Gas metal arc welding also known as metal inert gas (MIG) is a high-speed economical arc welding process in which an electric arc from which heat is generated is struck between the base metal or parent metal and a consumable electrode which is a solid wire continuously feed through the arc into the weld which becomes the filler metal at the weld.
It is very easy to learn and versatile and its process can be either semi-automatic or automatic.
The competitive advantages of the MIG welder being high-speed and economical and being very easy to use coupled with if capabilities make it a great welder that is advantageous for both professional welders, amateurs, beginners and hobbyists (See advantages and Capabilities of the MIG welder). There are several factors to consider before buying and MIG welder.
In Spite of its various advantages as you would see below, you would agree that its advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
GWAN/Metal Inert Gas Welding Advantages and Capabilities
There are many advantages in using the MIG welder:
It is very easy to use. MIG welding is extremely simple to learn welders can learn to MIG weld in a few hours even minutes because the majority of the time is not spent on cleaning the weld.
The MIG welding process is a low hydrogen process making it good for welding materials that are susceptible to hydrogen cracking.
The post welding cleaning after using a MIG welder is minimal as very little slag is produced in the process of welding unlike the stick welding process.
The MIG welder uses a shielding gas to protect the arc this results in little loss of alloying elements and the metals transfer across the arc this makes it possible for the welder to work smoothly without having any plan to remove and with only minor weld spatter produced because of this the MIG Welder only have to do a brief cleanup and he/she is back on the job in a fraction of time as a result of the minimum of time he or she says time which ultimately leads to new things more return on investment in the long run.
One challenge many welders face is having to constantly change word cheap flight away and brush wealth repeatedly these are all avoided significantly when using the MIG welder.
The MIG welder allows for long welding without the need to stop because the electrode is generated it is a continuous wire and the process is clean and hence you are able to weld faster and cleaner.
The MIG welder has high speed and deposition rate which helps to save money. This is as a result of the continuously fed wire allow the welder to work with both hands-free thereby improving the welding speed, quality of the weld, and overall control.
When a flux core wire is used along with a MIG welder it allows for the convenience of welding in multiple locations and positions including “overhead”. This is advantage over most other welding process.
The MIG welder can save time, its processes are semi-automatic and automatic. Therefore it can be automated for high production with repeatable parts.
The MIG welder is capable of welding dissimilar parts.
The MIG welder is extremely versatile and can weld a variety of metals an alloy while operating at a variety of ways such as semi and fully automatic. While MIG welding is useful for many home projects, it can also be used in large number of industries. MIG welder is used for the following metals: aluminum, copper, stainless steel, mild steel, magnesium, nikel and many of their alloys as well as iron and most of its alloys.
The MIG welder can be used by professionals, amateur, hobbyist, and a beginner.
Metal Inert Gas Welding Disadvantages
Like most machines the MIG welder has its disadvantages. It is very important to be aware of the disadvantage before you purchase one.
Cost: Well you can find a variety of cheap as well as expensive MIG welders in the market, work quite complex for example you need a welding mask, Building. This change depending on the kind of metals you are working on.
Relatively costly when compared with the stick welding process but however in the long run due to the high speed efficiency and cleanest of the job which saves time it can be considered very competitive in cost when compared with the stick or other welding processes
Limited position: the MIG welder when used alone can only weld in limited position but when it is used with the flux core which are highly recommended you can have the convenience of welding in multiple locations and positions without shielding gas ore preparation.
Preparation: The MIG welder usually requires the metal be cleaned before welding To prevent contamination but when it is used in conjunction with the flux core, you can easily well without cleaning the metal first.
Shield gas: The MIG welding process requires the use of shield gas and the shield gas bottle can take some time to replace and they can get in the way while welding but with the help of the flux core you can well conveniently without shielding gas which makes the cloth called a great choice when considering the MIG welder to buy.
Factors to consider when buying a MIG welder
There are a lot of factors to consider before you buy MIG welder. The factors listed below a comprehensive list a very important thing to consider before you invest in this machine. These factors have been our guide in providing you with the 5 best dual voltage MIG welders.
MIG/ Flux cored welders or multifunctional:
Most MIG welders have both the MIG and the Flux core functions but there are some that have just one of these.
It is very advantageous to buy a MIG welder that has hold MIG/ flux core because the self-shielded flux core wire give significant time savings and does not require shielding it can weld metal that are not completely clean and still achieve deep penetration especially for thick metals even though MIG welding usually requires that the metal be completely cleaned using an angle grinder and sander to remove all rust paint or other contaminants to prevent them from ruining the weld.
The convenience of welding in multiple locations and positions without shielding gas or preparation that is cleaning the metal makes flux cored wire a great choice.
Input voltage: MIG welders have different input voltage, most either have 110/ 115/ 120V or 220/ 225. 230V but some have the capability of both. These are the dual voltage MIG welders and are highly recommend.
The major advantage of getting a dual voltage MIG welder is the convenience of being able to use your MIG welder in any location without worrying about the power input source. it saves you the extra expenses of buying two different machines and having to swap devices depending on the job and the location.
The dual voltage capability of a MIG welder is an excellent solution to having two welders in the shop, house, or jobsite and having one sit idle while the other is being used.
Dual voltage MIG welder typically operates efficiently on both voltages without having to incur additional expenses of purchasing a separate welder for areas where the voltage required is not available.
The design of the dual voltage welders are not only powerful but they are also portable. The advantage of this for a professional is that he or she can step out and do any job with maximum efficiency without having to turn down jobs because of the lack of a MIG welder that can operate in the voltage available.
On the other hand for a hobbiest, an amateur or a beginners it provides a potential for growth and the ability to tackle large or small jobs wherever and whenever it is required.
Output power: The advantage of buying a MIG welder with high output power is it will help to decrease overall welding cost and provide great return on investment in the long run.
Depending on what you intend to weld you will need different output power, so do well to check the chart as most manufacturers manual includes a chart to help you choose the correct person that will give you the highest quality weld. Peradventure you do not find the chart product package the manufacturer’s website for more information on the product.
Size and transportation: This is very important. the smallest good quality need welder with 25lbs; this is great if you’re going to be working in different locations and the needs a welder with a handle that is not too big angel they also have inverter technology.
The 200lbs is recommended for industrial welders.
Duty cycle: If you intend to weld for a long time without stopping then get a MIG welder with a high duty cycle.
Duty cycle usually considered for thin metals which generally require less amperage than thick metals is 18 gauges @70 Amps, welding 1 / 4” steel in a single pass or first pass.
For light repair on stainless steel, steel, or aluminum from sheet metal to a material 3 / 6” thick a 130A MIG unit with 20% or 30% duty cycle is required.
For a heavier repair a MIG with at least 200A and a duty cycle of 40% or higher is needed.
Sufficient amperage is needed to ensure proper penetration. In order to achieve neat beads and welds, the goal is to make the right penetration in a single pass because you cannot correct a poor root or first pass with multiple subsequent passes.
Other equipment to consider for welding
To ensure that you keep safe and get the best possible world here a list of some equipment you will need to have:
- Gas cylinder: The most popular gas cylinder for MIG welding is co2 which is an alternative to co2 and argon mixture but less expensive. Though the co2 and argon mixture to produces higher weld quality and reduces the spatter that co2 produces.
- Regulator: This must be attached to the gas cylinder before it can be used there are different types of regulators gauge less, single gauge and dual gauge.
- Torch: This usually comes with the Mig welder.
- Welding mask: This is the most important equipment when using the MIG welder. The arc from the MIG welders is incredibly bright and can damage your eyes.
- Clothing: The flying sparks from the border are extremely hot and can cause burns to the skin sew cotton or leather cloth with long sleeve and welding countless is highly required.