Welding Types - What’s the Difference?

Welding is powerful. With some metal, creativity, and a lot of heat you can build just about anything. While this is just the very broad overview of what welding is, we wanted to take a bit of time to really delve into welding, the different types, and what makes them different. Augello’s Welding at the Lake of the Ozarks uses welding to complete all sorts of amazing projects, like boat stairs, railings, custom fabrication projects, and more. Here are a few things you may never have known about metal to get your gears going.

MIG Welding, AKA: GMAW

And, no, that does not stand for “Grandma” although grandma’s who weld are pretty amazing! GMAW stands for Gas Metal Arc Welding, and MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas. The idea of combining two pieces of metal together with a wire that is connected to an electrode current is called MIG welding.

When performing this type of welding, a shielded gas is used along the wire electrode, which heats up the two metals to be joined. This constant voltage and the direct current power source is required. This is also the most common industrial welding process. The MIG or GMAW processes are both great for using mild steel, stainless steel, and even aluminum.

Arc Welding, AKA: SMAW

Another term for arc welding is SMAW, which stands for Shielded Metal Arc Welding, or even “stick”. It’s a basic welding type, where a welding stick uses electric currents to form an electric arc between the stick and the metals to be joined. This form of welding is often used when working with iron and steel - perfect for metal fabrication at the Lake of the Ozarks!


TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas, while GTAW stands for Gas Tungsten Arc Welding. This welding process utilizes a non-consumable tungsten electrode, which is used to heat the base metal and create a molten weld puddle. By melting two pieces of metal together, you create an autogenous weld. This welding is a complex process and is used on pieces where you don’t want to have excessive clean up by sanding or grinding on the metal afterward.

FCAW, AKA: Flux-Cored Arc Welding

This is an alternative to shield welding, but it quite similar to MIG or GMAW welding. The main difference is that it uses a special tubular wire filled with flux, and shielding gas is not always needed. It’s an easy form of welding to learn, but there are some limitations to its applications. It’s most common in constructions projects because of its high welding speed and portability.

Now You Know!

This may be more than you ever needed to know about welding, but it can be extremely fascinating! Welding may appear to be a lost art among some, but there will always be those of us who hold onto the passion and will help to instill the love of it into the next generation. Welding is used for so many different types of products, from the computer and phone you use sadly to the care you drive, and even the house you live in. That is only a small reason we love welding! If you have a custom metal fabricating project at the Lake of the Ozarks, we would love to assist. Visit our website to learn more about our welding at the Lake of the Ozarks, as well as see examples of what we’ve done so far.

Your Lake of the Ozark’s Welder & Place for All Things Custom!
Office Phone: (573) 207-0285
Cell Phone: (573) 286-9135
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