Airweld’s “Answer Man”, Victor Fuhrman, has 40 years of experience in the welding supply and compressed gas industry. An AWS CWI, Victor brings his expertise to our customers, providing solutions to make their jobs more efficient and productive while maintaining the highest quality.

Each month, Victor will select a question and answer it here. If he answers your question, you will receive an Airweld t-shirt! Send your question to:

This month’s question comes from Joseph G. of Patchogue, New York. He asks,

“Dear Answer Man: “What is the difference between E7014 and E7018?

Dear Joseph: While these two SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc or “stick”) electrodes have two properties in common, there is one property that makes a huge difference. They both start with “70” meaning a minimum tensile strength of 70,000 psi and they both have a “1” in the third position which means they can be used in all welding positions, flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead.

The fourth position here is the critical factor. This refers to the type of coating and welding polarity.

4 = Iron Powder Titania and AC or DC+ (Reverse Polarity)
8 = Low Hydrogen Potassium/Iron Powder and AC or DC+ (Reverse Polarity)

Where 7014 may be used for general purpose mild steel welding requiring 70,000 psi tensile strength, 7018 is used for structural steel and pipe applications requiring low hydrogen welds and meeting the AWS D1.1 Structural Steel Code. They were created to avoid hydrogen cracking on high strength steels and are moisture sensitive requiring storage in a rod oven between 250 and 300 degrees F. after the container is opened.

It is very important to know the difference. Thanks for asking!