Sparking a Welding Revolution: MIG vs TIG – Which is Right for You?

Welding is crucial to manufacturing, construction, and maintenance. Welding uses pressure or heat. MIG vs TIG welding are the most frequent. Businesses struggle to determine the best approach because both have pros and cons.

According to the American Welding Society, 70% of factory welding is MIG. In aircraft, TIG welding is preferred for quality and precision. Over the past decade, MIG welding has gained 15% in the auto industry whereas TIG welding has fallen 10%.

In this article, we’ll compare MIG vs TIG welding, analyzing their pros and cons and which projects are suitable for each. We will help you find the optimal approach for your work. This text is for everyone interested in welding, whether a beginner or an expert.

What is MIG Welding?

MIG welding uses a shielding gas and a constantly fed wire electrode to generate a robust, high-quality weld. Wire electrode filler holds metal pieces together. The shielding gas regulates heat output and avoids weld oxidation and contamination.

MIG welding is ideal for welding mild steel and aluminium alloys of thin to medium thicknesses. The procedure can be used to weld flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead.

MIG Welding
Photo: Miller Welding

MIG welding requires prepping metal surfaces, setting up welding equipment, and welding metal components. A welding setup includes a power source, welding helmet, MIG welding gun, wire feeder, and shielding gas.

The power supply, wire feeder, and MIG welding gun control filler wire and shielding gas flow. The wire feeder feeds filler wire to the MIG welding gun, and shielding gas prevents oxidation and contamination.

Power source heat melts filler wire and joins metal parts. Direct current welding equipment supplies most welding energy (DC).

MIG welding produces fast, high-quality welds. Pros and amateurs like it because of its simplicity. However, safety protocols and the right tools and methods are essential for safe and effective welding.

What is TIG Welding?

Gas GTAW, also known as TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding, melts and fuses metal using a non-consumable tungsten electrode. Inert gases like argon or helium prevent air contamination of the weld puddle and electrode.

TIG welding’s accuracy and quality make it ideal for tight sections and incompatible metals. This welding is used when weld quality and attractiveness are important.

TIG welding melts the base metal with an electrode and adds filler metal by hand. The welder controls every aspect of welding, including filler metal amount and weld bead size and form. Aerospace, power generating, premium automobile, and stainless steel fabrication use TIG welding.

TIG Welding
Photo: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

TIG welding requires a power source, torch, filler metal feeder, and shielding gas. TIG torches have tungsten electrodes, ceramic nozzles, collets, and gas lenses. The welder manually holds the flame while adding filler metal. The shielding gas protects the weld puddle and electrode while electrical current creates the arc.

TIG welding takes longer but produces better quality and accuracy, making it helpful in some situations. TIG welding produces less smoke or spatter, making it suitable for clean environments.

When comparing MIG vs TIG welding, what are the key differences?

The method of welding to be used Both metal inert gas welding (also known as MIG welding) and tungsten inert gas welding (also known as TIG welding) are quite common. Welding and brazing are processes that are comparable in that they both use heat to join two pieces of metal together. However, there are a few key distinctions between MIG welding and TIG welding, which are as follows:

Welding Wire

MIG welding makes use of a continuous welding wire that is fed through a spool gun, in contrast to TIG welding, which requires the use of individual filler rods to be used.

Shielding Gas

In MIG welding, a shielding gas made up of argon and carbon dioxide (CO2), also known as CO2, is employed, whereas in TIG welding, just argon is utilised.

Heat Input

Due to the high heat input during MIG welding, thin metal parts are at a greater risk of bending and distortion than thicker metal parts. TIG welding, on the other hand, features a more regulated heat input, making it a superior choice for welding thin metal sheets and other applications requiring precision welding.

Weld Appearance

The weld beads produced by MIG welding are uniform and have a smooth surface, whereas the weld beads produced by TIG welding are thinner and more exact, but they also have a heat-affected zone that can be seen.

Weld Speed

MIG welding is significantly faster than TIG welding due to the utilisation of a continuous wire feed in MIG welding equipment. However, TIG welding requires the use of a filler rod, which slows down the welding rate. This is a disadvantage of TIG welding.


As a direct consequence of this, MIG welding is more approachable to inexperienced welders and hobbyists due to the requirement of less costly equipment. The welding arc in TIG welding must be regulated either by a foot pedal or a finger control, making the process more complex to use.

Which is Better for Welding Thin Materials: MIG or TIG Welding?

When it comes to combining thin materials, TIG welding is frequently considered to be the method of choice. Because the amount of heat that is introduced during TIG welding can be accurately controlled, this type of welding is ideal for attaching relatively thin metal sheets without distorting them.

TIG welding has many benefits when working with thin materials, including:

Precise Heat Input

TIG welding is required because it gives a more exact heat input, which is necessary when working with thin materials. Because of this, the welding process may be better controlled, which results in the metal being warped less and distorted less than it would be otherwise.

Fine Weld Bead

TIG welding provides a smaller, more exact weld bead, which makes it excellent for welding thin materials. This is because a larger, more apparent weld bead could potentially cause damage to the metal.


Tungsten inert gas welding, more commonly known simply as TIG welding, is a versatile method of welding that may be applied to a variety of metals. Because of this, it is an excellent choice for welding thin sheets of lightweight metal.

Adjustable Heat Settings

The quantity of heat that is given to the material that is being welded can be controlled precisely by the welder while using TIG welding. This is of the utmost importance when welding thin materials, since an excessive amount of heat input can result in bending and distortion of the material.

Although it is possible to use MIG welding on thin materials, the higher heat input that it required might lead to warping or distortion if it is done incorrectly. MIG welding also produces a weld bead that is more apparent and wider, which means that it is not necessarily the best choice for more delicate or accurate welding projects.

TIG welding is recommended for the process of joining thin materials because of the accuracy of its heat input, its adaptability, its tiny weld bead, and its fully programmable heat settings.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of MIG Welding?

The welding process known as gas metal arc welding (GMAW), which is also commonly referred to as MIG welding (Metal Inert Gas), is quite widespread. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using MIG welding?


  1. Large-scale production and construction benefit from MIG welding’s speed.
  2. Professionals and amateurs utilise MIG welding because it’s easy.
  3. MIG welding may benefit numerous materials, including aluminium, steel, and stainless steel.
  4. MIG welding’s homogeneous, high-quality welds save cleanup and boost weld reliability.
  5. MIG welding machines can be moved between jobsites.


  1. MIG welding is too expensive for smaller jobs.
  2. MIG welding requires a shielding gas to protect the weld pool, making it unsuitable for open spaces or high winds.
  3. After MIG welding, spatter must be cleaned up, which is time-consuming and dangerous.
  4. MIG welding may not be suitable for heavy-duty applications due to its low penetration.
  5. MIG welding supplies like filler wire and shielding gas might raise the cost of the work.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of TIG Welding?

A consumable tungsten electrode is utilized in the process of TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding in order to precisely heat the metal, and a shield of inert gas is utilized in order to prevent impurities from reaching the weld site. The following is a list of both the advantages and disadvantages of TIG welding:


  1. TIG welding is ideal for delicate and complex applications because the weld pool can be precisely regulated.
  2. TIG welding reduces post-weld cleaning and improves weld dependability.
  3. TIG welding works on aluminium, stainless steel, and other metals, making it versatile.
  4. In cases when aesthetics matter, TIG welding produces smooth welds.
  5. TIG welding produces little spatter, making it cleaner.


  • TIG welding is too sluggish for high-volume production welding.
  • For consistent, high-quality TIG welds, skill and expertise are needed.
  • TIG welding requires a TIG torch, filler rods, and a power source, making it expensive.
  • TIG welding requires a lot of electricity, hence it can’t be done in remote areas.

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