Stock Code


Shenzhen Megmeet Welding Technology Co.,Ltd.jpg

Push or Pull Mig Welding: Which One to Choose?

Mig welding is a versatile and popular method of joining metal pieces together. It uses an electric arc and a consumable wire electrode to create a molten pool of metal that fuses the base materials. Mig welding can be done in different ways, depending on the type of metal, the thickness of the joint, the position of the weld, and the desired appearance and strength of the weld.

One of the common questions that mig welders face is whether to push or pull the torch when welding. Pushing means tilting the torch forward and moving it away from the direction of travel. Pulling means tilting the torch backward and dragging it along the direction of travel. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one depends on several factors.

I. Advantages and Disadvantages of Pushing and Pulling

Pushing and pulling mig welding have different effects on the weld pool, the penetration, the bead shape, and the appearance of the weld. Here are some of the pros and cons of each technique:

1) Pushing

  • Pushing creates a flatter and wider weld pool that covers more surface area. This can result in a smoother and more uniform weld bead that looks better aesthetically.

  • Pushing allows better visibility of the weld pool and the direction of travel. This can help to avoid defects such as porosity, undercutting, or lack of fusion.

  • Pushing reduces spatter and slag formation, as the shielding gas covers the weld pool more effectively. This can save time and effort in cleaning the weld after it cools down.

  • Pushing provides less penetration than pulling, as the arc force pushes the molten metal away from the base metal. This can be a disadvantage when welding thick or hard metals that require deep penetration for strength.

  • Pushing is not suitable for flux-cored wire, as it can cause slag inclusions in the weld. Slag is a non-metallic byproduct that forms to protect the weld pool from oxidation, but it can get trapped in the molten metal if pushed forward. This can weaken and damage the weld.

2) Pulling

  • Pulling creates a deeper and narrower weld pool that penetrates more into the base metal. This can result in a stronger and more durable weld that can withstand higher loads and stresses.

  • Pulling produces a higher and narrower weld bead that protrudes from the surface of the metal. This can be a disadvantage when welding flat or outer surfaces that require a smooth finish.

  • Pulling reduces the visibility of the weld pool and the direction of travel, as the torch blocks the view of the welder. This can increase the risk of errors and defects in the weld.

  • Pulling increases spatter and slag formation, as the shielding gas is blown away by the arc force. This can create more mess and require more cleaning after welding.

  • Pulling is ideal for flux-cored wire, as it prevents slag inclusions in the weld. The slag forms behind the weld pool and can be easily removed after welding.

II. How to Choose Between Pushing and Pulling

There is no definitive answer to whether pushing or pulling mig welding is better, as both techniques have their merits and drawbacks. The choice depends on several factors, such as:

  1. The type of metal being welded: Some metals are easier to weld with either pushing or pulling, depending on their composition, melting point, hardness, etc. For example, aluminum is usually welded with pushing, as it has a low melting point and requires more surface coverage. Steel can be welded with either pushing or pulling, depending on the thickness and position of the joint.

  2. The type of wire being used: Solid wire is usually welded with pushing, as it provides better gas coverage and less spatter. The flux-cored wire is usually welded with pulling, as it prevents slag inclusions and provides deeper penetration.

  3. The position of the weld: Flat or horizontal welds give more freedom to choose between pushing or pulling, depending on personal preference and desired outcome. Vertical or overhead welds are usually done with pulling, as it provide better control over gravity and prevents the sagging or dripping of molten metal.

  4. The appearance and strength of the weld: If aesthetics are more important than strength, pushing may be preferred for a smoother and flatter weld bead. If strength is more important than appearance, pulling may be preferred for a deeper and stronger weld.

III. Tips for Better Mig Welding

Regardless of whether you choose to push or pull your mig welding torch, there are some tips that can help you improve your welding skills and results:

  1. Use proper settings for your machine: Adjust your voltage, amperage, wire feed speed, gas flow rate, etc., according to your metal type, thickness, joint design, and wire type. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations or use a chart to find the optimal settings for your welding project.

  2. Use proper technique for your torch: Hold your torch at a consistent angle and distance from the workpiece. Maintain a steady travel speed and direction. Avoid weaving or oscillating your torch too much, as it can cause uneven heat distribution and distortion. Use a push or pull technique that suits your welding situation and preference.

  3. Use proper preparation for your metal: Clean your metal from any dirt, rust, oil, paint, or other contaminants that can affect the quality of your weld. Use a wire brush, grinder, sandpaper, solvent, etc., to remove any impurities from your metal surface. Align and clamp your metal pieces securely to prevent gaps or misalignment in your joint.

  4. Use proper protection for yourself: Wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves, helmet, goggles, apron, etc., to protect yourself from sparks, spatter, heat, radiation, etc. Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling harmful fumes or gases. Follow the safety rules and regulations for your welding environment.

IV. Conclusion

Pushing and pulling mig welding are both valid and effective techniques that can produce quality welds. The choice between them depends on various factors, such as the type of metal, wire, weld position, appearance, and strength. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each technique, you can choose the one that best suits your welding project and preference.

If you want to learn more about MIG welding tips and tricks, you can check out these articles from Megmeet Welding:

  1. MIG Welding Tips From Megmeet: This article provides some useful advice on how to improve your MIG welding skills and avoid common mistakes.

  2. 6 Common MIG Weld Patterns: This article explains the different types of MIG weld patterns that you can use to create various shapes and effects on your weld bead.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new about push or pull mig welding. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us.