When looking at TIG welders, you will want to work with a piece of equipment that will allow you to work on a variety of products and be long-lasting. TIG welders are great tools because they allow you to work on many different projects, being one of the most versatile welding machines available. Sherman TIG welders can help you get these jobs done.
Are Sherman TIG welders any good? Sherman TIG welders are manufactured in Poland, and they are high functioning and quality welding machines at an affordable price. They are powerful machines that operate for both AC/DC welding settings. They are difficult to find online as they are not one of the most popular welders on the market in the United States.
In this article, we will break down the Sherman TIG welder and whether or not you should be using it as your primary TIG machine. We will also help you navigate what you should be looking for in a TIG welder so that you will be able to get a lot of use out of the welder at a price point and quality level that works for you.
Are Sherman TIG Welders Any Good?
Sherman TIG welders are manufactured in Poland and are considered an inexpensive option for a TIG welder. They are somewhat difficult to find in the United States are available primarily through online reseller websites. Some of these resellers have inflated their prices because they are difficult to find, and this may not be a good reflection of the quality you are receiving.
Sherman TIG welders are suitable for both professional and workshop use, and the few reviews that are out there are fairly positive, but the lacking number of reviews make it difficult to truly judge their quality over a wide range of users with different experience levels. Sherman welders are solid welders, but they do not have the high specs compared to other TIG machines.
This welder will help you to complete your welding tasks in both AC and DC settings, but it may not be as long-lasting as other products available on the market that are much more popular and well-trusted brands. For a standard Sherman TIG welder, their low pricing is much lower than many competitors. Sometimes paying a bit more for a welder will suggest greater quality.
Let’s look more closely at the Sherman TIG welders and what they bring to the table so you can find the best TIG welder for your jobs.
Sherman TIG Welder Specifications and Features
The Sherman TIG welder is catered more toward professional use and has the capabilities to be successful in a workshop but can also be for hobbyists. This may be a cheaper TIG welder, but it does supply enough power to work on heavier duty projects without a problem. These TIG welding machines are equipped with 200 amperage capacity and work with both AC and DC.
The welder itself is equipped with an internal fan to keep the machine cool and prevent overheating. The machine can be used for multiple types of welding, including MIG, TIG, MMA, and brazing. This versatility makes it a good machine to own and add to your arsenal if you work with multiple materials and different types of projects.
Here are some of the specifications and features associated with this Sherman TIG welder:
- MOSFET technology: This transistor technology is used to amplify signals that allow electronic devices to operate. This technology is able to control currents and voltages within the device. This is a simpler system than other technologies used to control and conduct similar voltages and currents in a small space for a welding machine.
- 30A-200A Welding Current Range: This means you can control the level of current and, therefore power that will reach the welding machine in contact with the piece of work metal. This helps to control the level of heat applied depending on the project you are working on, the material you are using, and the other settings you have set on the welding machine.
- 20 KG weight: This machine is just over 40 pounds, making it a heavy but manageable machine to transport if you need it in multiple workspaces. If you don’t need to move it there is no issue, but if you do, it won’t be a huge burden.
Welding machines such as the Sherman are also not very wide, making them easy to store or keep on a workspace in a condensed fashion. This is a smaller welder and should be used on smaller projects as its power output, and features are not as heavily equipped as a larger machine.
- Gas flow: The flow of gas from the machine to the workpiece sits at 10-20 l per minute. This can be adjusted depending on the type of project and material you are working with.
- 60% work/duty cycle: The duty cycle determines the load of work that the welder can handle in a single work session. For every 10 minutes, you should only work for 6 minutes straight and give the machine 4 minutes to rest. This will prevent accidents and keep the machine from overheating, despite the cooling technology that is installed.
- Torch: A torch is included with the welding machine, and this is the device that allows you to complete the welding upon the workpiece. This device is a T-26 and has a 4-meter long hose.
- Earth Clamp: The welder also comes with a 2-meter hosed earth clamp. This is attached to the workspace you are on, such as a table or workbench, to divert the current from the welding machine to the ground. This will prevent the potential for electrocution and shocks. An earth clamp is necessary because it creates an endpoint for the current and electricity to flow.
These are some of the main features that are included on the Sherman TIG welding machine and are fairly standard as far as professional level welding machines go. This has all the features you would expect out of a fairly inexpensive TIG welding machine without compromising quality.
Sherman TIG Welder Reviews and Verdict
There are very few reviews online of these TIG welders, but those who have used it in their shops have been happy with the product. This is not a commonly used welder in the United States, but it does offer the necessary specifications and will get the job done for you. The durability and longevity of the machines is the variable in question.
There do not appear to be any problems with the welder at this time that would warrant you to stay away from the product. We would recommend looking closely at other TIG welders available on the market so that you can make an educated decision. Working with a product that is sold in the United States is easier to use due to conversion issues.
The voltage that is suitable for these machines in Europe is often not the same in the United States. When looking at the individual Sherman TIG welding machine, make sure this machine either comes in the suitable voltage, or you are willing to purchase a voltage converter that will make it useable. You must also be sure that the power outlet will work for where you live.
Our final recommendation for the Sherman TIG welder is that it is a versatile and powerful machine that you should consider when making your purchase, but be aware of some important things. You should be careful as it is difficult to purchase it from the manufacturer directly, which may make it difficult to receive customer support and warranties are very unlikely.
What Should You Look for in a TIG Welder?
Now that we have detailed the Sherman TIG welders, you should have an idea of what makes for a good TIG welder and the features that make this possible. If you keep these in mind, it will help to make purchasing decisions more effective and allow you to make a smart investment rather than coming back after choosing the wrong one and wasting money.
These are some of the considerations you should make when choosing a TIG welding machine:
- Control Design: You will want to make sure your controls on the machine are both simple and well-designed. This will make it easier to manipulate them while you are welding so that you can shift between different settings quickly. You will also want to make sure that these buttons are well-secured and cannot be changed if bumped into while moving around the workshop. This may be an important thing to consider if you’ll be moving around a lot or want a bit easier machine to work with.
- High Frequency Capabilities: For TIG welding, using the machine in higher frequencies allows the gas arc to be controlled more easily. This control is what separates a clean weld from a messier one. TIG welding is one of the most difficult because it requires precision; having this extra control will help to improve the quality and presentation of the welding work.
- Foot Pedal: Because TIG welding requires two hands to function in most jobs (for the torch and the filler rod), you will need some way to activate the amount of heat that is being applied to the workpiece. This is where the foot pedal comes in and is a very important component of the welding process. You will want a good foot pedal, one that is easy to press down on (to prevent fatigue after extended use) and is very responsive to your foot’s pressure.
- Pulsed Welding: You will want to look at pulses per second when choosing a welder. Pulsing is what allows you to control the amount of heat you apply to your metal workpiece. Newer TIG welding technology will have a greater pulse per second capabilities, which will give you greater control and higher capabilities for heating. Being able to control this pulse rate will save you time in welding more efficiently and using your materials more effectively.
- Portability: If you do welding work in different locations or bring it onsite to different projects, you may want to consider portability and ease of transport. This will depend on the size of the TIG unit that you purchase. Small TIG welders are more portable and are usually around 50 pounds (similar to the Sherman TIG welder in this article), while large TIG welders can be upwards of 100 pounds. Choosing the size of welder will depend on the size of the projects you are working on.
- Duty Cycle: As we mentioned earlier, the duty cycle determines how much welding you can do in a ten-minute period without being interrupted. This measurement is when the welding machine is being used at the highest current level. A greater duty cycle is best for large projects where you will want to maintain a consistent weld across larger pieces of material. You are given this value in a percentage, so 60% duty cycle means that the machine can operate for 6 minutes and needs to cool off for 4 before using it again. The duty cycle will be dependent on the size of the projects you are working on.
- Price: This is often an important consideration for the type of welding you do and the rate at which you do it. You may want to invest in a larger and more expensive welder packed with more features if you use it often or in a professional capacity. You can find many suitable options for under $1000. If you only weld as a hobby, welders under $500 should satisfy your needs for more infrequent use. If you work with titanium frequently, you will be using a more expensive machine.
Contractors often consider power capabilities, duty cycle, and portability as the three main features for a good TIG welding machine. The considerations you make will be largely dependent on the types of TIG welding jobs you do, the materials that you use, and the frequency at which you use your welding machine.
The Sherman welder has standard and simple design controls, can reach high frequencies, does not have as high of pulse rates as more modern machines, is very portable, has a fairly high duty cycle, and is at a low price point compared to other professional-grade welding machines. We would place this welder closer to the specs of a hobbyist than a well-seasoned pro.
Where Should You Look for a TIG Welder?
The best places to look for TIG welders are online or at a welding supply store. You can do a fair amount of research online about the best TIG welders based on the types of projects you are working on. This is a more independent approach as you can make the decision on your own and are educated based on the level of your research.
We like looking at online buying guides for TIG welders because they are often broken down into different categories, depending on what you are looking for. This can help you narrow down your decision, and the pros and cons have already been broken down for you by those who have knowledge of the topic and have reviewed the product themselves.
Some examples of these categories could include:
- Best TIG welders for the price
- Best TIG welders for professional contractors
- Best TIG welders for hobbyists
- Best TIG welders for beginners
- Best TIG welders for ____ (insert the materials that you weld)
The other primary and recommended option is to go to a welding supply or hardware store. This can be incredibly helpful as there are knowledgeable employees who are well-versed on their product offerings and can help you make a decision based on the TIG welding projects you do. The only downside is they may not have as large of a selection as those you find online.
Either option for purchasing a welder can be great, depending on your level of experience in using welders. For beginners, we recommend going into a store or at least talk to a customer service representative to get the most information about the various products you are considering. This is an expensive purchase, and you want to make sure it is the right one!
When to Use AC vs. DC Power Source?
Because the Sherman TIG welder operates on AC and DC power, it is important to understand what each of these are and when you should use the settings for both. AC and DC are different electrical currents that are used in different situations, depending on the type of material that you are welding with.
DC vs. AC Power
DC power is known as “direct current,” and AC power is known as “alternating current.” You will use DC for the majority of metals you work with.
In DC, wires are hooked up to the welding machine and allow the electrical current to pass from the welding machine through the welding torch and release to the ground through an earth clip. A negative and positive wire work together similarly to a car battery where the electrode is negative, and the metal workpiece is positive. If the electrode is negative, it is noted “DCEN.”
In AC, or “alternating current,” the current moves back and forth between the electrode and the metal you are working with. This shifting allows for the maintenance of your power supplies, and the current moves in multiple directions, unlike DC, where the current is flowing only one way.
When to Use DC vs. AC?
There are certain applications for each power source, and having a machine that does both makes it incredibly versatile. This is much easier than offering two different machines if you work on a variety of projects and work with different materials often.
Having a machine that offers both options like the Sherman welder gives you the versatility you may need for a wide range of projects. Easily switching between the two allows you to limit the amount of equipment you have and keep it all in one convenient machine.
You will use DC for the majority of your welding projects and should be your go-to when welding steel, which is one of the most common materials used in welding projects.
You should use DC for steel instead of AC because:
- Greater control and stability over welding arcs
- Cleaner welds without splatter
- Better for overhead welding and difficult angles
- To prevent burn through on thinner pieces of material
- Fewer arc outages with a more consistent and solid flowing current
DC is typically the top choice in all welding projects unless it is not available and you have to use AC.
There are some situations when using AC can be preferred over DC power. Most of the time, AC is used when you do not have access to DC. This will sometimes happen on very inexpensive or beginner welding machines. You may also run into issues with arc blow with DC, and this can create an arc on one side or the other that you don’t want in a tight spot (AC can be useful here).
Arc blow is one of the main situations when you do not want to use DC, and AC is, therefore, a better option. This can often happen in shipbuilding when you need to weld consistently in corners. The high penetration and magnetization of DC can also be too much for maintenance, repair work, and areas that involve rust. AC is a better option in these situations.
AC is also preferred when working with aluminum because it prevents the welding pool from building up, which can compromise the quality of the weld. This makes the aluminum workpiece easier to control and work with when the AC power source is used.
What Kinds of Jobs Require TIG Welding?
There are so many different types of welding, so when should you use TIG versus other types of welding. Generally speaking, TIG welding is one of the most difficult to learn, but when you master it, it can be one of the most versatile skills to have in your welding toolbox. TIG welding is unique in that you are not melting metal in the arc, but are using an electrode for heat.
TIG welding is one of the best welding techniques because:
- It can be used on almost all types of metal and can join materials together with great quality and produces a clean weld
- You do not have to use filler metal unlike other welding types which can keep a space cleaner and welds tighter (you have the option to add it if needed)
- You can easily control the heat that is applied to the metal you are working with for different types of welding design
- Offers some of the most control and precision of any welding process
TIG welding is well suited when working on smaller projects or with smaller pieces of metal. This is because they can bring the metals together precisely and cleanly without adding additional filler metals. You may need this filler metal when working on much larger projects to ensure sturdy welds.
If you are concerned with presentation, especially in smaller applications, TIG welding should be your choice. This often works really well for automotive repair and body work where presentation is important to the end user. Any metals that are electrically-resistant will be easier to weld without using filler metal, and this is where TIG welding shines.
TIG welding is most commonly used in automotive (as mentioned), aerospace, repair, and art applications. These are industries where you are working with thinner materials and care about the aesthetic of the finished product. TIG welding is beneficial in these situations and will result in the best finished product.
Are Sherman TIG Welders Any Good?
Sherman TIG welders are a standard and solid performing TIG welder with the versatility to work on different types of welding projects. This smaller welder should be reserved for smaller welding projects as they are not designed for incredibly heavy-duty work.
This is good if you are looking for a simple backup to your typical welding machine in the event that something happens to it. Because it is not only of the more expensive or top of the line products, we recommend using it when needed, but not as your primary device.
You will want a TIG welder that is long lasting and will be worth the investment. Paying a bit more for a welder that has the added benefit of many features, helpful customer support, and the ability to easily find compatible parts and replacements is crucial as you work with it more. This may be more difficult if you are working with this European product.
In any case, you should be looking for a quality TIG welder that will satisfy your individual needs and the projects you intend to work on. If you are only looking for a standard and inexpensive machine, the Sherman may be your choice. If you need something that will last you a long time and you know is of the highest quality, consider looking elsewhere.