When you want to join two metal parts, there is no better way of doing it than with arc welding. To weld two metal parts together, you need a welding machine. More importantly, you need electrodes, also known as welding rods.
Welding rods transmit electric current necessary to generate heat and melt two metal parts being welded. This brings us to the question of the day, which are the best welding rods? This is not a straightforward question to answer, as it depends on your needs.
All the same, having used a wide variety of welding rods, I have come up with a list of the best welding rods for ac welder. Below are my top ten best welding rod picks.
The Best Welding Rods Reviews
TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated 3/32″ x 7″ (Blue, WL20) 10-Pack
- 2% lanthanated composition
- 2.4mm x 175mm in size
- Ten welding rods
A quick search of the TIG Welding Tungsten Electrodes 2% Lanthanated online reveals just how popular these rods are. These electrodes boast of 2% lanthanated. This means that these electrodes are not radioactive.
More importantly, they are capable of both AC and DC welding. Measuring 2.4mm x 175mm, they work best in low amperage and have a low burn-off rate. This makes them the best welding rod for thin metal.
- Have a low burnoff rate making them ideal for welding thin metal
- Are lanthanated electrodes and are thus free of any radioactive material
- Can be used for both AC and DC welding
- Produces great welds on steel and aluminum
- These electrodes do not hold up well compared to thoriated electrodes
These rods are exceptional at TIG welding thin sheets of metal. Also, unlike their thoriated counterparts, they do not pose any health risks to you.
Alumaloy 10 Rods – Easy Aluminum Repair Rods
- 39,000 pounds per sq inch tensile strength
- 24.9% IACS electric conductivity
- 728 degrees Fahrenheit melting point
- 34,000 pounds per square inch shear strength
These are more of soldering rods than welding rods. However, the work on the same principle. The Alumaloy welding rods are inexpensive and easy to use. Unlike conventional aluminum welds, these ones melt at 700 degrees.
As such, you need a lot of heat to use these rods. But the best thing about them is that they can be used to repair pot metals. Each of the ten rods you get in the package measure 1/8″ x 18″ long.
- Can be used to weld pot metal
- Are incredibly easy to use and work well for quick repairs of aluminum parts
- Can be used to repair a wide range of aluminum parts
- Can be used to weld galvanized steel as well
- The welds created with these rods tend not to last
For the fast repair of any aluminum part, these alumaloy rods will do the trick. They are easy to use and are thus ideal for beginners and professionals. These are the best aluminum brazing rods.
Forney 30301 E6013 Welding Rod
- 1 pound weight
- 0.09375 inches thick
- Mild steel rods
- 60,000 tensile strength
With a thickness of 0.09375 inches, the Forney 30301 E6013 Welding Rod is ideal for welding light gauge metal. I found them to be easy to strike as with any other 6013 electrodes. What surprised me was the fact that they can be used with low amperage.
I was able to weld with an amperage of as low as 30 amps with these rods. Due to their size, I wouldn’t recommend these for welding thick sheets of metal. However, I would gladly recommend them for artistic welding works.
- Can be used to weld with low amperage
- Are easy to use and strike an arc
- These rods are great for ornamental and artistic works
- Can be used to weld all kinds of metal from mild steel to aluminum
- Due to them having less metal in the middle they burn through quickly
I would recommend these to anyone looking to weld light gauge metal. Due to their size, they are the best welding rod for thin metal.
Forney 31205 E6011 Welding Rod
- 5-pound weight
- 0.125 inches thickness
- 60,000 tensile strength
- 1/8 inch in size
Forney is a company known for producing high-quality products. And with the Forney 31205 E6011 Welding Rod, they did not disappoint. These 6011 welding rods are easy to use and can weld anything from mild steel to aluminum.
One of the best things about them is their consistency. As such, they do not lose arc, which makes for a better welding experience.
- Offer consistent welding and do not loose arc
- Can be used on most types of metals including stainless steel
- Offer a good penetration
- These can be used on all welding positions
- Difficult to start an arc on low amperage
These have to be some of the best all-around welding rods on the market. They offer good penetration and are easy to start an arc.
Hobart 770460 6011 Stick
- 60,000 tensile strength
- 1/8 inch size
- 14.5 x 4.3 x 2.2 in dimensions
- Ac and DCEP welding compatible
Hobart makes some of the best welding machines out there. So it should come as no surprise that they also produce some pretty decent welding rods. The Hobart 770460 6011 Stick is one of the company’s bestselling rods.
These rods can weld their way through any kind of metal, including galvanized and carbon steel. More importantly, you can use them for welding rusted, painted, or even dirty metals. To add on to these, they can be used with both AC and DCEP reversed-polarity welding machines
- Can be used to weld dirty, rusted or painted surfaces
- Works with both AC and DCEP welding machines
- These welds are easy to strike an arc
- The rods produce a clean weld
- Do not work well with low amperage Features
These have to be the best all-around welding rod. They can work on all kinds of metals, including galvanized steel. Additionally, they can be used in all welding positions.
Forney 30705 E7018 Welding Rod
- 3/32 inch wide
- 0.0938 inches thick
- 70,000 tensile strength
- 5 pounds package weight
Another Forney electrodes that deserve a place on my list is the Forney 30705 E7018 Welding Rod. The latter welding rod is a low hydrogen and low alloy welding wire. Made from mild steel, it is ideal for a wide range of welding applications.
Given it is a low hydrogen electrode, it can be used to weld cold rolled steel. Additionally, it can be used to weld with low amperage. I recommend using an amperage of between 75 and 105 amps with this electrode
- Can be used with DCEP and AC welding
- Does not require prior heat treatment to be used
- Can be used to weld with low amperage
- Comes with a three-month warranty
- Might not be best suited for overhead welding
When it comes to mild welding steel and other metals, few electrodes are better than this one. It is one of the best welding rods for mild steel.
Blue Demon 7014 X 5/64″ X 14″ X 5LB Plastic Iron Powder Carbon Steel Electrode
- 5/64 inch wide
- 5.25 pounds package weight
- 14 x 3 x 3 inches of product dimensions
This welding rod is ideal for stick welding. Also, it works well with low amperage. They work best with an amperage of between 45 and 70 amps. But that is not the only good thing about these welding electrodes.
These Blue Demon welding rods can be used with both AC and DC welding. Furthermore, they are easy to use, especially for beginners. In essence, they are some of the most forgiving rods you can use.
- Capable of being used with DC and AC welding
- The rods burn smooth and produce very minimal to zero spatter
- Offer light to medium penetration ideal for thin metals
- Have a nice stable arc
- Only suitable for thin sheets of metal
These welding rods produce clean and aesthetically pleasing welds. As such, they are ideal for ornamental welds.
Weldcote Nickel 99 Cast Iron Welding Electrode
- 1.09 pounds package weight
- Nickel electrodes
- 14 x 1 x 1 inches product dimensions
Which is the best welding rod for cast iron? That honor goes to the Weldcote Nickel 99 cast iron welding electrode. These electrodes are suited to welding gray iron cast with steel or with another gray iron cast part.
These electrodes are easy to strike an arc. Furthermore, they arc stability you get from these welding rods is excellent. But what makes them such great electrodes is the fact they produce very little spatter.
- These electrodes work well on cast iron
- It is easy to strike an arc with these electrodes
- Can be used on dirty or rusted metals
- Can be used to weld with either AC or DC
- These rods are a bit expensive
For welding of cast iron, these are the best. They are easy to strike an arc and can be used to weld cast iron to stainless steel and steel.
Hobart 770465 7014 Stick
- 70,000 psi tensile strength
- 10 pounds package weight
- 1/8 inch wide
When you need a high disposition, the Hobart 770465 7014 Stick is what you will need. This stick welding electrode from Hobart is great for applications where light penetration is required. Apart from that, these electrodes also offer other benefits.
These electrodes are compatible with AC, DCEN, and DCEP reverse polarity. This makes them very versatile to use in many different welding tasks. In my experience, these seem to work better at higher amperage of between 130 and 160 amps.
- Offer a higher disposition rate
- Can be used with DCEN, DCEP and AC welding
- These rods are easy to strike an arc
- Have a 70,000 psi tensile strength
- Are not ideal for welding thicker metals
For light penetration, these welding rods excel. They offer a high disposition rate and can be used with DCEN, AC, and DCEP welding.
FiberFlex Plastic Welding Rod
- ½ inch wide
- 30 cm long
- 1/8 inch thick rods
- 1.6-ounce weight
For welding and repairing plastic, there are few rods better than the FiberFlex Plastic Welding Rod. These rods work well and stick to any hard plastic part that you wish to repair. Also, these rods work well on fiber-reinforced components.
These rods are fashioned from carbon and glass fibers. The end result is a rod that helps you make fast and durable repairs on plastic. They work on all kinds of plastic but are particularly recommended for TPOs.
- These rods can be used with Polyvance Airless Plastic
- The electrodes are capable of sticking to any plastic
- Are made from high-quality carbon and glass fibers
- Produces welds that last long
- For some plastic is not as durable
These rods are for repairing plastic parts. They work well on PTOs; however, you can use them to mend any damaged plastic component.
Different welding electrodes are suited to various welding tasks. Some are ideal for welding light gauge metals. On the other hand, some are ideal for welding specific types of metal, such as aluminum and cast iron.
Choosing the best welding rods will depend on what your needs are. The above-reviewed electrodes work well for different applications.
Last update on 2022-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API