Best Electrode Holders In 2021 – Welding Stinger Reviews

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Your welding stinger holds the electrode that you are using to create a weld. There can definitely be no stick welding if you do not have a holder to keep the electrode in position.

There are a variety of electrode holders available today. But, you need to choose the right one for your purpose as not all of them are the same. 

The most important thing is the amperage rating. If you are a heavy-duty welder, you definitely need a stinger that can hold high amperage otherwise the lead can be melted which will cost you a lot.

Best Electrode Holder

Another factor that we considered before reviewing the following products is the material they used as long-lasting electrode holder might be your top priority. Let's read through.


Quick Look On Our Top Favorites


Image

Name

Feature

Price

KSEIBI Welding Electrode Holder

Made from high quality materials.

Hobart Welding Holder Electrode

Electrodes burn within 1" from the head

Lenco Marine Duro Electrode Holders

Fully Insulated Duro Holder

STINGER Stv002 Electrode Holder

Eliminates Arc Burns From Rod "Popping" Out

Victor Thermal Dynamics T316MC Electrode Holder

Fully insulated and protected springs

Lincoln Electric KH528 Electrode Holder

Constructed for long life and dependability

How We Reviewed and Tested These Electrode Holders?

Well, do all the best-selling stingers are good for your purpose? This was the prior question when starting our selection process. And eventually, we discovered that we need to consider some factors before making the best list for electrode holders. Our findings:

  • Quality of Holds Rod - this is very important for a stinger that how efficiently it can hold a rod during the welding process.
  • The Handle will arc off or not - A dangerous game! Unfortunately, we found some of the leading models which have this problem of arching off in the handle and complained by the professional and hobby welders as well.
  • Usage - We tried to determine if the models are suitable for heavy-duty or garage use only. We know many of our readers have just started their careers and looking for lightweight holders. However, experts are searching for an electrode holder which is perfect for heavy construction work. So, we tried to satisfy both of our users by providing this list.
  • Bending Position - Really important to bend the holder in any position without popping out.

So, we started testing 15 of the most selling models and compare them according to the above criteria along with some other points like if the parts of this model are replaceable or not, etc.

And, finally, we decided to limit our list with these 6 following holders:

Best Electrode Holder Reviews - 2021


1. KSEIBI Welding Electrode Holder 

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 3.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Model Number: 331215
  • Size: 300 Amp
  • Batteries Required: No
KSEIBI Welding Electrode Holder

The materials used to create this electrode holder were specifically chosen to instill the highest possible amount of conductivity. The cable connects on this unit have been updated and improved to make it easier to connect, and to make a better connection possible. The Allen wrench and cable ferrule that you need to come with the holder.

This is a large 330A device that is extremely durable. You have fewer chances of a cable strand breaking at your connection point. This unit can hold electrodes up to a 5/32”.

The body of this holder is crafted from heat resistant and high impact resistant molded fiberglass. The molded fiberglass will effectively prevent you from experiencing an electric shock while you are holding this item.

The clamping jaw on the electrode holder is an insulated jaw that is slip-resistant so it holds your electrode firmly in place and does not let the electrode slip or move while you are working.

The jaw of this device can be set at a 450 angle, a 900 angle or a 1800 angle. The insulated handle of this unit will function to guide the electrode you are using over the weld joint. It feeds the electrode into the weld puddle as the electrode is consumed.

This is a great piece in terms of the price, however, we recommend it to use for small workshops and not for the large scale of work where you have multiple welding machines. Also, we noticed that this is not made of copper, instead, they use cast iron inside which the manufacturer doesn't mention in their adverts.

Pros


  • You can use up to 5/32” electrodes with this holder.
  • It offers full protection against electrical shock, high temperature, and impact due to its molded fiberglass.
  • Works with professional welders as the holder can work with up to 300 amps.
  • Provides an excellent strong grip with its 3 positions jaw.

Cons


  • Not made of pure copper; instead, it has copper infused and coated.

2. Hobart Welding Electrode Holder

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 1.15 pounds
  • Dimensions: 11.9 x 4.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Model Number: 770028
  • Installation Method: Arc-welding
  • Batteries Required: No
Hobart Welding Holder Electrode

This is a screw-type electrode holder instead of the classic spring clamp style like STINGER Stv002. It is capable of accommodating electrodes up to a 5/16”. It will allow the electrode to be consumed down to about 1 inch from the head. You can hold the electrode in any position or angle you need to and the holder will maintain the position while you work.

The holder weighs 1.15 pounds. It measures 11.9” x 4.2” x 1.5”. You can easily loosen the electrode in the holder by turning the handle one-quarter of a turn. It is rated at 400 amps and the design allows it to accept #2 cable.

The holder is very strong and it resists damages from dropping and other accidental occurrences. Do not use the holder to hammer something into place.

This holder is easy to use and very comfortable to hold in your hand. It has a small lip on the bottom that allows it to hook onto things so the holder does not accidentally come into contact with the metal and create an arc.

We found some users complained this is not perfect for 3/32" rods. But in our lab test, we tried both 1/8" and 3/32" rods for 2 weeks and it holds them quite perfectly. No issue. However, this is true that this holder doesn't hold 1/16" electrodes effectively.

It works well in wet welding as well. We used it for an underwater welding purpose and found it useful, but, don't forget to reverse polarity while you use it in water.

Pros


  • Suitable for using up to 5/16” rods, double the capacity of most electrode holders.
  • Rated for up to 400 amps, suitable for high amperage welding tasks.
  • Easy removal of rods by a quarter-turn of the handle provides more control and safety.
  • Suitable for all Lincoln welders without any issues at all.
  • The lip on the bottom helps you to hook the welder. It prevents accidentally starting an arc.

Cons


  • The wiring gets a bit loose if you are using multiple rods for a long time. Rewiring fixes the issue.

3. Lenco Marine Duro Electrode Holder

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 1.09 pounds
  • Electrode Cap: 7/32 in [Max]
  • Part Number: 016250
  • Manufacturer: Lenco
  • Type: Light/Heavy duty
Lenco Marine Duro Electrode Holders

This holder is designed to allow you to run high amperages through your holder with no ill-effects. You can only run up to 250 amps through one of these holders with no concerns about overheating the holder while Hobart Welding Holder Electrode, #2 in our list can rated 400 amps.  

What makes this product great and exceptional than the others? Our finding is if you run higher AMPs, even up to 250, it will never getting hot. Moreover, in our lab test, we tested it for a longer period of time and it didn't get hot. 

You can touch the handle with bare hands even after you have run several 1/8” 7018 rods through it and the handle will not be hot to the touch. This reduces a large amount of the hand discomfort that people have when using an electrode holder.

You can hold this device at a variety of angles and the holder will not lose the grip on your electrode. It allows you to get the electrode to where it is needed easily. It has a firm grip that still allows you to manipulate it with just your thumb.

Professional welders and do-it-yourself enthusiasts can both use this holder. It is designed to be user friendly but to also have all of the strengths a professional welder requires from a commercial tool.

Pros


  • Handles 1/8” 7018 rods easily without getting the handle hot at all.
  • Can hold electrodes in various different angles due to its simple holder design.
  • Can work with up to 250 amp without any overheating issues.
  • Easy to handle and attach/remove rods. 

Cons


  • Suitable for around 250amp output, it is good for simpler projects, but we recommend previous rods for heavy-duty tasks.

4. STINGER Stv002 Electrode Holder

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 12 ounces
  • Dimensions: 10 x 4 x 1 inches
  • Model Number: STV002
  • Manufacturer: Stinger
  • Electrode Capacity: 5 MIL / 3/16"
STINGER Stv002 Electrode Holder

This stinger securely holds your electrodes so you can work smoothly and quickly. It is designed with an ergonomic handle that is comfortable to grip and will not cause as much hand fatigue or hand cramps while you are working.

It has an amperage rating between 0 and 350 amps. It can accommodate electrodes up to 3/16” and cable that is up to a 1/0 gauge.

This holder has been designed to prevent and eliminate arc burns that occur when the rod pops out of the electrode holder. This is an American made item. It is specifically designed for stick welding processes.

It is made from casted yellow brass and is fully insulated. It has a V grip that is reliable and the brass remains cooler than many other metals would.

You will find this stinger appropriate for use in any type of shop that requires welding to be performed, including, but not limited to, pipe fabrications shops, pipelines, and small repair shops.

It is easy to operate and control. Even beginning welders will have no difficulties using this piece of equipment.

One issue that we found in our testing process is if you use it heavily and for a long, it started arcing on the pipe. So, our recommendation is to use it on a smaller scale.

The positive thing is the manufacturer is promised to replace the plastic insulators if you break them.

Pros


  • The V grip with ergonomic rubber handle design is comfortable to handle.
  • Can be usable up to 350 amps makes it good for general to intermediate level welders.
  • Being able to hold up to 3/16” rods makes it better than a holder that can work with 1/8”.
  • Holds electrodes tightly and allows you to bend them in any position you want.

Cons


  • The rubber needs to be adjusted every now and then.

5. Victor Thermal Dynamics T316MC Electrode Holder 

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 1.35 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Model Number: 91101123
  • Batteries Required: No
Victor Thermal Dynamics T316MC Electrode Holder

This electrode holder will reduce the amount of hand fatigue and forearm discomfort you experience while you are welding. This reduction of fatigue symptoms is created by the ergonomic design of the handle that makes the holder rest more comfortably in your palm.

The device does not require a body insulator because the handle covers all the way to the jaw of the device. That allows the device to have fewer parts and fewer parts mean fewer things that can go wrong or be broken.

The jaw pattern can be set in six different positions. These varied positions allow you to have your electrode properly positioned for the work you are doing and the angle you are working at.

The insulators on this device can be reversed from top to bottom. They are made to provide durability and strength in the device. Your hands are insulated and protected to the highest degree possible.

This device is recommended by professional welders and welding instructors. The simplicity of the item and the durability of the item also make it a perfect holder for a beginning or novice welder to use.

Pros


  • Features a 6-position jaw pattern that allows rods to be held in multiple different positions with a tight grip.
  • It fits 3/16” rods making it great for thicker rods.
  • Max amp rating of 250 with the capacity of holding thick rods is a rare combination that the holder has.
  • Great for working at high temperatures due to reversible top and bottom insulators.

Cons


  • The jaws are not 100% perfectly aligned. This issue can be found with almost all holders in the market.

6. Lincoln Electric KH528 Electrode Holder 

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 2.7 x 1.5 inches
  • Model Number: KH528
  • Manufacturer: Lincoln
  • Color: Black
Lincoln Electric KH528 Electrode Holder

Too similar to the Hobart model in style and design, however, this one is very lightweight than the Hobart Holder mentioned in number 2 in our list. The lightweight is important when you have to hold one of these items for several hours during the day. Your hands will feel less fatigued and you will suffer from fewer body aches and pains associated with the use of this device.

It is available with the capacity to handle 400 amp. That is an industrial-strength holder that is going to be able to withstand the welding processes you do with no problems.

Built-in safety features of heat resistance are created through the insulation of the device. You will get the most protection possible while you are using this device.

This is a dependable electrode holder that will last for a long time. You will not be worrying about having to frequently replace your holder even if you do a high volume of welding on a regular basis.

The device weighs less than one pound and measures 8.5 inches x 2.7 inches x 1.5 inches. The solid grip has been known to increase welding proficiency and the strength of the welds that you create.

Pros


  • Up to 400-amp capacity, suitable for working with high-tier welders on professional projects.
  • Great for striking arcs quickly and holding rods tight for precision tasks.
  • Very lightweight compared to most of our reviewed holders.
  • Good heat-resistance feature and quality insulation.

Cons


  • Not good enough for a Lincoln product. Previous holders on our list are slightly better.

How To Choose Best Welding Stingers


Before you buy an electrode holder you should consider the following things.

Weight

The weight of the device will make a big difference in the amount of fatigue you have after using it for several hours.

Electrode Size

These holders are designed in different sizes and they accommodate different diameters of electrodes. You know the size of the electrodes you will use most often so buy a holder that can accommodate the size of the electrodes you like to use.

Insulation and Grip

The holder that you buy should be insulated and have an ergonomic grip that makes it easier to hold. The ergonomic grip can reduce fatigue and strain and will allow you to work longer. This type of grip can also make you safer because it eliminates the possibility that you will let your electrode slip from your hand.

AMP Capabilities

You want to buy an electrode that can withstand the number of amps you will put through it while you are working. Some devices are recommended for 250 amps or less while others tolerate as much as 400 amps.

Style

The electrode holders come in either a clamp style or a crew style. The clamp style holds onto the electrode with powerful jaws and the screw style requires you to screw in a set screw to hold the item in position.

You can release the electrode and change electrodes faster using the clamp style holder, but, the screw style holder is known to hold the electrode more firmly in position.



Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is an electrode holder?

The electrode holder is another name for a stinger. It is basically a device that clamps securely around the electrode to hold the electrode in position while you are welding. You connect the electrode holder to the welding machine via the welding cable. There is a hollow insulated handle on the welding cable that the electrode holder attaches to.

Q. How many types of electrodes are there?

There are basically 2 types of electrodes. These are the anode electrodes and the cathode electrodes. The difference in the two electrode types exists in the fact that a cathode electrode will attract cations that are positively charged. The anode electrode will attract anions that are negatively charged.

Q. How do you replace an electrode holder?

Turn the power to the machine off. Remove the barrel from the electrode holder by accessing the set screw through the provided hole. When the set screw has been loosened you can slide the electrode holder away from the barrel. Place the new holder into the barrel and tighten the set screw to hold it in place.

Q. What can cause an electrode holder to overheat?

One of the reasons why an electrode holder might overheat is when you are using the wrong size electrode in the holder. These holders will also overheat if their jaws are dirty, and when they are too loose or when the cable is too loose.

If your welding machines in your shop are too close to each other there can be too little air circulation. Circulating air cools the machines so poor air circulation can result in overheating.


Final Note


Welding electrode holders come in screw style or clamp style. The clamp style grips the electrode between powerful jaws and the screw style uses a screw to hold the electrode in position.

Welders each have personal preferences on the different styles of holders. If you prefer a screw style holder consider the features and attributes of the Hobart 770028.

If you prefer a clamp-style holder over the screw style check out the KSEIBI 331215 and all of the features it has. It has clamping jaws that will hold the electrode at one of three angles to make your work easier.

Last Updated on 4 months by Richard Boyer

  • July 2, 2021
Richard Boyer
 

Richard Boyer has been a professional welder for over 27 years of his life, and now he is a trainer and blogger providing critical information to anyone interested in welding. He is helping out both hobbyists, novice and professional welders to learn newer and better techniques. Read more about me

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