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What’s The Difference Between MIG And TIG Welding?


Both of these welding methods are largely popular, and that is why there are a lot of debates about TIG vs MIG welding. They both have pros and cons, and choosing between them proves hard, even for professionals. If you start with one of them, it is most likely that you will always hover towards it, despite it possibly not being the best option for the task you are handling. Let’s mark up some key differences between both, and we can later explain their ups and downs.

Let’s start with a quick explanation of what MIG welding is. MIG welding is performed with the use of a welding torch that constantly feeds your welding rod in the form of wire, plus a shielding gas, through a hand-held torch.

TIG welding, on the other hand, has a tungsten rod mounted in the torch, plus a supply of shielding gas. However, you have to change the tungsten rods when needed and with your other hand you will have to introduce the filler rod in the welding puddle in what is tig welding used for. On top of that, you need a way to control the current, which is most often controlled by a pedal.

The similarities between MIG and TIG welding pretty much end with the fact that both methods benefit from the use of shielding gas. The names MIG and TIG actually come from the type of gases used in the welding process.

MIG – Metal Inert Gas
TIG – Tungsten Inert Gas

You can now clearly see that TIG welding is most likely to require more from the professional performing the job. That is the reason why MIG welding is a good starting point and the preferred way for welding amongst hobbyists and beginners. Which gives an answer to one of the most common questions “Is TIG easier than MIG?” and the answer is, NO.

When it comes to the question is MIG or TIG welding better, it is hard to say. It all depends on your requirements as a welder, the materials you need to weld together and the stress they will need to endure. It is a complicated question that does not have a set answer. However, MIG welding is described as the better option for thicker materials, thanks to its filler rod, because you don’t have to heat the workpiece all the way to form the weld. On top of that, thanks to its automatic filler rod feed, MIG welding is the faster option. This is enough for some to conclude that MIG is better, at least for them. But on the other hand, TIG welding could be far more precise, especially when done by a professional.

Common Question About MIG and TIG Welding

Is MIG or TIG welding better?

You can’t just proclaim on a method to be better over the other. They both have a strong side, which you can’t simply disregard. After all, professionals try to be fluent in both, and there is a reason for that.

What do you use a TIG welder for?

Typically it is used when welding thin metals. More often steel, aluminium, copper and titanium to name a few.

Can you TIG weld with a MIG welder?

In theory, you can. However, it requires some specific modifications, and it is not recommended! If you have a MIG welder, use the MIG method and if you need to perform some TIG welding just ask someone to borrow his welder or go ahead and invest in your skills and buy your own.

Is TIG stronger than MIG?

There is no solid answer when it comes to TIG vs MIG welding strength. Once again, it all depends on the situation. In fact, if we are only looking at the shear strength of a weld, MIG is better, but this strength costs it malleability.

Is TIG easier than MIG?

TIG is generally accepted as the harder method, it requires more concentration and preparation. MIG welding filler rod is automatically fed to the weld and the method is more forgiving for the presence of dirt and other contaminants. Therefore, TIG is not easier than MIG.

What are the disadvantages of TIG welding?

It requires a more skillful professional to create a solid, good looking weld. It also needs the area to be dirt free and both metals to be cleaned well, this is a general rule of thumb for all welds, but with TIG welding, it is a must!

Can you TIG weld without gas?

It will be a waste of tungsten and the welds will not be good enough. Contaminated welds are not as strong, nor as pretty. The welding gas protects the tungsten rod from burning away too fast and it keeps the weld clean.

Can you use the same gas for MIG and TIG?

Once again, you can, in theory, but it is not recommended. It could result in contaminated welds and excessive burn of tungsten, just like if you are not using gas at all.

Which is hotter MIG or TIG?

MIG welds cool down faster than TIG welds if that could be accepted as an argument. On the other hand, both methods use an arc, which is far hotter than a flame, but easier to control and operate with.

Is TIG welding dangerous?

Any type of welding could be dangerous, this is why you need protective equipment and should pass at least basic training before welding on your own.

What metals can be TIG welded?

TIG welding is mostly used for steel, aluminium, copper and titanium, but those are not the only metals you can weld using a TIG welder!

What are the advantages of TIG welding?

Mostly its ability to precisely weld thinner metals, and the control a skilful welder can have over the weld.

Can TIG welding cause cancer?

Prolonged exposures to any welding fumes can cause serious health risks, including cancer. This is why it is very important to fit a welding fume extraction system in your working area!

When it comes to filtration and extraction systems Ducting Express are your go-to guys and girls. Get your welding fume extraction system from us. All of your questions will be answered and a product that truly suits your needs well will be handpicked and shipped to you.