Sharpened tungsten electrodes are important in TIG welding. The sharpened point of the electrode allows TIG welders to create precise lines. This is necessary for welding metal types like steel.
If you are new to TIG welding, you may be tempted to use regular stone grinders to sharpen your electrodes. People do this to save money but the integrity of their weld is affected in the process. While this can work for home-based shops and unimportant applications, it may not be good enough for the standards of professional TIG welding.
If you are doing TIG welding in industries like aeronautics and in the navy, lives depend on the accuracy and integrity of your welds. You need to make sure that the electrodes you use are uncontaminated.
Electrodes sharpened with regular stone grinders usually contain small amounts of other metals in them. Small particles of metal that were left behind from other tasks used on the stone grinder can become embedded in the electrode during sharpening. This will lead to a weaker contaminated weld.
If you are planning to do professional TIG welding in the future, you should just buy a tungsten electrode sharpener to do your sharpening for you. A tungsten grinder is a dedicated tool that ensures grinds the electrodes and ensures that it is not contaminated with other metals. It is also faster than powering up your power tools. You just need to plug the tool in, insert the electrode to the grinder, adjust the angle and start grinding. Within seconds, your electrode will be ready.
While there are many tungsten sharpener brands in the market, you should look at the HTP tungsten grinder first. This brand of tungsten grinders is one of the best for beginners.
HTP tungsten grinder specs
The HTP tungsten grinder is a handheld tool dedicated to sharpening your tungsten electrodes. They are the best to use for home TIG welding rigs. Beginners love them because they are easy to set up, lightweight and user-friendly. Professionals can also use them as an outdoor substitute to their industrial grade benchtop grinders.
The HTP tungsten grinder features an 110-volt motor that is capable of giving you 8,000 to 30,000 rpm. For international welders, a 220-volt grinder is also available in some retailers. This Grinder contains a speed adjustment knob so that you can control the wheel rotation speed.
It allows you to create 10-30 degree angles to your electrodes. When grinding an electrode with a stone wheel, you usually need to attach it to a hand drill so that you can create an even longitudinal pattern. You also need to manually adjust the angle. With the HTP sharpener, you can get a better product with just one tool. You also get a consistent angle with all the electrodes you grind.
Aside from being a grinder, it also serves as a tungsten electrode cutter. The cutting notch is located on the side of the tool. The cutting feature can also be used to create a flat surface. Some types of applications this type of cut.
While the HTP tungsten grinder is designed to work on electrodes with 1/16”, 3/32”, and 1/8” diameters, you can still purchase a separate collet to hold the 0.040” electrodes.
The diamond wheel in the HTP tungsten grinder is replaceable. If the diamond wheel breaks, for example, you can just replace it. The wheel that comes with a brand new HTP tungsten grinder is also double sided. This means that you can just flip this wheel when the first side is worn out. These types of wheel last longer than regular diamond wheels.
When buying a handheld grinder wheel, you need to make sure to use premium diamond wheels. These wheels last longer than their non-premium counterparts do. Electrodes sharpened by diamond wheels hold their point longer. This lessens the amount of time you spend sharpening your grinder.
The true value of the HTP tungsten grinder is its portability. It only weighs 1 pound. With this weight, you can easily carry it in any location with your TIG welding rig.
Most professional TIG welders already have a benchtop sharpener in their shops. The HTP tungsten grinder is a nice supplement to this tool for your outdoor use. As long as you have a power supply, you will not have any problems using it. Even in awkwardly positioned situations, you can still use it because it is lightweight.