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What to consider when choosing a TIG welder?

Updated: Mar 14

Trying to find the right TIG welder for your needs can be a stress-inducing process. We want to help you breeze through the decision and get straight to what you are good at, welding.

What is TIG Welding?

TIG stands for tungsten inert gas and is a popular arc welding process for smooth applications. It is seen as one of the toughest processes to master. Electric arc burns between the non-melting tungsten electrode and the workpiece. The arc is very intense and can be very easily controlled. A separately supplied argon shielding gas protects the arc and the welding zone from the atmosphere. Filler metals can be fed by hand or with a special cold wire feed if necessary.

Steel, stainless steel, copper, titanium, etc are welded with direct current. The electrode is connected to the negative pole and ground to a point. Aluminium, magnesium and their alloys should only be welded with alternating current to break open their oxide skin. The electrode is blunt. During welding, it can assume a round or crowned shape. With modern inverter power sources, a pointed tungsten electrode can also be used.

Advantages of TIG Welding

TIG welding allows good control over the arc enabling very comfortable and clean working. The low oxidisation of the workpiece, small welding zone, omission of fluxing agents and non-spattering arc ensure clean, precise seams with no slag inclusions and no reworking.

Selecting the perfect TIG welder is often a stressful task. Due to cost, market-leading brands and new models create a manic list of potential machines.

What's within your budget?

Looking for a new machine, the price often comes into it. Knowing your budget can help narrow down the machine that will fit your needs. Higher price tends to indicate high-quality equipment. Although if you have a limited budget you can find a welder that is effective for your applications.

A classic TIG welder like the ESAB Rogue ET TIG welding machine or the EWM PicoTIG 200 plus TG are typically at the more affordable end of TIG machines, whereas a multi-process machine such as the ESAB Rogue EMP 210 Pro Multi Process Welding Machine can be more costly thanks to there advanced capabilities.

What metals are you welding?

TIG welders often allow welds of more metals and alloys than other

welding processes. Depending on the metals you are using will also impact the tungsten you will need so keep that in mind.

How do I know which to use AC/DC or DC-only TIG machines?

DC welding machine is suitable for commonly used metals such as mild steel and stainless steel. Whereas using AC/DC allows you to switch the current type depending on the metal you are using. If you are welding aluminium AC/DC machine is the one for you.

What is Pulse welding?

Pulse welding is also an important part of choosing a tig welder that suits your needs. Pulse welding is the process of welding that alternates between a high and low current, this is beneficial due to a reduction in overall heat.

Should I use a TIG pedal for my welding?

Using a foot pedal allows you to have more control with accuracy and quality while welding. Some people may see their flaws within finding them uncomfortable to work with.

Choosing 3-phase over single-phase?

Understanding the difference between 3-phase and single-phase welding ensures you get the best Tig welding applications. 3-phase power supplies are more efficient and can transmit three lines as much power as a single-phase power source. Thar's 3 wire instead of 2, allowing more amperage on a machine meaning thicker materials can be welded or allow for a high-duty cycle means longer weld times.

What's the difference between Lift TIG & HF?

These are two different ways of starting the arc that allow welding between the tungsten rod and the working material to take place. Lift tig welding technique is widely used and user-friendly. To do this the tungsten electrode must touch the working material, depress the foot pedal and lift the torch to be able to form an arc. Only when there is a gap between the two that the machine sense the break and supply the full current to start correctly.

HF welding on the other hand stands for high-frequency welding applications. This occurs when the welder places the tungsten road close to the metal and presses the torch trigger to start the arc and begin welding. HF Tig is an option available on most professional TIG machines which allows you to choose between the Lift & HF to start the welding process.

IP23 vs IP23S!

This refers to the ingress protection rating of a TIG welding machine. Providing information on the level of protection it has from foreign particles like dust and water. The level of protection varied from various machines. From machines having no protection to protection from a particular distance or full protection from strong jets of water or even high pressure when submerged. With IP23S the additional letter refers to how the machine was tested with the 's' meaning it was stationary during the water test.

How can we help find your TIG welder?

Our team are specialists in the welding equipment that will work best for you. Taking into consideration what you need to achieve we will be able to find you the right brand, specification and type of TIG welding machine for your applications. Helping you discover what you should consider when choosing a TIG welding machine.

At Truflame we are partnered with various market leaders for high-quality welding machines. You can choose between top brands within a budget that works for your needs. As well as features that you don't want to compromise on including AC/DC or DC welding, 3-phase while taking into consideration what materials your welding and certainly what's within your budget.

Why Truflame?

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