What is a MMA TIG Welder?


MMA TIG welding can be a confusing term, so what do these welders do that’s so special? As silly as it sounds, my initial thought was TIG welders who also do MMA fighting. That isn’t at all the case here.

What is a MMA TIG welder? MMA TIG welder is a special welding machine that can be used for both MMA welding and TIG welding. In this case, ‘welder’ refers to the machine used for welding, not the person doing the welding.

My guess, as you can see, was completely off. Not only is it not a person who’s been trained both on welding and mixed martial arts, it’s actually not a person at all, but a machine! What are these used for and who uses them? How popular are they? And what kind of price tag do they have?

A Basic Introduction to MMA TIG Welders

A MMA TIG welder is a welding machine that has a rectifier to be able to use stick/MMA welding and TIG welding with just one machine. MMA welding and TIG welding both are similar in what they need in terms of a welding plant, which is how it’s possible to use one welder for two types of welding.

MMA TIG welders are often listed as AC/DC welding plants or machines. These tend to work best for MMA welding better than TIG welding; with AC/DC plants, you can simply switch from AC power to DC power to use it as a TIG welder.

However, the two welding processes, MMA and TIG, are used for very different projects. MMA tends to have a broader scope of applications compared to TIG, which is a fairly specialized welding procedure. TIG also takes a significant large amount of time to complete a project.

MMA, in comparison, can be used for a multitude more of projects. A welding plant that can be used for both MMA and TIG welding could, in theory, cover all of your possible welding needs. However, the larger price tag may not be worth it for welders who don’t do both frequently.

What Makes a MMA TIG Welder Useful?

For most welders, they will primarily use MMA welding. This is because this method, which we’ll give a short overview of in the following section, is quicker to complete a project with, as well as being easier for most people to master.

However, for some projects, TIG welding is a better bet for a quality weld. If these are the projects you commonly do, you may need to reconsider putting the money into a MMA TIG welder. MMA TIG welders aren’t as reliable of TIG welders as they are MMA welders.

This is simply because while they have the same basic requirements for a plant, all welding plants aside from TIG specific plants are designed with MMA welding first in mind. It’s simple numbers, in this situation, as the vast majority of people prefer MMA welding over TIG.

As long as you fit into this section of people who spend the majority of their time using MMA welding procedures and only occasionally want to complete a project requiring TIG welding, this is a great option for you.

What is MMA Welding?

MMA welding is also called manual metal arc welding or shielded metal arc welding. It fits into the broader class of arc welding, which also includes TIG welding. This is how you can have the same welding plant for both kinds of welding because they are similar in function.

However, they are not the same in application. MMA welding requires flux and is also referred to as stick welding, but it’s probably the most used welding procedure. It’s much quicker compared to TIG welding and can be used with thicker metals than TIG welding.

What is TIG Welding?

TIG welding refers to tungsten inert gas welding, which is a process that uses a gas instead of flux to protect your weld from airborne contaminants. This welding, as we mentioned, is also consider arc welding, which uses electricity to join metal to metal by melting it into pools.

TIG welding is primarily used for thinner sections of metals such as aluminum and copper. It can take a significantly longer amount of time to complete a piece using TIG welding procedures compared to other welding processes, which another reason why many prefer MMA over TIG.

Who Should Buy a MMA TIG Welder?

As we covered earlier, people who mostly do TIG welding are better off buying a plant specifically for TIG welding as welding plants that are MMA TIG are better, long-term, for MMA welding. However, most people do more MMA welding, and this is great option for some TIG welding as well.

Who, then, should buy a MMA TIG welder? When is it worth it to buy a MMA TIG welder, and when is it not? Here’s what we’ve concluded after some research into these welding plants.

  • Welding students interested in learning TIG welding. Most likely, you’ll have to take a class in TIG welding if you’re getting your degree in welding. But you can experiment with it yourself if you purchase a MMA TIG welder when you purchase your MMA welder for practice/work.
  • The occasional TIG welder, professional or hobbyist, who MMA welds primarily. If you are not working for a company that provides you with a welding plant, you may want to look into MMA TIG welders for the occasional time you need to complete some TIG welding.
  • The self-employed, licensed professional welder. As a licensed contractor, you may not have much TIG work, but it will be useful to have the option, just in case you need it.

What Is a Rough Price Range of MMA TIG Welders?

MMA TIG welders can be difficult to accurately guess the price of, however, the minimum you’ll pay for your MMA TIG welder is around $300. This is catching a sale or purchasing a lower quality welder. The average is about twice, closer to $600, and it only goes up from there.

While these seem like large, intimidating numbers, it can be useful to look at the cost of other welding plants, including TIG or MMA welding plants. MMA welding plants start at about $100 and average at $300, while TIG welding plants are closer to starting at $200 and going up.

Keep this price range in mind, as you could also invest in some average, separate welding plants for roughly the same price as one combined plant that may not function as well on both procedures.

Are There Options for Primarily TIG Welders Who Also Do MMA?

As we covered here, most MMA TIG welders are better for MMA welding. However, you can find a select few models geared for TIG welding.

It can be hard to spot these, but look for the AC/DC advertisement and look into the description to see if it comes with gas hoses or any mention of functionality with gas. Because MMA welding doesn’t use gas, a welding plant intended for MMA over TIG won’t come with hoses already.

These are a great option for the TIG welder, who occasionally encounters the need for MMA welding. They just aren’t as wide spread as MMA primary welders because of consumers’ demand. If you aren’t sure whether the welder will work for your intended purposes, contact the company.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to primarily use TIG welding processes or MMA, you can find a power plant that will work well for you. However, don’t completely write off purchasing two separate welding plants, as we discovered that might only be slightly more expensive.

Alexander Berk

A bit about myself: I am a certified international welding engineer (IWE) who worked in different welding projects for TIG, MIG, MAG, and Resistance Spot welding. Most recently as a Process Engineer for Laser and TIG welding processes. To address some of the questions I frequently got asked or was wondering myself during my job, I started this blog. It has become a bit of a pet project, as I want to learn more about the details about welding. I sincerely hope it will help you to improve your welding results as much as it did improve mine.

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