You may not opt for welding as a hobby, but you may need to grasp a welding machine when needed. There are three main variants of welding processes – Stick, MIG, and TIG. Each process comes with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. But there goes a big debate on the MIG vs TIG welding process and the avid welders have failed to come to an absolute conclusion regarding the eminence of any specific welding process. You can either choose a top-class TIG welder or a MIG welder as per your need and convenience.
TIG and MIG Welding – Definition
The basic of welding is similar for all types of welding processes. The welder heats the metals to an extreme level and melts them until they become liquid. A filler material is used then to join the two target metals. There is a core difference between MIG and tig welding, though they use an identical mechanism.
TIG welding refers to Tungsten Inert Gas which is also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding. Here the welding arc takes place between an electrode of tungsten and a workpiece. The tungsten electrode helps the current run through the target metals you are going to connect. But in this process, the welder has to engage their both hands in the welding as the filler material and the torch is separate in TIG welding. When the electrode liquefies the metals by extreme heat, the welder holds the filler material using the hands and dips it in the puddle to join the two target pieces of metals.
MIG welding refers to Metal Inert Gas which is also known as Gas Meter Arc Welding (GMAW). This welding process involves the use of consumable wire fed through the welding machine. This metal wire gets in contact with an electrode and melds the project consequently. The filler material uses this wire to travel to the joining point of the torch and the metal. The inert gas comes into play in this step as it protects the weld puddle from other reactive elements present in the air.
TIG vs MIG Welding
You already know the basic difference between TIG and MIG welding. If you are still wondering about what is the difference between MIG and TIG welding, the following section of this article will give replies to all your queries.
1. The technique
The primary difference lies in the technique used in these two welding processes. MIG welding uses a wire electrode that feeds through the welding machine and creates the weld. On the contrary, tig welding needs to engage a separate filler material to the welding task.
MIG welding produces heat by using the consumable wire. This wire along with the arc heat the metal, melt it and create the welded joint. In the case of tig, the tungsten-tipped torch is the source of heat. The consumable rod helps make the joint with the help of the arc, torch and the filler material.
A MIG weld has the upper hand over the TIG in terms of the cooling ability. A MIG weld cools down way faster than a TIG weld. The surrounding of the base metal of a MIG weld absorbs the heat produced in the joint and works as a heat sink. But the base metal surrounding of a TIG weld gains heat along with the welded joint. So, it doesn’t work as a heat sink.
The MIG vs TIG welding debate reaches a new level in terms of the cleanliness. The inert gas such as carbon dioxide, argon, etc. play a significant role to keep the welded joints clean and prevent them from getting contaminated with the ambient air. MIG performs better than TIG to keep the joint surface clean by concentrating the heat into the joint and reducing the crud and residue from the surface.
4. Difficulty Level
This is obvious that you have to employ both your hands while using TIG welding method. You have to hold the torch in one hand and the filler material in the other, which makes it quite challenging for the inexperienced welders. But, MIG welding doesn’t include any such difficulty as it feeds the wire through the machine and one can easily weld with one hand due to the easier technique.
5. Welding Speed
Time is an important factor whether you are welding for the job or your DIY project. MIG welding automatically feeds the wire and concentrates the heat to the weld joints faster than a TIG can do. A good quality MIG welder can weld joints three times faster than a tig. So, if you are looking for a speedier and timesaver welder, MIG is the right one for you for sure.
6. Metal Thickness & Size
A MIG welder is effective for thicker metals and larger projects as it performs fast with easy technique. A TIG welder is suitable for comparatively thin metals and smaller projects as it produces excellent precision in the weld joints.
You have to set the wire speed and current level before you start the welding with a MIG welder. You can’t adjust the speed or heavy level when the machine is on the fly. TIG welder comes with fantastic adjustability in this regard. You can easily adjust the heat by pressing the pedal and feed the filler as you want. Some high-end MIG welders allow the users to adjust the speed and heat on the go, but they are very costly.
8. External Look
TIG welder comes with a clean and beautiful finish, and it provides extra precision on the welding task. That’s why it is widely used for artistic projects and small craftworks. TIG welder is better in terms of appearance and aesthetic value.
A MIG welder is comparatively inexpensive than a TIG welder. TIG welding method costs a bit higher.
MIG vs TIG Contrast Shown in a Table
If you are still confused which one to choose between TIG welding vs MIG welding, the following table will be of great help.
Cools down quickly
Absorbs heat slowly
More clean joints
Less clean joints
Metal Thickness & Size
Suitable for thicker metals and larger projects
Good for thin metals and small projects
Adjustable only in high-end tools
Adjustable speed and heat
Hope this table has depicted a detailed overview of MIG vs TIG discussion. Now, you will be able to make an educated decision while adopting the right welding method. No matter which method you are following, remember to abide by the safety rules. These electronic tools pose potential risks for users. Stay safe and rock the welding task.