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Eastwood is well-known as a popular welding brand, with several TIG welders. From a price point, they can be much less than TIG welders from other brands. Eastwood’s reputation and the price of their TIG welders may leave you with one question, though.
Are Eastwood TIG welders any good? While some may disagree, the majority of the Internet likes the Eastwood TIG welders and considers them a good product for the cost.
What are some concerns you may have when purchasing an Eastwood TIG welder? And how much should you be concerned about it? Why do some people dislike these welders?
How Well Do the Eastwood TIG Welders Work?
Eastwood is shaking things up with their TIG welders. They’re lower priced than others on the market, but they’d be a newcomer to the TIG welder market. They’re well established as being a decent company, but their TIG welders aren’t well known, as people aren’t sure of them.
In the previous section, we established that Eastwood’s TIG welders are a decent product at a low cost. They aren’t as low in price as other “low-budget” TIG welders, using higher quality parts, but they aren’t the same quality as famed companies such as Miller and Hobart.
If you need a TIG welder for daily, heavy usage, you’ll want to stay with the better-known companies like Miller. If you’ll be using it on a semi-regular basis regularly, however, Eastwood is a cheaper option than brand name welders.
Why to Buy an Eastwood TIG Welder
Eastwood TIG welders are affordable. This is the biggest draw for most people to these machines. The price point is significantly lower than the market’s standard, which for many welders, may be a bad sign.
In the sections below, we’ll go into why you may want to avoid off-brand welders. For now, suffice to say, they aren’t quality products. Eastwood isn’t the same as these, instead of acting as a middle ground between the pricey name brand welder and the cheap, off-brand welder.
Eastwood is breaking into new territory with this. They’re appealing to the person who likes to weld regularly enough, but not every day. No other welder is geared towards the hobbyist audience while staying of quality.
Who Should Buy an Eastwood TIG Welder?
There are definitely people who should and who shouldn’t buy an Eastwood TIG welder. As we’ve covered, they’re higher quality than the ever-changing rotation of low-budget welder companies, but not top of the line either. Who would this work best for, then?
- The Hobbyist. Metal work is a great hobby, either for the weekends and retirement. If you enjoy the occasional welding project, but you don’t do it for a career, this is a good option for you. You’ll still be making a large investment, but you’ll have a better product than cheaper options.
- The Beginner. Have you just begun learning how to handle a TIG welder? If you understand how they work, but aren’t yet quite comfortable with one or ready to make the big investment of a more expensive welder, try Eastwood.
- The Student. Student loans are a heavy weight to carry, and tuition coming out of your pocket immediately hurts as much in the moment. If you’re looking for something you can afford in order to practice your welding, Eastwood can be a good option for you as well.
- The Handyman. Are you that person everyone knows who can fix it all? For a Mr. or Ms. Fix-it, this welder is almost inexpensive enough to validate the purchase just to help your neighbors or fix the occasional metal work project.
- The Building Manager/Landlord. Many building owners who rent out prefer to work on everything themselves to save money. In some situations, you’ll find yourself needing to do a bit of work on the metal around you. This is a safe, cheaper option for you.
Eastwood TIG welders, as you can see, are best suited for people who won’t be using it daily for heavy work. Eastwood’s TIG welders aren’t the workhorses of other brands, but they’ll do the job when you need it.
Why Not to Buy Eastwood TIG Welders
For many welders, the biggest reason not to buy an Eastwood TIG welder is because of the name. While other names are well-known to be reliable and long-lasting, Eastwood is relatively new to the TIG welder market.
The biggest reason to not buy an Eastwood TIG welder is the lack of reviews compared to other TIG welders. Companies like Miller, Lincoln, and Hobart have been around long enough to establish themselves as the standard in an ever-changing market.
Other companies selling TIG welders have come and gone, and they continue to appear and disappear. They quickly go out of business because they’re offering cheaper products, yes, but the welders aren’t lasting long, which leads to angry customers and the death of a business.
Welders are nearly universal in their fear of purchasing TIG welders from new companies. You may have even purchased one yourself, or heard of someone who did, and it quickly broke down. Unlike these other companies, however, Eastwood seems to be sticking around.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Low-Budget TIG Welder
One of the biggest concerns with low-budget TIG welders are the simple fact they’re dangerous. While you may purchase one and it simply won’t turn on one day, you may have a much worse experience. TIG welding uses electricity, which can quickly get out of control.
Some of the low-budget TIG welder companies have been taken to court on account of their TIG welders being unsafe for the user. Because of the cheaper, lower quality parts, the arc may get out of control, which can start fires, burn people and animals, or severely shock someone.
With any TIG welder, it’s important to check it for any damages on a regular basis. Some wear and tear is fine and normal, but you’ll want to check for any weakening connection points. Another common complaint with TIG welders is the connection points wearing down and giving out.
The majority of welders agree it’s best to just save the money and spend it on a higher quality model. It’s important to note, however, that Eastwood isn’t the same as other low-budget companies, using higher quality parts and coming with a higher price tag to match the parts.
Who Shouldn’t Buy an Eastwood TIG Welder
As stated before, Eastwood’s TIG welders aren’t the workhorse other brands produce. If you’re only going to be using it now and again, that’s fine, but there’s also a number of people who shouldn’t purchase an Eastwood welder at all.
- The Professional. For those who do TIG welding for a living, this isn’t your best choice. You’re better off sticking with one of those name brand welders. This just isn’t heavy duty enough to last you for very long with harsh usage.
- The Daily User. If you don’t weld professionally, but you frequently find yourself with a torch in hand, this isn’t the choice for you either. Just like for the professional, you’re putting your welder through long hours regularly, and this model can’t handle that.
- The Bully. How hard on your equipment are you? Do you beat on it till it looks incredibly old and worn, even though you only got it a few years ago? Or do you tend to have bad luck, your welders breaking down on you frequently? Eastwood welders aren’t for the unlucky or harsh owner.
When it comes down to it, if you need a heavy-duty welder, this isn’t your option. The bad news is, if you’re any of these three people who use it regularly, you need to spend more to get higher quality.
Spending more on a higher quality machine will hurt more initially, but in the long run, your pocketbook with thank you. With heavy usage, Eastwood welders are more likely to fail you than the name brand welders.
Eastwood TIG Welders
Eastwood offers a variety of TIG welders for you to choose between. They offer a buying guide on their website, which is full of information I combed through for you in order to break it down quickly for you as well as review them for you, so you can know which is best suited to you.
They offer three different models:
- The Eastwood TIG 200 Digital AC/DC Welder
- The Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder
- Eastwood TIG 200 DC Welder
Both the digital and non-digital 200 AC/DC welders can be used for both TIG and MIG welding. To switch them, you’ll just have to switch your output from AC to DC or vice versa, depending on what you want. The last one, the 200 DC welder, can only be used as a TIG welder.
First, we’ll review the product thoroughly for you. This includes a brief “featured points” section, so you can know the highlights of each with just a glance. Then we’ll go into who should purchase each model, as each was designed with a specific goal in mind.
Each of these will weld steel up to ¼” thick and comes with a warranty detailed at the end of this section. Typically, TIG welding isn’t used on metal pieces thicker than ¼”, because of the specialty nature of the welding style.
What Are AC/DC Welders and Why Do I Need One?
Two of the three welders offered by Eastwood are AC/DC welders, while the other is simply DC. This is important to note because, with AC/DC welders, you can both TIG weld and stick weld, also known as MMA welding.
Eastwood has an inverter placed inside the machine that allows you to switch it from routing the power to the DC outlet, which powers your TIG torch or foot pedal, to the AC outlet. Typically, you’ll use AC for your stick welding. If you don’t use AC for stick welding, you’ll use negative DC.
If you intend to stick weld, keep in mind your machine is designed to TIG weld. You shouldn’t make a frequent habit of switching them back and forth often, as it can cause the inverter to wear down sooner than it should. This is true in most welders, but especially Eastwoods.
This model has the most features out of all of them. It gives you the most control, offering both pulse and 2T and 4T controls. A machine-set pulse will give you a standard, even beat to work with that you can’t accomplish otherwise. You won’t be pumping your foot petal anymore.
You can program multiple settings into this welder. You can choose the pulse, set a standard weld timer, and adjust the amps to what you want without having to take the time to manually put all of your information back into the welder. This is a lifesaver for when you’re working with the same metals habitually.
The 2T and 4T modes are for using a torch instead of using a foot pedal. TIG torches are commonly used in tighter spaces for more detailed work. However, if you aren’t someone who commonly uses a torch with your TIG machine, the 2T and 4T modes are merely extra benefits with this model.
The AC/Mix feature keeps your arc steadier as you’re working. An unsteady arc will jump around, which can destroy your piece and could cause injury. This feature also gives you better penetration through thicker pieces of aluminum, the main metal used in TIG welding.
- Offers the most features of all of them
- Pulse control to regulate your amperage range without a foot pedal
- 2T and 4T modes to stabilize yourself when using the torch
- Programmable settings to avoid future adjustments when working with different metals
- AC/Mix feature for steadying your arc and better penetration, as well as the ability to use stick welding if needed
Who Should Buy The Eastwood TIG 200 Digital AC/DC Welder
This is Eastwood’s top of the line TIG welder. They don’t offer a TIG welder with more features, nor do I know if they even could. There isn’t much you’ll be left wanting for with all these features, but who actually needs this model? It’s more than a typical hobbyist might use.
This model is almost able to be used in a professional setting. However, we still wouldn’t recommend this, as it’s an Eastwood. For the serious hobbyist, though, this could be a great option. It’s low enough in price to be affordable for you but will give you all the bells and whistles.
If you find yourself TIG welding more than you ever expected, you’ll want to look into this one. Even if you only are a handyman, if you’re welding frequently enough, this could be worth the money to make your pieces better.
This model is the most expensive, so if you aren’t a very serious hobbyist, you don’t need to spend the extra money. For the semi-serious hobbyist, look at the next one. For the welder who only occasionally welds, the last one is for you with the lowest price tag.
This is a very similar model to the one discussed above but doesn’t come with the extra bells and whistles of the digital one. You don’t have the digital readout to preprogram your settings, so you won’t be able to store settings for different metals in this one, unlike the previous one.
This is a good “middle ground” welder, in between the most expensive and the least expensive. With this one, you still have an AC/DC mix, which will hold the arc steadier. This one spans from 10-200 amps and comes with the foot pedal to control your arc range as you go since you don’t have a digital readout to control it with.
You’ll also have 2T and 4T modes for when you’re using your TIG torch over the foot pedal. These will help stabilize your torch’s output, making for a better product than without them.
- This is a “middle ground” between the fanciest and least fancy models
- The pulse is controlled by a foot pedal versus the other’s computer
- It comes with both 2T and 4T modes for using your torch
- AC/DC allows you to both TIG weld and stick weld
- Like the others, comes with everything you’ll need to use it
Who Should Buy The Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC Welder
As we’ve said twice now, this is the in-between welder. Who should buy it, then? Anyone who needs the occasional welding job done, but doesn’t want to invest heavily in it. This option has many of the same features as the previous one, but is simpler and doesn’t allow you to program it.
If you’re accustomed to the traditional, basic welder without a digital display and extra programs to mess with, this is a good option for you too. Unless you are using it heavily, in which case we suggest a different brand, you’ll save money and stick with what you’re comfortable with if you go with this option.
The main person this should appeal to is both the novice and the expert. The simple fact of it is, this is a cheaper version of the previous one, so for the bargain buyer, this will allow you to save some extra money. You aren’t lowering your quality with your price with this option.
This one is unique on this list for two reasons. The first, it’s a DC welder instead of an AC/DC welder, which we mentioned earlier. The second is the price, which is significantly lower in this one compared to both of the others. Why? It doesn’t weld aluminum.
Aluminum requires a high frequency AC setting. If you go with this option, as it’s the lowest priced, you’ll need to keep in mind that you’re more limited with this choice. You won’t be able to weld any metals requiring AC. If you don’t ever weld aluminum, however, this is a cheaper option for you.
Like the others, this one has a 10-200-amp range. The pulse is controlled by your foot pedal. It’s a very standard, compact machine for the person who only needs the occasional welding job done.
- The lowest priced of all Eastwood’s welders
- It does not weld aluminum
- It has the standard 10-200-amp range, with a foot pedal to control your pulse
- Has the standard ¼” thickness range of the others, but only with steel
- Comes with an internal gas flow preset
Who Should Buy Eastwood TIG 200 DC Welder
A DC welder is only for those who occasionally weld, or exclusively weld steel. If you never weld aluminum, this will save you money and space. The lack of an inverter to have an AC setting means this machine is significantly smaller than the others, for anyone who’s short on space.
This is also a great place to start if you’re interested in TIG welding. It isn’t overly complicated, so if you’re new to welding and welding machines, or even just TIG welders, you won’t be too confused.
If you’re someone who regularly needs to weld materials aside from steel, this isn’t your welder. It also isn’t ideal for general metalworking, as it’s such a specialized welder. This also isn’t for a professional, not only because it’s Eastwood, but also because it’s so limited in what you can use it for.
If you’re only welding steel, this is a great way to save money. Otherwise, you’re better off with one of the other options on this list.
What’s the Pulse of a TIG Welder?
If you don’t know what a pulse is or how it’s typically regulated, the fact you can preprogram your welder to specific pulses won’t mean much to you. In fact, it’s a key feature that many people are looking for!
The pulse refers to the amperage range your welder uses. You can adjust this at any time, and with standard welders, you’ll control this by pumping on a foot pedal. As you pump, the machine pulses between the amperages, staying within the range you’re pumping at.
With a digital pulse, you don’t have to stand there and manually pulse through the range. Instead, you’ll simply preset it, and you won’t have to think about it at all while you’re working. The machine’s computer is much better at keeping a reliable beat than your foot is.
Different metals will work best at different pulses. Changing your amperage range each time you switch metals will give you the best results and the least amount of frustration. With the digital welder, you can preprogram different pulses for different metals and won’t have to adjust it manually every time.
How Do You Use a Foot Pedal with an Eastwood TIG Welder?
If you purchase either of the two least expensive Eastwood welders, you’ll have to manually control your arc’s range with a foot pedal. This takes some practice to master, as you need to keep a steady rhythm to achieve the proper weld.
As you press on the pedal, you’re adjusting the amperage. You can preset what amp range you want to stay inside, to eliminate amps that are too high or too low for the metal you’re working with. This is different than the digital read out’s preprogrammed option as it’s only keeping it in a range, not dictating the rhythm.
With some practice, you’ll figure out the right speed and rhythm for your piece. However, if you struggle to or simply want a more uniform weld, you may want to look into welders like the most expensive offered by Eastwood.
Being able to run your amperage through a computer gives you a more even, consistent pulse. Even the best welder won’t be quite as consistent as a machine. However, most welders are fine just using the foot pedal. This is less expensive, complicated, and still what’s primarily used in hobbyist welding.
Eastwood TIG Welders Warranty
Eastwood TIG welders come with a three-year warranty, something many low-budget TIG welders don’t have. Unlike shady business run overseas, Eastwood promises a full refund if you welder stops working, breaks, or needs work done because of poor construction on their part.
However, if you do follow through with their warranty, be prepared to do a lot of waiting. If you have the patience to make it through the long process, Eastwood will get you your money back. Just like with other companies, though, you’ll have to deal with some call centers.
To submit a ticket on your warranty, you’ll need to call the company. They’ll ask for proof of your damaged machine, and ask how it occurred. You’ll need to be able to prove you didn’t break it on purpose or by doing something to it aside from intended use.
At the end of the day, Eastwood doesn’t have the best customer service on fulfilling their warranty promise. However, they have one in place, and if you can make it through the customer service nightmare, you can get your money back.