Best AC/DC TIG Welder for the Money

Are you facing a constant disappointment with the performance of your welder? You need a decent machine within your budget that will give you a high-quality weld. Choosing the best AC/DC TIG welder for the money is difficult, especially when your budget is low. 

To solve your problem, we studied the features and reviews about the top AC/DC TIG welders for the money available in the market. We found out that AHP Alpha AC/DC TIG 200 X is the best AC/DC welder for the money in 2020. Based on a large number of positive reviews from satisfied customers and outstanding welding features, we can consider it an ideal welder for aluminum and stainless steel.

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The Test Winner After 28 Hours Of Research:

HOW WE DECIDED

--We researched every product, we review with our own.

1

14

Researched Source

2

28

Hours Researched

3

7

Experts Interviewed

4

87

Consumers Review

Product Image
Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG Welder 230V
Top Pick
2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE 110v 220v 3...
2019 Everlast PowerTIG 200DV 200amp 110/220 Dual Voltage PULSE ACDC Welder
Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder with DC Stick/Arc Welder, Square Wave...
Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC 20565 Welder Aluminum Stainless Mild Steel Weld
Power Source [AC/ DC]
AC / DC
AC / DC
AC / DC
AC / DC
AC / DC
Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]
230 V
110 V / 220 V
110 V / 220 V
110 V / 220 V
110 V / 220 V
Amperage [Amp]
165 Amp
200 Amp
200 Amp
200 Amp
200 Amp
Duty Cycle
Not available
TIG: 60% @ 200 A ; Stick 35% @ 155 A
60% @ 200 A
Not available
120 V: 60% @ 145 A; 240 V: 60% @ 190 A
Installation Type [tig welding]
TIG welding
TIG / Stick welding
TIG / Stick welding
TIG welding
TIG / Stick welding
Weld Capacity [Thickness]
3/16”
¼" aluminum; 3/8” mild steel
3/16” to 5/16”steel; 1/8” to ¼” aluminum
3/8” steel and aluminum
¼” on 240 A
IGBT Technology
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]
TIG Welder
TIG / Stick
TIG / Stick
TIG / Stick (MMA)
TIG / Stick
Item Weight
60 pounds
69 pounds
60 pounds
58 pounds
61 pounds
Warranty
3 years.
3 years
5 years
1 year
3 years
Include Components
Foot Pedal, regulator, TIG torch, ground strap, Power cord with plug, work cable with clamp, nozzle, collet and collet body.
Foot Pedal, consumables, stick electrode holder, TIG torch.
Foot pedal, Dinse style connectors, stick electrode holder, power input cable, consumables kit.
TIG torch, foot pedal, argon regulator, consumables set, ground clamp, MMA/ stick clamp, power supply.
Shielding gas regulator, gas hose, gas nozzles and collets, TIG torch, consumables, tungsten rods, foot pedal.
Prime Status
-
-
-
-
Product Image
Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG Welder 230V
Power Source [AC/ DC]
AC / DC
Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]
230 V
Amperage [Amp]
165 Amp
Duty Cycle
Not available
Installation Type [tig welding]
TIG welding
Weld Capacity [Thickness]
3/16”
IGBT Technology
No
Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]
Yes
Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]
TIG Welder
Item Weight
60 pounds
Warranty
3 years.
Include Components
Foot Pedal, regulator, TIG torch, ground strap, Power cord with plug, work cable with clamp, nozzle, collet and collet body.
Prime Status
Available
Top Pick
Product Image
2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig/Stick Welder with PULSE 110v 220v 3...
Power Source [AC/ DC]
AC / DC
Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]
110 V / 220 V
Amperage [Amp]
200 Amp
Duty Cycle
TIG: 60% @ 200 A ; Stick 35% @ 155 A
Installation Type [tig welding]
TIG / Stick welding
Weld Capacity [Thickness]
¼" aluminum; 3/8” mild steel
IGBT Technology
Yes
Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]
Yes
Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]
TIG / Stick
Item Weight
69 pounds
Warranty
3 years
Include Components
Foot Pedal, consumables, stick electrode holder, TIG torch.
Prime Status
-
Available
Product Image
2019 Everlast PowerTIG 200DV 200amp 110/220 Dual Voltage PULSE ACDC Welder
Power Source [AC/ DC]
AC / DC
Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]
110 V / 220 V
Amperage [Amp]
200 Amp
Duty Cycle
60% @ 200 A
Installation Type [tig welding]
TIG / Stick welding
Weld Capacity [Thickness]
3/16” to 5/16”steel; 1/8” to ¼” aluminum
IGBT Technology
Yes
Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]
Yes
Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]
TIG / Stick
Item Weight
60 pounds
Warranty
5 years
Include Components
Foot pedal, Dinse style connectors, stick electrode holder, power input cable, consumables kit.
Prime Status
-
Available
Product Image
Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC Aluminum Tig Welder with DC Stick/Arc Welder, Square Wave...
Power Source [AC/ DC]
AC / DC
Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]
110 V / 220 V
Amperage [Amp]
200 Amp
Duty Cycle
Not available
Installation Type [tig welding]
TIG welding
Weld Capacity [Thickness]
3/8” steel and aluminum
IGBT Technology
No
Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]
Yes
Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]
TIG / Stick (MMA)
Item Weight
58 pounds
Warranty
1 year
Include Components
TIG torch, foot pedal, argon regulator, consumables set, ground clamp, MMA/ stick clamp, power supply.
Prime Status
-
Available
Product Image
Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC 20565 Welder Aluminum Stainless Mild Steel Weld
Power Source [AC/ DC]
AC / DC
Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]
110 V / 220 V
Amperage [Amp]
200 Amp
Duty Cycle
120 V: 60% @ 145 A; 240 V: 60% @ 190 A
Installation Type [tig welding]
TIG / Stick welding
Weld Capacity [Thickness]
¼” on 240 A
IGBT Technology
No
Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]
Yes
Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]
TIG / Stick
Item Weight
61 pounds
Warranty
3 years
Include Components
Shielding gas regulator, gas hose, gas nozzles and collets, TIG torch, consumables, tungsten rods, foot pedal.
Prime Status
-
Available

01. Hobart 500511 EZ-TIG 165i AC/DC TIG Welder 230V

Salient Feature

  • Power Source [AC/ DC]: AC / DC
  • Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]: 230 V
  • Amperage [Amp]: 165 Amp
  • Duty Cycle: Not available
  • Installation Type [tig welding]: TIG welding
  • Weld Capacity [Thickness]: 3/16”
  • IGBT Technology: No
  • Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]: Yes
  • Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]: TIG Welder
  • Item Weight: 60 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Include Components: Foot Pedal, regulator, TIG torch, ground strap, Power cord with plug, work cable with clamp, nozzle, collet and collet body.

The Hobart EZ-TIG 165i is an AC/DC TIG welder that works on 230V input power supply. It can produce up to 165 amps output with maximum weld thickness up to 3/16”.

The welder is easy to operate. The operator has to select the metal, and the required thickness and rest of the settings are automatic. The unique single-knob control quickly sets up the welder for AC/DC welding.

Fan operates when it is turned on by the operator. It helps reduce the amount of dust and debris coming inside the welder. It also saves operation energy.

Noncontact arc start-up prevents tungsten and material contamination, resulting in a neat and clean weld.You can initiate the arc by pressing the pedal because of the high-frequency arc start feature.

The auto post flow feature allows optimum amperage based shielding to minimize waste.It will give you the best value for money as it’s cheaper than miller but offers similar functions and reliability.

It offers adjustable AC/DC power control over amperage for the most exceptional welding of thinner gauge materials.

Pros

  • The foot pedal is convenient to use.
  • This welder is easy to set up and use.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Suitable for professional welding.

Cons

  • The air from the front vents and the intake fan may mess up with argon.
  • It is not a stick welder.

02. 2018 AHP Alpha TIG 200X 200 Amp IGBT AC DC Tig Welder with PULSE 110V 220V 

Salient Feature

  • Power Source [AC/ DC]: AC / DC
  • Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]: 110 V / 220 V
  • Amperage [Amp]: 200 Amp
  • Duty Cycle: TIG: 60% @ 200 A ; Stick 35% @ 155 A
  • Installation Type [tig welding]: TIG / Stick welding
  • Weld Capacity [Thickness]: ¼" aluminum;3/8” mild steel
  • IGBT Technology: Yes
  • Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]: Yes 
  • Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]: TIG / Stick
  • Item Weight: 69 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Include Components: Foot Pedal, consumables, stick electrode holder, TIG torch.

Build on the latest inverter technologies IGBT and PMW; this AHP Alpha TIG 200 X is lightweight and easy to carry TIG/ stick welder.This dual voltage 110 / 220 V AC /DC MIG/stick welder performs well on both voltages.

It provides a high range of pulse features along with cleaning control. Its PULSE frequency range is 5 to 5 HZ, and the Amperage variation is 10 – 200 Amps. Pulse time is 10-90% of the pulse cycle. These pulse modulation features provide greater operator control over the weld quality.

It features high frequency start TIG and foot pedal for greater control. Unlike the other TIG welders, this can also weld aluminum up to 0.25”. Square wave inverter allows aluminum welding.

The AC balance is flexible and allows a 30 – 70 % adjustment. It cleans aluminum oxide and delivers a reasonable weld penetration.

The AHP Alpha TIG comes with a flex head torch (WP17). It also features a torch lock in the form of a 2T / 4T switch. This unique feature eliminates the need to hold the torch trigger when making long beads in MIG welding.

Pros

  • Excellent customer service.
  • Affordable price for the quality.
  • Well constructed flow meter.
  • A Portable and versatile.
  • Arc is consistent and stable, resulting in a cleaner finish.
  • It has a high-frequency pilot Arc with the right length.

Cons

  • The digital display doesn’t show correct readings when working at 120 V.
  • It may leak from the gas connector side.
  • The LED display is too small.
  • The foot pedal may lack ergonomic features.

03. 2019 Everlast Power TIG 200DV 200amp 110/ 220 Dual Voltage PULSE AC/DC Welder

Salient Feature

  • Power Source [AC/ DC]: AC / DC
  • Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]: 110 V / 220 V
  • Amperage [Amp]: 200 Amp
  • Duty Cycle: 60% @ 200 A
  • Installation Type [tig welding]: TIG / Stick welding
  • Weld Capacity [Thickness]: 3/16” to 5/16”steel; 1/8” to ¼” aluminum
  • IGBT Technology: Yes
  • Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]: Yes 
  • Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]: TIG / Stick
  • Item Weight: 60 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Include Components: Foot pedal, Dinse style connectors, stick electrode holder, power input cable, consumables kit.

The Everlast Power TIG 200 DV is a versatile, dual voltage, and an IGBT inverter controlled TIG welding machine. It is a lightweight and portable AC / DC welder that can be connected to a 120 V/ 240 V power input single phase 50/60 Hz.

It can start TIG welding at amp as low as 5 for DC and 20 for AC.The PULSE frequency range is 5 – 150 Hz in AC/DC modes. Controls are color-coded for easy identification. You can use the lift start function when you don't want HF. It enables you to control Pre flow and post flow for gas.

For stick welding, its unique feature Arc Force Control (DIG), reduces spatter and yields better arc performance. You can attach a water cooler WC 300 to enhance cooling action.

In general, this is a reliable welder that can make good quality welds. Its price is reasonable than other high-end brands.

Pros

  • The instructions manual is easy and helpful for beginners.
  • Too many unique and distinctive features that the other highly-priced welders don't have.
  • High-quality machine and accessories.
  • Easy setup and operation suitable for beginners and learners.
  • Excellent customer service for technical support.
  • Smooth Arc.

Cons

  • The torch doesn’t have a flex head.
  • The fan runs continuously.

04. Lotos TIG200 AC/DC,Square Wave Inverter 110/ 220V Dual Voltage 200A Aluminum TIG Welder

Salient Feature

  • Power Source [AC/ DC]: AC / DC
  • Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]: 110 V / 220 V
  • Amperage [Amp]: 200 Amp
  • Duty Cycle: Not available
  • Installation Type [tig welding]: TIG welding
  • Weld Capacity [Thickness]: 3/8” steel and aluminum
  • IGBT Technology: No
  • Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]: Yes 
  • Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]: TIG / Stick (MMA)
  • Item Weight: 58 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Include Components: TIG torch, foot pedal, argon regulator, consumables set, ground clamp, MMA/ stick clamp, power supply.

The LOTOS TIG200 is an AC/DC TIG welder that can weld aluminum, steel, and other materials. It can TIG weld aluminum, mild steel, stainless steel, and other thinner gauge metals with accuracy and precision. The estimated power efficiency of this welder is 80%.

It features HF start hand torch for consistent arc and clean welds. Foot paddle control helps accurate heat control for thinner gauge metals. For perfect Aluminum welding on AC mode, it uses the AC Square wave inverter.

It features the PAPST cooling system for extending the life and durability of the welder. It is a reasonably priced TIG welder suitable for both home and industrial use.

For stick/ MMA welding, it can yield up to 15 – 200 Amp output. Stick welding features include smooth start arc, deep weld pool, consistent arc, clean weld, adjustable arc current. It can perform welding with different kinds of acid and primary electrodes.

It comes with all essential parts, including a TIG torch, stick electrode holder, foot pedal, argon regulator and hose, and all necessary consumables.

Pros

  • Simple to use.
  • It is one of the best selling and reliable product from LOTOS.
  • It doesn't overheat quickly.
  • It comes at a low price than many other brands.
  • Automatic dual voltage adjustment.

Cons

  • It doesn't work on the pulse feature.
  • The foot pedal is not much ergonomic.
  • A bit heavier for portability.
  • Replacement parts are difficult to find.

05. Eastwood TIG 200 AC/DC 20565 Welder Aluminum Stainless Mild Steel Weld.

Salient Feature

  • Power Source [AC/ DC]: AC / DC
  • Dual Voltage [110 V/ 220 V]: 110 V / 220 V
  • Amperage [Amp]: 200 Amp
  • Duty Cycle: 120 V: 60% @ 145 A; 240 V: 60% @ 190 A
  • Installation Type [tig welding]: TIG / Stick welding
  • Weld Capacity [Thickness]: ¼” on 240 A
  • IGBT Technology: No
  • Foot Pedal [Yes/ No]: Yes 
  • Versatility [ TIG/ MIG/ Stick ]: TIG / Stick
  • Item Weight: 61 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Include Components: Shielding gas regulator, gas hose, gas nozzles and collets, TIG torch, consumables, tungsten rods, foot pedal.

Suitable for both Pro and novice welders, the Eastwood TIG 200 is capable of welding up to ¼" steel and aluminum. It can work on dual voltage 120V / 240V power input and create output amperage from 10 – 200 Amp.

A simple control panel for setting arc, welding mode, and amperage makes it easy for beginners. It offers functions that are required by professional and expert weld operators. The AC/DC adapter cord makes it simple to switch between the modes.

Its weight is only 45 pound that makes it easy to carry. It can be plugged into an available 120V/ 240 V power input source to weld metals of varying thickness. 60% duty cycle enables the operator to continuously weld for 6 minutes resulting in a fast welding operation.

Its high-frequency start-up and square wave AC inverter functions for clean and accurate welding through precise arc control. Stick welding can be done on AC/DC mode Positive/ Negative. The variable foot pedal can adapt to the voltage between 10 – 200 Amp.

The pre gas flow range is 0.1 to 1.0 per second. The post flow gas range is 2 to 8 seconds. AC settings are suitable for steel and stainless steel. DC settings are ideal for welding aluminum.

Pros

  • Suitable for beginners.
  • The fan stays on and keeps the welder cool.
  • This welder can be run without a generator.

Cons

  • Some customers are not happy with made in China welders.
  • Roller switch for the machine not available

What is the difference between an AC and DC welder?

The flow of electrons through a conductor may produce direct or alternating current. This difference in flow creates AC/DC polarity.

In DC welding, the electrons flow in a single direction, with a constant polarity. The polarity may be positive or negative. DC is applicable in many small devices like cell phones and remote control batteries.

In welding, DC produces smooth and clean welds. It gives a smooth arc resulting in minimum spatter. DC negative is associated with an increased deposition rate but minimal penetration. It is beneficial when working on thinner metals. DC positive polarity gives high penetration in steel welding.DC is more often used in stick welding.

AC welding is applicable for high-frequency aluminum TIG welding. It is also used in the repair and maintenance of machinery. The machines usually have a magnetic field, and DC can not be applied there. Machines may have rusted surfaces where high welding temperature is required.

AC polarity combines DC negative and DC positive. It changes its polarity 60 times to 120 times per second. It is measured as 60/120 hertz. During this shift in polarity, the output amperage becomes zero for a split second. It causes a fluctuation in arc consistency, resulting in spatter.

AC welding offers an advantage when welding magnetic surfaces. Magnetic surfaces can cause arc blow problems. In this situation, the alternating current gives a steady arc by switching between positive and negative polarities. The arc blow problems are also caused by the arc's current or the wind.

Advantages of DC welding:

  • Minimum spatter.
  • Easy start-up.
  • Preferable for vertical welding.
  • Consistent Arc.
  • Better for thinner metals.

Disadvantages of DC Welding:

  • More expensive than AC welding.
  • Not suitable for high-intensity heat.
  • Not suitable for aluminum TIG welding.
  • Cannot fix arc blow.

Advantages of AC welding:

  • It is used for magnetized and rusted metals.
  • It is used in aluminum welding.
  • Reasonable and affordable price.
  • Lightweight and easily portable.
  • Less voltage drop.

Disadvantages of AC welding:

  • It emits more spatter.
  • It does not produce smooth welds.

Why is DC preferred over AC?

In most of the cases, DC welding offers more advantages than AC welding.DC welding is preferred over AC because of the following reasons:

Quality of Welding: AC welding does not produce a clean and smooth weld. The linear direction of current in DC produces cleaner welds with minimum spatter.

Arc Characteristics: DC produces a consistent, stable arc. This arc is easier to manage and more reliable than arc produced by AC.

Polarity: Both DC positive and DC negative have different characteristics. They can be adapted to the type of welding required.

However, DC welding does not produce high-intensity heat required for Aluminum welding.

Which is cheaper, AC or DC?

AC welders are reasonable in price and cheaper than DC welders. The AC welders are lighter in weight than DC welders.

The electric current coming from the power source is AC. The welder needs an internal conversion device that changes the AC-current into DC-current. It increases installation and maintenance costs. The maintenance of AC welders is cheaper and more comfortable than DC welders.

The energy consumption of an AC welder is 3 to 4 kWh while the energy consumption by a DC welder is 6 to 10 kWh.The arc blow of AC welders is comparatively easy, while it is difficult to control when using DC welders. Therefore operating on DC welders needs more expertise of the operator.

How to choose the best AC /DC TIG welder for the money?

How To Choose The Best AC /DC TIG Welder For The Money

Before you purchase the AC/DC TIG welder, there are few things you should consider. It will prevent you from the loss you may suffer due to an unwise decision.

Buy a simple and easy welder:

No matter how much experience you have in welding, it is always better to opt for user-friendly devices. The features and controls should be easily asses sable. The welder must feature a handy and convenient interface, so it is easy for you to switch the settings from AC to DC mode.

Foot Pedal:

Most of the TIG welders prefer a comfortable foot pedal as an essential part of their welder. It is helpful to control amperage to get a smooth and clean weld.

Amperage:

A broad and flexible amperage range is required to weld a variety of materials. Working at low amperage allows better arc stability and enhanced crater filling.

Current:

Most of the modern welders offer both AC/DC options in a single welder. Use an AC/DC welder, and you will never feel restricted in the choice of metals.

Duty Cycle:

The duty cycle represents the ability of a welder to weld before getting too hot. It is measured in percentage with ten minutes. For example, a 60% duty cycle denotes that the welder will work for continuous 6 minutes before it needs to be cooled.

Know Your Needs:

You must consider each welder in relation to your welding requirements. Top of the list is the type and thickness of metal. If you are sure you are never going to weld aluminum, you can skip the AC feature; therefore, buy a welder with a lower price.

Portability:

Consider the weight and design of welder in relation to portability. How much you need to carry around your welder is something really considerable. Modern inverter technologies, especially IGBT, have made it possible to get excellent output from a lightweight machine.

Type of work:

If you are just a hobbyist, you don't need to invest in a complicated heavy-duty welder. A simple light to medium duty device is enough for domestic use, hobby projects, day to day repair, and maintenance.

Cooling Features:

Welders intended for industrial use may require the extra cooling mechanism and can increase the cost of operation. Some welders also offer the water-cooling feature, which cools faster than the air cooling function.

Voltage:

Prefer a dual voltage 110 V/ 220 V welder for more flexibility in the power input. Most of the dual voltage welders work best for household as well as industrial purposes.

Conclusion

There are hundreds of TIG welders available in the market. To choose the best AC/DC TIG welder for the money, consider reliability, durability, power consumption, features, and specifications concerning the type of your welding projects or job.

FAQ's

  • What is the best TIG welder for home use?

AHP Alpha TIG 200 X is a suitable welding machine for home use. It can be conveniently used in small business, hobby projects, and home repair. It is capable of producing precise welds with greater operator control. Easy to use and carry around.

  • What’s the best TIG welder for a beginner?

Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG 165i is the most suitable welder for beginners and learners. It features an easy-to-use interface, wide operating range, and weld control. The operator has to turn on the welder and select the material and thickness. Based on the latest inverter technology, this welder is lightweight and portable.

  • Do you TIG weld aluminum on AC or DC?

AC welding is suitable for welding Aluminum. The quick polarity of alternating current quickly breaks up the surface oxides, which results in a clean weld. But if you require to weld aluminum thicker than ¼”, DC welding is suitable.

  • What's better, AC or DC welding?

DC welding is better than AC because it produces consistent arc resulting in clean welds. It also produces less spatter. However, AC welding is preferable in some conditions like welding aluminum, or in the repair of magnetized and corroded machines.

  • Do you TIG weld stainless on AC or DC?

For welding stainless steel, a direct current (DC) arc is used. This DC arc is run between the tungsten electrode and the metal. The electrode is usually negatively charged pole, and it is called DCEN or Direct Current Electrode Negative.

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