Scratch Start TIG vs. Lift Arc Whats the Difference?

Scratch start TIG and lift arc TIG are two different techniques used in TIG welding to start the welding arc. The main difference between the two techniques is the way the arc is initiated.

Scratch start TIG, also known as striking, involves scratching the tungsten electrode against the metal surface to create an arc. This method creates a spark that initiates the arc and melts the metal. Scratch start TIG is a simple and easy method to use, but it can be difficult to control the arc and create a consistent weld.

Lift arc TIG, on the other hand, involves lifting the tungsten electrode off the metal surface to create an arc. This method creates a clean arc start and reduces the risk of contaminating the weld with tungsten particles. Lift arc TIG is ideal for welding thin materials, where precise control of the arc is necessary. It is also less likely to cause tungsten inclusions or other weld defects.

One of the main benefits of lift arc TIG is that it reduces the need for post-weld cleanup, as it creates a clean arc start and minimizes the amount of tungsten particles that can contaminate the weld. Lift arc TIG also allows for more precise control of the arc and produces a consistent and high-quality weld.

Scratch start TIG, on the other hand, is simpler and requires less specialized equipment. It can be useful for small welding jobs or for welding thicker materials where precise control of the arc is not as important.

Overall, both scratch start TIG and lift arc TIG have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two techniques will depend on the specific welding job at hand. For precise, clean welding with less post-weld cleanup, lift arc TIG is the preferred method, while scratch start TIG may be more suitable for simpler welding jobs or thicker materials.