A Beginner’s Guide to 6011 Welding Rod Uses

welder setting up plasma cutter

Welding Buddy Experts

July 25, 2022
Welding vertically down using a 6011 welding rod

Not all welding rods are created equal. 

In fact, there is more than one type of welding rod on the market, each with its own unique set of benefits and limits, such as having one polarity and current. While others can work with any welding machine despite its different current type.

In this blog, we'll talk about 6011 stick welding and its various uses. We will also learn its features, uses, drawbacks, and proper storage of this rod. Let's explore!  


The 6011 welding electrode is one of the most used rods for welding because of its practical features. What are the characteristics of this welding rod that makes it dependable? 

60,000 Tensile Strength

Only two tensile strengths are available in common electrode rods: 60,000 and 70,000. And the first two digits of this electrode (60) tell you that your final weld can withstand 60,000 psi (pounds per inch). 

All Positions

You can tell this by looking at the third digit of the electrode. In this case, 1 means all positions. So 6011 welding rod uses are for all kinds of positions: flat, overhead, vertically up or down. It means that you weld vertically downwards without creating weld defects or burning through your material.

High-Cellulose Potassium Coating, 

The last two digits of your welding rod will tell you what type of coating it has so you can determine which current it can work with. For 6011 welding electrodes, it has a high-cellulose coating of potassium. 

Being a potassium-based rod, this welding electrode can be used for any welding current: AD, DC+, and DC-. This means that this welding electrode is versatile to work with any polarity, and you would still produce nice welds. 

6011 Welding Rod Amperage Chart 

Aside from learning its characteristics, you still have to consider the thicknesses of welding rods. Remember that thicker rods can penetrate heavy steel. Meanwhile, thinner rods are for lightweight metals and small welds. If you don't follow this concept, you'll either have poor penetration, excessive spatter, or undercuts

Check out this chart for more accurate amperage. 

Diameter (inches) Diameter (mm)Amperage range
7/325.6 160-250

Best 6011 Rod Uses and Techniques

Welding car rims with a 6011 electrode

While it's best to weld on clean and shiny metals, getting everything clean is not your only option. With the 6011 welding rod, you can weld dirty, rusty, and painted metals, making it ideal for auto body repairs, shipbuilding, or pipe welding. 

The 6011 rod is also good for tack welding. With tack welding, you need a very small weld, so it wouldn't be visible when you do the final weld. In addition, the 6011 rods can create small tacks and slight slag that you can easily clean off. 

Given that the 6011 rods have deep penetration, it helps if you can use some torch techniques to control your weld pool. There are two techniques to manipulate your weld:

  • Whip and pause. To do this, you move forward at the front edge of the pool without getting out of it. Then, move half the distance that you move forward. 
  • Small circles. It also has the same effect as the first technique, giving time for the metal to cool slightly and the pool to freeze. To do this, you simply create small circles as you move along your weld.  


The 6011 rod's versatility comes with a few drawbacks:

  • Since it has poor heat dissipation, it can easily burn thin sheet metals.
  • Newbie welders will have a hard time controlling the rod.
  • Using this rod on fillet welds will produce a weld prone to cracking. You can make two passes with the e6011 to make a good fillet wide joint.
  • The 6011 rod doesn't work with stainless steel or non-ferrous metals. 

Where to Store Your 6011 Rods

If you're the proud owner of some 6011 rods, you might be wondering where to store them. After all, you want to ensure they're always in top condition, ready to be used for welding projects. Here are proper care tips for stowing away your 6011 rods.

  • Keep 6011 rods away from moisture or any damp areas in your workshop. If you must store them in these areas, ensure they're in a dry, well-ventilated location. The humidity levels should be around 70%, between 40 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Keep them away from extreme temperatures. So you shouldn't store them in locations where they'll be exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures. Cool, dry storage locations are ideal.
  • Store and reseal them in their original packaging instead of putting them with the rest of your rods. This helps prevent damage and keeps everything organized. 

These simple tips ensure your 6011 rods are always stored properly and in top condition.


Every project has different specifications to achieve the desired weld. Although the 6011 welding rod is made for general purposes, the drawbacks of this practical rod may limit your welds. Check out some alternative electrodes to cover the weaknesses of e6011. 

  • For thin sheets, go for a 6012 or 6013 welding rod. They don't penetrate as deep as the 6011.
  • For fillet welds with broad joints, use a 7024 welding rod. You can make a single pass through your material without cracking since it flows well and cools slowly. 
  • For beautiful welds, you should opt for 7018 rods. They're known for creating the smoothest beads with little spatter. 


All in all, 6011 welding rods are a great all-around electrode. No matter what welding machine or metal you have, you can assure this stick electrode can get the job done. With the right amperage and technique, you can use this versatile rod for numerous repairs and fabrication. 

If you're looking for other alternatives and reviews, check out our other buying guides at Welding Buddy. Happy welding!

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