Best budget Tig?

  1. F.J.

    F.J. Forum Supporter

    Hi all,
    After posting previously regarding budget Tig sets i was advised to improve the title, cheers 'gavuk'.

    I use MIG every day and MMA occasionally but i am now being asked to do more jobs that involve TIG welding (and having to sub them out). Not having a lot of experience with TIG i have decided to invest in a TIG set that initially wont break the bank but will also be a decent set that i will enjoy using. The kind of jobs i am being asked to do are stainless steel kitchen appliance's, Stainless filter housings, steel tubing (16's gauge) and the occasional Ally fuel tank for trucks.

    I understand i need an AC/DC set for ally and have found this set on Ebay, a Cobel 200amp AC/DC Tig. I know its chinese but the seller has very good feedback and searching on here the general feeling about it is hit and miss.

    Failing that i have also come across these:
    Parweld XTI160
    160amp SIP Tig

    My question is, Which of these would be best value for money? (I am flexible on the AC/DC as i can still sub out the ally work if the Cobel is c**p).

    Cheers for any info guys

  2. hotrodder Member

    SE England
    Normally i would pick the Thermal Arc out of those brands but the 175se is a stick inverter that (like virtually any DC stick welder) can be used for TIG. It is quite different compared to a 'real' TIG in that the only control is amperage... no gas solenoid, no slope controls, nothing.

    Every cheapnese TIG i've used has welded fine. It's not like cheap MIGs where a crappy wire feed can make them hateful things to use... ok arc quality can vary some but 99% of it's down to the hand that's holding the torch with TIG.
    The issue with cheapnese TIGs is more one of reliability- they've not been developed and tested, they're generic/a copy (or a copy of a copy) of somebody else's old design that could have been thrown together by a child being paid a bowl of rice a day, given a shiney coat of leaded paint and then thrown on a boat before being kicked about by various box movers. Unsurprisingly given that inverters are full of witchcraft they don't always last long before popping [/tongue in cheek]

    My take on it is that ebay is to be avoided for this sort of thing unless the seller is an estabilished welding supplier with a real shop somewhere. This is also the reason why Rtech and TecArc get recommended here a lot for cheaper kit. Both started out as welding equipment repairers and are known for good customer service. The parweld will be a safeish bet in that they're unlikely to disappear i.e. the warrenty will be worth the paper it's written on. I wouldn't touch the SIP with a bargepole but that's more on principal- they're typically expensive for cheapnese kit and just, well... merr
  3. F.J.

    F.J. Forum Supporter

    Thanks hotrodder,

    That's a clear indication of what I should be looking for. I've just been looking on r-tech's website and I think ill put a bit more cash in the pot and invest in one of their TIG sets. As it happens their only down the road from me too so may pop in today while I'm out pricing up some jobs
  4. Personally I would buy a good quality second hand one. It will still last just as long and you will get one for the price of a cheap new one.
    I just bought a linde/union carbide ucc-305 3phase industrial tig off eBay with water cooler, torch everything for less than 300 quid. Now that's cheaper than most of the cheapnese crud and dare I say it much better.
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