Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is an extremely popular arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode. It’s played a huge part in accepting aluminum for high-grade welding and is applied in many challenging industrial sectors, including aviation, pipelines, pressure vessels, and food industry containers. It can also be used for welding fenders, lawnmowers, bike frames, and wagons.
TIG welding has many advantages, but the most important one is heat and amperage control. A TIG welder can control these aspects of the welding process with the help of a thumb switch or a foot pedal. This makes it ideal for projects that require precision and intricate details on the base metal.
To be able to practice this type of welding, you need a quality TIG machine. Lincoln Electric is one of the most reputable manufacturers of TIG welders and welding equipment in general. For 125 years, this company has been a global giant in the world of arc welding and cutting and dedicated to providing its customers with innovative and reliable solutions.
When it comes to TIG welders, the two Lincoln Electric machines that really stand out are Lincoln Square Wave TIG 175 and Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200. Both are exceptional and have their pros and cons, which makes choosing one of them a bit difficult. But worry not—my Lincoln Square Wave 175 vs Lincoln Square Wave 200 post will help you figure out which model suits your needs better.
Lincoln Square Wave 175 (Overview)
The Lincoln Square Wave TIG 175 Welder is an excellent choice for a variety of applications, including light industrial fabrication, motorsports, maintenance, and repair. This package includes a 17 series 150-amp TIG torch, a 3/32 in x 7 in 2% ceriated tungsten electrode, a Twist Mate torch adapter, a stick electrode holder (200 amp), and a gas regulator & hose among other parts. Please note that this model has been discontinued. However, you might be able to buy one second-hand—just make sure it’s in good condition.
This sought-after AC/DC TIG and stick welder comes with many great features, including Lincoln’s Square Wave Technology, Standard Auto Balance control, and a Standard Foot Amptrol. Both beginners and pros love this product because it delivers a reliable AC and a smooth DC square wave welding output. The user-friendly interface and the duty cycle of 25% at 150 amps help a lot, too.
Read on to explore each of this welder’s key features and find out whether this machine is the right pick for your work.
Square Wave Technology
Lincoln Electric’s Square Wave Technology is one of the main reasons this product is in such high demand. In addition to shortening the positive/negative transition time, the Lincoln Square Wave TIG 175 reduces tungsten spitting, prevents tungsten electrode erosion, and allows for a smooth AC arc. Regardless of whether you select the AC or the DC TIG mode, this machine will use high-frequency arc ignition, which means you’ll be able to place the tungsten electrode as close to the job as you want and just press the torch trigger to start the arc.
Standard AC Auto Balance Control
This feature strikes an amazing balance between cleaning action and penetration when working on aluminum. In other words, the positive portion of the AC amperage rids the aluminum surface of oxides, while the negative portion raises the penetration level by producing more heat.
Standard Foot Amptrol
The Standard Foot Amptrol allows you to control your current level remotely, which is a feature you have to spend extra bucks for with other TIG welders. The foot pedal comes with a 15-feet cable, which makes working so much easier.
Upgraded TIG Torch Handling
The Lincoln Square Wave TIG 175 Welder comes with a durable and detachable torch and an Ultra-Flex cable. This gives you the chance to repair any damage to your torch as well as replace it with new torches when dealing with extra tight spaces.
AC/DC Stick Welding Functionality
Thanks to the general-purpose AC/DC stick welding capability of the Lincoln 175 TIG Welder, you can use it to weld ‘regular’ and stainless steel as well as cast iron. This practically means you’re getting a stick welder for free!
The Best Accessories for Lincoln Square Wave TIG 175
To make the most out of this TIG welder, consider buying a few useful accessories like Lincoln Electric’s Undercarriage that features a pivoting gas platform for easy bottle loading and the Arc Start Switch that attaches to the torch and allows for finger control (it can be used as an alternative to the foot pedal included with the welder).
Lincoln Square Wave 200 (Overview)
The Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200 Welder is sophisticated yet easy to use. It’s designed to take your skills to a whole new level with the help of its simple user interface and impressive functionality. This machine is designed primarily for small fabricators, craftsmen, and hobbyists who are looking for a high-quality welder that can keep up with their progress.
The Lincoln 200 package includes a gas regulator/flowmeter, a PTA-17 series 150-amp air-cooled TIG torch with a flexible head, a foot amptrol, a stick electrode holder, 120/230V input cords, and other accessories.
As their names suggest, both the Lincoln Square Wave 175 and the Lincoln Square Wave 200 feature the well-known Square Wave Technology. Additionally, Lincoln 200 welders have stick welding capability, but no auto-balance setting. Its portability, AC frequency control, and pulse feature are the three main aspects that set this machine apart from its 175 sibling. Let’s see why these are such good reasons to give the Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200 a try.
The net weight of this TIG welder is only 46 pounds! This makes it convenient to use and easy to carry around. You can work with it both in your workshop and outdoors, which is always a huge plus. However, you may want to keep an eye on it when working outside because it’s light enough to be stolen.
AC Frequency Control
This feature allows you to adjust the AC frequency which ranges from 60 to 150 Hz. You need to set the machine at a lower frequency if you need a wider bead, whereas higher frequency levels result in a more focused bead.
This is yet another feature that will help you become a better welder quickly. It creates a stable rhythm for filler metal deposition which, in combination with steady torch movements and puddle control, will help you lay a good weld bead on aluminum fast. It ranges from 0.1 to 20 pulses per second. Higher numbers mean there’s minimal material distortion, while lower pulse levels help moderate filler metal deposition.
The Best Accessories for Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200
If you want to make your TIG projects more enjoyable and successful, you might want to buy a couple of different TIG torches, a hand amptrol for remote current control, and maybe even a utility cart to accommodate all your tools and smaller accessories. Please visit Lincoln Electric’s website to check these items and more.
So, which Lincoln Electric product to opt for? Well, if you’re a new member of the TIG welding community who’s ready to commit to this remarkable process and work on expanding their expertise, then you should definitely consider buying the Square Wave TIG 200. Its simple setup will help you focus on your creativity, while its additional functionality will follow and support your growing skills and confidence. Plus, you can plug it into a standard 120V or 230V circuit, meaning you can take it practically anywhere. Be prepared to pay more for it, though—it’s significantly more expensive than the Lincoln Square Wave TIG 175.
As we said above, the TIG 175 is a great option for both newbies and experienced welders. However, the Squarewave 175 is more suitable for pros due to its advanced features. This welder allows you to set the current as low as 10 amps and as high as 175 amps to tackle various material thicknesses without affecting your arc performance. Plus, it provides more arc time due to the greater duty cycle. If you think all of this will help you complete your medium- and heavy-duty projects more easily and increase your flexibility, then you should definitely get the TIG 175. Please keep in mind that as production of the 175 was discontinued, you may find it difficult to find one, especially one that’s brand new.
Finally, I prepared a comparison table that contains both of these welders’ key features to help you visualize the main differences between them.
|Product||Lincoln Square Wave 175||Lincoln Square Wave 200|
|Square Wave Technology||Yes||Yes|
|Standard AC Auto Balance Control||Yes||No|
|Stick Welding Functionality||Yes||Yes|
|AC Frequency Control||No||Yes|
|Rated Output Current||125A/40%110A/60%||120V TIG: 125A/25%; 100A/40%|
120V Stick: 75A/20%; 65A/60%
230V TIG: 200A/25%, 160A/40%
230V Stick: 170A/20%; 100A/60%
120V AC TIG: 110A/25%
|Can Be Used to Weld on||Aluminum, cast iron, regular, and stainless steel||Aluminum, regular and stainless steel, and chrome-moly|
|Net Weight (Pounds)||185||46|
|Target Users||Newbies and experienced welders||Hobbyists, small fabricators, and craftsmen|
|Price||No longer available||Check on Amazon|