MIG vs TIG Welding

[Cover] MIG vs TIG Welding

Although MIG and TIG welding share many similarities, they do differ at some levels. Knowing their differences is highly important because each type of metal piece has its own specificities and requires a certain welding technique. This article exposes the main differences between MIG vsTIG welding processes for you to know which one suits your objectives.

How Does MIG and TIG Welding Work?

MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding forms the weld by using an electric arc. For this reason, it’s also called GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding). MIG welding means that the feed wire perpetually enters through the gun creating a spark to melt and end up making the weld. It’s also important to note that the feed wire is both an electrode and a filler. As a consequence, thick materials can be easily joined without being constantly heated. Functioning as a filler rather than only an electrode, the feed wire used in MIG welding allows you to weld two different kinds of materials.

What is MIG Welding? (GMAW)

TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas) also uses an electric arc and is also known as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding). The welding process is implemented by using two rods to bond two metals together.

What is TIG Welding? (GTAW)

MIG vs TIG Welding: Comparison


Unlike with TIG welding, with MIG welding, you can finish welding highly thick material in a short time. It can be used on materials whose thickness ranges from 26-gauge to extremely heavy and thick metal sheets. This capacity owes to the fact that it uses consumable filler material to form the weld. TIG welding, on the other hand, doesn’t use this consumable filler, meaning it needs more time to get the required heat to join the two metal pieces. TIG welding; however, is rather suitable for fusing thin metal pieces.


MIG welding is the best choice for beginners since it is flexible, easily learned, and can be used with extreme comfort. When MIG welding, you can use only one hand. However, TIG welding requires the use of both your hands and your feet, each engaging in a different task.

Also, when opting for TIG welding, you’re obliged to carefully consider how much time you spend, how much pressure you invest, and how much electric current you choose. For this reason, you’d rather be equipped with a welding machine to facilitate the job for you. This machine can be used as well with MIG welding.

Verdict: Which Is the Best One to Choose?

You should base your decision between MIG vs TIG welding on the type of material you’re going to work with. As previously said, while MIG welding is better for thick and large material such as aluminum, stainless steel, and steel, TIG welding is rather suitable for thin and small metal sheets.

Another aspect you have to consider is the metal’s electrical resistance degree, that is, the extent to which the metal is pliable. The metal’s electrical resistance is what produces the amount of heat necessary to join the two metal pieces. Extremely and easily pliable metals require much time to be appropriately heated. However, less pliable metals heat quickly and don’t need consumable filler to weld.


Jeffrey Alfaro

Jeffrey is a craftsman and writer who specializes in testing tools and covering the tool industry for construction and woodworking professionals.

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