How to Wire Feed Weld?

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Last Updated on August 4, 2021 by weldinghubs

Wire Feed Welding is a process that can be used to weld metal pieces together. It’s an especially useful technique for welding thin metals and strong alloys. How does Wire Feed Welding work? How do you go about performing this task? In this article, we will answer these questions and more!

So, How to Wire Feed Weld? In wire feed welding, you use a gun to push the metal towards where it needs to be welded. This technique is known as the forehand technique because of how your hand moves when pushing with this motion. The arc force pushes away from the weld puddle and creates lower penetration and wider weld beads than other techniques such as pull or drag since it’s not focused on one point but rather all across at once which ultimately gives an even bead shape that can’t be achieved by any other method.

What Is Wire Feed Welding?

What Is Wire Feed Welding

Wire feed welding is a process that uses wire as an electrode to create weld joints. The continuous stream of the wire feeds through an electric machine, which resembles a gun when positioned correctly in your hand.

Once you press down on the trigger button and start feeding it into the welder with one hand, multiple things happen at once: electricity starts flowing from pole A to pole B; metal melts because of this flow; sparks fly off during contact between rods or electrodes (hence why they are called “sparking” machines);

The push technique is often used instead of the usual pull because it produces a lower penetration and a wider bead that’s flat.

This technique is beneficial to use when welding on an angle, such as a bevel.

The push technique requires you to hold the wire feeder in one hand and load it with your other hand by pushing up on the handle from underneath. The trigger should still be pressed with your index finger while keeping the pressure down on the top of the gun’s body with your thumb or forefinger. You can also try using both hands for stability if needed.

You Can Read Our New Post: What Are Welding Electrodes?

How Does Wire-Feed Welder Work?

Wire-feed welding is a process that involves feeding the welder wire through an electric circuit to heat up and melt metals as they are welded. Welders can control how much metal melts in their torches by controlling the amperage setting, voltage, frequency of current flow, or what type of rod they use for each project.

Welders often use a foot pedal to control the amount of current flowing through the wire as they weld. The speed at which metal melts is determined by how much amperage flows; as more amperage flows, faster-molten metal will flow out from the welder’s torch and into place for welding.

To create the joint, you insert the wire into your machine and then press down on it with some force. The two things start happening at once:

1) Multiple rollers inside of your gun-shaped electrode holder begin feeding out wire in measured lengths so as not to overload or underfeed; Electricity flows through this cable onto arcs which can be seen jumping around from one point to another before they snap together and form molten metal droplets (or plasma).

2) Shield gas kicks in when necessary. Rollers inside keep any excess metal off of the work area where welder will lay their hand upon during operation.

This type of welder heats both metal pieces by continuously running an electrically conductive arc between them, while simultaneously melting a rod at the same time.

As you weld together two metals to form your joint, shield gas protects it from environmental contamination and provides some protection against oxidation as well; this process not only increases productivity rates but also ensures that you produce high-quality work with ease.

How To Perform Wire Feed Welding Settings?

When performing wire feed welding, it is important to understand the settings. The most basic setting for an industrial machine set on AC-DC mode is a voltage of 12 volts and amperage at 0 – 1 amp range.

However, current can be increased up to 4 amps with DC welders such as gas shielded metal arc or tungsten electrode stick type machines; this may result in warmer walls but will also generate more heat inside the pipe being welded due to higher input power consumption levels (3000 Kva).

There are many settings to consider when using this type of welder: voltage range, amperage range, gas flow rate setting on regulator/flow meter(s), shielding gases can be set by percentage from 0% up to 100%, pulse width controls how much power you need at any given time while pulsed Tungsten Inert Gas allows users more control over their process than Filler Rod does but it’s not as versatile.

If you’re wondering how to set up a wire feed welder, here are some instructions.

First, position the welding gun and weld table so that they face your workpiece at about a 45-degree angle from one another.

Next comes what’s called “wire speed.” Adjust it until it reaches an appropriate range for metal thicknesses in use: usually between 12 (low) and 25 (high).

Lastly is amperage or amps; adjust this as necessary with thicker metals requiring higher amp settings of 70+, while thinner materials can have lower ones such as 20+.

How To Set Up A Wire Feed Welder?

It’s time you learned how to set up a wire feed welder. Every great welder needs a good welding setup, including the basics like wire feed welders and MIG torches. Follow these steps to set up your own wires for an efficient process:


Decide if you want to set up a wire feed welder with a ground clamp or just plug it in. The first method involves making sure that your outlet is grounded so the machine won’t spark and start fires, but plugs are also an option; be aware of any open outlets within reach because sparks could fly out!


Supply the correct voltage for your transformer by using jumper cables (or extension cords).


Plugin the power cord for either 120 volts or 240 volts depending on what voltage yours operates at (you’ll find this information written somewhere near its controls), then plug it into an electrical socket. If using a 220-volt receptacle without grounding, use caution when operating as metal parts can become hot enough to ignite paper products like work gloves sitting nearby). This usually takes about 10 minutes before being.


Next is selecting flux core or self-shielded electrodes; most people prefer self-shielded because it allows them more control over where they apply welds in their project areas.


Make sure that when installing rods on the spool gun that the polarity indicator matches with what says on top of your power source unit first – this will help prevent short circuits from occurring during operation if not connected properly.


Lastly but still important: make sure there are no obstructions around as well as keeping away.

Things To Consider When Wire Feed Welding

Wire feed welding is a process that uses an electrical current to heat the workpiece and melt filler metal. The wire provides the filler material which makes it possible to build beads, fill holes, or cover large areas of a weld joint. There are numerous factors you need to consider when using this type of welding process.

Here are some things you should know about wire feed welding before starting:

  • Direction:

You always use the push direction when wire feeding.

A lot of people want to know what is a “push” and how do you weld in that particular way?

Let me tell you: it’s really as easy as one-two-three with some preparation work beforehand!

First, make sure your welding machine has been turned off so there are no accidents on accident-prone surfaces or equipment;

Then place an appropriate size electrode into the gun at just over halfway up depending on where we’re working – sometimes close enough for all positions, other times not;

Next, take your torch (or stick) out from its storage location nearby if need be before moving it towards any pointy edges nearby like table square corners or long metal bars protruding upwards without  any sharp points, like a straightened coat hanger or something;

Now you’re ready to wire feed.

This is the part where most people get tripped up on – so pay attention. Get your gun in position and turn it off (absolutely no surprises!) before grabbing an appropriate size rod of metal out of whichever pile we happen to be near at this point.

Make sure there’s enough for what we need but not too much as well because these things are heavy and don’t stack easily if they’re just piled on top of one another without anything holding them down.

Now that we’ve got our material together, take the end of the said electrode by pulling back gently until it meets with any edge of the metal piece.

  • Work Angle:

The most important thing to remember is that the angle of your gun affects how well you can weld. When welding, it’s best if your 10°-15° into the direction you’re pushing wire or stick welding and 20°-30º when dragging a fillet (tee) weld rod between two pieces of metal.

The work angle varies with each metal and joint type, so it’s best that you know what kind of steel or aluminum you’ll be working on before any arc starts flying. You have four significant weld positions:

  1. Flat (on a table).
  2. Horizontal.
  3. Vertical (standing upright).
  4. Overhead.

01. Flat Position:

In the flat position, a joint’s kind and angle play an important role in deciding how effectively it works.

When you’re holding the gun at 90 degrees and filling it with filler metal straight into the joint, don’t forget about space around that area – have 5-15 degree travel angles for good coverage.

To make a T-joint, it is important to keep the gun at 45 degrees. It can be hard to weld this joint with just one pass and having that perfect bead so instead, try making two or more passes for better results. When you’re welding multiple joints together like I am now, your work angle will change slightly between each pass which helps avoid uneven beads.

Lap joints (also called fillet welds) are a great way to connect two pieces of metal together. They’re also used as an alternative when other types of welding won’t work, such as on thin or very hot metals where the heat would melt the joint before it could even be completed and cooled off again.

When using this type of connection for thicker materials like steel girders, you’ll need to use angles between 60-70 degrees while working with thinner sheets will allow more flexibility in terms of both angle and depth distance from one another depending on what your needs might require.

02. Horizontal Position:

The Horizontal weld Position angle is the degree to which wire feed welding equipment is tilted in relation to horizontal.

The degrees of tilt can make a difference between how smooth welds and even your weld seams are, as well as their effectiveness for different applications such as fillet welds or butt joints.

When welding in the horizontal position, it is best to work at angles of 30-60 degrees. The key goal here is preventing filler metal from sagging or rolling over on the bottom side of a weld joint.

03. Vertical Position:

Well, if you are working with a vertical weldment then this special type of welding requires that your workpiece be tilted at an acute inclination. This will allow for better access to all sides while also enhancing quality and production rates.

The centerline of the electrode should be held at a 45° work angle. This will allow for good electrical contact with your welding rod, and ensure that you are progressing evenly through each section of metal to complete your weld seam.

A 45° work angle is vital for a clean weld in the T-joint. Depending on your application, you may want to vary from 5°–15° when welding at other joints with different angles and positions.

When it comes to travel angles, 5°–15° is perfect when working on other joints as well – enough so that we recommend using this range in all positions.

04. Overhead Position:

When performing overhead welding, it is important to be well protected. A welder should wear a cap and coat while working with the metal as there may be some splattering of molten metal which can cause burns if they come into contact with skin or eyes.

Welding overhead is not as easy as it used to be. With the invention of drag, push, or perpendicular gun techniques, came effects of gravity and now with one wrong move, a weld could fall out onto you!

Weld joint travel speeds must increase because in order for your welder bead to stay inside that metal border they have created you need some serious speed on top of all else.

When using these fast-paced welding methods there’s only so much time before gravity has its way too but by lowering voltage and amperage things can become more controlled especially when working with smaller diameter wire which makes this method even less complicated than ever before.

  • Travel Angle

A travel angle is an angle at which welding happens relative to the gun. For most applications, you want a 5-15 degree range of movement so that your weld has good penetration and minimal spatter.

Excessive angles can lead to more problems like arc instability or less than desirable results with gas coverage on one side of an object being welded due to poor shielding from slag deposits if too much heat accumulates there.

A Travel Angle is defined as how far away from perpendicular we are when performing our job tasking (welds). A normal travel should be in between five and fifteen degrees for optimal performance when using a standard shielded metal arc electrical discharge process because this allows adequate size accesses while also giving us room for our electrode.

  • Wire Selection

Wire selection is the most important step in achieving a successful wire feed weld. The two main types of wires are solid and flux-cored.

Solid wires have just one diameter, while flux core wires vary between diameters depending on whether they’re clad or unclad; this allows for greater control over penetration depth though may limit welding movement.

Flux-cored wire’s filler metal burns off completely leaving only clean base metal behind when it cools down after being fused to joint surfaces by the heat from high voltage electrical current passing through it (heat transfer).

Wire Size for Rusty Metal Welds:  When you’re in a pinch, the ER70S-6 wire is good for dirty or rusty welds because it’s easier to shape and can still reach high temperatures. This makes this variety of welding perfect when repairing machinery, like cars.

Wire Size for Thick Metal Welds: When welding thicker metals at higher temperatures, use a 0.035-inch or a 0.045-inch wire depending upon the use and welder’s output range to ensure that you have enough heat for an effective weld without burning through your material too quickly.

A 0.030-inch wire works as an excellent all-rounder choice, especially if you’re looking for something that is great in a variety of situations and applications.

However, we suggest using the slightly thicker (0.035 inches) option when working with sheets that are medium thickness or have motorsports application needs like those typically found on home garages due to their increased resistance against heat breakage at higher temperatures experienced during these processes.

Wire Size for Thin Metal welds: The best wire thickness for thin sheets is 0.023 inches which helps control heat input, reduce burn-through risks and provide a better weld quality.

  • Gas Selection

A 75% argon/25% carbon dioxide blend, also called C-shielding gas or C-gas for short is the best all-purpose shielding gas. It produces fewer spatters and gives a better bead appearance than other gases.

You might be wondering why it’s so great. Not only can you use this shield on any type of metal but, unlike other products that have been tested in labs to evaluate their ability to stop oxygen from penetrating through them at different rates (such as P20), we don’t need expensive equipment setup nor do we need complex calculations done before determining how long each weld should take with our special mix.

For a rougher bead, use 100 percent CO2. This will make penetration deeper and spatter more prevalent but the beads are traditionally smoother than those created by a 75/25 mix of air and gas.

For some people, deep drilling is important for an enjoyable piercing experience so they might look to using 100% carbon dioxide over mixed gases that can create rough or flat-looking piercings.

  • Wire Length

The proper wire stick out for most solid wire MIG applications is about 3/8 inch. Those of you who are new to welding should try your best to maintain this length while welding, but be aware that it can vary depending on the process and specific material being welded.

When using MIG or TACK welder nozzles that are threaded onto older style guns (without automatic threading), always make sure there’s enough sticking out so sparks don’t short circuit around the nozzle threads where they meet at the copper welding tip of the gun barrel before going up into metal being welded together; this can cause an inconsistent arc strike from one side to another since more pressure needs are applied by hand which also creates excess heat in base material – leading.

Required Safety Gear

When it comes to welding gear, the first thing you’ll need is a welding helmet.

The two things that will help determine what kind of lens your helmet needs are voltage and personal preference. With the auto-darkening helmet, welding is now easier than ever before. The dark lenses automatically adjust to changing light conditions so that welder can see clearly in any environment including bright sunlight or under backlight (black lights).

If any metal welded exceeds 3 volts, then I recommend using shade 10 or 11 lenses for protection against UV radiation from high-energy light sources like arc welding equipment which can cause cataracts in extreme cases!

As well as, ultraviolet rays and hot metals coming off molten pieces of steel when burning through scrap material at temperatures up to 4000 degrees Fahrenheit (2200 Celsius).

It’s also imperative to protect yourself with long sleeves and pants made of cotton, leather, or fire-retardant materials—especially if you’re working near areas where there are open flames like cutting torches.


This blog post has given you all the information needed to get started with wire-feed welding. From understanding how a welder works to what settings should be used and some safety equipment tips. You are now ready for your own successful welds!

Is there something else you want to know about this process?

Contact us anytime! We’re here for any questions or concerns that may arise during your journey of learning how to do it yourself. If not, thank you so much for reading our blog today, and happy welding.


What is MIG or wire feed welding used for?

With this welding process, a gas tank (typically CO2 or argon) provides the shielding while the wire melts into the base metal. It is now one of the most popular processes for structural welding and fabrication purposes.

What Is Undercut in Welding?

Undercutting is a common welding defect that can weaken welds and the base metal. This happens when flames from the torch are too close to one side of an area being worked on, which encourages thermal expansion in only one direction while reducing it in others.

What Are the Functions of a Wire Feed Unit?

The wire feed unit feeds the electrode wire to the welding arc at a constant rate. The machine also transfers power from your voltage source, and delivers a shield to your weld puddle!

What is the difference between MIG welder and Wire Feed Welder?

MIG welders use gas to shield the weld pool. Wire Feed welders do not require a shielding gas because they are shielded by the wire itself as it is fed through the weld area. Because of this, Wire Feed welders work well with materials that contain moisture or oxygen such as aluminum and stainless steel. MIG welders will have problems if you try using them on these types of materials because there is no shielding gas available for protection but also in cases where we need to cut into a metal surface like when repairing a damaged pipe or other types of object.

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