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6010 and 6011 Electrodes

The “60” in 6010 means 60,000 pounds’ tensile strength (the ability to resist being pulled apart) per
square inch. The “1” means it can be run in any position-flat, horizontal, vertical, or overhead.

The last number, 0 or 1, is some kind of technical jargon that I have never used in my 25 years as a
journeyman or instructor. But for you engineer types, you know it has to do with flux composition, slag
type, and power supply.

Both 6010 and 6011 are good electrodes. In my opinion, they are the only rod to tack with. They strike
very easily and leave little slag to chip off. They also are very good when you need full penetration. They
are a prime choice for welding decking, an application in which you must penetrate through the gauge
metal into the joist or beam.

Crank up the machine to warp 10, and you have portable torch. It doesn’t cut that pretty, but it gets the
job done in a pinch when you don’t have access to an oxyacetylene rig and need to cut something in a
hurry. Make sure the area around you is clear, especially below if you are working up high. Cutting with
these electrodes produces big-time sparks and large globs of molten metal.

6011 runs on AC and direct current electrode positive (DCEP), while 6010 runs only on DCEP. This gives
6011 an advantage if you have an AC-only machine. I have found, and think most welders will agree,
that 6010 runs more smoothly. The slag chips off better than 6011, and this is one reason it is used more
often than 6011 in root passes on pipes.

Another advantage of these electrodes is the speed at which they burn. This makes them ideal for
welding joists and bridging, especially the stiffening angle going from joist to joist for bracing. These two
electrodes have enough strength to do the job and are much faster than 7018. They run great downhill
passes where not a lot of penetration or structural strength is required.

7018 Electrodes

The 7018 is the backbone if structural welding. This rod runs completely different from the 6010 and
6011 rods-is is much smoother and easier. More of a “drag” rod, the 7018 is also referred to as a low-
hydrogen, or ”low-high”, rod in the field. The flux contains almost no hydrogen, and the rod produces
smooth, strong welds that are very ductile.

For this reason, these rods are used extensively in structural welding. I’ve used them on shopping
centers, factories, powerhouses, nuclear weapons assembly plants, high-rise office towers, dams, and
bridges. I’ve also used them on about a billion “neighbor-friend” projects.

The keyword for the 7018 is versatility.

A 7018 rod literally should be dragged across the metal when welding. Along with dragging, a welder can
weave it back and forth or oscillate it to feather it in on both sides. In vertical welding, some welders will
count repetitions on each side of the weld pool, but this is a really bad habit to get into. As my old
instructor used to scream into my ear, “Relax your hand and watch the puddle!” As long as you watch
the paddle and relax your hand, you should be able to see and feel it tie into the steel. Counting doesn’t
guarantee a good tie-in; seeing and feeling do.