General Welding FAQs

General Welding Frequently Asked Questions - Eastwood

Get up to speed for your metal fabrication project with answers from our experts to common questions about the four welding processes and much more.

Eastwood General Welding FAQs

If you’re new to welding or metal fabrication, we’re sure you have a lot of questions about how things work. Eastwood has expert answers to the most common welding questions so you can get started on your first project. Visit the Eastwood Garage for even more helpful welding tips.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each welding type?

There are four primary types of welding used by automotive DIYers. Here are some of the relevant benefits and drawbacks to each of these welding processes:

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding

  • Advantages:
    • Easy for beginners to learn
  • Disadvantages:
    • Can’t be used outside
    • Does not work well on thin gauge materials
    • Requires thorough surface cleaning and preparation

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding

  • Advantages:
    • Creates clean and strong welds
    • Provides a lot of control to the user
    • Features manual and automatic methods
  • Disadvantages:
    • Requires a lot of skill
    • Takes a lot of time
    • Is unsuitable for thicker metals and joints

Arc/Stick Welding

  • Advantages:
    • Enables high-speed welding
    • Adapts to AC or DC currents
    • Can be transported simply
    • Does not require shielding gas
  • Disadvantages:
    • Less effective on thin and reactive metals (such as aluminum or titanium)
    • Inaccessible to the newcomer
    • Unappealing visual results

Flux Core Welding

  • Advantages:
    • Great weld penetration
    • Appropriate for thicker metals
    • Flexible torch placement and movement
    • Capable of being done with your MIG welder
  • Disadvantages:
    • Higher risk of slag
    • Messy welds
    • Pricey option

What is better, a MIG or TIG welder?

This largely depends on your skill level and the types of welding you plan to do. A MIG welder works faster and is easier for beginners to learn. It also works better on thicker metals and is cheaper. TIG welders leave a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing finish and are more effective on thin steel and aluminum. This makes them the best choice for exterior body panels and ornamental work.

Which is better, MIG or stick welding?

Both are solid options for beginner welders, so again, this depends on the situation. MIG welds are generally stronger and better-looking than stick welds and you can produce them faster. On the other hand, stick welding can be done on non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, copper and titanium. You can also arc weld on dirty or rusty metal, making it a better choice for outdoor work and emergency repairs.

What is the easiest type of welder to use?

Overall, MIG and flux core welding are regarded as the easiest processes for beginners to learn. Both have a wire electrode on a spool that is fed through a welding gun. They can be done as automatic or semi-automatic processes. The main difference is that MIG welders require shielding gas and flux core welders do not.

What is stud welding?

Stud welding is a special type of arc welding process designed to permanently attach fasteners to a base metal or workpiece. Similar to flash welding, it uses a welding gun and flux tip to end-join threaded, unthreaded or tapped fasteners in less than a second. A stud welder can also be used to pull dents out of body panels.









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