Why are TIG Welders so Expensive?


Have you found yourself looking for a good quality welder? Then you undoubtedly found yourself wondering why TIG welders are more expensive than other welders, and what on Earth they could have that other welders do not.

So, why are TIG welders so expensive? It boils down to quality. TIG welders are of higher quality than other welders. TIG welding is a slow process that does not require a filler. This makes it easier to have a more precise weld.

The saying “you get what you pay for” is true in this case. TIG welders are of higher quality and provide a better, more powerful weld. TIG welding uses what is called a tungsten electrode, which heats the metal at a higher rate. The electrode does not need as much upkeep as other welders. Let’s see what else is so great about TIG welding.

Why You Pay More: The Benefits of TIG Welders

TIG welders are the welder for a professional. They provide a very professional, clean looking weld, a weld that professional welders strive for.

Because of the professional-grade that TIG welders provide, you can not find a TIG welder for under a thousand dollars. If you’re looking into buying a TG welder but don’t know if you feel it is worth breaking the bank for, let’s see if we can help you make up your mind.

  • Slower Process: TIG welding is a slow process. You have to use both hands for this process because the torch and filler material are separate.
  • Does not Require a FIller: This is one of the high selling points of TIG welders. It does not require a filler material for a successful weld. This is part of the reason why many people invest in them.
  • Tungsten Electrode: The other high selling point for the TIG welder is the high electrode. Tungsten has the highest melting point of any metal. This makes TIG welding well worth the buy alone.
  • Clean Weld: TIG welding does not splatter, leaving you with a very clean, professional-looking weld.
  • Foot Pedal: TIG welders have a foot pedal that you can control that allows electricity to flow through the tip of the torch. You can control the amount of electricity with this foot pedal. This makes it a very desirable welder.

Cons of TIG Welding

Although TIG welders are of very high quality, they do have their downside as well, just like everything does.

  • TIG welders are not for the inexperienced. The reason for this is that you need to use two hands, one to feed the filler and one to use the torch with. This can be daunting for the beginner. If you are a beginner in welding, a TIG welder may not be the best purchase for you.
  • The other downfall of using a TIG welder is it is a slow process. The reason it is a slow process is because you do have to focus on detail. This is what the machine was created for. This is why more professional welders opt for the TIG welder.

So, because you have to use both hands as well as your feet to control the heat source for this type of welding, this creates the issue of learning to use this welder. You should already know how to weld before you choose this type of welder. It is difficult to learn if you do not know the basics of welding to begin with.

Should I Invest in a TIG Welder?

If you are an experienced welder looking to upgrade for your business, then yes. The overall performance of the machine is fantastic. You will be paying for a cleaner, more precise weld, and you will also be paying for efficiency. This welder is much more powerful than other welders and has an outstanding performance rate.

The foot pedal will allow you to control the heat that flows to the torch much better than a cheaper weld. This will allow you more profound welds that look great. Since TIG welders start heating before the arc even touches the metal, this allows for virtually no splatter. This will also make your weld look nice.

If you are an armature welder looking for a nice welder, a TIG welder probably isn’t what you should go for. Get experience with traditional welding techniques before you upgrade to the professional level equipment.

How Do You Use a TIG Welder?

As we have discussed, a TIG welder is not for the beginner. You need to have a basic understanding of how to weld before you jump into using this beast. If you have experience in welding and are confused as to how this works, don’t get discouraged, it can be confusing because it is not like any other welder. Here’s how the process works.

  1. Choose Your Electrode: The first thing you’re going to do is choose your electrode. AS stated above, this welder is famous for the Tungsten electrode.
  2. Grind the Electrode: Next you’re going to grind it to a fine point. Note that as you weld the tip will become rounded. That is normal.
  3. Insert the Rod: Now you’re going to insert the rod into the electrode holder. Do this by unscrewing the electrode holder from the back, placing the rod in it, and screwing it back on. So far, so good.
  4. Settings: Now you get to choose the settings for the type of material you are using. Generally, TIG welders have three options, which are AC, DCEP, and DCEN. Choose the option which best suits the type of work you are doing.
  5. Turn the Gas on: After you’ve set the settings, you’re now going to turn on the gas. For aluminum, you’re going to want to use argon mixed with nothing else. For steel, you’ll want to use an argon and carbon dioxide mixture.
  6. Prepare Your Work Area: For welding, you need to have a metal surface area for electricity to flow better. Make sure the area is clean for a nice, clean weld.
  7. Hold Electrode Away From Metal: Now comes the fun part. You’re ready to use the welder! Hold the electrode about an inch away from the metal.
  8. Use the Foot Pedal: You’re going to start with the foot peddle. Quickly step down on it to gather electricity to the torch.
  9. Wait for the Metal to Become a Liquid: Hold the peddle down until the metal becomes a liquid.
  10. Start Your Edge: Once it has become a liquid start on an edge, with the other hand holding the rode, touch the rod in there. This process is called tacking.
  11. Let off Pedal: Once the pool is heated enough to make a pool, let off the pedal, lessening the amount of heat.
  12. Remove Clamps: After you ave finished this, remove any clamps.
  13. Draw Bead: Now you’re going to step on the pedal fast again to create a bead and let a pool form.
  14. Let off Pedal: When you’ve got a good pool formed let off the pedal a little bit to regulate the heat. Keep steady pressure on it at this point.
  15. Move Electrode: Depending on what you are working with, you will move the electrode away from or to the rod. Steel will follow the heat, and it will travel down the weld line. However, aluminum has to be brought towards the rod will forming a pool at the same time.

It takes a little bit of practice to get used to using both of your hands and your foot. But once you have practiced welding this way a couple of times, it will get easier.

Do not hold down the peddle for too long. If you do, the metal with heat up too much and warp. The longer the heat is put on the weld, the more it will warp.

Alexander Berk

A bit about myself: I am a certified international welding engineer (IWE) who worked in different welding projects for TIG, MIG, MAG, and Resistance Spot welding. Most recently as a Process Engineer for Laser and TIG welding processes. To address some of the questions I frequently got asked or was wondering myself during my job, I started this blog. It has become a bit of a pet project, as I want to learn more about the details about welding. I sincerely hope it will help you to improve your welding results as much as it did improve mine.

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