Have you recently started working with a TIG torch? If yes, then the first thing you need to know is how you can hold it. Now you may think what is the big deal here? But actually, this is the basic that you should do correctly. Holding the TIG torch correctly makes welding easier and gives a good result. Otherwise, you can make a mess if you hold it in your way.
Holding the TIG torch decides the angle of welding which matters a lot. That’s why, before you start welding, you have to know how to hold a TIG torch correctly. Beginners out there, please concentrate on this article as I will be talking about holding and using a TIG torch effectively.
In this article, you will know about holding a TIG torch and learn a lot more about it. I will mention several ways of holding the TIG torch so that you can find your comfort grip and work accordingly. So let’s start now.
8 Ways To Hold A TIG Torch: Find Your Comfort Grip
Not everyone can get comfortable with the same grip. Just like people have different sleeping and sitting postures, holding a TIG torch can be different for people. This is why I have researched thoroughly to find out several ways of gripping a TIG torch so that you can find your match.
Understanding that people have different demands, I am presenting 8 different ways of holding a TIG torch:
1. Traditional Way:
Just like most people hold a pen, you can hold the TIG torch. This is the traditional way of holding it; though not so popular, it can be used if you are welding from right up to the surface.
Basically, you use your index finger and thumb to hold the TIG torch. The handle of the torch remains just on your purlicue (the area between the thumb and the index finger). After placing the torch on the purlicue, fold your thumb inwards and extend your index to the front portion of the torch. Basically, your index stabilizes the torch and firms the grip. Other fingers remain folded.
This is quite a comfortable position as you only use the thumb to hold the torch. The rest of your fingers don’t function much except for the index finger stabilizing the torch. You can move sideways, parallel, and in all directions with this grip. Note that with a flex head on the torch head, you can work more easily.
2. Cigar Style:
In this method, the index finger grips the torch handle instead of the thumb. Also, the other fingers grip the torch slightly from below the handle. Okay, let me explain it a bit more.
The torch goes on the purlicue. Now, fold your index finger to grip the top of the torch. Just below the torch, fold the other fingers except for the thumb. Now, the torch is lying on the fingers and the index finger is holding it tight. The thumb now goes on top of the index finger to give a firm grip. You can move your thumb accordingly to change the grip.
This posture gives a firm grip and better control over the device. Rotating and moving it becomes easier with this grip. Go perpendicular, bend it, and work with it comfortably with this grip. Also, it is a beginner-friendly holding method as you can see the welding easily if you hold the torch like this.
3. Pencil Grip:
As the name suggests, you actually hold the torch just like you hold a pencil while writing. Basically, you use the tip of your index finger and thumb to gently hold the torch.
Just put the tip of your index and thumb on two sides of the torch handle. The other fingers stay at the side of your index or go below the torch handle. This offers maximum flexibility and is a comfortable position. You can move, twist, bend, rotate, and do almost anything with this grip. But you need to hold it tight with your fingertips. Otherwise, you may lose your grip while welding.
This position is particularly useful to weld rounded materials as you need to rotate them easily. In that case, rest your pinkie on the rounded surface for support and then rotate the torch on the material. As this posture gives maximum mobility, you can do any welding with it.
4. Propper Pose:
The name is given for a reason! In this position, you can prop along a surface by supporting the grip on your pinkie. This is very similar to the pencil grip and only slightly different.
Basically, the fingertip of your index finger goes on one side of the TIG torch. And your thumb goes to the upward side of the torch. Now, put the pinkie on the surface which you are welding. You can extend the other fingers out on the surface to cover a greater area. Now that the pinkie is supporting your hand, you can prop over the surface and weld. Easy!
If you are working on a straight horizon, the proper pose will be proper. Even edge welding is done conveniently in this pose. In that case, you need to keep the finger perpendicular to the surface and weld it with the support of your pinkie.
5. Handlebar Grip:
Just like you hold the handle of a cycle, you hold the torch in the same way in the handlebar grip. Put all your four fingers on the top of the torch and lock the fingers beneath it with the thumb. Quite a firm and strong grip!
This posture is not used for delicate or fine weldings. For welding over big surfaces, you can use this handlebar grip. You can also mix the proper pose with this by supporting your hand on the pinkie. So you can move the TIG torch vertically, horizontally, and in many other directions with the handlebar grip.
On vertical materials, it is a very useful grip. You can take the support of your knuckles to rotate around the surface and move sideways. But to be honest, on flat surfaces, it may look weird, and you may find it difficult to weld in this position.
6. Choker Grip:
This is quite an interesting grip and experts usually use this type of mechanism. But even a beginner can find it useful in some situations. Note that in this position you don’t grip the body, but grip the back cap.
Your purlicue goes just where the back cap meets the TIG torch body. Now the back goes in between your index and middle finger. Your thumb remains folded at the meeting point of the cap and body. Your middle, ring, and pinkie fingers remain folded to the other side of the back cap. The index remains touched with the thumb. This is quite a good grip as you directly hold the back cap instead of the handle. Now, your balance is better here.
Please note that the choker grip is only suitable for small jobs like tack welding. As the back cap eventually gets hot, you can’t hold it for a long time. Therefore, don’t do it for a big project.
7. Inverter Grip:
This is another grip where you hold the back cap. To be honest, I find this posture funny and weird but hey, many people find it useful too. As a result, I can’t just skip this just because I find it weird, and it can help you.
Basically, your pinkie goes to the downside of the back cap. Your index, middle, and ring finger goes on the top side of the back cap. The thumb now touches the meeting point of the back cap and the handle. So yeah, that is how you hold it. Quite a hard and strong grip but as it gets hot, you can’t hold it like that.
With this grip, you have to be very careful as your hands remain close to the welding area. So you better use this technique for small projects only.
8. Trigger Happy Pose:
TIG torches with a hand pedal are the best, to be honest. You can even attach one to perform the trigger happy pose. The pedal is positioned on the top side of the torch handle. This pedal has a switch and you can press it to weld the materials. Easy!
Now to hold this, you have to try something like the pencil pose. Just hold the handle with the fingertip of your thumb and your index finger goes on the pedal switch. Your other fingers go beneath the torch and you get a good grip of the torch.
Now operate the switch and hold the handle with the thumb and keep welding. You can do almost any type of project with this trigger-happy pose.
Tips To Improve TIG Torch Control:
Okay, after knowing the postures, you should get some tips for a better result. So here are some of my tips to improve your TIG torch control and grip:
- Use your pinky to support your hand and conveniently move across a surface;
- Hold the handle tight and practice beforehand before starting the project;
- Don’t allow the handle or back cap to get hot as it can disturb your grip. So take breaks and let it cool down;
- Accelerate the speed slowly to get used to the speed and learn to keep your hands steady;
- Use a sharp tungsten tip so that the fine jobs are done easily and you can have good control;
And that is it!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which Hand Do You Hold The TIG Torch In?
There is no definite rule of which hand you should use to hold the TIG torch. It totally depends on your comfort. But generally, it is better to hold the torch with your right hand. More than which hand you use, you should think of how you can hold it. You can use a lot of holding positions to make welding easier and more convenient for you.
Do You Push Or Pull TIG Welding?
TIG welding is always done by pushing. Unlike MIG welding, both pushing and pulling are not applicable to TIG welding. You need to push it on the surface. But note that TIG welding needs precision. So you should practice well before doing the final work. Also, take time to do your project and understand your comfort grip.
How Do You Keep a Steady Hand When TIG Welding?
It is quite a challenge to keep the hand steady during TIG welding. As the TIG torch shakes during welding, you may find it difficult to weld steadily. In that case, you should take the support of pinkie. Place your pinkie on the surface to stabilize your hand and then start welding, you can also use your index to stabilize the handle a bit.
In Which Angle To Hold A TIG Torch?
You should hold your torch at least 15 to 20 degrees away from the welding position. This not only ensures safety but also allows you to view the area properly. As you view it properly, welding accuracy is increased. Also, the filler material touches the torch easily from this angle. So it also improves the efficiency of the project.
I have offered 8 ways to hold a TIG torch. So I am sure that you will find the best grip that you are comfortable in. just try out the positions I have mentioned and find out which one gives you the best grip.
Now that you know everything about holding a TIG torch, you can weld more efficiently and confidently.
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