Your Guide to Using 6013 Welding Rod: Features, Uses, and FAQs

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Welding Buddy Experts

August 2, 2022
A man welding car parts using a 6013 welding rod

Beginner welders would assume that all welding electrodes are for heavy-duty fabrications. Surprisingly, some welding rods, like the 6013, are meant for beginners. 

But what can a 6013 welding rod do for your fabrication? 

Quite a lot! In this post, we'll look into the 6013 rod for welding and what sorts of projects it is best suited for. So, whether you're a welding hobbyist or a construction worker looking to learn more about this popular welding rod, read on!


The American Welding Society classifies different welding rods based on their durability, versatility, and composition. They used alphanumeric codes to differentiate these electrodes. As for the 6013 electrodes, here are their key features.

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is a property to consider when assessing the suitability of your welding rod. You can tell an electrode's tensile strength by how much force you need to break it. The higher the tensile strength, the harder and more resistant it is to damage or breakage.

By looking at the first two digits of the 6013 electrodes, you'll know it has 60,000 psi of maximum tensile strength, which has similar maximum tensile strength as the 6010, 6011, 6012, and 7018 electrodes.

Welding Position

To determine the position that your welding electrode can do, look at the third digit. As for the 6013 stick welding rod, welding hobbyists can use this in any position, making it ideal for welding in hard-to-reach places. 

Plus, you can do overhead or vertical welding without cracking issues or difficulty in weld puddle control.

Coating and Current Type

The fourth digit tells you the type of flux coating and power supply of welding electrodes. 6013 welding rods have high titania potassium. Plus, you use this welding rod with your welding equipment with a direct or alternating current.


Many welders choose the E6013 rod because it is relatively easy to use. Thus, many call it the easy rod or the beginner's rod. But one downside is that it only penetrates the metal surface to a shallow depth.

This shallow penetration can be a problem if you are trying to weld two pieces of metal together with different thicknesses. The 6013 welding rod may not penetrate deep enough to create a strong bond. 

In these cases, it is necessary to use a different welding rod that can penetrate to a greater depth. Otherwise, the weld metal will not be as strong and could fail.

Nevertheless, you can weld using the 6013 welding rod on various thin sheet metals like mild steel. It's suitable for light to medium penetration for different welding projects.


Weld using a 6013 rod with minimal spatter

The 6013 welding electrode provides excellent arc stability, low spatter, and excellent slag removal. You can weld at a fast or a slow rate and still create smooth root pass welds with minimal spatter. It is suitable for all welding positions, including vertical and overhead.

6013 stick welding rods are commonly used in general fabrication because they offer a variety of benefits. They are often used in manufacturing truck frame bodies and metal furniture because they provide excellent welding properties, including high deposition rates and light spatter levels.

They are also often used in storage tanks and farm implementations because they offer good penetration and can be used on thin material. Additionally, 6013 electrodes are often used where aesthetics are of grave importance because they produce quality welds with a clean look.

How to Make Perfect Welds With the 6013 Stick Welding Rod

Vertical, overhead, or horizontal welding positions aren't an issue with this electrode. Neither is the current type you use. It's pretty easy to create smooth and flat beads that other common electrodes have difficulty making.

Unfortunately, it is still possible to make undercuts and slags that are hard to remove. Here are a few tips to get the best welds with your 6013 electrodes.

Set the Right Amperage

The amperage (or current) determines the heat applied to the parent weld. For the 6013 rods, it's good to start at around 40-80 amps. Then, adjust according to the thickness of the material being welded.

If your amperage is too low, you might notice a few things. First, your electrode will be especially sticky when striking an arc. The low amperage means your welding rod is not generating enough heat to vaporize the metal of the electrode, so it just sticks to the workpiece.

Second, your arc will keep going out. The arc isn't hot enough to melt through the metal being welded, so it just keeps cooling off and going out. Finally, the slag pockets on your weld mean the arc isn't hot enough to sustain itself, so it keeps flickering on and off, creating these tiny imperfections.

Keep a Good Work Angle

The electrode should be held at a 20-degree angle from the welded material. Doing so will create a strong arc and push the slag to the back of the weld puddle where it can't get ahead of your weld and cause weld defects. Plus, the angle allows the maximum amount of heat to be transferred to the material, resulting in a stronger weld.

If the electrode is held at a shallow angle, the heat will not be evenly distributed, and the weld will be weaker. Moreover, too steep of an angle will cause the electrode to stick to the material, making it difficult to create a smooth weld.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Is There Another Classification of 6013 Welding Electrode?

When welding, there are three main types of electrodes that can be used: fast-freeze, fast-fill, and fill-freeze. Each type has features to be considered before selecting an electrode.

  • Fast-freeze electrodes solidify quickly, making them ideal for vertical or pipe welding positions.
  • Fast-fill electrodes allow metals to melt quickly, so you can hasten your welding speed without creating weld problems.
  • Fill-freeze electrodes are a combination of the fast-freeze and fast-fill electrodes. You can drag your arc quickly and it will freeze fairly quickly as well. But it's not as effective as the first two.

The 6013 electrode is considered a fast-fill electrode. Thus, you can increase your welding speed. You can also create quality penetration with easy-to-remove slag.

#2. Are There Drawbacks of Using the 6013 Welding Electrode?

The 6013 is quite easy to use and clean up. But it does have its quirks. First, it has low penetration, so it's only suitable for thin metal sheets. It will also create weak welds if you weld on painted or rusty metal surfaces.

#3. How Do You Store Your 6013 Welding Electrodes?

When it comes to welding rods, proper storage is essential to maintaining their quality and preventing them from becoming damaged. 6013 electrodes should always be stored in an environment with humidity below 50%. Furthermore, these classes of electrodes should be stored in an oven between 100 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

#4. What Is the Best 6013 Welding Rod Brand?

The best brand of 6013 welding rod would be the economical Forney 303305 E6013 because of its excellent wetting action and steady arc. Their welding rods are available in 5/64", 3/32", 1/8", and 5/32" diameter.

#5. What Is the Difference Between the 6011 and the 6013 Welding Rod?

The 6011 and 6013 welding rods are both commonly used for general-purpose welding, but there are some key differences between them.

The 6011 welding rod is a high cellulose sodium rod that works well on dirty or rusty metals . It also has deep penetration to work with thick sections of metal. Meanwhile, the 6013 welding rod is a low penetrating rod best suited for welding clean sheet metal. It produces a smoother bead than the 6011 welding rods and is less likely to cause porosity.

#6. How About the 6013 vs. the 7018 Welding Electrodes?

The 6013 electrodes are generally considered easier to use than 7018 electrodes. They produce less smoke and spatter, and they're more tolerant of imperfections in the base metal. 

However, 7018 electrodes produce a stronger weld than 6013 electrodes due to their tensile strength. Given that the 7018 is a low hydrogen electrode, your welds will not be prone to hydrogen cracking.

#7. What Are Alternatives to the 6013 Welding Rod?

6013 is a beginner-friendly rod due to its light penetration and minimal slag. But if you need an electrode that creates deeper weld joints, consider the 6011 rods since both have the same tensile strength, current types, and welding position.


So there you have it–a few key features of the 6013 welding rod and some ideas on how to use it. If you're looking for an electrode that can make beautiful, clean welds, the 6013 is a great option. 

For more information on welding rods and other welding electrodes, check out our other guides here at Welding Buddy. Happy welding!

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