TIG vs MIG Welding: Which Is Better?
Which is better between TIG vs MIG welding?
- Weld Quality
- Ease of Use
Simply put, arc welding is the type of welding that uses an electrical current to fuse metals together. Two of the main types of arc welding are metal inert gas (MIG) welding and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. Because of some similarities, these two arc welding methods are often compared to one another, usually to determine which is better to use for a certain job. To weigh in on the TIG vs MIG welding debate, we analyze some key differences between the two.
It’s only fair to say from the get-go that both welding processes offer situational advantages over another. There are times when you would want to use TIG over MIG and vice versa, and it’s important to acknowledge that before diving in on their differences.
If you’re having trouble determining which welding method is better for your project, keep reading below to learn more!
When it comes to quality, it’s known that TIG welding is much better. It is used for applications when the aesthetic and other details matter. Skilled TIG welders can produce a clean weld that shouldn’t be too conspicuous. It also produces stronger joints and a cleaner job than MIG.
With TIG, a tungsten electrode is fixed within the gun, unlike with MIG where a consumable metal is being constantly fed through the machine. It acts as both electrode and filler material. The way TIG welding works means that the filler material is fed manually, giving welders more control over the process and letting them make more precise weld joints. However, it takes a lot of skill to create high-quality welds with TIG welding considering that they would need to use both hands and their foot to work with the material.
The precision that welders have with TIG welding also means that they produce stronger welds than MIG welding. The smaller beads with TIG welding lets you minimize the disruption to the rest of the metal, allowing the method to be more useful when working with thin metals such as aluminum.
The tradeoff for the weld quality of TIG welding is the slow pace that you can operate the machine. In contrast, MIG welding can finish jobs a lot faster, making it the more efficient and productive option. The MIG welding gun can keep running for long periods of time, and it will keep on functioning normally for as long as material is being fed into it. Because of this, MIG welding is a great choice for fast-paced, high production projects where detail is secondary to the quantity of output.
TIG welding can be done on many different metals, but it shines better when used on thin metals. To put it differently, it doesn’t perform as well on thicker metals. On the other hand, MIG is effective on a wide range of metals, from aluminum to steel, on basically every thickness that there is. It can also be used to fuse two different materials together because the electrode is also used as a filler material. This adds to its potential usability for large-scale projects.
The cost of welding materials can become significant in times when the budget is tight. In general, MIG welding parts are easier to acquire and less expensive than TIG materials. Moreover, the welding process is faster with MIG, lessening the overall production costs of the project. It’s safe to say that the more cost-effective method is MIG welding than TIG welding.
Ease of Use
As mentioned earlier, TIG welding requires more skill to use properly. This means that you would need a skilled professional handling it, or you would have to train your staff for more than just a few weeks to learn how to use it. In comparison to that, MIG welding is easy to learn and has been called the “hot glue gun” of welding because of how similar their mechanics are.
Overall, if you’re short on time and budget but need to produce more output, MIG welding is a good option. If you don’t need to rush and you’d like better quality welds in terms of strength and aesthetics, then use TIG welding methods. The TIG vs MIG welding debate is one that can be talked about in preparation for a project, but there is no “one fits all” objective answer to that. The best thing to do is to evaluate the differences and see which method is better for your own project.
A good metal fabrication project is not only defined by the arc welding method used. It’s also important to get the best metal products that you can find. For that, you can trust the top importer of the finest steel in the Philippines: Metal Exponents! You can look through our products here, and feel free to contact us if you’re interested or if you have any questions!