Are you looking for the best TIG welders under $1000?
Look no more we got you covered.
Finding the right TIG welder can be tricky. MIG welders are a lot more popular, accessible, and affordable, these are facts that reinforce one another.
Flux core welders don’t get the same press as MIG or TIG welders, but they are far more affordable and can be used outdoors, which is simply not possible with the other two main types of welders due to the fact that they require shielding gas.
Even so, at least flux core welders have carved out a clear niche for themselves among newcomers and outdoor welders, which can make it far easier to market these units online.
But what about TIG welders? They are more complicated to use than MIG and flux core welders, so they certainly don’t fit the same kind of “beginner” label.
In addition, they are often more expensive.
They are especially good at welding steel, which is definitely a strong point in their favor.
Even so, if you were to take a cursory look at the different types of welders online without knowing much about them, you may think that TIG welders aren’t worth it.
Table of Contents
How Much Is a Decent TIG Welder?
A decent TIG welder can range anywhere from $200 to $1000 or more, depending on the features and quality. While TIG welders are generally more expensive than other types of welders due to the quality of the welds they produce and their use of pure Argon as a protective gas, they are highly recommended for welding thin metal and producing visually appealing welds.
TIG welding is commonly used for welding aluminum and stainless steel, with AC being used for welding aluminum. Keep in mind that TIG welding requires more time and skill to master compared to other types of welding.
Is DC or AC TIG Better?
When it comes to TIG welding, the type of current used depends on the metal being welded. AC current is typically preferred for TIG welding when working with aluminum and other non-ferrous metals due to its ability to clean the oxide layer on the surface of the metal.
On the other hand, DC current is generally used for TIG welding mild steel, stainless steel, and other ferrous metals. In general, TIG inverters can weld either DC or AC/DC welding with very few machines being AC only, and AC is also suitable for stick welding.
Ultimately, the choice between AC and DC TIG welding depends on the specific application and the type of metal being welded.
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
In a Rush? Here you can find our Overall #1 Rated Pick.
The AHP AlphaTIG 200X Welder is the best TIG welder under $1000 we´ve found.
Purchase: I really like the AlphaTIG 200X Welder. It’s not terribly expensive but gets amazing reviews. If you are interested in this, then just follow the link to Amazon where you can see current pricing.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what makes a good tig welder, 5 of the best tig welders on the market, and how you can choose which one is right for you.
Common Mistakes When Purchasing TIG Welders
Everyone makes mistakes, but when it happens with a welder, the consequences are multiplied.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some common mistakes people make when buying a TIG welder.
Improper Input Voltage: You never want to overload a welder with more voltage than it can handle. Doing so will, at best, lead to your welder becoming overloaded and unable to handle the load and, at worst, could lead to it overheating or, worse, outright exploding.
Many (but not all) units can switch between running on something in the range of 110v, which can be used with standard home power outlets, and 220v and above, which requires separate power sources.
Trying to use the latter with a home power socket can lead to overloading. It is, thus, essential to check the voltage input for each unit to make sure it is compatible with the amount of power you are using.
Unnecessary Functions: This can result in unnecessary power usage.
For example, AC functions on TIG welders are typically used for welding aluminum or magnesium, so if you aren’t going to be doing that, you do not need this function, as it will make the welder cost more.
Cooling Units: The larger the TIG welders, the more cooling they require.
Failure to have such measures in place can naturally result in overheating and drastic consequences.
That said, this also adds to the cost, so look for units that maximize the welding time and output so as to make the most of the cooling system it has.
Understand Power Demands: Make sure you know how much power you will need to accomplish your task. Buying an underpowered welder will simply lead to an expensive headache.
Don’t Get Carried Away: Make sure that you spend according to your needs, no more, no less.
Don’t get units that are too heavy, are too underpowered, or otherwise don’t meet your needs.
By paying attention to your needs, you can do a better job of maximizing the value of your product.
Top 5 Best TIG Welders Under $1000
Short on time? Take a look at my top 5 Best TIG welders under $1000:
5. Forney 324
You can use it in a DIY sense, but it can also help you get a stable job and, from there, move up to some of the highest-paid and most in-demand jobs in the welding business.
But that doesn’t mean that you want to spend a fortune on TIG welders to get started.
Thankfully, while TIG welders are typically more expensive MIG welders, there are still some that can be purchased for less than $1,000.
So let’s take a look at what we should look for in TIG welders at this price point, examine five of the best options on the market, and help you determine which one is the right choice for you.
1. AHP AlphaTIG 200X (Best Overall)
Weighing in at a hefty 69 lbs, this certainly isn’t the lightest option on this list.
What’s more, it is also 23 in. tall and has a total footprint of 19 in. x 12 in., meaning it takes up quite a bit of space for a welder of any kind.
Nevertheless, with that heft comes a ton of power and prestige, landing it at the top spot here.
That said, you should still probably have a garage, studio welding area, or a small shop already set up that can accommodate this unit’s vast size.
So what’s so great about this model?
For one thing, it is incredibly versatile. One of the biggest problems with some of the less expensive models on the market is the fact that they are, as a necessity of that inexpensiveness, incredibly limited.
By contrast, this is far and away one of the most versatile options on the market, marked by an ability to weld most any kind of aluminum or steel piece you have.
What’s more, this model comes with a capacity for 200 amps, so yes, all that heft does house power to match! It also offers both AC as well as DC power, allowing you to switch back and forth with ease.
Add to that the fact that it has a 60% duty cycle, which can allow you to work longer and harder without stopping, and it isn’t hard to see why this model has such a prestigious place in the industry and on this list.
✔️ One of the best things about this model is the fact that, for a TIG model, it actually does a fair job of making things accessible, at least for a TIG welder.
The controls are more streamlined than you’ll find with a lot of other leading models.
At the same time, however, they do not sacrifice any of the complexity that makes TIG welders so beloved by those who use them.
✔️ In addition, it comes with a wealth of fantastic TIG accessories.
For one thing, you get a control switch that makes it that much easier to move between different power modes. In addition, you get a foot pedal that can help make that process easier and more controllable still.
That is especially true with respect to the torch, which is thin and features a fantastic degree of precision.
✔️ This is especially important when working on automotive features. You don’t want to have beading or rough patches when working on these items.
After all, who wants to grip metal bars that are rough to the touch and cut your hands, or drive around in a motorcycle with metal siding that looks like it’s been roughed up by a cheese grater.
With this model, you can enjoy precise, smooth welding every time on everything from cars to motorbikes to sculptures and everything in between.
If you’re looking for the best way to give something a smooth finish, you won’t get much smoother than the capabilities of this TIG welder from AHP.
✔️ In addition to that aforementioned amperage range of 200, this model can also work with both 110v and 220v setups. The former is ideal if you want to plug the unit into a home power socket.
The latter power range – which is not compatible with home sockets, so you’ll need a separate power source – can be great for working on projects that require a greater amount of energy.
The AC/DC capability really comes into play in bigger jobs like this. AC currents can help you clean oxidation as it collects on the surface while you weld.
Switching between AC and DC is easy with advanced inverters, the kind of pulse width modulation that’s present in modern IGBT technology, so if that matters to you, that’s yet another point in this model’s favor.
Even among the best models there are a few quibbles to be had, and the AHP is no exception.
❌ Perhaps most notably, you cannot calibrate the regulator on this machine, which means there can sometimes be a big difference between how much argon it says you have left and how much is actually present. Given how important argon is to the TIG welding process, this is naturally an issue.
In addition, the machine does not show the current amount of amperage that you have set, so you’d better remember it yourself or write it down.
The display does not change until at least the 2T point, even if you adjust the amperage knob yourself.
That said, these are mostly slight display-centric setbacks. When it comes to raw performance, this model is in top form.
What’s more, this model features a fantastic tick welder and it can handle everything from ¼ in. aluminum to ⅜ in. mild steel, opening up a huge range of welding possibilities.
Finally, at $800, this model is definitely priced out of the starter welder range, but as stated that’s not typically where TIG welders shine or belong anyway, $800 is a steal for this steel-welding machine.
2. PrimeWeld CT-520D (Runner-up)
As demonstrated above, it’s well worth paying for quality. For as wonderful as the AHP is, however, and deserving of that $800 price point, it’s downright incredible that this offering from PrimeWeld is available for less than $500.
That matters because, as stated, one of the biggest obstacles to succeeding in any kind of medium is the possibility of being priced out of it.
To go back to our filmmaking analogy, the French cinematic titan Jean Cocteau famously said film would not be a “real” art until its materials were as affordable and accessible as “pencil and paper” – in short, until anyone could be a filmmaker.
You could argue the same is true of TIG welding.
While it isn’t anywhere close to “pencil and paper” territory, the more affordable price point of this model by PrimeWeld is a sign not just of its greater marketability but the fact that TIG welding may finally be able to reach the broader audience that MIG welding has long monopolized.
✔️ There’s quite a lot to like about this model besides its accessible price point, beginning with the fact that it is not just an incredible budget TIG welder (a phrase which, once upon a time, would’ve been a paradox unto itself), but a 3-in-1 combo unit.
You don’t just get a TIG welder with this but a Stick welder as well as a plasma cutter.
The latter may be the real prize here.
Most plasma cutters cost even more than TIG welders, so being able to get one for such a comparatively inexpensive price and have it included in a set with a Stick nozzle and TIG welder to boot? That’s a ton of features all included in one highly compact package.
✔️ The model measures 23.6 in. x 12.8 in. and weighs 32 lbs, meaning that it’s a lot easier to move from one place to another than the AHP.
If you’re looking for a portable TIG unit, especially one with as many features as this model offers, you would be hard pressed to do better than this.
✔️ This is another model to feature dual function, allowing you to switch between 110v and 220v capabilities.
We’ve already gone over what these power levels correspond to in terms of home versus external power.
The point is that by including both, you are once again given a greater degree of choice over how and where you want to use your TIG welder.
By now, you’re probably starting to see why this has landed on our list of best TIG welders under $1,000.
However, we’re only getting started. This is another model that boasts 200 amps, though it should be noted that the max level for the plasma cutter is 50 amps.
Either way, you once again have a lot of power to play with, allowing you to take on all manner of heavy metal welding jobs.
This model can cut through different metals as thick as ½ in.
✔️ This model also has a built-in air gauge, which makes it all the easier to help keep track of the regulation process while welding.
What’s more, as with the AHP, that 60% duty cycle means that you can weld for a longer period of time.
The control panel on this model is quite clear and easy to use.
It has both digital displays as well as analog air pressure gauges, allowing you to monitor different elements of your unit in different ways.
This ease of use naturally makes this model highly accessible. On that note, it is also easy to toggle between TIG and Stick welding.
✔️ This model also boasts a durable design. Since it is portable enough to take with you, it may be tempting to take this model along as a portable unit.
This can prove to be a problem with other models that aren’t as sturdily constructed as the casing can become dented and damaged if the unit rattles around in the trunk of your car or elsewhere in your vehicle.
With this model, however, you have a welder that can take a beating (though you should probably cushion and store it carefully to prevent that in the first place).
One thing to keep in mind – you may want to bypass the regulator and instead run argon right into the machine.
The regulator is good at what it does and can work well with the plasma cutter, but it can make it difficult when working with argon when welding stainless steel with the TIG nozzle.
❌ The biggest downside of this welder is that it only has DC capability, which means that it cannot take on aluminum or other metals on the softer side of the spectrum.
That’s exacerbated by the fact that the high amount of amps this unit offers combined with the 60% duty cycle means that this model will probably warp any lighter metals you try to weld.
In addition, this model does not employ IGBT technology. Instead, it makes use of Mosfet transistors.
This means that you cannot take advantage of a pilot arc and, likewise, cannot cut through rusty, rough, or painted surfaces.
This model comes with consumables, which are of high quality and should last you for a while. It also comes with an electrode holder, which makes Stick welding that much more convenient.
Finally, it also includes a detailed manual to help you get started. As a result, while this may not be a “beginner” TIG welder per se, it is still accessible and affordable enough for those with a bit of a welding background to transition into, especially if they are looking to take up plasma cutting as an added bonus.
3. Everlast Power i-TIG 201 (Best Value)
This is yet another model that would be properly filed under the “More Welding Bang for Your Buck” category. Once again, we have a more accessible (if not quite so inexpensive) price point of roughly $650.
As demonstrated below, this model from Everlast has a wide array of features that you would expect of high-end models such as Msxstar and Invertec. Unlike those models, however, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to use them.
If you have used a Power i-TIG 200 in the past, you can view this option as an upgrade or replacement for that.
The power situation behind this model is a tricky one.
On the one hand, it has a low amp starting point of just about 5 amps, and it makes use of both lift start capabilities as well as a high-frequency start feature, which is used for DC welding.
These are elements that you might normally associate with lower-powered machines, though here they are simply employed to provide more precise temperature control, which is always a good thing.
On the other hand, however, this model also knows how to crank things up when it needs to, as it is yet another model that offers 200 amps.
However, the duty cycle is lower at just 35%. That said, it can also offer both 120v and 240v setups.
It’s a more complicated power situation, but at least that means that you have a lot of options.
✔️ Having spelled out the power situation above, let’s begin by saying this is another reasonably light unit, at least for a TIG welder.
Certainly there are welders far lighter than 40 lbs, and this unit isn’t by any means the kind of thing you can just casually carry anywhere you like.
That said, it also isn’t too much of a chore to pick it up and go when the need arises. This unit measures 26 in. x 6 in. x 14 in., meaning it’s also pretty compact.
✔️ We’ve talked a bit about the dichotomy between digital and traditional analogue controls and displays. This model gives you the best of both worlds by giving you the former while offering the look and feel of the latter.
If you’re more of a free-spirited welder, this may be refreshing. If you’re the type who likes to control and monitor the controls at all times, the blended display offered by this model makes that easy.
✔️ Whether you’re a free spirit or a control freak, this all results in smooth, clean welds.
This is another dual voltage unit, which can enable you to weld steel as much as 5/16 in. thick at 20v on a single pass.
Even at 120v, you can still weld 3/16 in. steel on a single pass, or even 3/8 in. thick on multiple passes. As such, while that preamble about its unit’s power situation may provide a hint of caution, this unit nevertheless has it where it counts.
❌ That said, it is worth reiterating that this unit is only capable of DC welding, which is a major limitation compared to the others on this list.
If you need to weld aluminum, you should look at other options included here, as this one does not have the touch and gentleness necessary to handle such soft metal.
What’s more, while durability for other models, such as the PrimeWeld, is a plus, here it is a little bit lacking.
That doesn’t mean that this model will go to pieces at the touch of a feather, of course, but you’ll need to be gentler with it than would be necessary with other models on this list.
It does not come with a foot pedal, though it does have a slot for one if you choose to purchase it.
In addition, while it includes a consumables starter pack, it does not give you tungsten, and given that that’s the “T” in “TIG,” some view see that as a bit lacking.
Even with those limitations, however, this model does a good job of providing you with an effective heat gun that is reasonably precise and can be used for everything from automotive work to metal sculpting.
It is of professional-grade and yet it is not priced as expensively as many such units are, so if you’re looking for an affordable professional TIG welder to get started, here’s your chance.
The blend between old and new with the mixture of digital and analog features is another nice touch. As long as you purchase a foot pedal to help you really take advantage of the extra precision this unit offers, you should be in good shape.
4. Lotos Technology LTPDC2000D
Here we have another 3-in-1 combo welder that offers a TIG, Stick, and pilot arc that provides you with a plasma cutter.
As with the other 3-in-1 welder, the PrimeWeld, this model offers 200 amps when using the TIG and Stick nozzles along with 50 amps for the plasma cutter option.
Once again, we have dual voltage capacity at either 110v and 220v, and as explained in other models, this allows you to use this welder in a variety of settings.
This is another model that, while not a breeze to move, is nevertheless doable and ranks well in that regard among other TIG welders, weighing in at 41 lbs and measuring 17 in. x 12.5 in. x 8 in.
✔️ This is by far one of the most user-friendly models we have looked at, being the closest thing on this list to a model that could be considered anywhere near “beginner-friendly.”
That is almost never the case with TIG welders, but this model manages to be the exception to that rule. All you need to do is turn it on, set the current, and weld away.
It can also take on a wide array of different materials, including stainless steel and different ferrous alloys.
✔️ The torch head for this model is highly adjustable, which makes it that much easier to twist and turn it and, thus, get into all those tight corners that are sometimes necessary in tricky intricate welding jobs.
This is another model that makes use of IGBT, so if that’s a major concern of yours, rest assured that this model makes use of an Infineon IGBT Power Drive matrix.
It is also reasonably durable. The PAPST cooling system included on this model also means that the unit can stay cooler easier and longer than others.
✔️ Finally there’s the price, the cheapest yet – just over $500. That is about as low a price as you can expect to pay for a professional-grade TIG model such as this.
❌ That being said, you get what you pay for, and besides not being able to deal with aluminum, this model’s regulator is also sometimes unreliable.
Even so, this is not the only model on this list with that issue, as the AHP also struggles in that regard.
The leads for your welding torch are on the short side.
Between that, leaked argon from the regulator, and the lack of a foot pedal included, while this model may be inexpensive upfront, that “cheapness” may turn around and lead you to have to spend more money trying to fix some of these issues.
This is a reasonably versatile model that can be used for everything from small welding businesses to home hobbyist and DIY work and everything in between.
It is accessible enough so as not to overwhelm less experienced users while rewarding professionals with an array of useful features.
5. Forney 324
Forney is far and away one of the most respected names in the welding industry, so it’s no surprise that one should land on this list. The Forney 324 is inverter-based, is DC-only, and has a slightly lower amperage at “just” 190.
That said, unless that 10 amp difference is absolutely crucial to you, this is a solid unit, in large part because it is the only option on this list to be a combo TIG/MIG welder.
Actually, this model ships as a TIG/MIG welder but only includes a nozzle for the latter, so if you want to do TIG welding you’ll need to buy the torch and spool gun on your own.
This is a bigger model, at around 50 lbs and measuring 20.25 in. x 16 in. It definitely isn’t as big as the AHP, but it isn’t a breeze to move, either.
What’s more, this model also comes with the lowest duty cycle listed here, 20%. This model is definitely designed for domestic use in mind, as reinforced by the fact that it is meant to run off 120v. You can also do flux core welding with this model.
✔️ That TIG/MIG duality is by far the best thing about this unit. This means that you don’t have to buy separate machines to do separate tasks, making this one of the most convenient options on this list.
You can handle several different types of welding with this model, especially once you grant it full TIG capability.
It also comes with a detailed instruction manual, which is nice if you are feeling your way through this for the first time.
❌ This model brushes right up against that $1,000 mark. It is by far the most expensive and does not even ship with a TIG nozzle, though in fairness that’s stated outright.
This model is definitely not meant for heavy-duty tasks, and you probably won’t be using it for anything industrial in nature. You should probably stick to 1/4 in. thickness and below.
Why Is TIG Welding Great for Thinner Metals?
Having made it through our list, it’s now time to turn our attention to a few other basic questions.
One of the biggest selling points of TIG is that it combines strength with gentleness, able to weld solid steel while still being the best choice for dealing with thinner materials.
This method of welding makes use of non-consumable tungsten electrodes along with shielding gas such as argon (mentioned above) or helium.
This, combined with the fact that, unlike in MIG welding, you can start with a very low amperage (as low as 5 amps) means that you have a wide range of power and heating options with which to work.
Foot pedals also help increase the precision of your task by improving the accuracy of your weld.
Factors to Consider When Buying a TIG Welder
Having tackled that major question, let’s refocus on the units we have reviewed and consider afresh the factors by which you should evaluate them when choosing the right one for you.
1. The Welder’s Price
We have already run over this with the different units listed above. Models like the AHP are a bit more pricey, but they also tend to come with more features included.
By contrast, models such as the Lotos are more stripped down but are also far more cost-effective, making it that much more affordable and, thus, easy to get started.
You also want to consider how much you may have to spend to get the model working to a point at which you will be satisfied with its performance.
For example, you have to purchase extra add-ons before you can even use the Forney 324 for welding.
Forney is a great name within the welding community, so that may very well be money well spent – but it is also extra money spent.
2. The Welder’s Power
This is especially important when it comes to welding metals of different thicknesses. For example, if you are welding something that is on the thicker side, you are going to need the amperage to back you up.
Lower level amperage below 200 and a 110v setup in terms of voltage probably won’t do the trick.
That said, this cuts both ways. As mentioned above, one of the great things about TIG welders is that they allow you a greater degree of control over the starting amperage point, and for delicate jobs you may want to drop that down to as low as 5 amps.
The thicker the metal, the more power you’ll often need.
3. Ease of Use and Accessibility
TIG welders are, as a rule, more difficult to learn how to use for newbies than MIG and flux core options.
That said, as mentioned in the PrimeWeld review, some models streamline things or otherwise work to make their displays more discernible so as to make it easier on new welders. In addition, the Forney 324, as a combo TIG/MIG unit with flux core capabilities, also has that degree of accessibility as well.
4. Weight and Portability
Needless to say, if a unit is incredibly heavy, you probably won’t be able to take it with you everywhere you go. Nobody wants to schlep around a 50 lb machine.
At nearly 70 lbs, needless to say the AHP, for as wonderful as it is overall, would not be our first choice for a portable machine.
What else matters in terms of portability? Handles and other means of making carrying the unit easier to carry.
5. What Are You Planning to Weld?
Last, but not least, you’ll want to ask yourself one of the most important questions any welder must face – what are you going to weld?
If it’s steel, as we’ve established, you’re in good shape. All of the welders listed here can weld steel with ease, though some have greater power levels for reasons mentioned above.
On the other hand, if you are welding something as soft as aluminum, you need something that can not only switch from DC to AC, but also offer a lighter touch.
As seen above, some of these welders have that capability, and some are a bit more lacking in that regard.
Best TIG Welders under $1000 FAQs
Let’s close out this page about TIG welders under $1000 with answers to some of your most frequently-asked questions about them!
1. Which type of weld is the strongest?
On the whole, TIG welders produce the strongest type of weld. That is one reason why they are so good at dealing with steel, and the reason we have given them so much attention here.
2. Why are TIG welders so expensive?
As has been demonstrated above, there are quite a few factors that go into a TIG unit. They tend to have a lot more controls to keep track of than other models, and often have more power.
These and other features help make TIG welders among the more expensive options on the market. That said, a couple of the options listed here are around $500, which is extremely inexpensive for a welder of their power.
3. Is TIG welding easier than MIG?
As we have already covered, TIG welding is typically seen as more complex than MIG welding, and TIG welders are more complicated to use than their MIG counterparts. That being said, if you are trained in how to use TIG properly, it does not have to seem “hard.”
4. What is the hardest metal to weld?
This is naturally a subjective question. As mentioned, for steel you need more power, while for aluminum you need more touch.
Ferrous alloys and similar options require more consideration, as they are made of different materials and thus need to be considered more complexly.
5. What are the disadvantages of TIG welding?
As stated, price and complexity are the two biggest disadvantages to TIG welding. In addition, many units cannot weld aluminum.
That said, as demonstrated with top-tier options such as the AHP, in TIG welding as well as in life, oftentimes where there’s a will there’s a way.
TIG welding can be an incredibly rewarding pastime, and allow you to weld steel like you never thought possible.
If you are willing to invest the money and time necessary into one of these machines or one like them, you too can experience their power and potential.
This is definitely a polarizing inclusion. That said, if you are looking for a combo TIG/MIG welder and don’t mind upgrading it a bit, it can handle quite a bit of DIY work.