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Stick welding requires the help of tools by the name of “welding rods,” AKA “electrodes.” There is an extensive list of electrodes that welders can use, so finding the right one for any given task might take some time at first. Being meticulous with your search is crucial because factors such as how you store, power, and use these electrodes are specific to each one.
To help you narrow down your search, we’ll introduce you to three different types of welding rods and their uses. Although there are many electrodes available, the three below are some of the industry’s most popular choices.
E6010 is an electrode with a popular reputation, thanks to its deep penetration. This rod delivers such deep penetration that it has no issue getting through rust, oil, or paint present on the metal. Not all welds call for immense penetration, but those that do benefit greatly when E6010 is present.
This electrode is great for welding pipes; specifically, when you’re completing root passes on pipes. Always remember that, regarding power, you must use DC (direct current) when welding with an E6010 rod. E6010 is a common rod choice for shipyards and construction sites, each of which benefits from the electrode’s power and penetration.
E6013 doesn’t provide the deep penetration E6010 does, but it is more versatile in terms of power supply. You can use either AC or DC when welding with this type of rod. E6013 creates a soft arc and produces very little splatter during projects. Plus, the splatter it does produce is exceptionally easy to remove. The most common application for E6013 is welding sheet metal, though it can also be useful for some fabrication projects. For these reasons, E6013 is a popular go-to for beginners.
E7018 is a very popular rod, thanks to the smooth, strong welds it produces. This electrode can provide deeper penetration than E6013, but it still can’t match the penetration of E6010. One similarity that E6013 and E7018 share is their power capabilities—both are compatible with AC and DC currents. Due to the strength E7018 provides to welds, the most common application for this electrode is structural steel welding.
As you can see, there are multiple different types of welding rods, and their uses often vary. Be sure you’re using the right welding gear for each project. For instance, using a direct current with E6010 is a welding rule, not a suggestion. Getting the right TIG welding accessories or any other gear pertaining to your welding method is vital for successfully completing projects.