Argon Welding Gas Cylinders

This guide will explain all about Argon gas cylinders and which one is best for you. You will need to use a different type of Argon gas cylinder depending on your welding process. If you’re TIG welding, you’ll typically use 100% Argon. If you’re MIG welding, you’ll typically use an Argon/CO2 mixture.

Best Argon Gas Cylinders for MIG Welding

1. Argon 75%/CO2 25% 80CF

medal Best gas for MIG

75 argon cylinder 80cf
  • Argon/CO2 blend perfect for MIG
  • Low spatter
  • 10 year hydrotest date stamped, within 2 years of stamped date.
  • DOT number is stamped on the tank
  • Dimensions: 7-1/4″ x 32-1/2″
  • Weight: 35lbs

80CF is a great choice for hobbyists as you get a good amount of weld time and they’re still pretty portable. Argon/CO2 mix is also our preferred gas for MIG as you get much cleaner welds than CO2 and it’s still great value for money. These cylinders are all 10 year date stamped, and you’ll get yours within 2 years of the stamp date, So you’ll get at least 8 years of welding out of a cylinder before you need to replace it. If you order this cylinder, note that the DOT stamp will read 3AA 2015. 2015 is not the date stamp on the cylinder, it refers to the pressure specification, which is 2015 PSI.

2. Argon 75%/CO2 25% 125CF

75 argon cylinder 125cf
  • Argon/CO2 blend perfect for MIG
  • Low spatter
  • 10 year hydrotest date stamped, within 2 years of stamped date.
  • DOT number is stamped on the tank
  • Dimensions: 7-1/4″ x 41-1/2″
  • Weight: 50lbs
  • 50% more weld time than 80CF

If you want a bit more weld time than 80CF you can purchase a 125CF cylinder. These will have around 6 hours weld time compared to 4 hours from a 80CF (at around 20CFH). The downside is they’re also bigger and heavier, so you won’t be able to store or transport them as easily. They’re 9 inches taller and 15lbs heavier than the 80CF cylinder. These cylinders are DOT stamped within 2 years, so you’ll get at least 8 years of usage from it. The cylinders arrive full at your door at 2250 psi, once you’ve used up the gas, you can simply take it down to a local gas supplier and get a refill.

3. Argon 75%/CO2 25% 40CF

75 argon cylinder 40cf
  • Argon/CO2 blend perfect for MIG
  • Low spatter
  • 10 year hydrotest date stamped, within 2 years of stamped date.
  • DOT number is stamped on the tank
  • Dimensions: 6-3/4″ x 16-3/8″
  • Weight: 17lbs
  • Small and portable

Our third favorite MIG gas cylinder is the 75%/25% Argon/CO2 40CF mixture. This cylinder is perfect for hobbyists who only weld rarely and have a small workshop. These bottles are lightweight, portable, and don’t take up much room at all in your workspace. The main downside is that you don’t get much welding time from them, so if you’re welding a bit more regularly you’ll want to go a size or two up. The cylinders arrive full at 2015 psi and meet all DOT/and or ISO regulations.

Best Argon Gas Cylinders for TIG Welding

1. Argon 100% 80CF

medal Best gas for TIG

100 argon cylinder 80cf
  • Pure Argon is great for TIG
  • Low spatter
  • 10 year hydrotest date stamped, within 2 years of stamped date.
  • DOT number is stamped on the tank
  • Dimensions: 7-1/4″ x 32-1/2″
  • Weight: 35lbs

You won’t be able to use your Argon/CO2 MIG gas mixture for TIG welding, you’ll need a separate 100% Argon mixture. 100% Argon 80CF is our top pick because it’s portable and you still get a good amount of weld time out of the tank. This Argon gas cylinder weighs just 35lbs, is around 32″ tall, and you’ll get approximately 4 hours weld time at 20CFH. These cylinders you also get at least 8 years left on the date stamp before it needs to be replaced. Please note that the DOT stamp reads 3AA 2015. 2015 refers to 2015 PSI, the pressure specification.

2. Argon 100% 125CF

100 argon cylinder 125cf
  • Pure Argon is great for TIG
  • 10 year hydrotest date stamped, within 2 years of stamped date.
  • DOT number is stamped on the tank
  • Dimensions: 7-1/4″ x 41-1/2″
  • Weight: 50lbs
  • 50% more weld time than 80CF

If you want more than 80CF, this 125CF tank is perfect and will come shipped full of gas to your door at a great price. Cylinders are 10 year date stamped and the cylinder you receive will have less than 2 years used up. This is great because the cylinder will last a long time and you won’t have to pay to lease a tank and pay for exchanges. You can simply get it refilled at a local gas supplier. The tank is DOT stamped and is 41 1/2″ inches tall weighing 50lbs.

3. Argon 100% 40CF

100 argon cylinder 40cf
  • Pure Argon is great for TIG
  • 10 year hydrotest date stamped, within 2 years of stamped date.
  • DOT number is stamped on the tank
  • Dimensions: 6-3/4″ x 16-3/8″
  • Weight: 17lbs
  • Small and portable

Finally, our third pick for TIG is the 100% Argon 40CF cylinder. The 40CF cylinder is best suited for hobby welders who don’t weld very often or have a small workshop and don’t want the cylinder to take up much room. The 40CF tank is lightweight and portable at just 17lbs and 16 inches tall. It’s a pretty cool little bottle that has fast shipping and arrives DOT stamped full of gas. The weld time is only around 2 hours at 20CFU, which is OK, but you might need a bigger tank if you’re welding more frequently. You might be OK if you have a gas supply very nearby.

Argon Gas Cylinder FAQS

How much welding time will I get from my Argon gas cylinder?

The welding time per bottle is dependent on the flow rate your regulator is set at. Gas flow rate is usually between 10 and 40CFH. At around 20CFH you’ll get around 6 hours weld time from a 125CF cylinder, compared to around 4 hours weld time from a 80CF cylinder.

To calculate the gas welding time, use the following equation:

Gas welding time (hours) = Cylinder volume (CF) / Regulator gas flow rate (CFH)
So an 80CF cylinder at 20CFH = 80CF / 20CFH = 4 hours welding time.

Which shielding gas is best for TIG?

The most common welding gas used in TIG welding is 100% Argon. Argon is low cost and allows for easy arc ignition. When TIG welding, you need a shielding gas that will not react with the Tungsten electrode, so Argon is perfect as it ionizes easily and helps to provide a stable and narrow arc.

Helium can be added to an Argon mix to help increase penetration where a high heat transfer is required. Helium has a higher thermal conductivity so greater heat is produced when TIG welding with an Argon/Helium mixture. However, Helium mixtures are more expensive and less common.

Which shielding gas is best for MIG?

The most common welding gases used in MIG welding are Argon/CO2 mixture and pure CO2.

Argon/CO2 mixture is our preference for MIG welding steel because the arc is at its most stable and there is less spatter. Different percentages of Carbon can be added to Argon to improve the shape of the arc stream. The more Carbon that is added, the wider the arc stream becomes. The most common mixture is 75% Argon and 25% Carbon.

sheilding gas arc

A mixture of Argon and CO2 gives a more suitably sized arc stream

Pure CO2 is used as a low-cost alternative, so is used when low material costs are essential. CO2 provides more penetration but creates arc instability and much more spatter. CO2 can also help when welding rusty or dirty steel.

When MIG welding aluminum or another non-ferrous metal, then pure Argon is the most suitable gas. Pure Argon is not suitable for MIG welding steel.

What are the Argon gas cylinder sizes?

Gas bottles come in a range of different sizes, usually given in Cubic Feet (CF). Most hobby welders chose gas cylinders in either 40CF, 80CF or 125CF, however, other sizes are available such as 20CF and 150CF. Please see our gas cylinder size chart for more information.

Small businesses that only use welding gas occasionally may wish to purchase a small welding gas cylinder. Large and heavy gas cylinders can get in the way and be difficult to transport, and there’s more upfront cost.

If you regularly use welding gas, you will want a cylinder that lasts for a bit longer before having to order another cylinder.

Can I refill my Argon gas cylinder?
Once your gas cylinder is empty you will be able to refill it at a local gas supplier. Your cylinder may need to be DOT stamped to get it refilled.
Are Argon gas cylinders shipped full or empty?
All the gas cylinders that we recommend come shipped full of gas at your address. You can purchase empty cylinders, but then you will need to go and get it filled up.
How to set up an Argon gas cylinder

Gas cylinder safety tips

You must read and follow all of the instructions from the manufacturer on practicing safety with your gas cylinder. Safety is a priority when using gas cylinders, follow all the guidelines issued by the supplier. We have some tips on staying safe but this does not constitute official advice and should not be used to replace instructions in the operating manual.

Keep gas cylinder away from heat sources
When storing gas cylinders, it’s really important that they are kept away from heat sources. This is because they are flammable and because when the temperature of gas increases, the pressure inside the cylinder increases. The heat causes the gas molecules to increase in energy and can cause a massive explosive if the pressure gets too high. Store your gas cylinders in a cool location.
Store cylinder upright and secure
Gas cylinders need to be stored securely in order that they don’t fall over, which could damage the cylinder and cause a leak. You can sometimes attach a gas cylinder to the back of a welding cart or trolley with a chain. You are also less likely to suffer a leak if your canister is upright, but it needs to be secure.
Ensure there is adequate ventilation
To protect yourself in case there is a leak, you should always store a gas cylinder in a well-ventilated room. If there is ventilation and you have a leak, then the gas can be more easily removed from the room and your air will be more safe. For more safety, it’s better to store gas outside where any leak can go straight into the atmosphere.
Detecting a gas leak
Argon is an odorless and colorless gas, so it is difficult to detect. Manually check that the fittings are tight and listen out for a hissing noise coming from the cylinder. You can also install an oxygen alarm which tells you if the oxygen levels in the room drop. When you have finished welding, make sure that all the valves are securely closed, to help prevent leaks.

Other industries that use Argon gas

Lighting industry
Electric light bulbs are filled with argon gas. Argon does not react with the tungsten filament in the light bulb so is perfect for keeping the filament intact and increasing the longevity of the bulb.

Neon lights also contain argon gas to help create a bright glow of light. The color itself depends on the mixture of gases, which can include other gases such as neon and hydrogen.

Drinks industry
Argon is used in the drinks industry mainly by winemakers. Argon can be added to wine barrels to protect the wine against oxidation and souring.

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