5 Best Tungsten for Aluminum (2020) – Top Pick & Reviews

Welding aluminum isn't that easy that we think. If you need your welding to be your expected result, then you need to practice more and more.

It also depends on the metal thickness, your chosen machine, the settings of this machine, and the tungsten.

So that, you can improve your travel speed and a good penetration as you expected.

On the other hand, you need a welder that is good for weld aluminum.

Now, we're going to be discussing all that's on a need-to-know basis when it comes to picking out the best tungsten electrode for your welder.

Below we talk about 5 best tungsten for aluminum, types of tungsten and many more.


5 Best Tungsten For Aluminium Reviews


1. TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated 3/32” x 7” (Blue, WL20)- TOP PICK

TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated

These premium quality 2% Lanthanated TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes do a great job at welding aluminum, mild steel, and special metals.

Producing A Nicely Stable Arc.:

The 2% Lanthanated TIG Tungsten are capable of maintaining the highest quality of arc as they can relatively easily strike the arc.

They Are Long-Lasting...

These tungsten electrodes are engineered to be long-lasting as well as have a low burn-off rate – more reasons as to why they are the best for welding aluminum.

That’s not all!

Lanthanated electrodes are renowned for requiring lower amperage and performing remarkably well in both AC as well as DC applications.

However:

When you try to break off the part of the rod that has been contaminated, the rod tends to splinter instead of breaking off cleanly.


  • Budget-friendly.
  • High-quality arc.
  • Long-lasting; low burn-off rate.
  • Require lower amperage.
  • Performs well in both AC and DC.


  • Rods could splinter when trying to break the contaminated bits off.

Overall...

TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated are pocket-friendly and amazing tungsten electrodes – which will help you weld your aluminum in ease


2. TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated Assorted Size 4

TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated Assorted Size 4

These TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated are a great starter kit if you have a small TIG machine and are looking forward to welding aluminum.

They Come In Assorted Sizes.

The TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated come in different sizes, which are as follows: 4 x 0.40”, 3 x 1/16”, and 3 x 3/32”. These assortments are great for a small TIG machine.

Produces Stable Arcs:

Just like what you would expect from a good tungsten electrode, these electrodes are able to produce a stable arc every single time.

We’re not through yet!

Like any other lanthanated electrodes, these tungsten electrodes need a lower amperage.

Moreover, they can perform great in both AC and DC applications. This is perfect for aluminum as aluminum uses AC.

However:

These tungsten electrodes are not suitable for working with thick aluminum. These are rather suitable for thinner aluminum, i.e. 1/8” or thinner.


  • Budget-friendly.
  • Assorted sizes.
  • Stable arc.


  • Not suitable for thick aluminum.

All in all... 

TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated are undoubtedly ideal tungsten electrodes that you could use for welding thin aluminum.


3. GENSSI TIG Welding Tungsten Electrode 175mm (7")

GENSSI TIG Welding Tungsten Electrode 175mm

These premium quality TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes by Genssi are 2.0% Lanthanated and are well-made for welding aluminum.

Long-Lasting Electrodes:

The Genssi tungsten electrodes have a decent concentric ground finish. As a result, under normal circumstances, they will be durable.

But wait – there’s more!

As these electrodes are 2.0% Lanthanated, they are perfect for aluminum welding.

This is because aluminum welding uses AC, whereas these electrodes can handle both AC and DC applications.

Stable Arcs All The Way...

If you are looking for that perfect aluminum arc weld, then you have met your match.

These tungsten electrodes are capable of producing stable arcs every single time.

However:

These tungsten electrodes do not come in varying sizes. They all come in the size 1/16 inch.


  • Budget-friendly.
  • Good concentric finish.
  • Can handle both AC and DC.
  • Stable arc.


  • Do not come in varying sizes.

To sum up... 

The GENSSI TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes are high-quality tungsten electrodes that are capable of producing the perfect aluminum arc weld.


​4. Amplify Brand 2% Lanthanated Tungsten Electrodes - 1/16" (1.6mm)

Amplify Brand 2% Lanthanated Tungsten Electrodes

These high-performance Amplify Brand 2% Lanthanated Tungsten Electrodes do a decent job at aluminum welding.

Consistent Stable Arcs.

If a perfect aluminum arc weld is what you are after, then you can stop the chase now. The Amplify brand tungsten electrodes are capable of producing stable arcs – consistently.

How Can You Beat That?

Whether it is AC or DC application – this electrode will handle it all. Therefore, these electrodes are perfect for aluminum welding as it uses AC.

To add on, 2.0% Lanthanated means that they are ideal for aluminum welding as well.

Handling High Current...

The Amplify tungsten electrodes have a great concentric ground finish.  

Consequently, they are capable of handling so much current and providing high-quality performance.

However:

These Amplify brand tungsten electrodes are not suitable for working with thick aluminum. They are rather suitable for thinner aluminum, i.e. 1/8” or thinner.


  • Good concentric finish.
  • Can handle both AC and DC.
  • Stable arc.


  • Not suitable for thick aluminum.

To sum up... 

The Amplify Brand 2% Lanthanated Tungsten Electrodes are capable of handling high current and giving you a great aluminum arc weld.


5. Kamas 2mm500mm TIG PVC Stainless Steel Tungsten Electrodes

Kamas 2mm500mm TIG PVC Stainless Steel Tungsten Electrodes

The Kamas TIG PVC Stainless Steel Tungsten Electrodes are lightweight electrodes that will help you in welding aluminum with ease.

Great Welding Effect...

Due to internal powder and remarkable processing performance, these steel tungsten electrodes provide a full and smooth welding effect.

That’s not all!

Not only are these electrodes resistant to corrosion, but they also have a low melting point, high electric and thermal conductivity.

Wide application!

The Kamas steel tungsten electrodes can be used for filling material for pure aluminum, argon arc welding, as well as connection with the aluminum bus.

However:

As these Kamas tungsten electrodes are very lightweight, they are easy to bend. This could, in turn, result in breaking the electrodes too.


  • Good concentric finish.
  • Can handle both AC and DC.
  • Stable arc.


  • Bends easily.

Overall...

The lightweight Kamas TIG PVC Stainless Steel Tungsten Electrodes have a wide range of applications – which includes smoothly welding aluminum.


Types of Tungsten for TIG welding Aluminium

Pure Tungsten-Color Code: Green

99.5% of these particular electrodes is just tungsten. They are relatively on the cheaper end and demand a lot more power than the others.

People typically use these when dealing with alternating current(AC) welding with a balanced wave because they give us great arc stability.  

The same is true for AC Sine welding primarily on aluminum and magnesium.

When heated, they form a clean, rounded tip which is exactly what we need when welding aluminum.

Zirconiated-Color Code: Brown

Zirconiated tungsten electrode composition: at least 99.1% tungsten and about 0.15% - 0.4% zirconium. It's ideal for AC welding.

Ceriated Tungsten-Color Code: Orange

Ceriated tungsten electrode (2% Ceriated) composition: at least 97.3% tungsten and about 1.8% - 2.2% cerium.

It's great for DC welding current levels set at low but also good for AC welding.

Rare Earth Tungsten-Color Code: Gray

Rare earth tungsten electrodes are composed of different combinations of rare earth oxides that can come together to provide different results for both AC and DC welding processes according to what's in them.

Lanthanated Tungsten-Color Code: Gold

Lanthanated tungsten electrode (1.5% Lanthanated) composition: at least 97.8% tungsten and about 1.3% - 1.7% langthanum or lanthana.

It's good for both alternating current(AC) and direct current(DC) welding.

We'll get more into detail about these particular electrodes in another section where we will compare them with thoriated tungsten ones.

Thoriated Tungsten-Color Code: Red

Thoriated tungsten electrode (2% thoriated) composition: at least 97.3% tungsten and about 1.7% - 2.2% thorium.

It's also good for both AC and DC welding which really begs the question; Lanthanated or Thoriated?

Stick around as we discuss this in the 'Lanthanated vs Thoriated' section of this piece.

Now, we have mentioned all lot of tungsten electrode variants and I bet you are wondering what now?

You are still lost as to which one to choose, so now we are going to help narrow down your options by looking at what you should be looking for when you choose your ideal tungsten:

The first thing

You should consider is the diameter of the tungsten electrode you are going to use as we already know that in the AC welding process a lot of heat is absorbed by the tungsten.

Therefore, you will need a larger diameter to absorb as much as possible.

Secondly

It's advised that you do not use thoriated tungsten electrodes when using a conventional power supply because when you heat them and the tip starts rounding over, a few small deformities appear on it and ultimately it leads to the arc being rather unbalanced.

We recommend sticking to pure tungsten or zirconiated tungsten electrodes.

Ceriated and Lanthanated tungsten electrodes are also a good choice what with them being able to work well on Both AC and DC processes. 

Another added bonus is that they are not radioactive and that is always good!

The only downside is the price, so if you are planning on sporting one of these babies, be prepared to take out that ol' piggy bank and get to spending.

But if you choose to use the more modern inverter power supplies then you should use thoriated tungsten and you can grind the tip to a point.

Lanthanated vs Thoriated

Straight off the bat, We'd like to say that we highly recommend 1.5 %lanthanated tungsten electrodes over thoriated ones for a number of reasons:

Advantages

  • Well, first of all, Lanthanated Tungsten can take more amperage than any other alloy on the market.
  • Also, Lanthanated Tungsten does not discriminate when it comes to which type of machine you choose to use. In other words, it is compatible with all types of machines.
  • It uses the least voltage in order to be broken down. This means it starts arc very easily. It does it better than any other alloy.
  • Lastly, Lanthanated Tungsten is not radioactive unlike thoriated tungsten and some of the others.

Downsides

  • Well, Lanthanated tungsten is not very easy to find. Most local welding shops do not have it.
  • Needs more time and effort when grinding.
  • Lastly, Lanthanated Tungsten costs a bit more than other options which really, may or not be a problem for you.

Anyway, I feel we should filter the options even more by listing our picks for the best tungsten electrodes for aluminum on the market.


So What's The Verdict...

To conclude...

If you are looking for the best tungsten electrode, I like any other metal enthusiast would tell you that no tungsten electrode does it better than 2% lanthanated tungsten electrode Farewell.

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