How to choose stick electrode diameter?

Welding is an important task when building most things made of steel and aluminum. The durability of the entire structure and the success of the project often depend on the quality of the weld. Therefore, apart from the appropriate quality equipment, you also need to know how the individual elements should be connected. One of the variables in the entire process is the welding method. For the purposes of this post, we will focus only on arc welding with a coated electrodes.

What is manual arc welding?

The whole process is very simple. It is one of the most popular welding methods. It consists in melting the cover together with the consumable electrode with the welded material by means of an electric arc. Most of the activities are done manually and the quality of the work depends on the skill of the welder. However, there are factors to consider if you want to work professionally. You should check, among others:

  • direct and alternating current source, i.e. a popular welding machine
  • cable with electrode holder
  • ground cable with an electrode clamp
  • type of helmet and other accessories

Apart from the welding technique itself, the selection of the electrode diameter for the welded element is very important. Without it, making a good weld is impossible. What do you need to pay attention to to enjoy the end result?

Choosing the electrode diameter for the workpiece - you need to know it!

The selection of the electrode diameter for the welded element in the MMA method depends on the thickness of the weld or material being welded. The position in which you weld is also important. Generally, it can be assumed that the diameters range from about 1.6mm to even 6.0 mm. It is important that the diameter of the electrode does not exceed the thickness of the material you intend to weld. It has to be smaller. In the literature on welding you will find information that the diameter of the electrode must be as large as possible. This move is the most economical. Therefore, material with a thickness of 1.5 mm to 2.5 mm is best welded with an electrode with a cross section of 1.6 mm. What about in other cases?

Examples of material thicknesses and appropriate electrode diameter

For a better overview of the selection of the electrode diameter for the workpiece, below you will find a short list of the most popular material thicknesses and the optimal electrode diameter.

Material thickness - Electrode diameter
1.5mm to 2.5mm - 1.6mm
3.0mm to 5.5mm - 2.5mm
4.0mm to 6.5mm - 3.2mm
6.0mm to 9.0mm - 4.0mm
7.5mm to 10mm - 5.0mm
9.0mm to 12mm - 6.0mm

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