Fixing metal structures in your car or around your house, as well as creating brand new ones, can be a piece of cake if you know to weld.
Through welding, you can create solid metal structures that can be strong enough to survive for decades or even centuries!
To make the best possible welds for the metal, you’re working with, you need to know what sort of rod is used for what types of metal.
In this article, we will list five different products to find the best welding rod for thin metal.
Read on to learn more!
Our Favorite Welding Rod
Best Welding Rod for Thin Metal- The List of Products
1) Forney – E6013 3/32-inch Welding Rods
Designed to be easy to use and especially in vertical welding, these Forney rods can be a great option for a welder working with different sorts of mild steel.
These rods are made to penetrate at a shallow point, so to speak, so they are great for thin metals and smaller metal structures.
Here are some of the most important features of these rods:
- Works for all welding positions – When it comes to the types of positions you can use these rods on, you can rest assured that you can use them in all sorts of positions with ease.
Whether vertical, horizontal, overhead, or some other welding position, the smooth shape and the even melting of these rods will make the job a piece of cake.
- Excellent wetting properties – As the metal in these rods melts to make a weld; you can count on its great wetting properties.
As long as the surface underneath is smooth and uniform enough, the liquid metal will spread evenly across the surface you’re welding across – making a smooth weld.
- Slag self-cleaning – Thanks to the cleanliness of these rods, there won’t be much slag for you to remove after you’ve completed your weld.
This is especially true when you weld directly over a surface so that the welding rod is at a 90° angle.
- Works well in all welding positions
- Easy to use
- Great wetting properties
- Best used for mild metal and thin metal constructions
- Optimal performance with downward vertical welding
- Some users complained that the rods are too long (this can be resolved easily by breaking them in half)
2) Simple Welding Rods – Aluminum Brazing/Welding Rods
If you need a simple bunch of welding rods made in the USA, this set of 10 can be just what you were looking for.
The way these rods are made makes them perfect for rookies and professional welders, so you can use these fairly easily even if you don’t have extensive formal training.
Here are the most important features of these metal rods:
- Low working temperature – One of the reasons these rods are so easy to work with is their low working temperature.
This makes it easy to weld aluminum and many other metals of the non-ferrous category.
- Works without flux – Although these rods won’t work on steel (other than galvanized steel), you can still use them for welding different pieces of all kinds of non-ferrous metal, including zinc, aluminum, bronze, copper, etc. titanium, and many others.
All you need to make a weld with these rods is a simple torch.
- Clean, smooth joints – Using these welding rods, you won’t have problems when it comes to dirty welds with a lot of slags you’d need to clean up after.
Thanks to the low working temperatures and the even melting of the metal in these rods, you can rest assured that the amount of slag you will have to deal with will be minimal.
- Low welding temperature
- Works on aluminum as well as on all sorts of non-ferrous metals (such as zinc, copper, bronze, titanium, and many others)
- It can be used paired up with a simple torch
- Easy to use and beginner-friendly
- These rods won’t work on steel and steel alloys (other than galvanized steel)
3) Alumaloy – Simple Welding Rods
As out entry number three, we’ve got another set of rods that you can use to repair and create aluminum structures.
As with the previous rods, you don’t need any flux to weld with these rods, as all you need is a simple torch to melt the metal!
Here are the prominent features of these welding rods:
- Perfect for repairs – … as long as the structure or object in question is made out of aluminum, galvanized steel, or pot metal. (Regular steel cannot be welded with these rods, for the record.)
Thanks to the low melting point of these rods and their length, you will easily be able to repair all sorts of structures with just a simple propane torch.
- Works great for thin metals – Welding thin pieces of metal can be dangerous if you’re using regular welding rods because of their high working temperatures.
Due to this heat, the thin sheets of metal can get distorted or otherwise damaged, which means more harm than good when it comes to welding.
Thanks to the low working temperature of these welding rods of 728 degrees Fahrenheit, you can avoid these damages and easily repair what you need without worrying about distortions.
- Beginner-friendly – In case you have many aluminum objects you want to fix, this set of rods can be the perfect choice of tool.
All you need to do to start welding with these rods is first to clean the surface you plan to weld on, then heat the surface (make sure NOT to heat the actual rods), and then apply rods to the spot to melt and join two metals together easily.
Structures and objects repaired in such a way can last for many decades and even over a century!
- Works on aluminum, pot metal, and galvanized steel (not on regular steel, though)
- Low working temperature
- No flux is required; you can weld with just a propane torch
- Strong welds that last a lifetime
- Perfect set of rods for a beginner
- Only works on non-ferrous metals
4) Weldcote Metals – Tig Welding Rods
In this best welding rod for thin metal review, we’re looking at a product that can be a great option for a person looking for reliable cast iron welding rod models.
While the two-rod sets we discussed above are perfect for non-ferrous metals, these rods are specifically built to tackle welding tasks involving steel and steel alloys.
Here are some of the features of these rods in more detail:
- Works on deoxidized steel types – … including killed steel as well as semi-killed steel.
Thanks to the added deoxidants that come with these rods, you can rest assured that you will have no trouble welding different types of steel that have been deoxidized.
- Great for rusty steel structures – If you’re dealing with a lot of steel structures that have rusted to an extent, using these rods can be a great solution.
Of course, the quality of the weld will greatly depend on the amount of rust present on the joint and how much of the metal is still ‘healthy’ underneath the rust.
The more metal there is for the weld to adhere to, the better the overall quality of the weld will be.
- Best for single-pass welding – … although you can use these rods for multi-pass welding, too.
Again, it all depends on the situation at hand and the thickness and amount of rust on the metal you’re working with.
- Best for semi-killed, killed, or rimmed metal structures
- Added deoxidants
- Works on dirty and rusty surfaces (the quality of the weld may vary, though)
- TIG welding rod
- Optimal for single-pass welding, but can work on multi-pass welding tasks, as well.
- Only applicable to deoxidized metals
5) US Forge – Flux Coated Welding Rods
If you need a bunch of welding rods for general welding purposes, this package could be the best welding rod for a thin metal set made in the USA.
We say this because you can use these rods to weld ferrous and non-ferrous metals, with no flux required.
This makes this set great for both simple and complex welding tasks, as it’s beginner-friendly enough to be used by both pros and rookies.
Here are some of its features in more detail.
- General-purpose product – As the manufacturers of this set claim, you can use these rods to repair and build structures from ferrous and non-ferrous material.
So, you can count on steel, aluminum, titanium, as well as many other metals.
This property makes these rods a good option for beginners or people who want to fix a couple of things around the house.
- Great for house repairs – If you’re having troubles with your lawnmower, water tank, or some other metal structures made out of sheet metal, this set of rods would probably be the best welding rod for thin metal you can get.
Thanks to the fact that you can use these to work with both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, you will probably not be able to find a metal object in your house you couldn’t fix with this set.
- No flux required – If you prefer welding without flux or don’t know yet how to do it, these rods can be a great solution.
Since you can use these with a simple oxy-acetylene torch, you can get excellent results even if you don’t have much experience.
- Great for home repairs
- One of the best welding rods for thin metal sets that can tackle both ferrous and non-ferrous metals
- Requires no flux
- Excellent for beginners
- It only works with an oxy-acetylene torch
Best Welding Rod for Thin Metal Buyer’s Guide
Ease of Use
While welding rods aren’t the most complex tools (or tool accessories) out there, some sets are easier to use than others.
The most important thing about this is whether or not they require flux.
Rods that don’t require flux can be used with a simple torch by heating the metal that needs to be welded and then applying the rod onto it when it heats up.
With the models requiring flux to work, the process is a bit more complex, so if you’re a beginner welder, you may opt for non-flux welding rods first.
… and by durability, we mean the durability of the weld itself.
Typically, if a weld is well-executed, it can last for a very long time.
What’s more, the welded part can be stronger than the surrounding metal structure, which is quite important – especially if you’re designing or repairing a vehicle, for example.
For example, 6013 welding rods are used for all-position welding of thinner metals, while 7018 are used for harder metals, requiring high-quality welding polish.
As we said above, some welding rods can only be used with flux welding.
The purpose of flux is to burn out during the welding process so that the welded area doesn’t contain any gas bubbles and other impurities.
Some welding rods work without flux, and typically they can be completed with a simple torch as the heating element.
The strength of the electrical current used for rods has a lot to do with their working temperature.
For example, 6013 welding rod amperage is in the range of 20 to 350 Amps, depending on the thickness of the rod.
7018 welding rod amperage, on the other hand, has the range of 65 to 400 for the thickest rods of ¼”.
Materials it can be used with
Various rods are made to be used with different materials.
Mostly, rods are split into ones that can be used with non-ferrous materials (zinc, aluminum, titanium, and so on) and those that are used with ferrous materials (steel and its alloys).
For example, machinable cast-iron rods are used for welding cast iron, and they are usually made either entirely out of a nickel or out of some nickel alloy.
There is also a third subcategory where rods that can be used with ferrous and non-ferrous materials belong.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) How thin can you stick weld?
This depends on the quality of the metal and the welder’s experience.
Typically, you can stick weld down to a material thickness of 3/32″, but if you have experience welding thin metals, you can go down to 1/16″ or less.
2) How do you stick weld very thin metal?
For best results, you need to be using a DC inverter because it gives you a stable arc.
Also, when it comes to the rods you might want to use, E6013 might be the best solution because of its low melting temperature.
Other than that, successfully welding thin metal is a matter of practice and experience, so you’ll get better at it the more you do it.
3) What is a 7018 welding rod used for?
7018 welding rods are typically used for welding carbon steel.
This doesn’t mean that these rods are specifically designed for specific purposes, as they can be used for general welding tasks.
4) Can aluminum be stick welded?
Yes, it can.
That said, the process itself can be a tad difficult for inexperienced welders.
Also, you may need to use some specialized equipment for the best results. (For example, AC TIG or DC TIG offer the best results in this regard.)
5) Can you stick weld 16-gauge steel?
Yes, you can.
It’s probably going to be a bit tricky, though.
Depending on the material, you’ll need to find rods that melt at different temperatures, but for starters, you’ll be better off trying with a low melting temperature rod.
All in all, whether you’re a beginner welder or an experienced one with a certificate and many years of welding work under your belt, welding thin metal can be challenging.
To do it successfully, you want to arm yourself with high-quality equipment, and among the rod sets we talked about above, you can find the best welding rod for thin metal, whether it’s ferrous or non-ferrous.
We hope you found this article helpful and that you picked your personal best welding rod for thin metal!