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GMAW vs GTAW – What’s the Difference


If you’re a welder, you’ve probably heard the terms “GMAW” and “GTAW” tossed around. But what do these acronyms mean? In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) and GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding), two popular welding processes used in metalworking.

Understanding GMAW Processes

In GMAW welding, a continuous feed of wire is used to create an electric arc between the tip of the wire and the metal surface. This arc produces heat that melts the wire and the metal surface, allowing them to bond together. The process is known as “short-circuit” welding because it uses short bursts of current to transfer energy from the electrode to the base material. This type of welding is often referred to as MIG (Metal Inert Gas) or MAG (Metal Active Gas) welding, depending on the types of gases used for shielding.

GMAW is a popular choice for many welders due to its speed and simplicity; however, it can be challenging to control due to its high temperatures. It’s also important to remember that GMAW requires some degree of pre-cleaning before work can begin. Before beginning work, any rust or other contaminants must be removed from the welded surfaces.

Understanding GTAW Processes

In contrast, GTAW welding uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode instead of a continuous feed wire. When heat is applied, the tungsten electrode creates an arc between itself and the metal surface; this arc then melts both characters together, forming a bond. GTAW welding is often referred to as TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) or TAG (Tungsten Active Gas) welding, depending on what gases are used for shielding purposes. Unlike GMAW processes, GTAWs require very little pre-cleaning before work begins; they also offer greater control over the temperature than GMAWs do, thanks to their lower current settings and adjustable amperage levels. However, they tend to take longer than GMAWs due to their slower process speeds.

Difference Between GMAW and GTAW

GMAW, or gas metal arc welding, is a type of welding that uses an electric arc to heat the metal being welded. GTAW, or gas tungsten arc welding, is a similar process but uses a tungsten electrode instead of an electric arc. Both processes can be used to weld various metals, including aluminium, stainless steel, and carbon steel.

Advantages of GMAW

One advantage of GMAW over GTAW is that it is generally faster, as the electrode can be replaced infrequently. Additionally, GMAW is typically easier to learn than GTAW, as it requires less precision. Finally, GMAW is less likely to cause warping or distortion in the welded metal.

Advantages of GTAW

One advantage of GTAW over GMAW is that it produces a cleaner weld, as there is less chance of contamination from the electrode. Additionally, GTAW can be used to weld metals that are difficult to weld with GMAW, such as titanium. Finally, GTAW is less likely to cause problems with porosity (holes in the weld).

Disadvantages of GMAW

One disadvantage of GMAW is that it can produce harmful fumes and smoke. Additionally, GMAW can be difficult to use on thin metals, as the heat from the arc can cause the metal to warp. Finally, GMAW requires more frequent cleaning than GTAW, as the electrode can become contaminated more easily.

Disadvantages of GTAW

One disadvantage of GTAW is that it is generally slower than GMAW. Additionally, GTAW can be more difficult to learn than GMAW due to the precision required. Finally, GTAW can be more expensive than GMA.


GMAWs and GTAWs have unique strengths and weaknesses; which one you choose depends on your specific needs as a welder or metalworker. Both processes are effective ways of creating strong bonds between different pieces of metal; however, if you need more precise results with higher control over temperature or speed, GTAWs may be your best option. On the other hand, if you need something faster with less preparation time required beforehand, then GMAWs may be your go-to choice. Ultimately, it comes down to your preferences—but either way, you go about it, quality welds await!

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