1/8 vs 3/32 Welding Rods: Which Is Really Better?

Welding is one of the fundamental tasks in modern construction industry in creating metalworks or structure. In this process, the electrode or welding rod attaches two small parts of metal by fusion. There are different types of welding these days.

But the most important aspect is to choose what type of welding rod you need for your metal piece and accordingly, choosing the size of the welding rod. In this article, you will learn information about two different rod sizes. The overall comparison of 1/8 vs 3/32 welding rod will help you understand what size of rod you should choose.

What is a 1/8 Welding Rod?

1/8 Welding Rod

The welding rod with the number 1/8 refers to the diameter of the electrode in inches. Besides, 1/8 inches electrodes can weld over 1/8” thickness of metal. This size of electrodes can weld with fast speed.

Even though the ampere may vary from rod to rod, using 1/8 can weld 75-125 amps with 6010 and 6011 electrodes.

What is a 3/32 Welding Rod?

The 3/32” diameter of the electrode refers to the rod that can be used to weld up to ¼” metal sheets. The highest amp required for a 7024 is 100-145. Since the current depends on the work to be done, you should choose both your rod and the power source carefully.

1/8 vs. 3/32 Welding Rods: A Detailed Comparison

The comparison between these two welding rods solely depends on the type of welding. First of all, determine the size of the metal sheets and the surface. Then you can decide which rod to use for welding.

In the following 1/8 vs 3/32 welding rod comparison, all the necessary information will be provided.

Puddle: Even though 1/8” is the most commonly used rod for stick welding, 3/32” presents a smaller puddle — the travel speed is also slower so the arc is more controlled and easier to work with for beginners.

The thickness of metal: According to the welders, you should use 3/32 for thin sheets. However, 1/8 gives a more stable arc on the thick sheets.

The difference in amps: 1/8 and 3/32 require the different amp to work with different electrodes. A chart of some popular electrodes is given below:

For 1/8” electrode:

6010, 601160126013701470187024
75-125 amps80-140 amps80-130 amps110-160 amps115-165 amps140-190 amps

For 3/32” you will need lower amps than 1/8” rod. Such as:

6010, 601160126013701470187024
40-80 amps35-85 amps45-90 amps80-125 amps70-100 amps100-145 amps

Penetration: You can use 1/8 for fusing metals where deep penetration is required whereas 3/32 is ideal for shallow conditions.

Appearance: Since 1/8 can weld on rusty and rough surfaces where deeper welding is needed, the appearance is rough as well. And it offers first travel speed and fast freeze. On the other hand 3/32” delivers slow-motion welding resulting in a smoother and flat arc on the sheets.

Splatter: Splatter is less on the 3/32 than the 1/8.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. When welding on 1/8 plate or smaller, what size of electrode should be used?

Answer: For a 1/8 plate you can use a 1/8” rod. But for the smaller size you have to use a 5/32” rod.

Q. How thick can 3/32 Rod Weld

Answer: 3/32 rod can weld up to ¼”.

Q. When can I use a 1/8 rod?

Answer: Whenever you need to weld pipe joint, maintenance or repair work over painted or rusty surface and fast welding, you can use 1/8 rod.

Q. How can you tell if a welding rod is bad?

Answer: If you notice dry or powdery coating, soft coating, bubbles on the coating, your rod is bad. This can be caused because of moisture absorption by the rod or the rust on it.


I hope the 1/8 vs 3/32 welding rod comparison will help you in the future to weld perfectly. It is really important to find out the proper measurement of the sheet to weld and the welding rod before starting welding.

Always remember to take safety precautions and check the surface before welding. However, you can also follow the chart given by the manufacturer to select the exact amp to weld. This article will run further updates if found latest information. Till then,  happy welding.