In this work, hot cracking behavior of a carbide-free bainitic weld metal was investigated using Varestraint tests and Gleeble hot ductility tests. The results show that the carbide-free bainitic weld metal is as resistant to hot cracking as many of the standard austenitic stainless steel weld metals. The effects of composition, solidification mode, and impurity content on hot cracking susceptibility of carbide-free bainitic steels are discussed. Some guidelines for optimizing their compositions for superior hot cracking resistance are also presented. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.