Welders create powerful and durable joints by heating and melting metals so that two pieces can be fused together. A stinger is one of the most important tools for welding, but you may wonder: What is a stinger in welding?
It’s an electrode holder—essentially pliers on a stick—that clamps onto the electrode and conducts electric current to the job site. Its rounded jaws grip the rod fully, and its insulated body prevents electrocution. The use of stingers has become a must-have tool in nearly all types of welding, including TIG, stick, arc, and MIG welding.
In fact, a survey of welding professionals found that over 93% of them use stingers today. Moreover, many beginners have also turned to this tool in order to make more precise and accurate welds.
Since its invention in the late 1930s, the stinger has gained increased recognition for its immense utility in the welding industry.
What is a Stinger In Welding?Welding is an important industrial process that is used to join materials, such as metals and plastics together using high heat and pressure. A welding stinger, also called a welding torch, is an important tool used in welding operations.
It is essentially an electrode attached to a hand-held mechanism that can heat up to several thousand degrees Celsius and is used to heat and fuse two or more pieces of metal together.
How Does a Welding Stinger Work?
A welding stinger works by channeling energy from a welding power source towards the work piece to be joined, creating a pool of molten material at the point of application. The welding stinger is then used to control the size and shape of the molten pool, and the heat produced by welding stinger helps joined the two materials together.
Types of Welding StingersThere are various types of welding stingers available.
Some of the most common types are:
- TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welding Stinger – This type of welding stinger uses a tungsten electrode to create an electric arc that melts the metal being joined. This type of welding stinger is mostly used in precision welding.
- MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding Stinger – This type of welding stinger is similar to the TIG welding stinger in that it uses a tungsten electrode to create an electric arc, but it is easier to use since the welding wire that is fed through the handle acts as an inert gas, helping to protect the weld area from external contaminants.
- Arc Welding Stingers – Arc Welding Stingers, also known as stick welding, use an electrode that is submerged in a slag, which helps create the electric arc necessary to join the two metals together.
Tips For Using a Welding StingerWhen using a welding stinger, here are some tips to ensure safety and proper usage:
- Adequately prepare for the welding job: Calculate the type and size of the material to be welded, the base metal properties, the size and shape of the weld, and the proper welding machines and technology.
- Make sure to wear the proper protective equipment such as leather gloves and a welding hood when working with a welding stinger.
- Ensure to read the manufacturer’s manual that comes with the welding stinger and familiarize yourself with its safety measures.
- Check and maintain the welding surface prior to welding.
- Keep the welding area clean and free of any potential hazardous materials.
- Start the welding job at a low amperage and adjust accordingly.
- When releasing the trigger to end welding, monitor the metal and make sure it cools completely.