Tig welding is often employed in highly cosmetic applications or welding thinner metals, which require strict heat control. This method is becoming popular with the progress of technology and welding applications like exotic metals, involving Tig welding.
Choosing the best Tig welder for the application is simple in the event that you follow the best selection criteria. This task is about selecting the best Tig welder for the most useful performance on a particular application. Choosing a welding machine based only on its price can cost extra money if it generally does not meet the particular welding needs for the required tasks.
Let’s have a look at a few of the considerations to make on the best Tig welder and the best Tig equipment selection.
Tig welding can be an excessively precise process providing you with very clean welds, without any spatter and with minimal smoke. This makes it become attractive for the highly cosmetic applications like sculpture, automotive, experimental aircraft, in addition to a number of home-hobbyist tasks. It’s popular in applications involving thin-gauge parts of metal, lighter metals like aluminum, copper alloys, and chrome-moly tubing. These materials need precise heat control to evade warping or burn off through the bottom of the metal. Tig welding machines efficiently operate at the lower amperages required to supply this control.
Selecting the Best Tig Welder by Power Input
You will certainly find a wide variety of aspects to consider when choosing the best Tig welder Power Input:
Always think about the amperage range when choosing a Tig welder. You need the one that offers the widest range at the perfect cost. A Tig welder with too narrow amperage range can seriously limit the materials, which you will be able to weld. A welding machine with range between 5 and 230 amps offers you the flexibility to weld thin materials, such as 24-gauge stainless steel or over 1/4 in. thick Aluminum. Aluminum requires higher amperage compared to steel and stainless materials. Using a welder that cannot reach the minimum of 200 amps limits the maximum possible welding thickness of Aluminum from 1/8 to 3/16 in. A wider amperage range resembles more applications it is possible to use the welder on, never needing to buy or use other welding machines.
Low Amperage Welding
Besides operating with a broad amperage range, you need to choose a Tig machine, which has excellent arc stability below 10 amps. Such equipment will give you much easier starting, much better heat control, and exemplary crater fill capability by the end of each weld. Tig welding is used for thin materials, which means you must be in a position to start the welder without hot start or high frequency. Some devices claim to have these starting technologies that help to launch the arc, but unfortunately, many of these innovations produce nothing different from a hot start. Therefore, the best Tig welder will have a broad amperage range (from lowest to highest amp).
If you intend to weld more than only steel or stainless steel, the best Tig welder should offer both AC and DC options. For instance, you must use AC welding on self-oxidizing soft metals, such as Magnesium and Aluminum.
Nevertheless, DC welds will be required for the welding of hard metals, for instance deoxidized Copper, Steel, and Stainless Steel. With AC, the existing cycle alternates between the positive and the negative halves. Welding Aluminum requires the cleaning of oxides through the positive half of the AC cycle, as its negative half facilitates the base metal penetration. Put simply, the positive half cleans, while the negative welds.
This specification shows how much uninterrupted welding a device can knock in a ten-minute interval. Usually, duty cycle is a reference for the number of minutes, taken from a 10-minute duration in which the device can weld at its highest current. After reaching its limit, the welding equipment should be left to cool down.
Duty cycle is presented in percentage values. Therefore, you need to do the mathematics inside your mind, multiplying all percentage points by 10 to find the minutes available to weld per each ten-minute cycle. If you surpass the welder’s duty cycle, it heats and its insider circuits might fry. For instance, a low-cost machine with an optimum current of 70 amps might have a 10% duty cycle. This will mean you can have 1 minute welding out of every 10 minutes with no equipment getting too hot or burning out.
Light industrial/hobbyist best Tig welder devices have a duty cycle of low 20%, medium 40-60%, and high 60-80%. However, nowadays manufacturers have found a way to twist this formula a little. Therefore, you can now enjoy a longer duty cycle, because they base these percentages on a lesser amperage setting. This means that with a device offering an optimum 140 amps and a 10% duty cycle, you can weld at 30% and 115 amps.
On the other hand, it is possible to employ the same technique to grab a hold of a lower duty cycle for a device that suits all your requirements. The purchase of a model with a greater current optimum than what you use will be a very practical solution. That way, you efficiently enhance the duty cycle of your welder for good.
When purchasing a device that will be used in the same location over and over again, portability may not be an issue. However, if the power supply will undoubtedly be moved to the store, or to weld a sign on the highway, a portable welder will be required. There are two fundamental methods to use a Tig welder as a portable device; these include the usage of engine-driven welders and inverters.
Inverters weigh around 10 pounds and run at 115 and 230-volt currents. They are power converters enabling a device to be smaller sized and lighter than the standard equipment. Engine-driven welders are employed each time a welder does not use a power supply for welding. Engine-driven source of power can be used for on-the-field maintenance, pipeline welding and construction work, while many engine-driven welders have power-generating capabilities.
The Right Controls
Heat control is yet another vital feature of the successful Tig welding. Welding thin metals, the regulation of heat input lowers the metal’s warpage. A good method to control the weld’s heat input without losing weld penetration would be pulse weld. Using pulsed Tig welding, the device alternates between higher and lower currents. This preserves the arc while letting the welded joint to cool.
The best Tig welder comes with an extra integral Tig pulser to supply good heat input control. This feature is a popular training tool, which can be adapted to help you time the use of filler metal into the weld puddle. Put simply, you can dip the filler metal into the weld puddle throughout the peak amperage and withdraw the filler metal throughout the background amperage. This can help the novice welder create a regular looking “stacked dime” weld bead appearance, frequently associated with the excellent Tig welding models.
The price of the different Tig welders is different. It can range between a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars, based on the equipment/packages and parameters/brands purchased. The best cost will go somewhere in the middle, for professional work and below $1000 or even under $500 for hobbyist welders. For the sake of curiosity, it should be pointed that more expensive machines are mostly used for Titanium welds.
Buying the best Tig welder involves more than simply looking for the most affordable rate. You must look at the Tig process and make sure it has good quality, great looking welds, frequently welded on very heat-delicate materials; furthermore, arc efficiency must be the most imperative component to consider. Additionally, a quick-change removable Tig torch is very important when it comes to using smaller, larger or even pencil torches. Beyond that, you have to ensure you pick a quality device with adequate amperage range, adaptability, and the best controls.
Asking the exact questions, shopping thoroughly, and considering all these aspects, you will have no problem selecting the best Tig welder that will not be outgrown by your welding requirements or level of skill.