Last Updated on May 7, 2021
The Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welder is an equipment that produces weld through the use of non-consumable tungsten electrodes (metallic elements). TIG welding is mainly an industrial type process that is common in the aerospace and automotive industries.
However, with the advance of affordable equipment, new hobbyist applications by artists, sculptors, just to name a few, they are now becoming widely used. That is why we have researched and chosen for you some of the best TIG welders under $1000. Among these, you’ll find something whose quality can be equivalent or come near to their more premium peers.
Reviews of the 7 Best TIG Welders under $1000
1. AHP AlphaTIG 200X Welder – Overall Top Choice
The 2018 AHP Alpha TIG is a 200-ampere AC and DC welding machine. Built to work on one quarter inch aluminum and 3/8-inch mild steel, the 110/220-volt machine can weld 7018 and 6013 welding rods. The machine can make precise and high-quality TIG welding on steel, stainless, aluminum and thinner materials.
It features an advanced inverter technology with the pulse width modulation (PWM) that uses the latest insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology. In addition, this welding beast also features an ergonomic foot pedal which really gives the user more control during welding operations. This functionality makes the welding machine more recommendable for professionals in the field and even a part-time or hobby welder.
Also, the model’s flex hose uses a standard TIG torch. In addition, for users who would like to add to the torch, a trigger switch, there’s a supply of a control switch for this purpose.
2. Forney Easy Weld 140 MP Welder
The Forney multiprocess machine is a light-duty 140 MP welder that uses three different welding processes or options – the TIG, stick welding and metal inert gas welding.
With an 8-inch electrode holder, the machine can weld 1/4-inch (or 6.35 mm) material. It uses a 1/8-inch welding rod. Based on the MIG wire you select, the unit can work without gas or with gas.
Backed by one year of warranty, the unit comes with an electrode holder, an 8-inch ground clamp, MIG gun, an integrated handle, and an extra contact tip. However, it doesn’t come with TIG welding accessories. It only has DC output; hence, you cannot weld aluminum with TIG on the machine. Meanwhile, if you would like to utilize this process, then you’ll need to buy accessories such as the Tungsten electrodes, hose torch, gas, and regulator.
3. PRIMEWELD TIG225X Welder
The PrimeWeld TIG225X is a 225-amp welding machine with AC/DC power source. The stick/TIG welding machine works with thinner metals, stainless steel, and aluminum, thanks to its pulse function. It also comes with CK Superflex hose and TIG torch. Designed to work on 1/4-inch aluminum and 3/8-inch mild steel, the 110/220-volt machine can weld 7018 and 6013 welding rods.
Like the 2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X welding machine, this model also has an advanced inverter with the PWM technology that uses the IGBT technology. It also features a very precise foot pedal which regulates heat. Thanks to the TIG and MMA switch, the machine can make stick weldings comfortably.
The unit includes standard connectors and other additional accessories. Hence, you wouldn’t need to go out looking for an adapter. Overall, this is a well-built and reliable aluminum TIG welding machine that utilizes the latest technologies to bring top performances. The unit comes in almost all the basic accessories anyone needs to take on their TIG or stick welding projects.
4. Everlast PowerTIG 185 DV
The Everlast PowerTIG is another light-duty and portable AC/DC and stick welding machine which you can find for less than $1000. Being an inverter-based machine with, it’s simple to use, compact and ideal for hobby and low-intensity users.
Offering a wide range of regulation for pulsed current, it lets you set the depth and width of the weld bead according to the needs of the case. This model has up to 185 amperes with 110/220 dual voltage capacity. The Everlast model is complete with a wide range of accessories and is one of the most portable models among its peers which are currently on the market. It can weld 1/4-inch alloy surface and as much as 5/8-inch steel material at a single pass.
Its double voltage capacity feature means the welding equipment is straightforward to use irrespective of the location. You just need to have access to an electrical outlet, and you can start welding. However, if you’d like to enjoy the portability of the PowerTIG 185, then you need a “clean-power” generating set which can provide at least 5,000 watts of continuous power output. This output can even be higher if you want the best results.
5. Weldpro Digital TIG 200GD
The Digital TIG 200GD is Weldpro’s flagship 200-ampere AC and DC TIG welder. It is an inverter-based model built for intensive use and, therefore, also for professional use and outdoor work.
It is, in fact, one of the numerous models at low prices produced by the well-known company Weldpro, but despite belonging to the cheaper range, it is highly appreciated because of its AC/DC and stick-welding functions.
So it is, first of all, an economic welder. In fact, in comparison to other models in its class, the AC/ DC welder costs less than half of the average premium product on the market. Also, you can use it for direct current welding, both for high-frequency TIG and for MMA. Despite this, it is still compact, easy to use and carry. It has a trigger switch and foot pedal, which enhances its controls and makes it suitable for professional uses.
It features the latest IGBT circuit as well as the advanced PWM technologies which let the welder be 30% more efficient.
6. Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A
The Lotos 200A TIG and stick (MMA) welding machine is a square wave inverter-based model with AC/DC power options. Suitable on aluminum, mild steel, stainless steel as well as other metals, this welder can weld 9.5mm (3/8-inch) material, be it an aluminum material, mild or stainless steel.
While the inverter ensures precise welding on fine aluminum, the HF torch control and the foot pedal offers more accuracy and appropriate heat control during welding processes. It has an output ampere capacity that begins from 10-amp to 200-amp.
Its supply of accessories includes the TIG torch with the welding cable, a foot pedal, instructions manual, argon regulator, consumables, ground clamp, among other accessories.
While still managing an average weight and compactness, it is particularly suitable for transport and works on-site. It is very suitable for both a weekend hobbyist and professionals who need the industry-level qualities which a rugged, versatile, and functional welder needs.
We know many of you may be reading these reviews just to find cheap TIG models. However, this machine doesn’t fall into the category of CHEAP because of its loaded features and high quality, although it’s still very affordable and well below $1000.
7. Amico TIG 160DC
By far the most affordable, portable and lightweight welding machine below $1000 you’ll find on this list, the Amico TIG 160 is a model designed for hobbyists and DIYers.
Despite being a light-duty welder, it’s still a powerful machine that can weld up to 3/8-inch materials such as copper, chrome, cast iron, stainless, mild and alloy steels.
It is a 2-in-1 lift start welder with both the TIG and stick (MMA) welding functions. These full-size functionalities help the machine compete well with other standard welders in the market in terms of value, duty cycle, arc quality, and voltage control. Being a dual voltage machine with 110v/230v, you can basically plug it in any power supply. The model has a metal and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) thermoplastic polymer build.
It comes with a functional digital dial and users commented about how high-performing it is without overheating. Overall, this is a high-quality, flexible and affordable welding machine which any beginner can choose while learning TIG-welding.
Buyer’s Guide: Main Aspects to Consider When Choosing the TIG Welding Machine
Choosing the right TIG welding machine model means more than going for the lowest price. However, the choosing process is not so complex. Hence, we leave you below a few criteria you have to look for in a relatively inexpensive TIG welder:
Since TIG welders work at high temperatures and with high electrical powers, the equipment must have self-protection systems that guarantee its proper operation and complete safety during use. It is necessary that the equipment has an adequate cooling system because of heat since the welders have a complex electronic system.
Do you have any model that does not include these protection elements from your TIG welder comparison? Then it’s advisable you remove them as they will surely have a short life and poor performance.
The range of amperes is one of the variables that define the application. The best TIG machine will be the one that allows the highest range of amperes at the lowest cost. For example, a machine with a range of 5 to 230 amps enables working with materials from stainless steel to aluminum. The latter requires at least 200 amps. In conclusion, the greater the range of amperes that the machine allows, the greater the variety of materials and thicknesses of welding possible.
Welding arc stability
The stability of the welding arc below 10 amperes, is another parameter to consider when choosing the TIG welder. This specifically facilitates the starting of the welding process, improves control over the arc and welding finish.
Stability is not only important at the beginning, but must be constant until the end. For example, when welding aluminum, creating a welding defect at the end can lead to inconveniences, such as cracking when the material cools. Being able to stabilize the arc at the moment when the amperage is gradually reduced, allows a slow cooling, hence, preventing cracking. Therefore, you should prefer TIG welding machines that favor stability.
AC and DC options
To weld other materials beyond steel or stainless steel, the TIG machine must offer both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) options. For example, AC is best used in soft, self-oxidizing metals, such as aluminum and magnesium. Meanwhile, DC is more recommended for welding of hard metals, such as steel, stainless steel, and deoxidized copper.
Machines that have at least one manual AC balance control are recommended to gain flexibility in the welding operation, improving both the quality and finish of the welds.
Lastly, another point to consider when choosing a TIG welder is the need to verify that the TIG welding machine is built according to international standards. Moreover, ensure it will be able to work in highly hazardous environments (more specifically, in environments with grade 3 of pollution).
TIG welders allow you to perform solid and oxidation-free welding thanks to the environment of inert gases around which it runs. While we have seen 7 of the TIG welders under $1000, narrowing the products on the comparison table to just one, then we will recommend the 2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X, a model equipped with a maximum power of up to 200 amps and with necessary safety measures. Also interesting is the Amico TIG 160 model, which offers, at an economical price, a dual voltage option and dual welding functionalities.