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Welding is an essential part of many home and garden projects. But what’s the difference between a mig welder and tig welder? Are you unsure which one to choose for your project? Let’s explore the difference between a mig and tig welder so that you can make an informed decision on which type best suits your needs. We’ll compare mig vs tig welders, discuss their pros & cons, as well as provide tips for choosing the right welding machine – all without needing any prior knowledge or experience!

Table of Contents:

What Is a Mig Welder?

MIG welding, also known as Metal Inert Gas welding, is a process that uses an electric arc to join two pieces of metal together. It is one of the most popular and widely used welding processes due to its ease of use and versatility. Mig welders are relatively easy to operate and can be used on various materials, including steel, aluminium, stainless steel, brass, copper alloys and more.

The mig welder consists of three main components: the power source (or machine), the gun (which holds the wire electrode) and the shielding gas, which helps protect against oxidation during welding. The power source supplies electricity through a cable connected to the gun, where it passes through contact tips at the end of it before reaching an electrode in wire form inside the gun. This creates an electric arc between this electrode and whatever material you’re working with – allowing for melting or joining them together.

The shielding gas helps protect against oxidation by forming a protective layer around your workpiece while you weld – preventing any oxygen from entering into your weld pool which would cause porosity or other defects in your finished product. Shielding gases come in various forms, such as argon/CO2 mixtures or pure CO2, depending on what type of material you’re working with, so make sure you choose wisely.

One major advantage of mig welders is their speed; they can complete jobs quickly compared to other types like tig or stick welding since there’s no need for manual feeding rods into place – just point-and-shoot. They also produce clean results without needing much post-weld cleaning up afterwards, which makes them ideal for both hobbyists and professionals alike who want quick results without sacrificing quality output.

On top of that, they don’t require too much skill level either, so even if you have limited experience with welding techniques, then this could be perfect for getting started right away. However, do bear in mind that some materials may not respond well to being joined via mig, so always check beforehand, if possible, before attempting anything yourself, just in case something goes wrong down the line. It is better to be safe than sorry, after all.

What Is a Tig Welder?

a Tosca electric welding machine

TIG welding, also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), is a type of arc welding process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. The heat for the weld is generated by an electric arc between the electrode and the workpiece. This method can be used on most metals, including aluminium, stainless steel, copper alloys, and titanium.

One of the main advantages of using a tig welder is its precision and accuracy. Since it’s possible to control both current and voltage separately with this type of welder, you can make precise adjustments while welding thin materials or intricate shapes. Additionally, since there’s no need for filler material when using a tig welder—the metal itself serves as filler—you won’t have any additional slag or splatter that could compromise your finished product’s quality.

While tig welding offers many benefits over other types of welding processes, such as mig or stick welding, it does come with some drawbacks too. For one thing, it requires more skill than other methods because you must manually feed in filler material at just the right rate in order to achieve optimal results. Additionally, since it takes longer to complete each weld joint compared to other processes like mig or stick welding due to its slower speed setting range; therefore projects may take longer overall if they require multiple joints being welded together consecutively.

Comparing Mig vs Tig Welders

When it comes to welding, two of the most popular processes are mig and tig. Both offer their own advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a look at how they compare.

Cost: Generally speaking, mig welders tend to be cheaper than tig welders. This is because they require less equipment and have fewer components that need replacing over time. However, if you plan on doing more intricate work with your welder, then a tig machine may be worth the extra cost in the long run as it offers greater accuracy for finer details.

Speed: When it comes to speed of welding, mig has an edge over tig as its process is much faster due to its wire-fed system, which allows for continuous welding without having to stop and start again like with a torch-based system such as TIG does.

Accuracy: Although both processes can achieve high levels of accuracy when done correctly, many people prefer using a tig welder for precision jobs due to its ability to control heat input more precisely than other methods, such as mig or stick welding. This makes it ideal for thin materials or tight spaces where precise control is needed in order to avoid warping or burning through the material being worked on.

Portability: If portability is important, then you should consider getting a mig welder since these machines are typically smaller and lighter than their counterparts, making them easier to transport from one job site to another if necessary. On the other hand, some models of tig welders can also be quite portable depending on size and power requirements, so this will ultimately come down to personal preference based on what type of projects you plan on tackling with your machine.

Safety: In terms of safety, both types of welders have similar risks associated with them, but there are some differences between them that should be taken into consideration before deciding which one would best suit your needs. For example, while both use electricity, there is no risk of electric shock when using a gas-shielded arc (Mig), whereas this could potentially occur when working with an open arc (Tig). Additionally, Mig machines produce less fumes compared with Tig ones meaning that proper ventilation must always be provided during use regardless of which method you choose in order to protect yourself from any potential hazards related to exposure inhalation.

Overall, both types offer great benefits depending on the project that needs completing. However, each individual user will need to decide which option works best for them based on factors such as cost, speed, accuracy, portability and safety.

Mig and tig welding are two of the most popular types of welding, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the differences between them can help you make an informed decision about which type is right for your project.

Key Takeaway: MIG and TIG welders both have their own advantages, including cost, speed, accuracy, portability and safety. Ultimately the user must decide which option works best for them based on these factors.

FAQs in Relation to What is the Difference Between a Mig and a Tig Welder

Why would you use Mig over Tig?

welding steel using gas welding device

MIG welding is a great choice for UK consumers who are looking to work on home and garden projects. It is an easy process that requires minimal setup, making it ideal for beginners. Mig welders also have adjustable settings which allow you to control the speed of the weld, as well as its depth and penetration. This makes it suitable for both thin and thick materials, allowing you to complete more complex projects with ease. In comparison, tig welding requires more skill and experience in order to achieve good results; however, if you’re looking for precision, then this may be your best option. Ultimately though, mig welding provides a simpler solution that can still produce excellent results without needing too much expertise or time investment from the user.

What is tig welding best used for?

Tig welding, also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), is a type of arc welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. It is most commonly used for thin sections of stainless steel and other non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, magnesium, and copper alloys. The process allows for precise control over the weld area by using an inert gas shield which helps protect against oxidation and contamination. Tig welding can be used on materials ranging from 24 gauge up to 1/2 inch thick in thickness with minimal distortion or warping of the material due to its low heat input. It is best suited for applications requiring high-quality welds with good appearance, such as aerospace components, medical implants, automotive exhaust systems, furniture frames and ornamental metalwork.

Does tig welding require gas?

No, tig welding does not require gas. It is a type of arc welding that uses an electric current to form an arc between the metal and the tungsten electrode. This arc then melts the metal, allowing it to be joined together without any additional gases or fluxes. The process is relatively clean compared to other types of welding, as no fumes are produced. However, some shielding gas may be used in certain circumstances for better welds and protection from oxidation.


In conclusion, it’s important to understand the difference between a mig and tig welder before making a purchase. Both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to consider what type of welding project you plan on doing in order to determine which one is right for you. With these tips in mind, you should be able to find the perfect welder that will help you get your job done quickly and efficiently – no matter if it’s a mig or tig welder!

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