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The 3 Most Essential Arc Welding Techniques – A Beginner’s Guide

Like all great craftsmen in different fields of expertise, starting off as a welder can be quite a daunting task. The practice requires a level of proficiency in mathematics (e.g. geometry and spatial reasoning), precise hand-eye coordination, and an understanding of the properties of various metals and alloys. All these can take at least a year or two of studying and hands-on training just to get a proper grasp of, and it’s mainly the reason why most people prefer to hire welding contractors instead whenever they need professional work done. But for those who still want to pick up the hobby or apply for a job that requires experience of it, Topweld General Engineering – a proverbial company that provides metal fabrication in NSW – has a few pieces of knowledge they wish to share.

Now it would be unreasonable to compress several courses in the fundamentals of geometry, physics, and applied chemistry all in one article; those are best left in the hands of licensed instructors in educational institutions. What the company can provide is an overview of three of the essential arc welding techniques that they should familiarize themselves with before they dive deeper into the art of metal fabrication, welding, repair, and modification.

What is Arc Welding?

Any technique in welding that involves using the heat generated by an electrical arc to melt the base and filler metals into a weld pool falls under arc welding. It is by far the most widely-used method of welding for both hobbyists and industrial welders like those in Topweld.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Stick Welding)

Popular amongst those that prefer to do their welding outdoors or are running on a tight budget, stick welding is known for its compact design. This technique uses a special consumable stick of electrode that is generally made up of the filler metal coated with flux. During the welding process, the filler metal melts into the weld pool, fusing the joints together. The flux coating also disintegrates, producing a gas that protects the weld pool from elements present in the atmosphere which may cause a chemical reaction with the molten metal. Ultimately, the stick accomplishes three tasks in one, which makes it one of the easiest techniques to pick up as a beginner. It is also compatible with stainless steel welding, and other steel-based alloys commonly used in most structural fabrications, pipe and tube welding in New South Wales, and even underwater welding (using heavily insulated sticks). One drawback, however, is that it is not recommended to use this technique when working with sheet metal or projects that require clean and precise welds.

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding

MIG welding applies the same concept of a consumable electrode that also acts as the filler metal, but instead of a stick, this technique uses a wire electrode that is automatically fed through the weld gun using a machine. The protective gas also comes out of a separate gas nozzle instead of being the byproduct of the combustion of a flux. MIG welding is well-known by weld experts as the easiest and fastest welding technique available, having been developed with portability and ease of use in mind. It is ideal for large metal fabrications that require long, drawn-out strokes. Although it is not as effective outdoors as stick welding, it can do Aluminum welding with a greater degree of cleanliness and efficiency, as observed in the Aluminum fabrication work in NSW done by Topweld.

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding

Arguably the most difficult of the three to master, TIG welding ditches the idea of a consumable electrode in favor of one that is made with the titular element, Tungsten. This type of electrode does not melt during the welding process, so the welder instead needs to apply the filler metal manually onto the weld pool. Of course, this may sound tedious to the inexperienced, but the greater control provided by this technique makes it the best choice when precision and careful welds matter much more than speed and portability. It is also ideal when working with thin materials, or those that require secure welds like with steam pipe installation. Mastering it is truly a skill that all welders need to master, as this is a good indication of an experienced metalworker.


With enough practice and the right education, anybody can become a master welder – or at the very least, a very competent one. Welding is a useful skill that will come in handy regardless if someone wishes to make a living out of it, so it is highly encouraged to give it a try. However, there will always be those that are prepared to take on work when it gets too complicated. One such example is Topweld General Engineering, which is the premier choice for Aluminum and Stainless Steel services in Griffith.

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Company Name: Topweld General Engineering Pty Ltd
Email: Send Email
Phone: +61 401 185 953
Address:Unit 19 16-24 Whybrow Street
City: Griffith
State: NSW
Country: Australia