If you've been thinking about buying some welding equipment
, surely you've been asking around for opinions on what to get. You also might be regretting that decision thanks to the widely varying opinions on what equipment is right for somebody starting out. TIG welding always comes up in these discussions. Make no mistake, TIG welding is amazing. With a high end TIG welder you can make gorgeous, clean, precise welds in a very wide variety of materials. That's the upside of TIG welding. The downside is the fact that it's much harder to master than stick welding
or MIG welding. This is mostly thanks to the complexity of the hardware. A TIG welding rig has many more adjustments than a MIG welder. This is the reason a TIG setup is so verstaile, but it also makes the learning curve brutal. I've seen techs who considered themselves fairly good at MIG welding become instantly frustrated when they picked up the TIG torch for the first time. For this reason, I always advise learning welders to start with a quality MIG setup
A TIG welder is an arc welder, meaning it uses high voltage eletricity to create a massive amount of heat to join metal. This principal applies to stick and MIG welders, too, but the TIG machine allows you to make adjustments to amplitude, amperage, waveform type to get a perfect weld using very high temperatures. TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas and is also knows as Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). This is for the type of gas it uses to create the gas shield around your weld puddle to keep out contaminants which can weaken your weld.