Does It Matter If You Push or Pull While Welding?

Some welders roll their eyes every time the push vs. pull debate comes up, while others have strong opinions that they believe they have been forged out of hard-earned experience. Should we debate pushing vs. pulling for welding? And if it’s worth discussing, then which is the best option for you? Let’s look at a few angles in this debate on welding technique.

 

There’s No Magical Welding Trick

Welders entering into this debate are often quick to point out that your experience and technique matter a lot more. If you have some experience, you’ll most likely understand how hot to run your machine, how to move your torch along the joint to get the best penetration, and how to angle your torch for the most effective weld.

Before we even begin to discuss pushing or pulling, getting your settings and technique right will go a lot further in most cases when it comes to making a strong weld.

Key Factors in Weld Strength

Welders also regularly note that the type of metal and the shielding gas set up vs. flux core are essential factors in determining how to approach your weld. For instance, welding instructors will tell you that MIG welding with flux core on aluminum will always require a push angle. However, once you switch to another material, such as steel, you may need to consider pulling your weld bead instead.

Both your materials and your shielding set up can go a long way toward determining how to move across the weld joint. You’ll find that it’s about choosing the right movement for the specific materials and the weld joint in question.

The Advantages of Pushing a Weld

When you’re pushing a weld, you have the key benefit of seeing where you’re going. Many welders are not big fans of pushing a weld, but if you need some added visibility of the joint, it’s tough to beat pulling a weld.

In addition, you’ll find that plenty of welders push their welds uphill in the hope of getting better visibility and penetration into the joint.

The Advantages of Pulling a Weld

Most welders want to know what the weld bead looks like after a pass, and in that case pulling a weld is ideal. Many welders opt for pulling a weld as their default movement. They want to know if there’s too much build up or if they need to adjust their settings.

Pulling a weld is often ideal for welding steel, but your direction should still be determined by the type of metal, your process, and any other factors that change the angle or approach of your weld.

Can You Push and Pull Your Welds?

The bottom line in the push vs. pull debate is that there are a few situations that may demand a particular approach, but more often than not the strength of your weld will be determined by other factors. Even the most careful tests depend on the technique of the welder performing the test.

So long as you have your settings, technique, and tools set up correctly, you probably don’t have to even wonder whether you need to push or pull your weld. That alone may be all that most welders need to know about this debate!

Before You Debate Pushing or Pulling Your Weld

Of course the most important part of any debate over a welding technique is to work with a top name welding machine and the best in welding electrodes and tools. You can find the best deals on welding machines, welding gear, and other welding products at Baker’s Gas and Welding. You’ll find top holiday deals this week, but stop by any time for some of the lowest prices on welding gear and welding machines.

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8 thoughts on “Does It Matter If You Push or Pull While Welding?”

  1. Christopher Wilson says:

    I’ve always been under the impression that you always push a MIG weld because with wire feed, you don’t achieve as bold a spark area as let’s say, a 7/32 rod for stick welding. That’s with the understanding that it’s harder to burn through the weld pool and achieve good penetration with a thinner element like wire. Now I’m sure you could crank up your machine to account for this if need be but why do that if it’s a flawed technique? Help!!

  2. Kylie Dotts says:

    It’s interesting that the strength of the weld will be determined by factors other than if you push or pull it. This does make sense though because whether you write left handed or right handed you still write right so the same concept could be applied to welding. I imagine that the most important thing is doing it in a way that feels comfortable for you and is safe so you don’t sustain any injuries while working.

  3. Deb Pearl says:

    My son got interested in welding during his 3D design class and in turn got me curious. He said his teacher showed off some push and pulling techniques and I wanted to know more. I know I would want to see where I was going while welding so I would probably want to use the pushing technique more. Thanks for all the information!

    1. harold says:

      pulling definitely has better penetration…. why would comfort make the weld better

      1. harold says:

        The pull technique increases penetration and produces a higher and narrower bead. This is because the pull technique directs the arc at the base metal.

        The push technique decreases penetration and produces a lower and wider bead. This is because the the arc and the heat are directed away from the base metal and weld puddle.

        I dont know if this applies to TIG and stick welding. taken from the I-CAR Steel GMA (MIG) welding textbook.

  4. Jack Dangerfield says:

    im a kid who is learning how to weld and this has helped me alot

  5. Ibrahim Alakki says:

    The pull technique increases penetration and produces a higher and narrower bead. This is because the pull technique directs the arc at the base metal.

    The push technique decreases penetration and produces a lower and wider bead. This is because the the arc and the heat are directed away from the base metal and weld puddle.

    I dont know if this applies to TIG and stick welding. taken from the I-CAR Steel GMA (MIG) welding textbook.

  6. Tito bravo says:

    I weld with 6011. I do better when pushing than pulling
    I guess what works best is what count

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