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How Many Amps for Stick Welding

Friday, 12th March 2021
Graham (Tech Advisor)
The Welders Warehouse Online Shop

How Many Amps for Stick Welding, like a lot of things in Welding, is not a precise science because it depends on a number of variables:

  • Type of Metal
  • Metal Thickness
  • Type of Joint
  • Joint Preparation
  • Welding Rods Diameter
  • To some extent, the size of the object being welded
  • To some extent, the ambient temperature and the temperature of the metal to be welded

So for example, a Butt Weld in 10mm Steel, with a ‘V’ Prep where a Root run is applied, followed by a Fill and Cap run, will need less Amps than say 5mm thick steel with only a small gap for prep.

Joint Type also has a bearing. A Fillet Joint will need around 10% more Amps than a Butt Joint, while an Outside Corner Joint will need less power than a Butt Joint.

Often the answer comes from testing your best guess at power.

The above variables and comments explain why there is quite a range in the following Amp guides.

6013 Welding Rods for Mild Steel

  • 2.0mm = 40-60amps
  • 2.5mm = 60-90amps
  • 3.2mm = 90-130amps
  • 4.0mm = 130-170amps
  • 5.0mm = 170-220amps

View our 6013 Welding Rods

7018 Welding Rods for Mild Steel

  • 2.0mm = 50-70amps
  • 2.5mm = 70-100amps
  • 3.2mm = 100-140amps
  • 4.0mm = 140-190amps
  • 5.0mm = 190-240amps

304/316 Stainless Steel Welding Rods

  • 2.0mm = 30-50amps
  • 2.5mm = 40-70amps
  • 3.2mm = 60-90amps
  • 4.0mm = 90-120amps
  • 5.0mm = 120-170amps

View our Stainless Steel & Cast Iron Rods

Ferro Nickel Rods for Cast Iron

  • 2.5mm = 70-100amps
  • 3.2mm = 100-130amps
  • 4.0mm = 130-150amps
  • 5.0mm = 150-170amps

View our Stainless Steel & Cast Iron Rods

Visit our Wires, Rods, Gas Page to view our Range

How Many Amps for Stick Welding – Conclusion

How Many Amps for Stick Welding is, unfortunately, not quite as simple as we might like. There are simply too many variables.

So the easiest way forward is to use the guides above to get you to the right ball park amps, then do a test weld on some scrap metal that’s the same as the job.

I hope you found this blog article about How Many Amps for Stick Welding useful.

Please let me know what you thought by leaving a comment.  

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  1. Adrian says:

    Best information thus far
    I am new at this.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Adrian
      Thanks for the comment. Glad you found the blog easy to read and the info helpful. Means I’ve done my job 🙂
      Cheers Graham

  2. Jerry says:

    Brilliant article.

    Interestingly the most experienced sentence came from one of your comments- “ I usually try on a piece of scrap metal the same thickness and joint type etc and inspect and/or test the resulting weld.”

    Add that to the guide in the article and I think I have the winning recipe for all weld situations.

    Thanks Graham.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Jerry
      Thanks for the comments, glad you found the article helpful.
      Cheers Graham

  3. John says:

    Someone suggested a good starting point is the decimal equivalent of the welding rod diameter without the decimal point, for example 1/8 rod the decimal equivalent is.125, if you take the decimal point away you get 125, which would be the starting point for that 1/8 inch rod. What do you think?

    1. Graham says:

      Hi John
      I regret I can’t really comment on that formula as Rods in the UK are in Metric Measure, so your 1/8″ is 3.25mm in the UK. Having said that, 125amps is pretty high for a 1/8″ – 3.2mm rod. These, generally, are used between at 90 & 130 amps. I would suggest it’s normally better to underestimate amps, or risk blowing a big hole that then has to be filled.
      But each to their own 😀
      Cheers Graham

  4. Ivan says:

    Thanks. I would like to know how the thickness of the metal influences the amperage.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Ivan
      It’s impossible to give a definitive answer. Thicker metal will require more power, but how much will depend on joint configuration and joint preparation. Bottom line is it’s a bit of a suck it and see process. I usually try on a piece of scrap metal the same thickness and joint type etc and inspect and/or test the resulting weld. It’s usually pretty obvious if you have too much or too little power.
      I hope that helps, if only a bit 🙂
      Cheers Graham

  5. Nick says:

    Was always curious but thanks for that makes sense . Great explanation

    1. Graham says:

      You’re welcome Nick, glad you found the article helpful.
      Regards Graham

  6. Robert McCombie says:

    This is a great article. Was very informative



    1. Graham says:

      Hi Camarade
      Thank You for your comment, glad you found the article useful.
      Regards Graham

  8. michael hirtz says:

    thanks for a great article.i do artistic steel pieces.i am going to put the rods for steel on the side of the welder.one thing not mentioned is the duty cycle of the cheap machines.i dont have that problem 1 have a 100 % cycle machine.thanks again for a most informative article.

    1. Graham says:

      Hi Michael
      Thank you for your comment, great to hear you found the “How Many Amps for Stick Welding” article useful.
      Cheers Graham

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