Mig vs Tig Welding: How to Compare and Choose Between the Two
The right kind of welding technique helps ensure that wire holds together under stress. Discover here mig vs tig welding and how to choose between the two.
The proper welding type can make a dramatic difference in the look and durability of your project.
Mig vs. Tig welding is often a topic of debate; when to use which, what are they each good for, what types of professions see them used the most, etc.
There are many different types of welding, but the most common two are Mig and Tig welding. Let’s dive into it and clear up some of that debate.
Mig vs. Tig Welding: What Are They?
Mig welding, or Metal Inert Gas welding, has four basic parts. A consumable wire electrode is needed to create an electrical arc between the item being welded and the consumable wire doing the welding.
The wire electrode is on the tip of the welding gun, which is extremely hot to melt the wire being fed into it. While the wire melts, the welder is applying it to the base item causing that to heat up as well, and thus is welded together with the wire.
The last part of Mig welding is shielding gas. This feeds through the welding gun to provide a shield of protection over the fresh weld to prevent environmental contaminants from possibly penetrating and affecting the weld.
Tig welding, or Tungsten Inert Gas welding, is very similar to Mig welding. Tig still relies on a wire to feed and heat up to melt the base item and wire to form the weld.
However, the Tig method uses a tungsten electrode that isn’t consumable, unlike the Mig method. This means that the wire doesn’t feed through the welding gun, it’s held in the operator’s other hand and touched to the electrode to melt into the base item.
Shielding gas is used in Tig welding the same way it is used in Mig.
Mig vs. Tig Welding: What Are They Good For?
No, we’re not talking about War! Each one, Mig vs. Tig welding, has its Pros and Cons. Below we will take a look at the two and which situations each is good for.
Mig is great for beginners as the hardest part of Mig welding is setting the parameters of the machine. Once that is figured out, the rest is a breeze.
Mig welding can be used on most metal surfaces and is excellent for thin metals. However, the different metal surfaces require different combinations of shielding gas and speed at which the wire is fed. This is why the welder needs to know the parameters of their machine before diving in.
Another downside of Mig welding is the fact that the welds require the cleanest of surfaces. That means the welder will have to clean the welding surface of any debris, rust, or paint before beginning to weld.
This, accompanied by the use of shielding gas, makes it very difficult to Mig weld in outdoor conditions.
Tig welding is a bit more of a complicated process than Mig welding. Tig requires two hands for operation, one to hold the welding gun with the tungsten electrode, and one to hold the welding wire used for melting.
With that being said, Tig welding is generally considered a cleaner, more beautiful weld than any other method. Since the operator has so much more control of the wire, the weld has the potential to be much stronger and closer to perfect.
Tig welding, much like Mig, does require an immaculate welding surface free of debris, rust or paint before the welding can begin. Tig is also a bit slower in the welding process, depending on the coordination and experience of the operator. Luckily, at AMF, we have highly skilled and knowledgeable welders who have the experience to get the job done efficiently and beautifully.
Mig vs. Tig Welding: Which One’s Better For The Job?
Much like everything else, there’s a time and place for Mig and Tig welding. Which one is better suited for your project?
We recommend using Mig welding for everyday projects. Whether you’re a welder by trade or a welder for a hobby, Mig welding is a great option to have around.
In addition, Mig welding is fairly quick to learn and the process itself isn’t too complicated. We do recommend avoiding this if your projects are mostly outdoors. The shielding gas will not be as effective with strong weather conditions.
Tig welding is for the perfectionist. This type of welding is considered to be the most beautiful because the operator has so much more control of the weld. However, this makes it fairly complicated to learn and takes more patience with each job.
If your project will have the welds on full display, Tig welding is definitely the way to go! We recommend deep cleaning your weld surface before Tig welding, as you will have a more difficult time with a dirty work surface.
Don’t worry if you’re not fully convinced on which to use for your project, you can reach out to us for more info and we can help with our 20+ years of knowledge!
Deciding Between Mig and Tig Welding
Still deciding between Mig vs. Tig welding?
Both great for their own processes and the job truly does determine which would be more applicable for you. If you’re too overwhelmed with the decision process, fret no more! All Metals Fabricating Inc. has all the knowledge and a broad range of manufacturing capabilities to fulfill any need our customers may have.