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Tungsten Electrodes, Select the Right Tungsten?

Selecting the Right Tungsten

Selecting the right tunsten is crucial to a successful TIG weld. You have to insure the correct tungsten is used for the type of metal you are welding, the type of technology used in your welder such as transformer or inverter, and the thickeness of the metal you will need to weld. This leaves you with a variety sizes ranging from 1/16 to 1/8” and the types of tungstens such as the Pure Tungsten (TP), 2% Thoriated Tungsten (TT2), 2% Ceriated Tungsten (TC2), and 2% Lanthanated Tungsten (TL2). Fortunately, LONGEVITY offers high quality tungsten electrodes and explains which tungsten is required for the right application. Pure Tungsten (TP) – (green tipped) - Pure tungsten readily forms a ball on the end. It is designed for use with transformer-based power sources for AC welding of aluminum. Unfortunately, LONGEVITY does not carry transformer based technology considering the size and weight of TRANSFORMER welders. Therefore, this tungsten is rarely sold buy our sales staff

2% Thoriated Tungsten (TT2) – (red tipped) - This tungsten is the most common tungsten currently being used with LONGEVITY DC TIG. It is generally utilized for DC welding of mild steel, bronze, and stainless steel and basically all metals except aluminum and offers excellent performance. A drawback is that this tungsten has a low level radiation hazard and the fact that they no recommend to weld aluminum. We recommend this tungsten with our stand alone DC only TIG Welders, our WeldMax series multi-purpose welders, which feature DC TIG welders. The 2% Thoriated Tungsten works well with Inverter Welders

2% Ceriated Tungsten (TC2) – (grey tipped) – 2% ceriated is an excellent substitute for 2% thoriated tungsten and is designed for transformer and inverter based power sources. For Transformer DC welding, this tungsten requires less amperage to start so it is recommended for thinner metals. It offers a stable arc and can be used for both AC and DC welding with inverter power sources and is our most popular sold tungsten because it can be used to weld every type of metal in both AC / DC modes in our LONGEVITY INVETER TIG welders. We recommend this unit with our ArcMate 200AMP ACDC TIG/STICK unit or our WeldAll series multi functional welders and plasma cutters because of the versatility of AC DC welding.

2% Lanthanated Tungsten (TL2) – blue tip – 2% lanthanated is probably the most popular substitute for 2% thoriated tungsten. Offering a longer life span than the 2% thoriated tungstens, it is a nice a nice alternative, but not as recommended as our 2% Thoriated Tungsten. This tungsten can be used with both transformer and inverter technology on both AC DC modes.

Tungsten Chart Guide
Tungsten Type
  040"(1.0mm) 1/16"(1.6mm) 3/32"(2.4mm) 1/8"(3.2mm)
Pure Tungsten
2% Thoriated
2% Ceriated
2% Lanthanated

Sharpening a Tungsten
Sharpening a tungsten is very important for a nice fine arc strike. There are auto sharpeners to place the perfect sharpening point on your tunstens or you can simply use a grinding wheel to sharpen your tungsten. Remember, after sharpening to a pencil point, you want to flatten the bottom for a good arc.