Most people probably think of welding as a singular process of joining metal together, but those in the industry know better. Welding can be done using several different methods, each with its pros and cons. Generally speaking, the process is chosen based on the metals being joined and the type of project being completed. Today, we’ll take a look at two of the most common welding methods, TIG welding and MIG welding, to see how they’re different.

What is MIG Welding and TIG Welding?

TIG Welding, or tungsten inert gas welding, uses a tungsten electrode to heat the metals while a filler metal is usually applied to form the join. The heat is controlled using a foot pedal, and the operator must pay careful attention to the electrode in one hand, the metal filler rod in the other, their foot controlling the heat, and the work being done.

MIG welding, or metal inert gas welding, is also an arc welding process, but this one uses a feed wire that moves continuously through the gun to both create the spark and form the weld. It’s a much simpler process compared to TIG welding, especially considering that only one hand (and no feet) are necessary to complete the work.

Benefits of TIG Welding

TIG welding may take a bit more experience to perfect the process, but the results of a skilled tradesperson are evident. TIG welds are finer, more carefully crafted, and are preferred when a visibly appealing product is necessary, making it the right choice for small projects and ornamental pieces. It’s also a common choice when extreme precision is needed.

TIG welding can also be done without the use of a filler metal. This is often done with thin pieces of metal that can be heated enough to form a bond with each other. Thicker metals can sometimes develop heat stress cracks when trying to complete this process. Lastly, TIG welding lends itself well to automated processes and robotic welding.

When to Choose MIG Welding

When it comes to thick, heavy-duty welds, MIG welding is the right choice. MIG welding is often the go-to choice for new operators and non-professionals because the process is much easier than TIG welding. MIG welding is also the right choice when durability is more important than appearances as spatter can sometimes result, and will require smoothing to achieve cleaner pieces.

Although TIG welding can be used on a wide variety of metals, MIG welding is often considered more versatile because of its effectiveness on thicker pieces, and its ability to fuse two different types of metal together. MIG welding is often considered more efficient and cost-effective as the MIG gun can run continuously, making it a food choice for high-production rates and automated processes.

The Bottom Line

MIG welding and TIG welding are both arc welding processes, with each method being better suited for different circumstances. TIG welding is a slower, more complicated process capable of producing finer, more detailed results for visually appealing pieces, but requires a more skilled and experienced operator. MIG welding is the right choice for fast, heavy-duty parts, and for non-professionals or beginners to master.

At Grounded Industrial, our team is committed to providing quality products for our customers. Our skilled team knows the right procedures and processes to achieve the best results and exceed your expectations with every project. From heavy-duty, industrial pieces to ornate, delicate metalwork, we’re ready to get started on your project!