Stick Welding Polarity for E6013,E6010, E7018,E7024

Stick Welding

Stick welding or also called shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) or Manual Metal arc welding (MMAW) uses a coated electrode using a Welding Transformer (AC type) or Constant Current (CC) type (DC Type) welder or welding machine. The welding machine or the welders have two output terminals in both AC or DC type machines. One end of the terminal is attached to the workpiece and the other is attached to the welding electrode holder as shown in the below diagram.

smaw welding equipment setup

Is stick welding DCEP (electrode positive) or DCEN (electrode negative) or AC Polarity?

In stick welding or SMAW welding, to find if stick welding is electrode positive (DCEP) or electrode negative (DCEN) or AC polarity- we need to check -How we connect the workpiece or the electrode on the machine, and it decides the type of polarity in the stick welding. If we connect the electrode to the positive terminal, we say it direct current electrode positive (DCEP) polarity (also called reverse polarity) and similarly, if we connect the electrode to the negative terminal, we say it is direct current electrode negative (DCEN) or also called straight polarity. When welding with a transformer-type welder, there is no straight or reverse or DCEP or DCEN polarity which means there is no polarity in AC stick welding as current flows in both directions in alternating current.

How do you reverse polarity on a stick welder?

The polarity when welding with stick welding or SMAW or MMAW can be reversed by changing the terminals on the welder’s (Welding machine) front side. if we want, Reverse (DCEP) polarity, connect the positive terminal on the machine to the welding electrode, and if want Straight or DCEN Polarity connects the welding holder with the negative terminal on the machine as per the arrangement shown in the below diagram for both types of the polarity.

welding polarity types

What polarity should I use for stick welding?

The selection of the welding polarity depends upon the type of welding electrode- and the type of electrode coating decides the polarity for the electrode in stick welding. Most stick welding or SMAW or MMAW welding electrodes run smoothly with DCEP or direct current polarity (Also called reverse polarity) but this is not universal. Some electrodes can run on both AC, DCEP, and DCEN while some are good only with DCEP or DCEN.

The welding electrode polarity chart for stick welding electrodes E6010, E6012, E6013, E7014, E7015, E7018, E7024 is shown in the below picture.

Stick Welding Polarity for E6010

E6010 or E4310 or E383C21 stick welding electrodes are used with DCEP (electrode positive) or Reverse polarity only & designed only for DCEP. Welding with AC or DCEN will result in an unstable arc and poor welding finish for the weld beads. So, choosing the right polarity for the E6010 type electrode is very important.


Stick Welding Polarity for E6011

E6011 or E4311 as per CSA Standard electrode can be used with AC (Alternating current) or DCEP (Direct current electrode positive) polarity. Potassium present in the coating makes it easy to use with DCEP polarity. E6011 does not have any sodium so it can not be used with DCEN (Direct current electrode negative) polarity but can be used only with Reverse or alternating (AC) current with stick welding or SMAW or MMAW welding.

Stick Welding Polarity for E6013

E6012 & E6013 or E4313 or E380RC11 are used with Direct current electrode positive (DCEP) but only the E6013 is suitable for running under alternative current (AC) & DCEN. Working with a constant current is recommended to counterbalance the unsteadiness of the welder’s hand.

E6013 stick electrode

Stick Welding Polarity for E7018

E7018 or CSA E4918 or E42 5 B4 2 H5 electrodes are can be used with AC and DCEP polarity. The potassium-based coating allows good arc characteristics using AC as well as DCEP current with E7018 electrodes. E7019 electrodes are mostly used with reverse polarity in the companies as they offer good welding arc stability.

E7018 electrode

Stick Welding Polarity for E7024

E7024 or E4924 or E42 0 RR5 3 type electrodes are can be used with DCEP, DCEN & AC polarity  They offer a high deposition rate but mostly used in flat positions only due to their coating limitations. E7024 (Electrode classification) rod specification is AWS A 5.1.


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