MIG Welding Mastery: 7 MIG Welding Weave Patterns Every Beginner Should Learn

MIG welding, short for Metal Inert Gas welding, is a versatile and widely used welding process in various industries. In MIG welding, a continuous solid wire electrode is fed through a welding gun, along with a shielding gas that protects the weld pool from atmospheric contamination. MIG welding is known for its high deposition rates and ability to weld various metals like carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, etc. It offers good control over the weld and can be used in all positions. Due to these advantages, MIG welding is widely used across manufacturing, construction, maintenance, shipbuilding, aerospace, and general fabrication.

What are Weave Patterns in MIG Welding?

Weave patterns in MIG welding refer to the intentional side-to-side movement of the welding torch during the welding process. These patterns significantly impact the final weld bead's shape, size, and penetration depth. Properly executed weave patterns ensure uniform heat distribution, prevent overheating and enhance the weld's structural integrity.

The purpose of this article is to explore MIG welding weave patterns. By providing in-depth insights into various weave patterns, the article aims to educate readers about their characteristics and applications. By understanding these weave patterns, readers can master the art of MIG welding, ensuring precise control over the welding process.

Stringer Bead

The stringer bead weave moves the torch steadily forward without oscillating side to side. It produces a uniform, straight bead with a consistent weld profile. The key advantages of stringer beads are minimal distortion and a smooth finish. As there is no overlapping, it offers higher travel speeds. The drawbacks are lack of penetration and inability to fill wide gaps. Stringer beads work best on thin sheets where excessive heat input can cause warpage.


Minimal distortion and warpage

Smooth, consistent finish

Higher travel speeds are possible


Lower penetration profile

Cannot fill wide gaps

Lack of sidewall fusion

Zigzag Weave

In a zigzag weave, the torch oscillates from side to side in a zigzag motion as it moves forward. This allows the heat to be distributed over a wider area with a good tie-in at the sides. The main benefits are higher penetration and the ability to fill grooves. However, a slower travel speed is required. Zigzag weaves are ideal for medium and thick sections. The oscillation width can be adjusted to control penetration.


Good penetration and tie-in

Ability to fill grooves

Wider bead coverage


Slower travel speed

Requires more skill

Circular Weave

As the name suggests, the torch follows a circular pattern, creating overlapping circles along the joint. It provides excellent fusion with high penetration at the sides. The circular motion also aids in welding round tubes and pipes. On the downside, it can be difficult to master. Circular weaves are best suited for pipe welding applications.


Excellent penetration and fusion

Ideal for pipes and rounds

Good for all weld positions


It can be difficult to master

Higher skill required


In a J-weave, the torch follows a zigzag pattern, but with a distinctive pause at the end of each zigzag, forming a "J" shape as it progresses forward. This technique is particularly valuable for filling wider gaps and joints. The J-Weave provides good sidewall fusion and helps manage irregular joint configurations effectively. However, the pause can lead to slightly uneven ripples, and excess buildup might occur at the points of the "J."


Effective for filling wider gaps

Good sidewall fusion

Manages irregular joint configurations


Slightly uneven ripples due to the pause

Excess buildup at the points of the "J"


In a C-weave, the torch moves in a smooth, curved pattern, creating a series of interconnected C-shapes across the joint. This technique is ideal for horizontal or flat positions, providing consistent sidewall fusion. The C-Weave manages corners adeptly and ensures even heat distribution. However, if not controlled properly, it can lead to overlap issues, causing excess material buildup.


Effective for horizontal or flat positions

Consistent sidewall fusion

Adept at managing corners


Potential overlap issues leading to excess material buildup

Figure-8 Weave

In a figure-8 weave, the torch traces a figure-8 pattern transversely across the joint as it progresses forward. The Figure 8 movement provides strong sidewall fusion and can manage corners well. It also minimizes burn-through. However, the overlap can create a bumpy finish. Figure-8 patterns are excellent for filling irregular gaps and grooves.


Excellent sidewall fusion

Manages corners well

Minimizes burn through


It can create uneven ripples

Overlap can cause excess buildup

Wiggle or Oscillating Weave

This weave involves oscillating the torch from side to side in a sweeping motion at a constant angle and width. It provides wider bead coverage and a substantial penetration profile. But the technique requires higher skill. The oscillating traverse weave is popular for medium and heavy plate welds. Adjusting the oscillation width and angle caters to different joint prep configurations.


Broad bead coverage

Good penetration profile

Versatile for different joints


Requires a higher skill level

Slower technique

Factors Influencing Weave Pattern Selection:

Thickness and Type of the Base Metal

The thickness and type of the base metal significantly influence the choice of weave pattern. Thicker materials may require wider weaves to ensure proper penetration, while thinner materials benefit from narrower weaves to prevent burn-through. Additionally, different metals have varying thermal conductivities, affecting how heat is distributed. Weave patterns must be adapted to suit the specific characteristics of the base metal.

Welding Position (Flat, Horizontal, Vertical, Overhead)

The welding position plays a crucial role in weave pattern selection. Each position affects how the molten metal behaves and how gravity influences the weld pool. Weave patterns need to be adjusted to accommodate these positional challenges. For instance, horizontal and overhead positions often require narrower weaves to prevent sagging, while vertical positions may benefit from a slightly wider weave for better sidewall fusion.