Earlier, I would call a welder guy to restore small fixes of my favorite Japanese Boulevard. But it came to a stop during the Corona period, so I had to find a way to do the basic welding independently. I thought it would be easy.
But guess what?
I was awe-struck with the tons of options available for the TIG welders. Therefore, I had to talk with some welders and search the internet to find the best starter TIG welder for my job.
So, why did I invest in the starter TIG welder? Also, you might want to know how did I pick the entry-level TIG welder.
So, here’s the short answer-
While high-end welders offer incredible options and features, these are costly and, at times, difficult to use. Hence, as a beginner, you would want a basic welder that fits your budget. I had to consider duty cycle, power source, construction and durability, pricing, and Arc starting features for picking the right welder.
With all these considerations and suggestions from expert welders, I bought one for my small fixing jobs. And to help you now, I present five welders best for a starter with the buying guide.
|1. PrimeWeld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter||★★★★★|
|2. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder||★★★★★|
|3. AUTOOL EMW-508 ARC-200 DC Inverter Welder||★★★★☆|
|4. LOTOS 1H-4HPT-NF6E TIG Welder||★★★★★|
|5. Weldpro Digital 200GD TIG Welder||★★★★★|
Do you want to weld thin shit, aluminum, stainless steel, mild steel, or titanium? You will have to find ways to control the heat for the best welding results. And no type of welder would come close to controlling the heat as TIG welder holds it.
1. PrimeWeld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
This PrimeWeld welder comes in a hefty price tag, but it’s worth every penny for its surprising benefits. To start with, you get the TIG welding, plasma cutter, and stick welding facility with this machine. If you add the cost of buying a stick welder and plasma cutter separately, you will find the PrimeWeld cheaper and beneficial.
It comes with a 60% duty cycle at 200AMP. So, you can use it for a longer period than most other welders in the market. Also, it welds most metals, including copper, magnesium, aluminum, mild steel, stainless steel, or anything you can imagine.
Also, it cuts through most metals at ease. In fact, its plasma cutting capacity works well up to ½” thickness, which is leagues ahead of other welders. So, it serves both DIY projects and workshop welding chores readily.
The welder also facilitates quick conversion between the stick and TIG welding. It prevents time wastage and allows almost a continuous workflow. Furthermore, its dual voltage capacity ensures you can use either AC or DC voltage for comfortable use.
You won’t have to be ardently concerned about the power output anymore with the CT520 welder. Next, welders love its sound engineering. It is made durable with high-quality construction. And with a lightweight of 32 pounds and a sturdy handle, you can carry the welder to any location.
Hence, you get accuracy, durability, versatility, and easiness in use with this multipurpose welder. Isn’t it what you were looking for closely?
2. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder
One of the best TIG welders under $1000 that has received accolades from all is the Forney 298 welder. The arc welder comes from Forney, a leading and reputable manufacturer in the industry. Even if you don’t have proper knowledge of welding jobs, Forney 298 would still yield excellent welding results in harsh conditions.
Its compact construction comes with a small footprint. So, it won’t come across the work. At 7.5 pounds weight, this is one of the most lightweight welders you will ever get. Thankfully, its rugged handle also supports comfortable portability to any place.
Although it is a MIG welder, you can quickly add the TIG welding capacity. And once you get the TIG capacity, there’s no stopping for the welder. So, you shouldn’t back off from getting this welder for DIY projects, home maintenance, and small workshops.
It comes with a medium-duty cycle. It serves up to 80AMP at a 30% duty cycle. While it might not meet industrial welding necessity, it still works fine for most home maintenance jobs. Also, it works with up to 1/8 electrodes that give it a superior user-friendly welding capacity.
Also, it welds metals up to 5/16”. You simply can’t count it off with such useful features. The welder has a 120V capacity with 80AMP output. Thus, it is challenging to find a better welder at its price range than the Forney 298.
Another reason that insisted me to include this welder in the review is that it comes entirely installed. So, beginners won’t have to go through the difficult phase of knowing which part would fit in which section of the machine.
Lastly, its decent performance and reasonable price tag would work fine for all beginners.
3. AUTOOL EMW-508 ARC-200 DC Inverter Welder
The EMW-508 TIG welding machine comes in this best starter TIG welder review list for some good reasons. Although its 12.3 pounds lightweight construction seems confusing, this unit is powerful enough to perform tasks that you can’t imagine.
Its IGBT control is innovative and smart. It means you can readily and quickly use the welder in both 110V and 220V AC voltage. The shift between the dual voltages is fast and safe. So, it doesn’t eat up your valuable time while welding.
You get perfect welding thanks to its smoothness in welding chores, along with the low splash feature. Also, its current output is stable and efficient. Its copper cable ensures a lasting service with 85% efficiency. It means your electricity bill will not break the bank account.
You will get a 60% duty cycle with the 160AMP welding capacity. So, it is quite capable of accomplishing medium-duty welding jobs.
Apart from the sufficient duty cycle and dual voltage capacity for practical welding, the EMW-508 comes with remarkable safety features. For instance, its fan rotates at 4100 turns per minute. It assures quick and even heat dissipation to safeguard the machine. Also, it allows for an extended working period.
It prevents overheating and auto-shutoff also. The voltage regulator also has intelligent control to keep the unit running even in unstable voltage outputs. So, you won’t have to stop welding jobs.
In short, you will get almost everything you want as a beginner in your welder. It doesn’t offer more than you can handle or less than you want.
4. LOTOS - 1H-4HPT-NF6E TIG Welder
Lotos is another reputable and highly reliable welder manufacturer that you can always count on for the multipurpose and professional TIG welder. This time they hit the market with a swashbuckling welder for beginners.
It rates at 200AMP TIG capacity with a 60% duty cycle. So, it serves both light and medium-duty welding jobs at ease. You can weld the finest aluminum with the most accuracy thanks to its square-inverter technology. The dual voltage feature lets you quickly shift between standard 110V and 220V power outlets for welding consistency.
Also, you can perform stick welding with it. So, you get a multipurpose Lotos welder for the price of a single welder. It’s worth every penny you spend on the welder. You must also count on its 80% efficiency to reduce the electricity bill for a money-saving investment.
You can use the welder with both basic and acidic electrodes. Therefore, you won’t have to waste time finding a specific electrode for the TIG welder. Its east Arc start further ensures that you get stable and precise welding results.
The welding accuracy is even extended to pinpoint thanks to its foot pedal and excellent torch control. Both result in better heat control, which ensures you the most accurate welding on most metals. It welds almost all metals, including mild steel, magnesium, copper alloy, stainless steel, aluminum, etc. So, you are never short of welding options for home maintenance, fixings, and small workshops.
Its simple control is a boon for beginners. The controls are so detailed and easy that starters will love working with the Lotos welder.
5. Weldpro Digital 200GD TIG Welder
This is a flagship welder machine from Weldpro who have earned their deserved reputation in the welding market. It uses advanced inverter technology for TIG and stick welding. Its quick conversion between AC and DC voltage with a reduced size makes it one of the most sought after welding devices in the market.
Thanks to its advanced IGBT technology, it is 30% more efficient compared to the regular welders. Also, it comes at a 200AMP capacity with an adjustable 30% to 70% duty cycle. Its AC and DC voltage conversion means you can use it to weld almost all metals. It includes stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, magnesium, copper alloy, etc.
The digital control panel of Weldpro 200GD is easy to understand, and the knob dial allows painless settings. Thus, it is a perfect welding solution for entry-level TIG welder. It takes professional welding one step further with its Superflex torch.
So, you will get the most accurate welding results with the Weldpro TIG welder. Apart from the technical superiority, this welder also focuses on improved engineering. Its metallic construction is made for enhanced durability.
Therefore, investing in this welder is worth the investment. Thus, we had little doubt to declare this one of the best TIG welders under $1000.
Buying Guide for The Best Starter TIG Welder
When you hit the search button on Google for the TIG welders, you will see dozens of options. Although most of these TIG welders are feature-packed and highly usable, not all of these are good to start your welding career.
That's why you have to be choosy and consider multiple factors to get a welder suitable for starters. These must-consider factors are listed below.
What is your welding skill level?
You will feel more manageable and comfortable getting the right welder when you know your proper skill level. Also, you must know your limitations in welding chores. You will mostly find TIG, MIG, and Stick welding processes, and each has a different hardness level.
Thus, you have to select your TIG welder accordingly.
The power rating of a welder determines its working capacity. A welder for small projects will work fine with 110V and 40V output. Also, welders for household works will equip with 135AMP or less. These welding machines are also suitable for entry-level TIG welder.
The heavy-duty welders will adept at a higher amperage, which works in 220V power. But powerful welders come with complicated controls, which might not suit beginners.
The different welder is built to weld specific materials. While some welder will weld light materials only, others will work well with thick materials. Hence, you must decide the welding thickness you want to deal with mostly. Then, you will have to buy the welder accordingly.
AC and DC capacity:
DC flows in one polar direction while AC alternates its polarity direction. You will find welders either in AC or DC voltage capacity. Of course, some high-end welders with inverter technology feature both AC and DC output.
DC welders are cheap but don't work well with aluminum metals. Hence, if you have to work mostly with aluminum, you must get a welder with both AC and DC output capacity.
Duty cycle refers to the welding machine's capacity to run uninterruptedly. It determines how many minutes your welder can run without overheating and needs cooling down after it. The actual duty cycle means how many minutes it runs.
For instance, a welder with a 40% duty cycle will run for 4 minutes and then need 6 minutes of cool off time. Duty cycle ratings below 40% are low amperage, and over 40% are considered medium capacity. The highest ratings are over 80% duty cycle.
When you are a beginner, you would want a welder fully assembled. It will allow you to use the welder easily. You won't have to invest time in knowing the different parts for the welders' perfect assembly.
If a welding device comes half-assembled, you will need expert help to build it correctly.
When you are a starter welder, you would want the welder's maximum features to make your welding career smooth. For instance, you should get a welder with easy to understand of the control panel. It will allow you to have comfortable control over the welder.
Furthermore, try to get a portable welder because you would want to move to different locations with it. Ideally, welders with handles will allow quick transportation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is TIG welding easier than MIG?
Honestly speaking, MIG welding is indeed easier to learn than TIG welding. That's why you will see MIG welding more widespread than TIG welding. Also, you would find TIG welding faster. But even after all these reasons, you can't ignore the TIG welding. It results in the most accurate and smooth welding jobs. Also, TIG welding is ideal for working on smaller metals with thin measurements.
2. Can I teach myself to TIG welding?
Although you can try learning TIG welding on your own, it is not suggested. For instance, TIG weld learning is potentially steeper and challenging. It will also take a considerable time for you to learn TIG welding with proficiency if you do it all alone. Hence, I would recommend you consult an expert welder to learn TIG welding. Even I talked and meet with one expert welder when I first started the welding jobs for home maintenance.
3. Can you TIG weld without gas?
It is a BIG, BIG NO. You merely can't TIG weld without inert gas. The gas is essential for protecting the attached weld pool and the electrode from the surrounded oxygen. Also, the gas will cool down the welding torches. Thereby, you should never experiment with TIG welding without the gas.
TIG welding is a delicate welding job and maybe, the toughest of three welding types. Therefore, you would want to get the right and easy to use TIG welding machine. It is especially essential for starters for safety and accuracy purposes.
To ease out your selection, I have reviewed the five best starter TIG welders. These TIG welding devices are surprisingly portable, well-constructed, and versatile. However, I would strongly suggest you go through the welders' user manual before you start using them directly. It will help you better understand the TIG welders and yield smooth joints with premium accuracy.
Lastly, wear a face mask, gloves, and work boots whenever you use TIG welding for safety purposes. It is a must for beginners.