Lanthanated vs. Thoriated- Which One to Choose

Lanthanated and thoriated are both tungsten, a metallic product that industries use to make the gas tungsten arc welding electrodes. The process of manufacturing the electrodes depends on the tungsten features that determine the type of tungsten, such it will either be lanthanated or thoriated. Tungsten is the primary product for making the electrodes since it has the highest melting point than other metals. The tungsten lanthanated and thoriated are of the same metal but are different even though they have the same purpose since they are electrodes.

The difference between lanthanated and thoriated varies with their lengths and the average size to differentiate them. The color of the electrodes can be part of the factors that determine them. Before choosing the best electrode to use, consider checking on some things. Some of the factors to consider include the materials for making the electrodes, the size of the electrode, which consists of the thickness, and the type of current for welding, which can either be alternating current or direct current.

The article below contains the features of the lanthanated and thoriated, which is in the differences and similarities of the products. But before that, we have the quick comparison table that briefly shows the differences between the two electrodes. After that is the most recommended electrode to use among the two frequently asked questions, the typical questions people ask about the products. Finally, the conclusion summarizes the whole story about lanthanated and thoriated.


A quick comparison table of lanthanated and thoriated electrodes

Tungsten amountHigher tungsten amountLower tungsten amount
Types of materials to weldWelds all types of materialsWelds specific kinds of materials
currentUses direct current onlyUses both direct current and alternating current
durabilityShort lifespanLasts for long
Physical appearanceBlue in colorRed in color

Differences between lanthanated and thoriated

Lanthanated vs. Thoriated
  • Tungsten amount

Tungsten is the material for making the two electrodes that the amount with each product is different. The tungsten amount with lanthanated electrodes is higher than the amount of tungsten in thoriated. Apart from the tungsten amount, there is also the amount of lanthanum or thorium such that the lanthanum amount in its electrode is lower.

In comparison, the thorium amount with its electrode is higher.  The thoriated electrode is sometimes called 2 percent because it contains thorium to that specific amount, while the lanthanated electrode is 1.5 percent because it contains lanthanum.

  • Type of materials for welding

The two types of tungsten weld different types of materials to make good products.  Some tungsten types can weld almost all products, while others weld a few types of metals. In this case, thoriated welds a few types of metals, for example, aluminum, particularly with thin metals and other thin materials when using the alternating current.

And when using direct current, they can weld specific metals like carbon, stainless steel, nickel, and titanium. On the other hand, lanthanated tungsten can weld almost all types of metals which include: aluminum, magnesium, nickel, copper, titanium, and other materials that have a low level of alloys and do not corrode.

  • Current

The current tungsten types differ in that they can either be DC or AC current in their welding process. Thoriated uses both direct current and alternating current, but with specific metals, alternating contemporary works with thin metals as the rest works with direct current. On the other side, lanthanated tungsten only works with direct current to weld its metals. 

  • Durability

Durability depends on the nature of work the tungsten modes are doing such that the one having many and heavy loads of work will not last for long, but the one that works less stays for long. In this case, thoriated has a longer lifespan while using it while lanthanated cannot wait for long since it carries out large loads of work.

  • Physical appearance

The physical appearances of the two tungsten materials differ due to their color. The thoriated tungsten has a red color in its band, while the lanthanated tungsten has a blue color that differentiates them.

Similarities of lanthanated and thoriated

Similarities of lanthanated and thoriated
  • Current

Both the two tungsten use direct currents in their welding operation, which is ideal since it rarely causes fire burns in the industry.

  • Features

Both tungsten metals have an arc in them that helps them enhance the arc welding process for the metals.

  • Materials making them

The two electrodes use the same type of materials that make them. The material that is causing these electrodes is tungsten which makes some other different electrodes. The similarity here is that they are both from the same material.

  • Function

Both electrodes are of the same function in the welding industry. They use them for welding purposes to produce quality welds for use when making doors, ornaments, and other products.

The most recommended tungsten to use among the two

The most recommended tungsten to use among the two

The most recommended metal is thoriated tungsten that contains thorium to some level. The good thing with thoriated tungsten is that it supports radioactivity and it can work with radioactive materials, which reduces the risks of health or causes some other diseases. 

The advantages of the thoriated tungsten include: it is a disposable tungsten material that you can use and throw it away, or you can take it back to the manufacturer, reduces the rates of dirty formations on the surface of the metals when welding them with the machine, it uses currents of high amounts to produce quality welds, they are easy to use with anyone, they last for long since they weld metals that are thin and they are specific to the metals they work with.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Where can one buy the tungsten electrodes for use in the welding industry?

In any welding machine, there must be electrodes to help in the welding process. The welding electrodes most people keep worrying about the next place they should visit to buy the electrodes to get the best type for use. To purchase the electrodes, it is good to visit Amazon sites that have the modern technology to place your orders online; before ordering, you can see the electrode’s specifications and choose the best that can work with your machine.

After checking the specifications of the electrode, you can place the order and pay for the products. The delivery will be at your doorstep so that you do not need to move from one place to the shop. The good thing about it is that you can get the product at a discount.

Another place that you can get your product from is the eBay site that works the same as the Amazon sites where you place orders and get your products at home.

  • What are the factors to consider when choosing the tungsten electrodes?

There are many different factors to consider when choosing electrodes for use in the welding industry. The factors include the following:

  • Lifespan: when choosing the electrode to use, consider checking the durability, which is the total time you can take when using that particular electrode in your industry. The electrode that lasts for a long includes the thoriated electrode, which is more durable than other metals for use.
  • Price: the price of an electrode matters a lot since you cannot choose to take a more expensive electrode, and you cannot afford to pay for it. So pick an electrode that has a fair price to afford to pay for it when you are buying, and you can manage the maintenance practices.
  • User experience: choose you to buy an electrode that you know how to use or that at one time you used in your machine to avoid purchasing fake electrodes. When your experience with the electrode is negative, you can change and buy a different one. Still, if your experience with the previous electrode is positive, you can decide to use the same electrode again.


Lanthanated and thoriated are two types of tungsten materials that you can use in the welding industry. The materials are both best for welding purposes since they are all tungsten materials. The two tungsten materials have differences in physical appearance and other features and similarities that make them in the same category. 

The differences between the two tungsten come from the amount of tungsten they contain, the current they use, the durability of the electrodes, the physical appearance, and others. The similarities come in where they serve the same function; they use the same tungsten to make them, they are both for welding purposes and some of their features.

Therefore, follow the guide carefully to note the difference between the two electrodes. Remember the best type of electrode to use is thoriated since it is easy to use and it is durable such that you can use it for some period before it wears, thoriated is good also because after using you can throw it away or return to the manufacturer to make it again for further use. Before choosing an electrode to use, consider checking on some factors like price and your preference so that you can get a legit product from the shop.

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