Best TIG Welders under $1000 – Top Picks & Reviews 2019
A common misconception amongst beginner welders is that you need to spend huge amounts of money in order to get started with TIG welding. This couldn’t be any further from the truth, and we are here to prove it. The requirements are that your TIG welder needs to be powerful, reliable and easy to use. Our team of experienced welders worked hard to test and review the best TIG welders on the market, boiling a list of hundreds down to just five.
There are hundreds of TIG welders on the market but not all are cut from the same cloth. If you are looking for the best TIG welders under $1000, our reviews will hopefully take the anxiety out of your decision, arming you with the knowledge you need to find the best tool for your needs.
Let’s jump straight in with our number one recommendation.
5 Best TIG Welders under $1000
|AHP AlphaTIG 200X|
|EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH||37 lbs||4.6/5|
|Amico TIG 160 Amp|
(Best for the Money)
|Forney 324 190-Amp||51 lbs||4.2/5|
|UNITWELD TIG200P||19 lbs||4.0/5|
#1 AHP AlphaTIG 200X – Top Pick
Without a shadow of doubt, the best TIG welder under $1000 on the market is the AlphaTIG 200X from AHP. The 200 amps TIG welder is simple enough for a hobbyist but also powerful enough for a professional. Regardless of what type of welding you need to do, the AlphaTIG 200X is the best tool for the job.
Although the AlphaTIG is simple to use, it is still equipped with all of the latest technology and innovation, including IGBT and pulse width modulation. It’s dual voltage (110 and 220) and can also be used as a stick. During our tests, we were welding on 1/4-inch aluminum with no spatter and also 3/8-inch steel with no issues at all.
The amperage can be adjusted between 10A and 200A, giving you as much freedom as you need to get all of your jobs done. It’s also incredibly lightweight, coming in at just 38 lbs. To top it all off, the LED screen makes adjusting everything a breeze. What more could you want from a TIG welder?
Overall, the AlphaTIG 200X is an incredible piece of kit that deserves its place at the top spot of our list. It comes in at less than $1000, too. Win-Win!
- Ideal for both beginners and professionals
- Dual voltage and large amperage range gives incredible freedom
- Comes with pulse width modulation and IGBT technology
- It’s reasonably priced when compared to other welders
- Both TIG and stick compatible
- The floor pedal requires rubber feet to work
#2 EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH – The Runner-up
Coming in at a close second is the easily recognizable Everlast PowerArc 160sth. This TIG and stick combo is a powerhouse of a welder at this price point. With a duty cycle of 35% and a 160-amp capacity, the PowerArc is not only suitable for beginner welders and hobbyists but professionals too. It’s dual voltage, working at both 110V and 220V which is always handy, but we found that the 110V is not really powerful enough for any serious welding. If you will be working on thicker sheets, we would recommend sticking with the 220V.
We were surprised to see a hot start function at this price point. Not only does it feature a hot start, it also works incredibly well. Our favorite feature, however, is the quality of the build and its light weight. Everlast has been producing high quality welders for decades and the PowerArc is another one from their collection that gets a thumbs-up from us.
If you want to save a few dollars without compromising too much on features, the PowerARC would be a great choice. It’s not as versatile or as powerful as the AlphaTIG, but it’s worthy of our #2 spot.
- It’s lightweight and has a carry handle for increased portability
- Dual voltage makes it perfect for all situations
- The hot start works incredibly well
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Not ideal for softer materials like aluminum
- The 110V setting isn’t powerful enough for much serious work
#3 Amico TIG 160 Amp – Best for the Money
If your budget is a concern and you want to get the best bang for your buck, the Amico TIG 160 is definitely the one that we would recommend. We were blown away with how efficient and powerful this modestly priced welder was when we ran it through testing. It uses dual voltage input so it can be used almost anywhere with a power supply, it functions as both a TIG and stick welder, and it has a duty cycle of between 30 and 60 percent depending on the settings. For the price, it’s hard to find anything on the market that even comes close. Not to mention, all of this comes in a package that weighs less than 15 lbs.
We tested the Amico as both a TIG and stick welder. With both, we were laying down smooth, precise welds, with no spatter or clean up required. It’s ideal for steel, copper and other hard metals but not so much the softer ones. You will need something a little bigger to work with softer metals like aluminum and magnesium.
With that being said, the Amico is easily one of the best TIG welders under $1000 and we would highly recommend it to beginner welders and hobbyists. For pro’s, we recommend that you stick to the Everlast or the AHP.
- It’s lightweight, compact and easy to move around
- Ideal for beginners and hobbyists
- Has a respectable 60% dual cycle limit
- It’s considerably cheaper than everything else on our list
- Only suitable for harder metals
#4 Forney 324 190-Amp
The most versatile (and most expensive) welder on our list is the 324 190-amp from Forney. The reason that we say it’s the most versatile is simply because it can be used as either a stick, TIG, MIG or flux cored. It’s a great all-rounder that is ideal for fabrication work and other jobs that require precision.
The Forney is dual voltage and runs at 190 amps. The LED screen makes adjusting everything easy. It comes with a flowmeter and a gas hose in the box which was handy. The only reason that the Forney isn’t higher rated is because of its poor duty cycle (20%), and the fact that it’s AC only. It also requires an extra purchase for the foot pedal, TIG torch and spool gun.
Overall, the Forney is a tank of a welder. It will do almost any job you throw at it when it comes to the finer forms of welding. It’s not the lightest or the easiest to use but it’s versatile, and great for the professional who needs extra features.
- Can be used as a stick, TIG, MIG or flux cored
- Stick and MIG are set up out of the box
- Comes with a flowmeter and gas hose
- Dual voltage and high amperage rating
- The duty cycle is too low for longer jobs
- AC only. Not suitable for softer metals
- It requires additional purchases for necessary items
#5 UNITWELD TIG200P
Our goal with this list of reviews is to inform you of the best products on the market, in hopes that you have a pleasant experience and purchase a product that will make your life better. However, instead of just giving you products that we think you should buy, we decided to include one that you absolutely should NOT buy.
UNITWELD have never been popular with us here at the workshop, simply because their products are a hit and miss. We tried the TIG 200P and the weld wouldn’t stick, it was loud, it overheats too quickly and it wouldn’t start working until the amperage was set to the absolute maximum.
Save yourself the money and skip straight past this one. Your money will be better off spent on any of the other four welders on this list.
- On paper, it has all of the features that a good welder needs
- In reality, they don’t work as they should
As with every other type of welder and industrial tool, the amount of different factors that can influence your buying decision is mind-boggling. Factors such as your experience level, your budget, the type of welding you are doing and the material you are working on are just a few that you need to consider before parting with your cash.
We have all been in the same position, but we are fortunate to have plenty of experience under our belts now. To make your decision easier, we have decided to use our experience and knowledge to list a few of the most important things you need to consider when shopping for a TIG welder. Let’s jump straight in.
Power Input and Amperage Range
Two of the most important factors to consider are the power input (volts) and the amperage range (amps) of your new TIG welder. The majority of TIG welders will be available in either 115 volts, 220 volts or both. For beginner welders or those of you who only need a welder on rare occasions, a 115-volt welder will be more than sufficient. If you are a professional welder or if you need something with a bit more bite, a 220-volt welder is the only option worth considering.
In terms of the amperage range, the bigger the better. For example, a TIG welder with an amperage range of 5 – 230 will allow the welder to pick and choose whatever amperage they want, relative to the material they are working on. For aluminum, a higher amperage will be required whereas for steel, a lower amperage will be sufficient. If you will be working on a variety of different materials, a big amperage range will be your best option.
The duty cycle simply refers to the amount of time that the welder can perform before needing a break to cool down. The higher the duty cycle, the longer it can work at its capacity before requiring a break. Welders with a duty cycle percentage of 10 – 40 are considered low whereas anything from 50 – 80 is considered high. Of course, the higher the duty cycle the more expensive the welder will generally be. If you are working on long, complex projects, a higher duty cycle is necessary. For everything else, anything around 30 – 60 percent is sufficient.
The materials that you will be welding will determine what current you will require. Harder materials such as steel and copper will require a direct current, whereas softer materials such as aluminum will require an alternating current. AC/DC units provide the best of both worlds, allowing you to switch between the two.
Hopefully, our best TIG welder under $1000 reviews have narrowed your search down enough to make your decision considerably easier. All of the products on our list have their own pros and cons, but the undeniable winner is, of course, the AHP AlphaTIG 200X. It’s the most powerful, it’s versatile and it’s moderately priced. What more could you want?
If you are looking for the best value for money, you can’t look past the Amico. For the money they are asking, you are getting a beast of a welder that is ideal for most situations. Either way, we hope our reviews and buyers guide have helped you in some way. Happy welding!
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