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I have been thinking of getting another welder, something with more finesse then my trusty stick welder for my latest project.

I thought about gasless MIG at first but haven't heard much good about them here (though I may still get one for portability). Having searched on both MIG and TIG and found lots on the former but less on the latter I thought I would just ask.

What would be involved in getting a good budget TIG set up relative to getting a good budget MIG set up and is it worth it if I am only welding steel tube and brackets?

I am planning on welding thin wall tube for a light weight chassis and suspension components.

I would consider being able to weld aluminium if the set up didn't cost loads more to accomodate it.

Your experienced views will be much appreciated.

Thank you.

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Forget gasless - decent kit say £700 superb kit £1000


DC for steel only, ignoring chinese rubbish 2nd hand say £1000 new and decent £1400+

also needs pure argon - yes even steel :(

DC AC for steel and stainless - 2nd hand £1200+ New and decent £2000+ to a fortune

more for coolers (£500 for cooler + water cooled torch + £100-£150 ) also need pure argon

Then there the issue around being abvle to TIG (I'm still learning / struggling (depends which on

which day I try :rofl: ) MIG easy to learn and fast


Distorts like F thin stuff, but can be done and cheap, map gass + Oxy set up £250, and a cutting torch / welding head +£75



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something with more finesse

Mostly puts you in Tig land. Mild Steel (DC) tig units aren't too expensive and you'll most likely get MMA/arc functionality thrown in to boot. A smaller tig paired with you original stick welder should give you a broad capability.

Both Mig and Tig (AC or DC) will have Gas costs, finesse and Gasless do not go hand in hand. DC tig sets are a lot cheaper than AC - comparable to MIG sets, but generally more expensive by maybe hundreds, rather than thousands.

Tig is much more suited to bench work like brackets and components. Mig has the advantage of less faff and easy positional work under vehicles etc.

Have a look at mig-welding.co.uk, there's plenty of experience and views on there.

DC for steel only, ignoring chinese rubbish 2nd hand say £1000 new and decent £1400+

also needs pure argon - yes even steel :(

£1000 is a pretty high starting point, even avoiding the direct-sale unsupported chinese machines. A UK dealer supported DC tig can be had for around £500 - comparable to a reasonable MIG.

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to back up what luke said,i have just signed up for evening class to learn tig,there is a compamy called mta in southampton that do a good dc hf tig/mma for £582+vat,with a two year warranty and proper back up,this also is an inverter based arc set,they work much nicer than old fashioned transformer arc welders.i bought my oxford mig through mta and wouldn,t hesitate to recomend them.

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You really need Mig and Tig - if you are really interested in welding.... It a fascinating thing to learn/do. I have an old Murex 240A single phase mig which I've had from new - probably 20yrs old now,excellent bit of kit.

But my 300A Tig kept on blowing the AVR's in the 3ph generator I ran it from.My Christmas pressie to myself was a new Thermal Dynamics 200A AC/DC Tig set - what a fantastic bit of kit,nicest Tig I've ever used.I'd never bother with any budget kit,just look for the BEST kit at a decent deal - my Thermal Tig came from Proweld in Plymouth,they did a great deal.

Dont get to carried away with large outputs from machines,I also have a 400A mig which I rarely need to use,and the 200A Tig hardly ever has its max current set at more than 170A.What you need is practice on REAL jobs.Tig will make you realise how quick mig is,but also how limiting it is compared to tig.


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That's good information, thank you.

I think I can still TIG. I did a course in pressure pipe welding where I covered MMA, MIG, TIG and gas, oxy-hydrogen and oxy-acethelene. Did all the out of position stuff and then cut it all up for etching and examination. Bit like falling off a bike, you never forget, at least not the basics. ;)

I will start looking for a second hand quality TIG set though I suspect I will end up with a good MIG set due to cost.

I used to have a good MIG set with a big Argosheild bottle when I was in London but it seems to have vanished.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I failed miserably trying to win the TIG welder set up. TBH I didn't bid too high as it was untestable, no gas and sold by someone who didn't know what to do with it.

However, I now have a MIG set. It is a Cebora Boxer 155 Twin




It came from a factory closure and so still has most of a bottle of gas, gauges and about 4kg of wire left on the 5kg reel.

Just tested it and it works really well.

The TIG set will have to wait for another day.

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If you don't want to spend a lot on a tig and it's just for DC get a torch and a DC stick welder.

I put together a Murex Tradesarc and a 60 quid torch. Worked really well, if it hadn't been nicked

from a mates garage I would probably never have shelled out on an AC/DC tig.

I will be considering that route. Once I sort out a BOC account for the gas I will have a look at sets available.

if you wanted both why didnt you look for a welder had both funtions

ive just got a weco multi it does mig/dc tig/stick all in a inverter set the size of a ammo box it welds great and i only needed to buy the torches that use the euro plugs

Often it comes down to money available at the time. I looked a that option and thought about the cost of the welder, then the torch, then the gas, then the compressor so I can have a plasma cutter as well. Sometimes step by step over time takes priority over saving and waiting.

I also wasn't keen on getting one of those really cheap sets from Ebay if it was going to be a waste of money. At least this MIG works really well for less then the cost of a 'toy' one from Machine Mart.

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