How To Determine Which Type of Welding Wire You Need

For every welding application, there is a CWI Generation4™ welding consumable that meets your requirements. From a tank overlay in chemical processing to automotive repair or pipe fabrication, we offer a wide range of high quality alloys that fulfill the specific consumable needs of shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), submerged arc welding (SAW), tungsten inert gas welding (TIG), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), and gas metal arc welding (GMAW). To help you achieve the highest quality welds possible using our evolutionary Generation4™ products, we wanted to provide three considerations when choosing the appropriate welding wire.

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The first step to determine which type of welding wire you need is to consider your welding type. MIG, TIG, and Sub Arc welding applications each require different styles of wire based on application method, so you it is important to know whether your machinery uses individual rods or long strands of wire. Each welding type also uses a different diameter of welding wire. Choosing a diameter that is too large for your application or welding type may result in poor performance, so can reference the chart on page 6 of our welding wire catalog for wire diameters by welding type if you need assistance.


Before selecting a welding wire alloy, take note of your base material and environment. If your project is slated to experience extreme heat or chemical exposure, you may want to consider a corrosion resistant alloy. If you are using 316 stainless steel as a base metal, you may want to use Gen 316L as your welding wire. to Whether you need corrosion resistance, strength, or ductility, we have a welding consumable that will meet your needs. We are proud to offer a broad selection of welding wire alloys, including stainless steel, nickel, cobalt, and copper. To learn all about the chemical composition of our alloys, visit or browse our welding wire webpage.

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Choosing the correct packaging for your welding wire is just as important as choosing its chemical composition, which is why we offer a wide range of options to meet your needs. From reels and spools to drums and tubes, we make it as easy as possible to get your desired packaging. If you are working with smaller quantities of material, we offer 2lb. and 10lb. spool options for MIG wire as an alternative to standard 33lb. spools. If you are working with large quantities of material, reels or paks may be a better solution for your operation. To learn about our different standard options, refer to page 7 of our welding wire catalog or visit

Learn all about our full line of Generation4™ welding wire consumables at