Arc Welding Vs MIG Welding | The Info Base of Welding

Last Updated on April 30, 2021 by Antonio H. Johnson

There are various types of welding processes very much available now. Some of them are easy, and some are difficult to apply. We have to choose them according to our purpose. Now, this article is about a comparative discussion on Arc welding Vs MIG welding.

Both the welding process includes in the consumable welding category. MIG welding is also a kind of arc welding. Thus, it’ll be ticklish to bring an isolated image for both processes.

Based on Arc welding and MIG welding features, no welding process can be said best. As both methods have the individual perspective of the application. After learning about the welding methods, you can settle yourself upon the welding process which suits best your needs.

Here we describe the advantages, disadvantages, applications, classifications, mechanisms, and relevant topics of Arc welding vs MIG welding. Let’s dive in.

Arc welding vs MIG welding

What is meant by Arc Welding?

Of all the several welding processes, Arc welding is the most common process. Arc welding is a type of fusion welding process that produces heat using electricity to melt and join metals.

An electric arc is created between the base materials and the electrodes, which pushes the heat to the melting point and the metals fused with each other. The arc produces almost 6500 degrees centigrade.

Let’s give an informative sight to this comparative discussion of Arc welding Vs MIG welding.

What is the working procedure of arc welding?

When the arc is struck in between the base material and the electrodes, it instantly creates a high temperature that melts both the base metals and the metal in the electrode. The metal in the electrode is melted off in tiny droplets. The small particles that it carries across the arc and gets mixed with the molten base metal-edges are to be fused. Simultaneously, the metal is melting; the coating of the electrode is also getting consumed.

Arc welding process

Commonly used Welding Types:

There are mainly four types of welding commonly used today. They are,

  • Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG): The most widely used welding type today is the Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG) welding process. It is the easiest welding type to master. Often known as the beginners’ friend, MIG welding is the favorite among beginners. MIG welding can be used to weld across the variable thickness. MIG welding is very useful for fusing stainless steel, aluminum, or mild steel.
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW/TIG): In this welding type, Tungsten Inert Gas Is used to create the fusion. TIG welding offers one of the supreme welds. Offering exquisite finishes, TIG welding is used where superior quality fusion Is required. This welding type requires years of practice and experience to master.
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW): SMAW Welding is used commonly for constructing houses. Offering good basic weld qualities, SMAW welding is also used across industries and factories. The main advantage of this welding type is that it can be used to weld across high thickness surfaces.
  • Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW): FCAW welding is also a well-known welding type. It is commonly used in shipbuilding, maintenance, etc. This welding type can be used to weld across surfaces that contain pollutants or rust.

Equipment of an Arc welding machine:

The arc welding equipment mainly includes an AC machine otherwise DC machine, Electrode, Holder for the electrode, Cables, Chipping hammer, Earthing clamps, and Connectors for cable. Now, for a welder, Hand gloves, Helmet, Wire brush, Safety goggles, sleeves, Aprons, etc. is mandatory to avoid any unnecessary health hazards.

Which Metals can be penetrated by arc welding easily?

Arc welding can generally penetrate ironic metals. For the metals like cast iron, nickel, aluminum, and copper ETC metals can be done by arc welding efficiently.


 Comparing to all other methods, we have dug out the following advantages of arc welding.

  • Cost: The equipment for arc welding has a reasonable price and affordable, and the process requires a few types of equipment in the first place when there is no need for gas.
  • Portability: The equipment can be very easily transported to any work stations. It works on dirty metal, which is the absolute edge of this welding. Moreover, it can be carried out in any environment.
  • Power supply: Both AC and DC power sources can be used.
  • Shielding gas isn’t necessary – processes can be completed during wind or rain, besides spark and spatter isn’t a major concern.


There are a few reasons people often switch to other methods beyond arc welding certain projects.

  • Lesser efficiency: Arc welding normally produces more wastes than different other welding classes. So, project cost can be increased in several folds with this method of operation.
  • Thin materials: It can be tough to use arc welding on certain light metals.
  • Skill required: To operate arc welding, qualified and well-trained professionals are required.

Where about of MIG welding

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is an arc welding process shielded by inert gas weldings like argon, co2, and helium.

On the other hand, it is also termed gas metal arc welding (GMAW). It obeys all arc welding characteristics besides an inert gas used to shield the arc to protect from airborne contaminants.

MIG welding

Classification of MIG welding:

Reading the article’s upper discussions, you may have learned that MIG welding is a sort of arc welding. Thus, it principally doesn’t have any variety or classification. But it has various transfer methods. Generally, there four types of transfer method in MIG welding:

  • In Short Circuit Transfer, the welding wire touches the base metal. Electric arc passes through the gun and creates a short circuit.
  • Globular transfer happens with a combination of high voltage and argon shielding gas. The wire is heated longer than the short circuit method and creates a large volume of weld metal that drips into the weld joint and slowly drips into the joint.
  • In this type of MIG transfer, small droplets of molten metal from the consumable electrode are sprayed into the weld joint. It makes a hissing sound while spraying the droplets.
  • The welder pulses the voltage instead of giving a steady flow of voltage. It’s a transfer type that can be placed between spray and spherical types. This one is a modification of spray MIG.

How does MIG welding work?

The MIG welding process can be explained as a semi-automatic machine that can do an automatic process. Since the external pressure by the inert gas is applied, it’s called a semi-automatic process.

The electrical current from the electrode creates an electrical arc between the base metal and the wire electrodes. An inert gas, either argon or helium, is released from the gas diffuser built in the welding gun. The released inert gas makes a shield around the arc. The operator can regulate the gas.


The advantages are as follows:

  • The process is simple and easy to operate
  • The gas is protected automatically
  • The consumable electrode is easy to feed
  • A filler material is not needed
  • It does not produce slag and spark


Besides having a lot of advantages, this method also has some silly and negligible disadvantages.

  • Weld becomes porous if the welding gun is not handled correctly.
  • In case of faulty welding, floating solid impurities can lay over onto the liquid welding.
  • It is expensive, and the equipment is not easily portable.
  • It cannot be done outdoor because of the effect of wind dispersing the shielding gas.

FACT: MIG welding can be applied on medium thicker metals.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of arc welding?

Answer: Arc type welding has wide applications in steel erection, pipeline conjunction, and other different heavy metal welding. Mostly, larger construction projects are 70% grossed by arc type welding among different types of welding.

2. What are the uses of MIG welding?

Answer: MIG welding can be used on aluminum, stainless steel, and steel; MIG welding holds this significant advantage over others because the wire feed acts not only as an electrode but also as filler.

3. Which welding is preferable for beginners?

Answer: MIG welding is preferable for beginners, as they’re designed with a wire welding electrode on a spool that is fed at a pre-selected speed through a welding gun.

4. Which one builds more strong fusion between MIG and Arc welding?

Answer: MIG welding itself is an arc welding process. It differs due to its filler method, and filler doesn’t affect the durability. Thus, both have equal fusion joints.

5. Which welding creates sparks and slag while welding?

Answer: MIG welding doesn’t create any type of slag due to its inert gas mechanism. But arc welding creates a few sparks and slag.


In the conclusion of Arc welding Vs MIG welding, it can’t be easily determined which specific method is preferable for your operation. It solely depends on your purpose of work. You will have a realization to choose between these two methods depending on your need.

If you need easier welding and bound it at a low cost, you may have to choose Arc welding. Again, if you need a clean and partially manual method for welding, you can select MIG welding.

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