Mig and Tig Welding Processes: Comparing Its Uses and Results

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Mig and Tig welding are two welding processes that have both similarities and differences. The differences determine the options that you have. It appears to have a thick line that separates both.

Thus, using mig welding instead of tig, results in an unfinished task. This denotes the importance of understanding each process that goes along with the best ways to use each.

Mig Welding Explained

Man Taking a Mig Welding Lesson at the Makerspace
Image: CC by A-SA 2.0, jason gessner, via Flickr

Mig welding is short for metal inert gas welding. This gets done by using a spool of wire continuously fed as you work. This helps the process to go quickly, which is one of the benefits of this welding process. Mig welding requires not a lot of precision.

Accuracy happens also not as important in order to get a strong weld. All these means signifies that mig welding goes fast, making it the best choice if a lot of welding gets required. Likewise, this appears very versatile. You can weld a wide range of metals with different thicknesses. This comes good for heavy welding but also works fine on thinner metals.

Conclusively, the electrode used in mig welding gets completely consumed during the welding process. When you are done, it must be replaced. In addition, finishing gets often required to make the weld look good. Hence, this also means quite a bit of cleanup involved.

Tig Welding Explained

Man Doing Tig Welding on a Circular Metal
Image: CC by A-SA 4.0, Prowelder87, via Wikipedia Commons

Tungsten Inert Gas or Tig welding comes as a more precise process than mig welding. It requires a careful hand. It often uses items where visual appeal appears important. For the reason that, it produces an unnoticeable clean weld. There happens very little cleanup required after a tig weld. So, you usually sand or finish it as you do a mig weld.

Furthermore, tig welding uses long welding rods, not a continuous feed. This means you have to feed them as you work. However, the electrode comes not consumable. Probably, you reuse it over and over.

This welding process implies not as effective on heavier materials being best suited to use with thinner metals. To weld heavier items, a unit with tricky enough power seems necessary.

However, it gets also more difficult to learn since it requires such precision and development of a strong technique. It cannot be rushed, making it a slow-going process.

Mig and Tig Welding

Man Doing Mig Welding Overhead on an Old Metal Above him
Image: CC by A-SA 4.0, Prowelder87, via Wikipedia Commons

As you can already see, there exist many key differences between mig and tig welding. Generally, mig welding exists as a less-refined form of welding, though it creates a stronghold for thicker metals.

On the other hand, tig welding is more artistic. It requires concentration and a skilled hand to get it right. Based on these points alone, it means easy to see how different these processes. Yet, both appear essentially a manner to connect metal parts.

Point of Differences

We offer a quick comparison of the main differences between these two types of welding processes:

  • Speed: Mig welding works faster than tig welding.
  • Size: Mig welds appear bigger and more noticeable than tig welds.
  • Machine-use: Tig welding depends heavily on the machine used. This dictates the types of metal welded. Contrastly, mig welding stands highly versatile regardless of the machine used.
  • Hand-use: Tig welding requires both hands to feed the wire while welding whereas mig welding seems not (thanks to¬†the continuous feed).
  • Cost: Tig welding remains more expensive.
  • Durability: Mig welds last stronger and harder.
  • Handling: Mistakes transpire more easily handled with mig welding than tig welding.
  • Appearance Tig welding appears more aesthetically appealing than mig welding.
  • Instruction: Mig welding remains easier to learn than tig welding.

Notably, these differences mean that mig and tig welding remains not usually used for the same applications. How you use each type of weld depends on the project. Besides, this goes the same for the materials and the finished look you desire.

The Uses of Mig and Tig Welding

Sculpture from Metal Scraps as a product of TIG welding jig
Image: CC by 2.0, Martin Thomas, via Flickr

Because of the clean finish and the precision, tig welding does often use for projects in the home or for decorative items. It signifies artistic in its finish. This makes it ideal for metal lawn or home decor items, kitchen sinks or other items. Also, the weld appears more visible and needs to be neat and clean.

Technical Know-How

Tig welding stands also as a better choice when technical welds get needed. It allows for more skill and detail in the welds. However, remember that this type of weld happens not as strong as you expect it. Although, this requires more attention to detail and slower work to ensure a stronghold.

Metal Used

In general, tig welding finds its viability for lighter metals. Yet, it requires more power and a slower process for heavier metals. If you lack the power needed, then tig welding seems inapplicable


Mig welding stays as a quick and great process for large jobs.  Once the actual weld requires not to be pretty, then mig welding finds its use. Nevertheless, sanding and finishing the weld after completion gives a mig weld a tig-weld look. This does make the process longer, though.

Level of Task

The mig welding process also yields a stronger hold, making it ideal for tough jobs. You use mig welding to attach a plow to a truck, or piece together steel support beams. It gives you a more reliable weld that will hold.

Tig Welding Project Ideas

Man performing TIG welding of a monumental sculpture
Image: CC by A-SA 3.0, JoJan, via Wikipedia Commons

There exist many different projects you can do with a tig welder. This type of welding gives you a chance to practice your skills and technique. It enables you to hone your craft. So, here are some project ideas that require an artistic hand.

Ornamental Gate

A metal gate is a nice yard piece that can add some beauty to a garden in its placement, or even be used as a support for climbing plants. You can create pretty much any design you want, but it all starts with a frame of some sort, which needs strong welds so it is sturdy. From there, you can let your imagination run wild as you add metal pieces to create designs, bars or scrollwork.

Shoe Rack

A shoe rack is a simple project. It can add a nice touch to an entryway in your home. You can make it as big or as small as you like. It is a great beginner project to let you work on your tig welding skills because it can be very simple. All you need is to weld together pipes to create the rack.

Plant Holder

This is another creative project in which you can keep it simple or make it ornate. Most plant holders are simply around holder for the plant with legs attached. From this basic design, you can then add more metal pieces, create designs on the legs or do many different creative things to make your plant holder original and beautiful.

Mig Welding Project Ideas

Man Doing Modern Mig Welding under a Truck
Image: CC by A-SA 4.0, Prowelder87, via Wikipedia Commons

Mig welding is great for those projects that require a bit more heavy-duty weld. They can often be something rugged, or something that will be used a lot. Here are some projects that will let you try your mig welding skills.

Fire Pit

A fire pit needs a strong weld that stands up to the heat of the fire that will be in it. That is why mig welding works well. In addition, you want to use a strong base metal for the pit so it doesn’t fall apart.

You can do many decorative things with this project, as well, such as cutting images or designs out of the metal base. You also do not have to make it round. It can be any shape you want, as long as it creates a closed space in which to safely set a fire.

Storage Shelves

Shelves are handy anywhere in the home or the garage. You just need the shelves and the braces. It is a simple project that can be done with many types of metal. You can customize them to your needs and the available space.


A metal table comes in handy in the kitchen or the garage. You can create one easily with welding. It is an easy project that just requires the tabletop and the legs. You may need support beams running between the legs to give it stability, but you can finish it in any creative way you want.

Mig and Tig Welding: What Should You Use?

Man Tig welding on a small support bracket
Image: CC by A-SA 4.0, Prowelder87, via Wikipedia Commons

There are obvious differences between Mig and Tig Welding. Often beginners start with mig welding because it is easier, faster and requires less skill. It can be a great way to build the skills needed to start tig welding.

Nonetheless, mig welding appears cheaper. It appears a little easier on the wallet to learn using this method. However, tig welding creates beautifully stunning works. It occurs as a great method to use for creating ornate decorative objects.

Our Advice

Any welding project can easily turn into some extra income because the end result is strong and long-lasting. When you know how to weld, you can turn some simple metal pieces into something pretty or something very useful. Mig and Tig Welding comes as both types of welding processes used for a variety of projects.

Hence, it gets probably a good idea for every welder to learn both of them. This helps open you up to a world of welding in which you can tackle any project. This appears applicable regardless of the metal used or the finished results you desire.


Featured Image: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, GioBertPhoto, via Flickr


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