What is Manual Welding? Uses and Types

What is Manual Welding?

Are you interested in getting into welding but don’t know where to start? Manual welding is a great place to begin – and with so many different types, you can easily find one that works for your desired end product. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the various uses and types of manual welding, providing comprehensive information on the methods used in this craft. From brazing to soldering, stick arc welding to MIG mag welding, understanding these processes will make it easier for any novice welder to jump right in with confidence.

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What is Manual Welding?

Manual welding is a type of welding using a welding rod clamped into a holder that is used to fuse two pieces of steel. It is most commonly known as stick welding and is often referred to as a buzz box because of the tell-tale buzzing sound the welder makes as it is turned on. The welder uses electricity in either AC, alternating current, or DC, direct current, to melt and fuse the steel.

A welding rod has a flux coating applied to it. This coating melts as the rod is burned into the gap between the two pieces of steel. This flux produces a shielding gas that aids in the bonding of the two steels.

Manual welding employs a variety of flux coatings that are tailored to specific steel types and welding applications. In manual welding, amperage is increased or decreased depending on the thickness of the steel and the intended uses of the welded product. Unlike manual welding, wire welders often use a cylinder of shielding gas that is applied to the weld area by the welding gun.  The gas is necessary to protect the fresh weld from contamination from both the atmosphere and any contaminants on the steel itself, such as oil or paint.

Types of Manual Welding

Arc Welding

Arc welding is a type of welding that uses an electric arc to create heat. Arc welding is the most common type of welding and is used in a variety of applications, including auto body repair, construction, and manufacturing.

Oxy-Fuel Welding

Oxy-fuel welding is a type of welding that uses oxygen and fuel gases to create heat. Oxy-fuel welding is often used for metal fabrication and repair.

TIG Welding

TIG welding is a type of welding that uses an electric arc to create heat. TIG welding is often used for thin metals, such as aluminum or stainless steel.

MIG Welding

MIG welding is a type of welding that uses an electric arc to create heat. MIG welding is often used for thicker metals, such as steel or iron.

Applications of Manual Welding

In applications such as shipbuilding, manual welding techniques would differ from those used in the construction of sky-scrapers. While the practice of joining two pieces of steel together appear to be the same, there are differences in weld speed, the rod and flux used as well as overall style methods. In one application, a welder may use a weaving style of laying down a single welding pass, while another might require the welder to run a succession of beads, overlapping and laying on top of each other to complete the job.


Manual welding processes are invaluable to many industries throughout the world. It is a field with an immense range of possibilities, capable of creating highly specific and finely detailed structures and components. While it may be laborious to perform accurately, manual welding can efficiently align structures that require high precision and workmanship. It offers enhanced repeatability in production, regardless of the weld type used. Furthermore, manual welding provides flexibility, often allowing different types of welds in one application due to its versatile nature. Ultimately, manual welding is just one facet in an ever-expanding trade that will continue to be used extensively around the globe for years to come.

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