Is The E6010 Welding Rod A Good Choice For Me?

Do you use the E610 welding rod? is it the right rod for your welding job?

Everyday it seems I either get a call or a email, or even come across a post on a forum about the efficacy of 6010 and how important it is to be able to stick weld with E6010.  Often it relates to our units capability of welding with E 6010.  While some of our stick welders will such as the PowerARC 200ST, PowerARC 300 and even our PowerTIG 255ext TIG welder, other units of ours such as the PowerARC 140ST are not geared to be able to weld well with this persnickety welding rod.   Using the word “Persnickety” may seem like something an old timer would yell out but I can’t think of a better word to describe it.  It has it’s  very strong strengths with excellent penetration, ability to handle rust and poor fit up, and a fast freezing puddle, but it takes experience to be able to weld with it and get the results that it is capable of creating.  For a lot of people, 6010 can be overpowering.  It’s likely to throw a lot of sparks and spatter, give off heavy odiferous fumes and burn through thin materials if not properly managed.  Plus it requires a special “whip and pauseg” motion if done to text book standards.  Most people think whipping equates to flogging the rod and can never quite get the finesse it deserves to make it behave. It is great though for running root passes and is required in many circumstances by code.   But I find that not everyone does code work or would even know what the code was for the particular application if one existed.   At this point, I’d like to think about the pluses of using a similar very close cousin of the E6010: the E6011.  Some people mistakenly call this an “AC” rod.  While it is capable of running on AC where 6010 often fails to meet the mark, the E6011 is an all purpose rod with a similar cellulose based flux.  It offers similar weld characteristics with a deep penetrating arc and ability to weld over rust and paint without a hitch.  However, it does offer a little less penetration but what it gives up in penetration, it gains in arc stability and forgiveness in technique.  Running on DC+, few people except the expert 6010 welder could tell the difference unless they were told or saw the markings on the welding rod.  And the 6011 can run in less expensive welding machines not specifically geared toward running an E 6010.  That’s because it utilizes arc stabilizers in the cellulose flux.  This is just enough to keep the arc dying out unexpectantly and to make a somewhat unpleasant welding experience (compared to 6010) a bearable, if not happy one.

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