If you are looking for the absolute best tungsten for tig welding mild steel, it is important to understand what factors need to be considered before making any conclusions about which brand or type of wire will suit you best.
By understanding the different types of flat wire available on the market, how they are classified and how their properties affect your performance – you can establish a good starting point when trying to figure out which type will offer the most value for your needs.
What is tungsten used for in welding?
Tungsten is a naturally occurring, brittle metal that is used primarily in arc welding. The most common use for tungsten is as a filler material for gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), also known as tig welding. It also can be used in gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and flux cored arc welding (FCAW).
What’s the difference between tungsten and steel?
Regardless of the welding process you are using, you need an electrode that can resist temperatures well over 1,800°F and still produce a clean weld. Most commonly, you’ll use a 40% tungsten, 60% carbon- less than normal carbon steel (contextual steel), to achieve this level of toughness. This is the most common filler material for gas tig welding, GTAW.
A tungsten particle is usually one-fourth the size of a steel particle, and it can be found in the following grades:
H1 is generally used as an electrode for flux cored arc welding, FCAW. It’s slightly harder than H2, but has slightly less binder content making it less capable of withstanding high temperatures.
C3 is frequently used as an electrode in gas tig welding and as a filler material in GTAW. It has a high level of binder content and is extremely hard, making it well-suited for application in oilfield pipe welding.
C4 is used as a filler material for gas tig welding. It has an equal carbon and tungsten content, but also has a greater binder content than the other grades. This makes for a low residue weld, which can make cleanup easier after you are done welding.
C5 is used as a filler material for gas tig welding, but also has a high level of binder content. It is nearly pure tungsten and has a greater carbon content than the other grades. It’s harder than C4, and due to its hardness, it resists both work hardening and surface contamination. This can result in cleaner welds.
How do tungsten welding filler rods differ from the other types of filler rods?
The two most common types of welding rod are the flux cored arc (FCA) and gas metal arc (GMA) ones. As these are different processes, each has its own unique characteristics. However, both share many similarities as well. The main difference between the two types of welding rods is that FCA welders use a wire feeder to position the filler rod during the process. GMA welders, on the other hand, must be directly connected to the welding machine.
These rods must contain a special flux that is activated by an electric arc. This allows the process to work. Because GMA utilizes an arc directly between the electrode and the metal, it is considered a direct process. This means less weld spatter and practically no slag (or splash) on your workpiece. FCA, on the other hand, is considered a slewing process because it uses a wire feeder to hold the filler rod between the power source and your workpiece. Both types of welding utilize an electric arc to melt the metal at a high temperature.
Tungsten welding filler rods can be used for gas tig welding, as well as for GTAW in conjunction with tungsten electrodes.
The 6 Best Tungsten For Tig Welding Mild Steel
1. CK Worldwide T3327GL2 2% Lanthanated Tungsten Electrode
CK T3327GL2 has two 2% tungsten welding rods that are great for tig welding mild steel. They are just as effective in arc welding stainless steel, preventing corrosion and abrasion. The CK T3327GL2 is an extremely strong tungsten filler rod that can resist temperatures up to 1,900°F.
CK T3327GL2 is a tungsten electrode which is used for both A/C or D/C based power sources. It is non-radioactive and best for multiple types of steels, copper alloys, and titanium alloys. It has good arc starts and stability as well as a medium to high amperage range. The electrode with a 2% W content is slightly different from the CK T3327CA2 that we discussed earlier, and is only available in blue color.
The CK T3327GL2 2% Lanthanated Tungsten Electrode is best for general purpose use for either alternating current or direct current and is good for a wide range of materials such as low alloy steels, non-corrosive steels, aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys and titanium alloys. This electrode has medium to high amperage range and has a lower erosion rate than standard tungsten electrodes.
2. Midwest Tungsten Service TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Thoriated
This tungsten electrode is great for gas tig welding and cored arc welding. It produces a high quality weld without splatter, has a low spatter factor, and is easy to clean up. It is also helpful that this electrode has no residue.
Curious about the best tungsten electrodes for TIG welding? You’re in luck, because there are plenty of options. This ten pack of premium EWTh-2 tungsten rods from TIG Welding is rated highest on Amazon, and comes with everything you need to get started. These will allow you to weld various materials, including copper alloys, nickel alloys, titanium alloys, and stainless steel.
TIG Welding has the official American Welding Society (AWS) accreditation for safety and quality control. The company itself is based in the U.S., and their customer service support is top notch. This ten pack of tungsten electrodes come in a standard shipping box suitable for storing. You also get a free safety data sheet (MSDS) on welding procedures complete with contents list of EWTh-2 2% thoriated tungsten rods.
3. Midwest Tungsten Service TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated
This is the most commonly used tungsten electrode in the industry right now. The TIG Welding 10lb 2% Lanthanated Electrodes are best for general purpose use in either alternating current or direct current. They’re coated with a very thin layer of Lanthanum, giving it a high degree of resistance to wear and erosion. It also has little to no salinity, making it very easy to weld with.
This ten pack of premium EWLa-2 2% lanthanated tungsten rods for TIG welding is rated highest on Amazon, and comes with everything you need to get started. These will allow you to weld various materials, including copper alloys, nickel alloys, titanium alloys, and stainless steel. TIG Welding has also official American Welding Society (AWS) accreditation for safety and quality control. The company itself is based in the U.S., and their customer service support is top notch.
4. YESWELDER TIG Welding Tungsten Electrode 2% Thoriated 3/32″ x 7″
This ten pack of premium EWTe-2 3/32″ x 7″ tungsten rods for TIG welding has been rated highest on Amazon, and comes with everything you need to get started (including an easy to understand step-by-step guide). This will allow you to weld various materials, including copper alloys, nickel alloys, titanium alloys, and stainless steel.
YESWELDER TIG welding tungsten is 10 packs of 3/32″x7″(1.0x175mm) high quality 2% thoriated tungsten electrodes for TIG welding, which have the official American Welding Society (AWS) accreditation for ANSI Z49.1 Safety and Quality Standards, are of Vacuum packing, no oxidation, long time preservation.
If you looking for the best tungsten for TIG welding mild steel then this YESWELDER TIG welding tungsten is perfect for you.
5. WeldingCity 10-pk Premium TIG Welding Tungsten Electrode Rod 2.0% Thoriated
WeldingCity 10-pk Premium is a 10-pack of 2% thoriated tungsten electrodes. The product is rated highest on Amazon and comes with everything you need to get started. This includes a step-by-step guide, an easy to understand data sheet, and a safety data sheet. These will allow you to weld various materials, including copper alloys, nickel alloys, titanium alloys, and stainless steel.
WeldingCity’s 10-pk Premium TIG Welding Tungsten is a perfect solution for welders, especially considering its simple and easy use. It is a high quality product and includes everything you need to get started on your welding project. It has a long time preservation and higher current range, making it suitable for both alternating current and direct current. It also has a lower erosion rate than standard tungsten electrodes.
6. Patriot 2% Lanthanated TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes
Patriot Tungsten Electrodes are the perfect choice for your tig welding needs. This set of electrodes is a 3/32″ diameter, 7 inch long, with 2% Lanthanated (blue) EWLa-2 material. They are perfect for all kinds of welding, from Tig welding and MMA welding to arc welding and plasma cutting. Use these electrodes for:
- Tig welding, also called “TIG” or “Quick-stick” welding, is a welding method where the welder places the metal being welded in a metal forming structure (or “arc”) and heats the weld with an electric arc.
- MMA welding is similar to tig, except the welder uses MIG wire and a MIG gun to make a weld. Google “MMA vs TIG” for more information on how MMA works.
- Arc welding is also known as “stick arc” or pipe arc welding and takes place on an arc welder–similar to an oxyacetylene torch.
- Back to the electrode: these electrodes are 2% Lanthanated, which is a high-quality (though very pricey) tungsten alloy. Lanthanating means that a small percentage of an element called lanthanum has been added to the normal tungsten. This gives the material a blue color, which is what we call 2% Lanthanated Tungsten Electrodes. The higher the percentage of lanthanation, the more expensive and higher quality the electrodes will be.
If you’re looking to buy tungsten filler rods online, we recommend these welding tungsten Electrodes from Patriot Tungsten.
If you are looking to buy tungsten electrodes online, the first thing you will have to choose is the type of tungsten to use. Tungsten comes in many different forms, each designed for a specific purpose or range of purposes. You can choose from:
This tungsten is probably the most versatile kind on the market. Thoriated tungsten has a 2% thorium dioxide content, giving it a yellow-orange color. It incorporates thorium into the material, which makes it less susceptible to wear and erosion than normal tungsten electrode. Thoriated electrodes are typically used for TIG welding aluminum alloys, copper alloys, and stainless steel.
Thoriated electrodes can be identified by a yellow-colored band on the barrel. They are generally a bit more expensive than 2% lanthanated electrodes.
Lanthanated tungsten electrodes generally have a blue color due to the addition of lanthanum. This makes them more expensive than thoriated electrodes. Lanthanating makes the tungsten alloy harder, so it is better suited for welding tougher materials like titanium and high carbon steels. They are also less expensive than thoriated electrodes.
The blue color is not the only way to tell the difference between thoriated and lanthanated tungsten. There is also a small “H” on the top of the welding rod, which stands for “High-Quality Electrodes”. Thoriated electrodes also have a different lettering at the end of their band.
Everything else about Lanthanated Tungsten Electrodes is exactly like normal tungsten electrodes.
Remember that 2% lanthanating is only one element in the equation of electrode quality–all it takes to make a high quality electrode is high quality tungsten alloy.
Tungsten electrode experience is the next factor to consider. Like many things in life, the more you use something, the better at it you will become. Tungsten electrodes are no exception to this rule. The more you use them, the better you will become at getting the best results from them.
Thoriated tungsten electrodes are typically used for metal fabrication and welding aluminum alloys, copper alloys and other metals that are not too hard. Thoriated tungsten electrodes work well across a wide range of materials and can be used by welders of all skill levels.
When it comes to tungsten electrodes, the most common and versatile material is 2% thoriated tungsten.
After that, there are other choices:
- 2% Lanthanated Tungsten Electrodes: If you are looking for tungsten electrodes for all-purpose welding, 2% lanthanated tungsten rods may be the best choice for you. These are great for welding a wide range of metals including low alloy steels, stainless steel, titanium alloys and others. They are available in a large range of sizes and current specs.
- 4% Lanthanated Tungsten Electrodes: If you are looking for tungsten electrodes that are specifically designed for aluminum welding, 4% lanthanated tungsten rods may be the best choice for you. These can be used to weld all types of aluminum-based materials, including stainless steel, titanium alloys and aluminum alloys.
- TIG Electrodes: If you are looking for welding tungsten electrodes that can be used by welders of all experience levels, the 2% thoriated tungsten rods from WeldingCity may be the best choice for you.
The last factor to consider is output frequency. Output frequency refers to how often the tungsten electrode “fires”. This refers to how many sparks, which are electrical discharges that affect the weld joint and result in a weld arc.
Thoriated electrodes and all other types of tungsten electrodes have an output frequency of 200-400 Hz, which means they can fire off 200-400 electrical discharges per second (hence the “Hz” in “Hz”).
Low input current (less than 1 ampere) tungsten electrodes can be used for welding aluminum alloys, stainless steel and other metals that are not too hard. When used on hard metals, they can be used by welders of all experience levels.
High input current (more than 1 ampere) tungsten electrodes are best suited for welding titanium alloys and other materials that are extremely hard. They can also be used by welders of all experience levels.
All electrode characteristics are determined by the material being welded and the type of welder it is being used for.
For example, if you were welding aluminum alloy, a low input current would be an ideal choice for you as an experienced welder.
But if you were welding titanium alloy, a high input current would be an ideal choice because it can make a weld that is three times as strong as other electrodes.
Conversely, if you were welding low alloy steel, a low input current is the best choice for you because it requires less power and makes a more ductile weld.
So, the answer to which tungsten electrodes are best for you depends on what you plan on using them for and how much experience you have in your targeted materials. It’s important to choose the tungsten electrode that will get the job done with the least amount of work.
At WeldingCity, we carry a wide range of tungsten electrodes that are designed with the highest quality in mind. We have used the same materials and techniques to build our products for 35 years, which gives us a great deal of experience in this field.
We have been around for a long time, and our dedication to providing superior products has kept us here.
But don’t just take my word for it – check out what some of our customers have had to say about us: “Excellent customer service, quick shipping and easy to communicate with. Thank you so much!” – B.T. “I had a great experience. My order arrived very qucikly and they really helped me out with any questions I had.” – A.H. “Great prices, fast shipping, top notch quality” – R.M.
Each tungsten electrode has been designed by professionals with years of experience in the welding industry and is built to last for years without any damage or wear-and-tear to your machine or your hands.
We even have tungsten electrodes designed for use in tandem welding machines, which can be helpful when welding long welds together over longer periods of time with less downtime between rises.
Our tungsten electrodes are designed with a diverse range of features. They can be used to weld aluminum alloys, stainless steels, titanium alloys and other metals that are not too hard.
And they can be used by welders of all experience levels.
There are a lot of factors involved when it comes to selecting the right tungsten electrode for your needs.
The best way to avoid making a bad decision is to do your homework. Use our information as a guide to help you make the best choice for you!
For more information on tungsten electrodes, stay connect with us.
Walton M. Edwards was born in 1994 in a coal mining town, he has worked as a welder, a hardware salesman, and as a pipe fitter and has been employed as a laborer for about fifty years. Walton is a native of Wabash County in Indiana, but he now resides in Bloomington, Indiana.