Today we are going to be learning the difference between the Push VS Drag MIG Welding Techniques. There are many welding process that a welder has to choose from that can either help or better the quality of his or her weld. Today we are going to be focusing on MIG welding. This is an arc welding process in which you have a continuous solid wire electrode that is being fed through a welding gun and into the weld pool which will then be responsible for joining two base materials together. In the MIG welding process, the involvement of a shielding gas is also required, it will be sent through the welding gum and will be responsible for protecting the weld pool from contamination from other atmospheric air which can create some unwanted chemical reaction with the metal.
If you want to learn how to MIG welding, you can start with something like basic beads on a flat steel, preferably at least 1/4 inches in thickness. You can use two techniques – the backhand which is you pulling or dragging the MIG gun and the forehand which is you pushing the MIG gun in about a 1/2 inch wire stick out.
When should you use backhand or forehand welding technique?
If the material that you are welding is thin steel, then you can use the forehand technique. You see the forehand technique allows faster travel and also creates less fusion. When we say fusion, this refers to the penetration of the filler metal into the base metal. You don’t want an excessive fusion because it is thin steel! You might make a hole right through the metal. That is something that you do not want to happen. If you push, you may notice that all of the sparks are coming towards you.
Now, let’s take about backhand or the Drag/leading the puddle. Many people prefer this technique because for them it is neater, prettier to look at, and is cleaner. When you use this welding technique, you will notice that all the sparks are going away from you. It’s also safer for the welder since if the sparks are going away from you, the chances of you getting injured or burned are lesser.
Whatever welding technique you are using, because in the end, it really just depends on the preference of the welder, it is important that you don’t forget to pay attention on feeding the leading edge of the weld pool. You want to stay right in the edge of the pool because if you go too far out while pushing, or not far enough back into it while you are dragging, you may find that there will be a small gap with no filler metal. It’s not nice to look at, and it is also susceptible to forces such as tension, torsion, compression, and sheer that can cause cracks and weakness on the weld itself. I am sure that you don’t want this to happen to your welds.
Before everything else, you should know how to prepare your equipment.
So make sure that before you begin, you checked your cables. It is a must for a welder to secure all his cable connections are free of fraying or other damages. You have selected the right electrode polarity, and you have set the proper gas flow. Be sure that you have turned on the shielding gas, as we have discussed above it protects your weld so don’t neglect it. The flow rate should be at 20 to 25 cubic feet per hour. If you suspect a leak in your hose, apply soapy water solution and look for bubbles. If there’s a leak, discard hose and purchase a new one.
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