Difference Between MIG And Arc Welding: Learn First Before You Decide

If you are onto MIG welding, you are probably asking what could happen in their job if they would be in the arc/stick welding or TIG welding. People from the other side of the welding feel the same way. The grass is always greener on the other side!

Also, if you are just about to start learning to weld, you definitely want to know the basic differences at first. This article will help you understand all the differences in these welding types.

Is MIG Or Arc Welding Better?

MIG vs ARC welding

I hear this question so many and I tell every time that you have to know their differences first. How come you decide if you don’t know their basics and differences clearly?

Whatever you decide at the end of reading this article, take the welding safety concern seriously. Never weld without a good auto-darkening welding helmet. Here are the main differences between MIG and arc welding. I tried to differentiate with the TIG as well.

  1. Alright, let’s cover the basics first. MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas, TIG stands for Tungsten Inner Gas, and Arc welding is simply referred to as stick welding (also known as SMAW or Shielded Metal Arc Welding).
  2. Arc welders pass the necessary electricity to pass through the rod. When it arcs, it can create a temperature of up to 7,000°F. At this temperature, the rods begin to melt. The coating helps to prevent damaging the weld from the oxygen.

On the other hand, with the trigger from the welding gun of the MIG welding machine, it controls the feed of electrodes.

Simultaneously protective gas is used to prevent damage when the wire is fed from the spool. In modern days, the entire process is controlled b robots in large industries.

  1. SMAW or the arc welding is a manual process and it is relatively tough to get a hang of it. It takes really a lot of time to be an expert. On the other hand, MIG is relatively easy than the SMAW because it is the semi-automatic process in nature.
  2. The reason I said learning MIG is easy because I believe anyone can do this. Just press the trigger of your MIG welder to start and to stop just let it go. But believe me, it is really hard to strike the arc without making damages to the materials.
  3. There are very limited numbers of materials that you can use in MIG welding because materials can’t be too thick or too thin. But you can weld any thin materials like the aluminum in arc welding.

Whereas you can weld any kind of thickest materials in arc welding; you have to avoid using the rusty or dirty materials in MIG welding.

  1. If you need aesthetically pleasant welding works, MIG is your right choice. On the other hand, as arc welding leaves lots of debris and sparks, the end result won’t be as pleasing as MIG welding.
  2. Arc welding materials along with its other necessary materials are cheaper than that of the MIG welding.
  3. In MIG welding, you need external gas to prevent damages to the weld pool. You don’t need it in arc welding since the wire of the flux core does the job.
  4. MIG is more suitable for indoor welding because the wind will make it hard to make a solid weld. Arc welding, on the other hand, can be done in both indoor and outdoor. So, when you can’t weld outdoor, you should go for arc welding.
  5. If you are planning to learn to weld for the very first time, MIG welding will be your best shot. It’s relatively easy to learn than any other form of welding. Buy a cheap welding machine and you will good to start learning to weld at home.
  6. MIG lets you weld in thicker metal. Of course, you can weld thinner gauge sheet metal but thicker metal as well. On the contrary, TIG is very effective in welding thinner gauge metals.
  7. Whereas both the MIG and TIG use an electric arc to weld metal, TIG involves nonstop feeding wire. But in MIG, you use a long welding rod but you have to slowly feed them to the weld puddle.
  8. Ask yourself whether you like to perform small welding tasks like a kitchen cabinet and other small household tools. Because if that is you will be welding, TIG welding will be a better choice for you.

You can use your own household electricity. There will be no need to change anything. But if you plan to weld heavy structural plates, MIG is your only shot.

  1. Don’t get me wrong when I said TIG welding can’t perform bigger projects. It can but you need to find a much powerful electricity source for the welder. Also, the welder itself has to be able to consume such powerful electricity.
  2. For fast welding, MIG welding is second to none. Though the arc or TIG welding lets you weld various metals, they are very slow.


You are probably wondering which one is better among the MIG, TIG, or stick welding, right? It’s really confusing when you are totally new in this industry. Well, so that you can make that decision yourself, I have mentioned all of these differences.

What you are up to is totally depended on you. Do not let me or anyone else influence you. Ask your heart and consider your reality to decide for yourself. Now, watch a video showing all the major differences between MIG, Stick, and TIG welding in real-life.

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