The TIG process is known for the finest heat control of any type of welding.
You can also weld more different materials than with any other process.
There are two main drawbacks to TIG welding.
First, 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.
The wrong machine could burn you in more ways than one. However, we found 5 machines that let you TIG weld without pain.
Take a look at the best TIG welders available for less than $1000.
In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best TIG Welders Under $1000
Here's a list of some of the best TIG welders we found for under $1000:
1. AHP AlphaTIG 200X TIG Welder - Top Pick
- 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
- 10 amp to 200 amp current range
- Preflow and postflow for better shielding
- 2T/4T trigger lock switch
- AC balance control cleans oxidation
- Poor quality control pedal
The AlphaTIG 200X 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 AlphaTIG 200X offers 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. AHP designed the AlphaTIG 200X with a high-frequency no-touch arc start, preventing contamination of the tungsten electrode.
The flex hose WP17 torch 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. AHP offers a 3-year warranty on the AlphaTIG 200X and includes both MIG and TIG torches, a stick electrode clamp and a regulator.
2. Lincoln LE31MP TIG Welding Machine
- 30-140 amp welding output
- 24 gauge sheet to 3/16-inch plate
- 60 percent duty cycle at 90 amps
- Smooth arc start minimizes weld spatter
- 10-foot MIG torch lead
- DC TIG, MIG, flux core and stick
- Brass to brass gun connections
- Solid aluminum wire feed mechanism
- Numeric indicator for wire feed tension
- Includes a Harris AR/CO2 gas regulator
- Only has 120 volt input
- DC processes only
The Lincoln Electric LE31MP is a lightweight, advanced DC multi-process machine running on 120 volt power. This welder features DC TIG, MIG, stick arc and flux core welding. It provides 30-140 amp output and the machine is spool gun ready for MIG aluminum wire feed welding. The spool gun is optional at extra cost, but there’s no special hookup kit required. Just plug in the spool gun and flip a spool gun switch on the front panel.
The LE31MP welds 24 gauge sheet up to 5/16-inch plate. The cast aluminum wire feed gearbox is fully enclosed and features a multi-stage design for adjustability and reliabilty. Lincoln has designed a tool-free spool tension adjustment and wire spool changeover. A foot pedal for TIG welding costs extra, but the machine automatically detects when a pedal is plugged in.
Lincoln equips this machine with its smooth arc start technology, which helps to minimize electrode sticking to the work. A stick electrode clamp and a 10-foot cable are included. It also comes with a dual-gauge Harris gas regulator for argon/CO2 mixtures.
3. Amico TIG160-DC TIG-Welder
- Dual 120/240 volt input power
- DC TIG and stick arc welding
- 20 to 160 amps 240 welding
- 13-foot electrode holder
- 10-foot work clamp
- Lift-type arc start
- 60 percent duty cycle at 160 amps
- 24 gauge sheet up to 3/8-inch plate
- Includes TIG torch and electrode clamp
- Weighs only 26 pounds
- Does not include a TIG control pedal
- No gas regulator included
The Amico TIG160-DC has dual 120/240 volt power input and only weighs 26 pounds. Features like lift-type arc starting, a 60 percent duty cycle at 160 amps and soft arc adjustment are unheard of in this class.
The 20 amp lower limit is cool enough to work on 24 gauge sheet metal, while 160 amps at the other end will burn ⅜-inch steel plate.
While you’ll have to buy a control pedal and a regulator, the TIG160-DC does include a TIG torch and stick electrode clamp, both 13 feet long. The work ground clamp is a very usable 10 feet long.
As a DC-only welding machine, it’s not practical for working aluminum, but with with a wide current range and stick welding ability, the Amico TIG160-DC is a very attractive buy at its price level.
A DC TIG and stick machine with a 20 amp to 160 amp 240-volt range is hard to believe in this price range, leading us to choose the TIG160-DC as our Budget Pick.
4. Lotos TIG200 TIG Welder
- Square-wave inverter
- AC/DC TIG and stick welder
- 15 amp to 200 amp output
- Includes WP 17 TIG torch
- Comes with gas regulator
- High frequency no-touch arc starts
- Foot pedal heat control included
- 24 gauge sheet to 3/8-inch plate
- Pre-flow/post-flow for cleaner welds
- AC balance adjustment cleans oxidation
- Quality control inconsistent
The Lotos TIG200 is a dual 120/240 volt input machine that features pulse width modulation. The square wave inverter has an AC balance control to clean oxidation as it welds. Pulse frequency can be set between 0.5 and 200 hertz to manipulate welding bead width.
This machine does offer a lot of power at 200 amps and advanced features like the no-touch high frequency arc start, which saves your tungsten electrode from contamination. The settings memory lets you to save up to 10 different profiles, handy when switching between different processes or working on different pieces to assemble a project.
There are user reports of quality issues, but Lotos backs the TIG200 with a 1-year warranty and a 30 day no questions asked refund policy.
The TIG200’s pre flow and post flow feature maintains weld integrity by starting gas flow immediately before the arc starts and continuing gas flow for a moment after you stop welding. This keeps the weld area shielded from impurities and oxidation while the weld puddle is wet, maintaining weld integrity.
5. 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
- Inconsistent quality
- 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 18 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 AHP AlphaTIG 200X as our Pro Choice for Best TIG Welder under $1000. It’s got more features than any other machine on this list and user reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The 3-year warranty and AC/DC capability seal the deal for the big yellow AHP machine.