MIG welding and TIG welding are two different types of welds. MIG stands for metal inert gas, while TIG is short for tungsten inert gas. The main difference between the two is that with MIG you use a wire to connect to your workpiece, while with TIG it’s the tungsten electrode that does the connecting. Let’s take a closer look at each type of weld to see which one might be best for you!
What is MIG Welding?
MIG welding is the more popular of the two methods, and it’s done with a wire that connects to your workpiece. The MIG welder makes an arc by connecting one end of its supply cable to the metal electrode (the ‘stick’ or ‘rod’) and then applying current from a power source to this same point on the metal electrode.
The wire in MIG welding gets there by being fed through the gun, past a gas nozzle, and out to the end of an extension cable that’s been connected to this same point on your workpiece. When you pull trigger on the welder it starts drawing up molten metal from its container (usually called a ‘stick feeder’) and then spraying it onto your weld – hence why MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas. The arc is created at one spot only as opposed to Tungsten inert Gas which creates arcs all over where there are tungsten electrodes attached to your workpieces because with MIG welding you have just one wire connection instead of multiple points so current can’t jump between wires like when using TIG.
The main advantage of MIG welding is that it’s much faster than a lot of other methods because you don’t need to have the tungsten electrode touching your metal for current to flow through it – just one wire connection! It also doesn’t matter whether or not there are gaps in the arc as long as there’s always an electrical contact between the rod and workpiece, which means less post-welding finishing required.
There can be some disadvantages too though – such as if you make a mistake with your weld then having only one point of attachment makes fixing this much more difficult, and even pros will say that they prefer using TIG when working on thin metals like stainless steel for example because MIG welding can cause more damage.
What is TIG Welding?
Tungsten Inert Gas (or TIG) welding, on the other hand, uses a pure tungsten electrode that doesn’t contact your workpiece at all but instead arcs directly from the weld gun to the metal you’re working with – this means it can make much finer and cleaner breaks than MIG which makes it better for intricate designs or when trying to avoid causing heat issues in certain areas of thin metals like stainless steel.
The main advantage though is probably how adjustable it is because there are multiple points where current flows through so as long as you have an electrical connection somewhere then electricity will flow continuously throughout the arc whether your welder has been touching metal along its entire journey or not.
As for disadvantages, the main one is that it can’t be used outdoors because of how sensitive tungsten electrodes are to water vapor which would cause a short circuit and turn your workpiece into molten metal – this also means you need an airtight environment when working with TIG welding so as far away from moisture as possible. The other issue is that the process takes longer than MIG since current has to travel through multiple points before finally making its way back up again but even if you’re new to welding then TIG might still be worth investing in because of all the things it’s good at!
MIG vs TIG Welding: Which One Is Right For You?
The difference between MIG and TIG welding is that MIG uses a wire to connect from the welder to your metal whereas with TIG there’s no electrical contact at all. Another difference between these two methods of welding is that MIG can be done outdoors, but not with TIG because it requires an airtight environment free of moisture for tungsten electrodes.
As if you’re new to welding then you may want to start off using MIG as it will help keep things simple and doesn’t require much in terms of post-welding finishing – even though this sounds like its disadvantages would outweigh its advantages! If anything, just invest in both so that when one stops working then you’ll have another option available while waiting for parts or until repairs can be made!