MIG welding has some impressive features that make it better and more flexible than TIG welding, such as:
- No sticking electrode: The electrode in the MIG welding method never sticks to the base metal, so it’s easier to weld. The tungsten electrode in TIG welding tends to get stuck to the base metal, requiring a higher level of skill and concentration to avoid.
- Difficulty: The MIG welding process uses continuously fed-through wire. This makes it simpler and easier to handle, because you don’t have to worry about manually feeding the electrode into the weld pool correctly. With TIG welding, it is more complicated and requires more skill to handle the torch and the electrode at the same time.
- Metal thickness: MIG welding can handle almost any thickness of metal, where TIG welding excels at welding thinner metals.
- Cost: MIG welding consumables are generally cheaper than TIG welding consumables overall. TIG welding tends to use more expensive gas mixes and the electrode rods are more expensive than wire spools. Tungsten electrodes are costly (they do wear out even though they are considered non-consumable)
- Longer passes: With the MIG welding method, you can have long passes because the electrode wire feeds endlessly. TIG welding requires you to do smaller single passes because of the shorter electrodes that you must hand feed into the weld.
- Speed: Because MIG wire automatically feeds on a constant basis, you can MIG weld between 50% and 200% faster than you can TIG weld. Flux-cored MIG welding is the fastest welding method, making it popular for high volume production welding in ship yards, pipelines and factories.
Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree in Economics from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use.