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The Beginner's Guide To Different Types Of Welding Rods & Electrodes - Trades For Careers What Is The Use Of Welding Rod

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The Beginner's Guide to Different Types of Welding Rods & Electrodes - Trades For Careers

As a hobbyist or newbie welding student, one thing’s for sure: the different types of welding rods and electrodes can get pretty confusing. But look no further: In the following post, you’ll find the different types of welding rods explained, as well as reviews of the best welding rods for sale.

Different Types of Welding Rods and Uses Explained: Overview

Welding Rods & Electrodes 101

  • Welding Rods vs Electrodes vs Filler Metals
  • How to Understand Welding Rod Numbers
  • How to Use a Welding Electrode Chart + Free Welding Rod Charts Online

Your Guide to Welding Rod Selection & Numbers

  • E6010 Welding Electrode
  • 6011 Welding Rod Use
  • 6013 Welding Rod Meaning
  • 7018 Welding Rod
  • 7024 Welding Rod
  • 11018 Welding Electrode
  • 6011 vs 6013 Welding Rod
  • 6011 vs 7018 Welding Rod
  • 11018 Welding Rod

Best Welding Rods & Electrodes Online: Reviews

  • Stick Welding Rods
  • Aluminum Stick Welding Rods
  • TIG Welding Electrodes
  • Spot Welding Rods
  • Best Welding Rods for Arc Welder
  • Oxy Acetylene Welding Rods
  • Nickel Welding Rods

A welding rod is a piece of wire that joins a current from a wire to the welding machine itself. In other words, it’s a wire joining the welder with the materials you’re fusing together.

  • A welding rod joins together a work clamp and a welding-electrode holder to the power source. It should be heat-resistant, flexible, long, and durable.
  • The type of welding rod you choose depends on your needs, and there is no shortage of different sizes and coating levels.
  • The electrode may be consumable or non-consumable.

What’s the Difference Between Welding Rods, Electrodes, and Filler Metal?

Different Types of Welding Rods Explained

Simply put, a welding electrode is a type of welding rod. Sometimes a welding rod melts permanently into the materials being welded. Other times, it does not.

  • Interestingly, certain methods like Stick welding often cause the wire to melt into the weld materials. When the welding rod connecting the two materials together fuses permanently with the metals, it becomes a “consumable electrode.”
  • In other types of welding processes, such as TIG welding, the welding rods don’t melt. Therefore, they are “non-consumable” electrodes because they don’t fuse with the materials.

The Different Types of Electrodes:

What Do Welding Rod Numbers Mean?

As you’ve probably noticed, different types of welding rods and electrodes come with letters and numbers. These can seem like a foreign language if you’ve never learned about AWS welding electrode classification. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

Here are some key points to decoding the different types of welding rods:
  • First, sometimes the letters AWS appear. These simply mean that the numbers are following the American Welding Society welding classification system.
  • Next, you might see a letter in parenthesis. Here’s what each letter stands for:

Welding Rod Numbers Meaning

  • Now, to the numbers. The first two welding rod numbers stand for the tensile strength of the filler material. This is measured in thousands of pounds per square inch. For example, the Lincoln 7018 welding rod numbers show that the tensile strength is 70,000 psi.
  • The third welding number shows the directions in which you can use the electrodes.

Different Types of Welding Rods Explained

  • Finally, the last number dictates the types of power sources you can use as well as the type of coating material of the electrode.

Types of Weld Symbols Explained

Mastering the Use of a Welding Rod Chart

In the best welder rods reviewed below, most come with welding electrode charts. However, sometimes it’s easier to use free online welding electrode amperage charts and downloadable PDFs.

Here are some helpful links to free welding electrode charts online:

Now that we’ve nailed down a surefire way to figure out, for example, the 7018 welding rod meaning, we can take a look at the other types of popular welding rods.

The following is a quick welding rod guide list, from E6010 through E11018.

E6010 & E6011 Welding Rod Use

In the video below, you’ll see one welder’s comparison.

6010 vs 6011 Welding Electrodes

In this comparison of these two different types of welding rods, the 6011 electrodes have the upper hand because they run on both AC and DC currents. In contrast, 6010 welding rods only run on DC current.

7018 Welding Rod

Low Hydrogen Welding Rod

  • Now this is a beast of a powerhouse; it can weld beads under 70k. As the last letter tells us,” it has an iron powder low hydrogen coating.” Because of this, it’s compatible with both AC and DC currents.
  • Best for: Bridge Building & Structural welding
  • But don’t just take our word for it – check out the AWS Classification

6011 vs 7018 welding rod

In comparison to the 6011, 7018 welding rods give smoother, fuller welds and are easier to use for beginners.

Before launching into our reviews of the different types of welding rods and electrodes, we thought it’d be helpful to point out a quirk. When looking at item package quantities, remember that sometimes welding electrodes are measured by weight, not by item count.

Now, sit back, relax, and treat yourself to some well-deserved online shopping!

The Best Stick Welder Rods for Sale

One of the most popular types of welding electrodes is Stick welding Electrodes. Here are the 3 types of welding stick rods:

  • Light Coated Electrodes
  • Heavy Coated Electrodes
  • Shielded Arc Electrodes

For more about the best Stick welding rods, check out Buyer’s Guide & Reviews of the Best Stick Welder Rods..

Different Types of Welding Rods Explained
Click here for a complete review post of the best stick welding rods.

If you’re looking for some good Stick welding rods, we recommend going with a trusted welding equipment brand, like Lincoln Electric or Hobart.

Lincoln 7018 AC Welding Rods

Best AC Welding Rods for Mild Steel

Different Types of Welding Rods

Once again, Lincoln Electric delivers a high quality product. Most notably, this E7018 stick welding rod provides exceptionally clean welds, enabling you to keep splattering to a minimum.

Welding Rod Specifications
  • Lincoln 7018 AC Welding Rod Sizes: 1/8″
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 1″
  • Item Package Quantity: 10lbs
  • Material: Steel

Check Price

Hobart 6011 Welding Rods

Best 6011 Welding Rod

Different Types of Welding Rods Explained
Click here for the latest discounts & owner reviews. (Amazon Link)

Like Lincoln, Hobart is a welding equipment brand that manufactures only the most premium, durable products. Since it can be used in all positions in galvanized steel and carbon and arc welding, it’s a great all purpose welding rod.

If you need to weld through painted, rusty, or slightly dirty materials, the Hobart welding rods will serve you well.

Welding Rod Specifications
  • Hobart Welding Rod Sizes: 1/8″
  • Product Dimensions:14.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Item Package Quantity: 5lbs, 10lbs, or 25lbs

Check Price

Aluminum Stick Welding Rods

Hot Max 23077 Aluminum Welding Electrodes

If you’re looking for cheap aluminum stick welding rods, we recommend Hot Max 23077 aluminum welding electrodes. Hot Max makes killer welding machines, and their Stick welder rods are just as stellar.  (Considering the very low price point.)

  • This “all-position” rod works well with all types of aluminum welding projects. According to Hot Max, their 23077 is the strongest stick welder job
  • It’s important to realize that these are more than your ordinary Stick welding rods. According to the manufacturer, they have the most strength for gas torch welding and Arc.
Aluminum Stick Welding Rods
Click here for more pictures of these premium aluminum Stick welder rods. (Amazon Link)
Welding Rod Specifications
  • Hot Max 23077  Welding Rod Thickness: 5″ diameter
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 3.2 inches

This is a truly versatile pack of welding stick rods: they can be used with a TIG welding torch and during an alloy brazing process.

Although these aren’t as good as more expensive models, they’re a good choice for welders on on a budget!)

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Best TIG Welding Electrodes

Since the TIG welding process is more difficult and requires more time, it’s very important to have durable TIG welding electrodes. Luckily, a company called Midwest Tungsten Service Electrodes specializes in creating welding rods of unparalleled quality.

Midwest Tungsten Electrode Service TIG Welding Electrodes for Sale

Best Aluminum Welding Rods

Different Types of Welding Rods Explained
Click here now to discover hundreds of verified owner reviews. (Amazon Link)

Not only are they durable, but these arc welding electrodes are easy to use. Since they’re 2% Lanthanated, they make it easier start a clean arc and follow through with a clean weld. Additionally, they’re approved under both the AWS and ANSI standards.

Notably, the Midwest Tungsten Service Electrodes are great for both AC and DC welding.

Welding Rod Specifications:

  • Welding Rod Sizes: 1/8″, 1/16″, 3/32″
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 3 x 0.2″
  • Item Package Quantity: 10 rods per pack

Check Price

Best Spot Welding Electrodes

When using the Spot welding method, make sure you’re choosing the best welding rod for steel. Generally, spot welding electrodes should be made of copper, since it has extremely high thermal conductivity. Also, it’s a good idea to use spot welding tips

Blue Demon 7014 Plastic Iron Powder Carbon Steel Electrode

Best Welding Rod for Steel

Different Types of Welding Rods Explained
These copper coated carbon electrode welding electrodes are perfect for Spot welding. (Amazon Link)

Blue Demon offers an excellent welding rod selection, providing you with options for choosing the best welding rod sizes and packages based on your personal use. These electrodes are good arc gouging electrodes and great for cutting steel, high temperature alloys, aluminum, copper, and stainless steel.

Welding Rod Specifications
  • Blue Demon 7014 Welding Rod Sizes: 1/2″, 1/4″, 3/8″, 5/16″ (50 Piece Pack); 1/8″, 3/16″, 5/32″ (100 Piece Pack)
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 3″
  • Item Package Quantity: Option of 50 rods per pack or 100 rods per pack.
  • Material: Graphite with copper coating

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The Best Arc Welding Rods for Sale

As mentioned above, good arc welding rods should be both flexible and durable. Below, we’ve previewed two types of arc welding electrodes that consistently satisfy customers.

Forney Easy Arc 7018 Welding Rod

Different Types of Welding Rods Explained
Click here now for 120+ verified owner reviews! (Amazon Link)

If you plan on using low amperage on DC welders or high amperage on AC welders, then these arc welding rods may be just the ones for you. Since they’re compatible in all positions and work well for steel steel welding without the need for preheating, it’s no wonder this is such a popular choice.

Welding Rod Specifications
  • Forney Easy Arc 7018 Welding Rod Sizes: 1/8″, 3/32″, 5/32″
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 3.5 x 1.8″
  • Item Package Quantity: 1lb, 10lb, and 5lb packs are available
  • Material: Mild Steel

Check Price

Best Oxy Acetylene Welding Rods

If you need good Oxy Acetylene welding rods, we recommend the US Forge Gas Welding Rod. Firstly, it’s made right here in the USA. Another positive quality is that it’s great for joining steel and cast iron. One bonus point is that it comes in a resealable bag.

Overall, this is one hell of a welding rod and is perfect for tough jobs, such as scaly or rusty cast iron materials. Additionally, it’s suitable for welding farming equipment, wood burning stoves, exhaust manifolds, cylinder heads, and so much more.

Welding Rod Specifications
  • US Forge Welding Rod Sizes: 1/8″
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 5.2 x 3.5″
  • Item Package Quantity: Pack of 3
  • Material: 55% Nickel

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Nickel Welding Rods

Nickel welding rods are useful for Stick welding cast iron. Typically, specific welding projects involve things like pump housings and automotive engine blocks.

Our recommendation is the Forney 45300 Super 99-Percent Nickel Specialty Cast Rods. This is because they’re easy to use, “all position” style, and extremely cost effective.

Stick Welding Electrodes
Click here to see why these one the “Amazon’s Choice” award.
Stick Welding Rod Specifications
  • Forney 45300 Super Nickel Stick Welding Rod Sizes: 1/8″
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 1.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Item Package Quantity: 1/2lb, 1lb
  • Material: Nickel with non-conducive coating

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Different Types of Welding Rods Explained:

What You Need to Do Now

Different Types of Welding Rods Explained
Looking for a welding helmet under $50 with free welding gloves? Try the Tanox. (Click here)

Now that you’ve selected the best types of welding rods, perhaps it’s time to do a quick mental check of any other important welding equipment you might need.

Of course, keeping a mental tally is easier said than done. Bookmark this page and refer to this list until you’ve got everything you need!

Therefore, the following is a list of welding supplies online that are essential:

Back to Overview


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