5 TIG Welder Upgrades You Can Afford
The nice thing about the influx of guys and gals with TIG welders at home is that we are able to fill out or line of TIG accessories. This allows you to customize your welder to fit your needs (and budget). Once you get the process down you can quickly learn what add-ons will help you make a nicer weld. We’ve quizzed Eastwood employees and customers to find what the top TIG welder accessories are. Read below to learn more about each of them.
- Flex Head TIG Torch– The number one rule when TIG welding is to get comfortable before you weld. Sometimes that means contorting yourself to get the right angle to weld a joint or seam. By adding a flex head torch you can twist and bend the head in any direction you want and you can stay comfortable AND get the correct torch angle and distance. Once you upgrade to a flexible torch we guarantee you won’t want to go back!
- TIG Torch Gas Lens Kit- Once you’re at the point of spending more time welding than touching the tungsten and regrinding it you will benefit from getting additional gas coverage. Gas Lenses for you TIG torch give you better shielding gas coverage and allow you to stick your tungsten out further from the cup for better visibility of the weld puddle. We suggest starting with one of our gas lens kits that get you a variety of cups and collet bodies. Once you start using them you will find your favorite combo of parts in the kit and you can order those individually when needed. As long as you keep your metal clean and don’t drop your torch the gas lens kits will last for many years with no need for replacement.
- Upgraded TIG Foot Pedal- Foot pedal control is an art unto itself when learning to TIG weld. Foot positioning on the pedal is a matter of preference, but we’ve found that our rocker style pedal has less foot/ankle/leg fatigue when welding for long periods of time. It also puts weight on your heel on the pedal which stops the pedal from sliding away from you when pumping the pedal to adjust amperage. Don’t throw that original foot pedal away though! The original pedal is really nice for working in confined areas and also is nice for activating with your leg, knee, arm, etc. when welding out-of-position. We suggest keeping both the standard pedal and the upgraded torch on the cart to cover you on any job you’re working on.
- Tungsten Grinding Wheel- Grinding your Tungsten on a dedicated wheel or sander is very important to keep it from being contaminated. Sharpening your tungsten on a shared grinder or sander can cause contaminants to be impregnated in the tungsten and cause a dirty weld from the get-go. We suggest converting one of the wheels on your 6″ bench grinder to a Tungsten grinder with these special grinding wheels that won’t wear as quickly when grinding the extremely tough tungsten material.
- Welding Flow Meter- Once you start to really fine tune your skills and fully understand welder settings you will want to really dial in your shielding gas flow. By upgrading to a flow meter you can tap the pedal to let the welder flow the gas and makes a ball bearing float in the tube. From there you can quickly adjust the flow to the desired setting accurately. These are a quick, cheap upgrade that makes sense regardless of your skill level.