What is the arc force setting on new inverter welders?
What is Dig?
What is arc control on an older Miller syncrowave 250?
Guess what? these differently named control knobs are the same thing.
No matter what the name, it is a setting that allows you to adjust the arc to a soft smooth arc to a more aggressive digging arc.
What arc force setting does when set high is to bump up amperage when you have a really tight arc.
My usual advice to anyone having any trouble setting amperage for stick welding is to set the machine just hot enough so that it will not stick the rod when you hold a tight arc. Then....hold a tight arc.
So it makes sense that I would be a fan of the arc control/dig settings available on some machines.
Arc Control or Dig bumps up the amps when the arc gets tight.
In other words, when you are just about to stick the rod ( thats why they call it stick welding...right???) the arc force bumps up the amperage just a bit so that you keep welding.
Most operator manuals recommend setting the arc force knob to around 30 or so for 7018 rods. But I like to turn things upside down sometimes.
Because I like a tight arc, I think setting the arc force sorta high lets me hold a tighter arc at a lower amperage and that helps prevent arc blow.
Arc blow is when a magnetic field starts messing with your bead.
A 7018 used at the high end of the amperage rating will have more arc blow than one used at the lower end. So my way of thinking is that if I can use a lower amperage and a really tight arc without sticking the rod, then arc blow wont be a big deal.
I might be totally full of crap ...but it works for me.
For welding with 6010 or 6011, a very high arc force will do the same thing. It allows you to jam that rod in a pipe root without sticking and without being too high on the amps. Instead of using a higher amperage to prevent sticking of the rod, a higher setting on the dig or arc force knob can do the trick.
see more stick welding videos like this one on arc force