6010 vs 6011 Welding Rods Compared

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) or Stick welding is a widely-used process done through a welding rod. A welding rod or electrode provides electric current to the arc and is one of the most competent welding tools. The primary advantages of having the most delicate welding rod are its high efficacy, low sensitivity to corrosion, low price, no need for external gas, and easily changeable for different metals.

In the marketplace, you see numerous brands producing different kinds of welding rods, and each claiming their product as perfect. A user can’t pick up the top one from the rush that improves their overall welding experience. Thus, after hordes of research and experiments, I realized that two products primarily surround the market. So, let’s discuss both to identify which one is best and why: 6010 vs. 6011 welding rods compared!

6010 vs 6011 Welding Rods Compared

To choose the best welding rod, one needs to consider its tensile strength, type, thickness, polarity, and usefulness. Undoubtedly, 6010 and 6011 are sister rods giving a remarkable performance in their way. But indeed, these rods do have some unique features which make them both different from each other. In this section, I will explain each welding rod along with facts, figures, and application. So please don’t skip any part, and let’s flow!

6010 Welding Rod Explained

E 6010 welding electrode is a Fast Freeze rod. What does that mean? Fast Freezing technology helps the electrode in quicker cooling as compared to other types. Consequently, it promotes faster welding. However, a professional can use this electrode like a pro; I don’t recommend it to amateurs. Shortly, 6010 is a high-yielding welding rod that comes with greater strength.

6010 Welding Rod Explained

Rod Thickness

Usually, the thickness of a welding rod is chosen based on the metal width you desire to cut. If your metal is thin, then you should go for an electrode slightly bigger than it. For example, if the thickness of the material is 2.0 mm, you should weld it with a 2.5 mm welding electrode. I suggest you seek the manual for the best results.

Welding Polarity

The polarity of a welding rod is of great concern. In the general scenario, you need to understand that a circuit forms when you weld a material through an electrode. There are negative (-) and positive (+) poles in this electric circuit, which are called polarity. The welding polarity affects the efficiency and strength of your work.

The 6010 rods possess DCEP polarity, which stands for Direct Current Electrode Positive. In this manner, you have to connect the metal with a negative pole (-) of the source (which generates power) and a welding rod with a positive pole (+).

Based on polarity, the 6010 welding rod is not as versatile as 6011 because it is only compatible with direct current (DC). Also, 6010 requires more voltage than other kinds of rods. You have to maintain the power source throughout the process.

What is 6010 Rod Best For?

As I said before, E 6010 utilizes direct current only, which results in deeper penetration than other rods. Thus, this welding electrode is suitable for overhead plate welding. It is one of the most challenging welding positions, in which you’ve to arc from the inner side of a joint. Due to deep penetration, you can weld surfaces covered with grease, dust or paint, etc.

6011 Welding Rod Explained

The 6011 electrode is also a fast-freezing rod that works quicker. It is most commonly used for pipe welding. As compared to 6010, I like the smaller pool of 6011 that facilitates easy cleaning. The main advantage you get with 6011 is more excellent compatibility. It can run on direct current (DC) as well as alternate current (AC).

6011 Welding Rod Explained

Rod Thickness

As you know, welding electrodes come in various sizes; each is appropriate for different stock widths. The generally used rod sizes are 1/8, 5/32, and 3/32 inches. If you’re planning to work on deep penetration, then you should go for a thicker size. Again, you should seek a manual or professional welder to get the most satisfactory settings for your work.

In other words, the lightweight metals are weldable with thin rods, while the galvanized or deeper surfaces require thicker ones. Please never go for a 5/32 inches rod unless you’ve to work with one of the heaviest metals. In my work experience, I found 1/8 and 3/32 more compatible diameters.

Welding Polarity

In the game of polarity, 6011 is the winner. It is compatible with any polarity: direct current using a negative pole and alternating current using a positive pole. In most cases (like arc welding), the direct current is used, but few exceptions require a positive electrode. So, in that sense, 6011 works, but 6010 does not! Plus 6011 also works with a cracker box which is a premium machine for handling dual polarities.

What is 6011 Rod Best For?

As discussed, the 6011 rod is also compatible with alternating current, making it more versatile. It helps weld greasy and rusty surfaces because of suitable penetration. Over that, I found it great for cars and engines and even for the farm apparatus. In comparison with 6010, it is not good enough for pristine metals.


What is the best all-purpose welding rod?

The E 6011 welding rod is the best all-purpose electrode because it boasts excellent durability, efficiency, and versatility. You can use it for welding thick metals or rusty surfaces. I found it great for cars and engines. In the market, the best 6011 stick is by Hobart (Model: 770458).

Is it better to push or pull when welding?

Pulling facilitates in depth penetration and is better for thick welding surfaces. On the other hand, pushing generates flattering, which is suitable for broader surfaces. I’ve experienced that the pulling technique features a more substantial welding process.

What amp do I need for 6010?

Amp, Ampere, or amperage is the unit used to measure the amount of current. In general, the value of current is set according to the rod type and thickness. For instance, if you’re using 1/8 inches 6010 welding rod, then 75 – 125 amps range is suitable. Similarly, if you’re using a 5/32 inches electrode, then welding should be done at 220 amps or more.

Our Verdict—Which one is better?

The 6010 electrode boasts maximum yield with greater tensile strength as compared to E6011. It is more efficient and facilitates deeper penetration, making welding smoother and faster. On the other hand, the 6011 stick can deal with dual polarities, in case you’ve to work on alternating current. Thus, it is more versatile. You need to address your type of work; only then you’ll be able to get the best for you! Also, have a look at the best general-purpose welding rods.

Happy Welding!

About Dave Walker

Dave Walker, a professional welder who has been welding from an early age. Now aims to help others by making them learning skills and finding them new opportunities. He has written for many welding blogs and helped many pursue their welding goals by helping them in choosing the best welding tools of the time.

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