Why SMAW is Called Stick Welding

Why SMAW is Called Stick Welding

Why SMAW is Called Stick Welding

Why SMAW is Called Stick Welding

Why SMAW is Called Stick Welding You might already know that stick welding, also known as shielded metal arc welding or SMAW, uses an electric arc to melt the base metal and fill the gap between two pieces of metal. But do you know why it’s called stick welding? Because early electrodes were often made from pieces of solid steel rods that could be held in your hand (welding sticks), making them one of the simplest forms of arc welding to master! With just a little practice, you can learn how to weld using stick electrodes too!

History of the term

The term stick welding, also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), was coined because of the long electrode rod and cable that resembled a stick. The name could have been derived from the Old English word wield, meaning to carry. Another possibility is that the term may be a reference to the welding rod resembling a whip. The welders would strike their end with the electrode in order to create sparks for welding. In this way it resembled a welder wielding or brandishing his tool like a sword.

The process of stick welding

Stick welding, also called shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), is a manual process that uses an electric arc to weld pieces of metal together. The process consists of three steps: • Electric current is used to create the heat necessary for stick welding, and it flows through both pieces of metal being welded in order to fuse them together. • A filler rod or electrode, which has been heated by the electric current, is then pushed into the gap between the two pieces of metal being welded. This filler rod acts as a stick that holds the two pieces of metal together while they are being heated by electric current and melted.

The benefits of stick welding

Stick welding has a number of benefits that make it an ideal choice for many welding applications. It’s easy to learn, which makes it perfect for beginners and experienced welders alike. Plus, it requires less equipment than other types of welding, so it’s a great option for anyone who needs to travel or move frequently.
Stick welding also provides the smoothest welds and produces the least amount of spatter. That means that you’ll spend less time cleaning up after your project and more time actually making progress on your task at hand.
And finally, stick welding is often the most economical option when comparing costs between MIG and TIG welding, plus you can do both with one machine by simply switching out a few parts.

The challenges of stick welding

SMAW is a challenging type of welding that requires the welder to use a long stick electrode and weld from the end. The process of welding with this type of setup can be difficult for many reasons. One, it’s hard to see what you’re doing when you are working from the end of your stick electrode. Two, it’s difficult to keep your arc length stable which makes it hard to control the amount of heat applied to your weld. Three, there is a lot of slag that needs to be removed after each weld pass. Four, and last but not least, it takes years and years of practice to master this skill. As such, some people choose other methods like TIG or MIG welding because they find them easier.
What most people don’t know about Stick Welding: It has been found that while most forms of welds are 50-60% efficient in terms of energy used vs. energy transferred to the weld pool, stick welding may only be 30-40% efficient on average.


A name like stick welding sounds like it must have something to do with the way that you weld, right? But what does stick welding mean in terms of the process and equipment used for this technique? Understanding the answer to that question will help you to understand why this technique is often referred to as stick welding.
Stick welding was originally developed by a man named A. D. Miller in 1919. Miller’s original stick consisted of two pieces of one-inch by 1/8-inch steel bar connected at a 60 degree angle, resulting in a six-inch high T shape when viewed from above.

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