what are the advantages of a water cooled tig welder or an air cooled one, and why i.e. hand positions, etc?
I see many welding videos online where the welder is grasping the cup. I currently use an air cooled torch on a Miller Dynasty 200DX for 90-150 amps and the cup gets hot! Does a water cooled torch stay that much cooler?
It depends on what you are welding. Most “air cooled” torches get hot cable and all. “Water cooled” torches pretty much stay cool. The cup can get very hot, welding a lot of aluminum >200 amps. I have had water cooled torch cups glow white hot before, but only the cup gets hot the torch and cable stay cool. The cup cools down pretty quickly. The air cooled torch just keeps building heat till you quit welding.
The advantages are the air cooled are cheaper and have less maintenance cost. The water cooled ones cost more you will need a water supply or chiller and if in cold climate antifreeze. The water cooled, production wise, will allow you to continuously weld with out stopping for it to cool down. I use both but when welding 65 amps or less I mostly use the air cooled because it is smaller and more flexible it has less hoses to get in the way. The power cable is smaller and more flexible because it doesn’t need the water flow. The air cooled are great up to 150 amps but they need to be allowed to cool (for operator comfort).
(33 years welding)
Building a water-cooled TIG torch