2018 October 28    Metal & Shop


What current to use for stick welding?  Here are some rough guides for 6011, 6013, and 7018.  I tried to include typical amperages for each one.

Welding and metalworking can be dangerous.  (Disclaimer.)  Make sure you wear a good respirator and use at least a fan for ventilation.

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In This Article

6011 Amperages

6013 Amperages

7018 and 7018 AC Amperages



Lincoln Electric "Fleetweld 180" is 6011. 

You can get 6011 as small as 1/16" diameter, which is actually more useful than it might seem.

6011 works with low open-circuit voltage (OCV) and can run at lower amperage than other rods.  That makes it ideal for lunchbox welding machines that max out at 75 or 80 amps.  If you have trouble with these, try a different batch or brand of 6011;  I've had specific batches that ran poorly on an inverter welder.

1/16".............25-65 amps.  Typical:  55 amps.  More about this here.

3/32".............40-80 amps.  Typical:  65 amps.

1/8"..............70-120 amps.  Typical:  90 amps.

5/32".............90-160 amps.  Typical:  135 amps.

3/16".............160-190 amps.  Typical:  180 amps.

6011 Electrodes - 10 lb lots

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A common hobbyist and maintenance rod.  In Europe and some other places, they actually use 6013 professionally.  (They have different varieties of 6013, some of which have cellulose in the flux.)

6013 shouldn't be run too hot.  It needs more amps than 6011, though.  Here again, brand can make a big difference.  Try a couple different ones.  I've had good results with US Forge 6013.

1/16".............25-60 amps.  Typical:  55 amps.

5/64".............40-75 amps.  Typical:  65 amps.  Good size for hobby-type inverter welders.

3/32".............60-95 amps.  Typical:  85 amps.

1/8"..............90-140 amps.  Typical:  120 amps.

6013 Electrodes - 10 lb lots

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7018 and 7018 AC

Lincoln Electric "Jet-LH 72" is 7018.  Lincoln also makes 7018 AC.  I've had really good results from this type, using a 120-volt inverter welder plugged into a 20-amp circuit.

I've found that 7018AC can be run as much as 5 to 10 amps lower than regular 7018.  (This is just based on what I've observed;  it might not apply everywhere.)  See this article about using 7018 with small inverter welders.

1/16".............40-65 amps.  Typical:  55 amps.  

3/32".............65-100 amps.  Typical:  90 amps.   (Try 85 amps for 7018 AC).

1/8"..............100-140 amps.  Typical:  120 amps.

5/32".............140-190 amps.  Typical:  175 amps. 

3/16".............190-250 amps.  Not sure what the typical setting would be for this, but I'm guessing 225 amps.

7018 AC electrodes

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This was a look at some amperage ranges for stick welding electrodes.  The "typical" numbers I listed are based on a combination of manufacturer specs and my own observations;  your mileage may vary.

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