TIG torches have innovated the welding industry to make things convenient and practical. TIG stands for inert tungsten gas. It is the type of substance that the flame spouts out to weld different joints and materials.
With that said, the best TIG torch should be able to handle the output of this gas safely and efficiently. Moreover, the torch must be paired well with a good quality hose to bring out its full potential. Stick around as we discuss the factors and what to look for when buying a TIG torch!
Last update on 2019-12-08 at 01:37 PST - Details
What’s a TIG?
Earlier, we quickly mentioned about the inert tungsten gas. Before discussing this kind of application, it’s important that we’re aware of how welding works. Firstly, welding works by melting both the filler material and the work material.
The work stuff is the project you’re working on, meaning it’s the recipient of the weld. On the other hand, the filler material, often called as the welding rod, is the stuff that you use to weld joints together. Often, you can call this material as an electrode. For more welding tips, see Cromweld by Gregory.
With this fundamental principle, welding has numerous variations. It all depends on the technique and strategy applied towards both the filler and work materials. For example, there’s this type called as the shielded metal arc welding.
It is by far the most essential and shared type of welding there is. It makes use of a consumable electrode which acts as the filler material. This electrode is typically a light and grayish stick that resembles Chinese incense sticks. That is why it’s casually labeled as stick welding as well.
The electrode, being a conductor of electricity, is just attached to the welding machine’s clamp. So instead of a torch, you’re working with a clamp that has an electrode. Upon contact with metal objects, this will immediately spark the wire, causing it to weld.
This application is probably the most famous because of its relative ease and convenience. Mastering the stick welding is arguably the easiest, and you can use it for so many applications. Examples are primary metalworks, pipe repairs, and steel joinery.
Now with the TIG welding, the primary difference is the use of the electrode. If the stick welding makes use of a consumable electrode, the TIG doesn’t. Instead, it uses a non-consumable electrode which is applied using the TIG torch.
So, how does this non-consumable electrode work? It uses the principles of plasma. The electrode, in this case, is not the filler material. Instead, it is built inside the torch and acts as a means to generate plasma. The filler material here is usually lead.
Simply put, you place the lead towards the welding area, then the electricity runs through the electrode inside the torch. It creates a plasma which reacts with the lead. An inert shielding gas protects the wire. It prevents it from oxidizing once released, which makes it non-consumable.
TIG welding may sound complicated, and in fact, it can be. That is why it’s not as famous as the stick welding or the gas arc welding. The latter is similar to stick welding, except it uses a wired electrode and torch instead of just a stick.
The best applications of TIG is when you’re working with delicate materials. Metals such as aluminum, magnesium, copper, and stainless steel are all best welded with a TIG torch. It is because of its thin and fragile nature will pose problems for the more traditional stick welding method.
With that said, remember that the TIG may be the most complicated option to master. It is because it makes use of plasma and advanced technology. Still, it’s arguably the most accurate and clean way to weld any metal. Thus, it’s still worth a shot!
Things to Consider Before Buying
Before we head on to the product list, let’s learn some of the key areas to look at when buying a TIG torch. Remember, using TIG for welding can be tricky, in particular for non-professionals. Thus, it’s important to do proper research on the products first.
Flexibility is one of the main factors to consider. When you’re welding anything, it can be a problem if you’re dealing with tight angles. These aspects are difficult for other welding types like the stick and gas ones.
However, the right TIG torch can get the job done. If your torch has enough flexibility, then it will be a lot efficient and versatile to use. Just remember that it should be strong as well.
Speaking of durability, a TIG torch that handles plasma is bound to get a lot of wear and tear. To ensure that you’re going to make a long-term investment, check the material. Good TIG torches must come with high-quality metals. One of the best ones that you should look into is brass TIG torches.
Besides the material of the light, check for the durability of the hose and its fittings. Are the fittings fail-safe? Do they use sturdy material even in the fittings? Also, test the material of the tube and see if there are any leaking issues.
The range is another thing to consider because it can significantly affect how you work. When talking about range, we focus on the length of the hose. Depending on how you’ll use your welding machine, the hose can be as long as 12 feet or shorter than 10 feet.
Remember, tube length does not equate to flexibility. Go back to the material used in the hose to gauge how good the range of the torch is.
Last but not the least; your TIG torch must be comfortable. You may have a top-notch TIG torch, but if it doesn’t suit your preferences, you will have a hard time mastering it. It’s vital to get a good feel with the torch first. Check how it’s constructed and how it fits in your hands.
The weight is a key factor here. Be sure that the weight is light enough for you to maneuver even at the hardest angles. It’s also good to look for ergonomic features that some manufacturers use in their TIG torches.
Finally, check the operation of the tool. Some TIG torches can be quite hard to use. Others, on the other hand, have more friendly mechanics that will let you master this welding machine a lot faster. Some companies also have add-ons in their product, so consider purchasing those for added functionality and convenience.
Our Top 5 Picks
Now that we covered all five of the products, it’s time to decide who takes home the best TIG torch award. When dealing with TIG torches, we have to take note that it has to be durable, flexible, and safe to use.
Taking these three factors into mind, we’ll award the CK Worldwide’s FX torch for its prowess in delivering high-quality weld. There’s little flaw with this product. It might be a little heavy than normal, but the efficiency and innovation that its torch and hose boasts is the best. If you don’t have a welding machine, it’s also good to consider Amico’s 200 amp torch as a starting point.
Remember, always choose safety over price. It’s better to have a quality product that keeps you safe than a cheap one that can burn you and your project. Good luck and don’t forget to share us your thoughts below!