Advantages and Disadvantages of Arc Welding

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Arc Welding

At Wasatch Steel, some of our most popular purchases are steel welding products. We offer tools and products for all varieties of welding formats, plus the expertise and know-how to help you get started on your latest welding project.

One of these formats that’s commonly used in the welding world is arc welding. What is arc welding, and what are some of its advantages and disadvantages? Let’s have a look.

What is Arc Welding?

Arc welding is the process of joining metal – steel in this case – using electricity. Rather than most other formats, which generally use gas, this process uses electricity to create enough heat to melt the metal and fuse it together during cooling.

Arc welding can use either direct or alternating currents, and uses consumable or non-consumable electrodes coated in flux. The temperatures in arc welding get up as high as 6,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of the most common uses for arc welding include steel erection, heavy equipment repair, pipeline welding and many major construction projects.


There are a number of advantages to using arc welding compared with many other formats:

  • Cost – equipment for arc welding is well-priced and affordable, and the process often requires less equipment in the first place because of the lack of gas
  • Portability – these materials are very easy to transport
  • Works on dirty metal
  • Shielding gas isn’t necessary – processes can be completed during wind or rain, and spatter isn’t a major concern


There are a few reasons why some people look to other options beyond arc welding for certain kinds of projects. These downsides can include:

  • Lower efficiency – more waste is generally produced during arc welding than many other types, which can increase project costs in some cases
  • High skill level – operators of arc welding projects need a high level of skill and training, and not all professionals have this
  • Thin materials – it can be tough to use arc welding on certain thin metals

Ready to learn more about this or any of our other steel services? Our professionals at Wasatch Steel are standing by.