There is not a single welding method that you can use to weld all kinds of metals and all sorts of applications. Each welding method comes with its advantages and different capabilities to penetrate various metals applications. However, you cannot get every type of welding solutions, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced one. You have to get a welding solution that can cover quite a few different applications.
When it comes to choosing the easiest and sturdiest methods of welding, MIG, and Stick welding come in the first line. I’ll get you through the differences between both and give you a clear idea of which one you should go with. Stay with the article to know the differences in mig welder vs stick welder. It’ll help you make the best investment in your next welder.
Mig Welder Vs. Stick Welder
MIG welder vs. Stick welding method, there has always been a dilemma while choosing between these two. Let’s have an in-depth look at what are they and what both welding methods have to offer:
1. MIG welder
MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding method is also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) to the American Welding Society. It’s a welding technology that uses a continuously-fed electrode from a spool through the welding gun. The current heats up both the electrode and the base metal, then melts the pieces together to joint. The electrode works as the filler metal in between the two workpieces. The welding machine uses an external gas supply to protect the molten puddle from oxidation.
What Are The Advantages Of Mig Welder?
There are tons of advantages that I can mention for MIG welding method, especially if you’re a beginner. Here are the key advantages and benefits of using a MIG welder to start welding as a hobbyist or a professional:
- The MIG welding method is the easiest welding method to master in a very short time. You can get a complete idea of making progress on welding in a few hours if you start with the MIG welding.
- MIG welding method offers a high-speed welding process without losing the quality of the weld. This is because the process uses a predefined, constant speed on the electrode.
- It’s a perfect match for home repair, DIY projects, and small to massive welding projects. A 110v mig welder is more than enough to handle any home repair to a mid-high level project.
- This welding method offers the cleanest weld possible with no slag to chip off later after you’re done welding.
If you’re interested to know the advantages more explicitly, we have a dedicated article on the Advantages of mig welding, be sure to check that out.
2. Stick Welder
If you’ve learned to weld years back, most probably it was the stick welding as the other methods are new to the play. Stick welding uses arc electrodes to weld between two workpieces. The method follows a simple electric procedure; the current flows through the electrode and makes an ark puddle.
The produced heat melts the workpieces and joints together using the puddle. The electrode comes with a flux coating that makes a Gas shield around the ark to protect the molten puddle. The flux coating leaves a slag behind on the welded area that you have to clean later.
What Are The Advantages Of Stick Welder?
As I mentioned earlier, the Stick welding process is an old method, yet people love it to this day. There are some exciting facts why the Stick welding method is still popular, and always a dominant method, such as:
- Stick welding is the most economical welding solution because it doesn’t need an external gas supply to protect the molten puddle. It means there are a minimum cost and better portability.
- You can use the Stick welder to weld between dirty or even rusty metals. So, you don’t necessarily have to go through a nagging cleaning for the metals you’re welding.
- It’s the most promising welding method that you can use outdoors, even under a wind storm. This is because it doesn’t need gas shielding, which is prone to wind.
- The stick welding method works very well on different thicknesses of metal, especially heavy metals that are hard to penetrate with the others.
What Is The Difference Between A Mig Welder And A Stick Welder?
As you can see above, there are some key differences between these two welding methods. They both have some distinguishable features to offer you. However, picking up the right welder depends on the type of job you have. Here are some side to side comparisons of mig welder vs stick welder prospecting to the real-life applications.
Indoor or outdoor usage
The main factor of choosing a MIG welder or a stick welder is the usability in the different worksites. You can use a stick welder in both indoor or outdoor extreme wind if you want. But a MIG welder cannon do any good in a windy situation because the wind blows the gas shield. However, for indoor usage, the MIG welder does a great job with far better welding quality than a Stick welder.
Simplicity in the welding process
MIG welding method is far simpler than Stick welding, especially if you’re a beginner. It works with a preset setting for the electrode speed and current flow. The user only needs to handle a single part of the machine; that’s the welder nozzle. With the stick welding method, you have to maintain a constant current flow and keep the stick steady with your hands. If you’re a beginner, using a 110v stick welder can help you master it well.
Quality and appearance of the weld
MIG welding was developed for aircraft welding in the first place, and it makes the best quality welding ever. The aesthetics and the sturdiness of the MIG welders are super clean and splendid. You don’t have to chip off any slag after welding the pieces. Stick welders are not that appealing in terms of aesthetics and cleanliness. It needs you to clean off the slags after welding, even finishing touches on the weld sometimes.
Operating cost and portability
In terms of consumables and other peripheral costs, stick welding comes cheap. The apparatus of MIG welding is relatively pricier because you have to get an external gas supply as well. Because of the gas cylinder, the MIG welding machine isn’t a great solution to portability. You need a trolley or a cart to move a MIG welding set around while a Stick welder doesn’t need any peripheral but the machine itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding MIG and Stick welding that you may have to ask:
Is stick welding better than MIG?
If outdoor welding is your target, then yes, a stick welder is better than a MIG welding machine.
Can you convert a MIG welder to a stick welder?
No, you cannot convert a MIG into a Stick welder because they use completely different power supplies and welding processes.
Is stick welding hard to learn?
Yes, Stick welding is harder to learn if compared to the MIG welding method.
Is stick welding cheaper than MIG?
Yes, Stick welding doesn’t need an external shielding gas to cut your wallet as MIG does.
Compared to MIG welding, the Stick Welding method is one of the earliest welding methods people use in the world. Stick welders can keep welding even if there is a storm outside, but it also comes with some drawbacks. Same for the MIG welders, they make the cleanest weld even faster than Stick welding. MIG welding also has its drawbacks as it doesn’t do good in strong wind and needs external gas supply.
After reading the things that set both welders apart, picking up the right welder for yourself is now a simple equation. If you need a professional look and aesthetics with a high-quality finish, go for a MIG welder. If you need a sturdy welding solution and don’t care about the aesthetics and clean look, a stick welder can be your charm.