7 Things you need to know before buying a TIG welder
Thinking of buying a TIG welder? Before you open your wallet, there are few important things you should know first.
With so many models on the market, buying a TIG welder can be overwhelming for a first time buyer. Before you start browsing, work out whether TIG welding is the best welding process for your job. While it isn’t the fastest option, TIG welding is the most precise and most controllable form of welding, making it a great choice if you require a high quality finish. However, if quality and appearance isn’t a priority, a MIG weld may be a better bet.
Still need a TIG welder? Here are some factors to consider before you buy:
Basic or Complex?
There’s a big difference between high-tech professional TIG welders and small hobby type machines. And we’re not just talking about the price! To work out which is best for your needs, decide first how much power is required. Don’t just look at the job at hand, but think about how you might use the machine in the future too. Will a basic machine cut it in a year’s time? Or do you need something more sophisticated?
AC or DC power?
The power source you need depends on the metals you’re welding. For aluminum and magnesium, your best option is an AC output, while steels and stainless steels require a DC output. And there are no prizes for guessing that welding a variety of metals will require a combination AC/DC machine (check out our range here).
TIG Welding Alumium? You'll need an ACDC Inverter Machine
Combo or TIG only?
Today you can get combination machines that offer both Constant Voltage (MIG and flux cored) and Constant Current (Stick and TIG). However, if you really are focusing on TIG welding alone, stick to a TIG only machine for the best results.
Location, location, location
Think about where you’ll be using the welder and whether you’ll be moving it within or beyond your workshop. If it’s mostly for indoor use, you probably won’t require a portable machine as you can rely on a welding trolley to move the machine from place to place. However, if you’re working out and about, portability is crucial. The good news is there’s a wide range of inverter and engine-driven TIG welders to choose from. Inverter welders are generally lighter and more portable than their conventional counterparts, while engine-driven welders typically combine a generator and welder in one.
If you're planning to use your machine in multiple locations a lighterweight inverter machine may the way to go.
How thick is thick?
How thick do you need the welder to weld? As a rule, allow 30 amps for every millimetre of aluminium thickness and 25 amps per millimetre of mild steel thickness.
Pay attention to the Duty Cycle
The Duty Cycle of your welding equipment tells you how long you can weld without worrying about overheating the power source. In the specs of the machine, it’s written as amperage level that can be maintained for a percentage of time in a 10-minute block. For example, the duty cycle might be 50% at 180 amps. As a rule, 40-60% is sufficient for most handheld TIG applications.
A word about warranties
Whatever and wherever you’re welding, don’t underestimate the value of a warranty and service support network. Trust us, it provides peace of mind. You get what you pay. At eWelders.com.au, All of our suppliers are backed by a nation-wide network of service agents and all of them have strong warranty conditions.