TIG vs MIG Welding: Which Process Should I Choose?

Are you looking for an informative guide about TIG vs MIG Welding? Well, it’s an old debate that has been going on for decades among welding professionals. However, you should first understand the fundamental difference between these two welding processes before buying a welding machine.

To help you out in this confusion, we have explained the in-depth facts about TIG and MIG Welding process in today’s article so that you can make the right decision as per your requirements. Remember, both are good under some particular circumstances. You should first identify your requirements before concluding anything.

In case you might be asking yourself when to use which welding process? Our detailed article will give you a better understanding of the TIG and Mig Welding process along with their possible applications. Make sure you haven’t skipped any part because the right welding process is crucial for the success of any job.

Mig vs tig

General Information about TIG & MIG Welding

If you aren’t familiar with any of the popular welding processes such as TIG or MIG welding, then you should first learn some necessary information about the whole process before going in-depth. MIG and TIG welding method includes fusing of two metal pieces on the heat with an electric arc; it melts the molten puddle to join both pieces of metal into one.

MIG VS TIG Welding Comparison

  Arc 

The arc used in MIG Welding is formed through the passage of electric current with wire fed out of a welding machine. MIG arc is usually large that’s why it’s not recommended for welding small pieces due to its less penetration capability as compared to TIG Welding. However, MIG Welding has a high heat input that makes it ideal for heavy-duty jobs.

On the other hand, The TIG Welding arc is created between a tungsten rod, while the TIG welding technique is preferred for more accurate welds, especially on narrow or small areas where small size arc can deeply penetrate. TIG Arc also produces more heat as compared to the MIG arc that loses the heat concentration due to its wide size.

 Weld Quality 

As far as the quality of TIG & MIG Welding is focused, A MIG Welding procedure is strong enough to tackle the tough metals with utmost durability. However, there is also a downside of MIG welding as some small holes may develop in the welding if the welding isn’t carried out by a professional. In other words, there is no place for even a small mistake in MIG Welding.

TIG Welds are one of the highest quality welds as compared to other welding procedures, as they can penetrate deeper to ensure the durable welds as compared to MIG Welds.

If we summarise the whole scenario based on the facts, if you want a durable weld without compromising on its longevity, then you should go for TIG welding. However, if the area of the weld is wider then you can try the MIG Welding procedure, but make sure that a professional welder does it.

 Speed 

Welding is a very complicated procedure that requires a lot of time to complete. TIG Welding is usually slower as compared to MIG Welding. However, the weld quality is excellent, but the cost that you need to pay in exchange for a high-quality weld is its slow speed. As we have discussed earlier, TIG welding involves deep penetration into metals; that’s why it takes time to complete.

On the other hand, MIG Welding is a fast procedure that usually takes minutes. Several factors make it a speedy welding procedure, including less penetration, wide arc size, etc. However, you need to be cautious while doing MIG welds with too much speed because less penetration puts the weld at colossal risk.

 Difficulty 

A TIG Welding is a way more complicated procedure than MIG; that’s why it’s often labeled as a higher class of welding due to its high quality and durability. MIG Welding is relatively easier to get started, but a person having a basic experience of TIG welding can easily handle MIG Welding on his fingertips due to its easy disciplines.

TIG Welding requires utmost accuracy and maneuvering in which you have no chances of mistake. At the same time, MIG Welding is similar to driving an automatic transmission car in which you have to focus on fewer areas as compared to driving a manual transmission car.

 Metal Types 

Even though both TIG and MIG Welding is compatible with every metal, but there are certain limitations, too, such as AC and DC capabilities that matter a lot while welding different materials. For aluminum welding, both TIG and MIG welding procedures can be used without any hassles, while for stainless steel materials, TIG welding is usually preferred due to several reasons.

For Steel, MIG Welding is primarily preferred; aesthetics are not harmful to steel. If the surface of welding is clean, then you should go for TIG welding, while a MIG Welding is capable of welding the dirtiest metals without any strict requirements of cleaning.

 Cost 

Cost is a very crucial factor that you should carefully consider before buying a welding machine to pursue your profession. TIG Welding will likely cost you more than MIG Welding due to the complexity of the process. Moreover, the materials used in TIG welding are also quite expensive than MIG Welding; the increased welding time of TIG welding also raises the cost significantly.

 Aesthetics 

Mig welding is a way faster process than tig welding, but can’t get anywhere near to tig weld when it comes weld finish. Tig weld is a cleaner weld, no spatter, and requires no finish work most of the time. Sometime it may require a light polishing or salting to remove the unwanted colour.

If you are looking to weld metals such as stainless steel, tig weld should be your first choice because welding on such metals need to be clean, which cant be obtained from mig weld. While on the other hand, if you are welding metals like cast iron, you can opt for mig as such metals don’t require elegant welds, and spatter can be dealt with after some finishing work.

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Overview of Mig Welding

MIG welding stands for Metal Inert Gas. The procedure is also known as GMAW(Gas Metal Arc Welding). Most of the welders learn this welding first, as it is relatively easier to operate a MIG welding.MIG welders use a solid wire from a spool that is fed automatically at a constant preselected speed. Electric current passing through the wire feed creates the arc as it touches the metal that is being welded that ultimately results in cleaner welds that more often requires no finishing work. Mig welding produces excellent results on both thin and thick gauge metals.

The trigger on the welding gun controls the current flowing in the wire feed and shielding gas out. Besides, trigger on the welding gun lets you control the whole process single handily in quite an effective manner.

The setting on the machine can be changed according to the power that needs to go to the workpiece using the digital panel, however, sometimes you may need to manipulate the settings that are on the welding gun for minor level adjustments. Once you setup the welder for a particular job, it will get the job done excellently.

Pros
  • Fast welding
  • Easy to learn
  • Less cost
  • Perfect For large welds
  • Less maintenance
  • Automated wire fed
Cons
  • Poor weld quality
  • Poor aesthetics
  • Low penetration

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Overview of Tig Welding

Tig stands for Tungsten Inert Gas, as the name implies, in the process, the weld is produced by a non-consumable tungsten electrode, the arc is created by the current that flows between the electrode and the piece of metal that is being welded. The environmental contamination on the weld area is eliminated by using a gas named as Argon and filler metal. However, some metals may not require protection from atmospheric contamination.

The tig welding uses the same arc as in mig weld, but the tig arc is narrow in size than mig arc, that results in the heat smaller area, which ultimately gives deep penetration. The process is relatively slower in pace in than mig, but because of deep penetration, the welding results are finer than gold. Hand feeding the filler wire into the welding spool makes the process snail speed.

Pros
  • Excellent weld quality
  • Deeper penetration
  • Ideal for thin metals
  • Easy sealing
  • Highly paid jobs
Cons
  • Slow welding process
  • Cost is almost twice than of MIG welding
  • Difficult to master

tig vs mig welding

Summing it Up

We hope our detailed guide about MIG VS TIG Welding has given you a clear understanding of both welding techniques. Every welding procedure has its own strengths and weaknesses, that’s why you should decide the best according to your requirements. Last but not least, you should never compromise on the quality of welds especially if it’s concerned with something sensitive that may increase the risk of incidents. Don’t hesitate to drop your feedback in the comments section below.

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About Dave Walker

Dave Walker, a professional welder who has been welding from an early age. Now aims to help others by making them learning skills and finding them new opportunities. He has written for many welding blogs and helped many pursue their welding goals by helping them in choosing the best welding tools of the time.

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