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Tig rig recommendations

whiskeymakin

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Sep 10, 2008
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For the do it yourselfers what is the best bang for the buck on a tig setup.
Im happy with my current mig setup so im not really looking for a multi process setup. Just a dedicated tig machine.
I have zero experience with these, but hopefully i can get setup and learn it.
 

The-Boss

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May 20, 2010
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705
I just went through the same a while back.I would say the AHP 201xd. It is a very solid machine that will make high quality welds. I bought one and have been very pleased.
If i had not gotten it I was going to get an Everlast 255 EXT.
In my opinion at leat a 200 amps is a must. Heat is more time than anything so being able to throw some amps and get moving usually makes better welds and puts less heat into the parts. I don't weld thick metal but max it out all the time especially getting going. AC Pulse is also an absolute must for me. I wanted to be able to weld aluminum and the pulse makes everything easier/better for me for ac and dc.
I might at some point wish I had gotten the 255 but not yet. Don't forget to figure in cost for a nice hood, some good cups and a variety of consumables.
 

twentyfootdaredevil

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Sep 9, 2010
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148
Can you tell us what you anticipate welding so we can narrow down a decent reccomendation?

I own a mobile welding service and I have 5 or 6 TIG machines for different types of work. I have a pretty nice Dynasty machine that I wouldn't take on a sanitary tube job and I have a Miller Maxstar that I wouldn't take on an aluminum job.
 

whiskeymakin

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Sep 10, 2008
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Mid TN
I thought i mentioned it earlier, but im thinking aluminum would be the majority of what it would be used for.
I need to educate myslef a little more on it really.
I have no clue what advantage the pulse gives...
No idea how different a setup would be to tig carbon steel vs. Aluminum etc...
 

Beerj

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Dec 7, 2014
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Amish Country
Another vote for AHP from me. I have a friend that tigs aluminum pretty much exclusively all day. Maybe he was just being nice but he thought my machine ran surprisingly well. It's no Miller but also doesn't come with the price tag. I figured I wanted something affordable to learn on and would upgrade if I got the hang of it but at this point, it still does everything I ask of it.
 

TBItoy

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Jul 2, 2010
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10,737
Location
Dodson Branch, TN
I like that the AHP has all the knobs right there on the face, rather than digital settings you have to scroll through menus and multiple button clicks to access.

I think it would be easier to learn on (pulse/back, because most of the settings you'll be messing with are more by "feel" than a real number.

I've been looking for a TIG rig for home also, the Dynasty I use at work is way more $ than I want to spend.
 

ToyotaTom

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Mar 12, 2014
Messages
431
I have the Hobart EZ TIG 165i. I haven’t had any issues with it. Great little AC/DC tig welder.
 

jp fan

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Mar 18, 2013
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1,323
Location
East KY
I don’t have experience with one but I have been looking and like the Hobart. Looks very simple to use and since Miller makes it I figure it is a well built machine, especially for a home/hobby machine.
 

twentyfootdaredevil

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Sep 9, 2010
Messages
148
I'd look hard at Everlast, PrimeWeld and AHP for the home shop on a budget.

I've told several people lately that if I wanted a single machine for home use it would for sure be the Miller Multimatic 220. It will do nearly everything a guy would need to do at home as long as you aren't TIG welding thick aluminum.
 

sledneck

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Mar 22, 2008
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946
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Erie PA
@whiskeymakin if you have no tig experience look into the Lincoln Square wave 200. While the othe options are good it will be much easier to learn when your not chasing other settings such as AC freq, balance etc. etc. It will be a much easier machine to learn on.
 

The-Boss

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May 20, 2010
Messages
705
I started learning Tig years ago with older comercial Miller machines. It seemed like any little contamination would kill the bead and was generally very finicky. Some of the newer inverter machines are definitely the way to go unless you have years of experience with the older style. The AC balance cleaning action, pulse heat control and so on make them much more forgiving.
I looked at all the machines out there and good used ones. However I always came back to AHP and Everlast for the money. Both are used commercially quite a bit and are very reliable with all the latest features for much less than a Miller as a budget option. I have a Miller Mig and plasma but couldn't justify a new Dynasty.
If you weld on any rigs make sure the welder is 2t 4t capable so you can use a finger switch. Getting a pedal certain places can be about impossible.
I planned on using mine mainly for aluminum but that changed pretty soon after getting it. I now use it on steel quite a bit. I even welded my buddies stainless airplane exhaust the other day.
 

Bebop

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Jan 27, 2013
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1,806
Like everyone says, HTP or Everlast.

I have a Miller Dynasty but am not good enough of a welder to make any kind of difference between it and my friends Everlast. I've used both without issues.
 

sledneck

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Mar 22, 2008
Messages
946
Location
Erie PA
Probably hard to tell but this Green machine blew up right out of the box. Plugged it in and smoke started rolling out of it. 2nd time we got it back it wouldn't trigger the argon. 3rd time it was a good. I have been using it daily for the last 2 months and it has been good. I also have 2 other tig welders so if it shits the bed its not a huge deal as this is supposed to be a extra machine to move around the shop instead of moving a monster Lincoln 300.
 

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whiskeymakin

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Sep 10, 2008
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Mid TN
Ok, so i do like the auto-like settings of the Lincoln square wave but dang the price! Maybe a black Friday deal will pop up on one
For a beginner that is cheating a little bit because its doing alot of the unknown behind the scenes, but i dont care. Easier the better.
 

yankster

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Mar 13, 2012
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1,031
Location
Gibson, PA
A Miller will make a beginner welder good quickly and a good welder great. Best, most stable arc in the business. Saying all that I bought the big AC/DC Vulcan ProTIG 205 from Harbor Freight and its awesome. I had the Everlast multi-process rig before that, that was a plasma, stick and AC/DC TIG. I burned up the power supply, which was my fault for working it WAY passed it's duty cycle.
 

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