Mig Welders vs Stick Welders: What’s the Difference?


Mig Welder vs Stick Welder

Mig welding is a type of welding that uses a continuous wire feed to fuse two pieces of metal together. Mig welders are often considered easier to use than stick welders, and they give higher weld deposits compared to Stick welding.

However, MIG Welding is not much portable as Stick Welding and requires external gas shielding, a wire feeder setup, and has a limited length of the welding torch.

Equipment setup mig mag

Stick welding is a type of welding that uses an electrode to create an electrical current that melts the welding electrode & metal.

Stick welders are often considered more durable, portable, and handy than MIG welders, and they can be used in a variety of different environments. However, stick welding can be more difficult to learn than MIG welding.

stick welding

Arc Welding vs Mig Welding

Arc Welding is a non-standard term used for Stick Welding (SMAW) process. Theoretically, Stick Welding, TIG welding, MIG welding, FCAW Welding & SAW Welding– all are Arc Welding processes only. All above welding processes uses heat energy produced by welding arc to fuse base metals.

Stick arc vs. MIG weld

Stick welding is an arc welding process that uses a consumable coated electrode to produce the weld. The electrode is a solid metal wire that is stick-shaped & coated with a flux coating. It is made of a material that is compatible with the base metal being welded.

Additional alloying elements if needed are added to the electrode coating. The coating also produces shielding gases that protect the weld pool from oxidation in Stick Welding. Hence no external shielding gas is required in Stick Welding.

Mig welding is an arc welding process that uses a continuously fed solid wire electrode and a shielding gas to produce the weld. The gas protects the weld from contaminants in the air. This shielding gas in MIG welding is supplied externally from a gas bottle.

Is Stick Welding Stronger than Mig Welding?

Stick vs. MIG Welding Strength: The two most popular welding processes are stick and MIG welding. Stick welding is done by using a stick electrode, while MIG welding is done by using a wire electrode. So which process is stronger?

Many people argue that MIG welding is stronger than Stick Welding or vice versa. Both theoretically & practically, this approach is not correct.

The reason- there are many factors that go into determining the relative strength of a welding Joint (irrespective of the welding process as Stick Welding or MIG welding). Some of these factors include the:

  • Type of metal being welded,
  • Strength of base metal and filler wire,
  • The thickness of the metal,
  • Type of welding joint,
  • Type of loading conditions.
  • Welding Quality- Good Weld is stronger than a bad Weld.

Mig welding does have some advantages over stick welding. It is faster and easier to learn. Mig welds also tend to be smoother and more consistent.

However, stick welding is still considered to be stronger than MIG welding, but it is not true as explained earlier.

Difference Between Mig and Stick Welding

Mig welding is a process that uses a continuous wire feed to create a weld. The wire is fed from the wire spool through the gun, and the arc is created by the electrode and the wire.

This creates a stable arc that can be used to weld metals together. Stick welding is a process that uses an electrode to create the arc. The electrode using an electrode holder is held in one hand, and the weld is created by moving the electrode along the weld joint.

Mig welding and stick welding are two of the most common types of welding. Both of these welding processes have their own special benefits and drawbacks. Mig welding is faster and easier to learn than stick welding. It produces a cleaner weld with less splatter. Stick welding is more versatile than MIG welding and can be used in a wider range of applications.

The main differences between Stick Welding (SMAW) and MIG Welding can be summarized as:

1. Welding Quality: Stick welding is generally considered to produce higher-quality welds than MIG welding. Stick Welding is less prone to welding porosity, and lack of fusion compared to MIG Welding and thus results in sound weld quality compared to MIG welding.

2. Indoor & outdoor welding: Stick welding can be done indoors or outdoors, while MIG welding can only be done indoors as it relies on external gas shielding which is prone to a disturbance in outdoor welding conditions. Stick welding on other hand is best suited for welding on outdoor applications.

3. Ease of Use: Stick welding is a great option for beginners because it is simple to use and requires minimal setup. All you need is a stick welder, some welding rods, and some safety gear. The process is very straightforward: just hold the welding rod in one hand and strike it against the metal you are welding to create an electric arc. This arc will heat up the metal and fuse it together.

Mig welding is a bit more complex than stick welding, as it requires external gas shielding, continuous supply of welding wire through a wire feeder & different possible modes of metal transfers that affect welding outcome.

4. Cost: Stick welders are less expensive than MIG welders, but they require more practice to use effectively. Mig welders are more forgiving and easier to use, but they are also more expensive.

The cost of a basic stick welder starts at around $300, while a basic MIG welder starts at around $450. If you’re looking for a high-quality welder, the cost of equipment can be much higher.

5. Welder Portability: Stick welders are among the most portable welders available. They are small and lightweight and can be easily carried from one job site to another. Stick welders use a flux-cored wire to create the weld, so they don’t require any special gases or equipment. This makes them ideal for welding in tight spaces or on uneven surfaces.

6. Productivity: Stick Welding weld deposit rate is lower than MIG welding. Stick Welding requires a frequent change in welding electrodes & also requires cleaning of weld Slag. MIG welding on other hand is having high weld deposition rate & does not require any post-weld cleaning.

MIG or Stick welder for a beginner

Welders use electricity to melt and join metals. They come in a variety of types, including MIG (metal inert gas) and stick welders, for example. A MIG welder uses a wire feed that feeds the wire through the gun and into the weld puddle. A stick welder uses an electrode that is held in one hand using an electrode holder and melted by the welding current.

MIG welders are typically easier to use for beginners than stick welders. The wire feed ensures a constant flow of filler metal, which helps produce consistent results. Additionally, MIG welding produces high weld deposit than stick welding. There is no slag in MIG welding compared to Stick welding and making it easier to clean up afterward. However, MIG welders can be more expensive than stick welders.

Does Stick Welding Easier than MIG?

There is no definitive answer when it comes to deciding if stick welding is easier than MIG welding. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Welders have a variety of welding processes to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. So the question is, is stick welding easier than MIG?

For example, MIG welding is much faster than stick welding and produces a neater weld. However, MIG welding can be more expensive than stick welding and it requires more safety gear. Stick welding, on the other hand, is slower but it is less expensive and it is easier to learn how to do.


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