It can handle most any welding task and will weld up to 1/2 -inch of material with ease. There will be little reason for you to have to maintain or switch machines to finish a project.
Like the TIG-225, the MTS-205 offers the IGBT technology, meaning you get the same multifunctional versatility in this welder as you do with the slightly-heavier TIG-225.
The MTS-205 is also power-efficient, so you won’t spend as much on operating costs to use it.
There is no risk of short-circuiting with this welder, limiting accidents caused by potential electrical shocks. It automatically detects and compensates for voltage fluctuations, temperature control, and amperage control.
This way you can work safely and easily with peace of mind.
- Volts: 110/230
- Amps: 205
- Duty Cycle: 60%
- Weight: 25 pounds
TIG Welder Comparison Table
How to Choose the Best TIG Welder – Buyers Guide
Ease of Maintenance, Setup and Use
Professional welders especially may have to work with their machines every day for long periods. Having to set aside time every day after working a long shift will get tiresome quickly. While you should practice regular cleaning and maintenance, you should look for a low-maintenance, user-friendly welder to avoid extensive headaches.
When welding, the voltage availability will dictate the power output of your equipment. You should make sure that all circuits, outlets, generators, or other power sources are up to standard and will safely be able to handle operating your welder.
Whether you primarily need a MIG, TIG, or Stick welder, you should take the durability of your equipment into account. MIG welding, in particular, focuses on hardcore, heavy welding projects.
The environments you may be welding in could also be hazardous to not only you but to your equipment, if it is not built strongly enough. The more durable your power supply and attached equipment, the better off you will be.
To make the decision between AC or DC welding, or getting a machine that can switch between the two, you should first know what AC and DC welding are.
AC welding uses an AC current for its power supply. An AC current is an alternating current, meaning that it’s not linear or consistent in supply. The current does not move in a straight line and instead changes direction at around a 60-hertz frequency.
Most of the world’s electrical grids use AC currents, and that is why they are still prominent. AC welding is preferred for TIG welding aluminum specifically, as the current type allows welding at higher temperatures.
AC welders tend to be cheaper to produce and purchase.
A DC current is used for DC welding. DC currents are currents that travel in one direction on a linear setting. Since DC currents are not supplied by electrical grids, they require an internal transformer to change AC currents to DC for use.
The constant, linear direction of a DC current will allow you to create a smoother weld. The arc is easier to handle due to increased stability, and as a result, there is also less weld splatter with this type of current.
For Stick Welding, a DC welder can use both AC and DC rods, while an AC welder can use only AC rods. DC welders are usually more expensive than AC welders.
Most quality welding machines today will have both AC and DC welding available. They will also come with switches or controls to allow you to switch between the options based on your welding needs.
The AC/DC machines are typically more expensive, but are well worth the cost for the convenience. You also save money in the long run by not having to buy extra welding machines or equipment.
Knowing the duty cycle of your welding machine is incredibly important. Having this information tells you how long you can operate your machine for and at what power before it overheats or outright breaks.
There are times where your machine may cut off before the duty cycle should be complete, and there are three main factors that contribute to that:
If your voltage is not precisely what the manufacturer suggests for a given duty cycle, it can throw off your timing and cause unintended damage to your machine. It could also have an effect on the weld itself, so be sure to check the voltage every time.
Most duty cycles are based on an ambient room temperature of 70 Fahrenheit. But if the temperature in your shop or work space is instead 100 Fahrenheit, your duty cycle will be affected negatively with lowered times or percentages.
Without proper airflow, your welder will not properly cool itself with its fan, and will suffer low-efficiency duty cycles as a result. Keep your welder at least 10-12 inches from any walls, corners, or other obscuring factors.
If your machine is cutting off prematurely, you should investigate to see if any of the above are the cause. Otherwise, you should contact your manufacturer to determine if maintenance or replacement is necessary.
Heavy-duty welding power supplies typically come with cooling systems in the form of fans and open ventilation. Smaller units may not have a cooling system at all, and may require supplementation or extra time and space to properly cool down.
Keep in mind that a cooling system will not negate the need to observe your machine’s duty cycle. Let it rest and properly cool down.
Functionality and Versatility
TIG Welders that come with AC and DC operation capabilities are arguably more useful to professional welders or hobbyists. Machines that come with different accessories or that can handle different kinds of welding tasks are also fantastic.
Unless you have a very specific welding task with one or two materials, a wider variety of uses is better in your equipment. This will save you time, money, and hassle of having to purchase, move, and maintain multiple units.
No welding machine is truly “all in one,” but if you get one that fits your most frequent needs and expectations, it will make your job much easier.
Size and Weight
Keep the physical size and weight of your welder in mind when you shop for one. Not only the machine’s actual size in reference to space occupancy but also take into account how much space it will require on all sides to remain properly ventilated as well.
If you plan on moving your machine around your workspace frequently, you won’t want to get something that weighs a ton. Depending on how much you have to move it, you will fatigue yourself very quickly.
When doing any kind of shopping, price is always important to consider. Sit down and set aside a budget for what you can spend on your equipment, and then find a few options within that price range. After that you can narrow down by features and specifications.
If you find a welder outside of your original budget that fits your wants and needs, make a goal to obtain it. Welding equipment, especially quality equipment, is an investment toward your professional life.
Warranty and Customer Support
Most welding machines come with a warranty of at least a year if they come from a reputable manufacturer. If it does not have a warranty, it is ill-advised to purchase it. Welders can be damaged or overworked easily, and are not cheap to replace.
If you do have to pursue your warranty or contact your manufacturer for any other reason, you want to deal with a pleasant support crew. Check reviews on the manufacturer’s customer support system and team.
You want your equipment to be strong, and it should come with strong foundations from the manufacturer, the warranty, and customer support.
FAQ About TIG Welders
Q: What is the duty cycle?
A: The duty cycle refers to how long the equipment in question will work before it overheats. With a welding power supply, it is a specification that defines the number of minutes that a welder can safely produce a particular current within about ten minutes.
The remaining time of those ten minutes are to allow the power supply to cool down. This prevents overheating, increasing your equipment’s longevity.
Q: Is TIG welding better than MIG?
A: Both TIG and MIG welding have their pros and cons depending on the application and the task at hand. Neither is better than the other, it boils down to preference and the job you are trying to accomplish.
For more complex, precise, and visually appealing work, TIG is the better technique to use. This is especially true of small projects and thin metals. TIG has easy adjustability in both speed and heat.
One of TIG welding’s biggest advantages is the amount of control it allows the welder to exercise. The welder can control heat and amperage with impressive precision. TIG welders are also thin and add to the control the welder has at their disposal.
Q: Is it hard to weld?
A: Learning to weld can be difficult depending on what type of learner you are. If you glean information and skills from watching tutorials or reading books, welding is going to be immensely difficult for you to learn.
However, if you tend to learn through active practice or are a “hands-on” learner, that doesn’t mean you won’t have some difficulty learning the trade. Welding is considered a moderately difficult skill to learn and master.
Professionals spend months to years learning to weld throughout an apprenticeship or trade school. You have to learn how to measure output, what projects need what type of weld, and things like that.
Not only that, but welding takes an incredible toll on the body. Your eyesight, skin, and lungs can suffer if you don’t use proper protective equipment, and sometimes even in those cases, it cannot be helped.
There’s also general fatigue to consider. Your bones, joints, and muscles will be undeniably sore throughout the learning process, and will not stop once you are considered a professional. Arthritis is common in welders.
Q: Can you weld aluminum to steel?
A: Aluminum can be welded to most other metals with relative ease by using adhesive bonding or mechanical fastening. This is not the case for steel, however. Special techniques are required to weld aluminum to steel.
A popular method to weld aluminum to steel is to create a bimetallic transition insert. This technique is also used regularly to produce strong welded connections within structural applications.
To make the bimetallic transition inserts, however, you need to already have some bonded steel and aluminum. Rolling, friction welding, explosion welding, hot pressure welding, and arc welding are all typical methods to create the initial bond.
In order to avoid overheating the inserts during welding, it is a good idea to first weld aluminum to aluminum first. This offers a larger heat sink for when the steel welding is performed.
Another method of welding aluminum to steel is to dip coat the steel. Also called hot dip aluminizing, this technique requires that you coat the steel in aluminum before attempting to weld aluminum to steel.
You could also try brazing, which is when you coat the steel surface with silver solder and weld them together with aluminum filler. Brazing and aluminizing are usually used for sealing purposes only and are not depended on for full mechanical strength.
Q: What is TIG welding good for?
A: TIG welding can be used to join all types of metal with few defects and superior weld quality. It is particularly good for small projects or work that requires intense precision.
TIG welding is the preferred method of welding for when you are using thin metals as well. TIG welding is not as good as MIG welding for heavier metals or larger projects.
A large variety of industries rely on TIG welding primarily. That is because TIG welding can be used for more metals than any other type of welding process. It can use AC or DC currents, depending on the metals and project in question.
TIG welding is used in the construction of air and space crafts. It is also used in the automotive industry on vehicle fenders because TIG welding offers anti-corrosive properties. Because of the precision available by using TIG welds, even artists prefer it for sculptures and other work.
Q: Is TIG welding AC or DC?
A: TIG welding can be used with both AC and DC currents. For work with aluminum, specifically, it is best to use AC currents. This is because of a specific property found in aluminum alloy that has a problem establishing a proper melting point. AC currents solve this problem.
Alternatively, for TIG welding steel, you would primarily use DC unless you are trying to weld the steel to aluminum. All of the preparatory welding of the steel can be accomplished with DC, but welding the steel to aluminum should still be done with AC currents due to the finicky melting point of the aluminum alloy.
Q: Is it hard to learn TIG welding?
A: There are some opposing viewpoints to the difficulty of learning TIG welding. Some welders argue that TIG is not only more aesthetically pleasing to accomplish a weld in, but that it’s also easier to learn as a technique overall.
Other welders argue that TIG welding is undeniably more difficult to learn. This is primarily because TIG welding requires coordination of both hands as well as one of your feet, whichever is operating the foot pedal.
There is also the factor of having to learn what heat works best with what metal alloys, and then learning how to properly control the foot pedal to control the heat output of the torch. It is also generally more expensive to work with TIG welding than MIG or Stick welding.
TIG Welding 101 – Beginning Techniques