MIG VS Stick Welding Strength [Which Is Better?]

MIG VS Stick Welding Strength

Whether you are a new welder or an old one, you are probably in doubt about MIG and stick welding strength. In the case of any welder, it is very difficult to determine which of MIG and stick welding is stronger. Both have some distinct advantages. So it is difficult to diagnose strength differences.

Stick welding works well for thick metal joints. Many people say that stick welding is stronger than MIG welding. MIG welding on the other hand works well for thin metal joints. MIG welding in thin metal gives a better finish and reduces burn-through. Therefore, many people call MIG welding good.

In this article, I will compare the strength of MIG and stick welding. You will know the reasons why one is stronger than the other. Also, all the features of these two types of welding are highlighted. Here you will find details about MIG and stick welding.

12 Factors That Determine Whether Mig Or Stick Welding Is Stronger:

You will see which is stronger between MIG welding and stick welding. Below is a comparative analysis of these two approaches. By reading the described factors, you will be able to decide which one is stronger.

1. Shielding Process:

When you weld, it reacts with air gasses. This reaction is caused by gasses like oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air. Many defects are seen in the workpiece due to the reaction. Different welding processes have different solutions to prevent reactions. 

Now you will see how MIG and stick welding handle the errors. MIG welding is done using different inert gasses. Welding is done on the workpiece by the gas flowing through the welding gun. Here welding is done using inert gas like argon. This type of inert gas performs welding by preventing reactions with air gasses.

Stick welding does not use inert gas. In stick welding, welding is performed using electrodes. The electrode does not react with any gas in the air. So you can see that the shielding process of MIG and stick welding is completely different.

2. Welding In An Adverse Environment:

You will see how MIG and stick welding work in any adverse environment. It is not possible to do welding in the air with a MIG welder. The gas flowing from the MIG gun is blown away by the wind, so it is difficult to create a proper joint.

On the other hand, stick welding can be done despite the flow of air. Stick welding is also useful in outdoor airflow. In this case, you can say that stick welding is ahead of MIG welding. 

However, you can do MIG welding outside using a special flux cord. But rain is a problem for both MIG and stick welding. This can be detrimental to your equipment if you start welding in the rain.

3. Portability

You will notice that shielded gas tanks are used with MIG welders. Also sometimes flux-cord is used. It is very difficult to carry everything from the MIG welded together. On the other hand, stick welding tends to be relatively compact

In this case, a stick welder is more bearable than a MIG welder. You will notice that for this reason stick welders are mostly used for outdoor use. So, you must prioritize stick welding over MIG welding.

4. The Quality Of Weld

The quality of welding depends on different factors. Quality depends on the welder’s experience, the technique used, and the workpiece when welding. So in terms of quality, you can’t put either of these ahead. 

However, stick welding is more effective for thick metal welding. Deep welding of joints can be done by a stick welder. On the other hand, MIG welding is effective for thin metal welding. The workpiece does not need to be cleaned much after MIG welding. But at the end of Stick welding, the workpiece has to be cleaned a little more.

5. Surface Preparation

It is best to clean the workpiece before starting welding. It is not right to have dirt on the joint to get the best joint. When you start welding with a MIG welder, you need to clean the workpiece first. In the case of MIG welding, the joint becomes weak if the joint is not cleaned.

If you are talking about stick welding, it is not important to clean the workpiece. That means you will get a strong joint in stick welding without cleaning the workpiece. In this case, stick welding is one step ahead of MIG welding.

6. Easy To Use

It is uncomfortable for users to operate any machine if it is not easy to use. If you look at MIG welding, you will find that its setting process is a bit complicated. You need to set the amps, current, and polarity correctly. If the setting of MIG welding varies, a bad weld may be created. 

Also, in MIG welding, one has to think about which gas is suitable for the desired workpiece. Stick welding is easy to set up and use. You have to select the electrode for stick welding by looking at the workpiece. You can finish the welding by completing some simple procedures. In this situation, stick welding is better than MIG welding.

7. Behavior In Cast Iron

Cast iron is the best choice for many when it comes to welding. You can do cast iron welding with both MIG and stick welders. It is more convenient to do cast iron welding with a stick welder. The stick welder is capable of doing deep welding joints. 

If you want your strongest joint, do stick welding with cast iron. Although flux cord can be used in MIG welders, it is not as strong as stick welding.

8. Behavior In Aluminum

If you have a Mig welder, then aluminum is perfect for you. If you use a stick welder in aluminum, it is not easy to maintain the electrode. The humidity of the air makes the stick welder’s flux moist, which later becomes sticky.

Aluminum melts quickly so it is not easy for newcomers to use aluminum in stick welding. It is better to use MIG welding in the case of aluminum.

9. Thin Metal Welding

When welding thin metal with a stick welder, the workpiece may leak. The use of electrodes in a stick welder makes it difficult to increase or decrease the level during welding. Inadvertently using a stick welder can cause leaks during thin metal welding. 

In the case of stick welding, the workpiece should be at least 1.25mm. MIG Welding allows you to weld workpieces less than 1.25mm.

10. Thick Metal Welding

Your joint can be much deeper. The workpiece is very thick and sticks welding should be your best choice. If your workpiece is larger than 3.75 mm, you will need to do stick welding to get a strong joint. Strong joints are not found when using MIG welding on thick metals.

11. Security Issues

Safety is very important in any type of welding. You need to take appropriate action while welding. Otherwise, an electric shock or a gas cylinder explosion could lead to a fatal accident. Safety is more important in MIG welding. MIG uses CNG (compressed natural gas).

If this gas cylinder explodes for any reason, it can lead to death. Smoke is also produced in stick welding after the sparks are spread. You need to protect your skin, eyes, and whole body from these. 

12. Comparison Of Cost

If you do not get such feedback compared to your expenses, then there is no ultimate profit. MIG welding costs a lot to set up, such as gas management, welding machines, and many more. The cost of stick welding is much lower than that of MIG welding. If you calculate well, you will understand. Notice the table below.

MIG WeldingTotal CostStick Welding Total Cost 
Lincoln Electric-K2698-1 $860-$880Mini Arc Rogue-ES 180i$780-$800
Yeswelder MIG-205 DS$450-$480Eastwood Arc200i  -Stick Welder$390-$400
Eastwood MIG-180 $600-$650Forney 235 DC/AC Stick Welder$500-$550
(Argon + CO2)                                $2.00 per ft31/8″ stick electrode$175 for a (3 x 10)-pound cans

Related Questions About MIG And Stick Welding Strength

Is Gas-Free MIG Welding Stronger Than Sticks?

You can do MIG welding without gas. This process of MIG welding is suitable for both thin and thick metal. This process is semi-automatic, so it can be welded faster than a stick. One thing to keep in mind is that this gas-free MIG welding setup is quite expensive. If you do not set up well, MIG welding downtime is likely to happen.

Is Dual Shield Flux Core Equivalent To MIG Stick Weld?

As this dual shielded flux core works like stick welding, you could say it is equivalent to MIG stick weld. The dual shield can form slag and act as a stick welder. The beads of the dual shield are wide.

A dual shield works well with steel. You already have enough experience in stick welding. Welding will be easier for you with MIG Welding’s dual shield.

Which Of MIG Welding And Stick Welding Should You Learn First?

When I did the practicals in class, I started with the first stick welding. The first reason teachers teach stick welding is that if I can do it, other welding methods will become easier. I think most organizations teach stick welding first. 

Stick welding is a little harder than MIG welding. Stick welding is a very old method. Many people now learn MIG welding first. MIG welding is easy to learn. It is currently the most popular method of learning.

When Is MIG Welding Not As Strong As Stick Welding?

If you do MIG welding much deeper joints, it will not be as strong as stick welding. Although the strength obtained is similar to that of stick welding, the joint tends to weaken over time. If you do MIG welding on a rough surface, the strength of this joint will not be like stick welding. 

So, the workpiece has to be thoroughly cleaned before MIG welding. You can do it without sticking to the stick welding. However, with MIG welding, you can use dual shields for deep joint welding.

There are many ways to work with stick welding. You can use stick welders indoors or in remote areas. You can do this welding in any tight place without losing the welding power. You can also use a stick welder outside in heavy winds or on a rainy day.

When Is MIG Welding A Better Choice Than Stick Welding?

MIG weld is best for thin metal welding. You can start welding by finishing the setting as required. Using stick welds in a thin metal can cause burns. Stick welding has problems with re-welding with a half-burned electrode. But, you do not face this problem in MIG welding. 

To do MIG welding just press the trigger and do the welding. MIG welding is a good choice for aluminum welding. Although you can use a stick welder to do aluminum welding, you will not get the same benefits as a MIG welder.

When welding with a stick welder you get a clean surface. So MIG welding is a good choice for beauty enhancement work. No matter what welding it is, you must do a lot of practice to perform well.

Is Stick Welding Harder Than The MIG Welding Process?

Stick welding is indeed a little harder than MIG. But remember, the setting process of stick welding is easier than MIG welding. Welding is very easy once MIG welding is well set up. Stick welding is perfect for any place.

MIG welders are difficult to carry as there are many more tools including gas cylinders. All in all, I can say that the MIG welding process is relatively simpler than stick welding.

Final Verdict:

You have realized that MIG and stick welding strength. Each welding method is better in different situations. I mean this choice will depend on your type of welding, the environment, and the thickness of the workpiece. 

If you want to do thin metal welding, MIG welding is best for you. And if you want to do thick metal welding, stick welding is a good choice. I think stick welding is best for welding in an adverse environment outside. If you do not have an option, you can do welding with the welder that you have.

Kaosar Ahmed

This is Kaosar Ahmed. I’m the main publisher of this blog. Welding Leader is a blog where I share welding tips and tricks, reviews, and guides. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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