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A guide to buying a TIG welder

By Nicola MacKay 15 May 2023 No comments

A guide to buying a TIG welder

Are you looking to buy a TIG welder? Well you’ve come to the right place! Our latest article will take you through the best selling TIG welders, what to consider when buying and handy links to purchase.

TIG welding is a popular choice because the welding process is typically stronger and more precise than those produced by other welding machines.


  • How portable do you need your machine to be?
  • Do you need a pulse feature
  • Do you need an air cooled torch or water cooled torch
  • What frequency do you need
  • What is your budget?

The list of questions above may seem daunting at a first glance, luckily, we are on hand to help you make these decisions with our handy guide below.

Portable machines and the not-so-portable machines

Portable welding machines

Let's start with the smallest, most portable machine. Compact but durable. Lightweight and on wheels! Introducing the Lincoln Electric. Known as the “all rounder” as it can perform MIG, TIG and stick welding.

Next up is the Rogue ET 200i Pro CE, still very portable, but not on wheels. It comes equipped with a handle and shoulder strap, perfect for site work. Don’t be put off by its portability, this TIG has excellent high frequency start which ensures it works every time on ignition.

Unportable welding machines

If you’re looking for an industrial welder then this is the one for you. The 250 AC/DC Water Cooled Tig Welder with a high duty cycle. It features easy and pro mode with access to every parameter, meaning you can control the metal deposition rate and quality of the weld.

Finally, the Maxstar 400 DC, also not very portable but it has been classed as the finest DC TIG/stick machine available. It provides fantastic performance and durability.

TIGs with pulse features included

We have a range of these on offer:

Air cooled torch VS water cooled torch

Choosing air cooled or water cooled torches is totally down to personal preference and where you will be using your torch.

Air cooled - the benefits

  • No water source needed
  • Usually cheaper than water cooled machines

Take a look at our most popular air cooled welders, Tig 220 AC/DC, Maxstar 280DX DC) and MasterTig 325 DC.

Water cooled - the benefits

  • No interruptions to your work because the torch doesn't become too hot to hold.
  • Easy control

Browse our best selling range, Maxstar 400 DC, Tig 250 AC/DC and Dynasty 280 DX AC/DC.

TIGs with varying frequencies

Get more control and a focused arc by increasing the AC frequency. Alternatively, decrease the frequency to broaden and soften the weld. We have cherry picked our finest TIG machines with varying frequencies. Breaking them down into high, medium and low, just to make buying your TIG that little bit easier.

A budget for everyone

What budget do you have in mind?

The quality and performance of each product is fantastic all through the range of the cheapest to the most expensive TIG welders. However, as you would expect, the pricier welding machines have a few more tricks up their sleeves.

We have broken it down into the cheapest TIG machines right up to our most expensive including a handy breakdown of why they are so great.

On the cheaper side

Coming in as the cheapest TIG welder we have on offer is the Pro Tig 180 (240V). Don’t be put off by its outstanding price, this machine offers powerful IGBT components, reliability and it is extremely user friendly.

Middle of the road

The Tig 250 AC/DC Water Cooled (415V) has a built in water cooler, giving a high duty cycle and protects against dust. Another bonus is the welder has full control of the settings which can be adapted to suit the way you weld. These settings can also be saved to make future welds a breeze!

We can’t leave air cooled TIGs out so, we introduce the MasterTig 325 DC Air Cooled 415v (300 Amp). It combines alternative pulse cycles to provide fast welding speeds with a reduced heat input. Ideal for welds that need to be consistent and visually pleasing.

On the more expensive side

The Dynasty 400 AC/DC (415V) is packed with smart technology including pre-set controls for balance, frequency and pulse. It offers fast travel speeds, plus it’s compact and powerful. It connects to any voltage or frequency worldwide and uses only half of the power of other welding machines.

Well there you have it. Our guide to TIG welding machines. Should you need any more support on purchasing the right TIG welder, contact our team of welding experts, on hand to help you.

What Does A Good Weld Look Like?

By Nicola MacKay 27 March 2023 No comments

How do you distinguish a good weld from a bad weld? The skill to spot a bad weld can be crucial within your work. This guide will take you through what a good weld looks like on a TIG, MIG and ARC welder, the inspection process and common factors in faulty welds.

Welding on a MIG

One of the most common and easier methods of welding is MIG welding. But what does a good weld look like?

Look out for:

- A smooth consistent weld
- A weld with no discolouration or patterns
- No lumps or dips
- Straight and neat
- No cracks down the middle of the bead
- No holes
- Flat with no concave or convex

Signs of a bad weld on a MIG welder include:

- A thin line or welding bead
- Cracks with the bead
- Undercut
- Crooked or bent line
- Lack of strength in the joined structure
- Spatter

Welding on a TIG

TIG welding is more complex and requires high skills and experience to perform to a good level. It can easily create an illusion of a good weld. Here are some things to look out for.

Signs of a good weld:

- A pattern of beads
- No signs of burnout
- No signs of slag
- Visually pleasing
- No metal particles in the weld
- Neat welds

Look out for signs of a bad weld including:

- No pattern
- Beads out of line
- Flat beads
- Sins of burnout and slag
- Signs of undercutting
- Tungsten in the weld

Welding on a ARC

ARC welding, also known as stick welding, is one of the more versatile types of welding enabling you to work with many materials including carbon steel, iron, nickel and even aluminium. Signs of a good ARC weld are:

- The weld having a consistent thickness
- No breaks or cracks in the bead
- Straight and uniform

Signs of a bad ARC weld may look like:

- Breaks in the beads or cracking
- A bead that looks consistent
- Spatter on the weld
- Undercutting

Welding Inspection

Welding inspections should take place before, during and after the welding process. There are many types of weld testing but visual testing, also known as VT and destructive testing are the most common. Checking your weld before and during the process keeps the welder safe. The welding checks that take place after the welding process keep the user safe, ensuring the weld has been completed to a high standard.

Inspection before the weld

Make sure all the safety precautions have been followed, read and understand the explanation of the job and gather and prepare the tools needed.

Inspection during the weld

Ensure you clean between each weld and keep track of the heat source. Monitor your weld throughout as many problems can be seen once the weld has finished and cooled, which could have been prevented during the welding process.

After the welding process

Carry out visual checks including checking the welding size meets the requirements of the job, testing the weld strength, and looking for the signs mentioned above, in the ‘what does a good weld look like?’ section. Destructive testing happens after the weld has taken place, it can be done for many reasons but usually a piece of the weld is broken off and assessed for strength and performance.

Common faulty welds

There are many factors that can cause a faulty weld, including:

- Burn through - The welding from one side melts through the parent metal
- Corrosion - Leads to weld failure
- Lack of fusion - Also known as overlap
- Porosity - A gas absorbed in to the weld
- Undercutting - Usually happens if the source is too hot or the arc is too long
- Lamellar tearing - A form of cracking, preheating can reduce the risk of this

In conclusion, it is essential to check your weld before, during and after the process. This will keep you safe and prevents common faulty welds from happening, ensuring you are creating the best weld possible. If you have any further questions, contact our team of welding experts, on hand to help you.

A Guide To Maintaining And Replacing Welding Torch Consumables

By Nicola MacKay 27 March 2023 No comments

Is your welding torch misfiring, difficult to start or has the cutting quality dropped off? The torch consumables could be the culprit for the torch not working correctly. This guide is broken down into hand and machine torches, GYS plasma and Jasic plasma torches. Our welding experts will help you identify wear and tear, tell you what to consider when replacing your torch consumables, plus there are some handy links so you can purchase the spare parts you need.

Hand torches and machine torches

To achieve a flush cut, gouging and a fine feature cut, it might be time to replace the parts in your torch. When to replace the parts is down to how you use your torch and for how long.

It's a good idea to inspect your torch for wear and tear on a regular basis. Keep an eye on its performance, if parts needs replacing the performance can look like:

- Cutting quality is poor
- Not being able to cut
- Discoloration of the arc or fumes
- The arc is misfiring
- The torch is difficult to start
- If you need to slow down considerably

When to change electrodes and nozzles

As mentioned above, there is no exact time-frame in which to change your electrode. However, it is important to look for signs that it may need replacing. On the electrode, look out for dips in the tip - the deeper the dip, the more wear it has been through.

The nozzle is the most frequently replaced consumable. On the weld inspect for dross appearing on your cuts. On the nozzle itself, look out for signs of a distorted shaped hole which indicates excessive wear.

It’s good practice to replace both the nozzle and electrode at the same time to take the guesswork out of replacing.

Spotting a broken swirl ring

The swirl ring is often forgotten, but it also needs to be changed if you are noticing your welds are out of shape. Look out for cracks or clogged holes. Through regular use of a torch, a swirl ring can last for up to 15 electrode changes. This can differ with excessive use.

Signs you need to change your shield

The drag shield and mechanised shield are really important parts of the torch that need to be looked at. It helps if you hold the shield up to the light to see if any of the holes are clogged. These holes are the outlet for gas, if they are clogged it can misshape the arc. Also keep an eye out for the shield shape being distorted, if it looks worn out, or there are signs of excessive dross.

Replacing the retaining cap

The most durable of the consumables, and the consumable that needs to be changed the least, is the retaining cap. Look for physical signs appearing such as cracking, clogging or corrosion due to heat exposure.

In need of new hand torch consumables? Shop our wide range, PowerMax 30 Air consumables, 30 XP consumables and 45 XP consumables.

Looking for machine torch consumables? Duramax 180 consumables, Duramax mini machine consumables, Hypertherm Hyamp consumables.

GYS plasma and Jasic plasma torches

Plasma torches have a lot of the same parts as the hand and machine torches, so replacing the consumables still applies as mentioned above. However, there are some parts that are specific to this tool.

When to change the air diffuser

This plays a vital role in air regulation. Look out for any chips, melting or burnt parts on the air diffuser. Any damage to the air diffuser can cut vital air flow down. It can also cause other parts of the torch to wear out prematurely if this part is not replaced.

Replacing the cutting tip

This is one of the fastest parts to wear out. You may notice the hole in the centre becoming larger. This allows the arc to wander, making you lose precision, in turn making your cuts less clean. You may also notice more slag if the cutting tip needs to be replaced.

So there you have it, a guide of when to replace your welding torch consumables. After making these adjustments you will notice your torch working at a much higher standard, leaving you with a better quality finish. If you’re in need of any more expert advice on welding or replacing your torch consumables, contact us today.

Looking for GYS plasma consumables and Jasic plasma consumables including, Pro Air Cut 45, Pro Air Cut 60 & 80 and Pro Air Cut 100 & 160? Shop our wide range including, cooling tubes, double pointed spacers and cutting diffusers.

When do welding helmet and respirator parts need replacing?

By Nicola MacKay 16 February 2023 No comments

There are many benefits to maintaining your welding helmet and respirator parts, including comfort, safety, and saving money!

To help you keep on top of welding helmet maintenance, we will guide you through each component, and reveal what parts to replace and when.

When should I replace my welding helmet?

Most auto darkening helmets should last a good 8-10 years if looked after correctly.

Maintaining the parts and replacing them when needed will also increase the lifespan, give lasting comfort and enable it to perform at its best at all times.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends having a competent ventilation engineer to test and examine the system every 14 months.

How often should I change my lenses in my welding helmet?

Out of all the parts within the helmet, the lens is probably the one that needs to be replaced the most. It’s no wonder this is the case as it puts up with flying debris and sparks on a regular basis!

Look out for signs of damage including:

- Scratches, dents or cracks.
- The lens becomes uncleanable.
- If the inside lens changes in colour.
- The vision has become poor.
- For auto darkening lenses - if the battery is charged but you are noticing the auto dark is not working.

When to replace the lens depends on how much you use it. For regular use we recommend replacing the outside lens every 3-5 days and the inside lens every month. Anti fog lenses should be replaced every 2-4 weeks.

When should I change the filters in my PAPR system?

Most PAPR systems will let you know when you need to replace the filter. However it is good practice to have scheduled filter changes to prolong the life of your system.

Look out for signs that the filter needs replacing, such as:

- The battery is not lasting as long as you would expect.
- Your breathing becomes difficult.
- You smell any pollutants.
- The filter has been damaged.

If you don’t see any of the above signs, we still recommend changing the filter after every 40 hours of use.

When should I replace the face seal on my welding helmet?

The face seal is a crucial part of the helmet which can easily be forgotten. It is essential to clean this part as well as the helmet after each use. Not only for comfort, but to keep polluting gases at bay.

Replace your face shield if you notice:

- Any rips or damage.
- Any fumes are seeping into the helmet.
- It has become unhygienic.

It is recommended to change the face seal after 2 months if you are working in a dirty environment and 3-4 months if you’re not using it every day.

The tips above go hand in hand with ensuring your welding helmet is well cleaned after each use and is stored in a clean and dry place.

If you need to replace the parts in your welding helmet, take a look at our wide range of welding helmet spare parts. Or for more information on when to change the parts in your welding helmet, contact our team of experts.

MIG Welding

By Nicola MacKay 1 February 2021 No comments


MIG Welding is short for Metal Inert Gas Welding, it’s a process that has been widely used since 1948 and has largely remained the same. They changed the name a few years ago to Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)….but the name has never really stuck!

MIG welding is so useful because of the versatility when it comes to welding different types of metals such as Carbon, Stainless Steel, Magnesium, Aluminium, Nickle, Silicon Bronze and other alloys.

MIG Welding involves a solid wire electrode being fed through a copper contact tube in the welding gun, this conducts a welding current into the wire and an ARC is struck between the end of the wire electrode and the workpiece, and this melts both of them forming a weld pool. The weld pool surrounding atmosphere is protected by a shielding gas which is fed through the nozzle surrounding the wire. Your shielding gas selection depends on the material being welded and the application.


  • MIG welding gives you the ability to join a wide range of metals and a variety of thicknesses.
  • Generally regarded as one of the easier types of welding to learn.
  • High quality welds are produced often faster than other welding techniques.
  • Minor weld spatter is produced due to the gas protecting the arc.
  • Fewer stops and starts due to the continuously fed wire electrode.
  • No stub end losses caused by changing electrodes.
  • All-position Welding capabilities.

As with everything in life nothing is perfect, we have also included a list of disadvantages.


  • Unsuitable for outdoor welding since you need shielding gas to protect the weld.
  • Cost – Consumables need replaced regularly.
  • MIG welders can only really be used on thin to medium/thick metals, it doesn’t deliver proper penetration on thicker metals.
  • Not ideal for portability due to the wire feeder and gas bottle needed.

So there it is, a basic guide to MIG welding. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any other information or check out our range of MIG Welders here.


By Nicola MacKay 26 February 2019 No comments


Changes to UK welding fume control standards

On 14 January, the HSE.GOV shared with the Industry and Regulatory Forum that they have raised enforced control measures for welding operations in the UK.

This follows an announcement from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), who classified welding fumes and UV radiation from welding as Group 1 carcinogens.

The raised enforced control standards are highlighted below:

All forms of welding fume can cause cancer.

Control is required

Indoor welding tasks require the use of LEV. If LEV is unable to control all of the fume capture then Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is also required.

Outdoor welding requires use of RPE.

Enforcement of the raised control standards is with immediate effect under COSHH Regulation.

Action required

  1. Make sure exposure to any welding fume released is adequately controlled using engineering controls (typically LEV).
  2. Make sure suitable controls are provided for all welding activities, irrelevant of duration. This includes welding outdoors.
  3. Where engineering controls alone cannot control exposure, then adequate and suitable RPE should be provided to control risk from any residual fume.
  4. Make sure all engineering controls are correctly used, suitably maintained and are subject to thorough examination and test where required.
  5. Make sure any RPE is subject to an RPE programme. An RPE programme encapsulates all the elements of RPE use you need to ensure that your RPE is effective in protecting the wearer.

*Premier welding can help*
We have stock ready to go ensuring all our customers comply with the new guidelines. The industry is struggling to keep up with demand and this stock wont last long.

Email Alan for more information

Christmas & New year Opening hours

By Alan Young 19 December 2018 No comments

Premier Welding will close On Friday 21st of December at 2pm and will re-open on Friday the 4th of January at 8.30am

Any website orders placed before 1pm on the 20th of December will be delivered before Christmas day.

Website orders placed after the 20th of December cannot be guaranteed to arrive before Christmas Day.

Any orders placed on the website after the 21st of December will not be processed until the 4th of January where normal delivery times will apply

I also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our existing and new customers for your continued support and custom over the years

Here at Premier welding we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when the time comes.

Kind Regards


Alan Young - Company Director

Jackson is being discontinued

By Alan Young 16 November 2018 No comments

Hi all,

After many years of successfully selling the Jackson range of Air Fed Helmets it’s now a case of ‘all good things must come to an end’ as the Airmax Blower Unit sold with the Jackson Helmets is in the process of being discontinued??

There are very limited stocks of the Airmax’s available, but as the Main Filters will also be discontinued I have taken the decision sadly to not promote the Jackson range anymore.

We do however have excellent stocks of both Filters and Helmet spares to enable us to supply our existing customers for some time yet, so all is not lost!!

The good news however is the two new ranges I’ve sourced.

The Malina Clean Air & Horizon Momentum helmets, Both offer fantastic & unique products, with the more competitively priced Horizon Momentum System offering a price similar to that of the Jackson, but with far more features and benefits such as True Colour Technology and TH3 Certification and already these are flying out the door to my local customers who have numerous Jackson Systems that need to be replaced.

So have a look at them on our website where there is a presentation highlighting these benefits and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch

As always thank you for your continued support and custom.



Alan J Young



T: 0141 882 4514 F: 0141 810 4659 M: 07836 764105

EMAIL : [email protected]

Unit 5 Carberry Court,

28 Queen Elizabeth Ave,

Hillington Park,

Glasgow G52 4NQ

Festive Opening & Delivery Information

By Nicola MacKay 13 December 2017 No comments

Festive Period Opening Times

To all of our valued customers,

Premier Welding will close at 2pm On Friday 22nd of December and will re-open on Thursday the 4th of January at 8.30am

Any UK website orders placed before 1pm on the 20th of December will be delivered before Christmas day.

Website orders placed after the 20th of December cannot be guaranteed to arrive before Christmas Day.

Any orders placed on the website after the 21st of December will not be processed until the 4th of January where normal delivery times will apply.

I also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our existing and new customers for your continued support and custom.

Here at Premier welding we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when the time comes.

Kind Regards


Alan Young - Company Director

​Pay More For Quality – Cheap isn’t Always Best

By Alan Young 31 January 2017 No comments

Why we don't stock the cheapest of the cheap......