PrimeWeld TIG325X -5 amp Start, Pulse Settings, and 1/4" Aluminum
In 2021, PrimeWeld ordered quite a few TIG fingers® from us here at Weldmonger.com and I must say I really appreciated that.
I thought it was a stand up move because several other companies were just making copycat tig fingers® from cheap materials and were even using my own product images in their advertising.
….but PrimeWeld took the high road so that they could provide their customers a better experience by offering the real Weldmonger® brand TIG finger®.
At that time, I had not tried out a PrimeWeld machine, but I had seen a video where Aaron Larson - the owner of YouTube channel 6061 ( a very accomplished welder and fabricator) did a very unbiased review video where he gave the Primeweld TIG225x a thumbs up as his recommendation for an entry level tig welder.
After seeing that 6061 YouTube video, I was definitely interested in this welder.
So I asked PrimeWeld to send me a TIG225X to demonstrate in some videos.
After welding with it for a good while, I was so impressed that I added it TIG225x to my store here at weldmonger.com.
That has worked out great. Lots of happy customers out there.
Now PrimeWeld has come out with a higher amperage unit called the TIG325x that has a max amperage of 325 and low end 5 amps.
So I wanted to make a few demo videos on the TIG325x too.
So for this video, I will talk about why you might want a welder that goes as low as 5 amps and as high as 325….along with some improvements that primeweld has made on the TIG325x.
Let's start with why you might need a low end of 5 amps.
There are certain situations where a low 5 amp start amperage is very helpful.
When I worked in the aerospace industry, there was a certain repair that called for tig welding a stainless steel lap joint patch that was .012” thick onto some .020” thick 15-7ph stainless.
If you dont have a low amp start on a joint like that, you can melt the edge away.
That can turn a challenging but fun 45 minute job into 3 hours of heartburn.
For this video, I used box cutter blades to demonstrate the low amp start of the TIG325x.
Box cutter blades are around .024” thick but the sharp edge is thinner so is pretty easy to nip or blow away unless you have a good low end start amperage.
I also added a bit of filler metal when tack welding the ends and that is something I routinely do for things like crack repair on thin parts.
Another feature that can really help with welding thin items is the pulser.
I have been talking about the rule of 33 for pulse settings since around 2013 and essentially the rule of 33 is just any easy way to remember a good starting point for high speed pulse settings.
Pulse rate is 33pps, background current 33%, pulse width 33%.
And that brings me to a great improvement Primeweld made to the TIG325x …and that is digital readout of all the knob settings.
That makes it very easy to dial in settings like pulse. Whenever you set a knob, the readout switches to read out that setting and then automatically switches back to main amperage readout after a few seconds.
So for welding the .024” thick razor blades, I set main amperage to around 57 ( that gave me around 27 amps readout at full pedal) with pulse settings all set to 33.
Using a 1/16” 2% lanthanated electrode and .030” filler wire, tig welding box cutter blades was fairly easy…but I might need an eye exam soon.
When I think about what I like to see out of a tig welding machine, I look at it thru the lens of “could I have started my side hustle with this machine?”.
And then I remember one of the jobs I took on was modifying hundreds of stainless steel beverage dispensers that were only .020” thick.
A low end start amperage was important.
During that time, I was mostly using a miller dynasty 200 with a 1 amp start but I also did quite a few of those containers with a syncrowave 250.
For that beverage dispenser job, I needed to be able to tack weld .020” stainless butt joints without nipping the edges and this TIG325x is definitely capable of doing that same task.
Back in my side hustle days, I started off with a miller snycrowave 250 which was a great welder ….my only real complaint with it was it required a 100 amp breaker any aluminum 1/4” and over. Who has a 100 amp breaker in their garage? I didn’t.
Eventually Miller came out with the Dynasty 200 and since I wasn’t getting any thick aluminum jobs, I sold the syncrowave 250 and bought a dynasty 200dx inverter.
And then I started getting some aluminum parts that were 1/4” thick but fairly small parts.
I was usually able to weld 1/4” thick aluminum for short periods as long as I added some helium to the mix and along with a slight preheat but it was slow….much slower than it should have been.
It’s hard to make a profit like that.
Sometimes there is no substitute for more amperage.
And that is why you might want that extra amperage that a TIG 325x gives.
Now …you will need a 50 amp breaker to get the most out of this welder…I dont have a 50 amp service yet so for this video, I am plugged into my drier plug using a couple of 25 foot extension cables.
I wanted to see how it does on 1/4” aluminum using a 30 amp breaker and extension cords.
I used a #6 gas lens cup with 1/8” 2% lanthanated tungsten for 2 1/4” thick aluminum corner welds with the machine amperage reading out between 220 and 250 amps
I hooked up a 320 amp water cooled tig torch along with the primeweld tig cooler to the TIG 325x for this video and it all worked very well.
The cooling fan is kinda loud on the 325x but at least it doesn’t run until you start welding.