Mig, Stick, and TIG Welding 101: A MIG welder is basically a wire feed feed welder (flux core). Most mig welders can be used for both wire feed welding and mig welding. To go from wire feed welding to mig welding simply requires you to get shielding gas.
You buy shielding gas, attach it to your welder, adjust the settings, and now your wire feed flux core welder is a mig welder. Simple as that!
Why would you want MIG over flux core?
They both have their advantages and disadvantages. The MIG welding process allows you to weld more types of metals including stainless steel and aluminum, and the welds look nicer (overall). But since it requires a bottle of shielding gas, it’s not the most portable option. But if you are going to be welding in one location that is no big deal.
Flux core wire welding is good if you are going to weld outdoors because you don’t need the shielding gas. But you are mostly limited to welding mild steel with this procedure.
With that said, MIG welding is the most popular form of welding, overall. Flux core is the most popular form or wire feed welding for complete newbies who want to practice welding or weld baic mild steel projects prior to messing around with shielding gas.
TIG welding is the next step for anyone who is MIG or Wire Feed Welding. It’s more advanced than MIG and Stick welding so you’ll need to develop your skills by practicing. You should at least get a good dvd on the subject of tig welding, and if you can attend a local welding class on TIG, that would be a big benefit.
TIG welding is advantageous for serious welders becauase you can weld lots of different kinds of materials well like aluminum, copper and more.
If your welding projects require tough welds like tube welding and curves (like S curves), then you’ll definitely want to use this procedure at some point, but you can still get away with MIG welidng in these areas as well.
Stick welding has it’s advantages and disadvantages as well. Most newbie welders will consider a wire feed or stick welder before any other type of welder because they are both the easiest entry level welding procedures.
Put simply, stick welding is a good alternative to MIG welding because MIG welding requires the metal to be clean, and the conditions need to be wind-free. On the other hand, stick welding can weld dirty rusty metal in the wind.
Lastly, stick welding is a little bit of a pain because you will need to get a new welding rod constantly was you weld which can become time consuming and frustrating if you have a lot of welding to do. Conversely, MIG wire feed welding has a continuous and automatic wire feed and requires less skill than stick. With that said, stick welding is still fun and isn’t very difficult to learn either.
Which Welder Should You Get?
If you are just starting out get a MIG wire feed welder. It may be the only machine you need for a long time. Maybe forever. But buy a good one. You can also start out with Stick welding because it’s quit easy, however, it requires two hands while MIG welding usually does not.
What Kind Of MIG Welder Should You Buy?
Depending on your budget you should consider buying a good brand name that has a warranty. Do not buy a used MIG welding from someone online. Buy a new one. They are really cheap. Read this article on welders.