Welder
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Reviews of the best TIG welders for beginners 2022
Forney Easy Welder 298 100ST
This is a DC only welder which is portable, weighing a little under 10 pounds and comes with a handle to make it easy to carry around. It has an input power of 120 volts and a maximum amperage of 90 amps.
You can easily adjust settings with the dial and toggle switch on the unit. It uses a lift arc start and is user friendly. For a beginner level unit, it produces a good finish.
It comes with a range of accessories including a TIG torch and gas which make welding much easier, a flow meter which makes it possible to weld with gas and other accessories.
Even though it supports DC only, users can learn how to weld aluminum using aluminum rods and the unit’s TIG functions.
At 80 amps, the unit has a duty cycle of 30%. It is easy to set it up and use it in different places as it can be used with a variety of household currents.
The unit has an in-built fan which turns on as soon as the user starts using it. It prolongs the lifespan of the unit by preventing potential damage which could be caused by overheating.
It is ready to use right out of the box, but you need to purchase a TIG torch before you can use it for TIG welding.
If you’re going to use it frequently, you should prepare for maintenance activities including, cleaning the vents with compressed air, replacing worn out consumables and a host of other maintenance activities.
It comes with a one year warranty on internal components and 30 days warranty on accessories and consumables.
Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200
This is a versatile AC/DC TIG welder with dual input of 120 volts and 230 volts. For 120 volts at 125 amps, it has a duty cycle of 25% and a duty cycle of 25% at 200 amps for 230 volts, that’s for the TIG option.
For stick welding, it has a duty cycle of 20% at 75 amps for 120 volts and 20% at 170 amps for 230 volts.
To reduce contamination, it has a high frequency non-contact start. Weighing only 46 pounds, it is portable and can be carried or moved around.
It can be used right out of the box as it comes with a ground clamp and cable, gas regulator, stick electrode holder, foot amortization, a torch ready-pack and input cords among others.
It has a user-friendly interface making it easy to adjust settings.
It uses inverter based technology which enables it to store up to 200 amps of power on an internal microcomputer.
Hobart Stickmate 160i TIG welder
The Hobart Stickmate 160i TIG welder is an excellent choice for beginners. It’s ideal for those who are just beginning to explore welding and require a low-cost, high-quality unit.
This welder comes with a dual-frequency option, which increases efficiency and precision. It accepts 110,115,120,220,230 and 230 volts and has a 30% duty cycle at 160 amps.
The digital screen is one of the model’s biggest features, as it allows you to better track and regulate your settings. It’s small and light as it weighs only 15 pounds, and it’s compatible with both flux core and solid wire, as well as all metals.
Weldpro MIG 155 GSV
This machine has a variety of characteristics that make it a standout device. This machine has a 165-amp capacity and can work with both thin and thick metals, such as aluminum sheets and sheet metal. It accepts 115V and 230V and has a 30% duty cycle.
It has an LCD digital screen with preconfigured settings for quick setup and no voltage modifications are required. This machine has footswitches that are compatible with most welding helmets, enabling you to modify settings quickly by just instructing the unit to stop or start.
You won’t have to wait for the unit to get hot first before using because there is no-load speed. This machine also has a pulse feature that allows for greater control over the wire speed.
It also has a digital display with amperage, voltage, and welding duration, as well as timer, weld speed, and arc force functions.
S7 TIG welder
The S7 is a reliable, portable, lightweight, and cost-effective welder. You can weld up to 1/4-inch material with this equipment, and there are no sparks to worry about.
For simplicity and safety, it includes an adjustable electrode holder, easy voltage changing, digital display, pulse function, and foot pedal. The foot pedal, on the other hand, can create problems for people who will use the unit for the entire day because it starts when touched and keeps welding unless you switch it off.
This TIG welder weighs only 37 pounds and runs on 115v. It heats up quickly, reaching 1,500°F in about 20 seconds.
Factors to consider when choosing a TIG welder for beginners
If you plan on using the TIG welder for both domestic and commercial purposes, then consider getting a portable one. It also means getting a smaller unit.
However, if you plan on purchasing a multi-process unit, forget about portability. You should just get a welding cart in addition to it for easy mobility.
User friendly and simple controls
You should purchase a unit which is user friendly and has easy-to-use controls. You don’t want to have problems controlling the unit in the middle of a project.
You might even want to go for a unit which comes with a remote control so you can adjust settings from wherever you are while working on a project.
Some units come with extra accessories and you should purchase one of those so you don’t have to pay extra for them.
Some of those accessories include face shields, foot pedals, floor clamps, remote controls, cables and a host of others.
Read: Best TIG Welder Under $500
Combination of AC and DC
It is advisable to get a unit that runs on both AC and DC especially if you’re going to weld a range of metals.
You use DC for metals like steel and AC for metals like aluminum and magnesium. If you know you’re never going to weld aluminum, you can get a DC only unit.
Space and size
Before you purchase a welder, make sure you have enough space in your workshop or wherever you are going to weld.
The size of the unit you would like to purchase should help you with this. If you don’t have enough space, you can purchase a welding cart to accommodate your welder and all other accessories which will be used alongside it.
Tips for TIG welding
As a beginner there are some things you should know before you start TIG welding. Note these tips and keep them in mind when TIG welding.
Clean the metal you plan to weld thoroughly to get rid of contaminants and impurities. If you weld without cleaning the metal, the quality of the weld will be reduced.
Make sure your workshop is well-ventilated. TIG welding makes use of gases and some of them may be harmful if too much is inhaled.
Keep your work area dry to prevent the risk of electric shock.
Always wear protective clothing. TIG welding exposes you to heat and splatter which could cause sunburns and temporary blindness in some cases. Some protective clothing include face masks, Wellington boots, leather jackets, welding gloves among others.
Ensure you properly grind your equipment before welding. If not, it might lead to electric shocks.
Make sure you use the right type of current to weld, whether AC or DC. This depends on the type of metal you are going to weld and the electrode you are going to use. You can practice with a little of the metal you’re going to use so you know the right current to use.
Read: Best TIG Welder For Home Use
Why are my TIG welds grey?
Your TIG welds look grey because after you removed the shielding gas, the metal was too hot and the weld adsorbed impurities from the air.
What is TIG welding without a filler rod called?
TIG welding without a filler rod is called autogenous welding. Here, either the filler rod is of the same composition as the base metal or is made by melting the base metal.
TIG welding is not easy to learn but once you are determined to learn, it’ll be a bit easier.
At this point, you have gotten a handful of information about TIG welding especially in relation to novices. Always remember to use protective clothing because you’re going to expose yourself to heat and gases.
Until you have mastered the art of TIG welding, don’t start any major project.
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