MIG Welder Settings: Wire Speed and Voltage Chart – Expert Tips


Updated: 5 Dec 2023

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MIG welding, also called metal inert gas, is widely used and practiced in various industrial zones to weld different metals, and multiple shielding gasses are used to complete its process. That is the reason that makes the MIG welding technique settings the essential operation to provide quality weld on the spot.

Most people buy the MIG welder machine, but they need to learn the correct and the proper settings and the suitable parameters for the new MIG welder. That is why we are here to provide the right concept about the MIG welder settings with a chart to make your weld solid and accurate. Let’s scroll down to learn the proper MIG welder settings.

Safety Precautions Before Setting Up Your MIG Welder:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 
  • Clear Around Area.
  • Keep away from flammable substances.
  • Check the Power wire to the machine properly.
  • Keep the fire extinguisher and check if it’s empty or full.
  • Check for gas leakage.
  • Keep the cylinder in a safe area.
  • Always secure the gas bottle near the welder.
Tips for Perfect MIG Welder Settings:
  • 220 or 230 Volts are required for MIG welding
  • Set the Gesstings around 30 CFH.
  • Turn the fan off.
  • Close the open doors to stop the outcoming air.
  • The welding gun holding position must be at a 5- to 15-degree angle.
  • Extend the electrode wire to ¼ or ½.
  • Set the gas flow rate to 20 to 30 CFH.
  • Test before use.

MIG Welder Shielding Gas Set Up:

How to hook up the gas and set the flow rate.

  1. Remove the protective cover from the gas bottle.
  2. Open the valve to remove any debris.
  3. Install the gas regulator flow meter by hand and then use a wrench to tighten it.
  4. Now install the gas hose to the regulator and tighten it with the wrench.
  5. After that, install the gas hose to the MIG welder and snug it with the wrench.
  6. Open the bottle valve; the PSI gauge will show the bottle’s pressure, and the flow gauge will show the bottle’s gas flow.
  7. Turn on the MIG welder, pull the trigger, and watch the flow gauge set the flow rate to 20 while the trigger is pulled.

MIG Welder Gas Pressure Set Up.

gas pressure settings for MIG Welder
MIG Welder Gas Pressure Set Up
© weldingvilla.com – Image usage rights

You should set the gas pressure of the MIG welder to around 30 CFH. Now, if you are working in a shop and the door is opened, and there is a fan on, turn the gas pressure up slightly, but I will not recommend it go in over 40 CFH. It will start turbulence, pulling atmospheric air into the system. This small mistake can affect the quality and consistency of your work.

How to Set Wire Tension In MIG Welder:

Install the welding wire spool on the welder so the wire feeds from the bottom of the spool. Hold the wire with one hand, and with the other hand, snip the end to get a straight edge.

Feed the wire into the inlet guide over the drive roll into the next inlet. Feed about 3 to 4 inches of MIG wire into the MIG torch. While holding tension on the wire, close the drive roll pressure arms and flip up the tension adjustment.

mig welder wire settings

Turn the welder input power on and remove the nozzle and contact tips from the end of the MIG gun. Now, turn the wire feed speed in the welder up. Take the gun, press the trigger, and hold it.

Keep watching the wire until it gets a little out of the mig welder gun nozzle. When the wire reaches the nozzle of the mig welder gun, please release the trigger. Reinstall the contact tip and then the nozzle. Your wire is now installed with the proper setup.

To Set the Spool Tension:

  1. Loosen the tension control on the spool until the spool barely starts to one line.
  2. Slightly tighten the spool tension until the spool starts spinning.
  3. Do not let the spool turn more than one-half revolution when doing this operation.
  4. Remember that the excessive loose wire may cause feed problems, so be careful while managing the wire.
  5. Pull the trigger for 1 to 2 seconds and release by watching the wire between the spool and the first inlet guide.

Look for a slight sag in the wire when the wire stops feeding. A little sag indicates a proper amount of tension. Then, loosen the tension control to lower the spool tension.

Remember to use small adjustments when adjusting the tension control. It would be best to loosen the drive roll tension control to set the tension until the drive roll spins. But, if the wire does not feed, then tighten the tension control by turning it one-half turn.

Pull the trigger while watching the drive roll and check for slippage. If the wire is slipping, repeat the one-half turn of the tension control and check for slippage again. Repeat this until the wire feeds continually.

Feed 3 to 4 inches of wire out of the end of the gun. Now feed it using a gloved hand, bend the wire, and feed it into the gloved hand to apply some back pressure. Watch the wire for a smooth feed; if the wire slips, add another one-half turn to the tension control adjustment.

Power Settings to MIG Welder in the Workplace:

Most people are researching to find a good power source with the best quality to work for a long time and to avoid blowing up quickly while using a high-power consumption machine. So you should set up (NEMA 6-50 electric outlet) for a MIG welder. This outlet’s outstanding performance would work for a long time without blowing up quickly during working hours. 

You must follow these steps to set up the NEMA 6-50 outlet.

  1. Ensure that the outlet is close to the welding area.
  2. Now you need a screwdriver to open and close the new and old outlets.
  3. Start removing the screws on the old outlet.
  4. After removing the old one, take the NEMA 6-50 outlet.
  5. Remove all of the wires connected to the old outlet.
  6. Take the NEMA 6-50 outlet and connect the red and black to the two hot terminals on the NEMA 6-50.
  7. Now, connect the white wire to the neutral terminal.
  8. After that, connect the green or bare wire to the ground terminal.
  9. Tight them with the screwdriver.
  10. Once it is ready, put the power cable of your MIG welder to start working.

Note: Work with electric equipment or wire should be done safely.

If you have proper knowledge, you can do it easily or call an expert to fix this issue. After all, you can have good power settings in your workplace.

Outcomes of the MIG Incorrect Setting
  • Wong parameters: They create a weak joint in the product you are working on.
  • Porosity: while doing an incorrect setting, the shielding gas can cause porosity in welds.  
  • Undercut: It happens when you set it up on a high voltage and wire feed speed setting; it can cause the undercut.
  • Excessive asymmetry of filet welds: The wrong setting may cause an uneven asymmetric asymmetry of filet welds. In this case, one side of the weld is larger or smaller than the other.
  • Lack of penetration can be caused by heat and wire feed speed settings, which causes the lack of penetration into the base metal. And it will be a weak joint.
  • Spatters: In this case, it is usually seen that the welding voltage is too low or the amperage is too high.

Different MIG Shielding Gasses Settings for Different Metals:

Carbon Dioxide: The Carbon Dioxide gas can be used as the shielding gas in the MIG welder. It can be used for welding the carbon steel and low alloy steels.

Argon: The Argon gas can be shielded in the MIG welder. It can be used for welding aluminum, copper, and stainless steel.

Helium and Oxygen: The helium and oxygen gas can be used as the shielding gas in the MIG welder. It can be used for welding aluminum.

MIG Welder Settings for a Thick Metal: The best and most well-known MIG welder settings in regular practice, which people use as always in routine work. You need to adjust your settings to get the best result.

  1. Keep your MIG welder voltage to 24-26 volts.
  2. The wire speed should be 300 to 350 inches per minute.
  3. Use Argon shielding gas so you can weld thicker metals without losing strength.
  4. The gas should be according to the material to get the best result.

 Ampere Voltage for Different Metals is defined below:

  1. Ampere Voltage for Titanium: Ampere voltage for titanium depends on the thickness of the titanium. You can adjust your voltage in the range of (Fifty to One Hundred and Fifty) 50 to 150 amperes.
  2. Ampere Voltage for Stainless Steel: Ampere voltage for stainless steel requires less than carbon steel. You should adjust it in the range of 40 amperes per 1mm. 
  3. Ampere Voltage for Carbon Steel: Ampere Voltage for Carbon steel required in MIG welding is around 25 to 30 amperes per 1 mm of thickness of carbon steel.
  4. Ampere Voltage for Aluminum:  Ampere voltage for aluminium is 1 amp for every 0.001 inch of metal you will weld when other variables are constant.
  5. Ampere Voltage for Cobalt Alloys: Ampere voltage for cobalt alloys requires higher amperage settings. You should set it to around 30 to 40 amperes per 1 millimeter of thickness of cobalt alloys.
  6. Ampere Voltage for Bronze Alloys: Ampere voltage for bronze alloys is approximately 25 to 30 ampere per 1 mm of thickness of bronze alloy.
  7. Ampere Voltage for Zirconium: Ampere voltage for zirconium is approximately 40 to 60 amperes per mm of thickness of zirconium.
  8. Ampere Voltage for Low alloy steel: The ampere voltage for low alloy steel is approximately 25 to 30 ampere per 1 mm of thickness of low alloy steel. If it has a 3mm thickness, the amperage would be around 75 to 90 amperes.
  9. Ampere Voltage for High-Strength Steel: Ampere voltage for high-strength steel is approximately 30 to 35 amperes per 1mm thick high-strength steel. If it has a 3mm thickness, the amperage would be around 90 to 105 amperes.
  10. Ampere Voltage for Galvanized: Ampere voltage for galvanized is approximately 30 to 35 amperes per 1 mm of thickness of galvanized. If it has a 3mm thickness, the amperage would be around 90 to 105 amperes.
  11. Ampere Voltage for Magnesium: Ampere voltage for Magnesium is approximately 20 to 50 amperes per 1 mm of thickness of Magnesium.
  12. Ampere Voltage for Nickel Alloys: Ampere voltage for Nickel Alloy is approximately 25 to 35 amperes per 1 mm of thickness of Nickel Alloys.
  13. Ampere Voltage for Copper Alloys: The Ampere voltage for Copper Alloy is approximately 30 to 40 amperes per 1 mm of thickness.

MIG Welding Settings for Mild Steel:

MIG welding is called Metal inert gas and is used to join different metals. But there, each of the metal joining processes required different settings. The same is the case for joining Mild Steel; the MIG welder has a proper setting for that. Now, to get good results, follow the below lines.

  1. Type of Wire and Diameter: Your MIG welding machine capacity’s usual sizes are 0.030, 0.035, and 0.045. Use ER70S-6 wire, and remember the diameter matches your welding machine’s capacity.
  2. Selection for the Shielding Gas: Mix 75% argon and 25% CO2. As this mixture is most commonly used. It will help you have a neat and clean weld in your projects.
  3. Gas-Flowing Rate: I will let you know which people usually use this flowing rate of gas—20 to 25 CFH.
  4. Settings for the Amperage and Voltage: The proper and correct settings depend on your MIG welder machine and the thickness of the Mild steel you are working on. But you can use 0.03 wire and start with a voltage between 16 to 19 volts.
  5. Wire Feed Speed: 150 to 200 (IPM).
  6. Volts: If your wire is 0.035, you might use 18 to 21 volts and IPM.
  7. Voltage for Wire: 0.045 set voltage 21 to 24 volts.
  8. Correct Joint Preparation: clean the surface you are working on. Also, remember to clean paint and rust. To get the best result of the weld, you must adopt it.
  9. Welding at a Proper Angle: 5 to 15 degrees, the welding gun should be tilted back.

Examples of Parameters Used In Argon-CO2 MIG Welding of Mild Steel – Chart

TechniqueThickness of Work mm
(in)
Wire dia mm
(in/1000)
AmpsVoltsWire Feed m/min (ipm)
Dip. V1mm B (0.04)0.8 (32)90155.25 (206)
Dip. V3mm F (0.12)0.8 (32)155178.25 (325)
Dip. V3mm B (0.12)1.0 (40)160187.00 (275)
Dip. V6mm F (0.24)1.0 (40)160187.00 (275)
Dip. V12mm F (0.47)1.0 (40)175199.25 (365)
Dip. V20mm MRF (0.79)1.0 (40)175199.25 (365)
Dip. V12mm F (0.47)1.2 (48)175183.80 (150)
Dip. F1 and V20mm MRB & F (0.79)1.2 (48)175183.80 (150)
Spray. F13mm B (0.12)0.8 (32)1652512.0 (473)
Spray. F13mm F (0.12)0.8 (32)1752512.9 (508)
Spray. F13mm B (0.12)1.0 (40)2302613.4 (530)
Spray. F16mm F (0.24)1.0 (40)2102712.9 (508)
Spray. F16mm F, B (0.24)1.2 (48)3203210.5 (413)
Spray. F112mm MRF (0.47)1.2 (48)3203210.5 (413)

Key Points Used in the Table:

  • B = Butt Weld
  • F = Fillet Weld
  • MRF = Mulit-Run Fillet
  • MRB = Multi-Run Butt
  • F1 = Flat Position
  • V = Verticle Position

What the Weld Bead Tells You about Your MIG:

different Weld bead appearance in MIG Welding Settings
Weld Bead Appearance with Different MIG Settings
© weldingvilla.com – Image usage rights

Here are some ways to inspect the weld bead. It will let you know what you need. Have a concentration on the below list.

  • Arc too long: as it is caused by too much voltage.
  • Amps set to low: A narrow convex bead does not connect at the ends.
  • Amps too high: The starting arc is not good, and that’s too wide. It burns through a lot of spatter and does not penetrate well.
  • A Normal Bead: A normal bead means a good penetration into the base with an appropriate width and height and connects well at the ends.
  • Without Shielding Gas: Without the shielding gas, it causes porosity and pinpricks in a bead.
  • Move Too Fast: When you move too fast, the welding gun creates a narrow, convex bead, and a weak connection at the end also has poor penetration.
  • Move Too Slow: When you move too slowly, it creates too much heat, giving beads. And that will be too wide and a very bad penetration.

FAQs:

Does MIG welder Gas flow change for the different processes?

Gas flow changes for different processes to ensure the proper shielding of the pool and the weld quality. A solid wire shielding gas should be about 20 to 30 CFH. The flux-cored arc welding may need a high flow rate of 35 to 50 CFH.

What Voltage should my MIG Welder be set at?

As an expert, I have used the MIG welder for a long time. I have the information about

In MIG welding, the average required should be 220 or 230; most users give their opinions about the voltage and suggest the same voltage.

What would be the Speed for MIG Welding?

The speed in MIG welding depends upon the welding positions, the thickness of the materials, and the joints. Now, horizontal welding should be 10 to 35 inches per minute, and vertical welding is 5 to 15 inches per minute.

Final Thoughts:

In the above article, we have discussed different settings for MIG welding. We discussed the safety precautions according to the topic, such as Personal protective equipment. Then, we discussed in steps the other gasses used in MIG welders. It also guides you in choosing the suitable shielding gas for different metals.

After that, we discussed step vice, the amperage voltage recommendations for welding dissimilar materials. This guide will provide a secure and best working environment where you can perform these steps and actions individually. You can set up your MIG welder professionally by carefully following the above steps and guidelines.

If you have any problem related to this topic, please ask in the comment section. Our team will answer you as soon as possible. Yeah! If you find this blog post helpful, share it with your welding community. This will help others to solve their problems. Thanks for visiting; take care of yourself.


Abu Bakar

Abu Bakar

Hello, Abu Bakar here, the Mastermind Behind Welding Villa. Test my years of experience through my well-written blogs, where I have covered the overall experience of welding materials and shown all the aspects of Welding, their types and equipment.

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