Best Welders for Aluminum (TIG & MIG) Reviews In 2020 – Top Picks


We have recently been seeing a lot of reader’s comments talking about the best welder for aluminum. A lot of people think that in order to weld aluminum you have to have a very expensive and specialized welding machine.

We went to talk with welding experts that work strictly with aluminum metals. We wanted them to review some machines for us and tell us which machines they would buy for their own shops.

Best Welders for Aluminum

The experts told us that these 5 machines that they suggested were good enough. They would not only buy them for their own use, but they would also suggest them to family and friends. We found their list filled with 2 MIG techniques and 2 TIG techniques and the other one is multi process welder.


Best Welders for Aluminum (TIG & MIG) Reviews - 2020


1. 2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X TIG Welder For Aluminum

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 69 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 19 x 23 x 12 inches
  • Part Number: Alpha-TIG200X-2018
  • Manufacturer: AHP
  • Material: Stainless Steel
ArcOne T240-10 Tradesman Horizontal Auto-Darkening Filter for Welding Helmets

This TIG welder will weld aluminum that is up to ¼” thick. To weld thinner aluminum you have to have a TIG machine, and this machine is specifically designed to weld this material. Of course, you can also use the machine to weld mild steel that is up to 3/8” thick. You can use this welder on a variety of metals and still receive precision welds.

This machine is a dual voltage machine. It can be operated on the standard household 110/115V circuits or when you need the machine to have more power it can be plugged into a 220V circuit.

The machine comes with a foot pedal so you can have the optimum amount of control while you are working. The dials and gauges on the front of the machine are covered by a lift-up clear panel so there is no way to accidentally bump a dial and change a setting.

The machine is easily portable and weighs only 69 pounds so one person can lift it without any problems. It measures 19 inches x 23 inches x 12 inches. The housing is made of stainless steel and it will resist rust and corrosion if exposed to rain or humid conditions.


2. Hobart 500551 EZ-TIG Aluminum Welder

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 60 pounds
  • Dimensions: 26.8 x 13.7 x 20.8 inches
  • Part Number: 500551
  • Manufacturer: 500551
  • Batteries Required: No
ArcOne T240-10 Tradesman Horizontal Auto-Darkening Filter for Welding Helmets

This is very easy to use welding machine. You connect it to the power source, then turn the power switch to the on position, select the material you are using on the material dial, set the range of thickness, and start welding.

This machine has a feature that allows the fan to run only when you need the fan for cooling purposes. When the fan is running debris and dirt particles can be sucked into the machine, so by having the fan only run when it is absolutely necessary you have a reduced amount of debris, and your motor lasts longer.

The machine has a non-contact arc start. This stops the tungsten and the base material from being contaminated.

It will weld metal that is up to 22 gauge and 3/16” thick. It is both an alternating current device, which is best for aluminum, and a direct current device, which is best for steel.

It has a broader operating range due to the infinite amperage control. It is portable and weighs only 60 pounds. It measures 26.8” x 13.7” x 20.8” and performs TIG welding processes.


3. Hobart 500553 MIG Welder For Aluminum

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 87.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24 x 18.6 x 13.2 inches
  • Part Number: 500553
  • Installation Method: Gas-welding
  • Warranty: 3 year limited warranty
ArcOne T240-10 Tradesman Horizontal Auto-Darkening Filter for Welding Helmets

This is a dual voltage machine. It can be powered by 115 volt circuits or 220 volt circuits, and it has an MVP plug that makes it much easier for you to find the right outlet for this machine.

It can weld 24 gauge materials that are 3/8” thick in a single pass. It has 7 voltage settings so you can set it to make precise welds on the material you are working with. It has a 20% at 90 amps duty cycle when you are using the lower 115 volt power supply. If you are using the 220 volt power supply the duty cycle is 30% at 150 amps.

This machine is easy to transport. It weighs 87 pounds, but it has a convenient carry handle that makes it easy to lift when you need to load it into a vehicle or onto a trailer. It has a built-in gas solenoid. It also has a dual gauge regulator that comes with the needed gas hose.

It comes complete with the gun, a 10 foot work cable clamp, a spool hub assembly that can handle spools that are either 4 inches or 8 inches. You get a sample spool of 0.030 flux core wire, contact tips and a power cord. You also get a weld set-up chart that is easy to read and follow.


4. LOTOS MIG175 - Best Aluminum Welder for Beginners and Experts 

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 85 pounds
  • Dimensions: 18 x 12.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Maximum Flow Rate: 12.00 liters_per_minute
  • Part Number: MIG175
ArcOne T240-10 Tradesman Horizontal Auto-Darkening Filter for Welding Helmets

This multi-use MIG welder can weld stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and most other metals. It comes with the correct spool gun to use when you are welding aluminum. It can be used to weld 18 gauge steel that is ¼” thick, or you can weld aluminum that is up to 3/16”. 

It has a requirement for 220 volt electrical input and it is a 175 amp rated output. It has a wide range of .025 to .030 solid wire and .030 - .035 flux core wire.

It comes with a MIG torch, an aluminum spool gun, the ground clamp cable, your argon regu7lator and gas hose for your shield gas, contact tips size .035. You also get a welding mask so you are ready to start working when your machine arrives. The machine set up will only take you ten minutes or less to complete. 

This machine has a convenient carry handle built onto the top so it is easy to transport from one place to another. It weighs 85 pounds and has a maximum flow rate of 12 liters per minute.

The machine is great for the hobbyist or professional welders. It is reliable and durable and has the power to do the job right.


5. Hobart 500559 MIG Welder for Aluminum

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 57 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 13 inches
  • Part Number: 500559
  • Warranty: 5 year limited
  • Batteries Required: No
ArcOne T240-10 Tradesman Horizontal Auto-Darkening Filter for Welding Helmets

This Hobart welding machine is a MIG welding machine that can be used on metals such as brass, copper, mild steel, steel alloy, aluminum, stainless steel, cast and more. It has a 25-140 amperage output and a duty cycle of 20% at 90 amps.

It has a five-position voltage selector so you can always have the right voltage for the materials you are working with. It also has a stable arc at every welding thickness you choose.

It is easy to move around because it weighs only 65 pounds and has a built-in handle. It is made from steel so it is strong and dependable, and it measures 19 inches x 11 inches x 13 inches.

It plugs into a standard wall outlet so you can easily find an outlet to power the machine. You can reverse the polarity on the machine. It can be used with solid or flux core wire.

It can be used with or without gas. With that being said, you must be told that the welds will be cleaner and look better if you use gas during the process.


What kind of welder is used for aluminum?


TIG Welding 

TIG welding of aluminum will require you to use a shielding gas. Most people choose argon as there preferred shielding gas. You will also need a tungsten non-consumable electrode to create a strong and precise weld.

You have to clean the aluminum thoroughly and then use a clean steel brush to remove the oxide layer. The oxide layer has a higher melting point than the aluminum so you have to get it off before you weld. 

TIG welding can be performed with an alternating current or a direct current. The material you are welding dictates which current is best. When you weld steel you will want a direct current but when you weld aluminum you will do better using alternating current.

MIG Welding 

When you are using an MIG welder to weld aluminum things can get a little tricky. The process is possible but you do have to do some things differently. The aluminum should be 14 gauge or possibly 18 gauge but metal that is thinner than that will require you to have a TIG welder.

You are going to have to move quickly as you are welding or the weld puddle is apt to fall through your base material. Instead of using the 25% oxygen and 75% argon mixture you would use for steel go ahead and use straight argon shield gas. If the aluminum is thicker you can add 25% to 75% helium. 

You always want to weld in the push direction when working on aluminum. That direction maintains shield gas coverage over the weld puddle.

You must set your machine at a direct electrode positive. This is reversed polarity but it is the only setting that will allow you to create proper welds.

Torch welding 

You can weld aluminum using the torch welding process and equipment. You want to use the oxy-acetylene torch for accurate aluminum welds. You will want to use a bronze filler rod during this process.

These rods melt pretty quick so you have to work fast in order to get the weld pool evenly distributed. Allow the aluminum to cool completely before you attempt to remove the slag. You want to use a simple chipping hammer to remove the slag and do not get too aggressive or you can mar the metal.

Is it difficult to weld aluminum? 

A lot of people are under the assumption that welding aluminum is difficult because the process to weld aluminum is slightly different than the process to weld steel. When working with aluminum you want to be certain that the base material is thoroughly cleaned.

This will help reduce the possibility of porosity while you weld. You also want to use a steel brush and remove the oxide layer on the metal. You need a clean brush or one that has only been used on aluminum. Then choose the proper fillers and consumables, and monitor your temperature very closely.



Final Note


If you are looking for a multi-use MIG welding machine that can handle a wide variety of materials you should consider the LOTOS MIG175. It weighs 85 pounds, it has a convenient carry handle, and it is great for hobbyist and professionals alike.

If you are looking for a great TIG welder that can be used outdoors with no concerns that the dials or gauges are going to be accidentally moved off of your preferred setting then consider the 2018 AHP AlphaTIG. It is a dual voltage machine and weighs only 69 pounds.

So, our reviews of aluminum welders might be helpful for you to choose the right machine to weld aluminum. We tried to make the list versatile to cover different aluminum purposes and projects. Now, which one is the perfect welder for aluminum - this decision is yours as per your needs and projects. 

Richard Boyer
 

Richard wants to educate you, inform you, and prepare you to make the best decision you can concerning welding related items.

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