View Full Version : what's the best all around welding rod?

08-12-2003, 12:13 PM
I'm just learning, or should I say teaching myself, how to weld and trying to figure out what rod is the best one to start with. I have many friends and family who weld and it seems that all of them have different opinions on this. The 3 favorites seem to be 6010, 6011, and 6013.

Could someone please give me some input on all three of these and what their primary functions are?

Thank you.

08-12-2003, 01:34 PM
I'd say you pretty well picked out the most popular rods. if you are just starting out then I'd suggest doing flat, horizontal, and vertical with the 6013 first. After you have that figured out then try the 6010/6011 which takes a lot more work.

6010/6011 is good for rusty or dirty metal or large gaps. It is deep penetrating.

6013 is low penetration but is strong and very cosmetically acceptable. It is not as friendly for filling gaps from my practice.

Have fun!

08-12-2003, 02:30 PM
Concur with the above - I do ornamental iron (actually A-36 steel) almost exclusively with 6013. Easy to use, plenty strong enough (A-36 is 36ksi yeild), low spatter and as stated cosmotically acceptable. I think 6010 is formulated for DC only, with the same applications as 6011. I keep some 6011 around for the "nasty" jobs that require penetration or have rust/dirt etc. 7018 is a nice rod where you need to make multiple passes to complete a weld on thick pieces, being low hydrogen it is less likely to crack, but it requires heated/dry storage or it loses its low hydrogen properties.

08-12-2003, 02:39 PM
6013 would be the best general use rod. I have it listed as a med. penetration rod and gives a pretty good looking weld.

6010 & 6011 are deep penetrating, very strong - not so pretty. Virtually the same rod - but 6010 is DC only and 6011 can be used on AC.

08-12-2003, 02:45 PM
You guys that comment on 6010 welds being ugly really need to take a look at some downhill caps made by a sure nuff pipeliner, they are not ugly. They are a beautifull thing. If your welds are ugly, don't blame the rod.


chip hayden
08-12-2003, 06:03 PM
this may be heresy but, for the occasional welder, those "maintenance rods" may not be such a bad idea.
Eutectic, Certainium, MG, and others make coated electrodes that don't meet AWS criteria but, have excellent [and forgiving] weld properties. They are a little pricey but you can buy small quantities, they don't have to go in an oven, and if you're not sure what you are welding it will usually work. plus even a novice can make excellent appearing welds with little effort.

08-12-2003, 07:40 PM
I'm with you JT! My welds are equally pretty or ugly, depending on how hard I try on any given day, regardless of whether I use 6013, 6011 or 7018. As I have stated before, I love to "play with the puddle" and I think 6011 gives one of the shiniest, most fluid puddles, so occasionally I drift and make a big ugly weld, but it's me, not the rod. If you want to be a welder, buy lots of rod and burn it. For an important job, I'll always burn the first rod on scrap, after a mental warmup, I'm much better.

08-12-2003, 07:52 PM
It seems that you are all on the same page. I appreciate the rapid reply by all and seeings how I have already purchased 5 pounds of 6013, I will keep it and practice accordingly. I have a small hobby welder to play around with and I will, no doubt, be asking a lot more questions as I discover how little I know and much I have to learn.

Thanks again

08-12-2003, 09:06 PM
You might try some 7014's as they are a little stronger and easy to weld with too. They make a very nice bead but work best on flat work. I also think the 6013's are probably the best ones to buy for a beginner. Keep em smokin! David

08-13-2003, 12:33 AM
I agree with Echo, 7014 is my favorite rod with 6013 a close second on NEW metal. On rusted or painted metal 7014 and 6013 don't work or start the arc very well. I have a new box of 7018AC and havent even opened it yet. Think I will open it soon to see what I'm missing.

09-08-2003, 09:50 PM
All around all purpose is 6011
6010 is DC only
6013, I willn't go there.
Hope this helps.