The Complete Guide for Beginners (2023)

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Last Updated on January 3, 2023

Welders work in different positions and on job sites in positions that require the fusing of two or more pieces of metal. They might work for companies that restore cars and boats or in jobs with furniture companies. If you're thinking about heading back to school and becoming a welder, you need to decide what type of welding you want to do.

MIG welding is one of the more popular types of welding and is different from stick and TIG welding. Both the methods and the materials that you'll use are different too. In this ultimate guide to MIG welding, you can learn how to do this type of welding and find some MIG welding tips that pros use.

The Complete Guide for Beginners (1)

What is MIG Welding?

Most beginners to the world of welding start with MIG welding, which is one of the easiest processes to learn. It requires the use of a welding gun that you use to create a pool of melted metal also called a weld pool. The electrode connects to the welder and creates the arc that transfers the substance from the weld pool to the metal.

Also called gas metal arc welding or GMAW welding because it uses a gas arch, some also call this process wire welding. As long as you can use a glue gun, you can handle a MIG welder.

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How Does a MIG Welder Work?

One of the most important things that you need to understand is how a MIG welder works. You also need a good understanding of the process too. Not only do we go over how the best MIG welder works, but we also look at how to use one below.


With MIG welding, you need to pick what size of wire to use first. This can depend on the welder that you use as well as your metal. Companies refer to the wires based on their diameters. Though 0.03 inches is a standard size suitable for most applications, you may want to go with a thicker or thinner wire.


MIG welders rely on some type of gas, which produces some of the energy that the machine needs. You can use a combination or standard gas in most units.


The electrode is an important part of any welder. This is the piece of the wire that extends out from the torch. Most welders use an electrode that sticks out 3/8” from the torch.


Two terms that you need to know are the travel angle and work angle. While the travel angle refers to the angle of the welding gun in relation to a perpendicular orientation, the work angle refers to the angle of the gun to the metal. You typically use a 90-degree work angle and a travel angle of up to 15 degrees.

Turning on the Welder

Before you attempt to MIG weld, you must turn on the welder and make sure that you have everything you need. Though some welders come with digital screens and displays, others feature manual displays. This will require that you make your adjustments and check the displays to make sure everything is correct.

We highly recommend using MIG welders that come with an automatic feed for the wire spool. Instead of pausing the machine to add more wire when you need it, the machine will slowly push more wire through the torch. You can even set the welder to make the electrode stick out as far as you want.

How the Process Works

When MIG welding, you need to hold the torch or welding gun in one hand. You will place the electrode flat against a piece of scrap metal to slowly melt the wire and form your weld pool. This is the same pool that you'll return to as you create the weld.

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The way the process works is easier than you might think. When you move the electrode from the weld pool to the metal that you want to weld, you'll hold it a short distance from the metal. You should see a small flash of light that represents the arc. Never press the electrode directly against the metal though as this can cause serious damage.

As long as you have a steady hand and keep moving back and forth from the weld pool to the metal, you can easily use the machine to create the strong weld that you need. It just takes a little practice.

How to Set Up a MIG Welder

You can set up a MIG welder in just a few steps, starting with the fume extractor. While you can work in a space that lacks one, the extractor will pull fumes away from your workspace. Most have a light that you can use when needed too.

Check the Adjusting Screw

The adjusting screw is the screw located on your gas cylinder/tank, which sits just below the knobs. You need to make sure that the screw is loose enough that you can twist it with one hand. This screw should reach a measurement of 10 to 15 CFH.

On the top of the tank is a handwheel that turns to open and close the tank. You will want to turn this knob to increase the flow of gas. The controls show you the PSI of the machine. A PSI of 1000 is suitable for most jobs.

Make Your Adjustments

To set up a MIG welder, you also need to make other adjustments to the machine, including setting the wire size. Most manufacturers include a chart that shows you which settings are suitable for welding different types of metal. You will need to select the wire size needed, choose your gas type and change the machine to work with the thickness of your metal.

Set Up the Welder

When you set up a MIG welder, you need to turn on the machine and change the wire speed. You can do this via the controls on the front of the welder at the same time that you adjust the voltage for the job at hand.

To use the electrode, you need to make sure that there is enough wire sticking out from the end of the torch. If the wire is too long, you can use wire clippers to cut it to the right size. The welder itself is then ready to use.

How to Set the Gas Flow on a MIG Welder

MIG welders will only run as long as there is a continuous flow of gas. Not only do you need to know how to set the gas flow, but you also need to know what type of gas to use.

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Types of Gas Needed for MIG Welding

With MIG welding, you'll either use a 75/25 gas blend or 100% C02 Gas. A 75/25 blend contains 25% carbon dioxide and 75% argon. This is the best blend for most applications and is the top choice when working with any type of carbon steel. The blend will keep the electrode from burning through the metal and helps with bead welding at the same time that it reduces the splatter produced by the welder.

A 100% C02 gas is the best option for thicker pieces of metal. It reaches a higher temperature and allows you to penetrate deep into the metal to create lasting welds. The downside to this type of gas is that it doesn't work well in bead applications. C02 gas can also produce more splatter as you work.

Using a Gas Cylinder

No matter which MIG welder you buy, you can only use it with a gas cylinder. These cylinders come in various sizes, but you'll want to pick a large size to make sure you have enough gas. The most important parts of the cylinder include the adjusting screw, handwheel and measurement dials.

Adjusting the Screw and Handwheel

Once you decide what type of gas to use and connect it to the welder via a hose, you need to twist the adjusting screw to the left. If you move your hand from the side of the screw and along the metal valve, you'll find the handwheel sitting on top of the cylinder. This is what opens the flow of gas and provides a steady stream as you work.

As you turn the wheel, you want to keep your hand on just one side of it. If you place your whole hand on top of the wheel or wrap your hand around it, you risk injuries due to the high pressure inside the tank. Keeping your eye on the dial, twist the handwheel until it reaches a PSI of 1000.

Tips for Beginners to MIG Welding

Use a Welding Table

When MIG welding, you should always use a welding table. This is a table specifically designed for welding and will keep the metal from shifting. It has a completely flat top too, which helps your welds come out smooth.

You'll also want to use the ground clamp that came with the MIG welder. After placing one piece of metal on the table, decide how you want to use the second and clamp the pieces together.

Look and Listen

Two of the common signs of a problem include a crackling sound and splatter. The crackling sound can resemble popcorn popping and occurs when you use too much power. If you notice splatter, this can indicate that the wire speed is too low. Adjusting those settings can reduce the splatter and tone down the noise level of the machine.

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Welding Equipment

You should never try MIG welding unless you have all the right equipment, including a welding helmet with a lifting mask and welding gloves that won't interfere with your movements. A welding apron that covers your clothing is helpful, but you should wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants made from cotton. If you weld around others, you can use a welding curtain to block off your workspace.

Related Articles:

  • High-Quality MIG Welder
  • Top Schools and Colleges for Welding
  • TIG Welding 101 - The Basics
  • Welding Terminology

Learn the Basics of MIG Welding

The easiest way to learn how to MIG weld is through practice. Now is a good time to purchase a MIG welder and experiment with the scrap metal that you have around the house. You can use the steps we laid out above to adjust and set up the machine and for all the settings that you need.

Learn on the Web

If you want to pick up more tips, try watching online videos. YouTube offers hundreds of videos from professionals who will walk you through the steps of everything from choosing the right gas and setting up your machine to welding steel pieces and working with other types of metal. You'll find websites that include photos of those steps too.

Offline Learning

Another way you can learn about MIG welding is through an apprentice program. You just need to find the union(s) in your area that professional welders use. Most include information on how long the members spent welding. You can also learn about vocational training programs in your area.

These programs include classes that teach you about the popular welding methods and the machines and other equipment that you will use. You then have the chance to work in the field and put your skills in action.

Final Thoughts

Professionals often recommend that those interested in welding start with the MIG process because it's so easy to learn. All you need is the right gear and a welder. You can purchase one for beginners and upgrade to a better model once you learn the fundamentals. We recommend a few good choices in our section on the best welders.

MIG welding uses an electrode that produces an arc, which lets you transfer metal from a liquid pool to a piece of metal to connect to the second piece of metal. With our guide, you can easily learn the basics of this process.

It's worth mentioning that we also have other basic welding guide article on Stick welding 101.

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Is 2 months enough for DSA? ›

Usually, it takes 2-3 months to learn the basics and then a rigorous, six months regular practice of questions to master data structures and algorithms.

What is the 100 days coding challenge Python? ›

100 days, 1 hour per day, learn to build 1 project per day, this is how you master Python. At 60+ hours, this Python course is without a doubt the most comprehensive Python course available anywhere online. Even if you have zero programming experience, this course will take you from beginner to professional.

What is the 100 days of Code? ›

What is the 100 Days of Code Challenge? The 100 Days of Code challenge is a self-directed commitment by developers to build strong and consistent coding habits. The challenge uses social accountability, transparency, and deep reflection to form healthy developer habits.

How do you start the 100 days of Code challenge? ›

There are basically 2 rules for the #100DaysOfCode challenge according to the official 100 Days Of Code website:
  1. Code minimum an hour every day for the next 100 days.
  2. Tweet your progress every day with the #100DaysOfCode hashtag.
Mar 18, 2023

How long does it take to learn DSA for beginners? ›

DSA requires a significant investment of time and effort. It can take you anywhere from 4-8 months to truly master it.

How many hours should I practice DSA? ›

Keep thinking and spend at least two hours on every problem. The most important thing to note is you have to develop an efficient revision strategy to keep revising the logic. Spare a few hours every weekend to revise the problems done throughout the week.

Can I master Python in 10 days? ›

On average, it can take anywhere from five to 10 weeks to learn the basics of Python programming, including object-oriented programming, basic Python syntax, data types, loops, variables, and functions.

Can I learn Python in 6 days? ›

In general, it takes around two to six months to learn the fundamentals of Python. But you can learn enough to write your first short program in a matter of minutes. Developing mastery of Python's vast array of libraries can take months or years.

How long should I practice Python a day? ›

Ask yourself how much time you can dedicate to learning and practicing Python. Generally, it is recommended to dedicate one hour every day to Python learning.

How can I practice coding everyday? ›

Search for coding challenge websites and find some that appeal to you. Attempt a variety of challenges to practice editing code to solve problems and improve your programming techniques. Some examples of top code challenge websites are HackerRank, TopCoder, Coderbyte, Project Euler, CodeChef, Codewars, and CodinGame.

How do I start coding at zero level? ›

How to Start Coding
  1. Figure out why you want to learn to code.
  2. Choose which coding language you want to learn first.
  3. Take online courses.
  4. Watch video tutorials.
  5. Read books and ebooks.
  6. Use tools that make learning to code easier.
  7. Check out how other people code.
  8. Complete coding projects.
Jun 29, 2022

How do you pass the code challenge? ›

‍Tip #6 Plan your Strategy to Deal with the Coding Challenge
  1. Step 1: Choose a project that excites you. ...
  2. Step 2: Find similar projects online. ...
  3. Step 3: Choose the tools and your language. ...
  4. Step 4: Map the architecture of the project. ...
  5. Step 5: Add pseudocode to your program. ...
  6. Step 6: Set deadlines to complete each step.
Jan 2, 2023

What should you do in the first 100 days? ›

Your first 100 days checklist
  • Make the most of your induction.
  • Get to know your team.
  • Set out to develop a winning team.
  • Get to know your manager.
  • Identify the criteria against you will be judged.
  • Be aware of the culture of your organisation.
  • Develop a broader understanding of your organisation and your role within it.
Aug 9, 2022

What is the challenge code? ›

Explanation. A code used in the authentication process. The first system creates a challenge code made up of random numbers, which it sends to the second system. The second system encrypts the received code using its own cryptographic key, and it sends back the encrypted code to the first system.

What happens if you don't learn DSA? ›

Without Data Structure and Algorithm skills, you're flying blind when trying to resource to scale up parts of the code. With DSA knowledge, you're able to determine ahead of time what is feasible and what resources will be needed.

Are algorithms hard to learn? ›

Learning pre-existing algorithms and data structures, those that are covered in a mid-level undergraduate course, isn't too bad. Learning when to use them, how to think about and modify them, and finally how to design your own is much more difficult, and can take years.

Which is the best site to learn data structures and algorithms? ›

GeeksforGeeks. GeeksForGeeks or GFG is the first site to pop-up in your google-search to learn anything related to Tech. It is an excellent resource with great tutorials and explanation for any topic or algorithm.

Can I learn DSA without coding? ›

Regardless of your programming language background,Codeless Data Structures and Algorithmshas you covered. In this book, author Armstrong Subero will help you learn DSAs without writing a single line of code.

How many hours should I practice coding everyday? ›

It is very hard to estimate how many hours you should code each day. Some people suggest to keep it short and sweet. 15 minutes is good enough. On the other side of the spectrum, I've also heard people got into the development field within a year or so by coding 9 or 10 hours a day.

Is learning DSA hard? ›

In conclusion, learning data structures and algorithms can be challenging at the start. It requires hard work, consistency, and a positive attitude.

What is the hardest programming language? ›

Malbolge is by far the hardest programming language to learn, which can be seen from the fact that it took no less than two years to finish writing the first Malbolge code. The code readability is ridiculously low because it is designed to be as challenging as possible, providing programmers with a challenge.

Can I learn Python at 40 years old? ›

Short answer: Yes, it is possible to learn Python at 40 or any age. As a software developer and instructor, I've had the opportunity to work with people of all ages learning to code. One thing I've learned is that age is just a number when it comes to learning something new, and it's never too late to start.

Is Java or Python easier? ›

Java and Python are two of the most popular programming languages. Of the two, Java is the faster language, but Python is simpler and easier to learn. Each is well-established, platform-independent, and part of a large, supportive community.

Can I teach myself Python and get a job? ›

If you want a job programming in Python, prepare to do a lot of work beforehand. The language is easy to pick up, but you need to do more than just learn the basics; to get a job, you need to have a strong understanding of some pretty complex processes.

How to get a Python job with no experience? ›

How to Get a Python Job with No Experience
  1. Ensure you know the Python basics: programming, libraries, frameworks, and ORM libraries.
  2. Freelance as a Python Developer to build your portfolio.
  3. Contribute to open source projects on Github.
  4. Start a blog documenting your projects and journey learning Python.

Can I get a job if I know Python? ›

Other job roles include data scientists (58,000 open jobs), business analyst (98,000 open jobs), and machine learning engineers (64,000 open jobs). Clearly, a professional skilled in python will have several job opportunities to choose from. If you have this skill, you will never be out of work.

How long does it take to learn Python to get a job? ›

If you're looking for a general answer, here it is: If you just want to learn the Python basics, it may only take a few weeks. However, if you're pursuing a data science career from the beginning, you can expect it to take four to twelve months to learn enough advanced Python to be job-ready.

What is the easiest way to learn Python? ›

One of the best places on the internet to learn Python for free is Codecademy. This e-learning platform offers lots of courses in Python, both free and paid. Python 2 is a free course they provide, which is a helpful introduction to basic programming concepts and Python.

How hard is it to learn Python without programming experience? ›

Python is the perfect programming language for people without any coding experience. It has a simple syntax, which makes it very accessible to beginners. Scripts written in Python are “human-friendly”: you can read Python code as you would read English commands.

How many hours of coding is enough? ›

We'd recommend somewhere between five and 15 hours per week. If your goal is “learn to code” in a general sense, it can feel overwhelming, and it's almost impossible to know when you've succeeded.

Do coders code all day? ›

In some companies, developers may write code for nearly 100% of the time, while in other companies the day may also contain meetings of various sorts. These may include meetings of developers amongst themselves, developers with business managers, or developers with outside clients.

How quickly can I teach myself to code? ›

Most coders agree that it takes three to six months to be comfortable with the basics of coding. But you can learn coding faster or slower depending on your preferred pace.

What is the best order to learn coding? ›

What's the Best Programming Language to Learn First? It Depends
  • Python. Python is always recommended if you're looking for an easy and even fun programming language to learn first. ...
  • Java. Java is an object-oriented and feature-heavy programming language that's in high demand. ...
  • JavaScript. ...
  • Ruby.

What type of coding is best for beginners? ›


HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is one of the most common programming languages for beginners, as it's often seen as the most straightforward programming language to learn.

What is the difference between programming and coding? ›

Coding is a part of programming that deals with writing codes that a machine can understand. Programming is a process that creates programs that involve the ratification of codes. Coding requires basic knowledge of programming skills without any software tools.

What is first step in coding for beginners? ›

Learn Coding Fundamentals in These 8 Steps
  • Step 1: Ask Yourself, “Why Should I Learn to Code?” ...
  • Step 2: Choose the Right Coding Tools and Software to Get Started. ...
  • Step 3: Pick the Right Programming Language to Start Learning. ...
  • Step 4: Start Your First Coding Project. ...
  • Step 5: Write Comments in Your Code.

Can I learn coding on my own and get a job? ›

Yes, you can learn to code and get a job without even having to leave your current company!

Can I learn it on my own? ›

There are a few ways you can learn IT on your own – and many of them include expert instruction and support. You could participate in an online course, you could self-study with tutorials and study guides, or you could earn an IT certification. The best solution is likely a combination of all three methods.

Can you do DSA in one month? ›

Striver's sheet contains 180 questions, which can be completed in 2–3 months at a normal pace, but if you know the basics of DSA then one can complete the sheet in 1 month only.

How long is a full DSA course? ›

The duration of the course is 3 months.

Is DSA really tough? ›

In conclusion, learning data structures and algorithms can be challenging at the start. It requires hard work, consistency, and a positive attitude.

Can I get a job without learning DSA? ›

Sure. It's possible. DSA are an important part of being a programmer. They are often a way to test a developer in interviews.

How many DSA questions should I do? ›

500 questions on a single website might sound too much but once you get going and set a routine, the numbers increase before you can notice and your skill is completely different from what it used to be. The target should be around 70 hard questions and 250 medium questions.

Which is the best language to learn DSA? ›

Most competitive programmers use C++ because of its efficiency for DSA.

What math do I need for DSA? ›

Summation formula and properties of various series: Arithmetic series, Geometric series, Infinite geometric series, Harmonic series, Sum of squares and cubes, Telescopic series, Finding nth terms of different series, etc.

Should I learn DSA in Python or C++? ›

Best Language to Learn DSA. According to a recent search on google, it is found that C++ is the best language for the competition as well as to solve the data structure and algorithm problems. C++ can teach you memory management skills and time complexity instructions in an efficient manner.

How to practice DSA for beginners? ›

Here is a step-by-step plan to improve your data structure and algorithm skills:
  1. Step 1: Understand Depth vs. ...
  2. Step 2: Start the Depth-First Approach—make a list of core questions. ...
  3. Step 3: Master each data structure. ...
  4. Step 4: Spaced Repetition. ...
  5. Step 5: Isolate techniques that are reused. ...
  6. Step 6: Now, it's time for Breadth.
Nov 13, 2019

Is DSA really useful? ›

Even in startups along with app/web development, DSA is extremely important. The startups initially check for basic problem-solving skills, then move on to develop skills along with data structures and algorithm design testing.

Can I learn DSA with job? ›

It surely gets easier if you already work in a technical field and use a programming language. However, if you aren't sure about the basics of Javascript, C++, or any other language of your choice, you should not step into learning DSA.


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