Best Budget TIG Welders 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews
Owning the right tools for the job is always a must-have for any kind of work, but a good, powerful welding machine can make welding operations easy and convenient to handle. TIG welders haven’t always been the most popular, but with the progress of welding technology and applications, TIG welding is becoming seen more and more.
TIG welding is the process of welding thinner metals or in extremely cosmetic situations where strict heat control is needed.
Choosing the right machine for you can sometimes be a challenging process if you don’t want to spend more than you certainly need to, and we completely agree. That is why we have compiled this list which will show you the best cheap TIG welders that are available, providing you with the best possible value for money.
Best Budget Tig Welder 2020
1. Forney 322 Multi-Process Welder
Dimensions: 20.2 x 10.2 x 16″ | Weight: 38lbs | Input Power: 120V | Output Range: 5-140A | Duty Cycle: 60%
If you are looking for a cheap tig welder then the Forney 322 could be the machine you have been looking for. It is both versatile and affordable plus, this tig machine is widely renowned as the best welding machine for beginners. Suitable for a wide range of tasks such as TIG, flux-cored, MIG, and Stick. The Forney 322 can also be used on a wide range of different applications but is also quick easy and convenient to set up and use.
Amazing value for money is offered from this 140-Amp welder, with a 120v input voltage that makes this machine the perfect choice for general maintenance, light repairs, home DIY projects, and even automotive use. There are loads of compatible components that fit with the 322 such as spool guns, TIG torch, and a foot pedal to control the amperage.
Nearly everyone who has been casually using this machine will consider it to be a high-end product, great for use in the home and light industrial work. The only downfall to this machine is that it does not specialize in TIG applications, but this simply means that you are not limited to certain metal types and thicknesses.
2. Lotos CT520D 50 AMP Air Plasma Cutter
Dimensions: 18 x 8 x 11″ | Weight: 32lb | Input Power: 110/220V 50/60Hz | Output Range: 15-200A | Duty Cycle: 60%
There are many features that come with the Lotus CT520D but none more impressive than the price tag. A versatile machine that comes with a stick welding process that lets you use the unit on a wide range of different applications, something not always found on cheap TIG welders.
From this unit, you will receive an amperage output range from 15A – 200A which is low enough to give you a completely stable arc, a deep weld pool, and a tidy finish. If your main working materials are thinner metals such as steel and stainless steel then the Lotus CT520D is the perfect tool for the job.
Plasma cutting is another ability that this machine has, making use of compressed air cutting through different materials such as alloy steel, mild steel, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. This extra cutting function makes it the ideal choice for any home workshops. Another thing that may interest you for your home workshop is our choice of the best budget miter saws.
Professionals and casual users alike use this product and commonly agree on how good the unit is also being of great value for the money. The one downside is that it doesn’t switch between DC and AC power outputs, this makes the machine a little more specified, but makes it a great choice for cutting and welding thicker materials.
3. Amico TIG DC Welder
Dimensions: 16.6 x 7.5 x 11.8 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Input Power: 110/230V/1phase/60Hz | Output Range: DC 20-160 Amps | Duty Cycle: 60%
The Amico TIG DC welder is a multifunctional machine that can operate TIG, Stick, and Arc 2-in-1 welding. A professional welder that will perform to an industrial level, and also has the design for this kind of use. Tig welders like this have been specifically designed for usability, it is simple to operate and the performances you get from it are unbelievable. The overall design is solid structurally and also incorporates a professional configuration.
The tungsten life is improved with the high-frequency start from the arc, and this high-frequency service is guaranteed to start up at 100%. Long welding times are ensured with the 80% duty cycle when running at 205 amps, this machine is amazing overall with its ability to weld lots of different materials in a variety of different ways for varying projects.
For both thin and thick work-pieces, there has been specifically enhanced technology developments in the MOS inverter and the stability of the arc, these working styles are also encouraged with the amp range from 10-205 amps. There is a wide voltage in the machine going from 95 to 260V, also with 50/60Hz, almost all frequencies can be used with this one of the best TIG welders.
Robust amperage control is including within the machine making this TIG machine compatible with all generator styles. It also includes an automatic compensation for voltage fluctuation, over-voltage protection, under-voltage protection, over-current protection, and over-load protection which all help to keep the machine strong and durable with a long lifespan.
The power cord extends up to 700 feet and is still operable at this extreme length giving you lots of working freedom. The lightness and strength of the components in this machine make it the perfect tool for both professional and personal use.
4. Amico TIG 200 DC Welder
Dimensions: 16.6 x 11.8 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 25 pounds | Input Power: 230 watt
The Amico TIG200DC stick welding TIG machines are amazing little units, weighing only 25 pounds and having a dimension size of 16.6 x 7.5 x 11.8 inches. This stick welding best machine is a rectifier that adopts the most advanced inverter technology you can buy. The welding power source offers a much stronger and more concentrated and stable arc when being used.
When the stick and workpieces are shorter, there is more response in the welding machine making it quicker and easier to design and implement different dynamic characteristics into your welding. These characteristics can also be adjusted for specialty work making the arc softer or harder overall bettering the welding experience.
There are multiple uses that can be achieved in the welding applications such as welding stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, and other color metals. The TIG200DC can also be used for more traditional electric welding, being a powerful welder it has the capability of working on materials as thick as 38-inch stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper cast iron, and chrome making this machine a versatile unit that is great for any scenario.
When it comes to the arc quality voltage control, duty cycle, and value the full-size Tig stick platform will outperform the competition. Mainly optimized for flawless weld spatter delivery, making the post-weld cleanup almost nonexistent.
Containing a dual voltage input of 110V and 230V letting you connect to pretty much any common power supplies. The TIG torch cable is a 13ft Electrode holder cable at 300A, there is a 10ft work clamp cable also at 300A making the low price point really good.
5. Everlast PowerARC 200amp TIG Welder
Dimensions: 24 x 9 x 17″ | Weight: 65lbs | Input Power: 240V | Output Range: 5-250A | Duty Cycle: 60%
If quality welding is what you need then this machine really takes it up a level. To begin the amperage range that is offered in the Everlast PowerARC 200 amp TIG Welder, is wide with amazing performances at 5A, this means that you are given the best possible arc stability, easy startups, and brilliant crater filling.
Both AC and DC power outputs are available giving loads of varying materials you can weld with including aluminum, magnesium, and even thicker steel plates. The maximum power delivery is 250A on its 240v motor enables you to use this cheap tig welder for almost any welding job, including industrial applications. Gas exposure is sometimes a problem but the controlled post and pre-flow lets you shield yourself from it.
The display panel takes a little time getting used to, confusing a lot of users at the beginning, but overall you get the best when it comes to functionality, efficiency, and quality with this product.
6. Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Arc Plasma Cutter
Dimensions: 15 x 6 x 12 inches | Weight: 19.40 pounds | Input Power: 110 V/220 V | Output Range: 10-50 A | Duty Cycle: 60%
This Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-touch pilot arc plasma cutter will efficiently cut through rough, rusty, painted surfaces with ease producing minimal slag. The use of pilot arc technology allows you to cut without touching the tip of the metal providing better cutting quality and a longer consumable lifespan.
TIG welders aren’t always the cheapest products but this compact plasma cutter has a low price tag but also performs in a safe way, containing a handle that is great for portability and uses non-hazardous compressed air to cut through stainless steel, mild steel, copper, alloy and aluminum. The output performances are great with the 10-50A DC range output that is perfect for 1/2 inch ideal clean cuts and 3/4 inch maximum severance cut anything under 220/240V. The 10-35A DC output has a 1/3 inch ideal clean cut and 2/5 inch maximum severance cut under 110/120V.
This TIG is great for cutting stainless steel, alloy steel, copper aluminum, mild steel, and much more. The preinstalled NPT 1/4 inch industry type D plug and air filtration regulator allows you to connect to your air compressor and start straight away, with a 1 minute startup time. The air compressor connection is done by the stand coupler that exists on your air compressor.
To ensure the plasma cutter is stable and durable continuously performing at a high level there is a PAPST advanced cooling system featured. The rated output is 100 Volts but this system contains a Dual voltage input that is completely automatic changing dual frequency from 110/120 V 220/240 V 50/60Hz.
Within the pack, you will receive a power supply, a ground clamp, a plasma cutting torch, consumables, and an instruction manual to get you started. An amazing welding machine that has dual voltage for even more working situations, and a durability that will bring a long life span.
7. Alpha TIG/Stick Welder
Dimensions: 21 x 9 x 21″ | Weight: 5.6lbs | Input Power: 110/220V 50/60Hz | Output Range: 10-200A | Duty Cycle: 60%
With the Alpha TIG/Stick welder, the first thing you will notice is the fact that this machine offers dual voltage having both an AC and a DC output. Not only does it have these outputs, but the amperage output range also goes from 10A all the way to 200A. These options give you amazing results, and although it doesn’t always perform at its highest at lower amperage, you can still weld thin aluminum at 1/4 inches thick.
Due to the DC output, this high-frequency TIG, Stick machine allows you to weld steel, and also a massive range of different materials on top. There is also a pulse width modulation that gives you ultimate control over the power that goes into each and every workpiece you complete.
The only drawback to this machine TIG welder is that you may not find that it performs very well in a MIG setting, but as a TIG and Stick welder, you really can’t ask for a better model. From reviews that proud owners of the AHP AlphaTIG have made we have found that in the real world the best feature is the control you have over the power and heat delivery, which is always something that you want to be on top of.
8. Forney Multi-Process Welder
Dimensions: 19 x 9.5 x 16.5″ | Weight: 43lbs | Input Power: 120/230V | Output Range: 5-190A | Duty Cycle: 60%
If you are looking for a TIG welder that is reliable and versatile then the Forney Multi-Process welder is the machine for you. As a multi-process welder, you can use it for a number of different applications like a stick, MIG, Flux-Cored, and TIG welding. The system that switches between all of these different processes is smooth and fluid making it the perfect choice for even inexperienced welders.
One of the best selling points and benefits to this machine is the versatility you get, and also the quality that this product has for the price. The performances are relatively high at low amperage which allows stable arc and a tidy welding appearance, although it should be mentioned that the TIG torch and the foot pedals are not included but this doesn’t cause you any control issues over welding and heat output.
Customizable configuration settings will let both beginners and well-experienced welders enjoy this machine, along with the multi-functional qualities making this Tig welder great for loads of different applications.
9. Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG Welder
Dimensions: 17 x 9.9 x 23.9″ | Weight: 50lbs | Input Power: 230V | Output Range: 10-165A | Duty Cycle: 20%
If you are looking for a model that is going to work well on the occasional job in an efficient way then the 500551 EZ-TIG welders from Hobart are going to be the one for you. This TIG machine provides basic, no-nonsense workability with both AC and DC power outputs, easily welding oxidized steel.
It is already well known that Hobart produces incredibly user-friendly machines, and the 500551 EZ-TIG is no different. This TIG has an amperage range of 10A to 165A which isn’t quite an industry standard but is great for hobbies and household use. This amperage range means that you get relatively stable arc and crater filling abilities, and for optimal control of your amperage output, there is a foot pedal included.
Most owners of the Hobart TIG welder really love the simplicity of this machine, with going from 220 and 110v from AC to DC as easy as ever just simply flicking a switch, although there is a little upset with the limited metal thickness range of a welder in this price range.
10. Miller Electric Maxstar 150 TIG Welder
Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 11″ | Weight: 13.5lbs | Input Power: 115-230V 50/60Hz | Output Range: 5-150A | Duty Cycle: 100%
The Maxstar 150 from Miller Electric is your answer if you are looking for something that is lightweight, easy to move around, and also offers great precision welding. All of this is achieved with the compact size and weight of 13.5 lbs, and the amperage range of 5A to 150A which allows you to weld even the thinnest of metals from sizes as little as 0.020 inches.
This advanced TIG welder has a duty cycle of 30% when running at 150A, however, when the welding machine is dropped to 100A the duty cycle goes to 100% which means you get performances at a prolonged duration of time. This unit allows you to weld steel up to a thickness of 3/16-inches.
The biggest let down to customers who are mostly satisfied with this product is the fact it doesn’t contain an AC output. Due to this, the option of welding oxidized steel is not something that is available, although you do get a beautifully stable arc, and super-quick starts.
Considerations When Buying a TIG Welder
When it comes to the amperage range it is best to find a welder that has the widest range, but still at an affordable price. A TIG welder with a smaller range can really impact on the types and the thicknesses of metal you can work with. Machines with an Amp range between 5 and 230 can offer loads in terms of flexibility that is required for working with thin materials such as aluminum that have a 1/4 inch thickness, or even 24-Guage stainless steel.
AC and DC welding
A TIG welder has to offer both an AC and a DC current if you want to weld materials apart from stainless steel or steel, for example, if you wanted to well magnesium, aluminum, or other soft, self-oxidizing metals then you would need an AC current. A DC current will be needed for welding deoxidized copper, stainless steel, steel, and other hard metals. The main rule to follow is AC for soft and DC for hard.
Heat control is a very important factor when it comes to proper TIG welding. This heat control is great on thinner materials, helping avoid any metal warping. Pulse welding can also control the heat input that goes into a weld, without losing any of the penetration of the weld. When completing a pulse weld, your pulsed TIG welder makes alternate changes between lower background currents and higher peak currents, this system helps maintain the arc and allows the welded joint to cool down.
Ease of Use
When using a TIG welder there is a lot of skill required, but that doesn’t mean the machine should be complex to use, try and find a quality tig that comes with controls that are simple and easy to understand.
There are lots of different TIG welders that contain additional features that will help them last for a long time and stay durable try and find machines with cooling fans, that can run constantly helping keep the welder cool. There are also versions that will run once the welder heats up, and the thermostat is triggered.
What is the best cheap TIG welder?
The best cheap welder is the Lotus CT520D TIG welder, it offers loads in terms of performance and durability, giving it a long lifespan making the cheap price tag even better value. It is one of the best tig welders including high-quality parts and is also very portable in size. Another great feature is the ability to both TIG and Stick weld plus some light plasma cutting abilities.
What’s the best TIG welder for a beginner?
One of the best cheap TIG welders for beginners is the Forney Multi-Process welder, it has a simple design and configuration making it great for light industrial work and for people with welding hobbies using it at home. It is a multi-process welder and has customizable settings that make it perfect for beginners and professionals alike.
Why are TIG welders so expensive?
One of the main reasons that TIG welders come at such a high price is that it takes a lot of copper wiring to build one. Copper is a very expensive material so bumps the price up. Another reason is that welding is an extremely difficult and risky trade to be in so the supply and demand of these machines are high, due to the specialism involved.