What Is Stick Welding?

Welding is a popular method used to join two pieces of metal together. It is used in nearly every industry and is one of the most important techniques in manufacturing.

Stick welding, also known as arc welding, is the most commonly used form of this process. It is one of the oldest welding techniques and is still in wide use, with an estimated 91 million tons of welded structures created every year in the U. S.

alone. In this article, we dive into what stick welding is, its uses and safety considerations when performing it.

What is Stick Welding?

Stick welding, also known as Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), is an arc welding process that involves using an electric current flowing through a consumable Stick electrode to form an arc between the stick and the metal being welded. The stick electrode is then melted away as the arc is formed, depositing weld material in the form of droplets onto the metal.

History of Stick Welding

Stick welding was developed in the late 1800s to weld copper and copper alloys. The first patents for the process were awarded to Gustaf Fischer of Sweden in 1893 and August Jaxonen of Norway in 189

The technology then spread to the United States, where it became popular with bridge and ship builders who used it to join iron and steel.

How Does Stick Welding Work?

A Stick welder is composed of several components, including a power source, a welding lead, and a holder.

The power source is usually an alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) voltage supply. The welding lead is a metal-coated electrode that is connected to the power source.

The holder holds the welding lead and is designed to be insulated from the metal being welded.

When the welding lead is energized, an electric arc is created between it and the metal being welded.

The arc is used to heat up the metal and the welding lead at the same time. The heat from the arc melts the welding lead and the metal, and the metal and the metal droplets which fall to the surface create a weld.

Advantages of Stick Welding

  • It is a relatively inexpensive process.

  • It is versatile and can be used on a variety of metals and thicknesses.
  • It can be used in all positions.
  • It is relatively easy to learn.

Disadvantages of Stick Welding

  • It is slow and labor intensive.
  • It takes time to develop the correct technique.
  • It produces a lot of spatter and smoke.
  • It can be difficult to control precision and weld quality.


Stick welding is one of the most common arc welding processes used today. It is a relatively inexpensive process that is versatile and can be used on a variety of metals and thicknesses. Despite its many advantages, it does have some disadvantages that include it being slow and labor intensive as well as producing a lot of spatter and smoke.

Citation URL:https://www. thefabricator. com/thefabricator/article/arc-welding/the-basics-of-stick-weldinghttps://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Shielded_metal_arc_welding

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