Best TIG Welders under $1000 – Top Picks & Reviews 2019
The effectiveness of a TIG welder’s precision welds is in hot demand, meaning there are many options to choose from online, especially for under $1000. Our six top reviews take an inside look into their capabilities and effectiveness across the TIG spectrum.
It’s often a challenge deciding which welder to buy when their prices vary and they come with many different features. Many people would love to try a few welders first and see which one they like, but most of us never have this opportunity. However, we’ve done some work for you, which is better than a free trial of welders. We checked the perspectives of hundreds of people who have used these welders over many years. With so many honest opinions, it gives us a clear understanding of the welders’ true capabilities.
Most welding machines can put their best foot forward in an initial test, but it’s how they perform over time that shows their true worth. Read these reviews from our research, and get the insight you need for your next choice of a welder.
Comparison of Our Favorite Products
6 Best TIG Welders under $1000 – Reviewed 2019
1. PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT TIG Welder – Top Pick
The PRIMEWELD TIG225X is the best AC/DC TIG welder under $1000. It has a wide amperage range reaching up to 225 amps, so you can TIG weld thick sections comfortably. There’s a vast range of settings to adjust the welder to suit any type of welding you need.
The foot pedal gives you more control during the welding process to change amperage manually. However, it isn’t the most comfortable pedal available. It also has pulse arc capabilities if you like pulse welding, and you can switch an up-slope or down-slope function on if you don’t like the foot pedal.
Overall, this welder is an incredible option with the broadest range of features in the under-$1000 range. We recommend it to both new and experienced TIG welders.
2. AHP AlphaTIG 200X IGBT TIG Welding Machine – The Runner-Up
Our runner-up choice is the AHP Alpha TIG 200X machine. It’s the best 200-amp TIG machine under $1000; however, it doesn’t have as broad a range of settings as the Primeweld TIG225X welder and costs a similar price.
It’s also an excellent aluminum welder, and the high-frequency arc starts instantly every time, so there’s no struggling when you want to light your arc. Unlike many TIG welders, its stick welding ability is incredible. It’s on par with purpose-built stick welders and gives you no trouble with varying arc lengths, like most TIG/stick machines do.
The foot pedal isn’t the best on the market, so you may want to upgrade it for a better version if you use it frequently. Otherwise, there isn’t much else wrong with it. It TIG welds like a Miller or Lincoln TIG machine in this range.
3. Hyperikon Plasma Cutter with TIG Welder Functions – Best for the Money
The small Hyperikon Plasma Cutter weighs significantly less than other TIG welders in the same range, and it costs half the price. It welds an incredible 200 amps and has plasma cutting abilities, making this the best TIG welder for your money.
There are not as many TIG functions with it, and it doesn’t compare to the top welders like the AHP and Primeweld TIG machines, but it’s an excellent option for hobbyist welders.
Being able to TIG and plasma cut with the same machine is a very desirable option, especially at the price this one comes at. There is no aluminum welding with this machine, and no foot pedal or sloping function, but for basic TIG welding on stainless or steel projects, it’s a top choice that we highly recommend.
4. Weldpro Digital TIG200GD ACDC
Weldpro’s Digital TIG200GD is very similar to our top spot TIG machine, the Primeweld TIG225X welder. It has a smaller amperage range capable of 200 amps max, but it struggles to weld well off 110 volts. However, it has a very similar capability.
It’s an excellent aluminum welder and has a huge range of welding options, including sloping functions and detailed setting selections to give you diversity for any kind of welding under 200 amps.
The stock foot pedal for this machine is one of the best available, and it has excellent pulse arc modes. It isn’t the nicest machine to stick weld with, so we recommend looking elsewhere if you need to do significant stick welding too. But for TIG, it’s a good choice to consider.
5. Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC TIG-Welder
The Lotos TIG200ACDC is a good option for TIG welding aluminum at quite a low price. It doesn’t have the same capabilities as the Primeweld TIG225X welder and the AHP Alpha TIG 200X machine, but it does a good job nonetheless. We like that it comes with a high-frequency start, so starting the arc is instant and easy compared to scratch starts.
There is a foot pedal, unlike the lower-priced welders, but it isn’t the highest quality pedal available. It’s known for having issues with accuracy and a lack of responsiveness. There is also no pulse arc, but you can set an automatic down-slope setting with it to finish off the weld smoothly.
We like this welder, but would recommend one of the four other welders we have reviewed as they’re better options for your money.
6. Amico TIG 160 Amp Stick DC for light TIG Welding
The small Amico TIG 160 Amp Torch welder is impressively low-priced and makes a good option for someone wanting to learn TIG welding at home. It’s not designed for heavy TIG joints, but still gives you a few options for light to medium gauge welds.
This is also a good stick welder, and many people buy it only for its stick welding capabilities at its low price. However, it’s made well for light TIG welding. It’s a good option if you need to do some basic site work, due to its size, and the cover that effectively protects all the setting adjustments. It also has a heavy-duty case, so it can take a bit of impact.
This isn’t the highest quality welder, but for the price you can buy it for, it’s worth picking up if you’re learning or need a low-cost site welder.
Your requirements for welding will determine the different output needs you should look for in a TIG welder. AC/DC and amperage are the two primary considerations.
TIG welders run DC amps for standard steel and stainless steel welding. If you want the option to weld aluminum, it’s essential to purchase a welder that runs AC as well. These are generally more expensive machines, as there is a significant internal change to weld AC, but aluminum won’t be TIG welded any other way (unless you’re absolutely desperate and weld quality doesn’t matter).
The material thickness you want to weld will determine the amperage range required in a welder. Very thin sheet metal needs a welder to go down to a tiny amperage range, and thick sections with a large volume of weld require high amperage capabilities to achieve the necessary heat.
A tiny amperage range is generally harder to come by than a high amperage range, although most TIG welders will run 20 to 100 amps comfortably. Figure out how many amps you need for the welding you do, so you can have a realistic amperage range in mind.
Having a welding margin slightly outside the specific size you need will help ensure you’re safe. You don’t want to weld too hot or cold due to your machine not quite reaching your required amperage if things don’t line up as you anticipate. 10 percent less than one amp per 0.001 inch of metal is a good guide to get a rough idea for the amperage range you need.
High-frequency starts are when the arc is initiated by pressing the torch trigger when the tungsten tip is a small distance away from the metal. This is the easiest way to start your arc because your tungsten tip can’t stick to the metal you’re welding.
You can also be in the correct position before starting the arc, and then once it’s started, you can direct the pool along without realigning. Aside from the ease of this arc start, it causes no contamination to your weld due to the tungsten and metal never touching.
Lift starts are when the tip touches the metal lightly, and then once it’s lifted, the arc is formed. It’s an easy way to start, like high-frequency starts, but it adds a small amount of contamination to your weld due to the metal and tip touching.
Scratch starts are like the way stick welders start their arc. The tungsten tip scratches the metal surface to strike an arc, like striking a match. This is a more difficult way to start, as it can be inconsistent forming the arc, and there is much more contamination than the other two arc starts. However, scratch start machines are easy to manufacture, which is why lower-priced machines often have them.
There is a range of other accessories that come with TIG welders that is good to be aware of before choosing a TIG welder. They can be purchased separately from the machine itself if they’re not included, but they’re more expensive separately than when they’re added into the overall price of a welder.
A foot pedal is a device that allows you to adjust the amperage range you weld at during the fusing process. It’s like a pedal on a car: the more you engage it, the more amperage you’ll produce. You’ll also minimize amperage by letting off the pedal.
Stick and MIG machines are sometimes built into a TIG welder to give you options to weld in various ways with the one machine. However, not every process in multi-process machines runs as well as when they’re in single-process machines.
In less expensive welders, the machines are purpose-built for one process and have other processes added into them. Make sure the TIG welding function is the primary function if you look into a multi-process welder.
A plasma cutter can also be a part of a multi-process TIG welder. It’s handy being able to cut and weld with the same machine, and it can save you a lot of money compared to buying the two separately.
Just because a welder costs less than $1000 doesn’t mean it lacks the quality of a more expensive machine. There are many low-quality machines under $1000, but there are also some well-built machines that are sold for a lower price due to having fewer features or because they’re not a known brand name.
Unless you’re just starting and don’t mind a low-quality machine, it’s better to look for a welder that’s made well so you can have confidence that it will last. You may pay slightly more for better quality, but you’ll save money in the long run with less maintenance and not having to replace it quickly.
TIG welders come with a range of incredible options, and there are some impressive machines under $1000. Our top six reviews have highlighted the best options found online, with the PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp being our top pick. It offers everything a well-known 200-amp Miller or Lincoln welder offers, but it comes with more amps and costs significantly less.
The Hyperikon Plasma Cutter, 3 in 1 TIG Welder is also a machine we highly recommend. It’s incredibly low-priced, and while it doesn’t compare with PRIMEWELD’S TIG225X, it welds nicely and has an effective plasma cutting function. We believe it’s the best TIG welder for your money if you’re on a low budget.
We hope our reviews have been helpful to you and you’ve found what you’re seeking. Feel free to leave us your comments below.
- Comparison of Our Favorite Products
- 6 Best TIG Welders under $1000 – Reviewed 2019
- 1. PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT TIG Welder – Top Pick
- 2. AHP AlphaTIG 200X IGBT TIG Welding Machine – The Runner-Up
- 3. Hyperikon Plasma Cutter with TIG Welder Functions – Best for the Money
- 4. Weldpro Digital TIG200GD ACDC
- 5. Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC TIG-Welder
- 6. Amico TIG 160 Amp Stick DC for light TIG Welding
- Buyer’s Guide