Why are Water cooled tig torches used where they are not really needed?
Because even the smallest most flexible air cooled tig torch is less nimble that a good quality water cooled torch.
And if a welder is given a choice, most will choose the smaller, more nimble torch because after hours of making tedious tig welds, the hands and wrists can feel the difference.
And who needs carpal tunnel problems? (I heard of a guy who had surgery on both hands at the same time. Either he invented some new wiping machine, or had a really devoted wife)
Tig welders who weld on aerospace and aviation parts often times never weld over 50 amps…well within the limits of the smallest 100 amp air cooled tig torch.
But aerospace welders still use water cooled torches more often than not, just for the flexible hoses and operator fatigue issue.
Personally, I don’t like hearing my water cooler run all the time in my shop. Its kind of loud. At first, it doesn’t bother me much, but after a while, it really wears on me.
Here I am with this awesome 3000 dollar “fan on demand” tig inverter that is quiet as a mouse, but I still have to listen to the background noise my water cooler makes. That doesn’t make sense.
I have often thought if someone sold a small air cooled tig torch that was just as flexible as my water cooled, I would buy it in a heartbeat.
Well guess what?
I was at the 2010 Fabtech welding show a few days ago and saw a small air cooled tig torch that feels just as nimble as a water cooled tig torch.
How do they do it?
With a whip, that’s how. A short lighter duty cable called a whip is used for the piece coming out of the torch and it can be disconnected and locked in a tool box or can be easily and inexpensively replaced if it gets smoked.
I will whip out my credit card as soon as they hit the market.