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Types of Different Welding Rods

Welding in the field

Welding rods, or electrodes, are used in the stick

welding process and will not be found in MIG,
flux-core, TIG or any other welding application.
They are a long, skinny steel rod with a flux
coating. They are placed into the positive (+)
clamp of the welding machine and are used to weld with. The negative (-) clamp gets attached to
the metal being welded.
This rod or electrode provides deep penetration of the metal, while at the same

time providing minimum spatter, or debris. This electrode is used mostly in heavy applications
such as structural steel or farm equipment. The welder must be set on DC (direct current) to weld
with this rod.
The 6011 rod works well on dirty, rusty, or painted surfaces and is a favorite of

pipe welders in the field. It is also a heavy-duty electrode and can be used in the same fashion as
6010 rod. Like 6010, it has deep penetrating qualities and low spatter but can run on either AC
(alternating current) or DC machines.
This particular electrode provides much less penetration and works great on light

materials such as sheet metal. It can also be welded using either AC or DC settings and is very
compatible with low-power hobby welders. Not intended for structural or heavy steel.
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The 7014 electrode is powder-coated to provide a flatter weld, which can be

useful on ill-fitting joints or other jobs that cannot be ground down afterward. The 7014 can
provide faster welding speeds and is very easy to strike an arc on. This rod is an AC or DC
This electrode is the most commonly used rod by welders today. It produces a

high quality weld in mild steel applications and works very well out in the field. This type of rod
cannot be welded with when wet and must be kept in a rod oven to reduce moisture when not
being used. This DC welding rod is the choice of many beginners as well.

This rod has all the same weld qualities that can be found in the 7018 rod but is
intended for AC welders. It is easy to use and starts with a nice arc. This rod can be welded in all
positions as well.
Welding Rods: Common Types and Usages
Note that the first 2 digits on welding rods indicate the tensile strength in PSI (Times 1000).
The next digit expresses the welding position(s), & the last digit is the type of flux coating.
Below you'll see various common types of welding rods & other information:
1) Aluminum 4043: common aluminum rod / 25,000 PSI / for all weldable aluminum / use a
short arc, rod near vertical / 1/8" 90-140 AMPS
2) 6011: mild steel / 60,000 PSI / for mild steels / all position, deep penetration, plus cutting /
1/8" 80-130 AMPS
3) 6013.
4) 7018.
5) 7024.
6) Stainless 308.
Below are pictures of the above stated rod types. Colors may vary depending on manufacturer,
age, & condition.
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These are all fairly new rods.

You need to keep your rods out of the weather & humidity. Keep as warm & dry as practical
for your situation. Then they will last longer & perform better.

Above are electrodes in this order (top to bottom):

1) Stainless 308's
2) 7024 Carbon Electrodes
3) 7018 Carbon Electrodes
4) 6011 Mild Steel
5) 6013 Mild Steel
5) 4043 Aluminum
Weyerheauser Timber Company uses a variety of hard surfacing electrodes. One example is
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for the big "hog" teeth which chews up large chucks of scrap wood in the sawmills.
Each "tooth" of this hog weighs over 100 pounds!! The cutting edge is built up first, then hard
surfaced, & then weighed to help with balancing.
Welding rods, or welding electrodes, are metal rods that melt and become part of the strong
bond that holds metal together. They come in a wide variety of sizes and metals. The metal is
surrounded by "flux," which prevents oxidation of the metal being welded. Choosing the right
kind for your job is very important because the wrong kind can weaken the weld.
The first two digits of the welding rod number indicate the strength of the weld. Multiply the 60
in 6010, for instance, to get 60,000 pounds of pulling force.
This is a very common type of welding rod. It is used for farm equipment, piping, wrought iron,
and many kinds of general maintenance. The rod must be run on welders that use Direct Current
This is a very versatile type of welding rod and is a little easier to use than 6010. It's a lowhydrogen rod and moisture can't be allowed to get into the flux. A "rod oven" should be used to
store 7018 at 250 degrees.
308L AC/DC
This rod is used to weld stainless steel and is resistant to cracks and corrosion. It also works well
in all welding positions.
24 AC/DC
This rod is used to join two different kinds of metal and works in all positions.
Types of Welding Rods
Welding rods are used during the welding process to add material into the
weld zone. In some types of arc welding, the welding rod is also the
electrode. The welding rod generally consists of the same material the work
piece is made of, along with flux to assist with the welding process. Welding
rods are generally held by an electrode holder that insulates the welder from
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the electric current. Automated welding systems use a wire, which is a thin,
continuous welding rod
Welding Electrodes

In most types of arc welding, the welding rod also acts as the electrode to guide the
electric arc to the weld location. The American Welding Society (AWS) uses the "E" prefix in
welding rod classifications to label welding rods that can be used for arc welding. For arc
welding methods that do not use a shielding gas, welding rods with a flux coating are used. The
flux vaporizes at the tip of the welding rod, creating a gas that pushes the air away from the
weld, resulting in a clean weld.
Steel Welding Rods

The most widely welded material is steel, and welding rods are available in many
different steel alloys to meet the needs of any particular application. Common types of steel
welding rods are mild steel, low alloy steel and stainless steel. Steel welding rods are available
with or without flux coatings.
Aluminum Welding Rods

Aluminum welding rods are used for welding aluminum parts together, and are
particularly suited for welding dissimilar aluminum alloys together. Aluminum welding rods can
be used with standard arc welding equipment, metal inert gas (MIG) equipment and tungsten
inert gas (TIG) equipment.
Bronze Welding Rods

Bronze welding rods are used for brazing applications, joining copper to other metals,
and repairing bronze and brass parts. Brazing using bronze welding rods offers increased
resistance to salt water corrosion.
Composite Welding Rods

Advances in welding technology have led to the creation of composite welding rods.
These rods consist of two or more layers of material whose combination results in a stronger,
higher quality weld. Flux core welding rods have the flux located in the center of the welding
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rod. This allows flux materials to be used that may wear off if they were deposited on the outside
of the rod. Metal-cored welding rods have a mild-steel outer layer and are filled with a custom
mix of metal powders to meet the exact alloy needs for an application.
How to Select Rods for Arc Welding

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you looking at?

Kevin Caron: These are welding rods for an arc welder. I had a question the other day from one
of my YouTube video subscribers. He's a new welder, teaching himself how to weld, just like me.

His question was, "How do you know which rod to use? Which rod do you use for general
purpose welding; which rod for a special job?" I thought that was a great idea for one of my
how-to videos.
Let's talk about rod a little bit. I have here three different kinds of rod.
This one is a 6011. The 6-0 means 60,000 pounds worth of tensile strength. So, 60,000 pounds
before that weld breaks. The 1, the first 1, means it's good for all positions: flat, vertical,
overhead. If it was a 2, a 6021, that would mean it's good for flat or horizontal. If it was a 3, that
would mean it was only good for flat welding.
The last number, the second 1, stands for what kind of coating it is. I'll talk about that a little bit
Here's a 6013. What's the difference between the 6011 and 6013? It's the type of coating; that's
the only difference. This is a 7018, so instead of a 60,000-pound rod, this is a 70,000-pound rod
before the weld breaks. The 1: It's still good for flat, verticals, overheads, horizontals. This one is
marked AC, so it's strictly for AC welding rather than AC/DC or DC welding.
As you can see, there are many variations out there regarding how you can use the rod, which
rod to use for which type of welding, and for which type of welding machine. It gets confusing
after awhile ? that's why they have books on it.
Let's fire up the welder. I'll run them all on the same setting on this little Lincoln buzzbox I use
here in my studio, so you can see the difference between the rods and their respective welds.
We'll use the same piece of metal, same settings - the only difference is the rod itself. But first
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we?ll mark the metal. We'll call this one 6011; this one 6013, and this one 7018.
Here's the little Lincoln welder. It's an AC-225 amp, and I've got it set on 105 amps. I'm not
going to change that; I'm only going to change the rod. So, let's fire it up. Get your helmet on,
and we'll make some sparks.
First up will be the 6011. Now let's try a little of that 6013. Finally, let's try some of that 7018
and see what we get with that.
Let me chip the slag off real quick. Now you can see the difference between the welds. This is
the 6011. Not really pretty. It was actually a little over amperage, I think. If I could have, I
would?ve turned it down to 100 amps, or 95 amps.
The 6013: That's a nice-looking weld. It shows lots of penetration; came out nice and clean. Let's
go back over to the 6011 for a second. Can you see all the burn? Notice how dusty and dirty it is.
There's lots of splatter around. However, with the 6013, the weld is nice and clean; not a lot of
The 7018 looks even better. The difference between the three rods is the 6011 and the 6013 are
eighth-inch. The 7018 is the next size up, it?s three-thirty-seconds. It's a little bit bigger rod, so it
can handle the higher amperage. Nice, clean-looking weld.
You can find out all this information online. Just Google "what welding rod do I use?" You can
get lots of information there, so you can better pick the rod you want.
Hope that answers your question. See you next time
Types of Welding Rods
Depending on what kind of welding operation which you will perform is necessary to use
electrodes to, which are usually referred to as welding rods.
Arc welding electrodes are identified using the A.W.S, (American Welding Society) numbering
system and are made in sizes from 1/16 to 5/16. An example would be a welding rod identified
as a 1/8 E6011 electrode.

6010 welding rod is mainly used for all welding positions, works on all types of steel
and you can use it in almost any conditions with DC current. Deep welding penetration with
high spatter while welds are made.

6011 welding rod is related to 6010, with same characteristics but this one can be used
with both AC and DC current.

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6013 welding rod is a medium penetrating electrode with the same characteristics like
6010 and 6011 but works with AC or DC current. Its mainly used for general tasks such as
vehicles, ship building and repair, sheet metal.

7018 welding rod can be used with both AC and DC current, low hydrogen, low
penetration and in all positions. The low moisture composition of this welding rod reduces the
introduction of hydrogen into the weld. If electrode is not kept dry and is exposed to humid
air wont work.

7024 welding rod is made for flat and horizontal positions it makes the molten metal to
solidify slowly. Its a great way for beginners to learn welding on AC machine using this rod.
How to Pick the Right Welding Rod

A welding rod or filler metal helps to fuse or weld two metals. Welding rods are available in
different types, and they are used for different purposes. Choosing the right welding rod is the
major factor in determining the success of a weld and the strength of the joint. Four types of rods
are covered rods, tubular rods, bare welding electrodes and welding fluxes. Choosing the wrong
rod will produce a weld that is too hard, too soft, brittle or easily torn. The American Welding
Society gives each rod a four- or five-digit number to guide the process of choosing the right rod.
Step 1:
Determine the type of welding that will be done. The four main types of welding are metal arc
welding, flux-cored arc welding, gas metal arc welding and submerged arc welding. Ensure the
welding rod has an "E" setting, which means it can be used as an electrode.

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Fillers perform as electrodes in arc welding applications

Step 2:
Consider the type of metal to be welded. Ensure the metal in the welding rod matches the
material to be welded. For example, match arc welding with carbon steel and an "E" welding rod.

Rods made of multiple materials are called combination or composite


Step 3:
Check the tensile strength of the rod. The
tensile strength is the strength the rod will add
to metal. It is very important to know the
strength when choosing the right welding rod.
To check a rod's tensile strength, look
at its first three digits. The higher the number
is, the stronger the rod.

Welding rods range from a tensile strength of 7,018 to 111,000 lb.

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Step 4:
Verify the welding position. The welding position is the position in which the weld will be
performed. Choose an "all position" rod. It can perform flat, vertical, horizontal and overhead
positions. Look on the packing box for the rod to check the rod's size, the temperature to
use and the thickness of the material to ensure it is the right rod to use.

The American Welding Society standard determines welding position for the rod.

Step 5:
Choose the right rod to perform specialized welds. Select a carbon rod when welding steel or
iron. The right rod for welding cast iron is a high-nickel rod. Choose a Radnor rod to weld metals
with a crystalline core. The right rod to choose for welding brass is a rod with flux coating.
Choose Inkontel, a rod made of iron and nickel, when welding cast iron.

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Flux coatings often cover steel welding rods. (Technical weld image by Brenton W Cooper from

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