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5. Select Your Stick or TIG Electrode


If you plan to weld with a particular diameter electrode, you need to know its operating range (basically, smaller electrodes carry less current, larger electrodes carry more current). The following chart suggests operating ranges for common Stick, wire, TIG and carbon arc gouging electrodes. This helps you determine which electrode sizes you can use with a particular machine.


Amperage for Stick Electrodes
Stick diameter and type 3/32" 1/8" 5/32" 3/16" 1/4"
6010, 6011 40-85 75-125 110-165 140-210 210-315
6013 40-90 80-130 105-180 150-230 250-350
7018 60-100 110-165 150-220 200-275 320-400


Amperage and Voltage for Wire Electrodes — Part 1
Wire diameter and type .030" .035" .045" .052" 1/16"
Tubular (flux or metal cored) N/A N/A 15-36V
105-340A
15-36V
105-430A
15-40V
140-480A
Self-shielded flux cored N/A 14-20V
50-120A
13-20V
80-220A
N/A 14-22V
146-322A
Solid (MIG) 17-23V
50-200A
18-25V
50-225A
18-34V
85-355A
21-39V
150-500A
26-40V
250-610A


Amperage and Voltage for Wire Electrodes — Part 2
Wire diameter and type .072" 5/64" 3/32" 7/64" 1/8"
Tubular (flux or metal cored) 22-36V
200-495A
23-33V
250-510A
24-36V
355-615A
N/A 26-32V
375-640A
Self-shielded flux cored 16-25V
130-350A
16-35V
200-545A
16-35V
200-525A
22-33V
310-625A
28-38V
400-600A


Amperage for TIG Welding
Tungsten type & diameter 1/16" 3/32" 1/8" 3/16" 1/4"
2% type 50-140 125-200 150-325 300-340 -
Pure type 60-90 125-160 190-240 260-320 330-450


Amperage for Carbon Arc Gouging
Carbon diameter 3/16" 1/4" 5/16" 3/8" 1/2"
Amperage 250 300 500 600 750


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