The 6 Best Cheap Tig Welder For The Money – Reviews 2018
Gas tungsten arc welding is also known as tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, this is a process which uses an electrode to make the weld. The puddle is filled with whatever filler material is being welded. In this best cheap TIG welders guide, I will show which machines are perfect for this process.
This weld process is more suitable than MIG in that it can be used on a wider range of materials, and is a better process to use on certain shaped fabrications. Metals such as stainless steel, aluminum, some copper alloys and magnesium are welded using this process.
The machines are pretty much the same as any other stick weld machine you will find, as you will see in this post, with some subtle differences.
Table Of Contents
- Top Cheap TIG Welders Compared
- 6 Best Cheap TIG Welder 2018 Reviews
- 1. EVERLAST PowerARC 200ST 200amp TIG Stick IGBT Welder 110/220 Dual Voltage
- 2. Stanley Power 119 120-volt 80-Amp DC Inverter Stick Welder
- 3. LONGEVITY 721405557523 Stickweld 140 140-AMP Dual Voltage Protable Stick Welder
- 4. Amico Inverter Welding Machine by Amico Power - DC- Dual Voltage IGBT
- 5. EVERLAST PowerARC 140 140amp Lift Start TIG / Stick IGBT Welder Dual Voltage
- 6. LOTOS Technology TIG140 140 Amp IGBT Stick/Lift Start DC TIG welder
- How To Choose The Best Cheap TIG Welder
- Some Important QA About TIG Welders
- TIG Welder For Whom?
- Final Thoughts
Top Cheap TIG Welders Compared
17 x 6.5 x 10 inches
20 x 20 x 10 inches
15 x 11 x 7 inches
20 x 13.5 x 12.5 inches
6 Best Cheap TIG Welder 2018 Reviews
1. EVERLAST PowerARC 200ST 200amp TIG Stick IGBT Welder 110/220 Dual Voltage
The PowerARC 200ST from Everlast has been designed and constructed for the welding skills of a more advanced welder. With a full 200 Amps of current available for lift and DC stick weld current available, this is one formidable machine, and the manufacturers have not cut any corners with the design or performance abilities on it.
The 299ST features hot start which is automatically adaptive and a regulated automatic force control for the arc, and even though the machine is designed to be used by the more experienced and professional welder, it is as much at home in a hobbyists garage, or in rural situation. It has dual voltage capabilities and is output power is controlled via the infinite power controller on the front panel.
It will weld material up to ¼”, and is powerful enough to push stainless steel class electrodes, as well as e7014,e7018 and e7024 rods with an excellent low spatter arc performance. The kit includes a stick electrode holder with 10 ft cable and a 35 series dinse style ground clamp with cable. This is one of the cheap ac dc tig welder.
2. Stanley Power 119 120-volt 80-Amp DC Inverter Stick Welder
As compact and powerful goes, the Stanley Power 119 is probably the ultimate machine. At an amazingly light 8lbs, it can go anywhere. It comes in its own case, which can also come in handy as box for tools, runs from a standard 120V supply and is powerful enough to push even the tough 7018 rods, although it is best suited to the lighter 6011 and 6013 rods.
It produces up to an impressive 80 amps, despite its size, and will weld stainless or mild steel up to 5/32”.
An infinite power control makes for easy and accurate adjustment. ArcForce, AntiStick and HotStart features are included in its design, as well as auto thermal shut off.
Power, Performance and Portability are key words with this most impressive little machine, it really does pack a mean punch, and the hobbyist welder, and lightweight repair welder will not be disappointed with its performance.
The kit includes face shield, cutting torch, cable, clamp, carry case (made by Stanley) and hammer/chipper. this is one of the best cheap TIG welder on the market.
3. LONGEVITY 721405557523 Stickweld 140 140-AMP Dual Voltage Protable Stick Welder
This is one currently of the smallest and lightest stick welders on the market, weighing in at a mere 13 lbs. But don’t be fooled by that, it is also a most reliable machine. It comes with everything you are going to need to produce first class welds, except for the rods themself.
The Stickweld 140 is equipped with a high speed cooling fan and thermal overload protection to protect the machine and keep it working longer. It is again capable of running from either 110V or 220V without the need for any further equipment.
This is another perfect stick welder for the hobbyist, light repairs and welding enthusiast just wishing to tinker. It will push 6013 and 7018 welding rods with ease. It is the ideal machine for a home workshop as a multi purpose welder. one of the best small Tig welders period.
4. Amico Inverter Welding Machine by Amico Power - DC- Dual Voltage IGBT
A fairly new model in the Amico range is the DC-160 Amp, dual voltage TIG Welder. It has the ability to run from either 115V or 230V without the need for any other equipment.
It features an LED display for quick and infinite amperage control. It has a rated welding output of 5 - 160 Amps. This machine is suitable for light metal fabrication, maintenance and repairs around the home and light industrial work.
The kit comes complete with an electrode holder and 10 ft of cable, a ground clamp also with and 10ft of cable, an input power adaptor, cable and plug, and weighs in at 16 lbs.
The Amico DC160 is considered as a good starter unit for the TIG beginner or hobbyist, wanting to start using TIG, but not wanting to spend too much. According to expert this is the best cheap ac/dc tig welder.
5. EVERLAST PowerARC 140 140amp Lift Start TIG / Stick IGBT Welder Dual Voltage
Maximum flexibility and performance will be somewhere near the top of your wish list when looking for a machine, and this machine, the PowerARC 140ST from Everlast, easily fits the bill. This little inverter machine has both Stick and DC lift capabilities, making it entirely flexible.
It is also equipped with both auto adaptive hot start and auto adaptive arc force control in stick mode. These facilities increase weld quality where rod stick can be an issue. Again, and very importantly, the PowerARC 240 can be used on both 120V or 240V supplies, which means it can be used just about anywhere there is an electricity supply or other clean power source available.
It is rated at a maximum 140 Amps weld current. As with all TIG machines, it can be used on mild steel steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper, amongst other materials.
6. LOTOS Technology TIG140 140 Amp IGBT Stick/Lift Start DC TIG welder
One of the perfect TIG welders for aluminum currently available is the LOTOS Technology TIG140 140 Amp IGBT Stick/Lift Start DC TIG welding machine. Weighing it at only 10 lbs, this machine is extremely portable and can be operated on clean power generators and the normal 110V and 220V supplies. This flexibility means it can be used on remote outdoor sites as well as in the workshop.
It is perfect for all the usual materials a TIG machine is used on, including mild steel, stainless steel, copper and many other metals. It can easily deal with materials up to 1/4 inch thick and sheet material as thin as 18-gauge.
Notable features are it’s light but sturdy plastic case construction, automatic dual voltage compatibility, easy to use control panel, analog controlled IGBT inverter, lift start function and the ability to carry out both DC TIG and stick welding.
If you want a good, simple and portable low cost TIG welder that still has top performance, then the Lotos TIG140 is just right for your needs. It’s one of the best TIG welders for the money.
How To Choose The Best Cheap TIG Welder
You have made the decision to buy a TIG Welder machine, but you have a limited budget. However, you still need a quality machine that gives you all the necessary features that you require and will do a good job consistently. So, let’s look at the key points you need to consider when making this purchase.
Are you going to need to transport your TIG Welder machine around on a regular basis or can it be kept in one place? Depending on your answer to this it does make sense to consider the size, weight and ease with which your welding machine can be moved. If you need to transport it then you will need a lighter weight machine and ideally one with a built-in handle. Also, if you are taking the machine out on a job you may need to ensure it can work with variable voltage or even be engine driven if being used away from an electricity source.
Flexibility of Current Source
Where possible it is best to buy a machine that can run with either an AC or DC source as you get a better weld from certain sources for certain metals e.g. steels weld better with a DC source.
More Amp for your money
The more amperage your TIG machine has the more metals it can weld so machines with higher amps will cost more but it is worth paying out for this if you are going to be working with a range of metals. 200 amp should be a good level for most jobs.
Time span for use
The amount of time you can run your TIG welder for before you need to rest it is known as the Duty Cycle. A figure of 50-60% duty cycle will allow you to weld for between 5 – 10 minutes which is a reasonable amount of time before you need to stop and let it cool down before starting again.
Control of both the heat you are using for welding with a TIG and the cooling element are vital considerations for the machine you are buying. Your TIG welder needs to have a reliable heat control built in to avoid damage to the metal you are working on as the heat required to weld different metal varies considerably.
It is also important that there is a cooling system built into your unit to prevent overheating and subsequently the machine breaking down. It will cost more for a machine with this built in but it saves you from buying a separate cooling system or from costly repairs.
Some Important QA About TIG Welders
Although TIG welding does have many advantages over other welding processes, it doesn't necessarily follow that it is the best process for you to use.
The following questions will make a useful guide when choosing when to use this process.
Is TIG welding the best welding process for the job at hand?
Some materials do weld better with TIG, whilst others weld perfectly well with MIG. So it is necessary to know the material and how it will weld.
What level of quality is needed for the job at hand?
Weld bead appearance can be an important factor, especially if the weld is going to be visible. In cases like this, TIG is often the choice because it offers a better bead appearance. Although, this is also partly down to the skill of the welder. This doesn’t mean that MIG is not suitable, simply that TIG is generally considered a better quality weld.
What metal thickness is being welded?
In the case of thin materials, TIG is much more controllable, and the weld current can be much lower. MIG can put too much heat into the metal. On the other side of this, if it were thick material you were going to weld, you wouldn’t consider TIG, you would opt for MIG or stick, as they weld heavy materials much faster.
Is a simple machine, or a complex machine, needed to complete your welding needs?
Hobbyists and home welders don’t generally need a sophisticated, high-tech TIG welder. Most often, a machine with the basic functions will be enough. As long as you can control your weld current sufficiently, that is pretty well all you will need to consider as far as complexity goes.
Is an AC/DC power source needed?
This is going to depend largely on what materials you are going to be welding, as some materials fair better with one, while other materials require the other. If you are looking to weld a variety of different materials, then you will need a combination machine, with both AC and DC abilities. If you are going to be doing strictly TIG work, then buy a TIG machine.
Is there a need for a portable welding machine?
Are you going to be working solely in your workshop or in and around the home, or are you likely to want to take your welding machine out to remote spots. If it’s simply workshop based, then this question is not an issue, but otherwise, you need to look at the portability of your chosen machine, and the additional equipment you might need to run it, a generator or inverter for example.
These are considered the most important factors you need to consider when choosing your machine. Answer all the questions, and you will find making your choice all the easier.
TIG Welder For Whom?
If you are going to be welding mainly mild steel with long weld runs, then a TIG welding machine is not a lot of good to you, a MIG machine will be much faster. But, if you are welding that same material on a short weld run, and appearance is of high importance, then a TIG machine will do a much quicker and cleaner job, without the need for the welds to be ground and cleaned afterwards. A simple enough concept to understand I am sure you will agree.
If, on the other hand, you are likely to be dealing with more obscure and less used metals, then TIG is the favorite of most welders.
As we have already established through the reviews in this cheap TIG welder guide, MIG welders work using continuously fed wire through the weld head, welding the material together, and can weld mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum.
A good range of material thicknesses can be welded using this process, including thin sheet and thicker structural plate. TIG welders are more especially used for thinner gauge metals due to the controllability of the machine. The ability to reduce the power right down so as not to blow holes in the metal.
Hobbyists often like to dabble with alternative materials, try things out so to speak, so they would likely benefit from a TIG machine. Car renovation enthusiasts often work with thinner materials, so a TIG could well be useful to them too, although repairs to chassis and sub frames, whilst achievable with the TIG machine, might also benefit from the MIG.
Personally, I think the real answer to this million dollar question is, what materials are you mostly likely to weld with your machine? Answer that question, and you will know if you are one of those for whom the TIG welding machine is the best option.
As with all specialist machinery, research is the key to choosing the best tool for your needs. Establish what those needs are, and choosing the right machine will be easy.
This best cheap TIG welders review is intended to give you an insight into what is available, and what they can do for you.
This information, combined with you asking questions of people who are already using these machines, the internet makes it easier for us to do this, but there is always room for first hand knowledge, is going to enable you to make an informed decision, and hopefully get it right first time.