A basic, rutile type electrode depositing a 29%Cr/9%Ni stainless steel weld metal for the high strength welding of a wide range of alloy steels and dissimilar ferrous metals. The high ferrite, austenitic stainless steel deposit has excellent resistance to hot cracking, even under dilution by high carbon, alloy and tool steels. Unicord 312 is a universal maintenance electrode combining high strength, toughness, wear and corrosion resistance with compatibility to most ferrous metals. For repair and maintenance of steels of unknown composition. Also suitable as a buffer or intermediate layer prior to the application of hard surfacing.