TIG Welding FAQs


If you can’t see, you can’t weld, so one of the most important pieces of welding safety gear you’ll need is a welding helmet to protect your eyes…  which leads to TIG Welding FAQ numbers one and two:

1. How do I select a welding helmet and goggles for TIG Welding?

From the  Arc-Zone Learning Center (Safety section)  “Choosing Welding Helmets and Goggles” (pdf) publication:

Welding Helmet, etc.

Don’t drink and weld!

Few decisions affect the safety and well-being of welders as much as his or her choice of eye and face protection equipment. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) estimates that approximately 10,000 eye injuries related to welding occurred each year, and making a wise choice of helmets or goggles can greatly reduce the chances of your becoming injured. Most importantly, always choose helmets and goggles complying with ANSI Z87.1. When choosing them, there are three main considerations:

• Fixed filtration versus variable electronic darkening
• Traditional flip up helmets versus autodarkening ones
• The filter shade rating number required by the job

The filter lens should be marked with the manufacturer, the shade number or number range, and Z87.1.  For cutting or working overhead, use a full-face shield on top of safety glasses. If using goggles, to prevent fogging, ensure that the vents aren’t obstructed.

Make sure the welding helmet you select offers the protection for your welding application.  For TIG welding (gas tungsten arc welding) you’ll want your helmet filter shade rating to be from 9 to 11:


Filter Shade Chart

2. How do I protect my eyes in the weld shop?

Safety Glasses for the Weld ShopAlso from the Arc-Zone Learning Center, “Eye Care for Welder” (pdf) :

One quarter of all welding injuries are to the eyes, making them the single most common type of injury. Sadly, the grand majority of those injuries are easily preventable by adhering to a carefully constructed safety plan along with safety training. Most injuries occur by the lack or proper use of existing equipment or procedures. Low risk perception, vanity, laziness, discomfort avoidance, and inattention to detail all play a part.

Welding eye injuries fall into three general groups:
• Mechanical damage from flying particles from hot or molten metal, chipped slag, or grinding.
• Chemical burns or irritation.
• Radiation burns from UV (ultraviolet) radiation, infrared radiation (heat), and visible light.

Bottom line:  Get a good welding helmet and some quality goggles, and wear them! Arc-Zone offers top of the line welding helmets from both Miller and Jackson, and some excellent safety glasses.

Other FAQs about TIG welding have to do with equipment–it can get confusing! From which brand  to which accessories, Arc-Zone has answers:

3. Is there a difference between imported versus U.S. manufactured TIG Welding products?

TIG TorchesArc welding is a global industry serving global markets.  There are many high quality manufacturers in many parts of the world, just as there are poor quality manufacturers.  Your best option is to buy your welding products from a trusted high quality supplier like Arc-Zone.  We have carefully selected the quality products that we offer, and we know their origin.  Contact us for comparisons on any specific product.

4. How can I be sure that all of the TIG welding accessories I buy will work together as a system?

That’s our specialty! We will help you optimize your entire welding system by matching the correct torch, parts and accessories to the output and duty cycle of the welding power supply and the welding application. Many times the power supply and torch leads are considered separately but are then expected to work correctly together. We don’t just sell torches and parts, we sell solutions to your application problems.

5. Will my equipment warranty be void if I use replacement torch parts from an aftermarket manufacturer?

Most likely, no. Many original equipment manufacturers (O.E.M.’s) will suggest that using “aftermarket” parts will void the warranties on their equipment, however this very seldom actually occurs. The use of high quality parts in a high quality system is the best way to avoid equipment problems. Arc-Zone.com supplies only the highest quality products from many industry leading manufacturers including O.E.M.’s and aftermarket suppliers.

6. Does anyone offer a high quality foot control for my TIG welding machine?

Foot pedal remote amperage controlYes, Arc-Zone.com offers an improved foot control for the most popular TIG applications. The Hot Foot™ brand high-performance foot control is… Precise- More precise control due to state-of-the-art electronic components. Reliable- Fewer components means less wear and no mechanical maintenance! Ergonomic- Wider foot pedal for improved comfort and control. Available for Lincoln, Miller, and ESAB

7. When is a gas lens collet body needed for my TIG welding torch?

traditional gas lens with screensA gas lens collet body provides a number of benefits for all but the most basic of applications.  The primary benefit is improved shield gas coverage.  This is achieved by flowing the shield gas past a series of concentric, layered screens of varying mesh.  These screens generate a laminar gas flow which optimizes the weld zone coverage and eliminates the turbulence created by a standard collet body which can draw in contaminants from the surrounding air.  A gas lens collet body is almost mandatory for TIG welding oxidizing materials such as aluminum.

A secondary benefit of this improved shield gas coverage is that the tungsten electrode can be extended beyond the end of the gas cup by as much as 1 inch (2.54 cm).  This electrode extension greatly improves welder visibility and can reduce tungsten inclusions and weld defects.

8. When is a trailing shield cup used for my TIG torch?

Trailing shields for TIG weldingA trailing shield cup is used where sufficient shield gas coverage cannot be obtained with a standard collet body or even a gas lens collet body with a standard gas lens cup. Applications requiring optimal shield gas coverage are typically critical welds made on high tech materials such as aluminum and titanium alloys. Other applications of trailing shield cups may include welds with high travel speeds such as in automated set-ups.

And finally, Arc-Zone customers often ask about what they don’t find in the TIG welding section of our web store:

9. Does Arc-Zone.com have the ability to make special, one-off products for special applications?

Yes! Arc-Zone.com can usually solve any arc-welding problem with combinations of existing products. However, when an application is really challenging we can help you develop a unique solution using a variety of design engineering and manufacturing resources. Contact us with your most challenging applications.

10. What if I have a special need for a particular welding application?

That’s our specialty! We supply proven custom products for special applications that most suppliers are not even aware of. We will solve your problem with a combination of our standard offering, but if you need something not currently offered we can probably get it for you.

11. What if I need something Arc-Zone.com does not currently offer?

Just contact us and describe what you need. We’ll do our best to acquire it for you or refer you to a place to get it.

Contact our savvy customer care team:

Toll Free US 1.800.944.2243
Worldwide 1.760.931.1500
Fax 1.760.931.1504

Or you can even stop by our Ultimate Showroom:  2091 Las Palmas Drive, Suite F, Carlsbad, CA 92011. 

12. How can I stay informed on new products and special offerings?

Join our mailing list. You’ll receive our Monthly Metal Mashup newsletter–sometimes we run specials, introduce new products, or share educational material.

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Next time:  Tungsten for TIG Welding FAQs


3 comments on “TIG Welding FAQs”:

  1. Pingback: Welding Safety FAQs - JoeWelder

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