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How to Sharpen Tungsten for TIG Welding – An Overview

How to Sharpen Tungsten for TIG Welding

If you’re a welder, then you know that having sharp tungsten is essential for producing quality welds. But if your tungsten isn’t sharp enough for the job, you’ll end up with less-than-desirable results. So, how do you ensure that your tungsten is as sharp as possible? Read on to find out!

Understanding Tungsten Grades and Types

Tungsten is typically graded from 1-20, where 1 represents the softest grade, and 20 represents the hardest grade. While most welding applications don’t require the highest grade of tungsten, it’s important to select the right grade for your particular application. For example, softer grades are more malleable and can be used when welding thicker material or when making large beads. Harder grades are better suited for precision work because they provide a sharper arc and hold a pointed tip longer.

The shape of the tungsten also has an effect on performance. The two most common shapes are pointed and balled. Pointed tips create narrower arcs which allow for greater accuracy in welding thin materials, while balled tips create wider arcs which make it easier to weld thicker materials.

Sharpening Tungsten Properly

When it comes time to sharpen your tungsten, there are several methods available depending on what type of equipment you have access to and what type of tungsten you’re using. Let’s take a look at some of the most common methods:

  • Grinding wheel – This method involves using a grinding wheel or lapidary wheel to grind away any imperfections on the surface of the tungsten until it is sharp enough for use. It should be noted that this method should only be used with softer grades of tungsten, as hard grades may become too brittle after being ground down too much.
  • Bench grinder – Another popular method is using a bench grinder with a diamond grinding wheel attachment to sharpen your tungsten. This method works well with both soft and hard grades of tungsten but requires more finesse than the grinding wheel method since it’s easy to overdo it and remove too much material from the surface of the tungsten.
  • Hand file – If you don’t have access to a grinding wheel or bench grinder, then you can use a hand file to sharpen your tungstens. This method works best with soft grades, as hard grades may become too brittle after filing them down too much. Be sure to use light pressure when filing so that you don’t remove too much material from the surface of the tungsten before they become sharp enough for use in welding applications.


Sharpening your own tungsten can be tricky, but with practice, it can save you time and money in the long run by allowing you to produce higher-quality welds more efficiently than ever before! To ensure that your welds stay consistent, keep track of how often each individual piece needs sharpening by marking them off as they’re used so that you’re always aware when new pieces need replacing or need sharpening again due to wear and tear from regular use over time. With these simple tips in mind, keeping your TIG welding equipment ready will be easier than ever before!

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