Differences between some electrodes are much easier to remember and keep in mind as compared to others. This is especially the case when the only difference in the numbers of the electrode is of one digit. It can get very confusing especially for someone who is new and just started learning about the basics of welding. The decision of choosing that one electrode seems pretty important especially if you are on a budget. It makes sense if you don’t want to spend money on something which you won’t use. If you buy the wrong electrode without knowing about it, it might ruin the entire project. Through this article, I will try to compare the 7018 and 7014 electrodes and hopefully help you in your selection.
Both electrodes will provide you the same tensile strength and positional capacities. The biggest difference would be the storage of the rods because the 7018 has a low-hydrogen coating on them, while the 7014 has an iron powder coating. Besides this, the 7014 rod has almost the same characteristics as the 7018 while being more suitable for beginners.
Read more about the storage of welding rods here.
WHEN TO USE THE 7018 AND 7014 RODS
The 7018 rod is one of the most popular ones out there for construction projects especially if you are looking to work on some difficult metals. the reason for this popularity is the high tensile strength and the fact that it is less likely to cause cracks on important projects like buildings and bridges.
The 7014 on the other hand is preferred if the work is around damp areas which is directly opposite to when the 7018s should be used. A lot of home welders prefer this rod because of its ease of storage and the high tensile strength which it provides.
The iron-type coating and rutile-type of the electrode allow it to be used for operations at higher speeds and can also produce greater depositions.
Even the slag which is produced by the 7014 is fairly easy to remove and it can be used to create beads that have a flat and smooth appearance.
WHICH METALS SHOULD THEY BOTH BE USED ON?
The 7014 is designed to be used on carbon and low-alloy steels and is especially useful for jobs that require a higher deposition rate, on the other hand, the 7018 is best used on carbon steel, high-carbon, low-alloy, or high-strength steel base metals.
By the way, if you are in search of a good farm rod, something that can penetrate through rust, check out my article about 6011 rods here.
DIFFERENCES IN THE TENSILE STRENGTH OF THE WELDS
The tensile strength which both the rods provide is almost the same, you can check this yourself in the future by the starting numbers of an electrode. In this case, both the electrodes will give you about the same tensile strength on the final weld, about 70,000psi.
WHICH POSITIONS CAN I USE THESE RODS?
This can be an important factor while determining which electrode you should get; some electrodes can only be used in one or two positions while some can be used in all positions. The third number of an electrode can tell you the positions in which that electrode can be used.
In this case, both the electrodes have 1 as their third digit which means that both of them can be used in any position. The number ‘1’ means that the rod can be used in almost all positions including but not limited to horizontal, vertical, overhead, incline, and decline. On a practical level, however, the 7014 is challenging to be run vertical up or down. It is best for flat, horizontal, or overhead rods in my experience.
7018 is more of an all-position rod, though it is difficult to run vertical downhill.
This may not be that important to you if you are just looking to get an electrode for practicing purposes. For this, the 6013 would be perfect as well as 7014.
Also, check out my comparison between 7018 and 6013 here.
7018 VS 7014
The 7014 contains a fill-freeze powdered iron coat as I said above but it won’t be able to provide the same amount of penetration as the 7018 when used on DC. It is also not the best choice for welding in awkward positions because of its lack of fast freezing capability.
When compared to the 7018, the 7014 is much more comfortable to strike or to re-strike.
Another point to note is the amperage settings of both electrodes. Depending on the diameter of the electrode being used the 7014 can be used with an amperage ranging from 100-145 when you are using DCEN, while if you are using AC then you can keep the amperage settings between 110-160. (this is if you are using the 1/8” diameter rods)
The 7018 also provides a similar amperage range for the same diameter.
|Tensile Strength||70000 PSI||70000 PSI|
|Position||All Positions except vertical downhill||All Positions except vertical|
|Polarity||DCEP and AC||DCEP, DCEN, AC|
|Arc Characteristics||Soft arc||Soft arc|
|Flux composition||Low hydrogen electrode||High in Iron powder|
|Slag Type||Fluid, thick, does peel||Thick, does peel|
|Motion||Drag Rod||Drag rod|
|My recommendation from Amazon||More details||More details|
More charts on welding rods here
KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ELECTRODES
One of the most important differences between the electrode is the way you can store both of them. The 7018 is notorious for its difficult handling and the care with which you have to store. The 7018 cannot be stored out in the open or near moist and humid conditions for long periods of time because of its low-hydrogen coating.
Another difference between both the electrodes is the flux coating on both of them. This can also be determined by the last digit of an electrode. The ‘8’ in the 7018 means that the rod has a low-hydrogen, potassium iron powder coating while the ‘4’ in the 7014 means that it has iron powder titania coating.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The differences between these two electrodes are not that extreme and sometimes these subtleties can further confuse you. You must have a lot of questions after going through the similarities and differences between the two electrodes. I will try to address some of the most common questions which people have related to the two electrodes.
The 7018 is notorious for the care you have to put in while storing them. It is very important to keep in mind that 7018 cannot be stored or used near moisture or water in any way. A lot of people who regularly use the 7018 have special storage facilities for them. You might also need to bake them first before using them if kept out in the open for too long. The 7014 on the other hand is fairly easy to handle and store. As I mentioned above it is preferred to be used for damp projects.
As I mentioned above, the first two digits of an electrode can tell you about the final tensile strength they will provide on the final weld, in this case the first two digits are common. This means that both the electrodes provide about 70,000 psi strength on the final weld.
The 7018 rods are famous for their use on difficult to weld metals. they are the best suitable for carbon steel, high-carbon, low-alloy or high-strength steel base metals while the 7014 is best used on carbon and low-alloy steels.
I hope this article made your decision-making task a little easier, while both the electrodes are great choices in themselves, some small differences can make a huge impact on the jobs they should be used for. Take the example of 7018, they should never be used for welds that may take place in wet areas. This is one of the reasons why newcomers shouldn’t directly go for the 7018s as they can be difficult to store. On the other hand, both the electrodes can be used in any position and provide the same tensile strength.