by rbbovin

what does the soft and hard control on a stick welder do or benefit you?

generally speaking, setting the knob to hard gives a more digging arc.

its helpful to keep the rod from sticking at low amps. sometimes its helpful to be able to set a 6010 rod at a fairly low amperage while still holding a very tight arc and the arc control helps on that by bumping up the voltage when the machine senses a tight arc by a voltage drop.

softer arcs are better for hardfacing earthmoving equipment to maintain the hard properties of the rod without mixing too much base metal in the weld....

there are other applications for both settings also and while not absolutely necessary, its a feature that can really help if you are willing to learn how to use it well.

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