Anyone who works or dabbles in the world of welding will be familiar with the term TIG welding, which is also known as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding). By adopting a process of heating two objects between the target piece and a tungsten electrode two metal items are firmly joined.
A skilled TIG welder can manipulate and control many of the main tasks a TIG welding system is used for, including the length of the arc, or adding alloy to the electrode to make it more stable.
Why is TIG welding popular?
· It’s a flexible welding method which can be used on most types of metals.
· The finish is generally good quality.
· TIG welding can be used with or without filler metals, depending on need.
· The welder is able to maintain good control over how much heat is applied.
· For the best results TIG welding equipment depends on the operator being highly skilled.
What to look for when buying the best TIG welder
Everyone using welding equipment has their own priorities and needs, so choosing the right thing is important. It is usually possible to find something to suit your needs regardless of budget, although some compromises may be necessary.
Hobby welders can probably get away with more of a low-tech model, while those involved in welding in a professional field are more likely to be looking for extra features, perhaps with a low amperage option too for even better flexibility.
Key features which may help guide your decision
· Cost – these can range dramatically from a couple of hundred to a thousand USD. Although top end models do tend to offer plenty of extras to justify the price tag it is false economy to pay for items you don’t actually need, so stay level headed unless money is no object.
· Autonomy – some models offer both semi and fully automatic versions.
· Ampage – the greater the range the more you can do with the welder.
· Scope – always check which types of material a model can work with.
· Packages – some TIG welders need supplementary accessories to be purchased.
· Weight – they can range from a few pounds to around one hundred – what is practical for you?
· Warranty – look for a welder with at least a 2-3 year warranty length, and read the small print!
· Customer support – is it offered at times and for a call fee you are satisfied with?
For budget buys an ARC stick welder such as the lightweight Amico TIG 160 amp version will set you back around $240, but if you can stretch your wallet to around the $500 mark then the Lotos LTPDC2000D TIG Welder delivers a bigger amp range. Top end buys like the PRIMEWELD TIG 225X 225 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder are state of the art but less mobile with a 90 pounds weight tag.