MIG Welding Tips & Tricks
Because knowing is half the purchase
Tips for choosing supplies
- For thin metals, use a smaller diameter wire. For thicker metals, use larger wire and a larger machine.
- Your wire and base metal should generally be the same. Use stainless steel wire when welding stainless steel, aluminum wire when welding aluminum, etc.
- Use ER70S-6 wire to help deoxidize your base metal when welding dirty or rusty steel.
- Match your contact tube, gun liner and drive rolls to the wire diameter you’re using.
Tricks for a better technique
- Keep a ¼ - ⅜ in. electrode extending from the contact tube (commonly known as stickout). See Diagram ➊ for a visual example.
- For best control of your weld bead, keep the wire directed at the leading edge of the weld pool.
- When welding out of position (vertical, horizontal or overhead), keep the weld pool small and use the smallest diameter wire you can.
- Keep the drive rolls, gun liner and nozzle clean and spatter-free.
- Replace the contact tip if it’s blocked or feeding poorly.
- Keep the gun as straight as possible when welding to avoid poor wire feeding.
- Use both hands to steady the gun whenever possible.
- Keep wire feeder hub tension and drive roll pressure tight enough to feed wire, but don’t overtighten.
- Keep wire in a clean, dry place to avoid contaminants that lead to poor welds.
- Use a drag or pull gun technique for more penetration and a narrower bead. Use a push gun technique for less penetration and a wider bead. See Diagram ➌ for a visual example.
Electrode Extensions (Stickout)
Penetration Patterns for Steel
Effect of Electrode Position and