ARC or MIG welding

03hilux

4x4 Earth Contributer
#1
Does an ARC welder do stronger/better than a MIG welder for D.I.Y. sliders etc ?
I know a few old school engineers and boilermakers, and they say ARC is better, but surely these days, a mig would be up to the task.
 
#2
IF you are only just learning how to weld you will get better quality stronger welds with a MIG.

If you know what you are doing then it will not make much difference.

MIG is generally significantly easier to learn.

Make sure you use a gas mig not a gasless.

Virtually everything is MIG welded these days in terms of general steel fabrication.

Cheers

Justin
 

Croozer

Well-Known Member
#5
Both arc and mig have the strength these days. Not like the old days. As said if your doing yourself and not super experinced at welding mig is the way to go.
 
#8
I do a lot of welding in my job and agree that a gasless MIG is a waste of time. If you have no experience in welding get someone else to do the job. Gas MIG welders are expensive. An ARC welder is much more affordable and you can buy quite compact units these days. They are a worthwhile addition to any shed. Maybe if you get some instruction in the use of an ARC welder and practice on smaller jobs until you become more proficient.
 

Gavo

4x4 Earth Contributer
#10
Look i'm a fitter not a boiler maker, but I weld all the time. I believe gas mig is the go. Gasless is shit. Arc is good, but this Comes down to the quality, I've used little inverters that are sensational, and then some that have no duty cycle at all. what I would do is, spend a weekend cutting everything out, get everything ready, then hire a decent quality mig and weld it up all weekend. Buy a cheap welder and you will struggle to get motivation to do any welding, as it'll look like a flock of birds had randomly shat everywhere, get a good welder and you'll be bragging to your mates!
 
#11
Look i'm a fitter not a boiler maker, but I weld all the time. I believe gas mig is the go. Gasless is shit. Arc is good, but this Comes down to the quality, I've used little inverters that are sensational, and then some that have no duty cycle at all. what I would do is, spend a weekend cutting everything out, get everything ready, then hire a decent quality mig and weld it up all weekend. Buy a cheap welder and you will struggle to get motivation to do any welding, as it'll look like a flock of birds had randomly shat everywhere, get a good welder and you'll be bragging to your mates!
Well said.

We could go on and on and on and on debating which welder is better ARC or MIG but we need to at least clarify what type of ARC, AC or inverter or a DC genset? And with an ARC you need to clarify what rods you are using as this make a big difference to weld quality and penetration.

In the right hands both welding techniques are more than adequate for the majority of fabrication on materials at least 2mm thick.

The MIG is however much easier for the beginner, easier to learn and easier to get decent welds that not only look OK but will be sufficiently strong.

As for gasless well the same applies if in the right hands it can work very well but its not for the beginner. Ask someone who tests people for certificate welding and you will find the failure rate for gasless MIG is very high compared to gas MIG and that is in the hands of experienced trades persons.

Cheers

Justin
 
#12
Use ARC or GAS MIG. They both have their positives and negatives. In the right hands, they both do very good welds. Never use gaseless MIG. In my own experience, Arc is great for outdoors and MIG is good for indoors/no wind outdoors.

The key is to use a good quality unit and also have a lot of spare metal to practice on before touching your project. The first welds you will do is chook poo. Welding takes time and skill, skill you need to learn to do well, penetrate the steel and nice smooth weld. Also you will need to plan your welds, eg. welding up side down along a length is difficult to get right. If welding in a vertical position, weld upwards -- down looks good but does not penetrate.
 
#13
Use ARC or GAS MIG. They both have their positives and negatives. In the right hands, they both do very good welds. Never use gaseless MIG. In my own experience, Arc is great for outdoors and MIG is good for indoors/no wind outdoors.

The key is to use a good quality unit and also have a lot of spare metal to practice on before touching your project.

The only problem with gas is you need to hire the gas bottle if you buy a mig and then would you get future use from it etc etc,unless you hire a mig to do the lot...

Arc welding is fun and once you practice a bit you can get quite good at it without blowing holes in the steel.....:eek::eek:
 
#14
The only problem with gas is you need to hire the gas bottle if you buy a mig and then would you get future use from it etc etc,unless you hire a mig to do the lot...

Arc welding is fun and once you practice a bit you can get quite good at it without blowing holes in the steel.....:eek::eek:
Yeah blowing holes in the steel is fun too! When I first started -- after the chook poo stage -- I thought my weld was going very well, I took the mask off and I blew a hole through the steel and managed to weld the project to the metal table. Come a very long way since though.

With both, I reckon you need to do an intro course or have an experienced person there to show you how it is done -- to get correct speed, penetration, safety and minimize warp. Those stress tests are fun to do.

In terms of safety, it's amazing how those Chinese workers do ARC with a garbage bag and sun glasses. You may as well rub your eyes with 100 grit sand paper.
 
#15
Yeah blowing holes in the steel is fun too! When I first started -- after the chook poo stage -- I thought my weld was going very well, I took the mask off and I blew a hole through the steel and managed to weld the project to the metal table. Come a very long way since though.

With both, I reckon you need to do an intro course or have an experienced person there to show you how it is done -- to get correct speed, penetration, safety and minimize warp. Those stress tests are fun to do.

In terms of safety, it's amazing how those Chinese workers do ARC with a garbage bag and sun glasses. You may as well rub your eyes with 100 grit sand paper.
Ha ha you bring back memories,Even when i was in trade school (carpentry) we had to make a sliding door,like do your frame first etc etc,I was in my early 20;s then and you had 2 young dudes just turned 16 (no brains etc etc)...Anyway it come to put the architrave near the floor on and they used 3" nails to put it on....They were wrapped and the teacher comes over when they reckoned they'd finished and tries to open the sliding door....:eek::eek: They'd put the nails straight through the architrave and the door nailing it up against the inside frame,so no slidey...The whole classed couldn't gather themselves for hours.It was a good laugh..

I was in China just before the Olympics and we were down south in Guilin...They were prettying the place up for the Olympic visitors,although it didn't need it because its a lovely place anyway..A mate and i walk past some workers down near the river,they all had bare feet,using a big angle grinder,no safety specs,hearing plugs,gloves etc etc...Anyway we watch the guy give the off-cut to the mig welder dude that had no safety gear either,apart from his straw hat (it was about 38 degree's) when he was to weld the angle in place he grabbed the mig and used his straw hat too shield from the flash :eek::eek:,We couldn't believe it....And how can you compete with that...

Cheers
 
#16
Gas MIG is great in a windless environment such as a workshop. ARC is great anywhere when you build up your skill with it. An ARC welder is more compact and would be easy to take to a mates place to weld something for him or just drag out into the yard to weld something on your rig. Don't get caught by the cheapest units on the market. There are a lot of good quality ARC welders to be found at an affordable price. I find an inverter unit is the go for what I do. I quite often find myself hanging off a catwalk 10 meters in the air welding upside down and a larger unit is just not practical. The biggest secrets are - Preparation of the area to be welded - Use the right rods - Use quality rods - Make yourself comfortable. It's very hard to get a good weld if you are off balance or shaking.
 

03hilux

4x4 Earth Contributer
#17
I do a lot of welding in my job and agree that a gasless MIG is a waste of time. If you have no experience in welding get someone else to do the job. Gas MIG welders are expensive. An ARC welder is much more affordable and you can buy quite compact units these days. They are a worthwhile addition to any shed. Maybe if you get some instruction in the use of an ARC welder and practice on smaller jobs until you become more proficient.
The reason for my original question is I have a CIG 185? gas/gasless trolley unit, ( set up for gasless atm for rust work on an old car)and my old man is a die hard ARC welding fan. I was talking about making some sliders and rebuilding my trailer, and he got me thinking.
I intend on using the GAS MIG for both, but, as i dont do alot of welding and the old man has been of the tools for 10 years, I wanted to know "modern" advice.
Thanks all for you time and the input.
 
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