Welding aluminum takes a specialized type of welder that runs off AC, or Alternating Current. AC welders can come in many form including TIG, MIG and Stick, but it’s all about the directional travel of current that makes all the difference. We won’t bore you with all the scientific terms that will only confuse you more, so we’ll just get into our next review.
The following review details the Best AC Welders for Aluminum in 2018 – 2019 which will take the stress out of your buying decision.
|Picture||Name||Type||Price||Rating||Buy on Amazon|
|Everlast 2017 PowerTIG 350EXT 350amp Digital AC DC TIG Stick Pulse Welder||TIG||$$$$||9.7|
|Everlast 2017 PowerTIG 185 DV AC / DC TIG Stick Welder||TIG||$$$||9.6|
|Everlast 2017 PowerPro 256Si 250a AC DC TIG Multi Process Welder||TIG||$$$$||9.5|
|Everlast 2017 PowerTIG 250EX AC DC TIG STICK Pulse Welder||TIG||$$$$||9.5|
|Miller Electric 120/240VAC 1 Phase MIG Welder||MIG||$$$$||9.4|
|SÜA ionTig 200 TIG Welder 220V AC/DC Pulsed High Frequency||TIG||$$$||9.3|
|Lincoln Electric 120VAC Handheld MIG Welder||MIG||$$$||9.0|
|Lincoln Electric 220/208/230VAC Wheeled MIG Welder||MIG||$$$$||9.0|
|Lincoln Electric K3946-2 Aspect 375 AC/DC TIG Welder||TIG||$$$$||9.0|
- Sharp, quick arc starts
- Simple to setup even with minimal experience
- Runs cool
- Includes foot pedal and high quality regulator
- Works flawlessly with the 240v cooler
- Short 10-foot ground cable
Everlast takes the 1st spot in this review with the PowerTIG which is an extremely powerful 350amp TIG welder. This powerhouse was specifically introduced for professional welders and is highlighted by a Digital IGBT Inverter that’s extremely rugged. The durability of this welder makes it perfect for any jobsite or regular activity right in the shop.
The PowerTIG 350EXT features all digital controls which are easy to understand, adjust and optimizes user control. When looking at performance, you’re getting a commercial rated duty cycle coming in at 35% @ 350 Amps. The pulses come in at 500 Hz for DC and 250 Hz for AC which is much more than most.
- Includes many accessories which usually cost extra
- AC and DC welder capable
- High-performing for an entry level welder
- Simple to use
- Larger, bulkier TIG torch
- Too basic for pro welders
When Everlast introduced this 2017 model PowerTIG, it took no time for the average user to take notice. This 185-amp version gives you both DC and AC capability making it possible to well all types of steel and aluminum. The dual functional TIG and Stick welder optimizes results on smaller and mid-sized projects and features an easy to use interface easy enough for any beginner.
The PowerTIG 185 has received all-perfect 5/5 rating from consumers on Amazon and sports a very affordable price tag under $1000. Highlight features include a down slope control that’s fully adjustable along with a 150-amp Stick function. For those looking for assurance, Everlast backs up this AC welder with a 5-year warranty on parts and labor.
- High end features
- TIG/plasma torches are easy and quick to change out
- Compact design
- Continuous, smooth arc
- Does not include collets and cups
- Priced higher than comparable models
Another Everlast AC welder is the PowerPRO 256si which is another 2017 model. Since bursting onto the scene earlier this year, it’s managed to garner all positive 5-star reviews from Amazon consumers. What’s makes it standout are many factors including performance, price, precision, ease of use, and of course, Everlast’s 5-year manufacturer warranty.
The PowerPro 256si is powered by a models 250-amps and gives you AC/DC and is a full multi-process welder. Onboard there is an IGBT converter which optimizes precision and performance and offers digital controls which are simple to use and improves user control. This compact, portable, but powerful AC welder gives you a great bang for your buck including plasma cutting and TIG welding features.
- Improved HF start circuit decreases maintenance issues
- Stable arc
- Great aluminum welds to aluminum from 1/16″ to 1/2″
- Amazing Pulse TIG feature
- Air-cooled torch head works without needing an extra cable
- Priced higher than some are willing to pay
- Sporadic precision when using the foot pedal on lower voltage
- Should buy the water cooler which will cost extra
Another PowerTIG from Everlast is another 2017 model which is the 250EX. This AC and DC capable TIG/Stick welder gives you all sorts of functionality and deserves the 9.5 out of 10. This multi-function welder features a 5-amp low start which works for TIG welding in both DC and AC modes. There’s also a pre and post-flow control unit which provides max protection when welding with shielding gas both before and after.
Other features out of the box include a Consumable Starter Kit which gives you everything you need to weld after setup, 2T/4T remote, arc force control, Stick function, single phase 240v, spot weld timer and a whole lot more. For the price, it’s an amazing deal for what is hands-down one of the best AC welders for aluminum this year.
- Precise performance with minimal spray
- Professional grade welder
- Can weld aluminum and steel with ease
- Lightweight for a high-performance MIG welder
- Strong, smooth welds
- Faster wire feed system may be difficult for beginners
- Short ground cable
When looking at high-performing AC welders, the conversation always includes Miller Electric. This AC capable welder gives you an amazing max thickness for all types of material including aluminum 18 ga. to 3/8″, mild steel 24 ga. to 3/8″ and stainless-steel of 20 ga. to 1/4″. The extreme precision gives you perfect welds all the time which end up being super smooth and incredibly strong.
This 1 Phase MIG Welder from Miller Electric deserves the 5th spot in this review and includes a whole slew of features out of the box including the 10-foot MIG gun, work clamp with 10-foot cable, gas solenoid valve, dual gauge regulator, gas hose, contact tips, sample spool, spool wire, and more. At this price you’re getting the entire package which his hard to imagine considering the price.
- Responsive rotary and digital controls
- HF Arc starts are efficient and high-quality
- Control pcb boards located on top separated from wind and lower inverter
- Smooth AC arc
- Foot pedal not included
- Unknown brand for most consumers
The SÜA ionTig is probably one you may not have heard of, but it’s worth considering. For beginners and intermediates this is an awesome AC and DC capable TIG weld which gives you a pulsed HF at a price that can’ t be beat. For one of the best cheap TIG welders this year, it gives you much more performance that you would think including a smooth, stable arc.
This TIG gives you the ability to weld aluminum and all sorts of metals with ease. The High Frequency TIG Mode gives you much more control when compared to other similarly priced TIG welders, can be used with generators and is highlighted by a pulsed high performance which works great on ultra-thin material with no deformation.
- Comfortable and ergonomic to use
- Brass-to-brass gun connection offers greater conductivity
- Quick and simple adjustments
- Will not overheat with safety overload
- Easy to learn for beginners with minimal learning curve
- Low quality flux core welding seen with thicker material
- Low 120 voltage
If you’re looking for both a flux core and gas shielded welder, then considering the 8th best AC welder in this review is a must. This Lincoln Electric handheld MIG welder is easily one of the best this year which gives functionality, performance, value and portability in one. For versatility, you can weld aluminum, stainless-steel, mild-steel and other types of alloy.
This MIG is aggressively priced and comes in hundreds less than comparable models. Lincoln Electric introduced a great value which features a wire drive system that’s fully adjustable, 50-500 IPM wire feed speed control, brass to brass gun connection, and an aluminum body with drive aid which creates a ultra-smooth feed system.
- Strong enough to handle all types of welding projects
- Strong and durable
- Consistent and smooth arc
- Wheels help to make it portable
- Easy setup with thumbscrew connect
- Heavy, would not be portable without the wheels
This MIG and Flux core cable welder claims the 8th spot in this review and is another amazing option from Lincoln Electric. This 220/208/and 230 capable welder gives you AC functionality and is easily one of the best aluminum welders out there. Scoring a 9.0 out of 10 and standing out with its performance with it’s precise welding with a continuous arc.
For added portability, this welder is outfitted with wheels making it much more portable. Perfect for moving around the shop, the durable and heavy-duty frame will give you years of rigorous use and is best-suited for intermediates and professional welders. For professional use, it’s perfect for agriculture, auto body, mechanics, maintenance, repair, and many other professions.
- Gives you more options and memory settings than other models
- Stable arc
- Intuitive control panel optimizing user control
- Durable wheels making it portable despite its heavier size
- Awesome customization features
- Price not for everyone
- Not suitable for beginners and some intermediates
The Aspect 375 is an amazing TIG welder giving you AC and DC capabilities. The versatility of welding steel and aluminum and is highlighted by Lincoln’s own Intellistart™ Technology. This technology optimizes performance while giving you softer starts with thin material and hot starts with thicker material.
For those looking for customization, the Lincoln Electric K3946-2 allows you to set the frequency, modify arc profile, penetration, cleaning action, and much more. The intuitive control panel makes use easier then ever and out of the box setup is simple enough for any DIY newbie.
If you’re looking to weld aluminum it takes a specialized type of welder. These AC welders alter the flow of current allowing for the perfect penetration which optimizes results seen in each weld. We’ve constructed the perfect review if you’re considering buying a new AC welder and if we’ve missed anything please feel free to comment below.