How many of you have used a spool gun for aluminum?

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Well-known member
Feb 25, 2011
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Virginia, USA
I'm trying to make a decision. I've been doing more and more aluminum welding with my MIG/Argon setup, and I'm getting better and better at it.

"Everyone" says that a spool gun is needed, although I've done great with my regular gun. I've never had a snarl or tangle. But maybe I just don't know any better?

How many of you have used a spool gun versus regular MIG? Is it worth the pretty reasonable cost? Does make welding faster, easier or more precise?

Here is the spool gun that fits my Eastwood. It's only $119.99 on Amazon:

Interested to hear opinions. Thanks.
I have a spool gun and have welded quite a bit with it over the last couple of years. It is a lot bigger than just the regular MIG gun.
My understanding is that it is possible for the wire to get hung when feeding through the regular feed line. Aluminum is a lot softer than steel wire. I have been told that you can use the normal gun/line if you don't have to bend the line much.
Correct. Another trick is to go up one size on your tip. So, if using .030 wire, use a .035 tip. This has worked great for me.

Thanks for replying. I guess not many guys here do much aluminum welding.
What about these new laser welders? I keep seeing vids on FB with guys effortlessly making some beautiful welds. Think if I was going to upgrade that's what I'd seriously be considering.
You can get a silicone liner for your whip and use that exclusively to avoid contamination that can lead to poor welds. It will also help with birds nesting. I find a spool gun is awkward and not as easy to wield in tighter spaces. If you are getting good results as is, I would just get a new liner and carry on.
I’ve got a spool gun and hope to use it very soon. Got tied up on some other projects that put me behind schedule on the little jet jon project.

It’s the Millermatic 211 and Spoolmate 150. It should do what I need to do.
I use a spool gun. Or a push/pull for aluminum wire welding. That being said, it's hard to weld hulls with wire and super easy to burn through. Especially older thinner hulls. Tig for the win in that case, although more expensive.
As someone who has done both. You will also need a gas tank for welding aluminum spool or tig. That said I would 100% reccomend going tig over a mig spool gun. Spool guns are just too finicky. Mig allows so much more control.
Nice replies.
My results have been good, and I'm happy with the results. Some days better than others, especially if there is a lot of breeze that blows the argon away. Calm days much easier and use less gas.

I'm 50/50 on the spool gun. So many people make it sound like a game-changer, but I'm not convinced, as I've had no problems with mine. The only downside is I end up with 8' of wasted wire every time I finish a spool...