What Is a 6013 Welding Rod Used For?

Written By: Liam Bryant

Reviewed By: Russell Egan

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A 6013 welding rod is mostly used for fusing sheet metal and other thin metals. It has a relatively low tensile strength and shallow penetration, making it best suited for working on thinner materials.

The 6013 welding rods are often recommended for beginners. Yet, these rods are also adequate for a wide range of applications. 

Forney E6013 Welding Rod
  • Versatile, General Fabrication
  • Shallow to Medium Penetration
  • High titania potassium coating

What Is a 6013 Welding Rod Used For?

Welding thin sheet metal is the most common use for a 6013 welding rod. You can also use these rods for general-purpose fabrication. It can handle automotive repairs, ship repairs, and other applications that involve thin materials.

You may also see these rods listed as “E6013” rods. The “E” shows that the rod is used for arc welding.

The 6013 electrode is a versatile, general-purpose welding rod. The third number in the classification, “6013,” refers to the positions of the electrode. A “1” indicates that the 6013 rod works in all four basic welding positions:

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
  • Flat
  • Overhead

You can use the 6013 rods in all four basic welding positions, increasing the versatility of the rod. No matter the position, the 6013 rods should provide a tight, easy-to-control arc.

The last digit in the “6013” classification specifies the type of coating and the current. An electrode with a “3” has a high titanium potassium rod that can be used with DC or AC currents with straight or reverse polarity. 

6013 welding rod

Types of Welding Suited for a 6013 Welding Rod

The versatility of a 6013 welding rod makes it suited for many different tasks where you need light to medium penetration. I often use a 6013 electrode when working with sheet metals.

Compared to other options, the 6013 rod makes removing slag easy after creating a weld. Slag is the residue that appears when welding. Leaving the slag in place results in a rougher finish. 

The 6013 rods are also suited for tasks where you need to complete multiple passes. For example, when working with a gap between materials, you can add multiple layers to create a stronger weld. 

As you can use the rod in almost any position, it’s also a good choice for vehicle repairs. 

Yet, if you’re working with thick metal, you may need a larger electrode. Using the wrong electrode is one of the most common reasons for a rod to stick when stick welding


The 6013 welding rod works with alternating (AC) and direct (DC) currents. 

When you use a welding rod, it creates an electrical circuit. The polarity of the circuit refers to the direction that the current flows—either negative or positive.

With the 6013 electrodes, you have three options when it comes to the polarity:

  • Direct current straight polarity
  • Direct current reverse polarity
  • Alternating current 

Positive polarity, which is also called reversed polarity, is often used for deeper penetration. Negative polarity, or straight polarity, creates a faster deposition rate, allowing you to work faster and shallower.

Alternating current polarity welding alternates between reverse and straight polarity. AC welding can provide higher temperatures and is suited for use on magnetized parts. 

Tensile Strength 

The tensile strength of a 6013 welding rod is indicated in its name. The first two numbers reference the tensile strength of a welding rod. The “60” in “6013” lets us know that the rod has a maximum tensile strength of 60,000 PSI.

The tensile strength is the maximum force that you can apply before the weld breaks. It is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). 

A higher tensile strength results in stronger welds. The tensile strength of a welding rod may range from 60,000 to 110,000 PSI. 

For comparison, high-strength reinforcing bars (HSRB), or rebars, have average yield strength of 60,000 PSI.

A 6013 welding rod is at the low end of the spectrum when it comes to tensile strength. 

Yet, it’s strong enough for almost any task that I need to complete around my workshop. It’s more than adequate for fence repairs and various quick fixes to thin metal materials. 


Penetration refers to the depth of fusion of a welding rod. Deeper penetration is needed to fuse the materials when working with thick metal properly. 

The 6013 electrode provides light to medium penetration. The penetration isn’t as deep compared to most other options, such as a 6010 or 6011 electrode. 

I mostly use the 6013 welding rod on thin metal sheets and materials measuring up to about 5mm (3/16 inch). Thicker steel may also require an electrode with higher amperage.

The amperage of a 6013 welding rod may range from 40 to 60 amps to 170 to 220 amps. A low amperage rod with 40 to 60 amps works best on thinner materials measuring just a couple of millimeters thick.

Final Thoughts

The 6013 welding rod is a light-duty rod. However, it’s also a great introductory rod, as it’s not as powerful as some of your other options. 

The 6013 electrode has a lower maximum tensile strength and less penetration compared to most welding rods. It’s also more forgiving, allowing you to work on your welding technique.

In the end, I’d recommend the 6013 welding rod for anyone new to welding. It’s a great rod for working with sheet metal and other thin metal materials.