How to Choose MIG Welding Gun Parts

In addition to the amperage of MIG welding gun you choose, the MIG gun parts — cable, neck and handle — affect how comfortably and efficiently you can weld. Configure your gun accordingly.

Image of live welding with semi-auto MIG gun

Choosing the cable

Cable lengths can vary greatly — from 10 feet to 25 feet or longer. Use the shortest cable possible that can get the job done to prevent kinking or creating a tripping hazard. Consider your options:

  1. Industrial-grade cables are the most commonly used and work well in light- to medium-duty applications.
  2. Steel mono-coil cables are well-suited for heavy-duty applications in harsh environments. They are more rigid, which minimizes feeding issues when using a longer cable.

Remember, smaller welding wire sizes typically call for a shorter cable; it is more difficult to push a smaller wire over a greater length. It is also more difficult to push soft wires, like aluminum, through longer cables.

MIG welding gun necks and handles

Choosing a neck and handle for a MIG welding gun comes down to your preference, as well as the available weld cell space and the welding wire.

  1. Neck options are available with bends ranging from 30 degrees up to 80 degrees. Those with less bend reduce bird nesting or other feeding issues associated with thicker wires and softer wires.
  2. A rotatable neck makes it easier to change angles to access the weld joint.
  3. Gun handles are available in straight or curved options. Straight handles are often paired with fixed necks, while curved handles are often paired with rotatable necks.

The bottom line: Choose the options that make it easiest and most comfortable for you to reach the weld joint.

Configure a Bernard® semi-automatic MIG gun

This article is the second in a three-part series discussing how configuring a MIG gun can improve the welding operation, as well as what to consider in the process. Read article one, Configuring a MIG Welding Gun for Your Application and article three, Selecting the Right MIG Welding Consumables.