Best TIG welder under $500?

MC

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If you've got $500 to spend on the welder only, what TIG welder would you buy?
 

welding seabee

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It would't be a TIG unit at that price unless used and well discounted. Some of the new low price stuff out there is junk so don't waste your money. Never seen a new one for under $500. Just the gas set up tank, hose, regulator and torch w/leads will cost almost that much.

Ron
 

Rancher Ed

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If you've got $500 to spend on the welder only, what TIG welder would you buy?
By "Welder Only" I am basing my reply on that meaning the power supply, and you've budgeted some additional money for an argon tank, regulater, etc. As such I would recommend an Everlast PowerArc 210STL (PowerArc 210STL). It is a dual voltage DC only machine and does have the ability to use a foot pedal. It usually goes on sale once or twice a year for $400 and comes with a ground clamp, which leaves an extra $100 to put toward a torch, foot pedal, regulator, argon tank, etc. This will let a home owner / hobbiest do pretty much anything they could want with steel base materials.

If you want an AC capable machine for aluminum I believe your only option is to watch for a used machine that is still in acceptable condition.
 

welding seabee

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By "Welder Only" I am basing my reply on that meaning the power supply, and you've budgeted some additional money for an argon tank, regulater, etc. As such I would recommend an Everlast PowerArc 210STL (PowerArc 210STL). It is a dual voltage DC only machine and does have the ability to use a foot pedal. It usually goes on sale once or twice a year for $400 and comes with a ground clamp, which leaves an extra $100 to put toward a torch, foot pedal, regulator, argon tank, etc. This will let a home owner / hobbiest do pretty much anything they could want with steel base materials.

If you want an AC capable machine for aluminum I believe your only option is to watch for a used machine that is still in acceptable condition.
Ed, to add to your post; For those wanting versatility and have a little larger budget Everlast has a neat multi purpose machine, SMAW, MIG, and TIG. I believe it has the HF capability also. Comes with all the leads, hoses, and torches + regulator. I am considering one. Also the 80 CF tanks are about the right size for the small user but they are $170-200 new plus around $40 to fill. Used ones hold their value but I see them for $100-125 on Craigs list. Advice on used tanks, check the test date before buying or offering. 10 years out of date you are looking at $24 -40 for retesting when you swap for fill at your friendly LWS. Most will trade any high pressure tanks for a different gas than it has/had (valves are different). Example; trade an O2 tank for and Argon tank. AIRCO up here will not trade them that way. The regulators HF has seem to pretty reliable with good reviews, around $40 I think. Just more info to help potential buyers.
 

jameslp

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Alpha-200x Amazon around $800.00, will weld Alu, Steel, SS. Add argon and ready to use out of box, 110v and 220v power input, comes with reg, foot pedal, Tig torch,
 

stuartlew

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AHP TIG, Harbor Freight MIG and DC Stick welder

RAYJAY

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Hobart /AHP Alpha tig
Alpha-200x Amazon around $800.00, will weld Alu, Steel, SS. Add argon and ready to use out of box, 110v and 220v power input, comes with reg, foot pedal, Tig torch,
the AHP rocks buy off of the AHP site the 210 is a much better machine betterTorch / and a nova foot pedal

 

Old Irish

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Lincoln SW200,PowerMig 180, A/C225 with rectifier, 2 Chinese plasma, stick, tig- 1-Chinese stick w/hot start&arc force and 1 Chinese 205A mig
What would you like to weld with it?

Sincerely,

William McCormick
what William said, what do you want to weld?
if you don't want to weld aluminum check this out https://primeweld.com/products/tig200-dc-inverter-tig-welder I have not used this machine but I do own 2 of their multi process machines and they weld fine and these people stand behind what they sell I doubt you will find better customer service. email them to see what comes with the power supply, the pictures aren't always accurate.
 

streem26

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Telwin TIG it's a pretty cheap (compared to Millers and Lincolns) Italian brand, and they are very good quality. I unfortunately have no idea if they are commercially available in the US
 

Forger

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Miller trailblazer, Lincoln wire feed, too many others
I guess I got lucky. I bought a Chinese CT 312 (plasma cutter, Tig, worthless stick) for $285 just for the plasma cutter with pilot arc. It ended up costing me nothing because it was not as described (pilot arc was an after thought, but works fine anyways). I swapped an out dated argon mix for pure argon, that cost me $70. They didn't even check the date on the bottle. The Tig works so nice that I bought an even cheaper cut-50 plasma cutter so the 3 in 1 is now just for Tig. I just use it for artsy stuff, no Aluminum (DC only) but works fine for me. I use mig wire and silicon bronze for filler. The flow meter I use was about $30 and works ok. I did take the cover off before even plugging it in and did some minor repair to a plastic ducting for the cooling fan and more important insulated and secured the high frequency board that was just dangling against the metal cover, and moved a wire that was actually wedged in the spark gap. Yeah Chinese quality control suffers in their manufacturing and viral labs. After saying all that, if the quality control was this bad last year I seriously doubt that it got better now. My advice, for what it's worth, if you go this route you better slip on your gloves and mask and take a good long look inside before turning on.
Bob
 

mr_puddles

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Everlast PowerArc 160i for the under $500 category. Inexpensive and comes with decent accessories. I own a PowerTig 210EXT ($1500-1800 welder) and the difference between it and a Miller Dynasty was very little in performance, but the Everlast was half the price of a comparable Dynasty. The stick arc on the Everlast is also outstanding.
 

Gary Fowler

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I just bought the Everlast SuperUltra 206 SI. It was $629 (on Sale) so a bit more than $500 but it also has a 50 amp plasma torch and it comes with flowmeter, TIG torch and stick electrode holder. According to Mark @everlast they are discontinuing this model in favor of a $150 more expensive one that does the same thing but has IGBT technology rather than MOSFET. I did some research on this and it looks like each one has advantages over the other but IGBT is the new child on the block so everyone is going to that.
 
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Gary Fowler

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Further to this question, if you just want to TIG steel and its alloys any DC welder will do that. If you want pedal control that is going to set you back a lot of bucks for the machine with that which you can do without and just use a touch off torch.
For cheapest option, you need to go used. Look for a Lincoln tombstone AC/DC machine, buy a TIG torch $70 and flowmeter $30 some tungsten and cups and you are ready to weld minus what ever rods you need to match what you plan to weld except aluminum.
TO complete the rig so you can weld aluminum also, look up ARCPIG high frequency attachment. They are expensive at $350 but still cheaper than trying to add all this in on a new inverter machine.

Let tally this up, allowing $300 for your Lincoln machine, $150 for TIG torch and good amount of consumable supplies you are less than your budget. But you still need a bottle of Argon. Since I just bought a 125 CF bottle for $300, you are now at 750. Add in the ARCPIG and you are not getting into the ball park of what you will spend on just a machine($1050) that does stick and TIG and comes with TIG rig and flowmeter. The difference is you have everything you need to weld anything including aluminum.
 
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