The TIG process relies heavily on manual dexterity, developed by long practice.
As the primary interface to the process, your TIG torch is extremely important.
The main factor determining TIG welding quality besides skill level is your choice of torch.
TIG welding is known for its painstaking, careful rate of progress.
The slow pace heats the torch a lot.
The wrong torch is uncomfortably hot, lacks endurance and wastes time on maintenance.
We searched far and wide for five torches that will make you a better TIG welder.
In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best TIG Torch With Reviews
Here is a list of some of the best TIG torches we found on the market:
1. Weldcraft WP-20-25 Water Cooled TIG Torch
- Water-Cooled TIG Torch
- 1 year warranty
- 25 foot vinyl hose
- 250 amp rating
- 0.020 to 0.125-inch electrode size
- Fittings designed to eliminate leakage
- Mechanical fittings for easy hose replacement
- Water cooled around the welding head
- Same size as air cooled torch
- Easy connection
- Lightweight body
- More expensive than competing brands
With water-cooled TIG torches, bulk and weight can be issues. The WP-20 is preferred for its light weight and slim profile making it one of the best in it’s class. The 70-degree angle between the handle and the head makes the torch easy to handle. Getting a TIG torch into tight areas will always be a problem, but the compact design of this torch helps minimize those issues.
Miller Electric has taken over the Weldcraft line. The company has renamed this torch the W-250, but left the design intact. The number in the model name is the current rating for using the torch. That means this torch is rated for 250 amps. As a water-cooled torch, it handles heat very well and users are more than happy with its rugged build and economical use of consumable parts.
Now that Miller is making the Weldcraft TIG torches, customer service and parts availability should be top-notch. The WP-20-25 comes with a one-year warranty and a 25-foot hose. The fittings and seals are designed with special attention towards minimizing leakage and saving consumable costs. Parts are interchangeable with the WP-9 series torches.
2. Miller Weldcraft A-200 Air-Cooled TIG Welding Torch
- Flexible head
- Air cooled Torch
- Rated to 200 amps
- 1-year warranty
- 12.5 foot hose
- Flexible neck lets you reach tight spots
- Ruggedly built
- Heavy copper construction
- Costs less than water cooled torches
- Customizable parts from Miller
- Neck will break if flexed a lot
The A-200 was formerly known as the WP-26 series, but given the new model number when Miller bought Weldcraft. This is an air-cooled torch with six model variations and a wide selection of customization parts. The bodies and other parts are interchangeable across the series. There are different neck angles and bodies with separate valves to fine-tune gas flow. Both flex body and solid body models can be had with or without a valve.
The A-200 carries a 200 amp rating. It’s heavily constructed of solid copper alloy, providing exceptional cooling and the ability to withstand heavy use. Some users have complained that if the flexible portion of the body is bent to different angles very often, it will break internally. There are solid bodies among the extensive selection of replacement parts offered by Miller that don’t have this particular weakness.
Many users recommend having several different flex bodies in the toolbox, bent at different angles to avoid breakage on the job. Miller offers a 1-year warranty on the A-200 series, one of the most-used torches in the industry.
3. Parweld WP17 TIG Welding Torch
- Air cooled torch
- 150 amps DC
- 120 amps AC
- 2-pin connection can be replaced
- 0.02 -inch to 3/32-inch electrode
- Compatible with Weldcraft torch parts
- Copper construction
- Industry standard parts in a great price range
- Inexpensive alternative to big brand parts
- 2-pin connection isn't compatible with HF arc starts
When you need a low cost TIG torch, the Parweld WP17 is hard to beat. It uses industry standard parts compatible with Weldcraft WP-17 torches. It’s rated at 150 amps on AC and 120 amps on DC TIG. It’s air cooled with a 13 foot hose. The body is made of copper and it uses a standard M16 socket and a two pin connection. The plug can be changed out for a 5 pin connection to make it work with brands like Everlast and Eastwood welders.
This torch is a direct replacement for the QQ150 type torches seen on many generic and imported welders. Some users aren’t happy with the sewn on cover instead of a zipper type cover, but some more expensive TIG torches don’t even come with covers. The cover seems pretty tough and should survive a normal shop environment.
It’s not compatible with lift type or no-touch type arc starting, but it does include a gas valve for fine tuning the shielding flow. The valve also means this torch will work on machines that aren’t equipped with a gas solenoid.
4. CK CK17-25-RSF FX TIG Torch
- Industry standard size 17 compatible
- Air cooled
- 150 amps at 100 percenty duty cycle
- Nylon braided cover over silicone hose
- Works with Weldcraft Redhead accessories
- Ribbed body makes it easy to handle
- Uses Weldcraft 10N consumable parts
- Flexible head-easier access to tight spots
- Lightweight and compact, easy to handle
- Reports of a weak hose connection
CK is one of the leading makers of TIG torch equipment, favored by a lot of professionals for daily use. The CK CK17-25-RSF FX torch uses a brass head instead of copper to eliminate thread seizing. Brass is self-lubricating under pressure and it regains original size quickly after cooling. CK is famous for Fail-Safe fittings, which don’t require wire ties to stay secure.
This line of torches has silicone hoses to provide high temperature resistance, long wear and lasting flexibility. CK doubles up with woven nylon covering to make for long lasting hoses. The torch body is covered with silicone to minimize loss of high frequency when connected to welders with no-touch arc starts.
This torch features a flexible head with up to 40 degrees of bend available to get just the right angle in a tight spot like welding headers or pipe bends.
Some users report weak hose fittings at the head, which could be a real problem with a flexible torch. This doesn’t seem to be a widespread problem. CK rates this torch at 150 amps under continuous use.
5. Miller Weldcraft A-150 TIG Torch
- 25mm Dinse connector
- 12.5-foot rubber hose
- Weldcraft Alumina 7/16-inch nozzle
- 3/32-inch collet and body
- Air-cooled TIG torch
- Ribbed handle for cool operation
- Ergonomic Diamond Grip head
- Interchangeable with Redhead flex bodies
- Standard Weldcraft 10N consumable parts
- 1-year Miller True Blue warranty
- Bulkier than a water-cooled torch
Miller Electric recently took over Weldcraft. To fit these products into its parts system, Miller renamed the TIG torches. “A-150” is the Miller-based name for the Weldcraft WP-17. Under the Miller parts system, the “A” portion of the name designates air-cooled and the “150” indicates the amperage rating. This system makes it clear this is an air-cooled torch, rated for 150 amps.
This torch is an industry staple. Because it’s air-cooled, it’s quite a bit larger than a water-cooled torch with the same power rating, which could make it tough to weld in tight spaces. The Weldcraft A-150 has a ribbed handle design to keep the torch cooler during long welding sessions. Miller’s Diamond Head ergonomic design gives the torch head a shape that’s easy to grip, provides a good angle for easy welding and prevents operator fatigue.
The entire air-cooled Miller Weldcraft line has the ability to swap in parts from the Redhead series to upgrade individual aspects of the torch as part of regular maintenance. Miller offers a 1-year warranty on the A-150 TIG torch.
TIG Torch Buying Guide
When deciding which TIG torch to use with your machine, you need something comfortable. It needs to be compatible with the machine you’re going to connect it to. Beyond that, consider current rating, cooling system and parts availability.
The single most important factor is the amount of current produced by the machine your torch is connected to. The TIG welding torch needs to be rated to at least the same amperage as the welder, preferably higher. So if your TIG machine is rated at 250 amps, you need a torch with at least a 250-amp rating. Otherwise it’s going to overheat, causing a failure and possibly even burning you.
Is the torch air cooled or water cooled? Water-cooled torches are smaller for the same current rating, but add complexity and extra cost. Water cooling requires a pump, reservoir and hoses to flow water through the torch. Leaks and water pump failures are possibilities.
Air cooled welding torches are simpler. If the torch is rated for the work you’re doing, heat shouldn’t be a problem. But air cooled torches are bulkier.
If you frequently weld in tight corners, very sharp piping turns like exhaust headers or inside awkward bits of machinery, you might be restricted to a water cooled TIG torch just so it’s small enough to get the electrode where it’s got to go.
These issues may require a flexible neck. Flexible torches aren’t as durable as rigid torches because of weak spots inherent in flexible bodies.
TIG Welder Options
If your TIG welder isn’t equipped with a gas solenoid to start and stop gas flow, you’ll want a welding torch equipped with a gas flow valve. Some welders prefer this extra level of control even when their machine has a solenoid.
Another thing to consider is the arc starting style of your TIG machine. If it’s designed for a lift-type arc start or a high-frequency no-touch arc start, you need to have a TIG torch that’s compatible with these features. Otherwise, you’re stuck with scratch starts.
When considering the criteria laid out above, we’ve selected the Weldcraft WP-20-25 as our Pro Choice. A 250 amp rating, water cooling, 25-foot hose and Miller’s 1-year warranty and customer service are all good reasons to choose this torch. Our Pro Value pick, the Miller Weldcraft A-200 is a good second choice for those without a water cooler and able to get by on a 200 amp rating. The flexible neck is another bonus.
Both of these torches are industry standards with a huge variety of parts and customizations available.