Here’s What You Need to Know About TIG Welding: Pros, Cons, Cost and More

If you havent welded in a while, practice TIG welding on scraps before welding actual parts.

TIG welding

Whom It’s For

If you want to do projects that require attractive finished welds, such as sculpture or motorcycle exhaust systems, TIG welding is for you.

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TIG welding takes lots of practice, as it requires both hands as well as one foot. Compared with MIG or stick weld-ing, its a bit like going from driving an automatic to driving a stick shift. TIG welding is well suited for auto bodies, chassis/frame, aluminum oil pans, stainless exhaust, metal art, sheet metal, piping systems, motorcycles and bikes.

TIG WELDING COST

  • $250 and up.

TIG WELDING PROS

  • Capable of greater precision than the other processes.
  • Strong, high-quality welds.
  • Nice-looking weld beads.
  • Welds a large range of alloys.

TIG WELDING CONS

  • Parts must be very clean.
  • High-quality machines are expensive.
  • Requires lots ofpractice to become proficient.
  • Much slower than MIG.

TIG Setup

With a TIG setup, the electrode is a tungsten wire. The electrode is not the filler material, as it is with the other processes. The filler is typically a long handheld rod instead of a wire feed spool, and you control the amperage using a foot pedal.

tig welding illustration

Plus: How to weld a garden arch.

Brad Holden
Brad Holden, an associate editor at The Family Handyman, has been building cabinets and furniture for 30 years. In that time, he has absorbed so many slivers and ingested so much sawdust that he's practically made of wood.