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How to Adjust Mig Welder Wire Feed Roller Tension

Tuesday, 20th February 2018

What is Roller Tension?

Mig Welder Wire Feed Roller Tension is how tightly the Rollers Grip the Mig Welding Wire to feed through the Mig Welders feed mechanism and torch.  Feed Roller Tension is one of the more important mig welder settings.

If you’re more of a watcher than a reader, I’ve produced a video showing how to adjust Mig Welder Wire Feed Roller Tension, you can find this in the Mig Welder Info section of our Knowledge Zone

Mig Wire Feed Mechanism

Too Little Roller Tension

If the tension is too light the rollers can slip and wire will not be fed through at the correct speed, or will feed erratically, potentially causing the wire to burn back on to the copper Tip at the end of the Mig Welders Torch.

Too Greater Roller Tension

If the tension is too great, unnecessary strain is put on the Mig Welders Wire Feed Motor and there is a risk of damaging the surface of the Mig Welding Wire. If the surface of the wire is damaged, this can in turn damage the Mig Welder Torch Liner.

If the Mig Welder Wire Feed Roller Tension is too great on softer Mig Wires (e.g. Flux Cored & Aluminium), the wire can be slightly flattened, so instead of your welding wire being, say 1.0mm in diameter, it may become 1.1 x 0.9mm, this will then increase the risk of jamming at the copper Tip.

To Correctly Adjust the Tension

So how do your correctly adjust Mig Welder Wire Feed Roller Tension?  Here’s the method that’s served me well with Home and Professional welders for the last 20+ Years:

  1. Ensure the Mig Welders Torch is COLD
  2. Feed out about 50mm of welding wire
  3. Reduce the roller tension until you can press the torch trigger and the rollers slip (wire does not feed)
  4. Grip the wire between your thumb and first finger.  Your grip should be firm but not tight (no white knuckles please)
  5. Turn the tension adjuster ½ a turn
  6. While gripping the wire as described in 4, press the torch trigger, if the rollers still slip turn the adjuster another ½ turn and repeat
  7. What you want is to just about be able to stop the wire feed through your fingers, but without gripping hard!

Conclusion

Prevention is always batter than cure, but if you’ve already experienced the feed problems mentioned earlier, chances are you’re going to need to replace your liner.  This is something you should do from time to time anyway as torch liners are a consumable.  We carry a range of Mig Torch Spares and our website has a useful Torch Identifier to help you select the correct parts for your Mig Gun.

I hope you found this useful, if things work out well for you, please feel free to post some pictures of your achievements on our Facebook Page

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.

Cheers

Graham

The Welders Warehouse