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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 later.

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 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 splatter.
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.

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