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Comparing Arc Welding and Spot Welding

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Welding is a critical part of many industries, from automotive to aviation and construction sectors. Indeed, it would be correct to say that many things, including fences, kitchen appliances, buildings, and gates, would not exist without this type of metalwork. So, if you have a new application, business, or simply want to do a welding project at home, it is important to understand the main types of welding, and we are going to compare the two most common options, arc and spot welding.

What is Welding? 

This is the process of permanently joining two metals using heat. It involves melting the two metals being fused and allowing the two pieces to flow together. Think of it this way –it is like getting an ice cube back into the freezer. Within minutes, it will become part of the ice chunk in the freezer.

Although there were many methods used to join metal in history, welding has become the most preferred option because it is safe and will not threaten to burn the entire industrial plant or building. As we are going to demonstrate, both arc welding and spot welding use electricity. Therefore, you need to ensure your welders have the right electrical apliances, tools, and personal protective equipment.

Arc Welding 

In arc welding, electric current is passed via an electrode to the metal piece, and then back to the welding unit. The process generates a spark that creates a lot of heat, which melts both the filler rod and the base metal of your project. When the melted metal cools down, it forms one permanent part.

Note that the intense heat generated by the spark can result in harmful reactions in the metal. In some cases, gases like oxygen and hydrogen can create a hot, wet puddle, resulting in cracks. To prevent this, welders use additional shields that help to protect the weld before it dries. This shielding is used to further categorize arc welding. Have a look at some of them below:

  • Shielded metal arc welding: In this type of welding, the welder uses a filler metal coated with flux to protect the weld before it dries. 
  • Gas metal arc welding: This is also referred to as metal inert gas welding. Welders blow a shielding gas, such as argon or carbon dioxide, on the weld bead using a handheld gun.

Arc welding is the most preferred method of joining metal in projects such as corner joints, shafts, butt joints, tee joints, edge joints, and lap joints. It is also preferred for small home welding projects.

Spot Welding

Spot welding uses the concept of resistance to join two metals. When an electric current is passed via a piece of metal, it heats up because of resistance to current flow. This is the main principle used in HVAC heaters, electric stoves, and ovens. 

In spot welding, two metals are pinched together, and an electric current passes through, making the two to heat up and fuse. Spot welding works more effectively with thin sheets because bigger chunks take longer to heat. Unlike arc welding, spot welding does not require the use of filler rods. 

Notably, spot welding is safer than arc welding. However, you should make sure to wear the right eye protection because the process can still crease dangerous sparks. Also, the fresh welds are hot and can easily burn you, but they are not as hot as arc weld. So, make sure to wear protective gloves

Spot welding is preferred when making products or parts that require many sheet metals, such as HVAC units and auto body parts.


To create the right joints, be they for your machinery such as motors and material handling equipment or other projects with metal, you should make sure to use the right type of welding. Remember to acquire the welding equipment and materials from trusted dealers for quality products.