Welding rods, or electrodes, are used in the stick welding process and will not be found in MIG, flux-core, TIG or any other welding application. They are a long, skinny steel rod with a flux coating. They are placed into the positive (+) clamp of the welding machine and are used to weld with. The negative (-) clamp gets attached to the metal being welded.
This rod or electrode provides deep penetration of the metal, while at the same time providing minimum spatter, or debris. This electrode is used mostly in heavy applications such as structural steel or farm equipment. The welder must be set on DC (direct current) to weld with this rod.
The 6011 rod works well on dirty, rusty, or painted surfaces and is a favorite of pipe welders in the field. It is also a heavy-duty electrode and can be used in the same fashion as 6010 rod. Like 6010, it has deep penetrating qualities and low spatter but can run on either AC (alternating current) or DC machines.
This particular electrode provides much less penetration and works great on light materials such as sheet metal. It can also be welded using either AC or DC settings and is very compatible with low-power hobby welders. Not intended for structural or heavy steel.
The 7014 electrode is powder-coated to provide a flatter weld, which can be useful on ill-fitting joints or other jobs that cannot be ground down afterward. The 7014 can provide faster welding speeds and is very easy to strike an arc on. This rod is an AC or DC application.
This electrode is the most commonly used rod by welders today. It produces a high quality weld in mild steel applications and works very well out in the field. This type of rod cannot be welded with when wet and must be kept in a rod oven to reduce moisture when not being used. This DC welding rod is the choice of many beginners as well.
This rod has all the same weld qualities that can be found in the 7018 rod but is intended for AC welders. It is easy to use and starts with a nice arc. This rod can be welded in all positions as well.