AbstractProbeless friction stir spot welding (probeless FSSW) is a useful variant of conventional friction stir spot welding (FSSW), where there is no probe at the end of the tool shoulder. In this study, AA2198-T8 aluminum-lithium alloy has been successfully welded by probeless FSSW. The variations of geometric features of probeless FSSWed joints: stir zone width, stir zone edge angle and hook angle, and their effects on the joint mechanical properties were studied quantitatively. Results show that the width of stir zone is constrained by shoulder diameter, and the ratio of the width to shoulder diameter approaches 0.9. With the increase of stir zone depth, the stir zone edge angle approaches 45° eventually during the welding process. Additionally, the hook defect can be found among all of the probeless FSSWed joints due to the upward material flow of the lower sheet. When the hook angle is around 90°, the tensile/shear strength reaches a relatively higher value. The fracture mode changes from shear fracture to plug fracture when hook angle transforms from obtuse to acute.