MIG Welding Machine: How to choose the best one in 2021?
Welding is a process present in various objects and devices of our day to day. Whether you are a professional in the field or simply someone who eventually does household repairs, understanding this activity is important. Today, we will talk about a very useful tool: the MIG welding machine.
Welding is the process responsible for joining materials permanently. To do this, it is necessary to generate enough heat to melt the parts to be joined. With a MIG welding machine, you can do it at home or professionally. And in this article, we will tell you everything you need to choose the best tool!
First, the most important
- Welding is a very important process in the modern world and can be done by several processes. Currently, MIG (Metal Inert Gas) is one of the most used.
- When handling a MIG welding machine, do not forget about protective equipment. Your safety must always come first.
- The main advantages of the MIG welding machine are the speed with which it produces the weld and the practicality of reaching difficult places and being portable. It does not give a final finish as good as some other tools.
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The best MIG welding machines: Our recommendations
In order to carry out a process such as welding, which needs to be done well and can be dangerous, it is necessary to have a high quality tool. Therefore, we have selected some of the best MIG welding machines available on the market:
- The most traditional model
- The machine that comes with important items
- Recommended for professionals
An important tool like the MIG welding machine needs to be chosen well. But how to buy the ideal? What are the differences of this equipment to the others? What are its advantages and disadvantages? How to make the perfect use of it?
Sit down and get ready to read our Buying Guide calmly, where we will delve into these issues!
What is a MIG welding machine?
If you need to join two parts, one or both of them metallic, the welding machine is the best solution. From the heat, it will fuse permanently.
Since the welding process was discovered by mankind, many techniques have been developed to try to facilitate the process and make it safer and more accessible. The MIG is one of the most used today because it approaches perfection.
The acronym MIG stands for “Metal Inert Gas”. Its main component is an electric arc, which generates the heat necessary for the fusion process. A consumable metal, the wire, is responsible for the union between the pieces. And the gas, which must be inert, such as argon or helium, serves as a protection system.
The MIG process is recommended mainly for welding non-ferrous materials, especially aluminum, copper and bronze.
Did you know that the electric arc was the necessary invention to improve the welding process? He is responsible for producing all the heat that radiates and manages to melt metals that require extremely high temperatures.
The electric arc was first cited in 1801, by Sir Humphry Davy, in a philosophy publication. Since then, its improvement has been increasing. But nature is the one who produces the best example: There is no arc as perfect as … the rays!
What are the advantages of the MIG welding machine?
The MIG welding machine has several advantages. It allows the welding process to be carried out in any position, making it difficult to reach places.
Your equipment is smaller and lighter, which helps with transportation. The combination of these two factors shows why the MIG is such a popular welding model: practicality, accessibility and ease of movement make the process much easier.
In addition, the speed is higher, there is no need for finishing and there is a good range of materials that can be welded with a MIG machine. This also makes it preferred for large-scale industrial processes.
Other welding processes are more suitable for ferrous materials. They also have the advantage of making the final result of the weld more professional and easier to maintain.
Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of the MIG welding machine
What are the differences between the MIG welding machine and the others?
Welding processes are many. MIG is one of the most popular, but we can mention countless other names: MMA, inverter machines and oxygen, for example. But the type that competes for market space with MIG is TIG.
TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas and, as its name says, instead of melting through a consumable metal that is melted and serves as “glue”, it does so through tungsten, a chemical element rarely found in nature.
TIG welding is difficult to operate and should only be done by professionals. It requires experience and skill.
The main difference between the two processes lies in the need for the result: the MIG weld is recommended for when a simple weld is needed, or for speed and agility. TIG, in turn, is used when there is a demand for beauty and perfection in the union between the pieces.
The following is a table comparing the two types:
How does a MIG welding machine work?
It is essential to use all protective equipment when handling a MIG welding machine.
The first fundamental thing when handling a MIG welding machine is to wear all protective equipment: Goggles or welding mask , gloves, apron or jacket and ear protectors are the most important. Have a fire extinguisher close by.
To start welding parts with a MIG welding machine, you need to adjust the current and voltage, adjust the gas tank, prepare the wire roll and position the objects to be melted in an ideal way.
As the whole process can be better understood on video, we selected one that perfectly explains the process, from the Dutra Máquinas channel:
How does MIG welding without gas work?
Despite contradicting the machine’s own name, MIG welding without gas has also seen its popularity increase in recent years.
There is no protective gas in the consumable metal. The cost is much lower, both for the equipment and for not needing a cylinder. But the disadvantages are also several.
Because there is no shielding gas, the quality of the weld is much lower. It is practically impossible to have a good quality finish. And, in addition, the process control is negligible with the trigger serving only to regulate the advance of the consumable metal.
See the advantages and disadvantages of MIG welding without gas:
How much does it cost and where to buy a MIG welding machine?
Some MIG welding machines are made for use in simple repairs or craft processes, others for large scale industries and productions. This is reflected in price variations: we find models from R $ 400 to R $ 14,000. It all depends on how you use the tool!
Shops specializing in tools and other household and construction items are the best places to buy a MIG welding machine. If you prefer internet shopping, we recommend Amazon. Also check out Amazon.
Purchase Criteria: How to Compare MIG Welding Machines
Now that you know the reasons for buying a MIG welding machine, let’s help you choose the perfect model. For that, we selected some questions:
- Work Cycle
- Extra items
Next, we’ll go into detail about each one!
A MIG welding machine works with extreme heat to perform its function. To avoid overheating, you need to stay off for a considerable time in order to recover.
But what is the ideal ratio between functioning and inactivity? This is expressed by the duty cycle. For example, a machine that runs 60% at a current of 55 A, needs to be turned off for 4 minutes every 6 hours of use if used at that current.
If the value is 30% @ 100 A and you regulate this current, use it for three minutes and switch it off for seven. Read the duty cycle instructions, make the correct adjustments and avoid accidents!
The power is directly related to the electric current selected for the use of the welding machine. The higher it is, the more speed it will apply to the job, but it will also ask for a decrease in the cycle, spending more time off.
The ideal for large-scale production is to find a model that can operate at greater power without reducing the duty cycle. If you are going to do only home repairs or quick use of the equipment, this is not so important.
We mentioned that one of the main advantages of the MIG welding machine is its portability and practicality to reach difficult places and to be taken to remote areas.
Pay attention to the dimensions and weight specifications!
So choose a model that highlights this positive feature. The more compact and the less heavy it is, the more it will be helping your chance of reaching difficult places! Pay attention to the dimensions and weight specifications!
When buying a MIG welding machine, make sure it has extra items that can make your job easier and even increase its cost-benefit. Among the main ones, we can mention protective equipment and accessories such as wire rolls and nozzles.
Thus, in addition to the fact that you do not need to make new purchases for such equipment, you will probably also have a discount because they are already included in the price of the machine!
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