Best TIG Welder for
Best TIG Welder for Aluminum How to Find and Where
Many welders consider that having the best tig welder for aluminum is a good investment. As we know, aluminum is a soft metal and though MIG welders can deal with it on lower amperage, the result is not always pretty. MIG welders are the best choice for thicker and harder metals. But when it comes to softer and thinner metals, it has its limitations.
TIG welders are known to be the ideal choice for metals with lighter gauges. With the availability of different gases for arcing and shielding plus the accessibility of various electrodes for different metals, the TIGs have earned their special place among the most versatile welding machines both in the commercial and domestic welding scene.
For the professional welders, the TIGs are also the most preferred when it comes to sealing gaps between joints not to mention its smooth welding output without the need for refinement unlike with stick and MIG. For the hobbyists and home workshop owners, the best affordable tig welder should be sufficient enough for their typical welding tasks.
Why a TIG Welding Machine Can Become Your Best
Keeping a welder in your garage could be one of the best assets for your home maintenance needs and it could be a MIG, a stick welder, a TIG welder, or a combination of these in one unit. Such a machine is what we call the multi-process welder. However, if you only need a welder for thin and light metals like for home repair, automotive and basic welding tasks that may come up from time to time, you may only need the best aluminum welder in the form of a TIG welder. But why the TIG with aluminum welding capability?
Well, generally any TIG welder type can weld aluminum. Yet, only those with the main AC capabilities can produce the best result. All TIG welders have the AC capabilities but some of them offer a lot in terms of balance control. So if you have to weld aluminum, you have to set the current, frequency, the flow of DC- and DC+, and the amperage right and that makes it complicated for simple aluminum welding.
If you are curious why some TIG welders have many control features, this is because these enable the welders to choose settings based on the kind of metals they have to fuse. But with a TIG welder with the main AC capability, this is best for welding aluminum alloy and metals with the magnesium content. For the beginners, the best tig welder for aluminum should not be too complicated to use since TIG welding is already known to be the hardest welding process to learn.
How the Best Affordable TIG Welder Can Work
TIG welders are said to be the most versatile because you can control their plasma arc’s heat with the use of a foot pedal. That’s why these are the best choices for welding copper, bronze, brass, nickel alloys, chrome alloy and even gold. You can also weld with it stainless steel on a higher amperage setting. But when it comes to welding aluminum, this is where the real challenge begins. Why?
All aluminum alloys have aluminum oxide on its surface. This is the result when aluminum is exposed to oxygen while being manufactured. So primarily, this oxide becomes the first layer on any aluminum alloy and underneath is the true aluminum. However, this becomes the problem when it comes to welding because aluminum oxide has a much higher melting point (3600 deg F) compared to what’s underneath (1200 deg F).
This means that if a welder bombarded this oxide with an arc produced by a DC, the oxide can just deflect the heat or if ever the heat penetrates it will just produce an uneven and ugly weld due to heat inconsistencies. So for the oxide to vaporize, the current needs to be in pulsed which means the frequency should be in AC. You can find your best affordable tig welder even on online stores so you should know that the first quality of your TIG welder should be the AC capability.
If you are a hobbyist or just a handyman, you don’t need to have a high-end, high-tech TIG welder for your tasks. You can choose only the best aluminum welder that fits your kind of work, hobby, and needs for it. However, it is still worth it to get an expensive TIG unit if you need it for high-precision metal fabrication.
- Don’t forget to consider the type of metals you want to weld. If aluminum metals are the most common metals you deal mostly with, you need to have a unit with an AC and DC combination. While AC is for aluminum, DC is best for welding ferrous metals or metals that contain iron.
- Easy to set-up. From setting the frequency at 60 Hz and the percentage of electrode positive and electrode negative up to setting the amperage and gas flow, these should be easy with the best affordable tig welder with an AC option.
- How thick is the metal you want to weld? For metals that are thin and delicate, an AC TIG welder with low amperage would be enough and most of them require only the regular 110V.
- Amperage capacity. The best choice for the best tig welder for aluminum is one that offers the widest range in terms of amperage capacity so as not to limit your need to weld thin to thick types of metals. The ideal range could be between 5 and 230 amps that is capable of welding up to 24-gauge stainless steel (1/4 inch).
- It should produce a stable arc even below at 10 amps setting. Therefore, you must see this quality especially on the best affordable tig welder that can pack up to 100 amps only. Such a low-amp unit is best for fusing soft and thin metals and can still afford to weld up to 0.10-inch steel.
Our Recommendation for the Best Affordable TIG Welder
We said affordable so here is the best affordable tig welder we would like to recommend and you must have a good look at it. What’s so special about this unit? First, it’s a 2-in-1 welder (TIG and stick) that is capable of welding up to 3/8-inch stainless steel and also other tough metals like cast iron and mild steel down to softer metals such as copper and chrome. Second, it ensures spatter-less welding without the need for post-weld cleanup. And third, this unit is also dual voltage so you can plug it in any generic power supply like in your home or work.
If you need the best aluminum welder and want to use it out of the box, this unit comes in a complete package. It has its TIG torch with a 13-foot cable, a stick torch with 10-foot cable at 300 amp voltage capacity, cable adaptor for 110v/220v, and a 300amp work clamp with a 10-foot cable. Packing a 160amp capacity, you can complete your set for a TIG welder with this unit and would you believe even though this is becoming popular due to its versatility and toughness, it is being sold affordably at around $250 only?
So if you need a stick and a TIG welder in one unit for your home use and light welding work, this Amico model with an already established brand should serve you well.
- 2-in-1 combo (TIG and stick welder)
- Dual voltage – 110v/220v
- Boasts of a sturdy and smooth arc
- Suggested for beginner TIG welder and professionals for light-duty welding
- Very affordable but can perform like a high-end TIG welder
- Comes complete with torches and cables
- Poor quality carrying case
The best tig welder for aluminum, as we mentioned, should not be too expensive but not too weak it would fail your expectations. And the unit we’ve shown you here simplifies what we have discussed and what we meant. TIG welding is used by many not only by welders who weld for personal benefits or welders who work in the repair and manufacturing trade. Even artists, plumbers, farmers, automotive shop owners favor the use of these machines for the fact that though they are a bit complex to use, the results of TIG welding are always smooth, refined and seemingly more relaxed.
For a beginner tig welder, a basic tig unit with up to 100 amps. Such units can be best kept in the garage or home workshops and also the right type for welding metals commonly found on home appliances, home fixtures, cars, tractors, barn, motorbikes and the like. But if you want to have a more powerful TIG machine for harder and thicker metals, you better opt for the 200amp TIG models which the professionals love to have.
We have also received some questions about how to use TIG welders efficiently using argon and other varieties of gases for shielding and arcing but we will answer these on our next blog about how to use tig welding gas.