The Best TIG & MIG Welders Review. What’s the difference?
What are TIG Welders?
Tungsten Inner Gas Welding (TIG Welding) which is also called Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), is a method of producing weld by using a Non-Consumable Tungsten Electrode. An Inert shielding gas like Argon or helium is used to protect the weld from any atmospheric contamination. Although it is best to use in the aerospace industry, it is also used by industries which weld thin workpieces and nonferrous metals. The following are the different products which use TIG Welding.
#1 Hobart EZ-TIG 165i TIG Welder
Because it can be easily used and setup with one knob and one switch control, the Hobart EZ- TIG 165i TIG welder, caught the attention of many welders and hobbyist. The unit comes with a power source, a primary cord and plugs attached. It has a gas regulator, flow meter, and shielding gas hose and uses RFCS-RJ45 Remote Foot Control.
The feature of this TIG welding device is it has an AC output for aluminum welding and DC output for mild and stainless steel. It requires less power and has an inverter- based power source.
The unit has a fan which runs only when needed so it will not increase dust and scraps. This is 165 amps with finer control and broader operating range. Aside from that, this TIG welder weighs only 50 lbs which make easier to handle and take anywhere. To provide shielding base, an auto-post flow is provided too.
For a better shutdown experience, as it reaches a high temperature, it automatically shutdown. The only setback this TIG welder has is that it has a 3/32” cullet and cullet body. This means that you have to buy a separate cullet and cullet body if you have 1/16”, 0/040” or 0.20” electrodes.
#2 TIG Welder, DC, Maxstar 150 STL, 115/230 VAC
A light industrial applicator which can be used in the dairy industry, food/ beverage, kitchen repairs, experimental aircraft, process pipe, maintenance repair, and much more. The Maxstar 150 STL has a couple of benefits which produces fantastic welding results. Its feature includes steel type welding material; it has DC Inverter too with lift arc features.
This equipment has the best-in-class stick arc characteristics for demanding jobs like shipboard installation or repair. It is very portable being only at 13.7 pounds which also a shoulder strap for quick transport. Same as other TIG welding tools, it has a fan-on-demand feature which reduces debris, noise, and energy when in use.
For a better amperage control, it has a full function remote control to weld thin materials (6-pin fingertip or foot control available). It also provides convenience in any job with its Voltage hookup (120-240 V) without any manual linking. It has a thermal overload protector with indicator lights which prevents damage for excessive usage and blocked airflow.
Necessary controls are compressed in this machine because its Inverter-based, DC power source has a simple to use operator interface. It also comes with a built-in gas solenoid and a simple design Low OCV Stick reducing the open circuit voltage to 12-16 volts welding power.
In spite of the many advantages, the Maxstar 150 STL cannot weld aluminum and is limited in terms of the thickness of the material you can weld. This also isn’t suitable for a beginner and difficult to start or maintain an arc on its stainless steel. Because controls are compact, it doesn’t have a full range of controls a TIG requires.
#3 2017 AHP Alphatig 200X 200 AMP IGBT AC DC TIG/Stick Welder
It is really an added value to a welding machine once it provides everything you need. The Alpha Tig 200x weighs 38 pounds and is capable of welding 7018, 6013 and ¼” aluminum and 3/8 mild steel on 110/220 volts. Being the latest version means having an Advanced Inverter Technology with Pulse Width Modulation.
Among its advantages is being able to weld stainless steel and aluminum. The model can impress anyone using it because it’s best used in welding thin materials and so as thick ones. It is portable and flexible with a handle on top of it for convenience without asking anyone for help. It also is easy to install, comes with foot pedal for more control and has an upgraded flow meter regulator.
But like any other welding equipment, this has quite some issues as well. The foot control looks fragile and hard to use. The price just satisfies the efficiency of the product, and some technical problems can arise.
One of which is that the control switch and foot pedal at times are not manageable to the user’s desired current. It is pretty sleek, but a plastic cover is a real pain to someone using it. There is also only one way of opening and closing the machine, and that is by using a breaker at the back of the unit.
#4 2017 Everlast Power TIG 250EX AC DC TIG Stick Pulse Welder
This TIG Welder device comes as a combo set. It weighs 60 pounds and has a dimension of 24x19x 17 inches. It uses AC/DC power source and has an amperage capacity of 250 A. It works on 240 volts, and the machine color is green. The product is suitable for any welding fanatic and someone who needs a well-resourced TIG Welder.
This device is a real operator and a versatile one. It has a modifiable pulse, AC control balance, AC frequency and an arc force control stick function. It even includes 2T/4T function on remote control for better supervision.
It features a capability where it can start in lower amperage in an AC mode and DC mode to better weld thin gauge materials. The arc force reduces spatter and improves arc performance. To increase reliability and performance, the IGBT power components are on hand.
For an optimum aluminum welding performance, it has an expanded AC cleaning range. When HF is not desirable for a user, there is an available function to boost start the equipment easily. The machine also is easy use because its controls are color coded to understand better how it works.
The only downside that we can see with 2017 Everlast Power TIG 250EX Welder is that it comes with a wet torch and no dry torch is present. When using the foot pedal, getting high amperage is good but lowering it is intermittent.
#5 Longevity TIGweld 200SX - 200 AMP
Without a doubt, this TIG welder is something that can be at par with other welding equipment in the market today. This is best in welding 110v and 220v power. The unit is capable of welding 7018, 6013 and other stick welding electrodes in an AC power source. In comparison with others, this Tigweld has a pre-flow, post-flow, and balance function that operates in a flip of a switch which gives it a better weld control.
With portability, you can never ask for more because this only weighs 37 pounds, an ideal weight to relocate the unit anywhere you go. Heat control is also excellent and an easy to use panel is present - a very good companion for hobbyist and professionals.
What's good about this is that in case you are welding on rural areas, this can be plugged into a generator of 5,000 watts. It already has a tig torch, ground clamp, regulator, plugs, and stick handle.
You have to buy the filler rods and the gas separately to be used-Argon. The unit also comes with a 1-year warranty for any factory defects that might arise. In setting the unit up, there will be no problem in welding thin materials.
The disadvantage for this is that with regards to the thickness of metal, it has some shortcomings. According to some users, the unit can lose its power and is not able to get enough juice out of it making it not best to use in welding thick metals. The pedal used in this is quite unusual and not user-friendly.
Before product use, make sure to run for a test drive because not doing so will not guarantee the good quality of the unit and you may find some missing digital display. Information should be researched on website on how to use this product.
Lastly, in long hours of use, the HF start might malfunction. With its provider, a user cannot guarantee good customer service and though there is a warranty, it is not a 100% request answered.
#6 Lotos CT520D Plasma Cutter TIG Stick Welder
As its name implies, this Lotos TIG welder, has all that it takes to make it a good tool for anyone searching for a welding machine with the right price. It offers a wide variety of functions, making it best to use in many kinds of metals. The details of the machine includes 15-200AMP which runs in a DC TIG Electric output, 50 AMP Plasma cutter, and has a compressed air to cut stainless steel, copper, aluminum, mild steel, alloy steel, and copper.
With its multipurpose function, many have approved of this equipment. The product has the capacity of using both DC Stick Welder and its TIG Welder which can be switched from time to time. Portability wise, this also is great having 32 pounds in weight. It has 60% amps at max on every process it takes. Offering plasma cutting makes it safer to use, have low cost, quick and easy to use.
The Lotos can run in a dual voltage (110v/220v, 50/60Hz). It has a HF start hand torch control and a separate Foot pedal welding heat control for precise results. Any user can guarantee a beautiful welding shape because it has also a stable welding arc, deep weld pool, and an adjustable hot striking arc for arc starting function.
Consistency and stability have been regarded to the arc of this machine. In addition to all that, it is also a pretty machine for anyone supplying or using it. It also comes with a direction for usage.
Like any other TIG machine, there are many disadvantages too. This has a separate pedal to buy which will cost for about a $100. 120 Plug Pigtail is also separate, and the hose might also get lousy. Users think that it needs an upgraded CK hose/ torch combo and regulator for better use.
All things Considered, the six TIG welders are all worth buying, but the most noteworthy among them is Lotos CT520D. Aside from the affordable price, this TIG welder has a wide variety of functions like the dual voltages for extra welding power. Hence, it is portable and easy to transport from one place to another.
What are MIG Welders?
Metal inert gas or MIG uses electricity to link the pieces of metal by melting them. The MIG welder is best for beginners, farmers, automotives, and self-repair metals because of its easy start-up system. It repairs several metal objects effortlessly. Below are the reviews of six MIG welders’ brands that can help you choose the best welder for your needs.
#1 Forney 309 140-Amp MIG Welder
The Forney 309 MIG Welder has a range of 120-volt input and 140 Amps. This is best for those who are doing metal repairs by their own. It comes with welding torch (10 ft), regulator, 8-foot power cable, and ground clamp. It can weld up to ¼ inch, and its processes include MIG (gas) and flux cored. The Forney Industries has been committed to America’s metal fabrication industry for almost 90 years.
The Forney 309 140-Amp MIG Welder is an ideal welder machine for mild steel, aluminum, cast iron, and stainless steel. The main problem related to welding is the torch because its tip usually receives the greatest share of abuse from the spatter, heat and operator.
The Forney 309 has lifted the problem of replacing the tip of the torch from time to time with its euro style disconnect torch. The 10-foot euro disconnect style allows you to replace the liner quickly and you can remove the torch within or less than five minutes.
The MIG gun of Forney 309 is now longer than its previous machines. The 10-foot Tweco MIG gun helps you to move from one place to another easily. The total working area or working envelope of the gun is 18-feet. The measurement of MIG gun is perfect for every light duty liner. The 140 amperage is sufficient to avoid overheating while welding a certain metal object.
Another good thing about the Forney 309 is the larger cabinet feature that can accommodate more tools inside of it. You can store up more spools and this avoids running to storage rooms just to get the material you need. The lift up door also helps the user to easily load and unload the cabinet.
Lastly, the wire feeder of the Forney 309 is made up of cast aluminum which makes it more rugged and sturdy. The cast aluminum ensures that it will last longer though the parts are still replaceable and it’s easy to assemble.
There are also limitations in using the Forney 309 MIG Welder especially in heavy duty repair, though it can pretty work on heavy metal objects. This is considered as light duty welder, but the results from this welder are decent and good.
One of the reviews from the Amazon website says that the Forney can work on 1/4 steel, but it will lack penetration you need for a job that demands 1/4 steel. This welder can perform from light to medium duty job but if you will try it to create a pickup truck’s frame, this might not be suitable for that project.
#2 Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder
The Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder works on 24-gauge to ¼-inch mild steel and it operates in a household that has a 115-volt current. This has a range of 25 to 140 Amps and it’s ideal for household repairs and other projects that require extra welding power. With its high voltage, the Hobart is versatile to any type of works, and it can deliver best possible arc and power.
There is no doubt that the power of Hobart 500559 is impressive with its 115-volt and 140 Amps welder. This welding machine can weld well on a 1/4 steel plate without experiencing insufficient penetration. You will not experience any problem with the bites of this machine.
Not only the versatility of Hobart 500559 can amaze you but its extra welding power and the industrial cast aluminum wire drive system will also leave you in awe. The new wire drive system adds exceptional durability and strength for dependent 5-position voltage control sector.
Moreover, what is interesting about this wire welder is, it perfectly crafted for auto body panels, mower decks, tool cart, gun or bow racks, trailer frames and hitches, metal sculpture, fences, PTO attachments, and lawn garden and equipment.
This welder is easy to set-up in just a few minutes using the set-up guide inside the cover. Beginners and first time welders can simply follow the detailed instructions.
Hence, the portable welder can be transported effortlessly from one place to another with its optional cart.
Some areas need to be improved on Hobart 500559. There are reviews online saying that the prescribed settings across material thickness and wire size are too much hot. One example given by the reviewer at Amazon website that the chart calls for tap number 4 and wire feed of 55, when it should be number 3 over 45 is much of VA.
Another area that you need to know is the visible sound and vibration of the cooling fan and you might think it will not last long because of its annoying sounds. We think that Hobart can improve the cooling fan sounds.
The wire feed knob is also worth looking at because it can easily loosen even you are not switching it. The vibration of the fan and the wire feed mechanism can turn the knob on its own. Nonetheless, this is still worth buying with its great features and extra welding power.
#3 Lotos MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder
Lotos MIG175 has a 175-Amp and it operates 200-240-volt household that is suitable for welding mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and other metal objects. The welding capacity of the Lotos MIG175 is 18-gauge – 1/4 for mild steel and stainless steel. For aluminum, it can weld 3/8” or thinner.
This welding equipment includes spool gun, aluminum welding wires, mask, solid wires, standard MIG gun and argon regulator. Plus, the price of this welder is affordable and ideal for every beginner.
What is great about Lotos MIG175 is the durability of transformer technology and it has been proven and tested by many long-time welders. It can be set up within 10 minutes without experiencing any trouble. This welder can be connected to an existing 220-volt outlet in your home.
Another free inclusion that you’ll love about this product is the spool gun that is crafted for aluminum weld. The high-speed MIG spool gun will definitely help you get a high-quality result of metal fabrication within a shorter period.
Thus, the Lotos MIG15 integrates resettable overload protection to ensure a long lifespan of the welding machine. This versatile welder has an industrial standard 4-inch and 6-inch wire spools. This welder is best for farmers, self-builders, and welding professionals.
Despite the many positive reviews, it is important to learn other areas that require improvements. First is the loud sound of the drive motor which can enhance by Lotos. This is louder than the usual 175-Amp but the execution of welding an object is still amazing.
The second one is the wire feed problems. There is a review posted on Amazon website saying that the wire feed is not steady with its speed but it might be a factory defect. The welder is welding fine, but there are also limitations especially when using it in heavy metal projects.
Lastly, there is an issue with its gas keeps coming out when letting go of the trigger of gun. This was also posted on Amazon and a customer said that he kept turning off the welder because the gas keeps spilling out when releasing the trigger of the gun.
#4 MIG Welder Handheld 208/230 VAC by Lincoln Electric
This Handheld MIG welder is a gas free flux core welding which means that you can set up gas-shielding MIG welding for stainless, aluminum and steel. The range of Handheld MIG welder is 208/230VAC and 130-Amp.
This MIG ready welder comes with 50 – 500 IPM wire feed speed control. You can adjust the drive systems that reduce the crushing and tangle. The cast aluminum affirms the longer life span of the welder.
The Handheld 208/230 VAC MIG welder can weld vast range of materials from thin to thick objects. The welder can work on 24 ga to 3/16”. Hence, the portable wire feed flux core is promising with its automatic setting.
This machine is easy to use with its detailed instructions inside the cover. Beginners can surely follow the steps and instructions to weld. Thus, the enhanced thermal conductivity of the Handheld MIG welder through the help of brass to brass gun connection optimizes the melting of the metal. This is important to have a full control while welding a certain type of metal.
The flux core wire is definitely slaying the welds. Most of the reviews posted on Amazon website are positive and they did not just easily learn to use it but they created pretty decent welds. This welder is perfect for beginners especially to those who want to learn how to weld.
Lastly, the durability and reliability of the motor driver has been proven and tested.
There are areas that Handheld 208/230 VAC MIG that needs to be improved. First is the heavy-duty use, because this welder is not capable of heavy duty projects. Second is the transportation of the equipment from one place to another is hard though the machine is portable. It might be easier to travel the machine if it comes with a cart.
Lastly, the suggested settings on the chart or the incorporated safety tools are not close to what is the actual execution of the welder. Users can ruin the weld especially the beginners if they do not adjust the heat based on the actual heat.
#5 Hobart Handler 500554001 190
The Hobart Handler 500554001 190 comes with spool runner 100 and it ranges to 150-Amp spool gun with 230-volt household operations. The 10 foot MIG gun and 10 foot spool gun. The MIG welder and portable wire feed flux core is a powerful combination that is ideal for welding mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel and flux core. The clamp cable length is 10 foot with dimension of 19 1/2 x 10 5/8 x 12 3/8.
The Hobart Handler 500554001 190 also comes with a regulator and gas hose. This welder has a built-in gas solenoid valve and dual gauge regulator. The 10-foot spool runner 100 cable comes with a plastic case.
This welder is a great deal because of it is MIG ready with a 10-foot and 150-Amp spool gun. You get both, spool gun and the MIG gun. Another fascinating feature of the Hobart Handler is the generous operating parameters that can weld up to 24 ga – 5/16 in steel in just one single pass.
Welding aluminum is never an easy job but because of the spool runner 100, it will now be easier to fabricate aluminum with MIG ready welder from Hobart. The suggested settings displayed on the chart are close to perfect which is impressive.
Another notable feature of the Hobart Handler is the steel welding capability which is even better than the spool gun. The penetration on the mild steel of the welder is enough due to its accurate settings and good arc.
The length of the cable which is 10 foot is also noteworthy, not too long and not too short. This is just perfect for every household repair, automobile and farm projects. Lastly, you can save a lot because Hobart put it in one package for a spool runner and MIG gun.
The only problem that we see 500554001 190 in Hobart Handler is its bit hot on some thinner stuff though the recommended settings on the chart are followed. This is an issue that we see in Hobart Handler 500554001 190. If the users are not keen on what they are doing, they might end up warping the metal.
This could ruin the metal objects and this could also longer the time of the usual thin metal materials that are being crafted. But we know, Hobart can improve this issue and upgrade their welder machine to a perfect one.
Other than that, this is a good investment as if you are hitting two birds in one stone.
#6 MIG Welder Handheld 120 VAC by Lincoln Electric
This is similar with above welder, the MIG Welder Handheld 280/230 VAC; the only difference is their range. This MIG Welder Handheld 120 VAC has 120-volt and it comes with solid wire and flux core wire. This unit is made up of aluminum because the old one is made up of plastic.
This is simple and elegant with tested durability and reliability as it is made up of industrial cast aluminum. The performance is impeccable even using gasless wire or gas wire. This welder can work on aluminum, stainless steel and mild steel with 24 ga to 3/16”.
This welder is easy to use with its detailed instructions inside the cover. It is perfect for every starter as they can follow the easy instructions without encountering any problem.
Lastly, the enhanced thermal conductivity of the Handheld MIG welder through the help of brass to brass gun connection optimizes the melting of the metal.
The very first thing that users will notice is the annoying fan sounds and vibration of the MIG Welder Handheld 120 VAC is too high. The high pitch wine of the fans will hurt your ear, but the weld function is impressive.
Welding aluminum is disappointing because it requires additional accessories like appropriate shielding gas and filler wire that must be purchased separately. The package comes with spool gun but the shielding gas and filler wire must be purchased.
All in all, the mentioned products are worth buying, it is still depends on which job you will use it. Most of the MIG welders that we reviewed are for light duty function but if you wish to use it in a heavy job, you must follow some precautions like using additional accessories.
Overall, these six MIG welders have impressive features but the most outstanding features and come with great deal is the Hobart Handler 500554001 190. The generous operating parameters of Hobart Handler 500554001 190 that can weld up to 24 ga – 5/16 in steel in just one single pass is simply amazing. Thus, it comes with spool gun and MIG gun and you don’t have to buy separately. This is a great deal for beginners and pro.