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The result of your welding work greatly depends on the quality of your welding machine. Having the right tool is essential for creating beautiful welds. One of the best rated TIG/Stick welding machines is the AHP AlphaTIG 200X, which has been recently replaced with the upgraded AlphaTIG 203XI version. It’s a reliable welder that is a popular choice among both beginners and professionals. It’s powerful, versatile, portable, and its high-end capabilities come at an affordable price. You can learn more about the extensive range of features of this welder by reading our AHP AlphaTIG 200X review. It will help you understand its pros and cons, and if it’s worth the money.
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AHP AlphaTIG 200X Main Features
One of the best features of this welding machine is its versatility as it can be used for both TIG and Stick welding. When accuracy is important, you can use TIG welding. It can also be used for welding thin sheet metal and aluminum. It creates a very smooth arc, helping you achieve high precision welds.
However, when the precision of the weld is less important or when working outdoors, you can switch to Stick welding. In this mode, it’s effortless to strike an arc and once you have it going, it’s very smooth, easy to manipulate, and it doesn’t create much spatter.
Due to its versatility, this welding machine is capable of handling a variety of welding applications. So you can use it for both amateur and professional fabrications jobs, whether it’s working on aluminum, stainless steel, or mild steel.
Another feature that makes the functionality of this welder more versatile is its AC/DC capability, which makes it possible to use the machine for most welding applications. So depending on the job at hand, you can select either AC or DC power output.
In most cases, especially if you’re mainly working with steel, you’ll probably choose the DC current for a smoother arc and less spatter. However, in some cases, it’s advantageous to also have the AC option. You could use it for deeper penetration of plate metals, for welding objects that have a magnetic field since it does not suffer from arc blow, and for welding aluminum since it’s more capable of reaching extremely high temperatures.
The AHP AlphaTIG 200X operates in both 110V and 220V, so you get the advantage of dual voltage functionality. When welding thinner metals, you could use 110V power. And when working on heavier welding and industrial applications, you could switch to 220V for full power.
Moreover, having dual voltage capability is beneficial for easier use in multiple locations. For example, if you’re just working in a garage or if you don’t have a generator, you might only have a 110V outlet available.
This welding machine is capable of outputting a lot of power. At 110V, it can output 140 amps. And at 220V, it goes up to 200 amps. It’s got plenty of power to weld mild steel up to 3/8 inches thick and aluminum up to 1/4 inches. Moreover, it can weld 7018 and 6013.
As for the minimum starting amps, it’s 10 amps for DC and 20 amps for AC welding. In addition to that, the welder has a duty cycle of 60% at 200 amps, which gives you plenty of welding time before having to wait for the machine to cool down. However, at 35%, the duty cycle for Stick welding is shorter.
Another advantage of this TIG/Stick welder is its intuitive interface. Its control panel features an improved interface, which offers easier control than the older version. Instead of having to adjust the knob for each separate setting, this control panel allows you to just input the size of tungsten and the thickness of the material you’re working with and the system will automatically choose the correct settings for your AC or DC TIG welding. And if you’re Stick welding, you can get automatic amps adjustment by selecting the type and size of the rod.
This simple control panel can especially be beneficial for beginner welders that are still learning all the settings of the machine. It can also be beneficial for more experienced welders that would like to save time on manually adjusting all the settings.
When using this welder, you can choose to operate in either 2T or 4T mode. For the 2T mode, you need to either use the foot pedal or the torch switch. To activate the flow, you just need to simply press the torch switch and as long as you keep holding it, the machine will continue to operate at the selected settings. So when you want to stop welding, you just need to release the torch trigger.
As for the 4T process, it’s a bit more complex, offering more control over the welding process. To activate the flow, you also need to press the torch switch, but once the puddle begins to develop, you can release it. Once you’re ready to terminate the weld, you can press the torch the switch again and hold it until the crater is filled, after which you can end the arc by releasing the switch.
The advantage of the 4T operation is a more controlled weld. It’s also useful when doing longer welds or in applications where a foot pedal is not practical to use.
Other Welding Settings
The welder features advanced inverter technology with pulse-width modulation. There’s a high frequency TIG start feature, which is a touchless method of starting an arc. This is the best form of start to have since it creates the best weld seam quality.
The unit also comes with a foot pedal, which is smooth, responsive, and consistent, offering good control. The only negative of it is that it likes to slide around, so you might need to mount it. Alternatively, you can also use the included trigger switch.
Moreover, there are other settings that you can use to further fine-tune your welding process. You can adjust pulse frequency with a range of 0.5 to 200hz and pulse time with a range of 10% to 90% of the pulse cycle. The welder also offers adjustable AC frequency and AC balance, so you can get the best performance for improved penetration, tungsten life, and weld quality.
The AHP AlphaTIG 200X welding machine weighs just 50 pounds, so you can easily bring it with you to your welding job sites. For improved portability, the machine is also built with a sturdy handle, which makes it easier to pick it up and carry.
This welding machine comes with almost everything you’ll need to start welding. In addition to the machine itself, the package of the product also includes a TIG torch, a stick holder, a ground clamp, a foot pedal, a gas flow regulator, a 110V plug adapter, and a basic consumable kit. However, except for protective gear for safety (check out our welding helmet reviews), you’ll additionally need to purchase tungsten electrodes, an argon tank, and welding rods.
AHP AlphaTIG 200X Pros and Cons
The AHP AlphaTIG 200X is a good cost-effective welding machine. It offers versatility, produces a good arc, and is made of high quality. The pedal could have been better. However, considering the price and its many advanced features, this welder is still a great choice for those looking for a professional grade machine. And to solve the pedal issue, you can either mount it or buy a different one.