MIG vs TIG Welding – Main Difference Compared

  • By: Paul Dixon
  • Date: May 11, 2023
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Welding is a complex and challenging process, but it’s one that can be rewarding. Knowing the differences between common welding methods helps to ensure safe and successful welds, no matter which type you choose.

In this blog post, we’ll examine the main differences between MIG (metal inert gas) and TIG welding (tungsten inert gas), two of the most popular types of welding.

Not only will we compare their features in detail and discuss when each method is best employed, we’ll also talk about everything else that goes into achieving quality results with either technique.

So whether you’re new to welding or have years of experience under your belt, keep reading to learn all there is to know about MIG vs TIG welding!

Differences between MIG and TIG welding methods

MIG and TIG welding have distinct differences. Here’s a comparison table:

MIG WeldingTIG Welding
Power Source TypeConstant VoltageConstant Current
Welding SpeedFast (up to 8 feet/min)Slow (1 inch/min)
Skill Level RequiredBeginner-IntermediateExpert
Metal Types AppropriateStainless Steel, Mild Steel & Aluminum PlateStainless Steel & Aluminum Alloy
Molten Pool Protection MethodologyGMAW or FCAW with wire electrode & shielding gas.TIG Torch & argon gas.

MIG welding has more spatter than TIG. TIG requires more skill. Both techniques were developed in Europe in WWII. They fuse metals together very efficiently.

MIG welding: Sparks, metal melting, and perfect beads!

MIG welding

To gain a comprehensive understanding of MIG welding, explore the entire process of MIG welding, along with its advantages and disadvantages. This will enable you to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether MIG welding is the right choice for your project.

The process of MIG welding

MIG welding is a popular technique to fuse two metal pieces. It involves melting the ends of the pieces and adding a molten metal filler wire. Here’s a quick guide!

  1. Get Ready: Clear the space and secure the pieces with clamps or a vice.
  2. Weld: Adjust the welder settings according to the metal type and thickness. Slowly create a bead along the seam until it joins both pieces.
  3. Finishing: Let the weld cool, then clean up any slag.

A shielding gas protects against oxidation and other contaminants, giving you high-quality welds with minimal splatter or smoke. Invented in 1948, MIG (Gas Metal Arc Welding) is widely used for its versatility. So, if you need a weld that your ex can’t break, MIG welding is the way to go!

Advantages of MIG welding

MIG welding is a great way to weld! It uses inert gasses to protect the joint. Advantages include:

  • High-speed production. Welders can be faster and more productive.
  • Easy to learn and use. Even novices can create quality welds with minimal training.
  • Cleaner welds. The shielding gas creates cleaner welds than other techniques.
  • Less clean-up. No flux is required, so there’s less work after welding.
  • Versatile and adaptable. MIG welding works for a variety of metals and applications.

It’s best for thin materials from 24-gauge to 1/2 inch thick. Thicker metals need multiple passes. To get the best results, keep the materials and procedures clean. Have spare nozzles and tips for the best performance.

However, there are some disadvantages to MIG welding. It’s like a cold winter morning wake-up call!

Disadvantages of MIG welding

MIG welding has its drawbacks:

  • Extensive setup process
  • Spatter formation
  • High sensitivity to electrode positioning
  • Not suitable for thick materials
  • Applicable for certain alloys only
  • Operational cost includes consumables such as electrodes and require a continuous power supply

Also, surfaces must be perfectly clean before starting. Any contamination may mean re-cleaning.

MIG welding dates back to 1948. It was developed by a team at Battelle Memorial Institute. They created the first successful GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) machine capable of production-line welding.

TIG welding is the more mature sibling of MIG welding.

MIG vs TIG Welding

TIG welding

To learn more about TIG welding, with its own intricacies and unique characteristics, delve into the process of TIG welding, along with its advantages and disadvantages. This will help you understand how TIG welding stands out from other welding techniques, enabling you to make informed decisions about what type of welding to use on your next project.

The process of TIG welding

TIG welding is a complex method of connecting two pieces of metal using a Tungsten electrode. This electrode creates heat and melts the metal, forming a strong bond.

The process of TIG welding requires controlling heat, arc length, and feed rate for the best outcome. Plus, it is essential to consider the material type and thickness, gas flow rate, angle, and position. Furthermore, the operator’s skill level is also very important.

The components involved in TIG welding are listed below:

  • Power Source – provides the electrical energy.
  • Tungsten Electrode – delivers an electric arc.
  • Filler Material – gives reinforcement and strength.
  • Shielding Gas – creates an inert environment so that welds don’t get contaminated.

This welding process produces little spatter or smoke. It uses clean gases like argon or helium. This is why it is suitable for thin gauge materials.

To master the art of TIG welding, one must learn about numerous techniques and use them in a skillful way. Safety precautions must be taken while performing this task.

Finally, TIG welding produces high-quality welds which even the toughest critics admire.

Advantages of TIG welding

TIG welding is in high demand due to its great advantages. It offers features that make it a favorite among welders.

It creates precise welds with controllable heat input. It can weld various metals, such as aluminum, stainless steel and titanium. Spatter levels are low, reducing post-weld cleaning. It is suitable for thin materials, making it ideal for intricate projects.

Moreover, TIG welding has great versatility and controllability compared to other welding methods.

The Fabricator found that TIG is becoming more popular than other welding methods due to its superior quality and precision. Making a beautiful TIG weld is like finding a needle in a haystack – no prickly splatter afterwards!

Disadvantages of TIG welding

TIG welding may have its difficulties. Here are some common limitations:

  • It takes longer than other welding techniques, like MIG.
  • You need more skill because it’s slow and needs more attention to detail.
  • It won’t work well on thick metals, as other methods like Stick or MIG welding would.
  • No proper shielding gas can lead to porosity and oxidation of the surface.
  • TIG welding requires high current power sources, which can be expensive to maintain.

You’ll find it hard to do handheld work with large parts using TIG welding. So, get trained, watch online classes, and switch between several welding machines depending on the metal thickness and mobility. Don’t settle for MIG when TIG is the ultimate weld!

Comparison between MIG and TIG welding

To understand the differences between MIG and TIG welding, you need to compare their cost, application areas and required skill levels. This will help you understand which type of welding is best suited for your particular project.

Cost comparison

When considering which welding method to choose, it’s important to compare the costs of MIG and TIG welding. A breakdown of expenses such as equipment costs, consumables, and labor charges can aid in making a cost-effective decision. See the table below for a side-by-side comparison of these costs.

Cost FactorsMIG WeldingTIG Welding
Equipment Costs$500-$2000$2000-$4000
Consumable Costs (Per Hour of Welding)$15-$20$25-$30
Labor Charges (Per Hour)$50-$75$70-$100

In addition to direct costs, indirect costs such as training and inspections can also bump up the overall cost.

When thinking about MIG and TIG welding, consider that MIG may be cheaper due to lower equipment costs. However, TIG welding delivers higher accuracy and lower heat inputs, meaning less distortion and rework when welding. Take these extra benefits into account when selecting your welding method.

Application areas

MIG and TIG welding techniques have distinct features that make them useful for different purposes. A comparison table is a great way to show off their function domains. The columns may include things like application area, welding speed, metal thickness range, weld quality, and equipment cost.

For example, MIG welding is ideal for automotive industries due to its fast-welding speed and low-cost equipment. On the flip side, TIG welding is perfect for aerospace or surgical instrument manufacturing as it produces superior welds on thinner metals with high precision.

Still, it all depends on the project needs. It’s vital to consider these needs before deciding between MIG and TIG welding techniques. If TIG welding is an art, then MIG welding is a paint-by-numbers kit.

Skill level required

MIG and TIG welding differ in terms of skill level. MIG is easier to learn, while TIG requires more skill. A good welder needs hand-eye coordination, steady hands, and control of the weld.

Further, one has to consider thickness of metal, cost, production time, and output when choosing between the two. MIG offers faster production, but may not be as precise as TIG. TIG is manual, but can yield high-quality results.

It is worth noting that MIG was introduced in 1948 by Hobart Brothers Company, and it has since been widely used across various industries. Remember, the true winner is the one who doesn’t weld their fingers together!


MIG and TIG welding – which should you choose? It depends on your project’s needs. Think about your skill level, budget, and safety too.

MIG is great for high-production. It’s fast and easy to use, like in auto repair shops. TIG requires more skill and is better with thin materials. But it can handle thicker stuff too – just increase the amperage. Aerospace and marine building use it too.

Be aware of the differences. Wrong choice can cost you. Mastering one type doesn’t mean you can do the other. Practice and skills enhancement is key to success.

Remember – select the welding method that fits your project, skills, and safety. Don’t let ignorance cost more than expected!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between MIG welding and TIG welding?

MIG welding uses a wire fed through a spool while TIG welding uses a tungsten electrode to create the arc. MIG welding is typically faster and easier to learn while TIG welding allows for greater precision and control.

Which type of welding is better: MIG or TIG?

It depends on the project. If speed and efficiency are the top priorities, MIG welding might be the best choice. However, if precision and control are more important, TIG welding is typically the better option.

What type of materials can be welded using MIG and TIG welding?

MIG and TIG welding can both be used to weld a wide variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. However, TIG welding is often preferred for welding materials that are thinner or more delicate.

How do I choose between MIG and TIG welding?

The choice between MIG and TIG welding depends on the project’s specific needs and requirements. Some factors to consider include the type of materials being welded, the desired level of precision and control, and the desired speed and efficiency.

What are the advantages of using MIG welding?

MIG welding is typically faster and easier to learn than TIG welding. It can also be used to weld thicker materials and can create stronger welds on certain types of projects.

What are the advantages of using TIG welding?

TIG welding allows for greater precision and control, making it ideal for welding delicate or thin materials. It also produces less spatter and does not require flux. This makes it a cleaner, more precise welding method overall.

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Paul Dixon is a certified welder with a wealth of experience in welding and related technologies. He started his career as an apprenticeship in welding, where he learned the ropes and acquired extensive skills in the craft.

Over the years, Paul has continued to sharpen his expertise, earning him top-rated welding certification. He remains one of the most outstanding welders in the industry.

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