Types of Welding Rods and Their Applications

Whether you are a handyman who welds only a few times a year or a professional transformer who welds every day, one thing is for sure: Welding requires a great deal of skill. Therefore, it is important to know the multiple types of welding rods and their usages.   

These six diverse types of welding rods are the most widely used and popular in the welding industry. 6010 electrodes to provide deep penetration, 6011 can be used with A.C. or D.C. current, 6012 is a general-purpose welding rod, 6013 creates a soft arc with little water splash, 7018 is mainly used for welding made of low to medium carbon steel, and the feature of 7024 welding rod is its high gratified of iron powder.    

Also called welding electrodes, these metal rods are fused to connect two or more parts. You must be familiar with welding rods, as choosing the wrong weld can weaken a weld.   

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In the following article, we go over the different types of welding rods and explain the specific tasks for which they were designed.

Mild Steel Types of Welding Rods and Their Uses

Mild steel welding rodsUse
6010Welding of pipelines and shipyards (deep penetration)
6011Alternating or direct current
6012general use
6013moderate penetration welding
7018Welding of low to medium carbon steel
7024High-speed flat or horizontal welds

Types of welding electrodes

Welders must use a diversity of materials to create permanent welds. However, are you familiar with the different types of welding electrodes?  

Your choice of electrodes will depend on the type of base metals, the metals’ thickness, and the current you are using to weld.

How many types of welding electrodes? Electrodes are classified as consumable or non-consumable. Arc welders and MIG welders use expendable electrodes, but TIG welders use non-consumable electrodes.    

Unlike non-consumable electrodes, consumable electrodes melt into the parent metal.

Welders use electrodes to create an arc that creates a weld puddle and fuses the two base metals. The electrode is a thin metal wire available in different diameters, lengths, and coatings. In MIG welding, the electrode is a coil of wire that the MIG machine feeds into the welding gun.

However, the electrodes used for welding SMAW and TIG are similar to long son.

Without the power to the machine, a welder holds a TIG or SMAW electrode during the welding process.

While talking about the types of welding rods, Some electrodes are suitable for several metals and currents. However, it is important to study what types of electrodes are designed for specific metals and situations.  

What are the diverse types of welding electrodes?

If your primary goal is not TIG welding, consider using a consumable electrode.

However, the exception is if you are using a carbon electrode welder. Carbon electrodes are non-consumable and are completed by carbon graphite.

Non-consumable electrodes

Types of Welding Rods

Non-consumable electrodes comprise carbon electrodes and tungsten electrodes. Tungsten rods for TIG welding are additional common than carbon rods in industrial and household applications.

Carbon electrodes

Carbon Arc Welding (CAW) is an elder and fewer common form of welding. Although CAW is still used today, it is a process that you will hardly see in a welding shop or at home.

carbon electrodes

The American Welding Company (AWS) no longer contains CAW specifications.

Branches of the U.S. military continue to use TCA for heating and cutting metal. Unlike a standard arc welder, CAW uses two non-consumable carbon electrodes.

Carbon electrodes create a large arc which is much more difficult to control than arcs from other processes.

The giant arc is good for heating metals and cutting holes or channels in metal, but it is not designed for detailed welding on thin metal.

Tungsten electrodes

Tungsten electrodes are the most popular non-consumable electrodes and are used with a tungsten inert gas (TIG) welder.

Tungsten electrodes

Tungsten electrodes are made of pure tungsten or a combination of tungsten and thorium or tungsten and zirconium.

Pure tungsten electrodes are suitable for small projects on thinner metals that do not require high amperage.

Tungsten / zirconium electrodes work healthy on weightier metals but are not as durable as tungsten/thorium electrodes.

While speaking about the types of welding rods, Tungsten / Thorium is the most general form of tungsten electrode and creates the most powerful, high amperage welds.

The following table shows the four types of tungsten electrodes and how to identify them by their color:

electrodeColor classification
Pure tungstengreen
1% thoriumyellow
2% thoriumred
0.3% – 5% zirconiumBrown

Consumable electrodes

Types of Welding Rods

The consumable electrode type is the most common electrode and uses both welders MIG (metal inert gas) such as shielded metal ARC (SMAW, also called strip welding and welding the arc ).

Unlike non-consumable electrodes, consumables dissolve throughout the welding process.

MIG electrodes use a fine wire that the MIG machine automatically feeds to the welding gun.

Robotic MIG welders are considered fully automatic, and machines operated by human welders are called semi-automatic welders.

Since MIG machines use shielding gas to protect the weld, the MIG wire is not flux coated.

The Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG welder is my number one choice because it offers the perfect balance of quality and price.

Arc welders use electrodes or consumable rods for stable welds without producing shielding gas. The consumable electrodes for arc welding are classified as bare electrodes or stick electrodes.

The bare electrodes are not flux coated to protect the weld puddle and are generally used to weld manganese steel.

Stick electrodes are the preferred rod for arc welding equipment and are divided into three groups

  • Lightly coated electrodes
  • Medium coating electrodes
  • Thick coated electrodes or shielded arc electrodes
  • Lightly coated electrodes

As the name suggests, lightly coated electrodes have a thin layer of flux. Although flux does not produce a reliable shielding gas, it does protect the weld pool from contaminants such as phosphorous, sulfur, and oxides.

 The lightweight coating also stabilizes the arc and creates less slag than medium or thick-coated rods.

Lightly coated rods have a coating factor of 1.25 and are not suitable for highly contaminated metals that require protective flux.      

Medium coated electrodes

Most hobbyists and expert welders often use medium coated electrodes, such as low hydrogen bars.

Some of the most communal uses for medium cover rods are offshore drilling applications, bridge construction, commercial building construction, and pipe welding.

Medium coated electrodes

With a coating factor of 1.45, the medium coating electrodes feature easy-to-remove slag, exceptional arc control, and the ability to weld in any position.

Thick coated electrodes

Thick-coated electrodes contain the greatest amount of flux and have a coating factor of 1.6-2.2. When the coating ignites in the weld pool, it creates an effective shielding gas to protect the weld.   

Sticks are made from three materials including cellulose, mineral, and a combination of cellulose and minerals.

A Guide To Naming Welding Rods

Whereas talking about the types of welding rods, The American Welding Society ( AWS ) has developed an alphanumeric system for naming welding electrodes. It is the primary welding rod identification system not only in the United States but in other countries as well.         

As the name suggests, this alphanumeric method consists of letters and numbers, usually engraved on each welding rod’s side.

You will find terms like E6010, E7018, etc. Here’s how the naming method works:       

Types of Welding Rods

The main letter “E” at the beginning of the name means electrode. The next two numbers refer to the weld’s minimum tensile strength, which is measured in pounds per square inch (psi).   

For example, the number 60 in E6010 means that the rod will create a bead with a minimum strength of 60,000 psi. Simply put; The resulting weld can withstand the 60,000 pounds of force required to pull it apart.             

The third value indicates the number of positions in which the welding electrode can be used. Note that there are four main welding positions: flat, horizontal, vertical, and above.   

For example, 1 means the bar can be used in all positions, while 2 means it can only be used in flat or horizontal positions.

The last number indicates the type of coating and the type of welding current (A.C., DC, or both) that can be used with the rod. Now that you know in what way the naming system, consider the types of electrodes for welding.               

Types of welding rods


6010 electrodes are very popular. They are used to allow deep penetration, a form of welding that requires very high power densities of up to 1 megawatt per square centimeter.    



With this in mind, E6010 electrodes are mainly used for pipe welding and applications such as shipyards, water towers, steel foundries, field construction, and steel storage tanks. 

However, it is important to note that they can only be used with welders using direct current (D.C.).

Besides, they have an extremely narrow arc, making them difficult to handle, especially for amateur welders.


A distinctive feature of the 6011 electrodes is that they can be used with either A.C. or D.C. power.   

This is very handy, as you can easily switch from one type of flow to another to see which one works best.


Whereas talking about the types of welding rods, this type of welding rod can withstand a force of 60,000 psi without breaking. And like the 6010 electrodes, the 6011 offers deep penetration.   

This makes it the best excellent electrode when you want to weld thicker materials. This also clarifies why the 6011 electrodes are used for the applications welding using painted surfaces, dirty and greasy.        

A disadvantage of this electrode is that it creates flat weld beads and leaves waves and somewhat rough surfaces.

This can be a problem when you need an aesthetic finish.


The 6012 is an all-purpose welding rod with excellent bridging properties, especially in applications with a below-average setting.

This electrode is also known to deliver a good stable arc and operate at high currents with minimal spatter. Best of all, it supports both A.C. and D.C. power supplies.   


In other words, electrodes 6012 have two main limitations. Firstly, they are best for shallow or fine penetration. Second, when they melt, they create a thick waste; Therefore, they require additional cleaning after welding.   

Typical applications for this type of welding rod are the assembly of open joints, weld repair work, non-critical welds, and welds of oxidized carbon steel sheet metal.


This is another popular electrode that creates a smooth arc with little spatter. Often used for moderate penetration welding, the 6013 has an easily removable slag.   

It is also important to note that it is compatible with both A.C. and D.C. currents.


This type of electrode is used in cases where short or irregular welding work is required because of these properties. Since it creates a fairly stable and smooth arch, it is perfect for applications that require a change of position.   

These applications include sheet metal welding, ship repair and construction, and the welding of reworked or worn mild steel surfaces. The 6013 electrodes are also used for general and light manufacturing.   


The 7018 is one of the greatest multipurpose welding rods and is primarily used for welding low to medium carbon steel. As we clarified earlier, this electrode is designed to create a much stronger weld that can withstand up to 70,000 psi.   


Another important feature of the 7018 welding rod is that it is generally coated with a low hydrogen iron compound.

This compound evaporates and protects the weld bead from moisture and air contamination.

This welding electrode can be used with A.C. and D.C. power sources and in all four positions. Due to these properties, 7018 has a proven track record in structural welding.   

This means the type of welding required in power plants, power plants, factories, and bridges.


The main feature of this welding rod is its high content of the iron powder. This is an essential feature that greatly increases the speed of deposition, which makes welding easier.   +


What do the numbers printed on the electrodes mean?

The digital electrode classification system may seem confusing at first, but once you figure out what the numbers mean, buying electrons will be a snap.

AWS’s system shows the pressure the rod can withstand, the correct position to be welded, the flow composition, and the current used by the rod. The most commonly used rods for welding are the 7018, 7014, 6013, 6011, and 6010.       

Using the example of a 7018 bar, you can use the first two numbers to determine the bar’s tensile strength.

The numbers indicate the pounds per square inch (psi) that the resulting weld can withstand.

If you multiply 70 by 1000, you can see that the weld can withstand a pressure of 70,000 pounds per square inch.

The third number on the electrode indicates your optimum position for welding. Only 1, 2, and 4 are used.   

The number 1 means that the electrodes can be used in any position. The number 2 means a flat horizontal position and the number 4 means the position above or the vertical position up or down.        

For bar 7018, this means that the bar can be exchanged in all positions. The last number represents the flow and current to be used.           

The 8 means the bar is made of low potassium iron potassium powder. It also means that the correct electrode current is A.C., DC- and D.C. +.   

The electrode coating consists of different materials. The following table shows the composition of the different electrodes and the corresponding currents.   

8Low potassium iron powder potassiumA.C., DC +, D.C.-
7Iron oxide, potassium powderA.C., DC +, D.C.-
6Potassium low in potassiumA.C., DC +
5Low in sodium hydrogenD.C. +
4Iron powder, titaniumA.C., DC +, DC-
3Potassium high in titaniumA.C., DC +
2The high content of sodium and titanium dioxideAC DC
1Potassium-rich in celluloseA.C., DC +, DC-
0The high content of sodium celluloseD.C. +

The numerical classification of an electrode contains a lot of information. However, if you are unsure of the electrode, check the packaging.  

Electrode manufacturers have detailed specifications on the packaging that should answer all of your questions.

Before starting a welding project, check the specifications before installing your welder.

Most of the instructions will also tell you which metals are suitable for the electrode and how to adjust the current on your machine.

Handling and storage of electrodes

When buying electrodes you know a few things. Electrodes are fragile components and should be handled with care.   

Although they have metal cores, the electrodes can bend or break depending on the type of metal.

Bars that are not structurally intact when in use do not create useful welds. Flux protects your solder bath and is essential for a stable solder.   

The bars come packaged in an airtight container when you buy them and start to break down if you leave them unprotected for more than a few hours.

When choosing a solder electrode, remember to store the remaining rods in a sealed container.           

Depending on the composition of the rod, the flux will degrade when exposed to wet conditions. The flux will become a wet mess if it absorbs too much hydrogen or oxygen.   

It is difficult to avoid humidity when working outside. Try to minimalize the electrode’s exposure to the air by opening the rod cup just before welding.          

Instructions for Choosing the Best Type of Welding Rod

Instructions for Choosing the Best Type of Welding Rod

Even if you are familiar with the different types of welding electrodes, it can be difficult to choose a specific application. Here are some other factors to consider:   

Base metal

One thing to consider is the composition of the base metal. Your main goal is to find a welding rod that closely resembles the base metal.   

This increases the likelihood of creating a strong and stable weld. If you are unsure of how to set up the base metal, keep the following considerations in mind:   

Metallic appearance

Are you employed with a broken section of metal or component? If so, check the texture. A rough or grainy surface means it is a molten metallic material.      

Magnetic vs non-magnetic

Determining whether the material is magnetic or non-magnetic is another differentiation from the base metal. If it is magnetic, there is a strong possibility that it is alloy steel or carbon steel.   

If it is not magnetic, the base metal can be austenitic stainless steel, manganese steel, or a non-ferrous alloy such as brass, aluminum, titanium, or copper.

Spark type

You should also checker the kind of spark that the base metal creates when it hits a grinder. The rule of thumb here is the more torches in the sparks, the higher the base metal’s carbon content.   

Reaction of the chisel to the metal

If a chisel is struck against a soft metal such as aluminum, it will leave bite marks. However, if it hits harder metals like cast iron or carbon steel, it will rebound.   

Tensile strength

It is also important to also match the welding rod’s tensile strength with that of the parent metal. Failure to do so may result in cracks between other weld discontinuities.   

To determine the tensile strength of an electrode, all you need to do is check the first two digits.

For example, a 6011 bar means it creates a weld with a minimum tensile strength of 60,000 psi and then works well with the steel of adequate tensile strength.     

Welding current

While some A.C. and D.C. welding rods are compatible, others only support one of these power supplies.          

Check the fourth digit of your name to determine the type of currency with which an electrode can be used.

This value indicates not only the type of coating but also the appropriate welding current. Here is a simple table to guide you:   

Using a home oven to maintain your bikes is not the optimal option because the oven is too hot and the bars take 500-700 degrees for about 100-30 minutes.

How many amps does a 7018 rod have?

How many amps does a 7018 rod have? The 7018-welding rod is used with currents up to 225 amps. But keep in mind that the 7018-rod amplifier alternates between manufacturers, so you have to find the right solution.

How many amps does a 7018 rod have?

The 7018 rod is a soft rod coated with a low hydrogen content iron-based flux compound that evaporates to prevent air and moisture from contaminating the cast iron.

It can only be used for general wood welding.

What is the best welding rod for vertical welding?

What is the best welding rod for vertical welding? The first option is that these are the 7018 bars because they are low in iron. Old metal creates a puddle that can be cold and less likely to fall off work while hydrating, and there is also a faster wave.

It is very important to make the right decision for your weld, especially for a correct weld.

The 7024, 7018, and 6010 rods may seem like good choices when choosing the best rod for proper welding.

Your best option should be the 7018 rods as it is suitable for the general welding of steel.

6010 bars require more skill than 7018 bars for vertical welding. And 7024 bars don’t have the same fill properties as 7018 bars.

However, it is advisable to test 7018 cables for proper soldering.

How do I calculate the amount of welding rods I need?

How Do I Calculate The Amount Of Welding Rods I Need?
  • Calculate the weld area, including root and cap reinforcement, to several millimeters.
  • Multiple welding can be done using a circumference that corresponds to the length to have a weld volume in cubic millimeters.
  • Divide what you get by multiplying the weld by 1,000,000,000 to get your weld volume in cubic meters.
  • Multiply the amount of welding by a certain amount (7800 kg / m ^ 3) to get a certain amount of wolves for a total of kilometers.
  • It would take several masses in kilograms.
  • Add 20-30% amount for waste.
  • Calculate the number of parts needed for one kilogram of the deposited mass, it depends on the consumable, but 1.5 kg of electrode mass can be used per 1 kg or welding.
  • The mass of electrons is required in kilograms.
  • Ultimately, you decide if the light is between the individual elements. For example, 5% of the electrodes have a diameter of 2.5mm, while 95% have a diameter of 3.2mm.

How is it possible to weld?

The thickness of a fillet or weld joint can be determined because the length is likely to be multiplied by 0.7 when the minimum round portion is correct.

The active effect is determined by the height of the most extensive isosceles parts inscribed in the weld bead without intervening.

The throat that depends on a filling in the world is the decision made on the line determined by the excellent metal of the sweat part.

Whether the world of convex leaves and might is the root cause to find the correct way to determine the right effectiveness.

Should You Keep The 7018?

Is it necessary to heat the 7018? The best answer is no. The 7018 bar, however, is a low-stem bar, which means it doesn’t reduce the moisture in your food. If you are working in a country with relatively high humidity, it is advisable to keep your 7018 warms.

7018 boards are manufactured by the manufacturer and manufactured under certain conditions to ensure that the assembly is complete. However, after opening the package, the surrounding environment helps to get involved in the high-flow river.

If your welding shop is yours, using the 110V control to make sure your 7018 stays dry can be the right decision.

In this case, it is not essential to damage the metal, but to heat, the world’s pipes are to keep moisture away from them.

Types of welding RodsFrequently asked Questions

Here are some common questions about welding rods:

What is the smallest welding rod?

While discussing the types of welding rods, The smallest withering is queue 6012. These tasks will deal with the binding of links between links. They are also used for high-quality high-flow welds that will be achieved. Other rods in the world that come in sizes 6012 are rods 6013, 7014, 7024, and 7018. They all have different characteristics that have led them to develop different projects.       
Do the different types of welding rods expire?

Do the welding rods expire? Yes! The question of whether to remove the welding rod from the appearance of a few months ago or thirty years ago cannot be a good one. It doesn’t depend on how old the stem is, but how much moisture it has been used for.    

This is why it is very important and important to keep the post dry, and erasing it is equivalent to letting it expire.

It is very important to know how you can work your electrodes to improve their own lives and avoid the possibility of using prey wires.

We’ll be relatively sure that some of the reasons are appropriate for doing something else, and the amount of money that goes into a decision will depend on what problem they can tackle.


Before starting a welding job, you need to determine the correct type of welding rod. Each of these electrodes is named according to a series of attributes that it has.   

When welding, each metal reacts differently to an arc. There are countless types of electrodes. However, if you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, you should have no problem soldering with an unknown electrode.     

So when you have bars that you want to use in a new project, start the welder and draw an arc.

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