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Welding 101: A Comprehensive Guide To Welding Types And The Required Supplies

Whether you are a professional welder or a beginner just getting started, it is important to know the different types of welding and what they each require. This will help you perform welding safely and efficiently. Each type of welding comes with its own unique uses and features, and the quality of the weld depends significantly on the type of supplies used. Understanding the different types of welding can help you buy welding supplies online more accurately.

The Different Types of Welding and the Supplies They Each Require

Depending on the presence or absence of flux and the type of welding electrode used, there are different types of welding techniques. The requirements vary for each kind of welding, as you’ll discover in the sections below.

You need to assess your requirements thoroughly before you start the welding job, and ensure that your tools and consumables are compatible with the type of welding you plan to undertake.

Let’s check out the most common types of requirements for each of them.

1.      Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

Also known as stick welding, this process involves the use of welding cables that have been coated with flux. The flux is essentially a mix of minerals, chemicals and alloys that protects the molten metal in the weld pool from contamination by oxygen, nitrogen and other elements in the external environment.

Welding Supply Requirements:

  • A stick welder with a power of 130 to 140 amps
  • Stick welding electrodes
  • Slag removing tools
  • Adequate safety equipment
  • Ground clamps and tools like wire brushes
  • A source of uninterrupted power supply

2.      Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

Here, the flux is not coated on the outside of the electrode. Instead, the core of the electrode is made of the flux material itself. So, it automatically shields the molten metal workpieces during the welding process.


Welding Supply Requirements:

  • An air-cooled or water-cooled welding gun
  • Welding cables
  • A wire feeder
  • Flux-cored electrodes
  • Protective gloves, goggles and helmet
  • A source of uninterrupted power supply


3.      Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

In this type of welding, also known as metal inert gas or MIG welding, there is no flux used. Instead, a shielding gas protects the molten metal from contaminants. The electrode used in MIG welding is consumable and acts as the filler metal for the welding job.

Welding Supply Requirements:

  • A power MIG welder or multi-process welder
  • Consumable metal electrodes
  • An inert shielding gas (typically argon)
  • Welding cables and welding safety gear
  • A source of uninterrupted power supply
  • Other welding accessories and tools like clamps and wire brushes

4.      Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

Also known as tungsten inert gas or TIG welding, this process uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode. The filler metal needs to be added in separately by the welder, thus giving greater control and precision over the whole process.

Welding Supply Requirements:

  • A power TIG welder or multi-process welder
  • Thoriated or lanthanated non-consumable tungsten electrode
  • Consumable metal filler rods
  • An inert shielding gas (typically argon or helium-argon)
  • Welding cables and welding safety gear


Now that you know what the different types of welding techniques are and their unique requirements, you can create your shopping list accordingly. However, before you purchase any product, make sure that its specs match the nature of the welding job at hand. This will allow you to choose compatible supplies, thus making the process efficient and hassle-free.

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