Welding Articles

Discover the Advantages of Using a Spool Gun for Your Welding

Mar 06, 2023

Discover the Advantages of Using a Spool Gun for Your Welding

One of the most important aspects of welding is the ability to accurately control the welding arc, which can be challenging when welding aluminum or other soft metals. This is where a spool gun comes in handy. But before getting into the benefits of aluminum spool gun welding, it might be a good idea to take a closer look at the metalworking challenges that welders have to suffer through when working with this lightweight substance. For one thing, excessive spatter can be a big problem. Then there’s a susceptibility to hot cracking, porosity issues, and the welds often suffer from burnthrough problems, too. By using a spool gun for your welding, you can master the technique and eliminate the above issues in no time at all.

Spool Guns Are Specialized Soft Metal Welding Tools

By adding a aluminum spool gun welding to your welding tool box. You add consistency and productivity to your soft metal jointing repertoire. The arc of your gun is stable and steady, the control of the weld more precise, and the overall consistency of the work done is just more consistent. The distance between the self-contained feeder and the work area is reduced, you see. This means that the span between the wire supplied from the spool and the weld pool is reduced. That single benefit alone is worth underscoring. With that reduced feed length, the soft filler is issued without tangling or “bird nesting.” That latter problem occurs when a wire snags and snarls. That’s a bad enough problem in regular welding. In an aluminum heavy workflow, it would be a disaster. The soft metal wire snarls then breaks. Already, you’re getting an idea of just how hard it can be to work with soft metals when welding. Let’s explore a few other ways in which a spool gun can help.

Conserving Your Welding Resources

As mentioned a little earlier, aluminum is a metal that practically cries out for a spool gun hookup. There’s the distance issue to deal with when welding, which isn’t going to be a problem when working with rigid steel fillers. But aluminum is soft. It can bend and snap in normal welding setups. A spool feed mechanism solves this, plus is takes care of other feed-related difficulties too. Almost as important, by inserting a nylon or Teflon coated liner, little scrapings of soft filler metal are eliminated and the aluminum feed is protected. Next, aluminum likes oxygen. That is, it oxidizes readily when exposed to the atmosphere. Oxidized fillers will result in erratic arcs and inconsistently applied welds. Considering how tough it already is to joint this lightweight alloy, that’s never going to work. Welding codes will make sure of that. No, consistency is essential, so a pure, oxidation-free spool is paramount. Fortunately, it’s not hard to remove the spool. Remove tension from the mechanism, dismount the spool, then you can store it in a container that isolates the filler from oxygen. A plain plastic bag that’ll zip up can be used for this purpose. To summarize, spool guns for welding are convenient, but they also add unique challenges to your workflow. A liner that cuts down on waste shavings is important here, as is knowledge of how the spool will oxidize if the tool is left exposed to the elements.

The Out-and-Out Benefits of Spool Gun Usage

Here are the advantages listed in a simple to read bulleted list.

  • Precision controlled wire feed speed
  • A shortened distance between the wire and the weld pool
  • Reduced thermal energy sent to the workpiece
  • The portability factor. Spool guns are easier to maneuver in tight spaces
  • A neater workflow
  • Fewer trouble spots. The entire feed system is on the pistol, not on a 4m lead
  • Undeniable feedability gains. The spool mechanism stops wire kinks.

What can you determine from a list like this? Well, aluminum is the soft metal of choice today., It’s used in everything from the automotive industry to the boating sector. As popular as the metal obviously is, it’s not easy to weld, so some kind of a handy hookup, a spool gun, is recommended.

The more benefits you can read the article.

Discover Your Welding Gear’s Spool Gun Capabilities

If your welding equipment comes with a spool gun, then enjoy its capabilities by flicking a few switches and making a few fine adjustments on the equipment, as guided by the included instructions. However, if the gear advertises itself as “spool gun capable,” you’ll likely have to purchase the tool as an optional extra. Be aware of this difference when buying. Now, assuming you’re bought a matching gun, and we emphasize “matching,” you’ll need to adjust the amperage/voltage settings on the welding equipment to match the wire speed. These are incredibly important settings to get right, especially when working with soft, thin metals. Remember, burnthrough problems do occur in soft aluminum alloys, so settings that adhere to proper thermal management protocols are essential.

Final Thoughts

The alloys mentioned here have impressively high weight-to-strength ratios, which is why they’re used so often in automotive, boating, and even aviation applications. To master this specialized welding discipline, you’re going to need to apply new skills and techniques. Better yet, though, you’ll be investing in a spool gun that’s a good match for your welding equipment. Talk to a store representative and consult the manuals. As an extra tip, minimize compatibility problems by purchasing the recommended optional kit, or at least stick to the same brand. Finally, you can’t just attach a spool gun for welding and start work on an aluminum workpiece, not quite yet at any rate. There’s going to be a calibration procedure to conduct, so keep the manual handy. But, when you’re done with that, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits that come with this equipment attachment. That includes arc stability and wire speed control. It also includes all the features you’ll need to master joints on softer metals. With aluminum welding on the rise, these benefits could just make a big impact on your career.


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