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Can you use the same Gas for Mig and Tig

Wednesday, 24th June 2020
Graham (Tech Advisor)
The Welders Warehouse Online Shop

I get asked “can you use the same gas for Mig and Tig” a LOT!

Sadly, the answer is NO.

Gas for Mig Welding

Both Mig and Tig Welding require gas to protect the weld pool from Oxygen and often to cool the Torch but these are not the only functions it performs with Mig Welding.

First off, “MIG” which stands for “Metal Inert Gas”, is actually an incorrect term. This is because virtually all gases used for Mig Welding are “Active” gases, so it should be called “MAG” welding, or “Metal Active Gas”

North American’s get around the Mig/Mag issue by calling the process “Gas Metal Arc Welding”, or GMAW).

Anyway, MIG welding (we’ll use the popular term), uses mostly Active gases, usually a mixture of Argon (Inert) and Co2 (Active).

“Inert” means the gas does not react with anything, “Active” means the gas does react with, or changes something else.

An Active gas is used with Mig Welding for two reasons:

  • The Active Gas mixes make the gas semi conductive to electricity, makes for a hotter arc and better penetration.
  • The Active Gas breaks the surface tension of the molten metal, allowing it to flatten out more.

Using an Inert Gas like pure Argon will result in the machine needing to be turned up higher and the welds will be taller.

Pure Argon should only be used for Mig Welding Aluminium, or for special applications.

I’ve written specific articles on Mig Welding Gas and No Rent Gas Cylinders that you might find useful!

View our range of Disposable Gas Cylinders

Gas for Tig Welding

Whilst there are some more exotic (and expensive) mixes available, most welders will find pure Argon to be ideal for Tig Welding most metals.

Gas for Tig Welding is to protect the weld pool from Oxygen and to Cool the Torch, unless a Water Cooled Torch is being used.

If you use an Active Gas for Tig Welding, you will find you will blow holes quite easily and the Tungsten Electrode will burn away very quickly.

View our range of Disposable Gas Cylinders


As we’ve found, you can’t really use the really use the same gas for Mig and Tig Welding. They are significantly different processes.

I hope you find my answers to the question “can you use the same gas for Mig and Tig” useful.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.

Don’t worry, your email address won’t be added to a database or shared and you won’t receive any unsolicited email.



Visit our Online Shop to view our Welding Gases


  1. Peter says:

    Do I need to use gas when using a water cool torch

    1. Graham says:

      I think you may have asked the this question already 😀

  2. Do I need to use guess when using a water cool torchPeyer says:

    Do I need to use guess when using a water cool torch

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Peter
      Yes, you do need gas. Gas prevents the weld pool from oxidising.
      Cheers Graham

  3. Emmy Kisame says:

    Tell me which type of gas can I use for mig welding

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Emmy, we have a blog article covering Mig Gases
      Cheers Graham

  4. Braden Bills says:

    I want to weld some metal pieces together, but I’m not sure what kind of welder to use. It’s good to know that there are some specific kinds of welding supplies. It makes sense that I would want to get one that uses the right kind of gas.

  5. Peter Dawson says:

    Im looking at stuff on youtube about MIG, it specifically says on more than one video. DO NOT USE C02/Argon mix, who is correct please. I know if you are welding ally, you use pure Argon but you are saying I can use a mix. Confused of Watford.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Peter
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      An Argon/Co2 Mix is fine for Mig Welding Steel and whilst not ideal, can be used for Mig Welding Stainless Steel.
      Broadly speaking, you would use a mix of 95% Argon and 5% Co2 for steel up to 10mm thick. 90/10 for 10-20mm thick and 80/20 for 20mm+ thick.
      Pure Argon should be used for Mig Welding Aluminuim or Mig Brazing.
      Have a look at this article for more info: https://www.thewelderswarehouse.com/blog/mig-welding-gas/
      Hope this helps clarify
      Cheers Graham

  6. Adrian Carter says:

    Hi, do you allow collection as I am in Milton Keynes as well

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Adrian
      Sorry for the slow reply.
      I regret we don’t have a trade counter or shop, so generally, no!
      Having said that, we do carry out local deliveries via our own vans, so could arrange for a driver to meet up with you in Milton Keynes if that helps.
      Call us to discuss.

  7. David Whymark says:

    Informative answer. ive been trying to work this out for a while.

    1. Graham says:

      Thanks for the comment David, glad you found the article useful.
      Cheers, Graham

  8. David Whymark says:

    Yes, this has answered a niggling thought!!
    straight forward answer.

    1. Graham says:

      Your Welcome David.
      Cheers Graham

  9. William Cameron says:

    Aha, this takes me back. I was a sheet metal worker ,went to tech. for HNC Fabrication & Welding (1985) I now do CAD. I remember you need the high temp.for stainless Tig to break down the surface oxides. Good condensed info.
    Im going to buy a Clarke 135TE Mig (discounted) at Machinemart
    Like your wee Blue mig but out of stock.Will use you for all my supplies inc. mask. Cheers

    1. Graham says:

      Thanks for the comment William, glad you found the article useful.

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