How to calculate MIG wire feed speed

Written by kevin owen Google
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to calculate MIG wire feed speed
Improperly setting the feed speed on your MIG welder will result in weak weld joints or cause you to burn a hole in your metal. (mig welder image by Jake Hellbach from

Metal inert gas (MIG) welding machines automatically feed wire through the torch head of the welding gun to the weld site. This wire acts both as the electrode that arcs with the metal being welded to create the weld bead and as filler material to join the metal pieces. To ensure a proper joint is created, the MIG wire must be fed to the weld at an appropriate speed.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Calipers
  • Ruler
  • Calculator
  • MIG wire

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Measure the thickness of the metals you are joining together using calipers and a ruler.

  2. 2

    Convert the standard measurement into decimals by dividing the numerator by the denominator. For example, if your plate is 1/8 inch thick, divide 1 by 8 to get 0.125 inch.

  3. 3

    Convert your measurement into amperes. Each 100th of an inch of metal requires one ampere. Therefore, 1/8 inch thick metal requires 125 amps to properly weld the joint.

  4. 4

    Identify the diameter of the MIG wire that you will be using for your weld. The wire manufacturer lists a wire burn rate in inches per ampere on the packaging. For example, the 0.030 gauge wire required of 125 amp welding has a burn rate of 2 inches of wire per 125 amps.

  5. 5

    Multiply the required amperage of your weld by the burn rate associated with the diameter of the wire to calculate the feed speed. Using our example, you would multiply the 125 amps by the 2 inch burn rate to calculate a feed speed of 250 inches per minute.

Tips and warnings

  • Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions when learning to operate new equipment.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.