Are you a DIY enthusiast looking for the best TIG welder for home use? You’re definitely in the right place. Keep reading to know more about TIG welding, how to choose the best TIG welder for home use and read some reviews of the best TIG welders for home use.
What is TIG welding ?
TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is a method of welding which produces welding with a tungsten electrode that is non-consumable.
It gives a quality finish which is hard to achieve especially if you have not mastered how to use it. A TIG welder is the main tool used in the TIG welding process.
Factors to consider before purchasing a TIG welder for home use
Type of work
This should be the main factor you consider before you purchase a TIG welder.
The type of materials you’ll be welding most of the time should let you know the type of TIG welder to buy. If you’re going to weld aluminium you should purchase an AC/DC TIG welder if not, a DC TIG welder is just fine.
Space and size
You should consider how much space you have before buying a TIG or any other kind of welder.
Also, what you plan to use the welder for affects the size of welder you purchase. Make sure you have enough space in your home to accommodate your welder. You might want to purchase or make a cart in which you can keep the welder and all the other equipment you’ll use together with it.
Read: Best TIG Welder Under $500
Different TIG welders use different amounts of power. Some run on 120 volts while others run on 240 volts. There are some that run on both 120 and 240 volts.
This depends on the input power of the welder. Also, the type of work you are going to do will determine the output power you need.
If you’re going to weld thick materials you need to purchase a welder with a 240 volt input power because only 140 amps is output by 120 volt welders which is only sufficient for welding materials a quarter inch thick.
You should purchase a welder whose output power can be controlled to as low as 10 amps for welding thin metals. Usually, 240 volts welders have this feature.
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Reviews of the best TIG welders for home use 2022
PrimeWeld TIG 225X AC/DC TIG Welder
Also an AC/DC TIG welder, the PrimeWeld 225X has a dual output of 110 and 220 volts making it suitable for both domestic and commercial purposes.
It has a duty cycle of 40% at 140 amps when using 120 volts. When using 225 volts, it has a duty cycle of 40% at 225 amps. Its duty cycle increases to 100% when put on lower settings.
This means you’re going to complete your projects quickly. It is not budget friendly and may appeal more to professionals because of its price.
It weighs 90 pounds and comes with some of the accessories you need for welding including face masks, cables, floor clamps, a foot pedal and replacement tips. It controls its efficiency and power with its advanced pulse width modulation.
YesWelder MIG205DS Multi-Process Home Welder
This is a unit which can be used for TIG, MIG, Flux Core and Stick welding. It weighs 33 pounds and is only compatible with DC.
It has a 2T/4T trigger lock with which you can make long runs on sheet metal. It has a dual output of 120 to 240 volts. It has an LCD digital display which makes it easy to control.
It has a one button mode selection and up to 20 amps on low settings which makes it easy to weld thin metals.
It comes with a 12.5-foot MIG holder and a 10-foot electrode hold. It does not come with a TIG torch. When on 120 volts, it can reach up to 160 amps and up to 200 amps on 240 volts.
Miller Electric Stick Welder
This machine is capable of more than TIG welding. It includes everything you’ll need to TIG, MIG, and stick weld.
It can handle up to 215 amps of current, with a duty cycle of 20% at 190 amps and 40% at 140 amps. It can work with both 110 and 220 volts.
Many typical welding tasks are pre-programmed into it. You simply tell it what you’re welding and the machine takes care of the rest.
Lotos LTPDC2000D 3-in-1 Combo Welder
TIG/stick machines are wonderful, but adding a plasma cutter turns this into a true all-in-one machine.
TIG torch, stick clamp, plasma torch, plasma cutter air regulator, and argon regulator are included in the package. Filler rods and metal are all you need to begin welding.
It works with both 110v and 220v power. It’s a good choice for a home TIG welder, with a 60 percent duty cycle and 200 amps of power.
Hitbox 200Amp TIG welder
The Hitbox 200 amp dual-volt TIG welder is an excellent starter model. A torch, as well as a gas flow gauge and valve, are included.
It has a duty cycle of 60% and can deliver up to 200 amps. You won’t need to call an electrician because it accepts both 110V and 220V inputs.
It’s a TIG-only machine that won’t take AC. At a reasonable price, this is a good starting welder. It’s also portable, so you can take it to a friend’s house and do some welding for him.
Other equipment needed for TIG welding at home
You’ll need to cut metal if you’re welding at home. You’ll need a metal cutter to help you with that. You can use;
Chops saws for straight cuts. They can’t be used for anything else. It’s easy to acquire as it’s pocket friendly.
Oxy-acetylene which cuts by using oxygen and fire to melt through the metal. The torch must be fed with oxygen and acetylene.
Plasma cutters which cut with high intensity plasma. It leaves a smooth cut and where money is no object, it’s a perfect fit.
Welding jackets: wear a heavy leather jacket so you don’t get burned from the sparks emitted when welding. Make sure
Welder’s mask: welding emits a lot of heat and sparks. As such you should wear a welder’s mask. It is going to protect your eyes from any burns caused by the welding arc with its dark shade. Do not use goggles as they won’t protect your entire face from heat and sparks. Also, an auto-darkening welder’s mask will darken when you crack an arc.
Boots and long pants: you need boots to protect your feet and canvas pants or heavy jeans to protect your legs. Usually, professional welders wear Wellington boots or cowboy boots as they are less prone to burning. Lace-ups and sneakers are more likely to burn from sparks.
Welding gloves: They are purposely manufactured with insulated materials to prevent your fingers from burning while welding. Do not use work or garden tools as they will burn straight up and burn your fingers on hot-red metal.
Metal welding table: You’re going to put the metal on the table before you start welding after you connect the return lead from the welder to the table.
Welding gases: for TIG welding, you’ll need argon and in some cases helium. Oxygen and acetylene are needed for the cutting torches.
Soapstone: you’ll need soapstone to mark your metals for cutting. It’ll stay on for sometime but once you clean, it’ll be gone.
Vises and clamps are needed to hold down things firmly while you weld them.
The tungsten electrodes used for TIG welding can be sharpened with bench grinders. They can also be used to shape and clean small pieces of metal.
Just like bench grinders, angle grinders can be used to clean and shape pieces, and sharpen tungsten electrodes. The only difference is that angle grinders are more portable than bench grinders.
Read: Best Aluminium TIG Welder
Setting up your home shop
Now that you’ve decided on which TIG welder to purchase for use at home, have you set up your work space or shop? If not, here are some tips.
It is advisable to weld inside because the shield gas required to flow over the arc could be blown away by the wind. In your shop make sure there is good ventilation because Some of the gases emitted when welding might be poisonous when inhaled.
Make sure flammable substances are far from the welding space. Welding emits heat and spark and having flammable substances around could be a fire hazard. Flammable substances include paint, paint thinners and gasoline.
Make sure the output power of your welder matches the outlet available. It is best to put the outlet near a breaker box. If you don’t have an outlet that matches the power of the unit, it could cause a fire if high voltage is drawn.
Before you start working on actual projects, it is best that you practice TIG welding by doing some shop projects. TIG welding needs to be mastered to give you that fine quality finish.
A shop project is the ideal and fun way to do that. Here are some stuff you can do for your shop project;
If you don’t have one, this is the perfect opportunity to get it. If you build one, you can lay the workpiece on it, connect it to the welder and weld.
If you decide to weld outside you can make a welding table with three walls on it to prevent the wind from blowing the gas shield away when welding.
A welding cart with wheels will help keep your workspace organized. You can put the welder and all other accessories into it so you can easily move them around and keep your shop tidy.
you’re going to have extra metal sheets and leftover pieces from welding. You can make a storage rack and keep all those pieces there. You could make other projects from those pieces. This will also help keep your shop tidy.
At this point, you’re ready to be a welder. Happy welding!
Can all TIG welders weld aluminum?
If running in AC, yes, all TIG welders can weld aluminum. If your TIG welder runs only in DC, it’ll be difficult and almost impossible to weld aluminum.
Without gas, can you TIG weld?
TIG means Tungsten Inert Gas so any joint you weld without gas will be weak. It’ll just be a waste of time. Without gas, the tungsten may disintegrate completely.
Can you learn TIG welding on your own?
You can but it’s best to have a professional teach you. It is difficult to master and you’ll need the knowledge and expertise of a professional.
Read: Best TIG Welder For Beginners
TIG welding is undeniably the most difficult welding skill to master but if you get it right, you’ll definitely fall in love with it and not look back. All you need to do is to buy the right TIG welder and accessories and you’re good to go.
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