Mig vs Tig Welding Aluminum – Try Best One (3-Minute Read)

• Post By: Brandon M. Fox  • Updated: 03/09/22
• Welding

Nothing is as crucial as selecting the right tools in welding.

Believe me or not, simply a wrong tool can turn your welding project into a nightmare. You know both Mig and Tig welding but can’t figure out which one will be best for you?

Can’t BLAME you!

Both are widely used for joining a verity of material, and it’s confusing to decide if you don’t have a clear idea of how they work and are the pros and cons. Let’s dig a little deeper on what is the difference between mig and tig welding.

Before start welding, select the best welding helmet for tig. It will secure your head.

mig vs tig welding

Difference Between Mig and Tig Welding

Hi, newbie welder out there! Keep in mind that the three most common welding processes are MIG, stick, and TIG. Hence, each process has its own set of advantages and limitations.

Let’s dig a much deeper on each of these processes to help you choose which method is right for you.

Want a quick comparison? Here it is:

Comparison at a glance

PointsMIG WeldingTIG Welding
Skill Requirement Don’t Need To Be A Pro Experienced Welder
Welding Process FasterSlow Welding Process
Fit-Up ForgivingUnforgiving
Cosmetic Quality LowerComparatively Higher
PriceLowerComparatively Higher
Prefferable Mode Not Suitable In Autogenous ModeAutogenous Mode
Electrode TypeUsing A Consumable Electrode Using A Non-Consumable Electrode
Filler Deposition Rate Very High Comparatively Low

What is MIG Welding?

MIG welding stands for metal inert gas welding.

What is MIG welding used for?

GMAW or Gas metal arc welding is one reliable, productive fusion welding process in which the consumable electrode is fed to the welding zone continuously from a wire spool in an automated system. GMAW can be of two types –

  • Metal inert gas
  • Metal active gas

In inert metal gas or MIG welding, usually a chemically inert gas (like helium, argon, etc.) is used for shielding purposes. MIG can weld metal such as mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.

Related: Best Budget Mig Welder Review

How MIG welding works?

In simple words, MIG welders use a special tool named a spool gun that consists of a spooled wire electrode by the operator. Meanwhile, the gun releases a shielding gas.

The result? The gas will protect your area from atmospheric gases like oxygen and nitrogen, which can cause some major problems. Have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of MIG welding.


Advantages of MIG welding

  • High-quality welds can be done much faster.
  • Very minor spatter is produced.
  • Versatile and you can be used with a vast range of metals and alloys.
  • The MIG process can be performed in several ways, including semi/ fully automatic.

Disadvantages of MIG welding

  • It allows a limited position.
  • A bit pricey.
  • Fast cooling.
  • Not suitable for outdoor welding.

Related: Best Tig Welder For The Money

MIG welding for aluminum

For years aluminum has been one of the most popular metals used in the auto industry due to its lightweight, corrosion-resistant properties. Up until very recently, some professionals have taken it for granted that aluminum welding is not possible because aluminum does not have any ferrous qualities found in steel.

Recent technological breakthroughs have allowed manufacturers to weld aluminum with MIG welding methods.

What is TIG Welding?

TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas. What is tig welding used for?

It’s also often considered as one of the major league of welding. When it comes to clean-cut, no one can beat the TIG process. As a result, it is the ultimate choice of ornamental welding professionals and craftsmen.

How TIG welding works?

Tungsten Inert Gas welding uses a tungsten electrode which is non-consumable. However, tungsten has to be heated to an extremely high temperature. Therefore, TIG welding needs additional filler is applied.

Advantages of TIG welding

  • Provides very precise welds.
  • Highly aesthetic weld beads.
  • Highest quality.
  • Noncorrosive.

Disadvantages of tig welding

  • Requires a great deal of patience.
  • The much slower process overall.
  • Worksurface must be immaculately clean.

Looking tig welder? Read more about everlast welder for unique information.

TIG welding for aluminum

TIG welding for aluminum is a complicated process, and because of this it is widely considered to be an advanced technique. The process requires that the welder use a non-consumable filler metal such as copper or nickel in order to deposit heat and draw up the molten aluminum surface.

Additionally, TIG welding aluminum generally uses lower voltages than regular TIG welding, because the welds need to be more controlled and precise.

The Distinct Difference Between Tig and MIG Welding

Heard that both welding techniques are used to heat the material or metals till they reach a liquid state?

Are they so thinking how do these two techniques work about this process differently?

Well, as I stated earlier, tig and mig process has very different techniques. Here are some aspects where both work quite differently.

Speed

Undoubtedly, MIG is the faster method, making it suitable for projects requiring skilled production rates. On the other hand, TIG is a slower method but ensures a higher level of finishing and detail.

Technique

The main difference between tig and mig is the technique used.

HOW? With MIG, a wire electrode is fed through the spool gun for the weld. TIG welding requires to feed a particular filler material onto the weld while operating the torch.

Maintenance Costs

Of course, cost is a matter! Honestly speaking, TIG is a more expensive method compared to MIG welding.

Object Thickness

WELL, MIG is much preferable for thicker metals faster than another processor TIG weld. Thus, if the metal is thin, you can use the Tig method.

Again, MIG weldin works fine with most types of metals literally everything like aluminum, mild steel, and stainless steel.

Skill

Let me take a wild guess, you are a beginner in the welding industry and can’t decide which to choose. Well, Mig is much easier to handle for you. Therefore, for newbie Mig is a good option. On contrast, handing Tig is way more difficult, and you need to be really experienced.

Cost

In this case, Tig is a bit pricier than MIG welding.


What Do MIG and TIG Welding Have in Common?

  • Joint preparation: in both the joint area must be clean and clear of oil, rust, water, and paint.
  • Safety: Proper equipment, tools, and techniques are required.
  • Machine set-up: polarity and Amperage must be set correctly.

Which One is Better, Mig or Tig?

Well, the answer actually depends on the job. As I mentioned earlier, MIG welding is technically better for all heavy-duty welding work; thicker pieces of material are being joined.

In the meantime, TIG welding can create wonders for joining any smaller pieces of metal. But if you are not confident enough, we won’t recommend the Tig welding.

is MIG or TIG Better for Welding Aluminum?

Mig welding is better suited for welding aluminum than TIG welding. Mig welding uses a continuous wire feed which results in a more consistent weld bead. The wire also has a flux coating that helps protect the weld from corrosion.

TIG welding uses a tungsten electrode which is not as effective at protecting the weld from corrosion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What is the difference between mig and arc welding?

Answer: While the MIG process represents a large segment of welding. Arc welding uses the electricity from the welder and then passes it through a rod.

Question: What is stick welding?

Answer: Shielded metal arc welding is a manual arc welding method that uses a consumable electrode to lay the weld.

Conclusion

In conclusion, mig is a great option for a beginner welder. It’s a cheaper and easier option with less extensive skills required. It is also typically quicker than tig welding.

It will allow you to get into the world of welding without having to spend too much money or time learning all of the skills needed for more advanced welding jobs.

Brandon M. Fox

I have completed Diploma at Welding. I have spent 10+ years in Welding. Now love to write about welding and welding products and share my own experiences. Find me: Twitter | Facebook

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