Finding a reasonably-priced TIG welder can be pretty difficult, depending on what features you need. Welding equipment can get pretty expensive, especially when you start getting in to more complex jobs that require TIG welding. Both the torch and the power supply aren’t simple or cheap.
For example, the better TIG welders will have a water-cooled torch, which is far more efficient (but expensive!) than the traditional air-cooled torches. It’s features like this that drive up the price. These lower-priced welders also tend to be DC only and do not support AC. An AC/DC welder can cost you almost double what a DC-only welder costs.
So what I set out to do was find a few of the best cheap TIG welders out there. We may have to compromise on some of the fancy features, but there are still some really solid options that will get you through just about every job. I tried to include a variety of welders that work for different kinds of tasks you’ll encounter.
Lotos TIG140 140amp DC TIG/STICK Welder
Price: $270 on Amazon Rating: 4.9/5 stars
The Lotos TIG140 welder comes highly recommended considering its price and features. Although it doesn’t have a lot of the “nice-to-have” features like provisions for a foot pedal or water cooling, it makes up for it in other areas. For example, this welding machine incorporates the sophisticated IGBT high-frequency inverter and has very high efficiency.
The small form-factor and light weight (only 10 pounds!) makes it extremely portable. And since it can run off of 120V/240V, it will work anywhere you have a standard outlet. Or, you can even power it with a small generator for remote welding sites. You can’t say the same for other larger TIG welders that have bulky features like water cooling, so there are definitely some plus sides to the smaller, more efficient form-factors.
This machine is capable of omni-bearing welding all ferrous metals, copper, and stainless steel materials in all positions. It easily handles 18 Gauge to 1/4″ mild steel and stainless steel.
When you buy this machine you’ll also get:
- TIG Torch
- Stick Electrode
- Ground Clamp
- TIG Accessories
- Hand-Held Shield
- Part Number: TIG140
- Item Weight: 9.9 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 12.5 inches
- Item model number: TIG140
- Color: Blue
- Style: TIG
- Material: Metal, Plastic
- Shape: Cuboid
- Power Source: dc
- Voltage: 110 volts
- Item Package Quantity: 1
- Capacity Description: Mild Steel 18 Gauge – 1/4″ ;Stainless Steel 18 Gauge – 1/4″
- Hose Length: 5 Feet
- Number of Handles: 1
- Handle Material: Plastic
- Performance Description: Duty Cycle 35% @80A (110V), 60% @65A (110V), 35% @140A (220V), 60% @ 100A (220V)
Thermal Arc W1003203 95S Inverter DC Stick/TIG Welder
Price: $430 on Amazon Rating: 4.9/5 stars
This welder is a bit more expensive, but it is more fully featured and has a lot of convenience. Not only is it a complete TIG kit (except for the Argon bottle), it also comes with a carrying case to hold the power source and accessories. The carrying case and light weight (20 pounds) makes it nice for transporting around to different jobs around the house, garage, or work.
In general, this is a great welder. It can deliver up to 95 amps at 115V (requiring a 110-120VAC input), which is good for welding 3/32 inch. Since it is DC-only, you can’t weld aluminum. Although this shouldn’t be a problem for most people buying this machine.
The kit comes with a 10 foot 17V (valve-style) TIG torch, which is much better than many of the included torches from other brands.
Since this welder is focused a bit more on beginners/DIYers/hobbyists, it is extremely easy to use. There are even overheat and fault indicator lights so you don’t over-use it. To set it up, just plug in the power cable, plug in the leads, flip the switch to stick or TIG, and you’re good to go. Check out the training video below, which shows how easy it is to set up and operate.
And just because they say it’s a great ‘beginner’ machine, that doesn’t mean it can’t be used for some more difficult jobs. The versatility and decent amperage will allow you to weld various types and sizes of metal, so you can even do some light fabrication with it, in addition to the repairs and maintenance jobs.
The kit includes the following:
- 95 S inverter welding power source
- Tweco WeldSkill style electrode holder (10ft lead)
- Tweco WeldSkill style ground clamp (10ft lead)
- 20 Amp adapter plug & cable
- TIG torch 17V style (10ft lead)
- 4 general purpose stick electrodes (E6013)
- Argon regulator / flow gauge
- Operating manual and set-up DVD
For more info, check out this training video for the 95S (skip to 4:08 for TIG welding instructions).
- Part Number: W1003203
- Item Weight: 20 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 19.4 x 16.4 inches
- Item model number: W1003203
- Installation Method: tig-welding
- Warranty Description: 1 yr
Lotos TIG200-DC 200AMP DC Tig/Stick Welder
Price: $398 on Amazon Rating: 5/5 stars
Another Lotos welding kit makes the list. This one is also a bit higher priced than the first, but it also comes with quite a bit more in the box and a higher quality power supply. This is a TIG/stick welder that can produce up to 200 amps of DC current and can take in 110-220V input, with auto detection.
It comes with a high-frequency start hand torch and a precision foot pedal for heat control. This is really nice considering most welders in this price range don’t support the pedals, so if you need more precise control then this is definitely the welder for you.
This is perfect for a professional (or hobbyist) in the industry that needs a good, but affordable, welder. As with many of the other welders mentioned here, the TIG200-DC is good for welding stainless/carbon steel, copper, other color metal, and traditional electric welding.
In the package you get:
- TIG Torch
- Stick Electrode Holder
- Ground Clamp and Cable
- Pigtail Adapter Type 2
- Argon Hose
- Foot Pedal
- Part Number: TIG200D
- Item Weight: 32 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 14.6 x 13.5 inches
- Item model number: TIG200D
- Color: Blue, White