Push vs. Pull When MIG Welding – Which is Right?

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There are two primary techniques available for MIG welding: Push vs. Pull When MIG Welding – Which is Right? Which one, though, is best for you?

You perform push welding when you push the torch in the same direction as the wire feed. Deeper penetration is typically achieved by using this technique on thicker materials. It can leave a wider bead, though, and it can also be more challenging to control.

Pushing and pulling are the two primary methods MIG welding uses to feed wire into the weld pool. The quality and appearance of your weld can be influenced by the technique you select.

What is Push-Pull MIG Welding?

Pull welding involves moving the torch opposite to the wire feed. Since this method allows for shallower penetration, it is usually applied to thinner materials. It can also leave a narrower bead and is more straightforward to control.


When push welding, the wire is fed into the weld pool in the same direction as the welder. Better penetration and a flatter weld bead are the usual outcomes of this technique. Pushing is another wise option to keep the wire from burning through the metal when welding thin materials.


Pull welding involves feeding the wire into the weld pool in the opposite direction of the welder’s movement. This method usually yields a less penetrated, more convex weld bead. When welding thick materials, pulling works well because it keeps the weld from getting too hot and cracking.

Which method is, therefore, appropriate for you? It depends upon your preference and the thickness of the material you are welding. You should begin with push welding if you are a beginner because learning is simpler. If you’re more experienced, you can try pull welding and see if you like it better.

Which technique should you use?

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Push vs. Pull When MIG Welding – Which is Right? 3

The particular application will determine which technique is best for you. The best option when welding thin materials is to push. Pulling is a good option when welding thick materials together. Additionally, you might want to try out both methods to see which one you like better.

Here is a table summarizing the differences between push and pull welding:

FeaturePush WeldingPull Welding
Travel directionSame as wire feedOpposite of wire feed
Bead widthWiderNarrower
ControlMore difficultEasier

Here are some additional tips for MIG welding:

  • For the thickness of the material you are welding, use the appropriate wire size.
  • Use the proper voltage and amperage settings for the material you are welding.
  • Before welding, clean the metal to remove any rust, grease, or dirt.
  • Maintain a steady distance and angle from the weld pool while holding the torch.
  • Keep the torch moving at a steady pace.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which technique is proper for you is to experiment with both and see which one you prefer.

Here is a table summarizing the pros and cons of each technique:

PushingNot as suitable for welding thick materialsSuitable for welding thick materials
PullingMore convex weld bead, less penetrationGood for welding thick materials

Striking a Balance: The Hybrid Approach

In many situations, the best action may be a hybrid strategy incorporating both push and pull tactics. Welders can use each method’s advantages with this hybrid approach, which balances penetration, visibility, and spatter control.

Practice Makes Perfect

Regardless of the chosen technique, Pull or push for MIG Welding consistent practice is the key to mastery. Welders should dedicate time to hone their skills with pushing and pulling, adapting their approach based on the specific welding scenario and challenges of different projects.


the choice between push and pull in MIG welding is not rigid. Both techniques have their strengths and weaknesses, and the specific requirements should inform the decision of the welding project. Experimentation, practice, and adaptability are the welder’s allies in navigating the push vs. pull problem, ensuring that each weld is a testament to skill, precision, and excellence.


Which technique is more beginner-friendly – push or pull MIG Welding?

There’s no strict rule for beginners. It’s advisable to practice both techniques and choose based on personal comfort and project requirements.

Can I switch between push and pull in the same welding project?

Yes, experienced welders often switch between push and pull techniques within the same project, adapting to different welding scenarios.

Do different materials favour one technique over the other?

Thicker materials generally benefit from the enhanced penetration of the pull technique, while thinner materials might be well-suited for pushing.

How can I improve arc stability when pulling?

Adjusting welding parameters, such as wire feed speed and voltage, can help improve arc stability when using the pull technique.

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