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Different Types of Welding Rods

Welding is a multi-faceted career; there are a lot of things to remember and experiment with on the path to finding your favourite welding technique. You’ve probably tried out welding with different metals and shielding gases, but not everyone has the budget to try different types of welding rods. To help you learn more about what to expect from different welding rods, we’re writing the de facto guide explaining the differences between different rods and how they will affect your welds.

stick welding with manual rod

Different Types of Welding Rods

On our site, you will find a range of TIG welding rods available for purchase, but, if you’re just getting into welding, how do you know where to start? We sell aluminium welding rods, stainless steel rods, rods for mild steel, bronze and copper brazing rods; it’s a lot of terminology, and you need to know which rod best suits your purposes if you’re going to make the best welds you can.


How Does a Welding Rod Work?

The purpose of a welding rod is to add filler metal to the weld, which means that the welding rod you should be using needs to be made from the same material as your workpiece. If you stick weld (manual), then the rod is typically held by an electrode to insulate the welder from the electric current travelling down the metal. For an automatic welding machine (GMAW), the wire is fed through the machine in place of a static rod. It is possible to buy welding rods coated in flux, which vaporizes into a shielding gas during the weld, however, using shielding gases is typically preferred over flux-only welds, but flux has other benefits for your weld, so it is important to consider when purchasing your rods.


Steel Welding Rods

These are the most popular amongst welders because most workpieces are formed from steel. On the other hand, ‘steel’ is a broad category that could suggest various alloys; the effectiveness of your final weld can be greatly affected by whether you’ve matched your welding rod to your steel type. Of the steels, mild steel and stainless steel are the most common, but to create the perfect weld, you should also try to match the percentage of the alloys’ components.

The most common types of steel welding rods are mild steel welding rods and stainless steel welding rods.

Electrodes for electric welding held in the palm of your hand. Welding accessories for MMA methods.

Aluminium Welding Rods

These rods are multipurpose for aluminium welds, suitable for pure aluminium welds as well as welds of dissimilar aluminium alloys. Aluminium welding rods can work with almost any non-ferrous metal, though you might want to try to match the weld to the rod as closely as possible in many circumstances.


Bronze Welding Rods

These rods are used almost exclusively for joining copper to dissimilar metals, or the repair of bronze workpieces. Bronze welding rods are also used in brazing, which is when the filler metal – in this case, bronze – has a lower melting point than the adjoining metals so that it can close the gap between the workpieces.


Storing Your Welding Rods

There is a correct way to store your electrodes if you want to keep them in their best condition for future welding projects. Generally, you need to keep them away from humidity as this kind of environment could encourage rust.

If you need to recondition your welding rods – if you’re embarking on an expensive project and want to ensure the best success – then you might be looking to remove any excess moisture that could interfere with your weld. This precaution may involve heating your rods to above 500 degrees for over an hour (the temperature and duration changes depending on the material).

Always make sure that you can keep your welding rods in their optimal environment before embarking on a project which requires an expensive stock of welding rods that you will struggle to keep at their best value.

Electric welding tools assortment, including welding rods, mask and other equipment.

We provide high-quality products alongside news, tips and advice. You can learn more about brilliant customer service by getting in contact with us to find answers to any of your questions about our products. Remember that the type of welding rod that you need always depends on the workpiece and that storing some welding rods can be more difficult and time-consuming than others.