If you want to know how difficult learning TIG Welding is you must know about welding in general. Although it seems like an easy task for a strong and muscular man, I assure you it’s not about brawns. Among the welding processes i.e., MIG, TIG, Flux-cored Arc, and stick welding, TIG is by far the toughest yet most rewarding welding method of them all.
The TIG Welding method is hard to learn until it’s mastered. This method requires absolute concentration and precise movement of two hands, two eyes, and a leg. The necessity of specific equipment with proper upkeep and efficiency is of utmost importance while TIG welding.
Therefore, I’m here to discuss with you Why Is TIG Welding Hard To Learn? I’m sure you’re here for the same reason too. It’s quite complex and more of a precision work than a difficult one. To provide you with all that information I will guide you through this highly detailed article about TIG Welding. So, without further delay, let’s begin.
How Hard Is TIG Welding?
To know how hard TIG Welding is you have to know what is welding and how to weld. You may be new to welding and that’s fine since I will provide you all the information you need about welding too.
Welding is the process of combining two or more materials by using high-temperature heat to melt them and letting them cool down. Commonly used materials for welding are either thermoplastics or metals. The highly heated materials combine thanks to fusion after they cool down.
This form of fabrication is used all over the world by mechanics, blacksmiths, and construction workers. There are four ways to weld and they are TIG (GTAW), MIG (GMAW), Stick (SMAW), and Flux-cored (FCAW). Among these four, the toughest way to weld is TIG welding also known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).
Now that you know the basics of welding and its types, you can understand how hard it is to learn TIG Welding. In the next section I will compare the various types of welding methods with TIG welding.
Stick vs. MIG vs. Flux vs. TIG: Which Is The Hardest?
How do you know if something is the hardest in its class? Through comparison between them. Well, I’m here to compare the four kinds of welding procedures and show you why TIG Welding is regarded as the hardest welding process.
Proven to be one of the easiest ways of welding, stick welding also known as Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) is a versatile process. This welding procedure can be used in all kinds of welding positions and you don’t require deep concentration while welding too.
As the name suggests, you need a face shield while doing stick welding to protect yourself from infrared and ultraviolet rays. Stick welding is the most common welding process so don’t expect it as a special quality if you have it in your bio. It’s quite an old process that began over 200 years ago.
MIG can be regarded as the easier version of TIG but the result of this procedure is not as rewarding as a TIG welding finish. MIG is also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) which is slightly different from TIG welding which uses only Tungsten. It’s the most cost-effective way of welding and is widely used in construction sites and vehicle production.
MIG is way easier than TIG as you don’t require much protection while using it. Again, the various equipment necessary for MIG is affordable and available. Various techniques related to this welding are spray, pulse, short-circuit, and globular methods.
Flux-cored welding is not a common style of welding but it’s an easier process nonetheless. It’s commonly known as Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW). The result of this procedure of welding is not so smooth when compared to other types of welding procedures.
This welding procedure can be used outdoors and the best part about it is that Flux Welding does not require an external shield. Its usage is mainly based on combining rusty and contaminated metals. You will see Flux welding in shipbuilding and other construction areas.
The toughest way to weld is the TIG welding process without a doubt. TIG is also commonly known as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). Due to its necessity of rare equipment and some serious skills, TIG easily beats every other procedure of welding. This welding process is the most sought after and it’s responsible for securing the world’s most important machinery.
TIG welding makes high-quality welds but at a high cost. The level of concentration required along with steady hands and feet make it the toughest way to weld. As the name suggests, only Tungsten is used for this procedure and due to its high melting point and non-consumable electrode production, produces massive amounts of electricity which is conductive.
TIG is as dangerous as it is rewarding. The variety of equipment and machinery required for the TIG (GTAW) procedure of welding makes it harder to start in the first place. The concentration and skill of using both hands, eyes, and a leg at the same time for different activities is harder than you can imagine. So, TIG Welding skill is a very demanding skill in the present job market.
As a result, TIG Welding is the hardest form of welding when compared to MIG, Stick, and Flux welding by a landslide.
Factors That Influence Your Difficulty of Learning TIG Welding
TIG Welding is well known for being the toughest welding skill and it shows. The factors that influence TIG welding will cause the most difficulty to you when you start to learn it. Several factors will affect you more if you have lesser knowledge about how to weld practically. Such factors are-
- What you believe is good welding
- Your projects that require special TIG skills
- The TIG machine and the variety of equipment
- Past Welding Experience
- Knowledge of other welding procedures
You may think that it’s not as difficult as it sounds but TIG Welding is well-known for its difficulty. Many men have tried and failed miserably before because of their lacking concentration or physical strength. It’s about understanding how the TIG machine works and when to use it for the best results.
The more you are familiar with welding using other procedures, the more TIG Welding will be easy for you. It will test your strength, concentration, and perseverance while you work at it so be prepared to face difficulties if you lack any of these. But you’ll be happy to know that TIG Welding has become a lot easier due to advanced technology and evolved machines.
TIG Welding is not only about a single machine but all the methods and different equipment you need to complete the job. If you learn the basics of TIG Welding practically and stop there you won’t be able to do special works related to TIG Welding. So, it’s best to gradually learn all the methods related to it as you master TIG Welding.
Do You Need A Permit to Weld?
It’s always better to know if you need a permit to do anything before you try it out. Better to get a permit than to regret paying the fine. Since you’re going to use a piece of equipment that may harm yourself or others while using it, you need a permit to start welding.
Welding produces sparks, ultraviolet, and infrared rays that can harm the human body permanently. So, welding can be regarded as a type of tinkering. Along with other kinds of tinkering methods i.e., brazing, grinding, cutting that requires a “Hot Work Permit”, welding needs one such permit too.
The Hot Work Permit will grant you access to working with Hazardous machinery that emits high temperatures of heat. The permit works as a tracking point of your work location for the Risk Management Services (RMS) of your state. You can obtain such a permit from the RMS website or through direct interaction with your local RMS institute.
Why You Need A Professional to Teach You, TIG Welding
In my opinion, it’s quite impossible to work with a TIG Welding machine without proper guidance from a professional. If you try to work with TIG Welding without a professional’s help you run the risk of serious injury not to mention death. You may have experience using other procedures of welding but it’s honestly not enough to teach you about TIG Welding.
TIG Welding includes the usage of high-temperature Tungsten (more than 6000°F) to melt and combine two or more metal or thermoplastic materials. It’s extremely hazardous to your body if it comes in contact with your skin. In addition to that, the ultraviolet rays emitted while using a TIG Welding machine are deadly for the human body and can cause cancer.
Anyways, if you don’t want to worry about the dangers of TIG Welding, then tell me how you will learn when and where to use the proper equipment. The TIG Welding machine isn’t the only piece of machinery you need to weld. You need tungsten electrodes, a torch that emits high-temperature heat, proper face and body shields, and a continuous supply of inert gas.
Troubleshooting your TIG Welding Machine will become similar to rocket science for you because you don’t know where the problem has occurred. In the end, you have to take your machine to the mechanic now and then.
Honestly, I’m being nice to you because the number of problems that can occur during TIG Welding is massive and the fatality rate is deadly high. You can burn down your house if you make slight mistakes while teaching yourself how to weld.
So I highly suggest that you get a professional to teach you TIG Welding instead of harming yourself and others around you. The professional is worth every penny you spend on him because teaching yourself will end up costing more.
Misconceptions Related to Learning TIG Welding
There are various misconceptions spread by half-baked TIG Welders. Some spread such nonsense because of the hard procedures required to learn TIG Welding while others spread misconceptions to discourage people from learning TIG Welding.
The profit of spreading such nonsense is to decrease competition as TIG Welding skill is the most demanding welding method in the present job market. I have marked out such misconceptions that are related to learning TIG Welding. They are-
- You Need A Lot of Physical Strength
There is a common misconception about TIG Welding that is you need a lot of strength to successfully control the machinery. It’s also rumored that the machinery, its electrode, or torch is really heavy and can’t be moved around freely by just anyone.
This is the wrong idea about TIG Welding. You don’t need to be Superman to weld a TIG machine successfully since it weighs less. An average adult with almost no muscle strength can pick up the machine, the electrodes, the torch, other equipment related to TIG Welding. Now you know that having big muscles won’t help you to learn TIG Welding sooner.
- No Precision Necessary
There is no greater misconception than lacking precision while learning TIG Welding. This is a literal trap made by welders to prevent competition. You can’t learn properly if you keep thinking that you don’t need any precision while using it.
You need perfect precision and a suitable position while TIG Welding because concentration is key here. You need to master the timing of your precision and shielding gas release time as you slowly make strides across the metal or thermoplastic you’re practicing on. This is why TIG Welding is well known for making smooth and beautiful welding.
- Impossibly Steep Learning Curve
This is not a fully incorrect misconception, but you know how people will stretch the truth to benefit themselves. Such is the case in this scenario because TIG Welding is hard but it’s not next to impossible. Such misconceptions are made to demotivate you and use you as a weapon to demotivate anyone else who asks you.
TIG Welding was hard and quite impossible to apply properly because of the lack of advanced tools. In the present age, machinery and equipment required for TIG Welding have gotten a lot easier not to mention professionals who are ready to teach you anytime. TIG Welding will seem a bit for new learners with no knowledge of welding whatsoever.
The impossibly steep learning curve has curved down to a possible plain learning curve with advanced machines and new welding positions for learning TIG Welding.
- Pedal Once Only
This is quite a humorous misconception among new learners who want to start TIG Welding that you should pedal only once. More pedaling will damage the TIG machine and may even cause a short circuit. This is partially false because it’s only true to the point where you can’t pedal continuously.
You know by now that you need both your hands, perfect concentration from your eyes, and a foot to learn TIG Welding. Therefore, your foot is used to pedal and increase the heat of the welding machine because all metals don’t have the same melting point.
But that doesn’t mean you should pedal only once as your temperature won’t rise and you can’t melt the metal properly. So, keep pedaling at a slow pace until your torch is hot enough to melt the metal, and keep pedaling slowly to keep it that way.
- Must Learn Stick and MIG First
This misconception prevents the learners from directly learning TIG Welding and puts them on the wrong path. It isn’t bad to learn Stick and MIG welding but they are certainly not a step when you’re eager to learn only TIG Welding.
This method of manipulation is slyer than you can expect. We all know by now that TIG learning is without a doubt the hardest of the four ways to weld. So, when a new learner who is new to welding hears about this, he or she might believe it and begin learning Stick and MIG instead. I’m not discouraging you from learning the other methods but don’t get manipulated.
In most cases, the learner who was determined to learn TIG Welding will incline towards Stick or MIG welding because of their affordable and easy steps. TIG will seem like a waste of money to the new learner. So, never believe in such nonsense misconceptions.
TIG Welding has always been harder to learn compared to other forms of welding methods. It requires all of your concentration and sharpened body movement to learn it properly. Once mastered, the TIG Welding method will be a worthy skill when you add it to your bio not to mention all the useful ways you can use it.
So, if you’re asked, “Is TIG Welding hard to learn?” now you know that it’s not as hard as people say and all it requires is undisturbed concentration. Thank you for reading this article and I hope that it helped you gain useful knowledge about learning TIG Welding. Have a wonderful day!