Uphill Mig Welding Techniques Tested and proven

"its not just the heat...its technique!.. "

"stay on the front of the puddle!.. "

"WYSS...Watch Your Stickout Sucker!.. "

mig welding technique

I did an experiment about a year ago on a mig welding technique that I use for vertical uphill mig welding. I use it , I teach it to students...and it works.

So I put up a short video on YouTube just to see what would happen and if viewers would click over to my "mig welding tip,", and "mig welding advice" page on my web site.

I shot the clip in about 3 minutes with a camera on a tripod and standing off to the side in a very awkward position .

Thats no excuse for the not so pretty weld but like I said, I just did it as an experiment to see if people watching the video would visit my website.

For what it was...(mig welding advice and a suggestion for a mig welding technique) it was kind of successful because not only did it climb to the number 1 position in YouTube for the keyword “welding” , but I definitely learned a few things about YouTube users...

some of them are brutal.

FYI...Here are a few things I learned:

Any video or picture of a weld that you post on the internet , if not absolutely perfect, will get hammered for being the worst weld ever.

Any mig welding technique you suggest will be Wrong...and there are people who are convinced they know the only true way to weld even though you never claim that your way is the only right way in the first place.

There are as many opinions on the right technique for uphill mig welding as there are YouTube Douche bags.

mig technique

At first I deleted some of the comments that used descriptive phrases like “hammered dog shit” or “fidos ass” or “my 3 year old daughter can weld better than you”, or "you would get fired if you tried that where i work"

But then my skin got a little thicker and I decided just to let all the comments stay , good, bad, or ugly.

The weld was definitely not my best work but it was a decent and sound weld that was penetrated well into the root.

How do I know that?

Because I cut it , polished, acid etched it with 5% nital acid etch and examined it under 20x microscope. Then I broke it over by doing a fillet weld bend test and examined the depth of penetration.

I have done hundreds if not thousands of tests like this on uphill and downhill mig welds. That’s why I can recommend the technique in the video,

because it works!

and I know it works because of hundreds of tests. Not ONE test,,, but hundreds of tests.

Get some! YouTube Douche bags.

Let me be clear. I have always taught that there are many other techniques that work just fine. Maybe even better. In fact, this whole experience got me experimenting with the triangle mig welding technique and I may just convert. Some of the triangle motion welds looked better than the upside down V motion welds.

But The bigger lesson is that there is always more than one welding technique that works.

The best way is the way that works for you.

And Results are kind of hard to argue with.

Ok, let me get back on task, A popular mig welding uphill technique is making triangles. Basically it equates to tracing the puddle. If you think about it, here is the only difference in the 2 techniques: one traces the whole shape of the puddle, the other traces the front or leading edge of the puddle back and forth …..both good techniques.

So that got old Jody to thinking….why not run some tests using both techniques using the same voltage and wire speed settings? And why not test mig welding direction ...uphill vs downhill to see how mig welding penetrates uphill compared to downhill?

So I did.

Sure I kind of knew the outcome, but it was still informative.

All joints were done in vertical 3f position.

.035" E70s-6 bare wire

75/25 argon/co2

25 cfh flow rate

1/4" thick A36 mild steel hot rolled not cleaned at all...(still had plasma cutting dross and soot all over it)

For these mig tests , I welded with 3 different techniques:

1. the upside down V mig welding technique that traces the front of the puddle,

2. the triangle technique that traces that whole puddle,

3.and I also ran downhill on the same joint. Then I sliced and diced, polished and etched with 2% nital etch and took some pics under the scope.

5 different settings were used on a Millermatic 251 mig welder. The settings were selected right off the mig welding settings chart on the inside of the wire feeder cover.

Starting at a crazy low voltage and wire speed setting that might be used for welding auto body panels and working up to a reasonable setting of 19 volts and 320 inches per minute of wire speed for 1/4" steel.

15.5 volts----135 ipm

16.5 volts----200 ipm

17 volts----245 ipm

18 volts----280 ipm

19 volts----320 ipm

Here are the Test results: Starting from the left...Downhill...Triangle Technique.....Upside down V

Mig Technique Test #1 15.5 volts ---135 inches per minute wire speed

mig welding technique uphill vs downhill

15.5 volts is not enough for anything but thin sheet metal. Yet the uphill welds had a bit of penetration. About what you might be able to get with a little 115 volt mig welder

Mig Technique Test #2 16.5 volts ---200 inches per minute wire speed

mig welds

16.5 volts was still a little cold but I could tell it was starting to bite.

Mig Technique Test #3 17 volts ---245 inches per minute wire speed

pictures of welds

17 volts was about enough. Not very hot, but I could see that I was getting into the root on the uphill runs.

Downhill did not inspire me.

Mig Technique Test #4 18 volts ---280 inches per minute wire speed

mig welding tests

18 volts was the shizz. For uphill welding 1/4" steel, 18 volts was the sweet spot and the macros show good penetration but its starting to crown a little. This could be easily corrected by going just a bit wider.

Mig Technique Test #5 19 volts ---320 inches per minute wire speed

welding techniques

19 volts was almost too hot. A Millermatic 251 digital set on 19 volts is about like 21 volts on other machines.

but it dug in like a mugg.

Downhill still did not inspire even though it seemed pretty crisp.


No matter the voltage even at 19 volts, all the downhill mig welding joints had problems. Previously, I have even tried up to 23 volts and still got lack of fusion on some joints. The hotter the puddle the more it tries to run ahead of you.

There is just not much difference in the 2 basic mig weldng uphill techniques used .

Uphill welding penetrates even as low as 16 volts, Although I would not recommend welding that cold on 1/4" steel

At 19 volts, the triangle method did not crown as much as the upside down V. But that could easily be my crappy welding on that day.

The main subject in any "mig welding basics" course should stress the difference in the way the mig welding process penetrates in uphill vs downhill welding and the quickest and easiest way to demonstrate penetration is with a fillet weld break test.

I started all the Triangle motion technique welds on the bottom edge and that helped them to build heat and penetrate . I could tell the middle welds would have done better if they had been started on the bottom.
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What Other Welders Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

If you want to down hill. Use Metal -Core 90/10 gas and pulse spray. 
You can weld 16 guage to 1/2 inch with one wire,one gas. .045 Metal- Core Tri Mark Metalloy 71 or Lincoln METALSHIELD MC-6. 90%Ar 10% CO2 and …

Cheyenne Unionboilermakers.com 
I am real good at stick welding and ran alot of 6010. I was running mig one time trying to get my hand in, uphill I was not whipping it but up on the side …

"fools rush in" 
I cant tell u how much "I" appreciate the time u put into this site. I hope your making a killing because you deserve it. To all those that bad talk …

Aluminum MIG downhill 
When I burn downhand on 1/8" Aluminum, I get way more control/consistency by pulling the pool...My Boss gets on me saying "you should never pull an aluminum …

Liked what I saw! 
I just finished a two years worth of courses in Tig, Mig and Stick welding at a NC Community college. I am by no means an expert welder so thanks for …

Merry Christmas ! ! 
Jody you are my hero ! Thanks so much for this site ! ! ! I can always learn from you , keep up the GREAT work !!!!!!!!!!!!! ----------------------------------------- …

overhead mig welding drops in my helmet 
While on my back under the car trying to mig weld, the molten metal drops down the wire and is impossible to do. I have always self taught for all other …

using co2 for downhill welding 
When I attended hobart mig welding course in troy ohio we used co2 only for all of our welding tests.My instructor said that it was the same as 6010 rod,it …

Downhill vs. Uphill 
I think you did a great job demonstrating the effects of both on 1/4" welds. The real issue I think isn't always clear though. I used to weld thinner …

Jody, I like your inverted v technique but... 
It seems to me your inverted V technique is ALMOST as good as the Christmas tree technique but think about the mechanics of it. With the Christmas tree …

i need some help 
hello i currently take welding classes and i was wondering cuz my instructor doesnt let us weld with mig on 1/4 inch think its more of like 1/8 inch think,what …

I just started welding. I always wanted to learn how and my boss agreed to give me a chance to move into the fab shop where i work and get trained. its …

What about after the root pass? 
Noob here - having a lot of trouble doing MIG uphill - watched your video on it, but if anything was said about subsequent passes, I missed it. Do we …

Downhand welds on Edges 
Where I work, we run a lot of downhand welds... more so than vertical up welds. Never on anything thicker tank gauge, unless it has a wicked gap or requires …


Torch angle differences for mig 
I noticed that in the "Mig welding uphill technique" video it looks like you were keeping the gun at 90* to the workpeice. I didn't see any mention of …

Welding 3/8" 8mm steel break test. 
I'm currently trying to master the vertical up weld with the break test. I'm struggling with getting the right concave shape with proper root penetration. …

I have trouble welding downhill root passes. 
I have serious problem getting good penetration on downhill root passes. I have gotten certified in the arc and still lack the mig cert for vertical. Instructor …

using reverse angle for uphill mig or stick 
after several years of doing marine welding which means welding all sorts of odd angles and and tight places and having to improvise to get the job done. …

good examples 
I work at a place and have argued with most everyone there that welding a lifting eye on down hill is not really acceptable but they all believe down is …

MIG Welding Aluminum 
I have a Lincoln Pro-Mig 175 and bought the Aluminum conversion kit. I have not had very good results Mig welding aluminum and talking to other welders …

Tips and YouTubers 
I'm only just learning to weld and I've found your pages very informative and helpful. Some of your tips are just common sense (which I guess isn't all …

more curious than a know it all 
I am a student at a nmsu-grants branch.. yes it is a community college nevertheless....i have a question on mig welding up hill root pass. If you could …

I am currently applying for a job in the welding field. Your tips and techniques helped refresh my memory on how to M.I.G weld, up and down hill. Thank …

CO2 ran through a miller penetrates best 
when using a miller shopmaster stick/tig/mig combo, running CO2 at 30cfh, i weld with settings at or around 18volts with an amperage around 265-75 doing …

thank you 
i just started welding a few days ago and found lots of these tips realy helped i got a auto darkening helmet and i love it thank you and keep up the good …

mig technique # 5 
I am new at this so this is a question, on this technique it seems to me that the weld may be too hot and pulling the vertical over a little, if this …

Yous a pure genius 
Yes I said yous, anyways the kids on youtube make me laugh my friend. Just, they are dumb and it amuses me. Anyways I got a test tomorrow on uphill mig …

You tubers can be harsh but keep posting those videos 
There are so many leonardo da Vinci's out there and every one of them is a critic. Those of us who do not weld professionally, learn from the perfect and …

Covering a Multitude Of Sin - Never Give Up! 
Looking back at my 40 plus years of welding, I am still gaining a lot of knowledge especially from your Weldingtipsandtricks. When starting out working …

Hand Positioning 
I am a left handed welder... I just can't get comfortable with a mig welding gun at the company I work for, considering everything is set up for a right …

Vertical MIG  
I only started a welding job about a month ago, welding heavy duty oilfeild and fertilizer equipment after have been off the industry for about a year. …

Straight Co2 penetrates better...but I never had the chance to try it over 75/25 Argon @ the shop. 
Greetings! Thank you Welding Tips and Tricks.com. Its a good thing I visited this website of yours, days before my Trade Testing here in the Philippines. …

Impressed by your site 
Having used electric arc all my life. I finaly bought a mig. Weldtech 200. Inverter type. Your site has been very usefull and informative. A word of warning …

New to mig, long time arc 
I find every thing you put on line here great, it doesnt only make senae but very good information. I have been welding arc for about 30 years off …

New to welding. 
Jody, your hints and tips have helped me tremendously! Thanks for the site. I was able to practice some of the things you talk about and a few days later, …

different strokes 
I just graduated from a local welding school and the technique taught there was the triangle motion. It definitely got excellent penetration and left a …


As for the critics......(you guys that complain and, have stepped in dog shit too) 
Where is your website? 99% of welders weld because they 'want'- to weld. The rest weld because they 'have'- to...they have too little imagination …

Thank You 
I havn't been welding long as i only get to do it for around 45-60 mins a week. but already your tips have helped me in learning ^.^ i shall try this technique …

Jody, Thanks for the site. Outstanding delivery on the real world tips. Keep up the good work. I wish I had this resource when I first got into the field. …

"Gas or No Gas?" is what I use to determine my MIG Torch Technique. 
I don't know exactly why this stuck with me over the years but a teacher at a Tech. School I went to (for High School) told me that, if I was GMAW or MIG …

Down hill welding 
Typically when i down hill weld i crank the heat up more. I have welded heavy truck frames (3/8-1/2 inch thick)down hill but with the heat cranked nice …

new to MIG 
I'm new to MIG welding and I find this site very informative. Thanks for going to the trouble to put this information up for the rest of us.

xmas tree /weave 

newbie to GMAW 
for me I love your website ...anything that will help me get better I am all for it keep up the good work!!!

Thanks! I'm a professional sculptor - Stone and bronze - for 20 years. Just bought my first small welding rig and am starting to play around with steel. …

weld comparison data 
I really like this simple layman's version of the Welding Journal. Really fits into the "I ain't no PHd" way of thinking. At first I was thinking this …

Just wanted to say thanks - good honest info and a well conducted study - thanks again. Chris V.

Great article.  
You have the best info on your site. Thats funny what you wrote about youtube douche bags. I keep most of them away by including the word hobby in my welding …

verticle ups  
hey there im watching your video's on ur website and youtube and can tell you irrespective what the "deuchbags think" any that are keen and working on …

Heat Rises and preheats your next bead 
I'm no welder by any stretch, but common sense tells me that your up hill method is better/has more pen. than a down hill weld cause the heat is traveling …

What do I look for in a stainless steel weld? 
I am getting ready to put a bid on some stainless steel counter tops. There will be some welding and fabrication involved that I will have subbed out to …

Thanks man 
I listened to your advice, and it has helped me since i started laying beads in my mig class. mainly the voltage to wire speed ratio, that helped a lot. …

Youtube turds and a really simple welding tip 
Jody, there will always be people on Youtube with nothing to contribute but venom. You're right to ignore them. Keep up the good work. I'm pretty …

Needs to donate his welder to salvation army 
Sorry but I just had to share this with someone. This weld is typical of all welds found throughout a 1948 Ford truck street rod project which I foolishly …

Uphill Welding tip 
I use a series of tack welds stacked on top of each other truly looks like a stack of dimes and holds up great

welding gases  
can you use b3 instead of 75/25 or is it to hot of a gas ----------------------------------------------- sorry, I am not familiar with B3 as a welding …

Great empirical comparison of techniques 
I just happened upon this site looking for a welding clamp. Awesome! Don't let the YouTube Douchebags discourage you for it seems that in my first 15 minutes …

Mig Welding thin stuff 
I got shown this technique a while ago and find it easy to control on thin sheet and easily strong enough and it looks good. Manual pulse technique. …

6011 is neat 
Thanks for your site. There are so many techniques to master and so little time. On one job I used a 6011 " pause whip " and they looked like something …