There are many types of welding rods in different sizes, and as a welder, it’s kinda difficult to memorize everything. Especially since most of us have our go-to rods we use day-to-day. From time to time we have to pick up a rod that we have not used for a while. That is why I decided to create this resource – It should have everything you might need when you pick up a rod, whether you are a beginner or already an experienced welder.
Different electrode charts/tables below should give you a pretty good idea of which rod to use, when, and on which settings. Keep in mind though that they are purely an estimation. It’s virtually impossible to give you a straight answer since welding parameters depend on many variables like the position you are welding in, the thickness and the type of the metal you are welding, the current you are running on, and the level of experience you have.
Before proceeding, as a rule of thumb, remember that if your rod starts glowing when you are about to finish the electrode, you are running too hot. Dial down a little and try again. The intuition to pick the right settings comes with trial and error, and If you are not an experienced welder, do some practice runs before starting on your main project.
Welding Rod Sizes Sizes & Material Thickness Chart (Mild Steel)
|Size of the electrode||The thickness of the base metal|
|1/16“ or 1.6 mm||Less than 3/16“|
|1/4“ or 6.4 mm||More than 3/8“|
|1/8“ or 3.2 mm||More than 1/8“|
|3/16“ or 4.8 mm||More than 3/8“|
|3/32“ or 2.4 mm||Less than 1/4″|
|5/32“ or 4.0 mm||More than 1/4″|
|5/64“ or 2.0 mm||Less than 3/8|
E6010 and E6011 Size and Amperage Chart
6010 and 6011 are virtually the same rod. Both welding electrodes have a violent digging arc, they are fast freeze, all position rods, the slag is thin and flaky and the penetration is deep. The only difference lays in the polarity they are designed for. E6010 is High Cellulose Sodium Rod that can be used on DCEP while 6011 is a High Cellulose Potassium rod that can be used on AC, DCEP as well as DCEN.
The beads look rough since they are fast-freeze rods, at the same time they produce a fair amount of spatter compared to other rods.
|1/4“ or 6.4 mm||210-315|
|1/8“ or 3.2 mm||75-125|
|3/16“ or 4.8 mm||140-210|
|3/32“ or 2.4 mm||40-85|
|5/32“ or 4.0 mm||110-165|
|7/32“ or 5.6 mm||160-250|
E6012 Size and Amperage Chart
E6012 is a High Titania Sodium electrode designed to fill in gaps between joints since it has exceptional bridging capabilities but is often overlooked because of the dense slag it produces. It runs on AC and DCEN, has a soft and stable arc.
6012 is a great rod for home and hobby use. Similarly to 6013, it does not penetrate deep, while producing beautiful uniform beads, which makes it suitable for sheet metal as well as welding art.
|1/16“ or 1.6 mm||20-40|
|1/4“ or 6.4 mm||250-400|
|1/8“ or 3.2 mm||80-140|
|3/16“ or 4.8 mm||140-240|
|3/32“ or 2.4 mm||35-85|
|5/32“ or 4.0 mm||110-190|
|5/64“ or 2.0 mm||25-60|
|7/32“ or 5.6 mm||200-320|
E6013 Size and Amperage Chart
E6013 is a High Titania Potassium rod designed for welding sheet metal. It can be run on AC, DCEP and DCEN. The rod has low penetration, dense slag, soft and stable arc, while it can be used in all positions, it needs clean base metal to weld on.
I think that most welders will agree that 6013, though designed for sheet metal is a great all-around rod. It is also known for its use among novice welders since it’s really easy to strike and maintain an arc with it.
|1/16“ or 1.6 mm||20-45|
|1/4“ or 6.4 mm||250-350|
|1/8“ or 3.2 mm||80-130|
|3/16“ or 4.8 mm||150-230|
|3/32“ or 2.4 mm||40-90|
|5/32“ or 4.0 mm||105-180|
|5/64“ or 2.0 mm||35-60|
|7/32“ or 5.6 mm||210-300|
My recommendation from Amazon: E6013
E7014 Size and Amperage Chart
E7014 is Iron Powder and Titania rod that can be used on AC, DCEP, and DCEN currents. The rod has medium penetration, a stable arc, can be used in all positions while producing smooth beads and thick, easy-to-remove slag. Though the rod is rated as an “all position rod” it’s more suitable for flat welds since It’s difficult to run 7014 it vertical.
E7014 is very similar to 6013, but because of the iron powder added it has a higher deposition rate. Furthermore, it penetrates slightly deeper than 6013. From a beginner’s standpoint, it’s debated that 7014 is even easier rod to run than 6013.
7014 electrode is mainly used on heavy sheet metal and building frames of all sorts. To a welding art enthusiast, it’s a great rod because of the neat-looking beads you can lay down with it.
|1/4“ or 6.4 mm||330-415|
|1/8“ or 3.2 mm||110-165|
|3/16“ or 4.8 mm||200-275|
|3/32“ or 2.4 mm||80-125|
|5/32“ or 4.0 mm||150-210|
|7/32“ or 5.6 mm||225-340|
My recommendation from Amazon: E7014
E7018 Size and Amperage Chart
E7018 is DCEP/AC rod, with Low Hydrogen Potassium and Iron Powder composition. It produces fluid, thick slag, uniform beads and has medium penetration. Due to fluid slag, it can be run in all positions except vertical down
What makes the 7018 stand out from other common stick welding electrodes on the market, is the fact that it needs special storing conditions. That’s because of the hydrogen composition in its flux. The storing requirements limit the usage of the 7018 rods among home warriors, thus it’s mostly used in construction and in shipbuilding.
|1/4“ or 6.4 mm||320-400|
|1/8“ or 3.2 mm||110-165|
|3/16“ or 4.8 mm||200-275|
|3/32“ or 2.4 mm||65-100|
|5/32“ or 4.0 mm||150-220|
|7/32“ or 5.6 mm||260-340|
My recommendation from Amazon: E7018
E7024 Size and Amperage Chart
E7024 is an iron powder titania welding rod that can run on all three polarity settings for flat and horizontal-down welds. Because of the high iron powder composition, the rod requires higher amperage than similar diameter rods while having an increased deposition rate.
The rod is often used on mild steel, but can also be used on low alloy and high carbon steel. In a factory setting, because of its versatility and strength, this rod is often used to weld structural steels and huge machine components like truck frames of storage tanks.
|1/4“ or 6.4 mm||335-430|
|1/8“ or 3.2 mm||140-190|
|3/16“ or 4.8 mm||230-305|
|3/32“ or 2.4 mm||100-145|
|5/32“ or 4.0 mm||180-250|
|7/32“ or 5.6 mm||275-365|
E308L Stainless Steel Welding Rod Chart
E308L is one of the main welding rods used to weld stainless steel (308 and 304). The rod can be used on AC and DCEP, it offers low penetration but at the same time it can be used for welding in all positions.
|1/8“ or 3.2 mm||75-115|
|3/32“ or 2.4 mm||40-80|
|5/32“ or 4.0 mm||105-160|
Ni-CL Cast Iron Welding Rod Chart
If you are interested in learning more about welding cast iron with a stick welder, check out this post as well.
|1/8“ or 3.2 mm||65-85|
|3/16“ or 4.8 mm||130-175|
|3/32“ or 2.4 mm||50-70|
|5/32“ or 4 mm||100-140|
Flux Composition & Current Chart
The fourth digit on the welding rod (“xxxX”) represents the flux coating composition that the given welding rod has, in turn, this determines the type of current the rod can be used on. For example, 6010 is a high cellulose sodium rod that can only be run on DCEP/DC+
|0||HIGH CELLULOSE SODIUM||DC+|
|1||HIGH CELLULOSE POTASSIUM||AC, DC+, DC-|
|2||HIGH TITANIA SODIUM||AC, DC-|
|3||HIGH TITANIA POTASSIUM||AC, DC+|
|4||IRON POWDER, TITANIA||AC, DC+, DC-|
|5||LOW HYDROGEN SODIUM||DC+|
|6||LOW HYDROGEN POTASSIUM||AC, DC +|
|7||HIGH IRON OXIDE, POTASSIUM POWDER||AC, DC+, DC-|
|8||LOW HYDROGEN POTASSIUM, IRON POWDER||AC, DC+, DC-|
Welding Rods by Flux Composition, Welding Position, Compatible Currents & Penetration Level
The following table helps to understand how flux composition affects the position in which a given welding rod can be used. For example 7018 and 7028. They are both High Iron Powder rods which limit the position they can be used and their ease of use in general. In the case of 7028, the third digit “xxXx” is 2 – which represents the position the rod can be used in. It also reflects the high amount of iron powder in the rod. If the iron powder composition goes above 50% the third digit is converted to XX28.
|WELDING ROD||FLUX COMPOSITION||WELDING POSITION||COMPATIBLE CURRENTS||PENETRATION||WELD STRENGTH|
|6010||High cellulose sodium||ALL||DCEP||DEEP||60,000 PSI|
|6011||High cellulose potassium||ALL||DCEP,DCEN, AC||DEEP||60,000 PSI|
|6012||High titania sodium||ALL||DCEN, AC||MEDIUM||60,000 PSI|
|6013||High titania potassium||ALL||DCEP, DCEN, AC||SHALLOW||60,000 PSI|
|7018||Iron powder low hydrogen||Difficult to run vertical down.||DCEP, AC||MEDIUM||70,000 PSI|
|7028||Iron powder||HORIZONTAL OR FLAT||DCEP, AC||MEDIUM||70,000 PSI|
Chart – How Much Welding Rod Do You Need?
The chart below is meant for fillet welds. The fillet size (L) is meant to represent the base and height of the triangle used in the formula I talk about in the post here. Also keep in mind that this is a rough estimate, different types of electrodes might have different requirements.
|FILLET SIZE (L) Inch (Mm)||WELD METAL REQUIREMENT lbs/ft (kg/m)||SMAW Pounds/Foot (Kilos/Meter)||GMAW Pounds/Foot (Kilos/Meter)|
|1/8“ (3.2)||0.027 (0.040)||0.043 (0.064)||0.028 (0.042)|
|3/16“ (4.7)||0.060 (0.089)||0.097 (0.144)||0.063 (0.094)|
|¼“ (6.3)||0.106 (0.158)||0.171 (0.254)||0.112 (0.167)|
|5/16“ (7.9)||0.166 (0.247)||0.268 (0.399)||0.175 (0.260)|
|3/8“ (9.5)||0.239 (0.356)||0.385 (0.573)||0.252 (0.375)|
|½“ (12.7)||0.425 (0.632)||0.686 (1.020)||0.447 (0.665)|
|5/8“ (15.8)||0.664 (0.988)||1.071 (1.594)||0.699 (1.040)|
|¾“ (19.1)||0.956 (1.423)||1.542 (2.295)||1.010 (1.503)|
|1“ (25.4)||1.698 (2.527)||2.739 (4.076)||1.787 (2.659)|