MIG v. TIG Welding

Both metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding use an inert shielding gas to shield weldments from harmful atmospheric gases (nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen). The inert shielding gas for both processes is usually an argon mixture. The two processes can be used on a wide variety of metals and alloys but they differ in how they create a weld pool:

    • In MIG welding, the weld pool is created by a hot contact tip melting a machine-fed spool of steel wire
    • TIG welding, meanwhile, produces a weld pool when the heat of an electric arc connecting a non-consumable tungsten electrode and base metal melts the base metal itself


    Other key differences:

      • TIG welding offers better heat control and produces stronger, higher-quality welds
      • TIG welding is also cleaner than MIG welding–fewer sparks, smoke, and fumes
      • TIG welding can produce autogenous welds, or welds that do not require a filler metal
      • MIG welding is easier to master and involves less set-up time than TIG welding but is also less reliable–more unstable arc, wire feedback, and burnback
      • MIG welding is better for welding softer metals
      • MIG welding is faster and cheaper than TIG welding