What Is MIG Welding? Essential MIG Welder Basics for Getting Started

Different welder types make getting into welding little hard for newbies. Yes, all welders can join pieces together but different welders are specialized for different jobs. That said, MIG welding is widely used since it offers great flexibility, it can fit itself in a wide range of tasks.

However, if you are a newcomer who just thought about MIG welding and want to know the basics, then this very article is for you!

In this article, we have covered all the essentials such as what is MIG welder? how does it work? what is MIG welding used for? what gas is used for MIG welding? etc. Knowing these basics is mandatory if you want to do well in MIG welding.

So with no further ado, let’s begin!!!

What Is MIG Welding?

Metal Inert Gas welding is the full form of MIG welding and it is also known as GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding). MIG welders are champion in welding aluminum but it doesn’t mean they don’t work on other metals, they work pretty nice on other metals too.

MIG is wire-feed type welder, means it uses a wire to weld. The wire works as an electrode and is continuously connected to the direct current. And this wire is what creates the weld material, hence joins to part.

At the meantime, gas also flows through the spool gun which is to clear the welding area and keep the airborne contaminants free.

Furthermore, MIG welders allow you to set heat according to your need. It comes with different heat setting which reduces the chance of overheating, you will be able to use the amount of power needed to complete the task.

That said, in your first go you might not do well, even you might end up burning a hole into the sheet but that’s okay. You have to make a few wrong rounds in order to get it right.

Even some occasional welders also encounter issues when adjusting the heat. So there is nothing to worry about, just keep trying.

In MIG welders, you can even adjust the wire feed rate. But how should you adjust that depends on the task you have in hands. Once you get used to the heat adjustment, you will get the wire feed rate adjustment too.

What Is MIG Welding Used for?

As we mentioned earlier, MIG welder is very flexible since it can be used in various works. And by changing the wire, it can work on almost all metal types.

However, below we have specified a few tasks where MIG welders work outstandingly fine and also a bunch of reason why you should use MIG welder too.


You can expect robust and strong weld from MIG welders up to 0.5mm. That being said, MIG welding is mostly used on automotive repairs since it is effective on such tasks. Regardless of the size of the vehicle, MIG welders can work on small to larger vehicles with the same effectiveness.


MIG welder was the most expensive welding gear years ago, and then too it was widely used because of its ability to work effectively in several projects. But now MIG welders come inexpensive. And the weld MIG welder offers it can be involved in robotics for faster and quality service.

Pipe weld

This welder is a good choice for pipe welds because it will be both cost and time-saving. And will also ensure strong weld.

Rail track

This welder can also be used in reinforcing the surface of a worn out rail track. It could be hard to join all kind of metals together with the same wire. Sometime it might not even work. In that case, all you want to do is pick a nice filer wire that will work on the metals you will be welding.

Reasons for Using MIG Welder

  • MIG welder offers high-productivity at low cost.
  • Allows you to work on almost all kind of metal and alloys available.
  • With the accurate parameter and equipment, it can weld from any position.
  • Offers sturdy and deep weld.
  • X-ray quality weld can be produced from MIG welders.
  • Very low fume rate compared to few other weldings.
  • Welding metal deposit rate and welding speed are higher.

What Gas is Used for MIG Welding?

Without gas MIG welding is not MIG welding. As the name suggests, Metal Inert Gas (MIG), MIG welder uses inert gases to weld which are Argon and Helium. Inert gases are those who don’t react to anything.

For example, using oxygen gas will cause the metal to rust, it is among non-inert gases. Argon and Helium don’t react to anything so they are inert gas and they shield the weld from damaging air that might cause weld defect.

Not only these two, professionals use different gases in MIG welding since different gases work well for different purposes. And how deep the weld penetrates that too depends on the gas.

Having said that, Argon gas offers shallow wide penetration and smooth fluid like an arc. On the other hand, Helium offers mild penetration and also produces a hot weld.

Additional Tips

“If you are holding a welder for the very first time in your entire life, then it would be wise if you just slow down a bit and try to know the welder as much as you can. And before you start welding on your important projects, get used to the welder by welding on scraps.

Otherwise, you will end up wasting the entire project if anything goes wrong and since it is your first time, there is a high chance that something will go wrong.

And right before you hold the spool gun, wear protective hand gloves and a welding helmet, safety should be your first priority.”

- Welder Expert -

Related article

What is An ARC Werder?


If you are here, you must know what is MIG welding by now. However, above you have all the information you need to get started with MIG welding. Hope that help. And if you have any kind of confusion or anything, just drop that in the comment section below!!!

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