Is laser welding better than MIG welding?

Welding is a critical component in the manufacturing process, used to join two pieces of metals or thermoplastics together. It is a popular choice for many industries such as automotive, heavy machinery and even aerospace. The two most common welding types are MIG and laser welding, but which one is superior? This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both MIG and laser welding to determine whether laser welding is better than MIG welding.

What is Welding?

Automatic laser welding

MIG welding, or metal inert gas welding, is a common process for joining materials. This method involves feeding a continuous wire electrode through the gun and into the weld puddle. As the wire melts, it creates an electrical arc that fuses the two pieces of material together. MIG welding is quick and easy to use, and can be used on many different types of metals including steel, aluminum and stainless steel. However, it does require more skill to master than other processes such as stick welding or oxy-fuel cutting.

Laser welding offers many advantages over traditional MIG welding techniques. The intense heat generated by laser welds means that much less heat is required overall for a successful weld. This makes laser welding ideal for thin-gauge materials where high temperatures may cause warping or distortion in the finished product. Additionally, laser welds are generally stronger because they create tighter seals due to their higher thermal conductivity compared with MIG welds. Laser welding also offers greater speed and accuracy than traditional methods since it requires fewer passes over the joint area to get good results.

Types of Welding: MIG & Laser

MIG welding, or Metal Inert Gas welding, is a type of arc welding that uses a consumable wire electrode and an inert gas mixture to shield the weld from contamination. It\’s suitable for many types of metals including steel and aluminum, as well as some plastics. MIG welding is often used for general fabrication and repairs because it can be done quickly, requires minimal setup time, and is relatively easy to learn. The main disadvantage of MIG welding is that it requires more preparation than other types of welding; the equipment must be cleaned prior to use in order to ensure the highest quality results.

Laser beam welding (LBW) is a process that uses a powerful laser beam instead of an electrical arc to join two pieces of metal together. This method offers significant advantages over other types of joining techniques such as MIG or TIG because it produces higher strength joints with less heat distortion in shorter times. LBW also eliminates spatter, which makes cleanup easier and reduces post-weld finishing requirements. The downside is that laser beam welders are more expensive than other types so they may require a larger initial investment.

Advantages of MIG Welding

MIG welding is a popular and versatile welding process that offers many advantages over other methods, such as laser welding. One of the major advantages is that MIG welding can easily be automated for large-scale parts production. This saves time, money, and labor costs compared to manual or laser welding processes. Additionally, MIG welders are relatively inexpensive tools to purchase compared to more advanced equipment used in laser welding. This makes it more attractive for smaller shops who may not be able to afford expensive tools and materials.

MIG welds also offer superior strength than other types of welds; MIG welds have high tensile strength with good penetration into metal substrates making them much stronger than traditional spot welds or fillet joints created by laser welders. The use of flux core wire in MIG welding further increases its strength while creating a smooth finish on the surface of the metal substrate. Furthermore, there is less risk of defects in MIG welds since they are done at higher temperatures which ensure complete fusion between two metal substrates without leaving any gaps or air pockets within the joint structure which can often lead to corrosion down the line with lower temperature processes like laser welding.

Advantages of Laser Welding


Laser welding is a process that has many advantages over other welding processes. It uses focused light to quickly and accurately join two materials together. Laser welding offers higher precision, faster speeds of operation, lower heat input into the material, and better repeatability than MIG welding. This makes it an ideal choice for highly precise welds on thin materials such as stainless steel and aluminum alloys. Laser welds are also extremely strong due to their small heat-affected zone which reduces warping or distortion of the material due to heating. Laser welds also require no filler material, leaving the finished product with a clean appearance and low contamination risk from fluxes or other filler materials used in traditional welding processes. Finally, laser welding requires less energy than MIG welding – making it more cost effective in certain applications where speed is a priority such as automotive production lines.

Disadvantages of MIG & Laser

MIG welding is often seen as the go-to option for projects that require a high level of precision and accuracy. However, it does have some drawbacks. One such drawback is its slower speed compared to laser welding. MIG welding can take significantly longer than laser welding when it comes to completing a job, which can be an issue for tasks that need to be completed quickly or with tight deadlines. With laser welding, jobs can be completed in much less time than with MIG welding.

Another potential disadvantage of MIG welding is its lack of portability. While most modern welders are fairly lightweight and portable, they still require more setup than do laser welders before being used on a project. Laser welders are typically much more compact and easier to transport between locations due to their smaller size and lighter weight compared to MIG welders. This makes them ideal for jobs that require frequent relocation or travel between sites.

Finally, MIG welders tend to be more expensive than laser welders due to the cost associated with purchasing additional supplies like gas tanks and shielding gases needed for operation.

Application Considerations

When considering the best welding application for a project, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of both laser welding and MIG welding. Laser welding is highly efficient, fast and clean. It can be used on materials ranging from thin sheets to thick plates of steel. On the downside, laser welding requires expensive machinery and specialized skillsets not often found in most fabrication shops. MIG welding is cost-effective and relatively easy to learn, making it popular among welders. Additionally, it has high tolerance for rusty or dirty material surfaces making it suitable for industrial applications such as automotive manufacturing. However, MIG welding is prone to splatter which can damage nearby components due to its heat effect when compared with laser welds that are much cooler during operation. Additionally, because of its design limitations, MIG Welding works better on thinner material than thicker plate materials that require more power input than what’s practical with this method of fusion. With all these considerations in mind, each job should be evaluated on its own merits before deciding between laser or MIG Welding as the preferred method for completion.


In conclusion, laser welding and MIG welding both have their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the project, either one can be a better option. For larger projects that require more precision and accuracy, laser welding is usually the best choice. However, in cases where speed is essential, MIG welding may be the most suitable option. Additionally, many projects require a combination of both techniques to get the best results.

It is important to do research into each method before selecting one for use in a particular project. Factors such as cost-effectiveness, safety procedures and materials should all be taken into consideration when deciding which method to use. Ultimately, it will come down to what works best for you and your specific needs or goals when it comes to welding applications.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of Contents

On Key

Related Posts


Troubleshooting for WSX Welding System

Basic component QBH’s connection 1.Current model: Displays the currently connected laser device model. 2. Switch control:2.1 Laser Enable: Open – Allow laser output, prerequisites for,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

JQ - Laser welding specilist

Submit an inquiry