Best TIG Welders for the Money – Top Picks and Reviews

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Need to weld aluminum, copper, steel, stainless steel, titanium or thin sheet? You should know that controlling heat is essential.

No welding process controls heat better or produces finer welds than a TIG machine does.

Whether you call it TIG, Heli-Arc or TMAW, this process is top of the line.

As a two-handed method, it’s the most rewarding type of welding to master. To take your craft to this level, make sure you have a capable, quality TIG welder.

A TIG machine can have quite a price tag if you’re unsure what you really need. With so many machines, it’s also easy to miss important features.

We combed through the multitude of machines to find the 10 best TIG welders. Let’s get started.

In a Rush?

Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...

Pro Choice
Miller Electric Maxstar STR
Professional TIG welder designed for mission-critical steel and stainless steel processes. Miller Electric customer service backs the 3 year warranty and this machine will use any power source from 110 to 480.
Pro Value
Hobart EZ-TIG 165i
The Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i has simple settings and includes a foot pedal, Miller torch and gas regulator. Dual 120/240 volt input capability, an on-demand fan system and a 5-year warranty make for a great value.
Budget Pick
Mophorn TIG-165S
Run it as a TIG, stick arc welder. Dual 120/240 volt input power, infinitely adjustable amperage control and a wide operating range. The Mophorn TIG-156S offers a lot for the money. One of the best values in its class.

Best TIG Welder with Reviews

Here's a list of the best TIG welders we found on the market:

1. Miller Electric Maxstar STR TIG Welder – Best Overall

Miller Electric Maxstar STR TIG Welder – Best Overall
  • 1- and 3-phase input voltage
  • Uses any power source from 110 to 480 volts
  • Memory card data port
  • Updatable software
  • Sleep timer powers down idle machine

Pros

  • One of the best AC/DC TIG welders in its class
  • High frequency arc starting
  • Settings memory makes it easy to use
  • 10 amp low amperage power output welds thin sheet metal
  • 100 percent duty cycle at 175 amps

Cons

  • Doesn’t include TIG torch

Overview

The Miller MaxStar series with hf start is one of the newest additions to the Miller Electric TIG welding machine lineup, designed for professional DC TIG welders for use on stainless steel and mild steel. DC is possible for welding aluminum, but it’s a welding process not often done in production environments because careful cleaning and helium/argon mix add too much expense. The MaxStar can provide a means to do it if called on, however.

The MaxStar welding machine has a standby power switch on the front panel that puts the machine into a sleep state to conserve power when it’s not welding. The Miller Electric TIG Pro-Set system provides factory presets to get you up and running quickly.

The wireless remote means this AC/DC power machine is easy to use from 300 feet away without having to walk all the way back to where it’s stationed just to make adjustments. This is just one more feature designed for industrial use on this amazing Miller Electric TIG welder.

Our top pick, the Miller Electric MaxStar 210 STR is a great value, featuring a wide amperage range with improved low amperage operations, allowing much smoother control when welding sheet metal. A memory card port lets you save settings between machines. Auto-Line multi-voltage input, AC and DC capability and Miller’s 3-year warranty give the MaxStar 210 our Pro Choice pick.


2. Hobart EZ-TIG 165i TIG Welder – Best Value

Hobart EZ-TIG 165i TIG Welder – Best Value
  • 22 gauge sheet up to 3/16-inch metal
  • 10 to 165 amperage range power output
  • Fan-On-Demand runs only when needed
  • Gas shielding based on low amperage or high current
  • Includes torch and regulator

Pros

  • For professional TIG welders
  • Choose material and thickness to set up
  • Infinitely adjustable AC DC power amperage control
  • High-frequency non-contact arc starts
  • Gas shuts off after arc stops, cleaner welds

Cons

  • These are TIG welders only, no stick

Overview

Hobart’s 500551 EZ-TIG 165i welding machine is a professional TIG welder for industrial use that does TIG AC/DC power welding on thinner materials like 22 gauge sheet, on up to 3/16-inch metal plate. It welds aluminum, stainless steel, chrome moly, titanium, copper and more.

The EZ-TIG name comes from Hobart’s setup system. All the user needs to do is select the material to be welded, steel, stainless, aluminum, then the thickness of the metal and the system will make sure the correct settings are already dialed in. Featuring a high-frequency arc start, allowing you to strike an arc by pressing the pedal, we chose the Hobart EZ-TIG 165i as our Pro Value TIG Machine. This hf start feature prevents contamination of the tungsten electrode by avoiding any contact with the surface.

American made in Appleton, Wisconsin, the EZ TIG 165i features Hobart’s 5-year warranty. The EZ-TIG has a fan system that only operates on cooling demand to avoid sucking extra dust into the machine or wasting power. This 210/220/230 input voltage welder also has a 40 percent duty cycle at its rated power. Based on inverter power, it’s lightweight, easy to use and includes a foot pedal, Miller TIG torch and regulator. The Hobart 500551 Ez-TIG is a great selection.


3. Mophorn TIG-165S TIG Welder

Mophorn TIG-165S TIG Welder
  • TIG machine or arc welder
  • Infinitely adjustable amperage knob
  • TIG amperage range from 20 amps to 140 amps
  • Stick welding amperage range from 20 amps to 120 amps
  • Dual input voltage 120/240

Pros

  • Arc stick welding/argon welding switch
  • 8-foot torch lead
  • Only weighs 20 pounds
  • Inverter powered
  • Lift start arc instead of scratching

Cons

  • Hand controller only, no foot pedal

Overview

The Mophorn TIG-165S welder is our Budget TIG welder in this roundup because for the money, there’s a lot to like here. Dual 120/240 dual voltage input power, 60 percent duty cycle and 165 amp power output on a machine in this price range is simply amazing.

It also offers the ability for either TIG or stick welding process, a wide 20 to 165 amp TIG operating range, hot start and an infinitely adjustable analog amperage control.

One significant disadvantage is the lack of a pedal control. The TIG-165S uses a fingertip control instead. Unfortunately, it does not accept any available pedal system, either.

This isn’t a deal-breaker given the price, but just think about it. The TIG process already takes a hand to use the torch and a hand to feed welding rod into the puddle. An added hand control doesn’t make a difficult job any easier. The foot pedal has its place in TIG work.

With that said, users reported smooth welding and many were amazed at the price vs. performance value of this TIG machine.


4. Primeweld TIG225X TIG Welder

Primeweld TIG225X TIG Welder
  • TIG or stick capable
  • Pulse Width Modulation
  • Inverter powered
  • High frequency arc starting
  • Includes regulator

Pros

  • Has a CK17 US-made torch
  • Includes metal foot pedal
  • Extra wide 10 to 225 amperage range
  • 200 hertz pulse frequency
  • 3 year warranty

Cons

  • Poorly documented manual

Overview

Primeweld’s TIG225X TIG welder offers the most versatile and easy to use mix of features available on a DC welder in this price range. Inverter based hf start power with pulse width modulation delivers a 10/90 pulse ratio from 10 to 225 amps, an incredibly wide amperage range for its class.

A 200 hertz pulse frequency makes for a smooth TIG welder and adds true TIG ability for using one side of the AC cycle to clean the weld puddle. This machine has a 100 percent duty cycle at 108 amps, enough power output to weld continuously on ⅛-inch metal. It has a 40 percent duty cycle at full power rating.

Primeweld backs the TIG225X with a 3 year warranty and highly rated US-based customer service. The TIG225X ships with a metal foot control, a regulator and the much-loved CK17 American made torch with flex lines. This allows the upgrade to water cooling by purchasing the upgraded CK20 equipment.

The TIG225X is dual 120/240 volt input capable and offers a lot of adjustability with a stunning array of adjustments on the front panel. 225 amps can weld ½-inch metal plate and 10 amps can get you all the way down to 24 gauge sheet metal.


5. ESAB Rebel 215ic TIG Welder

ESAB Rebel 215ic TIG Welder
  • Flux core, stick, MIG and TIG
  • Large display screen
  • 3-year warranty
  • Dual 120/240 volt input
  • Heavy duty weatherproof case

Pros

  • User manual on the display
  • Includes MIG gun and TIG torch
  • Comes with a gas regulator
  • Automatic settings with override
  • On-board parts list

Cons

  • DC TIG welder only

Overview

The ESAB Rebel EMP215ic TIG welder is designed to IPS23 standards for outdoor duty. The case is built to industrial standards for all-weather use. It’s got dual 120/240 volt input, 40 percent duty cycle and is one of few multi-process TIG welders that do both MIG and TIG in addition to stick welding and flux core, but it’s not AC/DC power output.

ESAB equipped the Rebel 215 with a big, high resolution digital display for settings that’s also got the user manual and parts list loaded into it. This easy to use machine lets you save four presets for each welding process. There’s a 2T/4T switch with a trigger lock for long welds to save hand fatigue.

ESAB’s Smart MIG technology adapts to individual styles, making small incremental improvements to the machine settings as you go. There’s also an automatic settings feature where you input wire diameter and plate thickness and the machine processor sets up for you. This feature has an override for experienced welders and special situations.

The Rebel 215 carries a 3-year warranty and ships with Tweco MIG and TIG torches, a stick electrode clamp and has a Victor regulator.


6. Lincoln Electric 200 TIG Welder

Lincoln Electric 200 TIG Welder
  • Dual voltage 120/240 input
  • AC/DC processes
  • TIG and stick welding
  • 10 to 200 amperage range for TIG
  • 10 to 170 amperage range for stick

Pros

  • 20 pulses per second for heat control
  • 60 to 90 percent AC balance control for TIG cleaning
  • High frequency no-touch arc starting
  • Includes a foot controller
  • Comes with a nice regulator

Cons

  • Quality control is inconsistent

Overview

The Lincoln Electric Square Wave TIG 200 is a 200 amp portable TIG and stick welder for hobbyists, craftsmen, artists and small fabricators. It’s easy for beginners with advanced features to take advantage of as experience grows.

This is an AC and DC TIG and stick machine, welding from 24-gauge sheet up to 3/16-inch plate. For aluminum, the AC TIG process on this machine has a pulse signal system for smooth filler metal deposition, yielding more beautiful work. Pulse modulation offers the ability to clean the weld puddle as it goes. It’s also got adjustable AC frequency for adjustable bead width.

An easy settings interface, 40 percent duty cycle and dual 120/240 input voltage make for a convenient welding machine that can be used anywhere. Lincoln Electric offers a 3-year warranty for this welder. There are some reports of this welder failing in the shop without much use, so a good warranty offers some peace of mind.

The Square Wave TIG 200 comes with a foot pedal, a flow meter-type gas regulator, a TIG torch, stick electrode clamp and a 10-foot hose.


7. Everlast 255EXT TIG Welder

Everlast 255EXT TIG Welder
  • Dual 120/240 input power
  • TIG 240 volt duty cycle 100 percent at 200 amps
  • Multiple AC wave forms
  • 2T/4T torch trigger lock switch
  • DC and AC TIG and stick welding

Pros

  • High frequency and lift arc start
  • Pulse modulation frequency up to 500 hertz
  • Gas preflow and postflow for better shielding
  • 5/90 AC balance control for weld puddle cleaning
  • 240 electric TIG power output 3 amps to 250 amps

Cons

  • Comes with water cooled torch but no water cooler

Overview

The Everlast PowerTIG 255EXT is a DC and AC TIG pulse welder with dual 120/240 volt input power with a 100 percent duty cycle at its rated power. It features gas preflow and postflow, which starts the shielding gas just before the arc strikes and then waits until after the arc is off before shutting off the gas. This keeps the weld cleaner and means less chance of porosity in the weld bead.

Everlast gave this electric TIG Welder multiple AC waveforms, which let you fine tune the arc characteristics for TIG aluminum welding. Home workshop welders might never need to decide between true sine, two kinds of square sine or triangular waveforms. However, it’s nice to have the ability when your welding skills advance to the point where it’s useful.

The Everlast PowerTIG 255EXT is also equipped with a digital display, settings memory and microprocessor-powered easy setup parameters. The high-frequency no-touch arc start means avoiding any contamination of the tungsten electrode. There’s a stitch weld timer for doing spot welds and the Everlast PowerTIG welding machine comes with a 5-year warranty on this machine. 3 amp to 200 amp range lets you weld from 24-gauge sheet up to 3/8-inch plate.


8. AHP AlphaTIG 200X TIG Welder

AHP AlphaTIG 200X TIG Welder
  • 120/240 volt dual power
  • 2T/4T hold switch
  • Wide 10 amp to 200 amp operating range
  • Comes with a foot pedal
  • Stick, TIG welding

Pros

  • High frequency pilot arc
  • 200 hertz pulse modulation
  • Preflow/postflow for cleaner wedlds
  • AC and DC welding
  • AC balance for cleaning oxidation

Cons

  • Pedal isn’t high quality

Overview

The AHP AlphaTIG 200X is an easy to use TIG and stick welder that runs on dual 120/240 volt input power and has both DC and AC TIG with 200 hertz pulse width modulation for variable bead width. The adjustable AC balance goes from 30 to 70 percent and cleans aluminum oxidation while delivering good weld penetration.

The AHP AlphaTIG is equipped with a WP17 torch with a flex head that uses standard American parts. There are quite a few complaints about quality issues with the heat control pedal. The AHP AlphaTIG 200x features a 2T/4T switch that works as a torch lock. This lets you make long bead runs without needing to hold the torch trigger down while MIG welding.

These TIG welders offer a wide 10 to 200 amp TIG AC range when using a 240 volt power source. There’s up to 140 amps on 120 input. The AHP AlphaTIG 200X includes a high-frequency no-touch arc start, keeping contamination away from the tungsten electrode.

The AHP AlphaTIG 200X has a digital display and it’s backed with a 3-year warranty and includes MIG and TIG torches, a regulator and an electrode clamp.


9. Eastwood TIG 200 TIG Welder

Eastwood TIG 200 TIG Welder
  • Square wave inverter
  • DC and AC TIG welding
  • Dual 120/240 input power
  • Welds up to ¼-inch plate
  • 3-year warranty

Pros

  • High frequency pilot arc
  • Duty cycle 60 percent at 90 amps
  • WP-17 torch is the industry standard
  • Preflow-postflow for cleaner welds
  • 12-foot torch connection

Cons

  • Users don’t like the foot pedal

Overview

Eastwood is a favorite source for automobile restoration shops. It’s well known for body and paint tools, metal working machinery, blasting cabinets, body hammer sets and heavy tools for frame-off restoration work. The Eastwood TIG 200 welder is heavier-duty than usually seen from equipment targeted at small shops and DIY crafters. The ability to weld in AC gives you the capability for aluminum welding.

With dual 120/240 input power, digital display and a 60 percent duty cycle at 90 amps, the TIG 200 offers more than most TIG welders in its price range. It’s a true AC/DC TIG welder with high frequency no-touch arc control, capable of welding up to ¼-inch plate steel. With an industry standard WP-17 torch setup, it uses easy to find replacement parts.

The pedal control was mentioned frequently by users as something they didn’t like about this welder even though they love the machine’s welding capabilities. It’s a standard piece that can be replaced easily to get the performance you want. Eastwood was smart enough to include preflow and postflow gas metering to put the shielding in place before and after the welding is active. This makes for higher-quality welds without porosity and oxidation. The Eastwood TIG 200 comes with a 3-year warranty.


10. Amico TIG-225 TIG Welder

Amico TIG-225 TIG Welder
  • Dual 120/240 volt input power
  • high frequency TIG torch
  • TIG and stick arc welding
  • IGBT inverter technology
  • 1-year warranty

Pros

  • 15-220 amps working range
  • runs on “dirty power” fluctuations
  • Light 16-pound weight
  • 60 percent duty cycle at 220 amps
  • 13-foot torch connection

Cons

  • Doesn’t include a gas regulator

Overview

The Amico TIG-225 is a low cost, dual input 120/240 volt welding machine. Rated to 220 amps DC power when running on 240, it’s also capable of DC stick welding as well. The 60 percent duty cycle at 220 amps is pretty impressive for any machine in this price range. Another impressive feature on the TIG-225 is the high frequency lift-type arc start.

This is an inverter-powered welder, making for a light, powerful package. The Amico TIG-225 is equipped with a forced fan setup to keep things running cool longer, one of the reasons it has such a good duty cycle at max power. This machine comes with a 13-foo torch lead. The electrode clamp and grounding clamp connections are each 10 feet long.

Amico ships the TIG-225 with an 8-foot argon hose and a 120 volt adapter to allow plugging into 20-amp household current. Some users weren’t happy with the lack of a gas regulator, but it’s not uncommon for machines in this price range to ship without one. The Amico TIG-225 comes with a 1-year warranty.


Our TIG Buying Guide

Whenever you’re shopping for the best TIG welder, the main factors that should determine your choice are:

  1. What types of projects will you do the most?
  2. What specific functions do you need?
  3. What is your budget?

What Types of Projects Are You Planning to Do?

TIG welding is most suitable where bead appearance is important, like in bicycle frames or on truck bumpers, lawn furniture and the like. It also is the most appropriate way to weld very thin sheet metal, because stick and MIG processes put too much heat into the metal and result in burn-through.

Aluminum and stainless steel are the other main places where using a TIG welder is the best way to get the work done, because of its penetration and lack of contaminants in the weld.

What Kinds of Functions are Required for Your Work?

Although it’s possible to weld aluminum with DC current, you will frequently see the rule that you must use AC output to weld aluminum. One reason for this is that AC welding allows the use of high-frequency pulses that keep the weld puddle clean. Another reason is that a primary advantage of TIG welding is heat control, a highly important factor in welding aluminum.

Options to look for in regard to available functions are AC vs DC capability, plasma cutter, ability to select the AC waveform, for example square wave or true sine wave and an adjustable pulse rate.

Multi-Process Machines Offer More Functions for Your Money

A multi-process welder can give you more versatility for the same money. Sometimes a multi-process welder offers MIG or plasma cutter ability along with TIG.

How Much Can You Spend on Your Machine?

In the end, there are enough functions and technology choices available when buying a TIG to drive welder costs to the same level as building a house. It’s important to decide what functions and equipment are most important and staying under your final number to find the best TIG welder for the money. Don’t forget to take the length of the warranty into account.

Some equipment is essentially necessary, such as a foot pedal to control heat or a flow meter-type gas regulator. Does the TIG welder you’re looking at include these items? Will you need to buy higher-quality pieces to get the real potential out of the welder?

Check the duty cycle rating of the welding machines and the output power they’re rated at for that percentage. Duty cycle is the percentage of 10 minutes in which the welder can operate continuously before overheating. A 40 percent duty cycle means you can weld for 4 straight minutes at the rated power. That’s actually quite a long time to weld continuously. You will find that the more expensive American machines seem to have much lower duty cycle ratings than the less-expensive Chinese-built welders even though they cost more. Remember the old adage about something seeming too good to be true. This has to do with ratings methodology and the fact that the expensive big-name companies are more cautious because their equipment is used by professionals on long shifts over years in tough environments.

Don’t forget to budget in gas cylinders, the cost to fill them and optional but important parts like water cooling.

This is the Big Leagues

TIG welding is a big step up from basic welding skills, and TIG machines cost a lot more than other welders, offering obscure features not found on other machines. Educate yourself at welding forums and manufacturer’s websites on what terms and functions mean before spending your money on something you don’t even need.

With those factors taken into account, we believe the Miller MaxStar STR is the best TIG welder as it offers the most bang for the buck. Features like memory card storage, wireless remote control, Miller’s legendary customer service and the lengthy warranty are some of the big reasons why we selected the MaxStar as our Pro Choice in this guide.

Other TIG Guides

Recommended TIG Welders Under $2000

TIG Welders for Less Than $1000 – Top Picks

About Jeff Grill

Jeff Grill hails from Long Island, a 118 mile stretch of land that starts just off the coast of Manhattan and stretches deep into the Atlantic ocean. He has always been interested in welding from an early age and has the cuts and bruises to prove it as he set out to work with a variety of metals.

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