How Does a Stick Welder Work

How Does a Stick Welder Work

Stick welding is the ultimate process for beginner welders due to its easy-to-learn process. The name stick is since the electrode that is used to weld the material is shaped in a ‘stick’ form. It is also pretty commonly called manual arc welding, manual electrode welding, shielded metal arc welding, SMAW, or manual metal arc welding. These all terms are the same as stick welding.

Stick welding is an important welding type that makes its productivity even useful for dedicated metal joining. Due to its extensive application and strong welding performance, stick welder is being used widely with trustworthy output.

Its useful performance works well for repair welding as well as production with the same strong and durable weld. But if you are new to welding or want to know how a stick welder works specifically, this article is all that you need to read.

What does a stick welder unit include?

For those welders who are altogether new to stick welding, it is important to know what the welding unit includes so that its working becomes understandable. Here are the things that it includes:

  •         Power source
  •         Electrode holder
  •         Earthing clamp
  •         Rod electrode
  •         Workpiece Main connection
  •         Welding power-lead (electrode)
  •         Grounding cable (workpiece)

How does a stick welder work?

Stick welder with its rod electrode delivers multiple benefits. It works by using electrical power to melt down a metal filler rod or electrode/stick which eventually melts metal joints and electrodes abruptly to join material simultaneously and strangely together, and also it fills the welded joint with the filler metal right then.

Stick welders can be both AC and DC power because it depends on the type of electrode that is being used. However, mostly the heavy-industrial work leans on DC power due to its strong performance. For power and current, a stick welder’s supplies are constant voltage which implies that the voltage remains the same throughout the welding and amperage fluctuates. The stick welding works via ignition between electrodes and the metal that creates an arc.

That arc then becomes the reason for current flow and the ideal heat fusion is attained. For manual arc welding, low voltage and high amperage are ideal working approaches. The stick welding changes the voltage into a drastically lower welding voltage and also delivers the same amperage simultaneously. For manual arc welding, the amperage has its special and important place. If the arc’s length changes the amperage must not change.


Stick welding is not a complex process especially if you are an eager welder. In this post, we have included the insight of a stick welder working so that you get a lucid idea about it. Hopefully, it has cleared many of your doubts.

Depending on your task and the welding material requirements, you have the option to use either DC or AC to drive the arc. However, you need to properly understand that each of the current types comes with its advantages or downside. Hence you need to pick the most precise approach that suits your demand.