Visual welding inspections remain incredibly valuable even as modern technology continues to improve. While techniques such as radiographic testing or the ultrasound test play an important, technological role in weld inspection, a visual welding inspection is still considered the most important because it is a non-destructive test and can cheaply, accurately determine compliance. Let’s explore why quality welders still rate the visual inspection highly and check out the pros and cons.

The Value of Visual Welding Inspection

Many quality welders rely on visual welding inspections to quickly detect any areas of concern within a weld. During the examination, the inspector shines a light on each specific part and observes surface indications. Visual inspections should always be the first step and may be used as standalone tests or combined with other non-destructive methods.

If there’s one thing to remember about a visual welding inspection, it’s that it is the preferred procedure for evaluating components without causing damage. Viewing the surface with a magnifying glass allows you to identify any significant damage, although ultrasound and radiographic testing should also be included as part of overall quality procedures.

Pros and Cons of Visual Welding Inspections

As one of the most popular options for non-destructive examination in the welding industry, many quality fabricators rely on visual inspections for a large portion of their welding projects.

Here are the main pros and cons of visual welding inspections to consider.


  • Exclusion factor – can eliminate other tests if clear damage is detected
  • Finds discontinuities to address before starting or finishing the weld
  • Most affordable non-destructive test
  • Reduces the amount of repairs
  • Decreases production costs


  • Limited to surface defect detection
  • Requires an experienced inspector
  • Depends on the inspector’s knowledge of welding and project requirements

Choosing the Right Inspection for Your Weld

So, which welding inspection is right for your weld? It’s best to start with a visual inspection and see if there is any noticeable damage or concerns. You can use ultrasound and radiographic testing as needed, but there’s no sense starting with a destructive test if it could be avoided altogether. Quality welders often use visual inspections to detect component defects like burnt edges, corrosion, erosion, cracks, and lack of fusion or thickness. A reputable welding inspector can make the right choice of visual inspections and any subsequent tests required to ensure it meets the product acceptance criteria.

Trained welding inspectors use a clear and precise definition of quality to assess both the aesthetics and the overall construction of each weld. The more training and experience an inspector has, the more accurate their visual welding inspections and any other required tests will be, especially with standardised test criteria.

Qualified Welding Inspectors at Your Service

Technoweld is here to help with all your welding inspection needs. Our senior welding inspectors and coating inspectors offer visual examinations, detailed reviews, and surveillance throughout your welding processes. Submit an online enquiry or call us today at 1300 00 WELD to get started.