For years I only used 7014 in the horizontal position. It's a drag rod, no need
to weave the arc. I think it's the easiest to use. However, now that I routinely
use 7018, today it seems just as easy. Lot of guys swear by 6013, though. - GWE
You'll find that most will recommend 6013 and 7014 to begin with.
Personally I found the heavy flux coat difficult for me when I started
welding. I prefer 6011 and 7018 myself. Both have low enough flux that
you can easily see the puddle and know what it's doing.
And for those that will state "but you have to have a rod oven for
7018" my answer is this. Yes a rod oven is needed if you need the full
low hydrogen capability of the rod. However if a mild steel electrode
will do the job then none ovened 7018 will do it as well and probably
I would not recommend 7018. The flux does a great job of shielding the
arc because the rod burns back inside the flux. So when you stop and
then restart the arc, you have to break off the flux at the end of the
rod in order to strike the metal of the rod. Not a big deal if you
mostly start an arc and use up the whole rod. PITA if you are making a
bunch of short welds or having difficulty in learning to strike an arc.
Get some 6013 for new work, 6011 for repair work or dirty steel. 3/32"
rod for 1/8" stock and smaller, 1/8" rod for most project work. 5/32"
for heavy work (1/4" plate and up) I'd get 10# of 6013 and master that
on some scrap plate, then work you way through the others.
Definitely if you want to just weld choose E 6013.
If you were taking formalised instruction I would start you on E 6011 or
Cellulose rods are the doorway to enlightenment :')
I wanted to buy some electrodes today to do some easy steel
welding. Any suggestions for elecrodes that are easiest to work with?