What Is The Difference between Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) & Metal Inert Gas (MIG)



Metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) are two types of welding that people often confuse if they are not welding experts. While their names sound the same, the two processes actually have quite a few differences and are used for different types of welding. Each of them comes with their own advantages and disadvantages based what you want to accomplish and what kind of project you are using them for.

Metal Inert Gas Welding

MIG welding utilizes a filler wire to create the electrode that produces a non-reactive, or inert, gas and heat to melt metals together. After the metals cool they are fused together as a new metal. Contaminants are kept out of the weld by the inert gas released. This type of welding is often used by the military or on vehicles for large jobs that do not require precision or a clean joint.

Tungsten Inert Gas Welding

TIG welding uses an electrode produced by non-consumable tungsten. This electric arc does not need filler wire, but it can be added if necessary. This type of welding is much neater and more precise than MIG welding, but takes more time.

Differences, Benefits And Disadvantages Of Each Type

There are many welders who will swear by each type of welding, but there are some major differences that should be explained. TIG welding is often used for smaller projects where more precision is needed, such as on a bicycle, lawn mower, or small auto repair. It can also be utilized to weld the more expensive metals together, such as gold or brass. It is also far more expensive than MIG welding and takes a lot longer to set up. TIG welding does not require a slag because the welding pool is protected by the argon used during the process. This type of welding is definitely the more difficult of the two and requires a good deal more training to learn how it works.MIG welding is a lot quicker and more cost effective than TIG is, especially on bigger projects such as welding on ships or on automobile framework. It can also be used to weld a far greater array of metals together than TIG. Because of the nature of MIG welding, it is much easier to master and is far more forgiving than TIG welding. It can also be automated easily. TIG is definitely the cleaner process all the way around: MIG creates a lot of smoke, fumes and sparks, while TIG does not.


Both TIG and MIG welding have their places. At this point in time TIG is used to weld more metals than any other process, but when deciding which welding type to use you should definitely examine your project and figure out which one will work best for your individual circumstances.

Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher working out of the great state of Texas. He likes to write about technology, and he finds that a great resource is the website at Iron work

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