When it comes to TIG welding, the question isn’t red or blue—thanks to the invention of the inverter power supply and companies like Miller Electric and Lincoln Electric there are some great options out there for high quality, affordable welding machines. The next question, however, is air-cooled or water-cooled TIG torch?
The two most popular TIG / GTAW welding torches are the 9 Series air-cooled TIG torch and the 20 Series water-cooled TIG torch.
Air-Cooled TIG Torch
One of the benefits of welding with an air-cooled TIG torch is that you don’t have to have a water supply nearby—in other words, out in the field. You also may not want to spend the money on a water cooler for your welder; even an economical welding water cooler like Arc-Zone’s TIG-er will run you over $500. Bottom line: if you don’t have a cooler, don’t have access to water, and/or you don’t need to run a lot long beads and worry about your torch getting too hot, then you’ll probably be fine with an air-cooled TIG welding torch. The 9 series is a good choice. It is small yet powerful and easy to handle—perfect for a variety of TIG welding applications.
If you need more power, there are other options among the available air-cooled series of TIG torches. With innovations in torch design and technology you can find a torch that goes up to 300 amps like the CS-300 Crafter Series super heavy-duty TIG torch from Weldcraft.
Water-Cooled TIG Torch
When patience and control are important, you don’t want to be in a rush to finish your bead before your torch gets hot! So if you find yourself putting down your torch because it gets too hot, or you need more power you’ll want a water-cooled TIG torch.
With the water-cooled torches of course you’ll need water. Now if you’re working in a weld shop with good reliable access to water, you may be able to hook right up to your water supply. Arc-Zone has a kit that has all the parts you’ll need from water-in and –out hoses to the power cable adapter and the couplers and bib fittings.
Another low-cost option, not to mention a good way to practice your TIG welding skills, is to build your own water cooler. For more information and some great tips, check out “A Tale of Two Welders” at The Fabricator magazine. If you choose that route, Arc-Zone can help you with all the fittings you’ll need to put it all together.
And, if you just want to get welding—Arc-Zone has a great line-up of water coolers and replacement parts in stock and ready to ship!
The popular 20 series water-cooled TIG torch will get you 250 amps of power, and it’s small and lightweight. It’s popular because of its versatility and ability to get a lot of welding jobs done. For the big hot jobs, you’ll want to check out the 500 Amp WP-12 torch from Weldcraft or the CK510 tig torch—two heavy-duty water-cooled torches that can handle just about any job.