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How to Select Amperage for a Welding Rod

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In welding, the welding rod, which is sometimes known as a welding electrode, is a metal wire with a chemical coating called flux. The welding rod sustains the welding arc and also provides the filler metal needed for the joint to be permanently bonded together. Since welding rods are powered by electric currents through the welding machine, setting the right current or amperage is critical to the process to ensure a successful weld and a strong metal joint.

Identify the type of welding technique that requires the use of electric currents to start the arc using a welding rod — for example, electric arc welding.

Determine the kind of material you will be welding in order to choose the appropriate welding rod since they must be of the same material make.

Choose the type of welding rod based on the material to be welded, taking into consideration the diameter, electrical conductivity and possibly the tensile strength that is stamped on the electrode. For instance, a welding rod maybe identified as “1/8 E6011” to signify that it is 1/8 in diameter, “E” to show it’s an electrode, “60” to attest its tensile strength, and “1” to represent the position in which it should be used.

Observe the last two digits together “1/8 E60XX” to indicate the type of coating used on the welding rod and the welding current that can be used with it. Use Direct Current (DC) straight, (DC -) DC reverse (DC+) or Alternate Current (A.C) as stamped on the welding rod to choose your amperage.

Regulate the ”Current Selector” or a comparable option to select the amp range once you’ve identified all the necessary parameters for the weld. For instance, a welding rod with a diameter “1/16” uses an amp range between 20 and 40.


Always check the manufacturer’s information of the electrode you’ll be using for recommended amperage settings for various materials.

  • Always check the manufacturer's information of the electrode you'll be using for recommended amperage settings for various materials.

Tiffany Ameh has been writing articles since 2009. She attended California Baptist University in 2004 and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in holistic nutrition at El Camino College.

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