Jump to content

TIG welder recommendation


Recommended Posts

In the spirit of continuing the conversation. I noticed a new player in the area we are talking about.




Yup it is harbor freight. Not exactly the bargain of the century, but it has had positive reviews from what few sources I can find. 


The plus is if anything went wrong, the closest harbor freight is about 10 minutes away so I could in theory exchange it the same day if I bought the optional warranty. 


Don't worry I haven't jumped the shark though. I'm still leaning quite fondly towards the everlast unit. With maybe some aspirations of looking at the square wave lincoln 200, which at $1500, is quite a bit more, but given tax return and time has kind of slipped into the realm of possibility.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Likewise, I ended up purchasing the Everlast 185DV. Got it for $900 with pedal. Spent another ~100 bucks on gas lens kit and some tungsten... this thing is definitely better than I am (my filler technique sucks). Only complaint is that the power switch is on the back... and the flow meter feels chinsy- difficult to be specific in the 5-15CFM range.  Torch, pedal, overall construction has been very nice.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

@seattlejester did you end up buying a welder? if so did you consider the multi use ones they can tig / mic and arc



We have Princess auto here and I was wondering the same about a similair unit these multi purpose welders. The one here is from pro point ( the higher end princess auto brand from what Ive seen) it was on sale the other day for 899cad which is about 700usd. 

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/180-multi-process-mig-arc-tig-welder/A-p8611311e now its $1349

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I've pretty much settled on the Everlast 185DV unit. Just waiting on some funds to account for the accessories and the tank I'll have to buy. 


One of the wants is AC capable, the multiprocess ones don't offer that, at least not without using a spool gun or something of that nature. I also already have a MIG so that would be a bit redundant. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure, I know I want to work with on some intercooler piping (aluminum), definitely want to redo my engine mounts (stainless), and might have to revisit the turbo manifold (stainless). 


I read some guides on picking electrodes, cups, and torches, but kind of over my head at the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

technique is way more important than electrode choice in tig welding.  Establish your puddle, then start moving the torch. keep arc TIGHT.

Feed in filler at appropriate increments, and don't stop the torch for too long otherwise you'll put too much heat into the part.  A million billion times more tricky than it sounds.

Edited by tim.d
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/19/2018 at 5:41 PM, tim.d said:

technique is way more important than electrode choice in tig welding.  Establish your puddle, then start moving the torch. keep arc TIGHT.

Feed in filler at appropriate increments, and don't stop the torch for too long otherwise you'll put too much heat into the part.  A million billion times more tricky than it sounds.


completely agree that technique is very important, I'm no welder but from what I've read the wrong electrode choice can affect your arc. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Exposed said:


completely agree that technique is very important, I'm no welder but from what I've read the wrong electrode choice can affect your arc. 


When really honing in on your skill, electrodes do make a difference. The video below does an excellent job of comparing the various 'colors' that are out there.  But no electrode will make up for beginner or sloppy technique. 




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

So something interesting I learned. AHP and it looks like maybe Everlast as well have kind of a "order for the next shipment" kind of thing going on. That is why you sometimes see the price is higher for the same item. On amazon you can find some Alpha welders for $800 that are essentially available now, or some for $680 that is kind of a pre-order for the next batch or something of that nature. Same thing with Everlast, you can find some for $900, or you can find some that will ship very quickly for find some for over $1000 that in theory should ship same day.


I did miss a chance to grab an alpha locally for $450 NIB on craigslist. Granted that may have been for the better in case something went wrong I wouldn't be able to file a warranty claim.


I ended up grabbing an Everlast 185DV kind of as planned. I bounced back a lot, given the alphatig was a couple hundred cheaper even brand new and had all the controls I could pretty much ever need for a beginner welder, but looks like I missed the last shipment for May and the next one would come end of June. That means no chance to learn how to weld before the summer is in full swing and no chance of getting my trans in before June ends either.


So for an extra $200 or so I decided to grab the Everlast 185DV. Its about 20lbs lighter and much smaller with a longer warranty as well.


Planning on picking up a tank, as well as some Tig gloves. Tungsten I'll have to read up on and I find those pyrex cups kind of a neat idea as well. Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I'll kind of do my summary bit once I have some time under my belt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For people looking to do something similar, I thought a price breakdown might be useful.


Just like with MIG welding it is the accessories that kind of get you.


Everlast 185DV: $899

Furick cup kit with size 8 clear cups without diffusers (for AC) and gas lens conversion: $68 (optional, I think they'll be useful, the gas lens is weldtec and supposedly quite good)

Tungsten grinder: $80 (you can totally get by without this and just a grinding wheel, but I've heard it can help with beginners so I picked one up)

Lanthanated 2% Tungsten: $33 for 10x 7inch rods of both 1/16 and 3/32 (supposedly a decent all rounder, 3/32 is good for most things, 1/16 can be useful for really thin metal)


Already at $1180 not including tax


Still need to get:

Spare consumables alumina cups, gas lens, back caps, etc I used "series 4" type lens and collets, they didn't have them in stock, but had them shipped from a sister store ~$20 for spare collets and gas lenses

Filler rods $10/lb

TIG gloves (once again optional, but I've heard it helps to have the tighter fitting gloves) $15 for tillman gloves

Argon tank, pretty sure I screwed up here, I wanted a customer owned tank, but I bought a new one, I think I could have got a customer owned used tank for a bit less $230 

Pedal (going to try just using the button on the torch first)


Probably another $300 or so there.


All in I think I have about $1500.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Turned the machine on for the first time this weekend. 


Goodness, it is quite different. Not having a pedal might have hurt us in some regard, but interesting to try. Definitely contaminated about 7 tips between my friend and I getting far too close to the material or too close with the filler rod.


Also definitely overheating the crap out of whatever we are welding, but the welds seem more than strong enough. I think we need a chart to go by.


Kind of got overzealous, but we just kind of dove in and played with AC welding as well, that is also a different animal. Aluminum seems to almost just run away from you. Still I can manage to make some ugly, but complete welds.


We managed to almost finish shortening my transmission assembly. Need to do a couple braces/supports, but the shifter assembly supports the shifter and shifts the transmission.


I'll be taking in my knuckles and probably my steering rack shortly to do so photos to come.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I bought my Miller Dynasty 200 DX used from Larry Burross of Applied Equipment in Dallas, TX for a really good price. I needed a power supply that I could use industry standard foot and finger controls and TIG torches with, so I went with a brand name. Buying used saved me several thousand bucks. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a tool chest full of expensive high end tools, but I figured having a reputable TIG welder would be a worthwhile asset. The plasma cutter I have is a generic "CUT50" that you can find on eBay and Amazon, however.


I "settled" on the Dynasty 200 after several failed attempts at buying used Synchrowaves on Craigslist. Some people out there are downright crooks.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use a Miller Diversion 180.  It is fine for my purposes, but in retrospect I think it is overpriced for it's capabilities.


For anyone just starting TIG welding, it is one of those endeavors that is very simple in concept but the execution can take years or decades to perfect.  Sticking two pieces of metal together is not difficult, but making a nice looking solid weld without over-cooking the crap out of the part is exceedingly difficult.  People like the guy on "Welding Tips and Tricks" make it look easy, but.....it isn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've also invested into TIG welder last year. We all have super projects to go such as roll bar, sway bar, braces, etc.

At the end, we all need some learning curves and I got into furniture making. Simply because the risk to kill myself with a table or a lamp is lower than with chassis braces in my Z.

So I've got a welder and I haven't yet made any automotive parts ! 


Between welding techniques, how to set up the welder, choose the right cups, tig rod, gas flow, etc. it takes a lot of time. We all make the same mistake: we believe because we have a welder, we can weld. This is far from being true. 

...and when you believe you start to master the new toy tool, you start realizing that welding make everything moves. Something square at the beginning end up being all over the place at the end. So come new questions: heat management, how to tack and clamp stuffs, etc.


You also realize you do not really know how to cut and shape metal. So it is not always only about welding but also preparation. It takes almost as much time to learn how to properly shape metal as welding.


I have a IGBT Tig 200, same as Powerlast i-TIG 200T and I'm very happy with it. Having AC/DC TIG is for sure a nice feature but I could just use titanium instead if required 😅 Budget comes into play also. I'm way over 1500€ ($1500) with my setup when you add everything up.

I believe having a digital inverter TIG is a must now. I love the pulse feature, high frequency start, slopes, etc. It really helps to control puddle and consistency for beginners with pulses.


Because pictures are cool, here are some of my projects:

A lamp with Edison type bulb, 10 hrs of work to make it. Cool project because it really teaches how to spot weld.



A second lamp because I've found cool rusty chains that inspired me :)




Because we all have to start somewhere: A bottle opener. You have no idea how popular it is. I've build 5 of them - I own none. Each time friends come at my place for a drink, they are begging me for one so I gave them apart.

With this project, I was also able to play with arc length and heat. I was able to make some heat treatment to make the hook harder.




Last project was a coffee table. My work of art (so far!). I've spent 40 hrs minimum in the making. Oh, and I had to learn how to work on reclaim wood also !






Almost done. I still need to finish the legs (hence the board below to avoid scratching the hardwood floor)




Edited by Lazeum
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m with you Lazeum, beautiful table btw.


Purchased an Everlast 250ex. Go big or go home. I’ve been having a blast. My welding itself is mediocre at best, but the whole process has tried to teach me patience and let my creativity go wild. Not to mention learn some fabrication skills.


Prep prep prep, especially with aluminum.


My first project was my coil bracket.



Then welded all my intercooler piping and turbo stuff (modify manifold, build downpipe etc.









after the rush of getting the car on the road for summer was some fun projects (not that the others weren’t, just less pressure).


Wife’s birthday present





and since this thread is about welders....  my welding cart.





pretty excited to learn all the fancy functions, improve my skills and really

hone in on my



I’m really glad I went with a bigger welder. Aluminum eats the amps quick, so does the pulse function (manual or automatic).  200amp minimum if aluminum is in your future at all.

Edited by HuD 91gt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...