Push Vs. Pull MIG Welding for Superior Results | The Ultimate Guide

Updated: 22 Nov 2023


It has the most critical impact on welding quality, which technique to choose, pull, or push. It’s essential to understand the usage of both methods and provide optimum results in your welding project.

Sometimes, you may use push or pull techniques when doing a MIG welding project, but some people need clarification about what push or pull is and when to use it.

It depends on the multiple factors that push or pull to use, including types of materials, what kind of project you are doing, and your preferences. 

If we talk about the push techniques, the torch is angled with the nozzle pointing forward. It pushes the weld pool, which results in a lower penetration, wider, which is slightly pleasant.

The pull technique (drag technique) pulls the torch with the nozzle, pointing it backward and allowing the weld pool to follow—the pulling results in a thinner, rounded bead with a deeper penetration that makes a strong weld.

Now, the choice is yours, which techniques you want to use to complete your welding project. Let’s dive into the details. You will learn that push or pull welding is better.

push or pull welding methods
Push and Pull MIG Welding Example
© weldingvilla.comImage usage rights

Push VS Pull Mig Welding (GMAW)

Push vs Pull MIG Welding process
Push Vs. Pull MIG Welding Technique
Source: https://weldguru.com/push-or-pull-when-mig-welding/

Are you new to welding? You may need help understanding the difference between pull and push techniques. These are two different techniques you can utilize in your welding project.

The push technique is also called the forehand technique. The push technique holds the gun behind the puddles, pushing it forward when you weld something.

The pull technique holds the gun in the front of the weld puddles, pulling it to the joint when you weld something. Both methods will impact the weld quality. Let’s explore what’s the difference between pull and push.

Push Technique:

  • The nozzle is directed forward, pushing the weld when you move along the joint.
  • According to the experts, push-mig welding techniques are recommended for the thinner materials.
  • While doing a welding project, you will be in a flat or horizontal position, which provides better visibility.

Pull Technique:

  • The pull technique directed the MIG gun with the nozzle facing backward.
  • It’s recommended for thicker materials. If you are doing a welding project with thicker materials, then this one is the best option.
  • It’s in the vertical and overhead welding position, which requires deep penetrations.

Now, if you still need clarification about the MIG welding pattern technique, you should continue reading to learn its pros and cons. Choosing the MIG welding push and pull method depends on various factors.

The primary key to a successful MIG welding project is to understand your push or pull when MIG welding and get complete skills in both techniques.

It doesn’t matter what project you are working on. Whether you are working in structural welding, automotive repairs, or any other project, knowing when to push or pull, techniques plays a vital role in welding quality.

Pulling a Weld: Pros and Cons in Welding Techniques

The drag welding technique used in various projects has its pros and cons.

  • Deep Penetration: Pull welding techniques are the best options if you want a deeper penetration into the base materials. When you weld thicker materials, this technique will ensure a strong weld.
  • Vertical and Overhead Welding: If you love vertical and overhead welding positions, then drag welding techniques are preferable. 
  • Reduced Heat Build-Up: The pulling techniques will reduce the heat build-up when welding. If you weld thin materials, it will prevent burning.
  • Cleaner Appearance: When welding correctly, the pulling technique will result in a cleaner weld bead.
  • Limited Visibility: It will obstruct the view of the weld pool, making monitoring the penetration challenging. If you are welding a small or big critical project, there will be limited visibility in such situations.
  • Slower Travel Speed: The pulling technique is slower than the push welding technique. If you want speed in your project, it will be a drawback.
  • Not Ideal for All Positions: The pulling welding angle is vertical and overhead, so it’s not ideal for the flat and horizontal positions.

Pushing a Weld: Pros and Cons in Welding Techniques:

The pushing techniques have both strong points and drawbacks.

  • Improved Visibility: The pushing Mig welding technique allows better visibility of the joint you want to weld. It will result in better control of the welding project.
  • Faster Travel Speed: Pushing a weld is faster than the pulling technique. If the applicant needs to complete the project quickly, pushing is the best option.
  • Less Spatter: The pushing result is less spatter than the pulling method. It will result in a cleaner environment so you can do work with more patience.
  • Suitable for Flat and Horizontal Welds: It is a suitable option for flat and horizontal weld angle positions, and it provides better control over the welding project.
  • Shallower Penetration: It may not provide the same penetration as the pulling method. It will be a limitation if you are working on a thicker material project or deep penetration is required.
  • Challenging for Overhead Welds: If you want to do a difficult or overhead weld, sometimes the force of gravity may affect the weld pool control and provide less stability.
  • Heat Build-Up: When you start the weld during welding, pushing may lead to more heat build-up. Sometimes, when you work on thin materials, it may lead to burning.

Push Vs. Pull Welding Techniques: When and How to Choose

The pulling welding technique is usually used in specific situations. Knowing when to pull the weld is essential for getting the best result in the welding project. The pushing technique is widely used in the welding project, especially in the MIG welding project.

When to Pull the Weld:

Pulling welding techniques are used for this specific reason. If you are looking for a deeper penetration, the pulling method is the best option to strengthen the weld.

You can also use the pulling method in these scenarios.

  • Corner Joints and Straight Lines: Do you want to join corners and straight lines? Pulling is the best technique for it. 
  • Uncertain Polarity and Settings: Pulling the weld is recommended if you don’t know the polarity and settings. It will give an idea to observe the weld bead very closely.
  • Flux Core Wire in MIG Welding: Pulling the weld puddle is essential to use a flux core in MIG welding.

When to Push the Weld:

push welding technique example
Push / Forehand MIG Welding Technique
© weldingvilla.comImage usage rights

It depends on the specific factors which method to choose. Here are some situations where you need to use the push welding technique.

  • Low-Stress Joints and Aesthetics: Pushing the weld is better if the welding joint is not subjected to high pressure. It will result in a smoother and visually appealing bead.
  • Irregular-Shaped Joints: If you are dealing with such joints with curves, bends, or irregular shapes, the pushing technique is recommended.
  • MIG Welding Aluminum: If you work on aluminium in MIG welding, pushing the weld puddle is essential. The pushing technique will ensure shielding gas properly covers the weld puddle.

Final Verdict:

That was all about push or pull when MIG welding, and I hope it’s now clear to you which option is right according to your welding project. The choice between pull and push depends on the different factors and specific requirements.

If you are looking for deeper penetration, curve, irregular shape, or any other welding joint, selection plays a vital role in the push and pulling technique.

Are you an experienced welder or a beginner? Both techniques are essential for the welding project. Knowing when to push or pull is a skill that will ensure the quality of skill and effectiveness.

Which technique have you applied for your current project? How was your experience with it? Please share your experience with our readers.

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.

Please Write Your Comments