Despite being one of the cleanest welding methods, TIG welders have a reputation for being expensive. However, you can still find some great options at a relatively affordable price.
In this article, I’ll review some of the best TIG welders under $500, so you can choose the one that suits you the most. Let’s dive in!
If you go shopping for a TIG welder, it won’t take you long until you realize that finding a good one isn’t the easiest thing to do.
That’s where I hop in for the rescue, I scoured the market to find the best TIG welding machine that you can buy within the $500 budget. This can shortcut your searching process and make it easier and straight to the point.
YESWELDER TIG-205DS is the type of TIG welder you’d go for if you want to buy a complete unit that meets all your welding needs and still walk away with some budget cash in your pocket.
Judging the welder by its price, it’ one of the most affordable options in this price range. However, it has a basic warranty, which isn’t surprising if you factor in the price.
One of the main assets of the YESWELDER TIG-205DS is its portability. The main welding unit weighs less than 20 pounds, making it one of the easiest ones to carry around. The unit is also fitted with a large and durable handle to make it even easier to carry.
In fact, with such a low weight, you might never need a cart to move it. Additionally, it stores pretty easily in any space.
It has dimensions of about 18.3 inches length, 13.8 inches width, and 10.7 inches height. While it’s a great option for portability, it’s clear that the device will have some durability problems.
Despite its affordable price, this TIG welder is a small beast. It has dual voltage capabilities that allow it to range from 15 to 200 amps using 110 and 220-volt inputs. The optimization of the small welder doesn’t end here
While many brands focus on the power to weld thick metals, this one also allows for small amperage to weld the thinnest of metal sheets.
Unfortunately, this welder only supports DC welding current output. In other words, it won’t be able to weld tricky metals like aluminum. However, it has an excellent range of power to weld other metals like mild steel.
Also, TIG-205DS supports different methods of welding. In addition to TIG welding, you can also use it for Stick welding, Arc welding, and MMA welding.
The device’s control panel is a matter of perspective. Don’t get me wrong; the control panel is simple and easy to use. It has a high-frequency start that guarantees that the welder runs every time you start it. However, it feels “too simple”.
This can be ideal for a beginner who wants to cut straight to the chase but an advanced user would find that counter-intuitive.
The panel has a key to switch between TIG welding and other processes. The smart IGBT technology makes this switching much easier and quicker.
Also, it has a single knob that controls the amperage of the unit while operating. You can easily view the amperage through the LCD mini screen.
The unit also comes with a wide variety of safety modules. These include overheating protection, overload protection, and automatic voltage control.
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If you’re looking for an all-round perfect option for that price range, the Amico TIG-225 should be your ideal fit.
This welder comes with a number of valuable features as well as versatility options. Yet, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to have it in your workshop.
Similar to the YESWELDER TIG-205DS, this one also comes with a one year warranty with parts supply. Unfortunately, the one-year warranty can’t be extended, which can be a problem for some buyers.
The device is also noticeably compact. It’s about 19 inches in length, 10.2 inches in width, and 13.6 inches in height. This makes it ideal to fit in all kinds of storages and garages when not in use.
Additionally, it weighs only 16 pounds. This makes it super portable while saving you the hassle of buying a cart to move it around.
Although the Amico construction has a lot of hard plastic in it, the compactness of the device makes it fairly durable, so you won’t have to worry about that.
Similar to the YESWELDER, this one is also a dual voltage TIG welder. You can run it on both 115 and 230 volts to produce a current that ranges from 15 to 220 amps.
Despite packing an immense amount of welding power, it also has a significant level of arc stability while welding. The device is a 2 in 1 combo, allowing you to weld in either TIG or Stick processes.
The layout of the Amico User-interface is also simple. It has a key that switches between Stick and TIG welding, which is quick due to its Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) module. Amico TIG-225 doesn’t have an AC output, so it doesn’t TIG weld aluminum.
One impression that you’ll have about this TIG welder is that it’s highly efficient in energy consumption. It has an advanced inverter technology that allows it to waste less energy, which saves you a lot of electricity bill money in the long run.
You should also know that the Amico-225 is only compatible with DC welding. In other words, it can perform perfect welds on mild steel, copper, brass, chrome, and other metals. However, it can’t weld aluminum.
The welder comes with a TIG torch gun along with a clamp, electrode and cable holder, argon gas hose, and a power adapter. Yet, it lacks a foot pedal.
If you’re looking for a welding unit that offers high versatility and power at the same time, the CT-520D from PrimeWeld should be your way to go.
With multiple features that come at a mid-range price, this welder will give you a decent value for your money. Let’s have a look at the CT-520D and see what it’s all about.
What makes PrimeWeld CT-520D special is that it comes with a 3-year warranty to cover repairs and parts along with a responsive customer support team. This adds to the value of the purchase!
Although it has a durable steel casing, the welding unit weighs a bit less than 32 pounds. This makes it relatively portable despite not being the lightest one around. It also has a sturdy handle that makes it easy to carry and walk around with.
At this price range, it’s difficult to find a TIG welder that packs an inverter technology. However, the CT-520D is built in a way that allows it to consume less energy while putting out a significant amount of welding amperage.
This is ideal for both recreational and professional welders, as it’ll help them lower the operational costs, which adds to their final profits.
Additionally, it’ll save more money for the DIY and home welders, allowing them to make more projects.
The simplicity of its control panels makes it an excellent choice to consider for welders who prefer simplicity.
Despite its reasonable price, PrimeWeld managed to make this one 3-1 combo device. This means that it weld in a number of different welding methods. In addition to TIG welding, you can also use it as a portable plasma cutter or even a Stick welder.
Despite being relatively pricier than some welders in this category, the welder supports a single voltage.
Its motor produces 200 amps at 220 volts only, so you can’t use it at 110 volts current. However, It has a duty cycle of about 60%. This enables it to weld continuously for 4 minutes before taking rest for 6 minutes.
The lack of dual voltage doesn’t mean that it’s not versatile. The plasma cutter has a power of about 50 amps, which is powerful enough to cut through a wide variety of metals.
These metals include stainless steel, cast iron, mild and alloy steel, copper and its alloy, aluminum, magnesium, and more!
Despite being able to cut through aluminum, it doesn’t weld aluminum quite well. The CT-520D lacks AC current support. So despite being a great option for ferrous metal welders, it’s not ideal for frequent aluminum welders.
Lotos is one of the reputable welding machine makers, so it’s no surprise that one of their TIG welders would be on this list. For a price that won’t poke a hole in your wallet, you’ll enjoy a welder that works in a wide variety of processes as well as doubling as a plasma cutter.
Similar to all Lotos devices, this one comes with a warranty policy. The welder is supported for one year upon registering on their website.
Additionally, the Lotos CT520D comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the welder’s quality.
Unlike some of the welders on this list, this one is the heaviest and bulkiest one. It has dimensions of about 17 inches length, 8 inches width, and only 11 inches height.
The welding unit weighs around 38.5 pounds. As you can see, the unit is still not super heavy and can still fit in most storage areas. Additionally, it has a large top handle to make it easier to carry the welder around.
One of the main upsides of this model is that it can support dual voltage welding. It works with 220 volts currents to produce up to 200 amps of welding power. You can also use it at 110 volts to obtain up to a range of 10 to 150 amps.
However, this TIG welder isn’t ideal for welding aluminum, as it lacks the AC current compatibility needed for it.
The control panel of the Lotos CT520D has a number of switches, buttons, and knobs allowing you to control multiple aspects of the welder. While a beginner might think it’s not easy to use, all these keys are labeled clearly, and getting the hang of them is just a matter of time.
The TIG welder comes with a high-frequency start feature that ensures high efficiency at every start. The device is also compatible with a foot pedal that controls the current but the foot pedal is sold separately.
One of the features that this TIG welder misses is inverter technology. However, it’s compensated with the large number of applications and metals that the device can work with.
The Lotos CT520D comes with its own TIG torch, plasma cutter torch, and air filter regulator. Additionally, it’s compatible with multiple accessories
Last but not least, Forney is also a popular welding machine brand that makes quality products for all users. The Forney 291 welder is characterized by being a great choice if you’re looking for a compact model that’s also easy to use.
Forney has a wide selection of warranty options. According to their website, you can have warranties starting from 6 months all the way up to 5 years. The products are also backed with a 90-day money-back guarantee for a worry-free purchase.
The Forney 291 is about 14 pounds of weight. Coupled with a super durable handle, this TIG welder is an ideal choice for construction site welders who rely mainly on mobility.
Unlike many portable TIG welders in the market, this one provides a highly stable arc even on generators.
The lightweight welder can be easily taken to where the project is without needed special equipment. It’s also very durable when compared to TIG welders of its size. The device is enclosed in a rugged metal case to protect the internal components from wear and tear.
Despite being small in size and weight, the TIG welder is remarkably powerful when it comes to welding. According to Forney, this machine can weld up to 0.5 inches of mild steel. All that thanks to the 180 amps it can put out.
The TIG welder also features dual voltage. You can use the welder in a range of 10 to 90 amps for 120 volts. Also, you can weld with up to 180 amps for 230 volts. This versatility is possible thanks to the power adapter that comes with the product.
It has an elegant layout with a control panel that allows you to control all aspects of the welder. Moreover, it can also weld using the Stick method, which adds to the versatility of the Forney 291.
The TIG welder is also packed with innovative technologies that make your job easier. For example, the Easy Start one allows you to operate the device right away without frustration.
The TIG welder also comes with multiple accessories that are necessary for its operation, such as a ground clamp and electrode holder.
Additionally, it has a lift start capability for the TIG process. This eliminates the need for a foot pedal, as you’ll be able to adjust it with ease.
With that said, you have a thorough guide with everything you need to know before picking the best TIG welder under the $500 mark.
As you can see, the options can vary in terms of properties and features. However, I believe that Lotos CT520D TIG Welder is the winner for this round.
The TIG welding machine produces one of the cleanest welds for its price range. The 3 in 1 combo will save you the hassle of buying a separate Stick and Arc welder as well as a 50-amp plasma cutter.
Additionally, it comes with dual-voltage capabilities that allow it to work with both 110 and 220 volts to obtain a wide range of amps starting from 10 and all the way up to 200 amps.
There are many factors that affect your buying process while shopping for a TIG welder.
In the following list, I’ll provide you with some of the most important points that you need to consider in that price range.
TIG welders vary in prices dramatically. You can get a brand new one for as cheap as $200 while others can easily set you back a few thousand bucks.
From the previous point, you can conclude that it’s not possible to get everything from a $500 TIG welder. For example, in most cases, the device will have limited access to features.
Also, the package won’t be a complete one with everything you’ll need for your job. For example, almost all $500 TIG welders don’t come with a foot pedal.
Moreover, the warranty will always be limited to about 1 or 2 years unless you pay more to extend them. If you prefer a long warranty, PrimeWeld CT-520D should be your way to go.
It comes ready with 3 years of warranty, so you don’t have to worry about that. Also, the customer support team in PrimeWeld is helpful and friendly.
Most $500 TIG welders are deemed as “portable welders”. These ones are great for professional welders who are always on the move.
While most high-end TIG welders can weigh up to 50 or 60 pounds, a portable one can be less than 30 pounds or even 20.
These portable welders are usually fitted with large and durable handles, so you can carry them around securely.
Since you’ll be mostly using it with a welder generator, the most important thing is to make sure that these welders are generator friendly.
This means that they provide a stable arc for welding even when they’re powered by a generator.
If you’re going for a $500 TIG welder, there’s a big chance that this one is going to be your first ever TIG welder.
In that case, you’ll benefit greatly from all the features that make the welding machine easier to use.
This can be through the limited number of labeled keys and buttons or through an intuitive user interface. For example, a welder that comes with a clear LCD readout screen.
Also, make sure that the device comes with a manual that explains everything you need to know before using the device.
Most households have an input voltage of about 110 volts. On the other hand, most industrial zones and machines operate on a 220-volt system.
If you’re going to use your welder in a single place, you can make it with a welder that supports a single voltage input.
However, investing in a welder that has adapters to work with both power inputs is always a great idea.
For all welders, using a single discipline for welding isn’t always convenient. As a result, you’ll need a welder that’s capable of more than TIG welding.
For example, there are some 2 in 1welding machine combos. These devices can weld in different methods, such as TIG, Stick, and MMA.
Moreover, some combos are 3 in 1, adding a plasma cutter torch to the device. These torches allow you to cut through different metals with ease.
With the advancement in technology, welders are getting a lot of innovative features that enhance the quality of the weld or save you the hassle of adjusting the device.
Even with a budget-controlled TIG welder, you should be on the lookout for some of these smart features.
For example, a TIG welder with an Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) module will be able to switch between different welding settings in an instant.
Also, the advanced Inverter technology in TIG welders is a great way to save power and reduce operational costs.
There are also other features that you can find in TIG welders, such as automatic voltage compensation. This one adjusts the voltage automatically depending on what you’re welding.
TIG welders use a Tungsten electrode to heat the base metal. Also, they use inter gas reservoirs to form a protective cloud above the weld pool. This cloud protects the weld from oxidation and reaction with air.
These features make TIG welding one of the best methods if you’re looking for a clean cut. As a result, opting for a TIG welder is a great investment.
Not only do they produce extremely higher quality welds than other methods, but they also do it with an easier process.
If your main line of work depends on the visible weld part, you’ll also benefit from a quality TIG welder. They can work on a very low amperage to weld paper-thin metals with excellent results and noticeable durability.