You need help working with thin metals whether you are a welder or a newcomer to the welding community. You can check our guidelines on how to weld thin metal, which tool to use, how to adjust the temperature and learn a few tips and tricks on the Best Welding Rod For Thin Metal before we start.
Although there isn’t a clear definition of what constitutes a “thin” metal, I would go by the adage that any metal that is smaller than 3/16″ is, in fact, thin. Due to their strength and flexibility, 1/16″ electrodes, for instance, are extremely desirable for thin metals.
The welding electrode Lincoln Electric Fleetweld 180-RSP Stick Welding Electrodes – E6011 is made to work with either AC or DC welding machines. The E6011 electrode is a flexible electrode that can weld a range of mild and low-carbon steels.
The melting, the filler metal’s quality, and finally, the connecting of the base metal will all depend on the effectiveness and quality of your welding rod during the welding process.
As a result, I’ll talk about rods in this article that are best for welding thin and sheet metal. I’ll also go over their primary characteristics, plus positives and negatives.
Remember to read the buying guide at the end of the post, where I discuss what to look for in a welding rod for thin metal, which welding technique will produce the best welds, and advice for people of various skill levels.
In a Hurry??? Check The Top 3 Welding Rod Below…
- Top Pick
Hobart 770479 7018 Stick
All-Position Low-Hydrogen Electrode For Low, Medium, And High-Carbon Steels
70,000 PSI Tenacity
Avoid Low-Voltage AC Welders
- Editor Pick
Hobart 770457 6011 Stick
15.25″ L x 5.0″ W x 4.0″ H
Model Number: 770457
Item Package Weight: 25.7 lb
- Budget Pick
Forney 31205 E6011 Welding Rod
Smooth ARC Soaking And Spread With Good Spatter For Quick Deposition And Flatter Contour Fillets For Faster Transit
Surface Preparation Is Minimal
Surface Preparation Is Minimal
Maintenance And Repair Of Galvanized And Rusty/Oily Steel
- Our Recommendations
- Top 5 Best Welding Rod For Thin Metal 2023
- Our Top Pick Welding Rod – Hobart 770479 7018 Stick
- Runner Up Pick Thin Metal Welding Rod – Hobart 770457 6011 Stick
- Best Welding Rod For Sheet Metal – Forney 31205 E6011 Welding Rod
- Best Welding Rod For Thin Metal – US Forge Welding Electrode E6013
- Best Stick Welding Rod – Forney 30705 E7018 Welding Rod
- Product Comparison
- Best Welding Rod For Thin Metal Buying Guide
- How Should A Welding Rod Be Chosen?
- Which Polarity And Current Should I Use With The Welding Rod?
- What Does “Welding Rod Deposition Rate” Mean?
- What Size Welding Rod Do You Have?
- What Is The Purpose Of Welding Rod Flux Coating?
- Different Types Of Welding Rods
- How We Test Welding Rod For Thin Metal?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 5 Best Welding Rod For Thin Metal 2023
Our Top Pick Welding Rod – Hobart 770479 7018 Stick
A low-hydrogen electrode you can use to weld in any position is the Hobart 7018 stick. Its tensile strength is 70 000 PSI, it has a typical 1/8 inch width, and it may be used with low, medium, and high-carbon steel.
The Hobart 7018 stick rods’ 70,000 PSI make them excellent for sifting through rust, paint, grime, and oil.
But remember that low-voltage AC welders shouldn’t use these stick rods. Hobart offers another rod made especially for you if you have a small, low-voltage welder. This option’s inadequate packaging, which might lead to damaged items, is one of its drawbacks.
I’ve used these electrodes in welding school with a Miller 250, a Lincoln AC/DC tombstone, and an Amazon-purchased inverter welder called the DekoPro. Compared to the Lincoln Excalibur electrodes we use at school, these work better for me. I offered a few to our instructor, who said he loved how they ran. I’ll buy more.
- Incredibly useful for welding damaged surfaces
- Usage in all positions
- Ideal for use with high-carbon steel
- Excellent results with an arc and stick welder
- Low-quality packaging could cause harm to the tips.
(Image Source: Pixabay)
Runner Up Pick Thin Metal Welding Rod – Hobart 770457 6011 Stick
The Hobart 770457 is a great option for stick welding and arc welding. For deep penetrating during welding, it operates on AC & DCEP reverse polarity (as opposed to straight polarity).
The Hobart 770457 is a versatile arc and stick welding machine. It is an all-purpose, low-hydrogen stick electrode that can be positioned anywhere. Its tensile strength of 60,000 PSI makes it excellent for use with galvanized iron and carbon.
The Hobart is a great option for welding through light to medium quantities of rust, paint, or dirt on metals since its electricity (electric current) is suitable for deep penetrating. The Hobart’s 12-month guarantee is also great; at the very least, it offers comfort.
They are 1/8 6011s, and the rod is comparable to other 1/8 6011s. The seller is what most impressed me. They arrived quickly and were well-packaged. That alone merits five stars.
- Suitable for all roles of welding
- Wonderful for use with stick and arc welders
- Suitable for use with carbon and galvanized steel
- Easy to weld through light to moderate dirt, rust, and paint
- A little costly
- The goods may be harmed by inadequate packaging, but you can return them
(Image Source: Pexels)
Best Welding Rod For Sheet Metal – Forney 31205 E6011 Welding Rod
- Smooth ARC Soaking And Spread With Good Spatter For Quick Deposition And Flatter Contour Fillets For Faster Transit
- Surface Preparation Is Minimal
- Surface Preparation Is Minimal
- Maintenance And Repair Of Galvanized And Rusty/Oily Steel
The Forney 3125 is an all-position 6011 welding rod ideal for pressure pipes, railroad cars, truck frames, steel casting, galvanized steel tanks, and shipbuilding. I advise skilled welders, in particular, to use it.
Due to its tremendous potential, its arc length is ideal for quickly freezing rusted, filthy, oily, and coated metals, as well as for penetrating deeper into materials.
It can be used with any method, but an arc or stick welder yields the greatest results. Although AC polarity is advised, it also functions with DC +.
Because of the rapid metal solidification that enables you to weld vertically and overhead, this electrode is excellent for out-of-position welding. The arc was wetted smoothly, which increased travel speed. Its balanced distribution will also result in flatter contour fillets and rapid deposition.
The Forney 3125 is quite simple to clean up after. You’ll be glad that little surface preparation is needed because it falls within the repairs-and-maintenance categories.
These welding rods are just as effective as more pricey ones. The plastic cover is a nice extra for protecting the rods from moisture and harm.
- An adjustable rod
- Ideal for shipbuilding and casting
- Strong arc force
- Due to its deep penetration, it is good for rusty, painted, oily, or unclean metals.
- Makes it simple to weld overhead and vertically
- Faster deposition and movement rates
- Lower amperage makes it difficult to start, but there’s no stopping it once it gets going!
(Image Source: Unsplash)
Best Welding Rod For Thin Metal – US Forge Welding Electrode E6013
- General-Purpose Mild Steel Electrode, Great For Light Gauge Jobs, All Positions
- Best Vertical And Overhead Welding Electrode
- Thin Pieces And Sheet Metal For General Production And Repair
- Farm, Industrial, And Building Where Light Manufacture And Repair Are Done Regularly
The US Forge Welding Electrode E6013 is another of my favorites in the group of the best welding rods for thin metal. It is a versatile rod with many positions useful for light gauge framing, particularly with mild steel.
Experienced welders like this welding rod a lot since they think it’s one of the best for welding vertically and overhead. It is employed for general applications, repairs, and sheet metal.
The US Forge Welding Electrode is highly adaptable. It can be used in fields like construction, agriculture, and industry, where things always need to be fixed. Stick welding can be done with the rod relatively easily. Both alternate and direct currents work well with it.
This welding rod has modest maintenance requirements. The slag produced by the US Forge welding rod is manageable in size and easy to clean.
I bought it for an ancient Miller AC 225A, which worked excellently for welding. Igniting the arc and cleaning the slag was simple, and I could lay beads that looked incredibly tidy. I only had issues when I tried to fillet weld thin, ill-fitting steel; I kept blowing holes everywhere. The thinner 3/32 that I ordered fixed most of the issues.
- An adjustable rod
- Appropriate for light gauge work
- Easy for overhead and vertical welding
- Both production and maintenance work
- A simple operation
- Small splatter
- Slag is simple to clean and remove
- (110 volts) Not appropriate for small devices
(Image Source: Picjumbo)
Best Stick Welding Rod – Forney 30705 E7018 Welding Rod
Low-hydrogen welding rods like the Forney 30705 E7018 Welding Rod can be used to create welds of excellent quality on both high-amperage AC and DC equipment.
For general-purpose welding, the Forney works fairly well. It is a fantastic option for steel (mild, hard, stainless), low alloy, and runs on AC and DC+. Additionally, it is utilized for cast iron in routine maintenance tasks requiring little penetration.
The Forney 30705’s low hydrogen level has several benefits, including keeping the weld material from flaking and cracking. It doesn’t require additional preheating while working on hard steel in any position (vertical, horizontal, or overhead). The Forney is ideal for welding components with thicker portions or connections prone to cracking.
It works well for tack welding and manufacturing cold-formed steel (CFS), just like it does for us. It’s also perfect for welding in the wrong place. This rod’s unsuitability for use with an insufficient open circuit voltage (OCV) is one of its drawbacks.
Uses a little 120V inverter machine and runs efficiently. The Forney is more tolerant of arc length regarding porosity than some Lincoln 3/32″ 7018. The puddle lays down a wider, flatter bead than the Lincoln because it is more fluid. It takes some skill to keep the rod from sticking when lighting up, but it’s okay if you long-arc it for a while to get it heated up.
- The ideal welding process for thick and damaged areas
- Developed for CFS welding
- Appropriate for tack welding
- Gives good results when used with low-amperage DC welders
- Use with low open-circuit voltage is not advised.
(Image Source: EyeEm)
The 3/32-inch 6013 Stick Rod from Hobart 770466 is a welding electrode that can be used with AC or DC welding equipment. Several mild and low-alloy steel sheets can be welded using the 6013 electrodes made of mild steel.
This electrode’s 3/32-inch diameter is a typical size that works well for welding light to medium gauge steel with thicknesses between 1/16 inch and 1/8 inch. This electrode size is excellent for welding in all locations, including above, and offers good control over the heat input.
The 6013 electrode is a multipurpose electrode used for fabrication, restoration, and maintenance welding jobs. It creates a weld with an excellent look, little spatter, and a solid, smooth arc that is simple to regulate.
When utilizing the Hobart 770466 3/32-inch 6013 Stick Rod, it’s crucial to establish the amperage and polarity of the manufacturer’s suggestions.
An all-purpose welding electrode made for AC or DC machines is the Forney 30705 E7018 Welding Rod. The E7018 electrode, which has an iron powder coating, is low in hydrogen for welding mild and low-alloy steels.
This electrode’s 3/32-inch diameter is a typical size that works well for welding light to medium gauge steel with thicknesses between 1/16 inch and 1/8 inch. A welding electrode called Blue Demon 6013 is used with either alternating current or direct current welding equipment.
The Blue Demon 6013 electrode creates a weld with a good look, little spatter, and a smooth, stable, and manageable arc.
The 6013 electrodes can be utilized for various welding tasks, including fabrication, restoration, and maintenance, and is appropriate for welding in all situations, including overhead. The Blue Demon 6013 welding electrode size will vary depending on the item you choose because they come in various sizes.
Best Welding Rod For Thin Metal Buying Guide
Stick welding electrodes can be used with either AC or DC power, and all AC electrodes can be used on either power source; however, not all DC electrodes may be AC adaptable. Stick welding electrode selection is primarily influenced by the work piece material, the desired weld qualities, and the welding position (flat, tilt, vertical, above, etc.).
The molten weld pool and the arc are shielded from oxidation and contamination by the flux layer on the metal electrode, which burns concurrently with the electrode and releases gases. The flux layer also cleans the weld, provides alloying components to enhance the weld quality, and forms a protective slag on the weld bead that may be chipped off afterward.
How Should A Welding Rod Be Chosen?
Strength comes first; while choosing the right electrode, the electrode’s mechanical characteristics and chemical makeup must match the base metal.
The rod’s position and joint design are crucial factors in rod choosing. Another aspect to think about is the accessibility of the power source; some electrodes may be used with either AC or DC, while others can be used with either.
E6010 or E6011 will be chosen as the welding electrode when deep penetration is needed for the root pass. However, the choice will be E6013 if the joint has extensive root holes or thin material.
E7018 is typically the best option for welding big sections, applications requiring robust, highly ductile joints, or when embrittlement cracking is a concern. E7018AC is a better option than traditional E7018 electrodes when welding hardened steels without preheat and for cold roll steels with significant porosity. It is also easier to hit and runs more smoothly.
Which Polarity And Current Should I Use With The Welding Rod?
The suggested operating range of current is typically noted on the electrode box. The operational level of current is dependent on the size of the electrodes.
Generally, a welding electrode needs 40 Amps for every mm diameter, so a 3 mm welding electrode might need 120 Amps of current. However, the electrode producers might specify a range of 100 to 140 Amps.
The electrode heats up more quickly using the direct current electrode negative (DCEN) approach, resulting in a shallower weld. Weld penetration rises with the direct current electrode positive (DCEP) technique. By distributing heat evenly, alternating current (AC) regulates the electrode melting speed and penetration.
What Does “Welding Rod Deposition Rate” Mean?
The pace at which molten metal from a weld can be deposited is known as the deposition rate of welding electrodes and is represented in grams, pounds, or kilograms per hour. The computation is based on continuous operation, leaving out the stoppage time needed for external factors like cleaning slag or inserting a new electrode.
What Size Welding Rod Do You Have?
A 350-450mm length and a 2.5–6mm electrode diameter are common electrode length and diameter requirements, while alternative lengths and sizes are available.
What Is The Purpose Of Welding Rod Flux Coating?
To improve the specific qualities of the weld joint, metallic and non-metallic components have been added to the flux coating. The following advantages are provided by the flux coating, which is essential for arc stabilization:
- Produces a shielding gas that guards against air contaminating the welding arc and the molten metal.
- Create slag to shield the metal used in welds.
- Control the amount of hydrogen.
- Refine metal welding.
- Depending on the needs of the welding application, add the necessary alloying ingredients.
- Facilitates arc ignition.
For instance, silicon is added as a deoxidizing element that reacts with the molten metal and forms oxide silica to remove oxygen from the weld metal. Manganese is also added to the flux coating to increase the toughness and power of the weld metal.
Welding electrodes are made into what is known as Metal Powder Electrodes by adding a metal powder. Higher welding current levels can be handled using metal powder electrodes. Therefore, compared to an electrode without iron powder, it provides a greater deposition of metal rate (up to 140%).
Different Types Of Welding Rods
- Shielded metal arc welding uses a variety of electrodes, often known as stick welding rods. The American Welding Society (AWS) categorization system, which uses a numbered system for determining the electrode type and its properties, is used to classify these electrodes.
- The tensile strength of the electrode is indicated by the first two numbers of the AWS classification system. The third digit indicates the electrode’s usable location. The coating type and electrode current are indicated by the fourth and fifth digits, respectively.
- Stick welding electrodes come in various common varieties, such as:
- Deep-penetration electrodes (E6010) are utilized for horizontal and vertical welding. They have a strong, high-quality weld and a deep, piercing arc that can cut through resistant materials.
- Smooth-running electrodes called E6011s are utilized for overhead, vertical, and horizontal welding. They produce an even, smooth weld bead with a stable, easy-to-control arc.
- Electrodes designated E6013 can be used for welding in any location. They feature a stable, smooth arc that is simple to manage and offers an excellent blend of arc stability and penetration.
- Low-hydrogen electrodes, designated E7014, are used for horizontal and vertical welding. They are suitable for welding in tough circumstances, such as high temperatures or humidity, and have a deep penetrating arc that produces a strong, high-quality weld.
- Stick welding electrodes come in various forms; each type has distinct properties and uses. Beginners should start with an E6010 or E6011 or another basic, all-purpose electrode. As you acquire expertise, you can experiment with several electrode kinds to see which one best suits the requirements of your project.
How We Test Welding Rod For Thin Metal?
A Velleman PCB kit was used to test each soldering iron since it contains both large and small soldering joints (mechanical connections that hold components to the board). To ensure that our results were constant, we used the same solder, a lead-based 60/40 with tin and rosin flux core, throughout our testing.
We examined how long it would take for each soldering iron, station, and gun to reach its optimal operating temperature from the cold. A working temperature is what? Well, that depends on the individual. Others prefer to solder at temperatures even greater than 350 degrees Celsius.
We selected the point at which solder quickly melts on the iron’s tip rather than setting a temperature objective. We selected the point at which a thick solder junction would completely melt for the hot air rework stations. A lower time is preferable because they are all measured in seconds.
The Tabiger 60W iron reaches a solder melting temperature significantly more quickly (42 seconds) than the legendary Antex XS25 (116 seconds) of these basic irons used for “plug and play” soldering.
Basic temperature control is available on the Tabiger, which also has nearly three times the power of the Antex iron. Antex is a reputable brand and provides exceptional performance.
To help you complete the best buy decision of the Best Welding Rod For Thin Metal, we have attempted to thoroughly analyze the top mild steel welding electrodes for various uses and applications.
When choosing welding rods, you must consider superior performance and productivity. Additionally, you must confirm that the rod satisfies all project requirements, including those related to the base metal, connection configuration, and others.
Although there are many various brands of welding rods available, Forney Industries electrodes offer the highest quality and value. We are sure we have created the best-priced, highest-quality welding rods to encourage beginners and enthusiasts to continue their welding and fabrication journeys.