MIG vs Stick Welder- When to Use What [Complete Guide of 2021]

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MIG vs Stick

What is welding?

Welding means metal joining process. Different categories of welding options are available; Such as MIG, Stick, and TIG.

As a welder, you need to know all the welding processes. These have some similarities as well as some difference.

Their application areas are not the same. Different metal needs different joining process.

Some are special for MIG; some require TIG welding. Depending on the material form, you need to select the welding program.

If you can take a clear idea about all welding process; it will impact your professional sector. Then you can quickly decide which one you should prefer.

I give a short description of MIG and stick welding. In my report, you will see their applications, similarities, and distinction.

Even you will know their pros as well as cons. I also show the best market-leading products. I highly recommended these for useful feedback.

What is MIG welding?

  • MIG means Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
  • An electric curve and wire electrode carry out the primary function.
  • The arc and electrode heat the metal for melting.
  • Then the melting metal joins each other.

Flux-cored arc welding:

Flux-cored arc welding is an automatic or semi-automatic arc welding process. It requires a continuously fed consumable tubular electrode containing a flux, a constant-voltage, and a constant-current welding power supply. And a flux-cored wire can do better and faster welding.

Tungsten inert gas:

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding is also called Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW. This arc welding process produces the weld with a non-consumable tungsten electrode.

The weld tungsten and puddle are cooled. And they are protected with inert shielding gas (like helium or argon).

Wire feed speed welding:

Actually, wire feed speed controls welding current.

Flux coating:

The flux coating is used on electric welding rods and also serves several functions. This coating protects the solid metal and weld pool from atmospheric contamination. It helps in removing impurities from the weld pool.

Mild steel:

Mild steel is a low type of carbon steel. And the carbon steels are metals. It contains a small percentage of carbon (max 2.1%), which enhances pure iron properties. It varies depending on the requirements for the steel.

What are the advantages you get from MIG?

Higher productivity:

MIG can deliver you a quick performance. Its faster operation saves your time and utilizes your effort.


The entire process is quite easy and straightforward. The beginners are also allowed to play this gadget. There is no complex function. You get enough flexibility to run this machine.


Versatility, clean welding, and a higher deposition rate.

What are the drawbacks of MIG welding?

  • First of all, this is a costly process.
  • Secondly, it cannot deal with every type of environment. Always you should work in a stable environment condition.
  • Thirdly, you cannot use it for too many critical duties.

Which are the main equipment for MIG?

Power source:

In this case, direct current (DC power) power supply is used.

Wire feeder:

These are different in shape and size. It controls the current supply and regulates the wire speeds. Wire feeder contains pool holders, driving motor and driving rollers.

Welding Torch:

A nozzle is placed in front of the torch. The nozzle supplies inert gases. The gases protect against oxidation.

This torch is both water cooled and air cooled. If the current is high, it is water cooled. For low flow, the torch is air cooled.

Shielding Gases:

Shielding gas is a protector. Its initial job is protecting the area form a reactive gas. Reactive gas affects the joint. Helium, argon and other inert gas are used as shielding gases.

What are the working procedures of MIG welding?

  • Firstly, DC converts from a high-voltage current. It passes through the electrode.
  • Secondly, The arc produces heat to liquefy the material. The shielded gas shields the arc.
  • Finally, the constant flow of electrode makes a uniform attachment.

What are the application areas of MIG welding?

  • It is the best method for sheet metal.
  • The process is beneficial for deep groove-welding.
  • Usually, you can use this technique for the maximum kinds of metal.

5 Best MIG welding machines review:

1.LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder (2 Versions – With or W/out Spool Gun) Both Include Mask, Solid wires, Argon Regulator, Standard MIG Gun
2.Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
3.Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
4. Lotos Technology 04-ZVGR-0O8D Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma
5. Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine w/ Free Mask

What is stick welding?

  • Stick welding means, Shield Metal Arc Welding.
  • Another name of Arc welding is manual metal arc welding (MMA)
  • To fix different kinds of metal, this system is followed.
  • Besides this, it is practicing in a different welding process.
  • The covered electrode contains a solid rod.
  • This core rod supplies current and produces heat.
  • This head is responsible for fixing the two metal parts.

Why do we use arc welding?

  • You can apply this method to multiple functions.
  • For manufacturing bridge, bridge, pipeline you require this stick joining mechanism.
  • It is a pretty cheap fixing option.
  • You are allowed to move the machine easily as it is portable.
  • You never need to use shielding gas.
  • Even you can weld your dirty metals.

What are the limitations of stick welding?

  • The process is a little bit complex. At fast, you should learn the procedure correctly.
  • The deposition rate is significantly low.

5 Best Stick Welding Machine:

1. Amico Power – DC Inverter Welder – 110/230V Dual Voltage IGBT Welding Machine – 160 AMP Stick Arc
2. 2017 EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH 160amp HF TIG Stick IGBT Welder 110/220 Dual Voltage
3. Lotos Technology 04-ZVGR-0O8D Lotos LTPDC2000D Plasma Cutter Tig Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine, 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, 200A TIG/ Stick Welder Dual Voltage 220V/110V
4. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST, 120-Volt, 90-Amp
5. C.M.T Pitbull Ultra-Portable 100-Amp Electric Arc Welder – 110V

Comparison between Arc and MIG:

  • To join similar material MIG welding is used. On the other hand, Arc welding is used to merge different material.
  • MIG is useful but very costly. Stick welding is comparatively less effective, but it is cheap.
  • MIG requires the gas shield. For arc welding, you do not need to worry about the gas shield.
  • You get enough flexibility to play a MIG machine. No matter your experience. Without learning correctly, you cannot operate a stick machine.


Both of these welding methods are the most practiced method.

They have more dissimilarities than similarities. Their applying areas are relatively different.

According to your metal character, you should select either MIG or Stick welding.