How Hard is it to Weld with a 7018 Rod vs 6013 for Beginners?

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If you want to become a professional welder, you’ll need to know the difference between different welding rods and how they perform to complete a successful welding job.

This 6013 vs 7018 comparison guide will give you a better understanding of the two standard welding rods, and which one is more suitable for beginners.

The 7018 and 6013 Explained

If you search around the internet’s depths for welding rods, you’ll typically find either 6013s or 7018s. If you’re new to welding, you probably don’t know what these numbers mean. The first two digits, in this case, 60 and 70, indicate the tensile strength. So the 6013 has 60,000 PSI (pounds per square inch) and the 7018 has a PSI of 70,000.

The next digit indicates the position. Each welding rod has a significant number for positioning. For example, a “1” shows an all-position electrode, and a “2” indicates a horizontal position electrode. Finally, the last digits state the kind of coating and the welding current.

6013 Welding Rod Breakdown

The 6013 welding rod (also known as the general-purpose welding rod) offers the most versatility and can work in all positions throughout a welding job. These rods are made from mild steel and provide a smooth penetrating arc.

A 6013 welding rod can work with both AC and DC currents but is especially suitable for low voltage AC power sources. You’ll likely find these welding rods on vehicle repair projects including cars, boats, and general factory machinery.

The arc created by a 6013 welding rod is typically easy to maintain with low spatter loss. Even beginner welders have a ton of control when working with these electrodes. With that in mind, the most favorable position for 6013 welding rods is vertical down due to its fast freezing slag.

Last but not least, the mild sheet metal rod has a high titania potassium coating. This coating helps create deeper penetration, and the 60,000 PSI tensile is enough strength to cover most DIY welding jobs.


  • High-quality weld
  • Works in all positions
  • Easy to control for beginners


  • Lacks overall strength compared to other rods

7018 Welding Rod Breakdown

The 7018 welding rod is also used in general-purpose welding but is made from carbon steel. Welders typically reach for a 7018 if they need extra polish or are working with metals with extremely high melting points.

Its low-hydrogen iron coating makes it more crack resistant and protects the welding beam from oxygen and moisture. Like the 6013 welding rod, the 7018 can be used in all positions and with both AC and DC power sources.

The 7018 welding electrode performs well in freezing temperatures. That’s why you’ll find them on tanker ships, heavy-duty machinery, and below-zero work environments.

Though the 7018 welding rod is suitable for general-purpose welding, its strong point is structural welding. Some examples of structural welding jobs include bridges, commercial sites, power plants, and military vessels.


  • High stability
  • Reduced noise
  • Splatter free


  • Minimal penetration

What Are the Main Differences Between the 6013 and 7018?

When comparing 6013 vs 7018, you’ll find lots of similarities, as both welding rods are suitable for general welding and construction jobs. However, there are also a few significant differences you should know about.

For starters, they both have significantly different coating materials. The 6013 welding electrode has a high titania potassium coating, and the 7018 contains low hydrogen potassium. Also, both rods have a different yield and tensile strength.

The 7018 welding rod is higher in both compared to the 6013 welding rod specs. 7018 welding rods also have a higher elongation (22%/ 2-inches).


Here are a few of the questions we get about the 6013 vs 7018:

What is the 6013 welding rod used for?

6013 welding rods are suitable for light and medium penetration jobs. Additionally, they are great for welding carbon steel and can weld at any angle. Some of the most common uses of 6013 welding rods are welding sheet metal, ship repair, vehicles, and general machinery.

What is the 7018 welding rod used for?

7018 welding rods are also general-purpose welding rods and are suitable for welding carbon steel. You’ll commonly see 7018 electrodes in structural welding jobs such as pipelines, ocean vessels, commercial construction jobs, and steel structures. It’s also the most common welding rod in the retail welding industry.

What is the difference between 6010 and 6013 welding rods?

Many beginner welders make the mistake of thinking the 6010 and 6013 welding rods are interchangeable. This is far from the truth. 6010 welding rods have deep penetration and freeze quickly, while 6013 welding rods do quite the opposite. They also handle differently, so the amount of control you have changes with whichever electrode you choose for the job.

What is the best all-around welding rod?

The answer to this solely depends on the welding job and your level of experience. If you’re a DIY or hobbyist welder, you’re probably better off going with a 6011. 6011 welding rods are the most versatile and will let you get any small project done.

For professional welders, you’ll need to consider your job and equipment before choosing a welding rod. Different metals and conditions can make or break the performance of a welding electrode.

Conclusion: Which One is Better for Beginners?

Generally speaking, and this is backed by various welding communities online, the 6013 is the most suitable welding rod for beginners. That’s because even complete beginners can create beautiful welds using a 6013 electrode.

Other welding rods, such as the 7018 and 6011 offer deeper penetration and require more handling while welding.

Remember, if you choose to work with a 6013 electrode, you’ll need to make sure it’s clean before welding. A small amount of rust is okay, but any significant debris will jeopardize your work.

We hope this information was helpful, and you’re confident when choosing your next set of welding rods. If you’re new to welding, trial and error is an essential part of the learning process. However, a little help from expert welders can go a long way.

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