What Is Stick Welding Called?

Stick welding is a form of welding that has been around since the early decades of the 20th century. Despite its age, stick welding is still widely used today, with global stick welding revenue reaching around $9 billion in 2020.

Stick welding is an incredibly versatile form of welding and can be used on a variety of metals, including aluminum and stainless steel. But what is stick welding called? Stick welding is also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW).

This welding method offers a number of benefits, from its ease of use, portability, and affordability. Keep reading to explore SMAW and its wide range of uses.

What is Stick Welding called?

Stick welding is a popular welding process known by different names, such as Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Manual Metal Arc (MMA) welding, and arc welding.

As the name implies, Stick welding is a manual process, where an electrical power source is used to generate an electric arc between the surface of the metal and a filler material.

The military and major industries use Stick welding to accomplish different weld joints with thick or thin metals. The welding process uses an electrode to create a weld, so the welding procedure is often referred to as arc welding.

How Does Stick Welding Work?

Stick welding requires the use of an electrode, which helps create the electric arc.

The arc will slowly melt away the metal and the electrode, creating a weld.

  • The arc creates a heat that melts the metal and creates a strong bond.
  • The electrode can be made of different materials, like carbon steel, stainless steel, and even aluminum.

  • The end of the electrode must be wetted with a special flux solution to control spatter.
  • The heat of the arc melts the metal, creating the weld joint.
  • The electrode must be clamped in a holder and lowered into the arc.

    It is important to note that the holder must be long enough to reach the spot where the weld is required.

Pros and Cons of Stick Welding

Stick welding has a few advantages and disadvantages, which must be taken into consideration before deciding if this method is the best to use for a particular project.


  • Stick welding is one of the cheapest and simplest methods that is easy to use.
  • It has very low levels of fumes and spatter.
  • It is also a portable and versatile option, which means it can be used in multiple locations.
  • It is also a powerful and reliable method of welding, which means the welds will be stronger and last longer.


  • Stick welding is not as precise as other welding methods.
  • It can be challenging to make a consistent quality weld with the stick welding method.
  • It can also be time consuming and difficult to maneuver the electrode into the desired position.


Stick welding is considered an old-fashioned welding process, but it has been used for many years in many different industries. It is still used today in applications requiring strong welds that can withstand extreme temperatures or pressures. It is also easy to use, portable and inexpensive, making it a valuable tool for professional welders.

Before deciding on the best welding method to use for a particular project, make sure to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type of welding. This will help to ensure the best results are achieved.

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