Stick Weld vs Mig – Mig Welder Cart

Choosing the Best Mig Welder

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Stick Weld vs Mig — Which is Better?

Stick Weld vs Mig

Everyone understands the significance of using appropriate equipment. The method you use when welding is just as crucial as your equipment. It’s like attempting to cut a 2×4 with a screwdriver if you use the improper welding technique. Could you have a good go at it?

There is a lot to think about before diving headfirst into welding if you’re a beginner. Different metals will need additional procedures or materials, and some ways are significantly better suitable to particular purposes than others. So what criteria should be used to choose the best approach to take? That’s why this article is so helpful.

Stick and MIG welding are now the two most often used welding methods. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to every procedure. Using the correct method may save a lot of hassle and wasted time.

Learning the ins and outs of each method will help you choose which one will serve your needs best in a specific scenario. For your convenience, let’s examine the differences between these three options.

Stick Welding

If you’ve been welding for any time, you’ve probably learned how to use an arc welder. It requires using a charged metal stick to produce a very hot arc. Then, metal joints are welded using an electric current that runs through a space between the welding stick and the metal.

Stick welding has been the standard and preferred technique of welding.

Stick Weld vs Mig

Welding in this fashion is the method of choice for most electricians and small-scale welders who work out of their homes. Considered a reliable technique, it can successfully weld almost any metal or metal alloy and any joint.

Stick welding may be done in tight quarters or the open air. Stick welding, the cheapest welding technique, can create strong welds on rusted or unclean metals.

Stick welding, too, has its drawbacks. It produces an arc so intense that it may raise the temperature of the metal to extreme levels. In practice, stick welding is impractical for metal thinner than 18 gauges. Stick welding need frequent rod changes for the same reason. In addition, large amounts of spatter are produced, necessitating post-weld cleanup.

Stick welding is also more challenging to understand and operate for a beginner. Striking and maintaining an arc is a particularly tough skill, but it makes everything else much simpler once mastered.

Stick welders may run on either alternating or direct current (AC) or both AC and DC (DC). Costs are reduced using an AC input welder. Thicker metals, those measuring 1/16 inch or more in width, need these welders.

DIYers, handypersons, and farmers may all benefit from using a stick welder for everyday household repairs like fence or barbecue joints.

Advantages Of Stick Welding

  • Even if the spot you want to weld is painted or corroded, you may still use a stick welder.
  • A ground clamp may be attached for metal that has to be held at a distance from the welding area. Stick welding produces a sizable arc immune to environmental factors like wind and temperature.
  • Modifying or replacing rods for welding cast metals, stainless steel, etc., is a breeze. Delivers reliable welding performance in any setting.
  • By switching the electrode’s polarity, welders using direct current (d/c) may lessen the likelihood of burn-through while working with thinner metals.

Disadvantages Of Stick Welding

  • After a stick weld is completed, a slag layer is left behind. The slag must be chipped or scraped away to prepare welds for painting or further welding.
  • Stick welding produces spatter as a byproduct. However, stick welding using a Direct Current (DC) has less spatter than AC welding.
  • Inevitably, the welding operation will be halted while you change the rod.
  • Fusing metal thinner than 1/8 inch with a stick welder is challenging. 

MIG Welding (Metal Inert Gas)

Automatically and consistently, MIG welders feed in a wire welding electrode produced on a spool. An arc is created when electricity moves between the base metal and the wire. The junction is formed when the wire and the metal’s base melt from the impact of the electric current. There is virtually minimal maintenance required for the weld produced by this method.

MIG welding is less time-consuming and more manageable in terms of cleanup. The tool is versatile enough to be used on metal sheets of varying thicknesses. Welding with MIG is easy to learn and master; you only need a week or two of practice.

Shielding gas selection and welding machine parameter setup are two of the most challenging components of MIG welding. Once they are taken care of, the method is sometimes referred to as the “hot glue gun of welding” since it is essentially a “point and shoot.”

Strong welds may be fabricated using this method, and they don’t even need much post-weld cleanup, such as sanding or cleaning. Applying a shielding gas makes welding easier by allowing the welder to create an arc at a consistent pace. MIG welders can weld materials as thin as 26 gauge, making them ideal for intricate, accurate welding projects.

Stick Weld Vs Mig

There are certain drawbacks to MIG welding. To begin with, welding generates a lot of fumes, making it challenging to utilize the equipment outside. However, the MIG welder is versatile enough to cope with any metal. Still, various materials need for different spool wires and gases.

The user of a MIG machine must also be familiar with the many settings that may be adjusted according to the task at hand. One solution is to use a device with an automatic setting mechanism, which may save a lot of time.

To acquire the finest results from MIG welding, it is also vital to do so on a clean metal surface. To prepare a surface for welding, a welder will first scrape away any loose paint, rust, or other debris.

Advantages Of MIG Welding

  • Since MIG welding is so accurate, it may join metals as thin as 24 gauge (0.0239′′).
  • The welds made using MIG welding are very clean, smooth, slag-free, and almost spatter-free.
  • Due to the use of a spool, MIG welding may continue even when the stick rod has to be replaced.
  • There is little difficulty in mastering and using MIG welding. Even a novice may become proficient in MIG welding in only a few short weeks.
  • It’s perfect for making elaborate welding patterns.
  • MIG welding is often regarded as the most efficient method because of the high welding rates it allows.
  • The MIG welding apparatus may also be used for flux-cored welding.

Disadvantages Of MIG Welding

  • Thoroughly cleaning the metal surface is required. Weak, porous welds may arise from even a trace quantity of rust, paint, or contaminants.
  • Ground clamps should be set up on bare metal and close to the welding area.
  • Disturbing the shielding gases, such as with wind or a fan, might result in porous, weak welds.
  • The inert gas used for MIG welding must be stored in pressurized bottles, making it inconvenient for usage in the field.
  • While welding various metals does not need frequent stick replacement, the entire spool of wire must be swapped out. 

What’s The Difference Between MIG And Stick Welding?

While MIG and Stick welding can produce excellent welds, they have unique setups, advantages, disadvantages, and uses. Nevertheless, most people find MIG welding the most straightforward torch technique to master.

And although Stick welding may also be a rapid study, it’s more challenging to master. Stick welding, the original arc welding, has been in use since the 1930s and is still the preferred method for many seasoned professionals.

Quality And Quantity

High-quality welds may be made using either MIG or Stick welding systems; however, the kind of metal dramatically affects the performance of the welding equipment. MIG welding is preferable for joining thinner metals because it produces a cleaner weld and is more robust. The Stick’s efficiency is maximized on metals thicker than 3/8 inch.

The MIG gun’s user-friendliness also allows for high output with little maintenance. Because of this, it finds widespread use in the fabrication industry. In addition, it is the tool of choice for automated welding processes.
Stick welding is slower than MIG welding because of the lengthier warm-up time required when turning on the gun and the more significant downtime needed while switching electrodes.


Regarding cleaning and cleanup, MIG and Stick welders offer contrasting advantages and disadvantages, with one needing more effort before the weld and the other after. Because a Stick welder can create a strong connection on a dirty or rusty surface, cleaning the workpiece that is needed with a MIG setup is unnecessary.

Stick welding, on the other hand, involves using electrodes coated with flux, leading to spatter that must be chipped away once the weld has cooled. However, with MIG, the shielding gas does double duty by protecting the weld as it cools and clearing the area of any spatter. In the end, there will be far less mess to clean up.


Welding outdoors, in windy situations, or other places where the MIG setup’s shielding gas would be affected is much easier using a Stick welder.

It’s not like the MIG welder, which is limited in where it may be used because of the length of its cord; instead, it can be rolled to the spot. The ability to adjust the nozzle angle on a Stick welder is helpful for welding in confined spaces or at unusual angles.

Maintenance And Cost

Stick welding is one of the least costly welding methods. In contrast, MIG welding is more expensive because of the many consumables it requires (and the downtime needed to change them.)

However, the ability to do long welds using a MIG gun and a continually fed wire may help to offset the price. A stick welder requires no consumables beyond the electrode. However, the lifespan of a weld is limited by the electrode’s lifespan.

Which Is Better? Is It Better to Use Stick Welding or MIG Welding?

There is no optimal solution available. Due to their peculiarities, stick welding and MIG welding have their applications.

Due to its low cost and low barrier to entry, stick welding is ideal for novice welders. In addition, stick welding is a viable choice if you aren’t concerned with a pristine appearance and are ready to spend time cleaning and sanding the bead afterward.

Compared to Stick welding, MIG welding is far quicker, more efficient, and less polluting. But MIG machines are often more costly, harder to set up and understand, and less common. For the more experienced and frequent hobby welder, or the professional welder searching for freelance work, a MIG machine is the preferable alternative.

Mehedi Hasan

M Hasan

I’m a professional welder and a writer at heart, so I wanted to share the welding expertise I’ve gathered over the years. In addition, I hope our posts motivate others to start welding. I have well-researched. I promise you’ll find honest advice on choosing the best MIG welder here-