The TIG process is known for the finest heat control of any type of welding.
It takes a lot of practice to get proficient at TIG welding.
Second, TIG welders cost a lot more than other machines do.
That means adding TIG skills to your craft can get very expensive.
But we found 6 machines that let you TIG weld for less than $1000.
A quick comparison
Eastwood TIG 200
AC and DC TIG
Trigger lock for less fatigue
Yeswelder TIG 250P
Very popular at this price point
No touch arc starting
2T/4T trigger lock
Weldpro Digital TIG 200GD
Foot pedal included
Preflow and postflow gas
Trigger lock feature
Vulcan ProTIG 205
Pedal start stick arc
Dual 120/240v power
Upgradeable to water cooling
Adjustable bead width
Wide power range
Everlast Power i-TIG 201
Lift and no-touch starts
Best TIG Welders Under $1000
Here's a list of some of the best TIG welders we found for under $1000:
1. Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder
- 10-200 amp output range
- Dual 120/240 volt input
- AC and DC TIG
- 28-gauge sheet metal to ¼-inch plate
- Square wave power
- 60 percent duty cycle at 90 amps
- Preflow-postflow gas control
- Industry standard WP-17 torch
- 12-foot torch
- No-touch pilot arc
- Cheap quality gas regulator
- Foot pedal doesn't have smooth control
With a reputation built over decades in the auto restoration tools business, Eastwood knows what you need from a TIG welder. The Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder offers dual 120 and 240 volt input and pulse width modulation. This is a true AC/DC TIG. AC welding brings the ability to weld aluminum, great for restoring and repairing engine accessory brackets.
Touted as an alternative to the Lincoln Square Wave 200, The Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder has a 60 percent duty cycle at 90 amps. The torch is an industry-standard WP-17 and it’s got a 12-foot connection to make reaching your work easier. Some users didn’t like the included foot pedal heat control (full review here), but there is a finger control and the foot pedal is also industry standard so you can replace it later with one you like.
This machine features preflow and postflow gas control to make sure the shielding is in place before you strike an arc and the weld is still covered in gas after you stop for clean, strong results. The Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC also has a 2T/4T trigger lock so you can run long beads without having to hold the trigger.
2. Yeswelder TIG 250P TIG Welder
- Includes foot pedal heat control
- Pulse width modulation
- Upslope/downslope control
- Adjustable pulse frequency
- 5-250 amps output
- Suitable for aluminum and stainless steel
- Runs 6010 rods for arc welding
- 2T/4T trigger lock
- Spot weld timer
- Offers lift and no touch starts
- Some feel footpedal is stiff
- No regulator included
The Yeswelder TIG 250P TIG Welder is an affordable welder with professional features. It offers DC and AC TIG for aluminum welding capability, along with pulse frequency control for bead penetration and pulse width modulation to control bead width. It’s got a stick arc welding mode, with the ability to run 6010 welding rods for high-strength applications.
This machine offers both high frequency no-touch arc starting and lift starts for the TIG arc. The Yeswelder TIG 250P TIG Welder features slope adjustments, which let you adjust the arc current to start soft with lower levels of power, increasing to full power after starting. The end slope level is also adjustable for more heat control and improved quality.
The Yeswelder TIG 250P TIG Welder offers 5 amps output at the lower limit, cool enough for very thin 32 gauge sheet metal. It’s got a 2T/4T trigger lock to reduce hand fatigue on long runs and comes with a foot pedal to simplify heat control. Another useful feature is a spot weld timer, allowing you to duplicate factory manufacturing methods on sheet metal such as auto bodies and appliances.
3. Weldpro Digital TIG 200GD AC/DC TIG Welder
- Dual 120/240 volt input power
- 200 hertz pulse frequency
- Includes foot pedal heat control
- TIG and stick welder
- AC/DC welding modes
- High frequency no-touch arc starts
- Come with CK17 Superflex Torch
- Preflow and postflow for better shielding
- 2T/4T trigger lock switch
- AC balance control cleans oxidation
- Some users report substandard performance on 120V
- Intermittent quality issues with gas regulator
The Weldpro Digital TIG 200GD is an AC/DC TIG and stick welder featuring 200 hertz pulse width modulation for controllable bead width focus. It runs on dual 120/240 volt input power. The TIG 200GD offers an adjustable AC balance from 30 to 70 percent, cleaning aluminum oxidation while providing good weld penetration.
This machine has a wide 10 amp to 200 amp AC TIG range when running on 240 volt input and up to 140 amps on 120 power. Weldpro designed the TIG 200GD with a high-frequency no-touch arc start, preventing contamination of the tungsten electrode.
It comes with the popular CK17 Superflex Torch that uses standard American parts and includes an optional torch heat control. This is a nice touch because there are a few reports of poor quality on the included heat control pedal. There’s also a 2T/4T switch that functions as a torch lock, allowing you to complete long welds without having to hold down the torch trigger in MIG mode.
Overall this is a great AC/DC TIG welder and you are not going to find much better for under $1000.
4. Vulcan ProTIG 205 TIG Welder
- AC/DC TIG and stick
- Dual 120 volt/240 volt power
- 10-250 amps output
- Handles up to 5/16-inch thick
- A/C balance control
- Pulse width modulation
- Welds aluminum and stainless steel
- Includes regulator
- Comes with foot pedal heat control
- High frequency arc starting
- Torch lead is only 10 feet
- Pedal is stepped, not gradual
The Vulcan ProTIG 205 TIG Welder is Harbor Freight’s top model in its TIG lineup, with 205 amps of AC/DC TIG output, enough to weld 5/16-inch steel in a single pass. This is a dual 120/240 volt machine, with 130 amps on tap when running on 120-volt power. This welder’s duty cycle is rated at 25 percent at max output. Stick mode tops out at 175 amps on 240 volts, 80 amps on 120 volts.
This machine offers both AC Balance and pulse frequency adjustments, professional settings that serve to keep the weld puddle clean and let you control your bead characteristics. The Vulcan ProTIG 205 TIG Welder includes a foot pedal heat control with a 25-foot lead. Some owners don’t like this pedal because it adjusts the amperage level in steps instead of a smooth, gradual feel.
The Vulcan ProTIG 205 TIG Welder features a 2T/4T trigger lock to ease hand fatigue on long bead runs. It also offers a pulse current signal, pulsing the current on and off to keep the heat down when welding thin metal. Pulse frequency is fully adjustable. If you’re in need of a dual-input, AC/DC pulsed TIG but don’t need 205 amps, check out the Vulcan ProTIG 165 for most of the same features at substantially less cost.
5. Primeweld TIG225X TIG Welder
- High frequency arc starts
- Regulator included
- Inverter power
- Dual 120 and 240 volt input
- Pulse Width Modulation
- Comes with a metal foot pedal
- 10 to 225 amp output range
- 200 HZ pulse width frequency
- Additional finger-operated heat control
- US-made CK17 torch
- Can't use 6010 or 6011 rods
- Manual is unreadable
The Primeweld TIG225X TIG Welder features inverter based power and high-frequency arc starts, although this one is a scratch start rather than a lift or no-touch arc start. This machine offers 10/90 pulse ratio to clean the weld with one side of the AC sine wave. There’s also full pulse width modulation for controlling bead width and quality.
This welder has a power output range from 10 amps to 225 amps, a very wide output range. The Primeweld TIG225X TIG Welder offers a duty cycle of 100 percent at 108 amps, enough to we eld continuously on 1//8-inch steel. rated at 40 percent under full power at 225 amps output. This welder comes with a metal foot pedal heat control, a gas regulator and an American made CK17 torch with flex lines. This setup can be upgraded to water cooling.
The Primeweld TIG225X TIG Welder has a huge number of adjustments available. With both AC and DC TIG capability, this machine can weld aluminum and the wide power range allows welding sheet metal as thin as 28 gauge as well as metal up to 1/2-inch thick.
6. Everlast Power i-TIG 201 TIG Welder
- Dual 120/240 volt input power
- DC TIG and stick welder
- 5-year warranty
- 12-foot TIG torch
- 5 amp to 200 amp range
- Choose lift start or high frequency no-touch
- Adjustable pulse control to 250 hertz
- Comes with heat control pedal
- Includes gas regulator
- Adjustable stick arc force
- DC only welder
- Complaints of poor customer service
The Power i-TIG 201 is a DC TIG welder featuring dual 120/240 volt input, shipping with a heat control pedal, 12-foot 26 series TIG torch, 10-foot electrode clamp and argon gas regulator.
It has a lot of features for its price. Everlast says it’s on a level with the Miller MaxStar and Lincoln Invertec TIG welders. The MaxStar starts near five times the cost and the Invertec near three times.
This welder offers similar features, but Everlast has yet to invent any major welding processes or electronics technology and doesn’t offer a coast-to-coast American-based dealership and service network. There are some valid reasons why American welders cost more. Research and development aren’t cheap.
This machine does offer 200 amps in DC 240 TIG mode, welding 5/16-inch plate in a single pass. The 5 amp minimum will handle 22 gauge sheet metal, allowing fine work on auto body and ducting. There have been complaints of inconsistent quality control and poor customer service with Everlast, but the company does back the Power i-TIG 201 with a 5-year warranty, which provides some peace of mind.
Under-$1000 TIG Buying Guide
The low-cost TIG marketplace is getting crowded. These are things you should be thinking about while shopping.
- Input Power – Do you need dual 120/240 volt capability? If your chosen machine isn’t going to output more than 140 amps, you can get by with 120 power. If you need to move your welder around to different sites and aren’t sure whether you will have 120 or 240 power, you need dual input voltage.
- AC/DC – If you want to TIG weld aluminum, that’s an AC process and you need an AC/DC machine. If you’re only welding steel, a DC TIG machine will do.
Thin sheet metal is the real province of TIG welding, due to its highly controllable heat level. MIG, flux core and stick arcs produce too much heat and burn through thin sheet. Welding thinner than 24 gauge sheet metal means reaching down to 5 amps or less.
At the other end of the output scale, 140 amps can weld 3/16-inch steel in a single pass and you can get that from a 120 volt input source. Anything more is going to require 240 volts. For ⅜-inch steel you’ll need 165 amps and welding ½-inch material in a single pass will take 200 amps.
Options and Accessories
Optional process modifications include pulse modulation, different types of arc starting and adjustable AC balance control.
- Pulse width modulation allows adjusting the width of your weld bead. Pulse frequency helps control the quality and ease of welding. By pulsing the current on and off, it can be easier to weld uphill by allowing the weld puddle to cool momentarily.
- High Frequency arc starts make it possible to start an arc without touching the workpiece, by starting a momentary high frequency current that causes the arc to jump. This can interfere with CNC machinery, phones and computers.
- Lift starting means a light touch on the workpiece, lifting the electrode to start the arc and doesn’t produce interference.
- AC balance is the relative amount of time spent in each cycle of alternating current, either less or more time on positive or negative polarity. This cleans surface oxidation to keep impurities out of the weld puddle.
Accessories like heat control pedals and water coolers are not included with some welders. Sometimes accessories need replacement with higher quality pieces.
Wrapping It Up
We’ve chosen the Eastwood TIG 200 as our choice for Best TIG Welder under $1000. It’s got plenty of features, thoughtful design and user reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
The Vulcan ProTIG 205 is a professional machine offering advanced features without the painful cost of bigger names, and the Vulcan ProTIG 165 is even more painless.
The YesWelder TIG250P has AC/DC capability, pulse, slope and brings a foot pedal with it, making a very attractive alternative choice.