Call Us - Alphaweld(08) 9456 8000

MIG vs TIG Welding: Which is More Efficient?

Date: 12-04-2023

MIG vs TIG Welding - Alphaweld Insights

MIG and TIG are both arc welding processes that rely on a shielding gas to protect the weld pool and filler metal to fuse the joint. But, they have several major differences, including the efficiency and learning curve

In this article, we’ll discuss why the MIG welding process is more efficient and whether you should use it over TIG.

TIG Welding Process

TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding process uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to transfer the arc to the welded material. You need to dab the filler metal wire into the weld pool manually, but you can also fuse the joint without a filler material. TIG welding can join almost every metal, and it’s more precise than MIG. But TIG requires significantly more skill to master and operates at a far lower welding speed.

TIG Welding Advantages

•  You can weld all metals
•  You can weld all metals
•  Exceptional weld aesthetics
•  High precision
•  Excellent arc visibility because there are no welding fumes
•  You can weld without a filler metal
•  Works great for thin materials

TIG Welding Disadvantages

•  Slow travel speed
•  Filler metal wires are relatively short
•  Requires manual filler metal placement
•  It’s very challenging to master, especially for welding exotic metals like aluminium
•  TIG equipment is usually the most expensive of all arc welding processes
•  TIG welding is not suitable for welding thick sections  

MIG Welding Process

MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welding is a semi-automated process that uses a spool-fed filler metal wire which acts as an electrode and a filler material. Since you don’t need to dab the filler wire manually into the weld puddle, the MIG welding process is far faster and easier to learn. You can weld most metals with a MIG welder much faster than with a TIG machine and still achieve impressive results. 

While TIG excels at precision and weld aesthetics, you can achieve far better efficiency using a MIG welder like the Weldmax 395 SWF. With the ability to weld steel, stainless steel, and aluminium, and a maximum amperage output of 410A, the Weldmax 395 is a perfect productivity workhorse for medium and heavy industrial fabrication.

MIG Welding Advantages

•  Very high welding speed provides much higher productivity compared to TIG welding 
•  MIG welding can join thick materials 
•  Filler metal wire is auto-fed through the MIG torch into the weld pool 
•  Depending on the filler wire spool size, you can have almost indefinitely long welds 
•  MIG welding is far easier to learn compared to TIG or MMA, including welding exotic materials 
•  It’s easier to use for out-of-position welding because MIG requires only one hand to weld 
•  Produces clean welds that require little or no post-welding clean up 
•  Achieves excellent weld penetration 
•  MIG equipment is usually less costly than TIG equipment and doesn’t require expensive accessories like the TIG foot pedal 
•  MIG torch consumables like nozzles are cheaper than TIG torch parts 
•  MIG welding machines can be used for flux-cored arc welding, unlike TIG welders, which are one-process only machines  

MIG Welding Disadvantages

•  The arc visibility is impaired by welding fumes 
•  MIG welding produces some spatter, while TIG produces none 
•  MIG welds often don’t look as good as TIG welds 
•  It may be challenging to weld thin materials due to burn-through 
•  You must have fume management systems for personal protection  

MIG vs TIG Comparison Table

Advantages MIG TIG
Welding Speed Higher Lower
Learning Curve Lower Higher
Arc Visibility Worse Better
Filler Wire Feeding Automatic Manual
Fusing Without Filler Metal Not possible Possible
Spatter Low None
Welding Fumes High Low to none
Welding Thin Materials Possible burn-through Easy
Welding Thick Materials Easy Difficult
Weld Appearance Good Excellent
Welding Cost Low High
Equipment Cost Medium High
Overall Efficiency High Low


Need Help Selecting Your MIG Welding Equipment?

Whether you are looking for a high-quality MIG torch or a MIG welder for your shop, Alphaweld is ready to help you. To speak with our team, give us a call on (08) 9456 8000 or get in touch and our experts will gladly assist you.