Choosing the best TIG welding machine suited to your needs could be somewhat complicated especially for hobbyists and novice welders. You can finally shed some light and deepen the knowledge on the subject. In addition to the technical information, we also examined and reviewed the most popular welding systems among all those currently on the market that are cheaper and the high-cost professional models.
The TigMig TM 200 Digital Alu is particularly suitable for welding aluminum alloys and placed in the 1st posion of our list . The Stahlwerk 200P is a little less performing but is also characterized by the more accessible price.
My TOP Selection
Top 8 Best TIG welder under 500 – Reviews in 2020
Rank #1: Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder
The Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder is appreciated by both expert and novice welders. This machine can perform welding on any type of metal and it is especially suitable for welding aluminum and derived alloys.
The Lotos welder is a single-phase inverter welder explicitly designed to perform TIG welding with an infusible tungsten electrode under inert gas protection with direct, alternating and pulsed current. It is built to offer maximum performance even in severe environmental conditions and is designed for both RC remote control and connection to the motor-generator.
Its adjustment range is from 20A to 160A and can be easily managed through the digital control panel. In addition , the package includes the mass clamp , the electrode holder, the TIG torch, the TIG kit, the gas tube, and the instructions.
Even though it was born mainly as a TIG welding machine for aluminum, the TM 200 Alu can also perform MMA welding with electrodes up to 4 millimeters, and therefore it is also suitable for working on steel, nickel, copper, and titanium.
Compact and portable:
The weight is only 25 kilograms; it is equipped with a handle and is designed to operate in challenging environmental conditions; therefore, it is ideal for external interventions.
Easy to manage:
The digital control panel allows you to make the various adjustments in a simple, efficient, and above all precise way, therefore it is also recommended for beginners.
The attached paper instructions, unfortunately, are only in English and unclear, but by contacting the company, you can obtain the Italian translation in PDF format.
Rank #2: Hyperikon Plasma Cutter 3 in 1 TIG Welder
Hyperikon Plasma Cutter 3 in 1 TIG Welder almost similar to the one examined above. Hyperikon can also perform through direct and alternating current welding. It services offered are almost professional.
It features high-frequency arc striking and non-contact ignition, advanced 2T / 4T electric current control, IGBT technology, and high-performance cooling system with two high-speed fans that allow to extend the life of the device.
The analogies with the TIGMIG welding machine also concern the possibility of performing MMA and manual welding, in non-stick, ARC Force, and quick start mode . The regulation of the output current in a range from 10 to 200 Ampere.
One of the most appreciated features of the Stahlwerk welder is the solidity of its manufacturing materials; buyers found it reliable and very durable.
AC DC and HF:
A further advantage is given by being able to carry out welding with both direct and alternating current. Also, it has HF, that is, high-frequency ignition.
Compared to TIGMIG, it is available at a price of about 20% lower. Therefore it is recommended above all for those who have to deal with a limited spending budget.
It costs less, but unfortunately, it lacks an essential operating way, which is that of pulsed current, present on the TIGMIG instead.
Rank #3: TIG 200 Amp Torch ARC Stick DC Welder Welding Machine
Unlike the TM 200 Alu that we have previously examined, the TIG 200 Amp Torch ARC Stick DC Welder Welding Machine is the specific version for MMA electrode welding. It can also be used for TIG LIFT welding.
It has a range of regulation from 10A to 200A and can weld with electrodes from 1.6 to 4.5 mm in diameter. Still, it must be borne in mind that exceeding 150A the power absorption increases and the 3kW meter does not make it to support it . If you have to use it exclusively in a domestic environment, it is better to limit yourself and not to use electrodes with a diameter greater than 2.5 millimeters.
If powered by a higher power meter, it has no problem working at maximum capacity. It can weld iron, stainless steel and cast iron without problems.It is also equipped with the Anti Sticking function that allows you to detach the electrode quickly in case of accidental gluing.
One of the strengths of the TM 200 Stick is that of having a relatively low price, especially taking into account the discreet versatility offered regarding the materials that can be welded.
With a weight of only 6 kilograms, it can be transported practically anywhere with minimal effort. Therefore it is ideal, especially for those who use it for small interventions on site.
Versatile and straightforward:
The adjustments are easy to perform, and the degree of versatility is also good since it can use electrodes of different diameters, both primary and rutilic; also, the materials that can weld are different: iron, steel, nickel, and cast iron.
Being an inexpensive welding machine, it is accompanied by a supply of poor-quality accessories. Also, it sins due to the care in the meeting.
Rank #4: Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Welder
The main feature of the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi Process Welder is that it is a professional TIG welding machine that are suitable for beginner welders.
It is a model controlled by a microprocessor and equipped with a system for the automatic compensation of electrical network imbalances. The command interface is of the “set and weld” type to maximize ease of use and guarantee excellent results even to less experienced welders.
It has a compact design to facilitate transport and is complete with a torch with Euro connection, gas reducer, earth cable, and welding cable. It can use copper-plated steel wires with a diameter of 0.6 to 1 millimeter, stainless steel, aluminum, and braze-welding wires from 0.8 to 1 millimeters, as well as electrodes with a diameter of 1.6 to 3.25 millimeters.
At the same time, the current regulation range is adjustable from 25 to 170 Ampere.
The 185 Flex-Line is the new model of the Fox line, produced by Helvi, and is intended primarily for professionals, but its characteristics make it very versatile and suitable also for novice welders.
The system allows you to perform three different types of welds: manual MIG with tension and wire-speed adjustment, synergic MIG with a selection of the wire and thickness to be welded, electrode, and TIG Lift Arc.
The command interface is clear and intuitive, equipped with two LCDs that facilitate parameter setting; in the reel compartment, there is also a table with data for quick set-up.
The cost is entirely proportionate to the quality of the product but remains considerably high and accessible only for professionals and workshops.
Rank #5: AmicoPower 185 Amp TIG Torch Stick Arc DC Inverter Welder
The American company AmicoPower is one of the most renowned among the producers of welding systems appreciated both by professionals and amateurs for the high quality of its products.
The AmicoPower 185 Amp TIG Torch Stick Arc DC Inverter Welder is an inverter model with HF and Lift high-frequency ignition for TIG and MMA direct current welding of copper, nickel, steel, stainless steel, titanium, and related alloys, with 2 and 4 stroke.
It is also equipped with Hot Start and Anti-Stick devices. It is also equipped with remote control, and by purchasing the optional TIG PULSE component. You can perform pulsed current welding.
The supply of accessories includes the TIG torch with the welding cable, the earth cable with relative pliers, the adapter for the argon gas cylinders, a pressure reducer with two pressure gauges, and an aluminum case to hold everything and transport it without risk.
Compact and light:
In addition to its small size, it has the advantage of weighing about half of the average of the other welding systems. Therefore it is particularly suitable for transport and work on-site.
In addition to the kit of welding tools, it includes a pressure reducer with two pressure gauges and a practical and robust aluminum case to store and transport everything.
Apart from the predisposition for connection to a motor-generator, it is supplied with an option that can be purchased separately, which allows it to be also soldered in pulsed current.
Since it is a professional welder, Telwin is also characterized by a reasonably high price and not very accessible for hobbyists.
Rank #6: TOSENBA TIG Welder TIG Welding Machine
The TOSENBA TIG Welder TIG Welding Machine is also an economic model .It is of slightly above average quality. This is also of Chinese production. But it is built under license for Stamos Germany, and therefore according to the strict production standards imposed by the Germans.
As you can guess from the abbreviation, it is an inverter model based on the technology of the insulated gate bipolar transistor.
Therefore, it allows a rapid switching of voltages and currents, as well as the constant maintenance of the welding present. It can perform MMA, WIG, and TIG electrode welding, and therefore to weld different types of material: steel, copper, iron, aluminum, and titanium.
It has an adjustment range from 10A to 180A in MMA mode and from 10A to 200A in TIG DC mode. Also, it is equipped with the Hot Start, Anti Sticking, Arc Force, and high-frequency trigger functions.
Despite being an economic TIG welder, it respects the high production standards imposed by the German company Stamos, so it has an above-average quality.
Compact and light:
Also, this welder has its compact dimensions and a weight of only 6 kilograms, therefore it is particularly suitable for hobbyists who work mainly outdoors.
Complete with accessories:
In addition to the welding machine, the package includes a grounding cable, and MMA welding cable with electrode holder, the TIG burner, two locking bushes, three ceramic nozzles for gas and more.
For hobby use only:
Despite the excellent characteristics, it remains an economic end welder, therefore designed exclusively for hobby use.
Rank #7: DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder Machine
We go back to the systems for hobbyists with the TIG welding machine Deca STARMICRO 150 . This model, in particular, is suitable especially for beginners and those with a limited spending budget. It is the cheapest of all those reviewed.
Even the installation power of only 2.5 kW is optimized for domestic use. While the output power is adjustable from 5 to 125 Ampere. It can perform TIG welding with electrodes from 1.6 to 3.2 mm in diameter. It only welds in direct current through both direct and reverse. But , despite being a modest welding system, it is still equipped with Hot Start, Anti-Stick, and Arc Force systems.
Tbruhe equipment includes the cables with earth clamp and electrode holder, a hammer sh, and the carrying case . There is also the protection mask and it is of poor quality. It is better to replace it.
If you are primarily looking for savings, this is the TIG welding machine for you. Recommended for less demanding hobbyists and, in general, for occasional and non-intensive domestic use.
It is compact, handy, and above all light, therefore natural to transport and also suitable for use on-site if circumstances require it. Among the accessories, there is also the case, which further facilitates transport.
It has some features that are similar to the higher-end models, such as the booster to enhance arc striking and the system that prevents the electrode from sticking to the piece to be welded.
According to some buyers, the instructions for use are very technical, and therefore a minimum of experience is needed to use it properly.
Rank #8: Everlast PowerTIG 185 DV AC/DC TIG Stick Welder
We conclude our guide with another electrode model intended for personal and hobby use and that is the Everlast PowerTIG 185 DV AC/DC TIG Stick Welder , produced by the Swedish company ESAB.
The Everlast PowerTIG 185 DV AC/DC TIG Stick Welder distinguishes above all the Spartan aspect of the control panel with the excellent price. There is only the selection switch for setting MMA or TIG welds according to some user. However, it makes it a welding system that is easy to manage.
It is equipped with both the carrying handle as in the other welding machines, and with the strap for carrying over the shoulder. It is compact and manufactured with reliable and durable materials.
In its small way, it offers excellent results with TIG welding . But , you have to be careful because with 3.2 mm electrode it tends to go under stress with ease. In this case, it is recommended for occasional and non-intensive hobby use.
Build quality is one of the most appreciated aspects of the Everlast welding machine. It is IP23 waterproof, stable, and very resistant, therefore reliable and also durable.
Compact and relatively light:
The dimensions are contained, and it is also relatively light if we consider the solidity of the body. In any case, it is equipped with a comfortable shoulder strap.
Easy to use:
The control panel is straightforward, which makes it suitable even for those who are still beginners with welding.
All in all, the performance is excellent, especially in TIG welding, but with thicker electrodes, it begins to go under stress.
Buying guide – How to choose the best TIG welding machines?
Welders for experts, but not only
The welding technology has been considerably refined over the years. Many of the avant-garde techniques developed for 50 years now have spread widely and widely used also in the civil sector in the professional and professional hobby sectors.
Therefore, both the methods and the welding systems are quite varied depending on the yield and the type of alloys to work on . The different abbreviations, such as MIG, MAG, TIG, MMA, are used to indicate both. MMA is the abbreviation of the manual arc welding method while MIG and MAG respectively indicate welding with inert or active gas.
TIG is the abbreviation that identifies welding systems with tungsten electrode and inert gas. The TIG method is among the most popular for welding steel, aluminum, magnesium, and other alloys.But , it also requires a high degree of skill and experience to guarantee the best results. Since the models currently on the market are diversified both based on price and characteristics. It is not easy for novice welders and DIY enthusiasts to decide which TIG welder to buy.
The economical range of TIG welding machines
The price of a TIG welding system can vary from $ 200 to $ 1,200 and more depending on the type, operating power, degree of versatility, and intended use of the appliance, whether professional or domestic.
To understand how to choose a good TIG welder, it is better to know the typical characteristics that distinguish the various price ranges so that you can identify the one that best meets your needs.
In the cheaper range, which ranges from about 200 to 500 dollars apart from the TIG welding machines for hobby use, you can also find some professional models but with a limited yield. The former are intended exclusively for DIY enthusiasts who have a unique space and used as a small workshop or workshop.
The main feature of TIG welding machines of this type is that it requires a power supply of between 2 and 3 kW at the most. It can be safely connected to the standard electrical network for this reason. They have a reduced versatility as regards the possible welding methods.
The professional TIG welding machines that fall into this same price range usually absorb higher power starting from a minimum of 3 kW up to 5 kW and more depending on the model. They are designed specifically for professional operators. The latter is still a novice and have to practice the method. In addition to the TIG welding method, they are usually able to perform one or two additional methods, therefore offering greater versatility of use.
The medium-high end models
The more expensive TIG welding machines are usually characterized by a high-quality level both as regards the manufacturing materials and in terms of the variety of welding methods and performances.
The more you get to the top of the range, the more the characteristics improve. Therefore , the system allows you to be not only TIG welds but also MIG, MAG, and MMA, both flush and with the electrode and in direct and alternating current. The expense to buy a model of this range, starts from about 700 euros up to the maximum expected ceiling.
Furthermore, another element that distinguishes high-quality welding systems from cheaper ones is the supply of accessories. The latter, usually also offer the protection mask for the eyes, obviously of just mediocre quality. Still, this particular helps to identify a basic model from a more advanced one.
Economic but professional and medium-high end welding machines have only the tools necessary for welding as accessories . Therefore the torch and the ground clamp with the relative cables while the cylinder with the protection gas and the spool of thread are possible components not always present.
The top of the range welding machines can offer additional components, such as the gas pressure reducer which allows you to control the gas emission to increase the quality of the welds obtained.
What does TIG welding mean?
The acronym TIG, according to the terminology introduced by the American Welding Society, stands for Tungsten Inert Gas and serves to indicate a particular arc welding process based on an infusible electrode, of tungsten precisely under the protection of inert gas. This can be performed with or without filler metal depending on the type of welding system used.
In addition to the pure tungsten electrodes, those with their alloys can also be used. When this type of technology was still in its origins that is during the 1940s, the graphite electrodes were used. The TIG welding method was developed in the United States of America during the Second World War. When the aviation industry was looking for a way to replace aircraft rivets with welds . With the same resistance would have made it possible to significantly reduce the weight of the aircraft cell, as well as save precious raw materials.
After the first experiments with the graphite electrodes, we moved on to the tungsten ones as better thermal and mechanical properties characterize the latter. It also has a high thermoelectric power to emit electrons at high temperatures that help to stabilize the arch. Consequently, the TIG welder is a system specifically designed to perform this type of welding, which has now become one of the most popular since it provides high-quality joints.
The main components of a TIG welding machine are the power generator, the torch, and the shielding gas cylinder. The torch consists of the housing for the tungsten electrode, the protection gas supply nozzle, the insulating sheath, the power supply, and the support for the electrode. Any additional components are the filler metal rods.
How the TIG welder works
The operating principle is as follows. First, prepare the torch by inserting the tungsten electrode and letting the protective gas flow all around it. The end of the electrode, together with the gas, comes out of the front nozzle of the torch which is usually made of ceramic.
At this point the operator is ready for work and approaches the nozzle to the pieces to be welded. It is triggering the arc and taking care to remain at a maximum distance of a few millimeters from the melting bath to prevent the electrode from “sticking” ”To the joint, interrupting the linearity of the weld and contaminating the bath with tungsten slag.
By moving the torch along the joint to be welded, the melting bath moves accordingly welding the pieces of metal together. If the material to be welded requires the addition of new metal, the movement of the torch must be simultaneous and coordinated with that of the filler metal rod to keep its end always within the arc welding and under the shielding gas flow.
Furthermore, the gas must be introduced on both sides of the joint if this is accessible from both sides. As mentioned before, when we illustrated the TIG welding process. On the straight side of the melting bath, the gas flows directly from the torch. Still, on the reverse side, it must be introduced in controlled conditions to also protect the root of the welds.
The typical defects of TIG welding are represented by the lack of protection which can occur both on the straight and the reverse, and by the inclusions of tungsten slag due to accidental contact of the electrode with the welding bath.
The lack of protection generates what is usually called “blooms,” circular oxide spots on the welded material. The inclusions are tungsten chips with a diameter of less than one millimeter that remain trapped in the melting bath. These fragments have a prismatic shape, and therefore sharply angled edges, they end up becoming potential triggers for brittle breaks in the welded material.
From the description of the operating principle and the method to be used, you will have quickly understood that carrying out TIG welding correctly is decidedly difficult, and a level of skill . Then skill is required that only highly specialized welders can offer.