MIG vs TIG Welding – Which One Should I Choose?


When someone enters the field of welding, he discovers and learns about new welding techniques. There are many welding methods, as each has its unique benefits. Some welding processes perform better for certain workpieces than others.

Two of the first welding process that a beginner has to learn are the MIG and TIG welding. Since they have many similarities between them, new welders often get confused on which one to choose. It is understandable, and picking the wrong welding method is not a good thing to do.

Hence, we are here to help. In this article, we compared these two and also showed the similarities between them.


MIG Welder – What Is It?


MIG welding stands for metal inert gas welding. People also call it gas metal arc welding or GMAW. While welding with this method, the welder uses a consumable welding rod. This electrode gets consumed in the welding process, so you need to get a new one for each use.

As one of the gas welding methods, MIG welding uses special gases to create a shielding layer around the weld spot. This shield keeps any foreign particle away from contaminating with the welding.


TIG Welder – What Is It?


The full form of TIG welding is tungsten inert gas welding. In this case, the welding rod needs to be non-consumable. So, you can use the same rod multiple times.

Also known as gas tungsten arc welding, it also uses gases like MIG to shield the welding. The electrodes are mostly made from tungsten alloys to perform the weld. There can be a few mixtures of other materials like zirconium, thorium, or cerium.

You can and need to hold the electrode during the TIG welding procedure.


MIG basics


One thing to remember is that since MIG welding uses a consumable electrode, you do not need to use a filler material. MIG has higher malleability than TIG. The setup of MIG is not that hard to understand.

In the setup of MIG, there is a wire that the machine feeds to get the job done. You only need to use one hand while welding with MIG. The common gases used for MIG welding are pure carbon dioxide.

Some of them also use shielding gas of a mixture of carbon dioxide with argon.


TIG Basics


When using TIG welding, the electrode stays without melting down. Hence, to make up the weld, welders use some kinds of filler materials. You can use this welding method in order to get a neat and smooth welding outcome.

As you weld using this method, the electrode must be held by you. Since both your hands stay occupied, it is harder to weld with this technique. But the result almost always comes out excellent.

For the protective gases of TIG, you can choose a combination of argon and helium.


Similarities of TIG and MIG Welding


If you analyze both welding methods, you can find some similarities between them. Let’s point some of them out below.

  • As mentioned above, both welding methods use gases to protect the welding area. Even though the gases are different, the technique is almost similar.
  • In both welding methods, electric currents create the arcs between the workpiece and the electrode. Although, the medium used by the current to flow through is different between them.
  • Both MIG and TIG welding are suitable for DC connections. While hooking up everything, the electrode parts need to be negative. You can also use AC connections on both, but TIG goes better with AC than MIG.
  • In both techniques, a filler material is necessary. In MIG welding, the welding rod itself works as the filler.
  • They have some similarities when it comes to applications as well. You will see the use of both in marine, automotive, and oil factories.

Differences of TIG and MIG welding


If we are looking for differences between the two, there are many. Starting from shielding gases to the accuracy of the weld, we can find several points. Have a look-

  • Even though both use the gas for the same purpose, the gases they need are different. MIG welding requires gases like CO2, which is highly available. You will need gases like argon, helium, or oxygen for TIG welding.
  • The welding speed is also a vital point to talk about, especially when it comes to industrial needs. Since you need to handle the electrode manually in TIG welding, the speed is slower than MIG.
  • While welding with the TIG method, both hands will be busy all the time. Hence, it is a bit harder to weld with TIG than MIG. In MIG welding, the machine-fed wire conducts the electricity and does not needs to be held.
  • MIG uses a consumable electrode. So, the welding rod acts as a filler material itself. In the TIG method, you need to provide additional filler material to create the weld.
  • MIG has a higher dirt tackling capability than TIG.
  • While both deliver excellent outcomes, TIG welding offers a prettier result.
  • MIG welding tools are usually available at a lower price than TIG.

Uses


Here are some of the applications where MIG and TIG welding are great-

  1. 1
    DIY.
  2. 2
    Automobile manufacturing and repairing.
  3. 3
    Shipbuilding.
  4. 4
    Highrise and oil factories.
  5. 5
    Nuclear plants.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is TIG Welding Better Than MIG?

You can’t really judge them by better or worse. One can be better in certain situations and qualities and vice versa. Make sure to use them on their suitable applications.

Is TIG Welding Harder Than MIG?

In a way, yes, it is. TIG requires you to use both hands, making it a bit harder to come to grip.

Which Is Hotter, MIG or TIG?

When it comes to gaining more heat, the side with the straight polarity gets more of it. In a MIG setup, the electrode side stays positive, making it gain a high heat on the weld. It is the complete opposite in TIG welding.

So, MIG welding is hotter than TIG welding.


Final Note


Always remember that you can't objectively deem a welding method negatively based on just one factor. As you have already read above, both MIG and TIG are good in their respective ways. One can have a negative factor, but it also balances it out by being better in another way.

One should learn both techniques if one wants to be a pro at welding. And when it is about learning, you should practice both MIG and TIG several times. Your experience and skill can also bring out the full potential of a welding method.

Last Updated on 4 months by Richard Boyer

  • January 26, 2022
Richard Boyer
 

Richard Boyer has been a professional welder for over 27 years of his life, and now he is a trainer and blogger providing critical information to anyone interested in welding. He is helping out both hobbyists, novice and professional welders to learn newer and better techniques. Read more about me

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: