6013 VS 7018 Welding Electrodes Compared – What You Need to Know

Before I begin explaining the difference between the 6013 vs 7018 electrodes, you must have a fair understanding of the welding rod number meaning.

The first two numbers on the size number of the electrode represents the tensile strength of the electrode. For example, 60 indicates that the electrode has a tensile strength of 60,000 pounds per square inch.

The third digit signifies the position in which the rod can be used.

Number 1 stands for all positions, 2 for flat and horizontal position, and 4 stands for overhead, vertical, horizontal, and flat electrode positions.

The last digit implies the coating that has been used and consequently the current that you can safely use.

We understand it is difficult to find out what welding rod to use. Hence, we have provided a guide below with the two major welding rods explained so you can select the most suitable welding rod for yourself.

In Brief: 6013 VS 7018 Electrodes :

These electrodes are commonly used for welding applications like shipbuilding, construction and fabrication. The key difference between the 6013 vs 7018 electrodes is that the 6013 rod can weld through various contaminants like rust or dirt. The 7018 rod, though provides greater weld quality and is more comfortable. However, it can only be operated on clean surfaces. Furthermore, the 7018 rod is superior in strength and elongation characteristics as compared to 6013 welding rods.

Overview of 6013 Electrode Rods

6013 electrodes

The 6013 rod is a commonly used welding rod in the industry. It is an all-position welding rod, the welds of which can resist 60,000 pounds of stress per square inch. Welding with 7018 has higher endurance, however, the 6013 welding rod is still pretty tough and sufficient for most projects. The electrode delivers a smooth and medium penetrating arc. These rods are compatible with AC and DC+ currents. It is usable with small AC power sources having low open-circuit voltage as well.

One reason why folks love the 6013 rod is due to the ability of the 6013 Electrode rods to handle different currents. This makes it very adaptable and hence can be used with any welding machine including small machines. Due to this feature the 6013 rod is unique as other welding rods require larger machines. You can also use it at low voltages. Besides shipbuilding, e6013 welding rod uses its applications in the build-up of over-machined and worn mild steel surfaces and general light fabrication.

The 6013 electrodes are built for lighter jobs like automotive projects due to minimal slag that can be lifted easily. Infact, the electrode’s swift freezing slag gives the best performance while welding in the vertical down position. The 6013 electrodes produce mild arcs with lesser spatters and can only be used for welding material that is clean, new sheet metal.

The wire is a mild steel electrode coated with high Titania potassium. We observed the coating helps in making a spray-type arc which leads to deep penetrating welds. In comparison to its peers, the wire has low elongation.

The 6013 rod has medium penetration on thinner sheet metals.

The ideal technique to use when welding with the 6013 electrode is to maintain small circular motions across the joint. This is beneficial in making strong welds and is also a great way to control your speed.

Like most other electrodes, you must avoid the 6013 rod from coming into contact with any water. Typically, a moisture-proof container is ideal. If the 6013 electrode becomes damp for any reason it should be carefully dried out in a warm welding rod oven before use.

 

ParametersDetails
MaterialMild Steel
Wire CoatingHigh titania potassium
Tensile Strength60,000 psi
Yield Strength48,000 psi
PositionAll-positions

 

Pros
  • Welding 6013 has superior quality
  • It is an electrode of all-positions
  • Swift freezing slag ensures top performance
Cons
  • The 6013 welding rod is low on strength

Overview of 7018 Electrode Rods

7018 electrodes

The 7018 electrode is the easiest to use. It comes with a thick flux with a high powder content. Penetration is negligible leading to a smooth and quiet arc with lesser spatters.

The 7018-welding rod is an all-position rod which produces weld beads which can resist 70,000 pounds of stress per square inch. Due to its iron powder low hydrogen coating it can be used with AC, DC+ and DC- currents. Owing to its coating having a miniscule hydrogen content it produces welds which are smooth and very strong. By dragging the rod across the surface of the metal and moving it from side to side you can achieve these smooth and strong welds. This is also the reason for these electrodes being referred to as ‘low high’.

The 7018-welding rod is known to deliver uniform welds on metal and at temperatures below zero it has greater impact properties. It is because of this the 7018 rod is used for ship hull construction, heavy-duty equipment and production or fabrication.

7018 electrodes are widely used because of their versatile nature and they can weld thick materials like steel, and they produce strong welds. They are perfect for structural welding, pressure pipes, nuclear power plants, and large bridges.

Low hydrogen rods, however, do have some disadvantages. For instance, to ensure longevity they must be stored more carefully. Furthermore, they must be kept away from water or any form of moisture. To avoid this from happening they must be stored in an oven at 250 degrees F. If finances are not an issue, a professional purpose-built welding is perfect. However, if you’re on a budget you could always try a makeshift oven of your own. The 7018 welding rod specifications are given below.

 

ParametersDetails
MaterialMild Steel
Wire CoatingLow hydrogen potassium
Tensile Strength70,000 psi
Yield Strength58,000 psi

 

Pros
  • Good weld quality
  • Quieter operation
  • Splatter free arc
  • Stable arc
Cons
  • Low penetration
  • Needs extra storage

Key Differences between 6013 vs 7018 electrodes

The 6013 and 7018 both can be used for applications like shipbuilding. construction, maintenance, production, fabrication. However, there are a few key differences that a welder must be aware of.

Coating on the wires are completely different. While the 6013 is high Titania potassium, the 7018 rod has a low hydrogen potassium coating.

Further, the electrodes have a wide contrast in yield and tensile strength. The 7018 has higher specifications in both. The 7018 electrode also has a higher elongation of 22 percent in 2 inches.

 

Properties60137018
MaterialMild SteelMild Steel
Wire CoatingHigh titania potassiumLow hydrogen potassium iron powder
Welding CurrentAC, DC +AC, DC + or DC –
Tensile Strength60,000 psi70,000 psi
Yield Strength48,000 psi58,000 psi
Elongation (in 2 inches)17%22%

 

Summary

It is difficult to pick which is the better of the two. Your decision will depend on the project you’re working on and the experience level you carry. Most beginners learn to use a 6013 in their welding class. The 6013 is frequently used and a dependable option, unless a building project calls for a higher KSI value.

The 6013 vs 7018 electrodes look identical but the similarities end there. While welding the 6013 has a deeper penetration than the 7018 electrode on the surface of the job that the user is operating on.

Although the 6013 is harder to operate it leaves significantly less slag behind as compared to the 7018 electrode. Notably, the 6013 also doesn’t require preparation using an oven to bake the electrodes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit like the 7018. It is imperative for welding with 7018 to have a clean surface for the root pass.

On the other hand, the 7018 is significantly more accessible to use and produces a consistent quality of welds. The 7018 is best used when the base metal is easily reachable. Aside from this, the 7018 offers a much more stable arc and requires minimal oscillation.