Best Welding Wire for Mild Steel and MIG Welding Aluminum
To be sure that we provided our readers with an accurate list of welding wires that were exceptional for this work we went to a panel of expert welders and asked them what they used. Those experts told us which products they regularly buy and why they liked those wires best. Don't miss our another post on wire which is based on flux core wire.
Comparison Table of Top Picks
Low spatter, High feedability, Porosity free
All Medium To Heavy Mill Scale Base Material
Typical Mechanical properties of all-weld metal
Great for construction work
Welding wire for fabrication of mild steel
Copper-plated and layer wound
Best Welding Wire for Mild Steel
1. INEFIL ER70S-6 Carbon Steel MIG Solid Welding Wire
- Weight: 10.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.87 x 2.32 x 7.87 inches
- Part number: 8024499230153
- Low spatter
- High feedability
This is a wire that is rated for use in all positions. It is excellent for welding mild steel. You will need to provide shielding gas for this wire because it is solid wire, not flux core. The shield this wire needs is 80% Argon and 20% CO2. This wire can also work well with 100% CO2 shielding gas.
You can use this wire to perform single-pass welds or it can be used when you need to make multiple pass welds. It creates very little splatter and leaves an amazingly nice looking bead. It is porosity free and can be used with a high-speed feed rate.
This 10-pound spool of wire is crafted in Italy. It is a .030” and perfect for use on mild steel or carbon-manganese steel pieces. It meets or exceeds the requirements set about by ABS, DB, DNV, GL, LRS, RINA, and TUV.
2. LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO ER70S-6 L-56 Mild Steel MIG Wire
- Weight: 13 pounds
- Dimensions: 8.6 x 8.5 x 2.8 inches
- Material: Steel
- Measurement System: Metric
- Part Number: ED023334
This copper coated welding wire is some of the best welding wire because it provides you with excellent arc characteristics. It has nonpareil feed ability and is spot-on for the MIG welding processes.
This.030 wire comes in a 12.5-pound spool. It is exceptional at creating beautiful beads that have a medium to the high presence of mill scale when completed. When you need your weld to have a flawless appearance and be picture perfect you need welding wire that allows you to create that.
This is American made wire with great characteristics. Welders that use this wire once will buy it repeatedly. It is recommended by professionals because it is great in almost every brand of welding machine.
If you happen to be welding on the slightly dirty metal you will not have to worry about whether your bead will adhere properly or whether your tensile strength will be great enough. This wire is perfect with an MIG set up and it sticks readily to less than pristine metals.
3. ER70S-6 Mild Steel MIG Welding Wire (2 Rolls)
- Weight: 20 pounds
- Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 4 inches
- Part number: ER70S602303003510
- Material: Metal
- Size: 2 Rolls of 0.030"
This is two ten pound rolls of excellent welding wire. The wire spool has a diameter of 7 7/8”. It is a solid MIG wire and requires an MIG welding machine that uses external shielding gas like Argon or CO2.
This wire burns clean and it flows easily. It can be used in just about any welding machine made by any manufacturer. It is capable of making your welds look better than they have ever looked before.
Professionals that use this wire tend to keep this wire on hand after their first experience with it. It provides clean, low splatter welds that are aesthetically pleasing and strong. It is priced reasonably and does the job exceptionally.
4. Hobart H305406-R22 Carbon-Steel Solid Welding Wire
- Weight: 10.53 pounds
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.1 x 2.6 inches
- Part number: H305406-R22
- Material: Carbon-steel
- Size: 0.030-Inch
When you are going to be welding on carbon steel using an MIG machine then you want this porosity free wire to make those welds with. It has powerful deoxidizers in place that work in conjunction with your shielding gas to provide you with a clean and pretty weld.
These ten-pound spools of wire are handy around the farm for use on fabricating farm implements, or repairing broken farm implements. It can be used by auto enthusiasts for repair or restoration projects. It is great for use on dirty metal like rusty metal or oily plates that do not line up.
This wire is made in China, but it does meet the requirements to be sold here in the United States.
5. Harris MS Spool with Welding Wire
- Weight: 44.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.6 x 12 x 4.2 inches
- Part number: E70S6F9
- sually used with 75/25 (argon/C02) shielding gas.
This wire has a deoxidizer as indicated by the last letter in the numerical description. It has 70,000 psi tensile strength and it is .035 wires.
This is a general use welding wire that can be used on the majority of welding projects that you have. The .035 diameter wire does require a higher voltage than the .030 wire so make sure your machine is capable of the right voltage before you purchase.
This wire does not make extensive amounts of splatter and is great for the homeowner and average welder as well as for the professional welders and welding shops. This is a 44 pound spool of wire so you have plenty of wire to get the job done on either single-pass welds or multiple pass welds.
6. ER70S-6 - MIG Mild & Low Alloy Steel Welding Wire
- Weight: 35 pounds
- Dimensions: N/A
- Part number: 70S6W33x35
- Size: 0.035" - 33 Lb
- Material: Steel
The ER70S-6 wire has the greatest amount of silicon and manganese deoxidizers available. This wire is the most frequently purchased and used type of MIG welding wire because it is versatile and highly effective.
When using this wire you will reduce the amount of post-project cleanup that you have to do. It leaves a smooth weld bead and creates very small amounts of splatter.
It is highly recommended for welding structural steel plates and sheet metal. Your metal does not have to be pristine because this wire can be used with slightly rusty or dirty metal.
This is one of the welding wires that you simply want to have on hand all of the time. It is the go-to wire for the majority of your welding needs. It is a 22 pound spool of .035 wires.
In order for you to buy the best welding wire for the project you have in mind, there are a few things you should know. These facts about wire and welding techniques will help you to decide on the right wire and the right welding process for the job you need to do.
This is a common label you see on welding wire. This wire is recommended as an all-purpose wire to use during the process of welding when you are working on low carbon items like mild steel. This particular wire contains Silicon and Manganese that act as deoxidizers as you weld. That means the wire is capable of being used on metals that are less than pristine.
When you see E and R listed on a wire package like ER70S-6 the E and the R tell you that the wire can be used with an electrode or rod. When you weld with a MIG process welder you utilize an electrode.
The next two numbers, the 70 tell you what the tensile strength of the wire is. In this case, the tensile strength of ER70S-6 is 70,000 pounds per square inch.
The S tells you that this is not flux core but is solid wire.
The 6 explains that the wire does contain the deoxidizers Silicon and Manganese.
In order to choose a good wire that is manufactured by a company to have the right qualities and strength look for something on the package that indicates the wire will meet or exceed AWS standards.
AWS stands for the American Welding Society. The standards they have established for welding wire and accessories are designed to allow you to get wires that are accurate and consistent. You want the diameter of the wire you buy to be consistent so it does not interfere with your wire feed.
Your Project Piece
On the wire package, it may say that it can be used on clean metal, dirty metal, or bare metal.
Clean describes new metal or metal with no rust, dirt, oils, paints, or contaminants on it.
Bare metal is metal that has had all contaminants removed.
Dirty metal is any metal that has dirt, rust, corrosion, oil, paint, or a substance on it.
The wire diameter is important. Larger wire diameters require you to have a welding machine of higher voltage capabilities. Larger diameters of wire need additional heat in order to do their job and the machine you are using must be capable of sustain that heat level.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of wire is used for MIG welding?
The wire you use during a MIG welding process will be determined by the type of welding machine you have. The MIG machines can be either shielding gas required machines that are used with solid core wire or they can be a no gas required machine that operates with a flux style wire. An ER70s-3 wire is designed for clean metals and ER70S-6 can be used on dirtier metal.
What type of electrode is recommended for welding mild steel?
The American Welding Society classifies the electrodes that work best on mild steel as A5.1 electrodes. This classification is made up of the 6010, 6011, 6012, 6013, 7014, 7018, and 7024 series of electrodes.
The numbers assigned to the electrodes denote the tensile strength of the weld bead they will create and the positions which they can be used to weld in. The first 2 numbers are the tensile strength, the 3rd number indicates the weld positions, and the final number is an indicator of whether they have a coating and the current they can be used with.
How do you weld mild steel?
You use a rod that provides filler material for the weld. The diameter of the electrode you choose should be half of the thickness of the material you will weld. Your machine needs to be set to straight polarity. Strike an arc and hold the rod at a 15-degree angle from vertical.
Can you use MIG wire without gas?
MIG welding machines come in two varieties. One of them is intended to be used with external shielding gas like Argon. These machines use solid wire. The other variety of machine is a no gas machine that allows you to use a flux core style of wire that has built-in shielding gas so you do not need external gas.
If you are looking for an all-purpose, all-around good welding wire for use on most metals, even slightly dirty ones then consider the ER70S-6 - MIG Mild & Low Alloy Steel Welding Wire . This wire is one of the most frequently bought and used wires.
If you are looking for welding wire that is rated excellent for all welding positions and will create a beautiful bead with very little slag or splatter then consider the INEFIL ER70S-6 Welding Wire.
Last Updated on 1 year by Richard Boyer