How To Stick Weld – 4 Simple Tips

by Miles Bruner

What is Stick Welding?

Stick welding (also known as shielded metal arc welding) is one of the most common types of welding (along with MIG and TIG) that you’ll hear about. Using the wrong welding process could result in wasted time and costly problems, so it’s important to understand when to use each type, as well as how to stick weld if that’s the option you pick. 

It’s generally the most cost efficient approach, and simplest making it a popular choice for beginners like many weekend warrior welders. Stick welding is extremely popular due to it’s flexibility – it can be used with iron,  aluminum, steel, nickel, and copper alloys.

It can be done outdoors (even in windy conditions) and can create an effective bonding result even on unclean and/or rusty surfaces. You can see why it’s seen as a beginner friendly option.   

 

Pros
  • Can be used on unclean or rusty surfaces

  • Can be used with a variety of metals

  • Beginner friendly

Cons
  • The least aesthetic of the 3 main weld types

  • Can be inefficient use of time due to regular electrode changes

How To Stick Weld

In order to understand the process of stick welding, you first need to understand the components involved. Components:

  • Slag  – think of this as the piece of metal that will be welded or attached to the base metal
  • Consumable Electrode – think of this as the rod that is melted to produce your weld pool before it is melted
  • Flux Coating
  • Arc
  • Gas Shield
  • Molten Weld Pool

The above components come together to produce a stick weld through the following process: 

 Step 1) A consumable flux-coated rod (more technically known as an electrode) is melted to lay the weld

 Step 2) As the stick welder is used, and the electrode melts, the metal workpieces melts along with it creating a weld pool 

 Step 3) The weld pool eventually cools down and hardens ending with a study joint fused between the two metals

Stick Welding For Beginners

How To Choose Your Electrode

There are many different types of stick welding electrodes (see the amperage chart  below for several examples). While there are many options, the most frequently used electrodes tend to be 6010, 6011, 6012, 6013, 7014, 7024 and 7018. 

If you’re a beginner (as many stick welders are), you may be wondering the significance of the electrode numbering. Think of it as 3 distinct groupings:

  • group 1 (first 2 numbers) – minimum tensile strength, it’s important that this matches the base metal strength for your weld.
  • group 2 (3rd number) – positions the electrode can be used for your weld. The #1 indicates it can be used in any position, the #2 indicates that it can only be used in a flat position.
  • group 3 (4th number) – indicates the current that can be used with electrode and coating on the electrode

Please see the group 3 reference chart below:

DigitCoating TypeWeld Current
0Cellulose Sodium dcep
1Cellulose Potassium ac, dcep, dcen
2Titania sodium ac, dcen
3Titania potassium ac, dcep, dcen
4Iron Powder Titania ac, dcep, dcen
5Low hydrogen sodium dcep
6Low hydrogen potassium ac, dcep
7Iron powder iron oxide ac, dcep
8Iron powder low hydrogen ac, dcep, dcen

Stick Welding Amperage Chart

6010/6011 Amperage Chart

 

6013 Amperage Chart

7014 Amperage Chart

7018 Amperage Chart

 

What is Stick Welding?

Stick welding (also known as shielded metal arc welding) is one of the most common types of welding (along with MIG and TIG) that you’ll hear about. Using the wrong welding process could result in wasted time and costly problems, so it’s important to understand when to use each type, as well as how to stick weld if that’s the option you pick. 

It’s generally the most cost efficient approach, and simplest making it a popular choice for beginners like many weekend warrior welders. Stick welding is extremely popular due to it’s flexibility – it can be used with iron,  aluminum, steel, nickel, and copper alloys.

It can be done outdoors (even in windy conditions) and can create an effective bonding result even on unclean and/or rusty surfaces. You can see why it’s seen as a beginner friendly option.   

 

Pros
  • Can be used on unclean or rusty surfaces

  • Can be used with a variety of metals

  • Beginner friendly

Cons
  • The least aesthetic of the 3 main weld types

  • Can be inefficient use of time due to regular electrode changes

How To Stick Weld

In order to understand the process of stick welding, you first need to understand the components involved. Components:

  • Slag  – think of this as the piece of metal that will be welded or attached to the base metal
  • Consumable Electrode – think of this as the rod that is melted to produce your weld pool before it is melted
  • Flux Coating
  • Arc
  • Gas Shield
  • Molten Weld Pool

The above components come together to produce a stick weld through the following process: 

 Step 1) A consumable flux-coated rod (more technically known as an electrode) is melted to lay the weld

 Step 2) As the stick welder is used, and the electrode melts, the metal workpieces melts along with it creating a weld pool 

 Step 3) The weld pool eventually cools down and hardens ending with a study joint fused between the two metals

Stick Welding For Beginners

How To Choose Your Electrode

There are many different types of stick welding electrodes (see the amperage chart  below for several examples). While there are many options, the most frequently used electrodes tend to be 6010, 6011, 6012, 6013, 7014, 7024 and 7018. 

If you’re a beginner (as many stick welders are), you may be wondering the significance of the electrode numbering. Think of it as 3 distinct groupings:

  • group 1 (first 2 numbers) – minimum tensile strength, it’s important that this matches the base metal strength for your weld.
  • group 2 (3rd number) – positions the electrode can be used for your weld. The #1 indicates it can be used in any position, the #2 indicates that it can only be used in a flat position.
  • group 3 (4th number) – indicates the current that can be used with electrode and coating on the electrode

Please see the group 3 reference chart below:

DigitCoating TypeWeld Current
0Cellulose Sodium dcep
1Cellulose Potassium ac, dcep, dcen
2Titania sodium ac, dcen
3Titania potassium ac, dcep, dcen
4Iron Powder Titania ac, dcep, dcen
5Low hydrogen sodium dcep
6Low hydrogen potassium ac, dcep
7Iron powder iron oxide ac, dcep
8Iron powder low hydrogen ac, dcep, dcen

Stick Welding Amperage Chart

6010/6011 Amperage Chart

 

6013 Amperage Chart

7014 Amperage Chart

7018 Amperage Chart

 

What is Stick Welding?

Stick welding (also known as shielded metal arc welding) is one of the most common types of welding (along with MIG and TIG) that you’ll hear about. Using the wrong welding process could result in wasted time and costly problems, so it’s important to understand when to use each type, as well as how to stick weld if that’s the option you pick. 

It’s generally the most cost efficient approach, and simplest making it a popular choice for beginners like many weekend warrior welders. Stick welding is extremely popular due to it’s flexibility – it can be used with iron,  aluminum, steel, nickel, and copper alloys.

It can be done outdoors (even in windy conditions) and can create an effective bonding result even on unclean and/or rusty surfaces. You can see why it’s seen as a beginner friendly option.   

 

Pros
  • Can be used on unclean or rusty surfaces

  • Can be used with a variety of metals

  • Beginner friendly

Cons
  • The least aesthetic of the 3 main weld types

  • Can be inefficient use of time due to regular electrode changes

How To Stick Weld

In order to understand the process of stick welding, you first need to understand the components involved. Components:

  • Slag  – think of this as the piece of metal that will be welded or attached to the base metal
  • Consumable Electrode – think of this as the rod that is melted to produce your weld pool before it is melted
  • Flux Coating
  • Arc
  • Gas Shield
  • Molten Weld Pool

The above components come together to produce a stick weld through the following process: 

 Step 1) A consumable flux-coated rod (more technically known as an electrode) is melted to lay the weld

 Step 2) As the stick welder is used, and the electrode melts, the metal workpieces melts along with it creating a weld pool 

 Step 3) The weld pool eventually cools down and hardens ending with a study joint fused between the two metals

Stick Welding For Beginners

How To Choose Your Electrode

There are many different types of stick welding electrodes (see the amperage chart  below for several examples). While there are many options, the most frequently used electrodes tend to be 6010, 6011, 6012, 6013, 7014, 7024 and 7018. 

If you’re a beginner (as many stick welders are), you may be wondering the significance of the electrode numbering. Think of it as 3 distinct groupings:

  • group 1 (first 2 numbers) – minimum tensile strength, it’s important that this matches the base metal strength for your weld.
  • group 2 (3rd number) – positions the electrode can be used for your weld. The #1 indicates it can be used in any position, the #2 indicates that it can only be used in a flat position.
  • group 3 (4th number) – indicates the current that can be used with electrode and coating on the electrode

Please see the group 3 reference chart below:

DigitCoating TypeWeld Current
0Cellulose Sodium dcep
1Cellulose Potassium ac, dcep, dcen
2Titania sodium ac, dcen
3Titania potassium ac, dcep, dcen
4Iron Powder Titania ac, dcep, dcen
5Low hydrogen sodium dcep
6Low hydrogen potassium ac, dcep
7Iron powder iron oxide ac, dcep
8Iron powder low hydrogen ac, dcep, dcen

Stick Welding Amperage Chart

6010/6011 Amperage Chart

 

6013 Amperage Chart

7014 Amperage Chart

7018 Amperage Chart