Welp stick welding isnt for me, i chickened out and got a hf 125amp 120$ flux core that should be better. also i tried the little stick welder and it just spatters and sticks, it wont weld for me must not be getting hot enough.
What size rods and type of rods are you using? 1/16" aren't good for much besides sheet metal, and 5/64 are very hard to find... It's very difficult to get a stable arc from such a small machine. You also must use rods that are compatible with AC output. Certain fluxes (6010, 7018) won't run well on AC, but 6011 will run on AC, as will 7018AC.
To break it down... As an example, 6010 uses a cellulose/sodium based flux, where 6011 is cellulose/potassium. Potassium burns more aggressively, which maintains the gases in the arc gap in a plasma state, (fire is electrically conductive, FYI) so the electrical continuity of the circuit is maintained without the metal itself touching. As the AC sinewave passes through zero volts, that continuity is vital to sustaining the arc, as the dielectric strength of air is too high for a low voltage arc to restrike itself without it.
It's the same reason you use a high voltage/high frequency arc superimposed on the AC welding current for aluminum TIG. It maintains the arc through the zero point of the sinewave. Also makes it possible to strike the arc without touching the electrode to the workpiece.