Is Stick Welding better than MIG Welding [Ultimate Guide]

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Nowadays, welding has modernized in a very effective way. In electrical technology, new methods are introducing, such as TIG, MIG, wire, and stick welding. But out of these, stick welding and MIG welding are used mainly by the welders. It can be confusing for new and professional welders to choose which type of welding to use.

In case you’re unsure of the difference between these two types. This article will solve your confusion about is stick welding and MIG welding. Through this article, you will get all the differences like pros and cons, applications of welding. Also, this information will help you with the best choice for your welding profession.

What is Stick Welding?

Stick welding is the most popular and cost-efficient type of welding. Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is the official name for stick welding. This welding is commonly used by beginners, home shop welders, and electricians. Stick welding involves using a stick to weld. The electrode starts melting with metal and forms a weld fool. Stick welding can join even rusty or dirty metals. Its uses on indoor and outdoor surfaces. Stick welding is versatile and welds all metal alloys and joints. The shielding gas is not required for this welding. 

Stick welding is time-efficient as the welder won’t spend much time on welding. The steps for stick welding are not very difficult. It includes current supply through the electrode and producing electric arc to melt and form the joint. Stick welding has great portability and uses to weld heavy equipment. Also, stick welding uses in fields like pipeline industries, construction, etc. 

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Pros of stick welding

  • The required welding equipment is not very expensive and cost-efficient.
  • No need to apply shielding gas, which saves money. 
  • Most effectively used indoor and outdoor in any season.
  • Changing the welding rod is very easy for the welder. 
  • Stick welding is less sensitive to corrosion and weld rusting metals also. 
  • Stick welding is very versatile as a welder can carry different metal rods.
  • It requires very little time to set up, which saves time.

Cons of stick welding

  • The arc of stick welding produces lots of spark than MIG welding.
  • Every stick weld produces a by-product called slag, which is fire hazardous. 
  • Stick welding is more complex; it requires a skilled welder. 
  • Stick welding burns easily the thin sheets and is very difficult to weld.
  • Every time the stick welding requires to replace more frequently electrode rods.
  • Stick welding is slow as compared to other types of welding.

What is MIG Welding?

MIG is the abbreviation of Metal Inert Gas and is also known as gas metal arc welding (GMAW). Mig welding is very easy to learn for beginners, and practising welders become masters. This works on “hot glue gun” as welds with metal electrodes and arc. In the Mig welding process, welders use a welding tools like spool gun, which spools electrodes with a wire through the unit. The arc produced from the gun formed the surface between the metals. The electrode melted at a high temperature and made contact with the metal workpiece. This included a weld pool between metals. 

Mig welding requires shielding gas in the welding process. It protects the weld pool from the atmospheric elements. Mig welding is popularly known for the creation of high strengths welds. It is very time efficient because electrodes and metal connect automatically through the welder. Mig welding uses on any metal surface and no matter the thin size. 

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Pros of MIG Welding

  • Mig welding requires shield gas, which protects arc from elements present in the atmosphere.
  • Weld strength of the MIG welding is very high quality.
  • In MIG welding, no slag produces because the flux is not used.
  • Mig welding is very easy to learn as compared to other welding types. 
  • Mig welding is very versatile and welds metals and alloys.
  • In MIG welding, the fire keeps continuously fed, which gives faster welding speed.

Cons of MIG Welding

  • Equipment used in MIG welding is costly.
  • Mig welding is not suitable for outdoor as shield gas protects the purity of arc.
  • The cooling rate in MIG welding is fast due to this slag aren’t covered metal completely.

MIG vs Stick Welding: Key Differences

To know the differences between MIG and stick welding, the key points are given:

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Simple to use

Mig welding is easy to learn than stick-wielding. Stick welding is slightly hard to operate as welders have to strike arc manually. In contrast, MIG welding works automatically. 


Equipment used in MIG welding is more expensive than stick welding. 

Weld Strengths

Stick welding produces slag as a byproduct due to this weld quality is low. But in MIG welding, weld strengths are high. 


Stick welding use indoor and outdoor with all kinds of rusty metals. MIG welding use only indoors because of shield gas.

What’s better? Stick Welding or MIG Welding?

You are now asking yourself the following question. Is stick welding a better choice than MIG welding?So answer is both types of welding have their advantages and disadvantages. Every type of welding has its parameters to define them. In terms of quality and materials, MIG welding is best for thin metals. For thick metals, stick welding is useful. MIG equipment is very hard to learn and use and very expensive to buy. But stick welding equipment are great for the beginner welder. As it is very easy to learn and equipment is not very costly. MIG welding is faster than stick welding and more efficient. MIG welding is a great choice for a skilled welder, while stick welding is for a new welder. 

Final Words

Every type of welding has its pros and cons. Many important parameters decide which type of welding machine is best. Each type has different techniques to use, joined different sizes of metals and strengths of welds. Based on their application and performance, welders choose the best for them. 

Both types of welding are very popular and commonly used by welders. MIG welding gives you smooth finishing and high weld strengths. In contrast, stick welding provides welding for thick metals. From the above comparisons, your doubt about is stick welding better than MIG welding, hope clear now. While selecting perfect, compare both with the above points.

Sophie Turner
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