What to look for in Tig Welders For Sale
Look for good arc starts, smooth output, adequate power & duty cycle. In addition it is beneficial to the tig operator to have a few extra adjustments for more control – like pulse, AC Balance & AC Frequency. These features help adjust the output for more control– making welding easier & faster while improving quality & reducing rejects
There are many models & features available, choosing the best TIG welder can seem overwhelming. The process doesn’t need to be difficult if you just stick to the basics:
The Application: Selecting the best TIG welder starts with the application. You would be best served choosing a machine that is capable of welding the material & thickness you plan to be working with. DC welding current machines can weld most metals including steel & stainless steels but not aluminium. If you do plan on TIG welding aluminum – you definately need an AC welding current. Select the AC/DC TIG machine for the ability to weld all metals, not just most. A square-wave AC tig welding machine with high frequency discharge ignition will give you better arc stability & puddle control over other AC units such as the older style transformer units. On all ACDC inverter welding tig welders you can turn a potentiometer to adjust the AC Balance for oxide cleaning. When considering electrode positive as the tungsten polarity, lower settings will preserve your tungsten by reducing erosion due to diminished heat build up. When considering how thick your welder can weld, as a general rule of thumb you will need about 30 amps for every millimetre of aluminium thickness and about 25 amps for every mm of steel thickness. So for 3mm material that is aluminium you will need approximately 90 amps. Understanding the Duty Cycle of your welding equipment is important. Understanding duty cycle can help you make the correct choice when selecting any type of welder. You have to look beyond the model name & number to the rated output of the machine. Don’t be fooled by a unit that boasts 200A of output on the top end, but can only sustain that level for a very short time without causing thermal overload. Traditionally the brand name of a welder had something to do with the duty cycle – but that isn’t the case anymore. Now it is the price. AS60974.1 mandates the duty cycle should be printed on the rating plate of the machine – indicating the amperage level it can sustain for a % of time in a 10 minute period. You should clearly see the rated output amps which should align with the type of welding you plan to do.Every welder has a 100% duty cycle – somewhere on its amperage output curve. Pay heed to the rated output & check the duty cycle near or at the maximum output of the machine.Duty cycle is relative – so you are able to use it and compare models to make sure you get what you pay for & don’t over-buy when you don’t need to.
Think About Location: Consider for a moment where you’ll be welding with your new tig welder & how often you’ll need to move your welder around the workshop. For those that weld mostly indoors within the workshop portability may not be an issue because a welding trolley can move the machine around. For others that may preffer to work in the field you would expect portability to be a major consideration. It’s often difficult to find a machine that’s ideally suited for the shop & the field although if you’re performin the same type of welding activity in both settings there’s no reason a single welder or welding system won’t work for you.
WorkShop Welding: Considering a package that has wheels is old man thinking, even if you don’t plan to carry your welder to a mate’s place. Get a trolley for around $100 and be done with it, being able to easily move & reposition your Tig welder around the workshop is very handy and trolleys are cheap.
Field Welding: For those times when you may need to take the welder to the work many new factors will need to be considered. For now, portability is a relative term – but for this discussion, portability means the welder can be carried.
Weight: Primarily you want to make sure the welder is light-weight & can be easily carried around a worksite. A portable welder is what you will require. A good rule of thumb is less than 30 kilograms for a single person, single handle lift. Of course, the lighter the welding equipment is, the better for the end user.
Power: If you weld in the workshop you will most likely have a dedicated power point to plug into. For field welding applications the question of power availability is not always answered in the affirmative… multi-voltage machines are a great idea but getting them to fire up at full amperage on single phase supply is expensive. A 415V 15 amp per phase machine will need over 40 amps single phase so go for a mobile welder and have a fuel fired engine supply your energy needs. For 200 amp machines you will only need a single phase 20 amp . Some American made welding units automatically switch to the voltage of the line supply while others have a special adapter cord or require manual linking. In Australia, auto line switching machines are not allowed.
Power Consumption: Most welders should be concerned with power draw. Many people purchase equipment only to find out they don’t have enough power to operate it. Manufacturers rate their equipment at a given duty cycle so you need to familiarise yourself with Maximum Amp Draw – which on occasion you may reach when welding thicker material. You may be swayed toward an inverter power source because they draw less power than a conventional machine. That means they are cheaper to install & operate.
Generator Welder Power Options: If you plan to run your TIG welder using a generator, make sure it has the capacity to provide the power at max amperage.
Both Locations: If you need to weld in both the workshop or jobsite with the same unit it may be prudent to choose a welding system that can be configured for either workshop or jobsite. Make sure the welder can be easily removed from where it’s mounted – whether on a cart or trailer.
Warranty & Customer Support: Maybe you have welded with many types of welder brand before, maybe not. At the end of the day many welder brands do a good job when they are working properly. Welding machines have become complicated– using electronic circuits to obtain benefits by exploiting electrical principles for value added benefits. As a result they all need to be maintained regularly. Whether you buy a light-duty TIG welder for occasional use or an industrial TIG welder for every-day fabrication you need to select a welder intended for your application & know that the manufacturer stands behind the product – repairing any defects or failures.
The value of a warranty becomes most apparent when you need to collect on it. The promise made to stand by the goods is worthless if the seller has uprooted and dissapeared. Choose a reputable longstanding brand.
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