6011 Vs 6013 Welding Rods: Similarities and Differences for Precise Use

6011 vs 6013 Welding Rods

Arc welding requires electrodes/welding rods to work.

It’s responsible for electricity passage to the base metal and eventual fusion. The electric arc created by the process reaches 5,000°C (9032 F).

These rods are of different types and serve different purposes. A proper electrode should be chosen, in order to make sure the result satisfies.

It’s recommended to use mild steel electrodes approved by AWS (American Welding Society), but there are thousands of them, so you have to choose the right type. 

6011 and 6013 rods are similar, but the precision will only be achieved if you use them in proper applications. Here, we will discuss all the similarities and differences between the two and see if any of them are a better option.

The Main Similarities and Differences Between 6011 and 6013 Welding Rods

As you may see by the numbers on the electrodes, they are quite similar. Here’s what 6011 and 6013 welding rods have in common:

  • They have the same amount of polarity (both AC and DC);
  • Their tensile strength minimum is also the same (60,000 psi, pound per square inch).

When in doubt, you can see these common features in the numbers of the rods. The “60” means the electrode tensile strength, while the following “1” describes the amount of polarity.

Of course, there are also differences between the rods:

  • They offer penetration capabilities of different depths (6011 offers deeper access);
  • They are used in different applications (the two rods aren’t interchangeable most of the time).

Which one is better? It depends on the application you need an electrode for and the features you consider the first priority. Both electrodes perform very well for their respective applications, if you’re using the ones approved by AWS.

Things 6011 and 6013 Have in Common

As mentioned above, there are two things these rods have in common. Let’s find out more details about them.

Amount of Polarity

Both electrodes use Alternating and Direct Currents, passing them onto the base metal for a successful welding job.

The difference between these currents is that the direct one makes electricity go in a stable flow in one direction. The alternating one changes the direction of that flow. Both are suitable for welding and the choice depends mostly on the specialist. 

DC is more convenient when used for welding as it provides higher temperature and steadier results. AC is used when less heat is required on the base metal.

It’s worth mentioning that most modern welding appliances are made for AC.

Even without knowing the facts, you can see the amount of polarity on the 6011 and 6013 rods by looking at the third number of their “names”. The number 1 means both AC and DC are suitable for the use of the electrodes.

Tensile Strength

This feature describes the resistance of the material to tension. The minimum tension of both 6011 and 6013 is 60,000 pounds per square inch (psi) (4220 kg per 1 square cm).

Determining this measurement is also easy. Just look at the two first numbers. In these two electrodes, they are the same, meaning the tensile strength is also the same.

At this point, the similarities between the two welding rods end.

While they have some of the most important features in common, a lot of times you can’t use them interchangeably. 6011 is closer to 6010 in use, but the comparison of 6011 and 6013 is very common as well.

The Differences Between 6011 and 6013 Welding Rods

There are also two differences between the 6011 and 6013 welding rods that make them not interchangeable. 

Penetration Capabilities

The penetration capability of a welding rod implies how deep it can get into the base metal to perform welding. The deeper it gets, the more strong fusion it can attain.

6011 has more penetrative capabilities compared to the 6013 type. It’s more suitable for welding thicker metal sheets and parts, and overall heavier-duty jobs. The type can get past corrosion very well, as well as other dirt and debris.

6013 is mostly used in light or medium welding where smaller details and thinner metal bases are used. This type is the most suitable for beginner welders due to the softness of the arc it produces.

There’s also little spatter, so the chances of injury are very low.

Use and Application

6011 vs 6013 Welding Rod-

6011 electrodes are used when welding corroded, dirty metal. They get past grease, paint, and other materials. The type is very suitable for pipefitters, pipeliners, and boilermakers, where tougher capabilities are needed.

6013 electrodes are used for galvanized, mild steel, and other low alloy types. They create smoother electric arcs, allowing for precise medium and short welding. The most common applications are vehicle construction and repair, marine repair, sheet metal welding, and others.


There’s no winner in this comparison due to the differences between 6011 and 6013. Their applications are different, and both are perfect for their niche.

6011 is more suitable for heavy-duty use when you need to penetrate a thick, corroded metal part. 6013 is softer and more suitable for small, precise jobs like repairing a car.

If you’re not sure which electrode to use, refer to a thing called flux. It’s a wire coating on each electrode that describes its most proper use.

The right choice of a welding rod determines whether the job will be successful. Even a professional welder can mess up if they use the wrong one.

6011 VS 6013 Welding Rods(3)

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