Buying a TIG Welder
In this article, we discuss TIG welder specifications & capabilities and point you in the direction of a number of models.
Firstly, what material are you welding: It's AC for aluminium tig welding and DC for mild steel & stainless. Then you need to consider the thickness of the material, the input voltage available, your budget, location of the job, machine duty cycle & the complexity of the TIG set based upon your knowledge & expertise.
1./ Multi voltage options
The Miller Maxstar 210Dx is a best selling DC TIG welding inverter, suitable for general mild steel & stainless tig work up to 6mm. The hire companies have taken this set to their hearts as it weighs just 15 kilos, can run on any voltage supply & is great as a stick welder too. It's a site welders dream, as you can run a stick welding electrode up to 4.0mm. It has full feature TIG functionality, incorporating PROSET which eliminates guess work when setting welding parameters and it's ability to weld at just 1amp, means it's superb on thin materials. Definitely, a first choice TIG machine for regular industry users, but maybe outside the budget of a one man band.
Miller's Dynasty 210DX incorporates the same autoline technology in the Maxstar into an AC/DC model giving it multi voltage input capability. It's able to weld aluminium, mild steel & stainless up to 1/4 inch (6.4mm) diameter.
*Miller's Dynasty 210 DX
2./ 415 volt options
The Miller Dynasty 280DX AC/DC was launched in 2015, to fill the gap between the Dynasty 210 & 350 models. Will weld up to 3/8 inch (9.5mm).
For really heavy duty TIG welding plump for the Miller DYNASTY 400 AC/DC water cooled machine, which is capable of high duty cycle aluminium work. Capable of welding 16mm aluminium structures or trailer bodies.
3./ 240 volt options
The Miller STH 160 is a full feature DC TIG machine equipped with digital meters, up and down slope and pulse function. The pulse facility(GTAWP) is a great little feature allowing stainless to be TIG welded up to 25% quicker than normal. Weighing just seven kilos and welding at 150 amps at 25% duty cycle, it's a superb set for maintenance repair and fits within most budgets.
EWM's range of TIG sets take some beating and we favour the Picotig or Tetrix product lines. The PICOTIG 200 DC set with it's very simple control panel & Activarc (non-stick) feature is a great buy for light duty TIG work. Whilst the Tetrix 230 AC/DC offers the added functionality of Spotarc(An extra torch can be purchased to perform one sided spot welding), portability & easy set up. Typically the Tetrix would weld steel, stainless & aluminium up to 8 mm with a water cooler coming as a modular add on. EWM's build quality is without compare & it's three year warranty packages serve to offer peace of mind.
*EWM's Tetrix 230 AC/DC