6013 vs 7018 Welding Rod Compared
What do these numbers mean?
Every welding electrode has an electrode number printed on it. These numbers are either printed on the electrode stick or the welding electrode pack. In this piece, we will show you how the 6013 and 7018 welding electrodes will fare when placed head to head.
By the American Welding Society “AWS” standards, you will see “EXXX” inscribed on every welding electrode pack.
N.B: XXX could be any number from 0-9. The letter “E” means Electrodes.
- The first and second numbers represent the minimum tensile strength the weld will be able to withstand without cracking, and it is measured in psi. The 6013 and 7018 welding electrodes have a minimum tensile strength of 60,000 psi and 70,000 psi, respectively; this is because their first two digits are 60 and 70.
- The third number is an indication of the best position to use that electrode. There are four welding positions: flat welding position, horizontal position, vertical position (upwards and downwards), and overhead welding position. These different positions are represented by numbers 1-3.
flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead
flat and horizontal
flat, horizontal, overhead, vertical downwards
The 6013 and 7018 welding electrodes have the same third digit; this is the number “1,” which means that you can use them for all welding positions.
- The fourth digit represents the welding current and the electrode coating. These two parameters combine to make up the 4th digit. Here is a table showing a few instances of these combinations.
The 4th Digit Table
Coating used in making the electrode
Welding Current (Polarity)
High cellulose sodium
High Cellulose Potassium
AC or DC+
High titania Sodium
AC or DC-
High titania potassium
AC, DC+, or DC-
Iron powder, titania
AC, DC+ or DC-
Low hydrogen sodium
Low hydrogen potassium
High iron oxide, iron powder
AC, DC+ or DC-
Low hydrogen potassium, iron powder
The 6013 Welding Electrode
Looking at the 4th digit table and every other information we have gathered, we can call the 6013 welding Electrode a high titania potassium coating electrode with a minimum tensile strength of 60,000 psi, which can be used to weld in all positions. More accurately, the 6013 is a soft arc welding electrode with a tensile strength of 6200 psi.
When can the 6013 Welding Electrode be used?
- You can use the 6013 welding electrode to weld new and clean thin sheet metals. It can also be used for medium-sized mild steel or galvanized steel joints with wide root opening.
- This electrode can be used as a filler when you need to create a multi-pass weld.
- They are used for short welds that require you to change positions.
- You can use both polarities, both straight and reverse polarity (AC and DC) with the 6013 welding electrode.
Technical Details on a 6013 Welding Electrode
Chemical Composition of the 6013 welding Electrode
Mechanical Properties of the 6013 welding Electrode
Pros and Cons of the 6013 Welding Electrode
· It is straightforward and easy to use.
· It is perfect for root joints.
· You can easily remove the formed slag.
· Provides a stable arc and a very smooth finish.
· It is a low penetrating electrode.
· Comes with large slag formation.
Applications of the 6013 welding Electrode
It is used in automobiles, building and ship repairs, and general repairs.
The 7018 Welding Electrode
As we did with the 6013 welding electrode, let’s use the 4th digit table and guidelines from the American Welding Standard “AWS” to find out what the 7018 welding electrode is all about. A 7018 welding electrode is a low hydrogen electrode with a minimum tensile strength of 7000 psi, which you can use for all welding positions. In the field, this electrode is commonly referred to as a low hydrogen electrode.
The 7018 welding electrode needs to be stored in an electrode oven when not in use and the temperature of the range of the oven has to be between 250-300 degrees.
When can you use the 7018 welding Electrode?
- You can use the 7018 welding electrode on difficult to weld metals, complex joints, and heavy materials.
- You can also use it for welding low to medium carbon steel.
- You can use this electrode for both positive and negative DC currents.
- The 7018 welding electrode is used when you need a weld with high ductility and avoiding cracks on your weld.
· It produces minimal splatter.
· It can create a very stable arc and gives off very little noise.
· It produces high strength welds that are smooth.
· It needs to be carefully stored in an electrode oven when not in use.
· It oxidizes easily.
For structural Welding, Welding in nuclear power plants, high-pressure pipes and pressure vessels, construction of bridges.
The 6013 welding Electrodes and 7018 welding Electrodes when placed Head to Head
Apart from the pronounced differences in some parameters like the tensile strengths and the welding positions for these two electrodes, let’s examine how these obvious factors influence these electrodes’ properties and use.
· The first difference is in the application of their tensile strengths. With the 6013 welding electrodes, you get a tensile strength of 6200 psi; this makes it suitable for light welding jobs. On the other hand, the 7018 welding electrode with a tensile strength of 7000 psi is ideal for heavy structural jobs.
· Secondly, let’s take a lot of the 4th digits. The number 8 means that the 7018 is a low hydrogen electrode; this makes the welds produced using this electrode less susceptible to hydrogen cracking than the 6013 welding electrode.
· Also the 6013 welding electrode can be used for teaching beginners in welding classes because it produces a very stable arc in comparison to the 7018 welding electrode.
With the information we have gathered, it is clear that the choice of what electrode to use depends on the project, the base material and your level of expertise.