If you’ve been into welding for some time now, you probably already know that there several types of welding methods which you can use for your projects. One of the most common ones is TIG welding, or Gas Tungsten Arc Gas Welding (GTAW).
The most well-known use for the TIG method is the welding of thick non-ferrous metal parts or stainless steel. In order to proceed with the particular type of welding, you need to use a tungsten electrode, which is going to be responsible for the production of the weld.
The TIG method, is an arc-welding process, and it is considered to be one of the most complex ones compared to other methods such as the MIG Welding process or the Shielded Metal Arc Welding, which are far more beginner-friendly and less time consuming to learn.
The particular process is another, more complicated way of fusing metal, and it is used by more experienced welders when it comes to joining thicker pieces of metal together. If you are a beginner, this article is going to provide some useful information about what is TIG welding, and which are the best welding helmets for TIG.
What is TIG Welding?
In order to heat the metal that we want to weld, we need to use a tungsten electrode. This particular process is called Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG. To avoid contaminating the weld, we need to shield it using inert gas (argon is the most commonly-used). Inert gas can be used to protect any metal type, no matter its thickness.
It is very easy to apply TIG welding in many industries and types of welding projects, this is why it is considered one the most useful welding methods used by large numbers of welders around the world.
In fact, TIG welding is the process that can be applied to more metals than any other method of welding. This is why welders, manufacturers and industries use it extensively for a wide variety of purposes, in contrast with the rest of the methods which are used for more specific projects.
Using the Tungsten Inert Gas method, we can weld metals such as gold, magnesium, bronze, nickel, aluminum and the list goes on. That said, the joining of magnesium and aluminum was one of the most important reasons why this method became such a sudden success in the early 1950s.
The fact that the welders could use inert gas instead of a slag in order to protect the weldpool, made the job much easier and safer for them than ever before. So, the TIG method became one of the reasons that industries started using aluminum for structuring in general.
Advantages and disadvantages of TIG Welding
Like any welding method, there are advantages and disadvantages when a welder decides to use the TIG welding. Lets find out which are the main ones:
One of the most important advantages of TIG is the high levels of precision, which can lead to magnificent results and beautiful appearance of your projects. It is considered one of the cleanest welding methods due to its precision, and there is a good reason why.
The welder can adjust the amount of heat produced during the welding, by increasing or reducing it manually. By using a control pedal, which is the most common way, he gets better control of the process and adjusts the heat according to the thickness of the material and the type of joint.
As far as cleanliness is concerned, TIG welding is a superior method. It can keep both the working environment cleaner than any other method, and the welder much safer because it produces less sparks, flames, smoke and fumes.
Using TIG welding, you are able to produce high quality welding to thinner metals, which is a huge con for a welding method. For instance, if you have to work on automobile or sculptures where precision is a must, then the Tungsten Inert Gas method is the ideal solution.
When it comes to visibility, TIG offers the welder the opportunity to work in a clean, fume-less, non-smoky working place, which enables them to work and inspect their projects in extreme detail. For thinner metals, you can use the particular method without even a filler, although you are going to need it for thicker pieces.
Using the TIG method, you can work on all kind of surfaces. This is because it does not restrict the position or movement of the welder, which means that you are going to work equally conveniently in tight or spacious workplaces.
The main disadvantage of TIG, is that it is the slowest welding method by far. You need to invest time into precision and producing high quality welding, which sometimes might not work well for welders that want to finish their projects fast.
In addition to this, in order achieve the desired results with TIG welding you need experience. It takes time for beginners to get comfortable with the particular welding process, as you need to learn how to control manually the heat and the arc.
What is more, an inexperienced welder needs to learn what types of metal require a filler or not, and determine whether their thickness is appropriate to achieve precision without it. Also, because there is no position restrictions, the beginner welder needs to learn how to use the arc by himself.
TIG Welding applications
Although the Tungsten Inert Gas method is one of the most effective ways to achieve high quality weldings, it can be applied to literarily every industry. For handling thinner material, TIG is one of the best option because of its precision and the fact that you can manually control the penetration.
Using a filler wire or autogenously, welders and industries can also apply TIG welding into mechanized systems. For such processes, the industries need to train the operators extremely well, because they require cautious handling and appropriate operation of machinery.
The applications of TIG welding are countless. You can use it on almost every material and industry, so using TIG a wide variety of items can be repaired or manufactured. Below, we have gathered some common examples where TIG can be applied:
Automobiles and aircrafts. Commercial airplanes and international space stations use the TIG welding method to construct and repair various parts of their units. As far as automotive is concerned, TIG welding is used in order to ensure safety and longevity over time. Precision for their designs is a key factor too.
Art and crafts. Another reason why the precision of TIG is so much regarded by welders around the world. People can use the particular method to produce highly detailer artworks with fine appearances, such as sculptures or industrial fixtures.
Best welding helmets for TIG
No matter how clean and precise TIG welding can be, the welder need to keep protecting his and vision at all times. The best way to do so, is by acquiring the most suitable welding helmets for TIG welding. In the list below, I have gathered 5 of the best welding helmets that I recommend for TIG welding:
The top welding helmet model for TIG
1 – Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Silver
- Lens Shade: 8 to 13
- Plate height: 2-3/5", plate width: 3-4/5"
- Viewing Area: 9 square inches
- Headgear: Ratchet
For starters, let’s talk about a fascinating welding helmet model, the Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Silver. It is technically one of the most efficient auto darkening helmets in the market, although not the most affordable price-wise.
It has a fairly heavy front, but the auto darkening filter of the lens is one of the fastest and more consistent in the market. The clarity is remarkable, and the helmet provides a nice, large viewing area for the convenience of the welder.
There is a flip up feature which you can find on the shield, that makes welding as easy as it gets because you don’t have to wear the hood on and off. Besides the slightly heavy front, it is a lightweight welding helmet that will provide convenience and accuracy to the welder. For more information about the Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Silver visit Amazon.
My second choice
2 – 3M 07-0012-31BL
- AUTO DARKENING FILTER — Advanced optics adjust...
- THREE LENS SENSITIVITY SETTINGS — Allows this...
- USER-SELECTABLE DARK SHADES — Enables welder to...
- READY TO USE — Welding helmet comes fully...
- ANSI Z87.1-2010 — Approved for eye and face...
Regarding TIG welding, the particular model manufactured by the 3M Company is one of the best choices. Although it is design to fit almost every welding process, the 3M 07-0012-31BL is especially suitable for TIG because of its fast auto darkening filter, with shades that range from 8 to 12.
It has a fairly large viewing area of 6.05 inches that offers nice visibility to the welder. The user can adjust and select the light sensitivity using the controls, which offer high reliability and excellent clarity to the user regarding arc detection.
As far as safety is concerned, it a solidly structured welding helmet, that seems pretty durable and it si more than certain that it is going to last over time. Check the 3M 07-0012-31BL here for more information regarding the features and its price.
An affordable helmet for TIG welding
3 – Tacklife PAH03D
- 【Auto Darkening Quickly】 The professional...
- 【Clear Large Vision】 An experience welder will...
- 【Good Toughness And Light】 Our welder mask is...
- 【Flexible Adjustment】 You can fix the helmet...
- 【Wide Application And Replacement Accessories】...
If you are on a tight budget, my third recommendation is an affordable auto darkening helmet model for under $100. It is more than fit for TIG welding, as offer a large viewing area to the user, allowing him to take advantage of the precision TIG welding method provides.
Optically, the Tacklife PAH03D which you can find here, offers magnificent clarity and a wide shade range that is going to be suitable for most welding methods besides TIG. It has grinding feature and it is the ideal solution for plasma cutting processes.
The response time of the lens is more than sufficient. This means that the particular helmet model by Tacklife boosts the protection for the welder. There are also sensitivity and delay controls available, which you can use to adjust the time response. The Tacklife PAH03D is a great welding helmet in a very affordable price.
For TIG enthusiasts
4 – TGR Extra Large View
- Extra Large TRUE COLOR View, Auto Darkening
- 4 sensors
- Great for ARC/MIG/TIG Welding
- Lens sensitivity controls
- Includes: 1x Welding Helmet 2x Spare Outside Lens...
When you need to enhance the accuracy of your projects, which we know that plays a major role when it comes to TIG welding, then you need a helmet with a convenient viewing area that provides the desirable space to inspect your joints in detail.
The TGR Extra Large View is a fascinating choice, because it is among the welding helmets with the largest viewing areas in the market, which along with its high quality lens is able to offer maximum visibility to the welder.
It is more than suitable for TIG welding, although it can be used for other welding methods too. The helmet has 4 sensors and sensitivity controls, which allow the welder to customize its time response for more specific results. If you want to learn more about this magnificent auto darkening welding helmet, check it out on Amazon.
A TIG welding helmet for beginners
5 – Antra AH7-860-001X
- 【Safety & Protection】Passive Filter with...
- 【Comfort & Convenience】Luxury large viewing...
- 【Performance】4 Premium redundant arc sensors,...
- 【Reliability】Interference Suppression...
- 【Versatility】A great personal protection...
For beginners regarding TIG welding, I am going to recommend one of my favorite welding helmets. The Antra AH7-860-001X is a model fit for more than one welding methods (like most welding helmets), but it is going to help beginners acquire a better sense of the Tungsten Inert Gas method because of the convenience it offers.
The particular welding helmet model has 4 premium sensors, which are going to ensure that the auto darkening feature functions at its best to protect the welder. It has grinding feature, and it can be comfortably used for plasma applications.
Regarding the viewing area, I consider it one of its biggest advantages. Its size is 3.78” x 3.50”, which allows the user to acquire better positioning and control during the welding. The shade ranges of this welding helmet are 5 to 9 and 9 to 13. For more info about the price of Antra AH7-860-001X check here.
If you are planning to work on various types of metal materials, then the TIG welding method is going to be the most suitable one for you. It will take some time to get comfortable with, especially if you are inexperienced with welding, but its precision will help you produce accurate weldings.
You can use the method on multiple industries, from art to automotive, as long as you take the time to invest into learning the ins and outs of this complex welding method. Lastly, keep yourself protected with the recommended welding helmets above and you are good to go. Happy welding!