6013 and 7018 rods

If you are in the market for buying electrodes and you are new to welding, all the options out there probably confuse you. I remember the first time I was searching for the right electrodes, all the numbers and specifications had me intimidated. You might not be able to go to the nearest hardware store every time to ask an expert so I thought, why not write an article comparing 7018 and 6013. There is a lot of information on the internet but very few articles comparing multiple electrodes directly. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

In short, both the 6013 and 7018 are great choices for beginners and professionals alike, but they have some differences in terms of technical specifications and use. Both of them have a really soft arc and produce a minimal amount of spatter while being drag rods. However, 7018 can be run only on AC and DCEP while 6013 will run on any polarity. Furthermore, 7018 is better to work with on thick, structural metals, which is one of the reasons why 7018 is the industry standard.


Although both the electrodes are great choices, their usage might differ for each person. If you are looking for an electrode for home use, you can go for 6013 as they have a medium penetration and it fills their purpose in every way. A lot of beginners learn to use 6013 in their welding classes because it’s super easy to practice with. Overall, 6013 requires a clean surface to weld on, and it is considered more of a sheet metal rod for thinner stuff. Everlast Generators has also said that in Europe and Asia, E 6013 is commonly used for laying down root passes. Something to think about.

On the other hand, 7018 is an industry-standard, especially because of its higher tensile strength and the fact that it can handle more serious projects with ease. E7018 is less likely to cause cracking on crucial projects like buildings and bridges when done right – That alone should give you some confidence in that rod. The 7018 is usually used for building constructions, pipelines, ship hulls, and pressure vessels. It is used usually when the welder is looking for a high level of polish in their welds. As another upside, it is also slightly more forgivable if your base metal is not cleaned properly.

As far as storage of these rods goes, because of the coating 7018 has, they have to be store properly. In this case, properly means in a moisture-free environment. If you are just a hobby welder, and you do not have a rod oven or a proper way to store the rods, I would consider 7014 rods instead of 7018.

6013 VS 7018 what do the numbers mean?

As you can see the difference in the numbering of both the electrodes and yes, it is so for a reason. You can tell a lot about the properties of an electrode through its numbers.

The 7018 rod is a medium penetration electrode and has better impact properties at temperatures below zero. While the 6013 is almost at the same level penetration-wise, the 6013 rods leave significantly less slag as compared to 7018 but is a bit harder to strike. The 7018 has an elongation of 22% in 2 inches while 6013 has an elongation of 17%. While both are made up of mild steel.

The 7018 also requires an additional storage facility because it having a low-hydrogen coating so they have to be stored away from moisture and they might require to be baked in ovens at 300-degree F before being used.

The 7018 also have the added advantage that they can be used with slightly more dirty surfaces. It can be a good farm rod if DC is not available.


The first two digits of the number convey the tensile strength of the final weld. So, in the case of 6013, the final weld will have a minimum tensile strength of 60,000 psi. On the other hand, 7018 will deliver a minimum tensile strength of 70,000 psi.

The yield strength on the other hand of the 7018 is around 58,000 psi and for 6013 it is about 48,000 psi.


This answer might surprise you, but although 7018 being an industry standard for welding structural steel, it does not penetrate very deep, similarly to 6013. They both actually are medium penetration rods.

If you are looking for a piercing penetration that can blow holes in your work or burn through rust and paint, I would recommend 6010 or 6011 if you have an AC-only machine.

Talking about structural steel, I have a post here about welding car and truck frames.


Remember the numbering system of electrodes? Other than providing the tensile strength and the coating on the electrode, it also signifies the position the rods can be used in. The third number on the electrode conveys the position they can be used in. in this case the third number on both the electrodes is the same, ‘1’. 1 entails that the rod can be used in any position including horizontal, vertical, incline, decline, overhead. If you are choosing between these two electrodes this is one less thing to worry about.

Although I have to mention that running 7018 downhill is not a great idea because more than likely the slag will run into your welding puddle and create porosity.


Some of the key differences we have discussed above but I will summarize them in this section.

  1. First things first, there is a difference in the tensile strength which both the rods provide. The 7018 will give a minimum tensile strength of 70,000psi while the 6013 will give about 60,000 psi.
  2. The last two digits of the numbers also convey the flux coating and the polarity of the rods. While the 7018 is coated with low hydrogen potassium iron powder the 6013 is coated with high titania potassium.
  3. The polarity of both rods is also different. You have to make sure that you are using the right current with the right rod. The polarity of the rods conveys the currents you can use with them. While the 6013 is pretty versatile and can be used with AC, DCEP, and DCEN, the 7018 on the other hand can only be used with AC and DCEP.
Tensile Strength60000 PSI70000 PSI
PositionAll position, difficult to run vertical upAll Positions except vertical downhill
Arc CharacteristicsSoft arcSoft arc
Flux compositionhigh potassium rodLow hydrogen electrode
Slag TypeDense, does peel offFluid, thick, does peel
MotionDrag RodDrag Rod
My recommendation from AmazonMore detailsMore Details
Comparison Table

More charts on welding rods here


It can be overwhelming while reading all of this information. I remember I was confused for a long time when I was starting out. Remember that it is perfectly normal to be confused in the beginning. I will try to answer some of the most common questions that people have about this topic. I hope these will help clear some things up.


The 7018 rods can be used on metals that are difficult to work with while also providing a very good tensile strength. They are also one of the easiest rods to work with if you know how to take care of them, especially paying attention to the storage aspect.


As I stated earlier, the third number of the electrode signifies the position they can be used in. in this case the ‘1’ signifies that they can be used in any position, though running it vertical up is a bit more tricky from what I have found.


As the 7018 rods are coated with low hydrogen potassium iron powder, they are very susceptible to moisture and it is important to store them in a moisture-free environment. You might have to use ovens to heat them before use or even for storing purposes. Usually baking them at 300-degree F does the job and if they are kept outside for less than 4 hours, they can be reheated at 700-800-degree F.


The 7018 is considered to be a drag rod. You can drag it along the surface of the metal you are welding but it is not recommended weaving it to avoid trapping slag in the bead.


Let me summarize all of this information for you.

Both the 6013 and the 7018 are great welding rods but 7018 are mostly used by professional welders who have the ability to store the rods appropriately. While both the rods are built from the same material and can be used in all positions, they don’t provide the same results though they are both drag rods.

You also have to remember that they have different polarities. While 6013 can work with a wider range of currents, the 7018 can only work with AC and DCEP.

I hope this article helped you to clarify your thought on 6013 and 7018 rods. Happy welding!