MIG Gas Settings: How to Set the Gas in the MIG Welder - Welding Mastermind (2023)

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MIG or Metal Inert Gas has been used for nearly 80 years and is a favorite among new welders. A great feature of MIG welding is that it can melt metals of different sizes, although it is mainly used for thicker parts.

Setting up the gas on a MIG welder can be straightforward and requires limited prior knowledge of welding. Today MIG welding will be explained and you will also learn how to define the shielding gas used in welding. The importance of safety and some of the best shielding gases to use will also be discussed.

This article will detail how to set the gas on a MIG welder and what are the different types of shielding gases that can be used.

Gas Setup on Your MIG Welder

Gas MIG rates tend to be very low compared to other forms of welding. The shielding gas gas flow rate is measured in CFM or cubic feet per minute. Different areas or different conditions may affect CFM numbers.

Typical gas pressure when MIG welding tends to be around 3 to 8 psi, this is very low compared to other types of welding.

gas protector

Shielding gas provides the gas required for MIG welding. When starting, it is important to make sure that the gas bottle is correctly installed in the holder. You also need to check the gas hose and regulator to make sure there is no damage and replace any broken or damaged parts.

When installing the regulator and hose on the shielding gas, it is important to make sure that the seals are tight and that there are no gas leaks. Leaking gas can cause suffocation due to lack of oxygen, which can be fatal.


There are a few things you should do before and after turning on aMIG welder:

(Video) MIG Welder Settings: MIG Welding Basics for Beginners

  • Check cable before use.
  • Attach or MIG welder.
  • Check gas values. Ideal numbers are between 25 and 30 cubic feet per hour.
  • Trim the wire inside the gun tip, making sure it is not too long.

The wire inside the MIG is not protected against rust or dust, so it is vital to check the wire before each use. It is important to use a wire brush or emery to clean the wire and the inside of theI adviseevery time.

Ideal pressure numbers

Gas flow is measured primarily in cubic feet per hour, the amount of gas released each hour of use. To calculate how much pressure and flow is needed for the shielding gas, you need the diameter of the shroud, which is the tip of the MIG welding rod. This chart can help you determine what flow rate you need based on size (the welders).

flow rates6791012

When starting the MIG machine for the first time and setting the shield gas, the ideal number is between 25 and 30 cfh. Many regulators already have a built-in shielding gas, which releases the gas pressure, but the flow rate can be controlled.

pressure setting

The last step is to adjust the pressure as needed. If you are in a windy environment, a higher gas pressure is required, but the normal reading should be between 25 and 30 cfh. Always keep ideal numbers in mind.

When connecting the gas to the MIG, release the cup slowly until resistance is felt, then start opening the valve until the desired amount is reached. Be sure to open the valve slowly to avoid mistakes.

What is shielding gas?

Shielding gas prevents molten metals from being exposed to outside gases by using a constant flow of a different type of gas. There are many types of shielding gas that can be purchased, such as:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • argon
  • Oxygen
  • Helium

Each of these gases has its pros and cons. Remember that there is no perfect gas to use for MIG welding. Factors such as price, metal type and what the project is intended for will need to be considered when testing any of these gases.

cubic feet per hour

The CFM is used to pressurize the shielding gas flow, different from the flow which measures the amount of gas leaving. For most welds you need 25 to 30 cfh, but thicker metal parts require more gas.

This chart shows the typical CFM flowchart for MIG welding: (flow diagram)

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MIG gun diameterminimum flowtypical flowpeak flow
⅜ inch15 CFH18-22 CFH30 CFH
½ inch18 CFH22-27 CFH40 CFH
⅝ inches22 CFH30-35 CFH55 CFH
¾ inch30 CFH30-40 CFH65 CFH

The average MIG welding gun diameter is ⅝ inch, most welders would use a minimum flux of 22 CFH to a maximum flux of 55 CFH.

Flow rate can drastically affect this weld, with flow too fast, outside air can get in and cause contamination. It may take a lot of experience to know that the flow rate (CFM).

different shielding gas

The different metals that can besunny day methey do not affect the shielding gas, but would affect the flow rate. This is due to the different thicknesses of metals and the time it takes to heat and melt the metal.

Gases such as helium are excellent options for welding metals at very high temperatures, such as copper and aluminum. Different types of gases can affect how metal melts and how it reacts.

While argon is very stable, making it one of the more popular options, it can even help clean your MIG welding gun while you're using it. Both argon and helium can be mixed together to help achieve an even higher melting point.

For metals such as carbon steel, the best shielding gas is a mixture of 75% argon and 25% carbon dioxide, it has a high temperature. Another key part of this gas is that it produces minimal spatter, which can be dangerous if it comes into contact with your skin (sun day ME).

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(Video) How to MIG Weld for Beginners: MIG Welding Basics

MIG Gas Settings: How to Set the Gas in the MIG Welder - Welding Mastermind (1)

What is the best shielding gas for MIG?

Various gases can be used as a shielding gas, with argon being the best gas to use. This is because it gives a good finish and is composed of 25% Carbon and 75% Argon. However, this gas is not one of the cheapest options. Argon is a great choice for those who work with thinner metals and want a good finish.

Carbon dioxide is another commonly used gas and can be used without an inert gas, which is great for those trying to save money. Using 100% charcoal won't give a clean finish, but it's available at most stores, making it one of the easiest gases to find and use.

different pressure per gas

Each type of shielding gas will work differently depending on the type of metal being welded. For a 100% pure argon shielding gas, a flow rate of 20 to 30 cubic feet per hour is recommended when welding aluminum (shielding gas).

Shielding gases such as oxygen have much higher pressures and can create a major safety threat because of this, with pressures approaching 3000 psi (Gases: shielding gas). However, different shielding gas manufacturers set pressure amounts at different levels, so welders must be careful when setting gas levels.


MIG welding is a great choice for beginners and a good introduction to welding. It is also a much cheaper option thanTIG welding. Shielding gas can have many different prices, and it's nice to be able to test all types of gases to see how they affect metals.

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