To be a good TIG welder, you need an expensive welding machine. But do you really? Contrary to what you might have heard, a costly welder doesn’t guarantee welding proficiency. Thus you don’t need to splash thousands of dollars on a TIG welder.
In fact, some of the best welders cost less than $1000. However, the keyword here is “some” meaning not all welders in this price range are worth your money. Only the best tig welder under 1000 will be worth splashing the cash on.
Deciding which TIG welder to buy in this price range may take some time. Given the wide variety of models available. After scouring the internet and sampling a variety of different models, we have come up with a list of seven.
Based on our analysis, these seven offer outstanding performance without breaking the bank. Additionally, they provide excellent value for money.
In a Rush? Here are Our Top Picks.
The best TIG welder under 1000
Lotos LTPDC2000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter Tig Welder
So why is it a favorite of mine? Well, let’s start with its multi-purpose nature. While it is largely a TIG welder, it also comes packed with a plasma cutter. Moreover, it is capable of being used as a stick welder.
Speaking of the plasma cutter, I found it to be quite handy. With an output of 50 amps, it can cut its way through metal that is ½ inch thick. So how does it fare as a TIG welder? Remarkably well, actually.
It is capable of welding thick sheets of metal as well as thinner sheets. This is thanks to its 15 to 200 amps power output. This power output stays consistent, whether you are TIG or stick welding.
The only qualms I had with this unit is that it’s a DC only welder. So you can forget about welding aluminum with it. All the same, at its price point and with what you get, you cannot complain.
why we like this model
Overall it is the best home tig welder. It can be plugged into a standard 110v power outlet and will not take up a lot of space in your garage. Also, thanks to its lightweight design and stick welding capabilities, you can take it outside for yard repair works.
Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder with DC Stick/Arc Welder
But that’s not the only reason why this is a serious contender for the title of the best ac/dc tig welder under 1000. Similar to its brother, this unit has a power output of 200 amps and can also be used with either a 110v or a 220v power plug.
Also, it features stick welding capabilities as well. In essence, it is very much similar to its counterpart, even its design. Where the two differ is in what you can weld. Given that it can handle both AC and DC, you can easily weld aluminum.
Thus you have a wider variety of metals that you can weld. Also, thanks to its power, you can weld metals of up to 3/8 inches in thickness. Its weight was a bit disappointing for me, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker.
why we like this model
Though it’s slightly pricier than its sibling, the difference in price is very small. If you want to weld aluminum and still save money, this is the welder for you. It handles very well and can weld thin as well as thick metal sheets.
2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X welder
But AHP does a fantastic job of labeling all the switches that it’s hard to be confused about. Right away, it was easy to know what every switch does. Its name suggests that its TIG welder, which it is. Nonetheless, it handles stick welding pretty well.
As with many other similar products, it’s a dual voltage welder and runs on either a 110v or a 220v power socket. Meaning its power output varies depending on the power input voltage. When you plug it into a 110v power source, you get 140 amps.
The 140 amps output is sufficient for most home welding tasks. But when you need more power plugging it into a 220v power source gives you 200 amps. For welding thinner metals, you can take it down to as low as ten amps.
why we like this model
The 2018 AHP alpha is a fantastic machine capable of welding all kinds of metal aluminum included. This, combined with its dual voltage and multi-process capabilities, makes it one of the more all-rounded welders in its price point..
Forney 324 MIG/Stick/TIG 3-in-one 190-Amp Welder
Probably the main reason for its price, it can handle, TIG, Stick, and MIG welding. In my experience, welders that can handle all three cost thousands. Thus, the fact that it costs less than $1000 is fantastic.
It is slightly less powerful than some other entries on the list. The result is that you cannot weld 3/8 inch thick metal with a single pass. However, it can handle welding 3/16 inch dense metal in a single pass.
This is thanks to its 190 amps power output. For power, it works with either a 120v or a 220v power outlet. It comes with a digital readout that helps display all the essential information of the arc voltage and output current.
why we like this model
In terms of welding versatility, it doesn’t get any better than this. You get a machine that can handle the work of three welders for the price of one. It is the best inverter tig welder and has the features to prove it.
Weldpro Digital TIG 200GD ACDC 200 Amp Tig/Stick Welder
At the front, the machine has several switches and a display. All these make it easy for you to switch settings and view weld settings. While it is quite small, it is relatively powerful as it is capable of churning out 200 amps of power.
The 200 amps of power output are sufficient for welding thick sheets of metal. More importantly, it is not limited as to the kind of metal it can weld. Being an AC/DC compatible welder, it can weld steel as well as aluminum.
More power also ensures better penetration, especially on thick metals. And like all the other entrants on the list, it is not a TIG only welder. This can handle stick welding as well.
why we like this model
I will be the first to admit that this is not the most lightweight option out there. At 79 pounds it is quite heavy compared to others on the list. All the same, it is still possible to transport. More importantly, it offers all the features you would need from such a welder.
PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder
Being an AC/DC welding machine, it can handle welding aluminum. It can weld aluminum metal of up to ¼ inch thick. As for mild steel, expect it to handle welding steel of up to 3/8 inch thick. When welding, you can opt to use either a 110 or 220v power outlet.
Additionally, it is a TIG and Stick welder. As for power it puts out 225 amps of power, which is why it is capable of welding up to 3/8 inch thick mild steel. Similar to some of the other products on the list, it also comes with numerous switches and buttons.
These buttons are all very well labeled. There is also a display that displays the important weld settings such as amperage. All these help in customizing you weld to the material being welded and its thickness.
why we like this model
The best tig welders are powerful and versatile. And this is what the Primeweld is. Capable of TIG and stick welding steel and aluminum, there is a lot you can do with it. Also, it can handle welding thick metals.
Mophorn TIG200 200A AC DC Aluminum Tig Stick Welder TIG Welder
Thus you can expect a lot of similarities in features between it and other options on the list. Firstly, its power output of 200 amps is to be expected in this price range. Also, like some of the other entrants, it’s a dual voltage welder.
One unique thing about this unit is the use of 5 knobs at the front. These five knobs are used to control the settings. They offer a clean and user-friendly interface. Over-voltage and over-current protection features are built-in.
Thanks to its AC/DC functionality, it can be used on various metals. These include alloy steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
why we like this model
The last entrant on the list is a powerhouse that pumps out 200 amps of power. It works well on different kinds of projects. And its 60% duty cycle is what you would expect from this kind of welding machine.
How to Choose the Best TIG Welder for the Money
On your quest for the Best tig welder under 1000, you will come across a plethora of options. Deciding on which to purchase requires an understanding of TIG welder features. In this price range, there are some features you shouldn’t compromise on. Let us take a look at these features.
A welder’s power output is measured in amps. Power output determines the thickness of metals you can weld. A higher power output translates to an ability to weld thicker metals. A lower output, on the other hand, is suitable for welding thinner metals.
The best ac/dc tig welder under 1000 offers a flexible amperage rating. Typically or ideally, the rating should be from 10 amps to 200 amps. Ten amps of power will be for welding thinner metals, and 200 amps will be for welding thicker metals.
TIG welders, like all other welders, are electrically powered. Electric currents are required to heat the arc and melt the electrode and base metal. Usually electric currents can either be Direct or Alternating.
Direct current is suited for welding steel, mild steel, copper, and other similar metals. Alternating current is ideal for welding non-ferrous metals such as aluminum. As such, a DC only welder will not weld aluminum.
Having the freedom to weld any kind of metal that comes your way is essential. As such, an AC/DC welding machine is highly recommended. Such a machine will be able to weld steel and aluminum with the same ease.
The duty cycle
A welding machine will need to cool down when in use. The amount of time a welder can work before requiring a cool down is known as the duty cycle. The duty cycle is usually measured in percentage.
As such, a 30% duty cycle means a welder can only weld continuously for 3 minutes before it needs to cool down. When shopping for the best mig tig welder, be keen on the duty cycle. A 60% duty cycle is what you should look for.
Anything less is not worth your time, especially if you have a lot of welding tasks to handle.
Inverter vs transformer welders
Without going into the boring technical details, TIG welders can be divided into transformer-based and inverter-based. Transformer based are older models and are usually heavier and consume more power.
Inverter technology was introduced to make welding machines more efficient. As such, inverter welders are lightweight and consume less energy. Thus if efficiency is what you want go for an inverter-based welder.
Ease of use
TIG welding is not easy to master and requires lots of practice and patience. Thus it helps when you have a welding machine that makes work a bit easier. Features such as a digital display are a huge bonus.
A digital display will allow you to read the performance metrics of your welder with ease. A foot pedal is also a plus. This feature will enable you to regulate power output with your foot.
Dual voltage adapter
For a TIG welder to work, it needs to be plugged into a power source. The power source can have a low or high voltage. Regardless it needs to match the power input voltage of the welder. Some welders require a low voltage power outlet or either 110v or 115v.
Contrastingly industrial-grade welders require a higher input voltage or 220v or 230v. To make things easy, it is wise to settle on a dual voltage welder. Such a welder will be able to be plugged into a 110v or a 220v power source without any problems.
Why You Need a TIG welder?
So should you invest in a TIG welder considering it’s harder to master than other welding techniques? When you consider what you can do with a TIG welder and the weld quality, the answer is yes. Some of the applications of TIG welding are.
Automotive repair works
TIG welding is used in the making of vehicle body parts. This welding technique produces strong, clean, and spatter free welds. As such, you can use a TIG welder to do vehicle repair works. Parts such as the fender are build using TIG welding techniques to reduce corrosion.
General repair works
From wagons to antique pedal car, TIG welders can be used to repair a wide variety of items. Compared to other welding processes, TIG welding has a lower heat output. And thus is less likely to burn thin sheets of metal.
Also, it is the best technique for welding small and delicate items such as children’s toys. Aluminum tools can also be repaired using TIG welding.
Sculpting and fabrication
Where TIG welding shines is when it comes to metal sculpting and fabrication. Fabrication of most items is done using TIG welding. This is because it produces clean and aesthetically pleasing welds.
If you are a metal sculpture, then a TIG welder will be an invaluable tool. Due to its lower heat output, you can use a TIG welder to weld all kinds of metals.
FAQ About TIG Welders
What is the best gas to use for TIG welding?
For TIG welding, argon gas is widely used for most TIG welding projects. In some instances, you can use helium, especially if you want greater penetration with a hotter arc.
Which are the different types of tungsten rods I can use?
Green colored tungsten rods are the most common as they are affordable and readily available. Red-colored rods are rarer but offer a reduced chance of contamination. Gray and orange rods are great for low amperage welding but tend to break down when using higher amperage.
Gold rods have high current carrying capabilities, while bronze rods offer arc stability and close to no chance of contamination. Unfortunately, they are not used for DC welding.
What causes tungsten rod contamination?
The leading cause is holding the TIG torch too closely, which results in you dipping the tungsten rod into the weld puddle. Another reason is using an electrode with a small diameter.
Ultimately the decision on which TIG welder is yours. All the same, you need to arm yourself with the right information. Every TIG welder is marketed as the Best tig welder under 1000. However, not all are worth this title.
To find the best tig welders for home use, you need to consider what you want to weld. DC welders are for welding steel, and AC is for aluminum. There are, of course, many other things to consider, as we have outlined above.