How to Use a MIG Welder | A Beginner-Friendly Guide

How to Use a MIG WelderFrom auto shops to home repair, you can see the various usage of MIG welders to add that additional touch of professionalism to various works. The practical application makes it a very convenient tool for many sectors. Also, the application is considered super safe for anyone from beginners to experts. Of course, some basic safety precautions are necessary to be taken into account.

Mind that MIG welding will create a generous amount of heat and harmful lights. And so, you should know a safe and sound method of how to use a mig welder. Today, we’ll basically talk on that!

Necessary Safety Precautions, How to Use & Proper Usage Manner

Depending on where and how you will be using it, get the Best MIG welder for the job. Your equipment selection phase needs to be sensible and matching work requirements precisely.

After that, you can use the following safety precautions, usage guide, and the right ethics to make it work properly. And to answer how to use a mig welder for beginners, I must keep these three parts involved.

Safety Precautions

How to weld using a mig welder without being driven to danger, that’s the first thing you should be worrying about.

Here are some quick tips to go through before using the tool. Beginners, do take notes seriously!

  • Similar to sun’s effect on your skin and eyes, the light from welding can be dangerous. So, you must get a good mask or eye protection for this. Usually, I like to use an auto-darkening mask for welding. These are undoubtedly one of the finest protection investments to go for. Especially if metal wielding will be around the corner often.
  • There’s a risk of molten metal splattering off while welding. And so, you must wear good gloves and leather to protect yourself.
  • Don’t wear clothes from the plastic fiber. Such as rayon or polyester. These are prone to melting when in contact with molten metal. And so, there’s a chance of burning yourself. Wear leathers for best result. If that’s not available then wear cotton fabric clothes.
  • For your toes, make sure to wear leather shoes or boots. Don’t come with open toed shoes or synthetic ones. Especially the ones that have mesh over the toe’s top area. There’s a chance of heated metal falling on it and that can cause holes.
  • You should always weld in an open space. There should be enough ventilation. There’s going to be a huge number of dangerous fumes. Wearing a mask or respirator will give you protection for long time welding.
  • Zinc coating is dangerous stuff that may create poisonous gas and carcinogenic. And so, you must avoid galvanized steel for welding. Since these materials come with such coatings. This is very risky and you should not take it less seriously.
  • There should be no paper, plastic bag or sawdust around the place of welding. There’s a good chance of molten metal traveling several feet. And those sparks can create worse fire situations. So, avoid such accidents by clearing the place earlier.

How to Use a MIG Welder for Beginners: Step by Step Guide

Here’s the step by step guide on how you should be using this tool. Once you are done taking safety precautions, just jump right into this process.

Preparing the Surface of Work Pieces

Before starting welding, you should make sure the surface of metal is clean enough. So, you need to prepare the metal well. Clean it by nicely smoothening its edges. You want to do this for both metal pieces that need to be connected. And that way, you will have lesser surface imperfections. So, effective welding will be possible for both pieces.

When using thick sheet metal, the beveling joint is a good idea. So that deep penetration of weld is possible into the base metal. And it works every time. The case of butt joints is a good case example of such needs.

The Machine Set-Up Phase

After preparing the surface, it’s time to give some attention to the equipment. You need to set it up well. Start by having a look at all cable connections. The polarity of your welder needs to be set with DC electrode positive form. It’s also known as DCEP.

Now simply set up the gas flow appropriately. Go for a gas flow rate of 20 to 25 cube feet per hour. That’s usually the most common rate for applications. The hose should be free from any sort of leaks. If you believe that’s not the case, then use soapy water. You can apply it all over the connections and hose. If you see there are noticeable bubbles then it means the leak is existing. Make sure to repair that before trying welding.

On wire spool tub or drive rolls, you should observe tension. The manual should have the right information for tension settings. You should also have a look at wires, hinges, contact tips, and similar consumables. There should be no wear and tear signs over these parts. If there are then you should replace them. Also, check for rust in the electrode wire. Make sure to change that as well if rust is existing.

Practicing MIG Welding Techniques

It’s important to practice the MIG welding techniques first. There are quite a few types. You can try several of them and finalize the right method for your tasks. Find a method that feels comfortable to you.Moving the welding gun involves two ways basically.

The pushing or forehand technique is a method that MIG Welders prefer most of the time. To apply the method, you should be holding your welding gun at a 10-degree angle. Do this with the electrode and it should be positing toward weld direction. Gently push the gun while pressing and holding the trigger. While you are welding, you can have a clear view of the joint. And that’s one pro advantage of this technique.

Another technique is known as a backhand or pulling method. Here you should not be pushing the gun forward. Instead, you’ll be pulling it in the backward direction. The angle is similar to the pushing method. By using this way, you won’t be able to view the joint. And that could be a negative point for the method. However, the penetration is fantastic with this method. And that’s what you get by compromising the view.

Before incorporating various weld beads, you should practice both of these methods. Usually, the stringer bead is used here. For creating thin welds, there’s a straight line. There are two other cursive techniques as well. The E and V technique.

In the E method, you need to make tiny circles that are linking together. For dense materials, this is a good technique. On the other hand, for vertical and overhead welds, the V technique is better preferred. It helps to make saw-toothed and zigzag patterns.

Try on Your Actual Work Piece

And finally, now that you are well knowledgeable about using various welding techniques, bring the actual workpieces. You can now begin your welding project.

how to use a mig welder for beginners

Ethics of Good MIG Welding

Becoming a pro at welding will not be the case for someone who just knows usage process. They need to practice a few tips and tricks as well. These are something most pros will utilize to get the best outcome out of MIG welding. And now I’ll be sharing a few.

There’s a need to learn about grip stabilizing. You should be able to control the welding gun without trembling or shaking, or else, get ready to meet a displeasing end result after every session of MIG welding. While guiding the tip, you should try to stay relax and calm.

The last thing you want to go for is keeping the MIG welder stuck with debris and particles inside. And that’s one primary reason for welding failures. So, don’t forget to get rid of all those nasty oils, paint, dirt and rust out. There should be no surface contaminants remaining while welding.

The most serious crime that people get into while MIG welding is not ensuring a good ground. Every perfect MIG melding behind story holds a smooth electric current flow. And the least resistance path is what electricity forever follows.  For the very reason, without placing ground clamp nearby electric arc will result in misleading the current to choose another route that is closer.

The shielding gas needs to save arc. And that becomes quite impossible for a welding gun that has too long electrode wire sticking out from the tip. The sticking out portion should never be more than 3/8 inch.

Using a 0.35-inch drive roll for a 0.30 wire will never work. And that’s because you should always match every component for your welder with wire you’ll be using. This is also true for cable liner and contact tips.


That’s pretty much everything about how to use a mig welder. For a novice user, this should be enough. Just remember one important point when using the mig welder. Sometimes because of high voltage, the machine might make a very hiss type of voice. Also because of low voltage, the sound could be more on the raspy and loud side. A cracking sound should be an indication for you to immediately check the amperage setting. It might be too high.

Before trying any serious welding project, don’t forget to nail these techniques and instructions well. Surely, It’s Going to Be So Much Easier After You Patiently Practice for Some While!

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