6010 or 6011? Part 1

If you know anything about stick welding (SMAW), then you know that there are as many welding rod types (also known as welding electrodes) as there are colors in the rainbow.  There are major categories, categories within categories, and even subcategories of welding rods at times.  And each manufacturer has their own spin and even designation for them. It is quite difficult for even an average professional to make the right choice of welding rods at times.  Sometimes there are two or more equally suited rods available.

One of the major welding rod types, that has such an issue is the cellulosic based welding rods. There are two basic designations for the welding rods in this category.  One is the E-6010 rod.  The 6010 rod is a true professional.  It generally takes good skill and great patience when learning this welding rod. The 6010 rod has a fast freeze characteristic, with a harsh, penetrating arc. Although we covered the properties of the welding rod separately last year, it’s worth noting again that the flux is cellulose based and is largely consumed while welding, leaving a thin, but tenacious covering of flux behind.  It is not easily removed. The spatter is also relatively high with this one.

The 6010 rod is great all around for sticking things together at a homeowner level, but it is the rod of choice for guys doing pipe welding and other similar fabrication activities in mild steel.  It’s typically used in the root pass, but it can be used anywhere you find a dirty, rust piece of metal that needs to be joined to another piece of dirty, rusty metal.