What Is The Correct Motion For Cutting In Welding?

Welding is an intricate craft with numerous aspects and techniques to learn. One of the most important welding skills is knowing the right motion for cutting.

This technique affects the quality of the finished product, as well as overall safety, so it’s essential to become familiar with the right motion. According to a survey by the American Welding Society, 80% of manufacturers report that properly cutting with a welding device is key to the success of their fabrication projects. Additionally, there are over 3 million welders employed in the United States alone.

But with so many practitioners yet so few who know the correct motion for cutting in welding, what can be done to correct the issue? In this article, we’ll explore the correct motion for cutting in welding, why it is important, and what tips and tricks can be used for effectively learn it.

What is the correct motion for cutting in welding?

Welding is defined as a joining process using heat and pressure to fuse two or more metals together. In welding, it is important to utilize the proper motion to cut the metals.

It is important to understand that there is no single motion or approach to cutting metals while welding; rather, different techniques can be employed to achieve a successful cut.

Types of Cutting Motion

The type of cutting motion used in welding is dependent upon the end goal of the user.

Generally, there are three motion types employed in welding:

  1. Drag Cutting: This motion is used to create a 90-degree joint between two pieces of metal. The welder drags the arc along the downstream side of the joint at a 45-degree angle, moving along the length of the joint.
  2. Plunge Cutting: Plunge cutting is used to create a bevel cut at the end of a pipe or tube.

    The welder plunges the arc into the downstream side at an angle and moves along the length of the bevel cut.

  3. Circular Cutting: This cutting motion is used to create precise circular cuts.

    The welder threads the arc around the perimeter of the circle and moves back and forth along the cutting line.

How to Cut with the Arc

Cutting with the arc can be a difficult and dangerous process.

It is important to practice cutting techniques in order to ensure accuracy and safety when cutting. To properly cut with the arc, it is essential to:

  • Follow the correct cutting motion,
  • Utilize the proper voltage and amperage,
  • Use the correct consumable type (such as electrodes and filler metal),
  • Set the arc length at the proper length, and
  • Produce a proper arc puddle.


In conclusion, the type of cutting motion used in welding depends on the end goal of the user.

Generally, most users employ drag, plunge or circular cutting motion. However, it is important to practice and understand the proper process of cutting with the arc in order to ensure safety and accuracy. Citation URLS: https://www. lincolnelectric. com/en-us/support/welding-how-to/pages/drag_cutting. aspx https://www. millerwelds. com/resources/articles/the-basics-of-plunge-cutting https://www. millerwelds. com/resources/articles/understanding-arc-circular-motion-welding

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