The 6 Best Flux Core Welders In 2020 (NEW Guide)

Best Flux Core Welder

A MIG Welder is one of the best equipment to have if you are fond of domestic DIY projects or are a worker at a construction site.

But why would you buy a Flux core welder when MIG welders are just as popular? Flux core welding produces a much more superior finish and is great for outdoor projects; you can easily weld metals exposed to galvanizing, rust, or other impurities. Moreover, you can set up a flux core welder without the extra hassle of transporting gas cylinders to and fro.

To make the buying process easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best flux core welders after analyzing their features, prices, and customer feedback. We know the value of your money; hence, each product is the best rated among its price level.

Best Flux Core Welder

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Hobart 500559 Handler 140Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core WelderLotos MIG140 Flux Core & Aluminum Welder

  • BEST OVERALL
  • Maintains a smooth arc
  • Easy to use and set up

  • BEST BUDGET
  • It is quite affordable
  • Require a low maintenance

  • GREAT VALUE
  • Has a great wire range
  • User-friendly interface

Flux Core Welder Reviews

1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140

Hobart 500559 Handler 140

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the Hobart 500559 in a glance:
  • Welds 24 gauge to 1/4 inches of mild steel
  • It can weld Cast Iron, Copper, Brass, Titanium, Magnesium Alloys through MIG
  • You can Flux Core weld Aluminum, Cast Iron, Copper, Brass, Titanium, Magnesium Alloys.
  • Operates off 115V standard household current
  • Wire Feed Speed Range 40 – 700 IPM and 50 – 740 IPM at no load
  • Amperage output: 25–140
  • Has a 20% duty cycle @ 90 Amps, 19V
  • The 5-position voltage control selector puts in a smooth, stable arc at all welding thicknesses
  • Backed by Hobarts 5/3/1 Industrial Warranty.
  • Has an industrial cast aluminum drive system
  • Has a 200 amp heavy-duty work clamp
  • Dual-groove, quick-change drive roll
  • Durable feed head with quick-release drive roll lever
  • Weighs 57 lbs.
  • Can be used for autobody panels, exhaust systems, mower decks, trailer frames, etc

Features:

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 is the first Flux core welder on our list for all the right reasons. Hobart has gained a positive reputation due to its line of premium quality yet affordable welders. This product is a perfect example of their excellent workmanship and constant innovations.

Power

Hobart 140 is a great welding tool that can be used for jobs ranging from occasional DIY projects like ornamental designs and works of art to heavy-duty work at construction sites. Despite being the second most compact equipment produced by Hobart, it works very hard to deliver excellent results.

This welding unit has a relatively simple design with a strong output power of 140 amperes. As a result, you can weld several thick metals. It has a city cycle of 20% at 90 amperes; in layman’s terms, this machine works for 2 minutes after every 8 minutes, a pretty acceptable range for its price point. The MIT capacity welds thin materials such as stainless steel, steel, and aluminum while the flux core wire is great for thicker stainless steel and steel materials.

In short, Hobart 140 can weld metals as thin as 24-gauge to materials with a thickness of 0.25 inches. This range makes jobs such as automobile repair, domestic maintenance, and construction fairly easy. Another great thing is its the ability to run on an input power of 115V; this is easily available in the domestic power outlets, and you wouldn’t need to spend any additional amount to install a secondary outlet.

Design

It is lightweight, and that is undoubted, one of it’s best features. You can carry it along to your jobs without any hassle, and due to its flux core welding ability, you may not need to carry any gas cylinders either. Great right? Its compact size takes up minimal space in your van and can be stored in your garage too.

The five different voltage settings on the voltage control selector allow you to weld different materials by maintaining a smooth and steady arc throughout the process.

Safety

While working with any equipment, you need to make sure that it has the necessary features that will ensure your safety. Mig welders use heat to weld materials, making it prone to overheating, short circuits, and burns. Therefore, Hobart installed a thermal overload system that shuts down the machine after the duty cycle ends, preventing it from overheating. You won’t face any difficulties due to its user-friendly interface and detailed manual.

What we like:

  • You can completely control the wire speed
  • It maintains a smooth arc despite the material
  • It is easy to use and set up
  • Offers protection in the form of a thermal overload system

What we don’t:

  • The power cord is relatively short
  • Constant movements might require the need for a wheeled cart

Editor’s Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

2. Lotos MIG140 Flux Core & Aluminum Welder

Lotos MIG140 Flux Core & Aluminum Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the Lotos MIG140 in a glance:
  • Has a durable, high-quality aluminum wire feeder for a stable and better welding experience.
  • 2T/4T switch for a long time welding job.
  • The wire feeder speed and welding voltage can be adjusted with the two digital displayers
  • Has a new designed ground cable quick connector
  • 140-amp MIG welder
  • Welds mild/stainless steel as thick as 24 gauge – 3/16″
  • input voltage: 110/120v
  • It can weld stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal materials.
  • The Wire Range is. 025″-. 030″ (0. 6-0. 8mm) Solid Steel; 030″-. 035″ (0. 8-0. 9mm) Flux-Cored
  • Has a 30-Day 100% Satisfaction
  • 1 Year Limited warranty
  • The thermal overload protection system protects your welder.

Features:

As we mentioned earlier, the products on our list display a high-performance level for several welding projects. The Lotos Mig140 is a perfect example of this statement since if offers the perfect balance between performance and price. Why would you want to spend more on a luxury welder when LOTOS offers you everything you need? They are one of the most popular welder manufacturers since 2007 and have aimed never to disappoint their customers.

Performance

If you deal with heavy and large materials on a regular basis, the LOTOS MIG140 is a great tool for you. However, it can still weld materials for minor DIY projects within your workshop and garage. It has an easy setup process that takes a short time while you can adjust the welding options to manual or automatic, depending on your experience level.

It requires an input power of 110V to 120V that is available through your primary household power outlet. This results in an output current range of 30-140amperes- enough for several welding jobs. The duty cycle is rated 20% at 90 amps. Hence, you can use it for 2 minutes every 10 minutes.

Design

It consists of two digital displays that change the speed of the wire feeders and voltage. As a result, you can use to weld several materials, including stainless steel, mild steel, and other metals without ruining the stability of its arc.

The second most important thing in a welder after its performance is its portability, and Lotos does not disappoint. It weighs a mere 54 pounds so you can carry it to your work sites without any hassle. The flux core welding ability can cut back on the additional bulk of the cylinders if you are traveling for a job that doesn’t consist of aluminum (since it is not flux-cored). The measurements of 9.6 in x 16 in x 14.5 inches are similar to other welders, but its quality surpasses most of them.

Control

Apart from its wire speed and voltage control feature, it comprises of a user-friendly control panel at the front. The power switch on the left of the panel adjusts the voltage and speed while the two digital displays on the right adjust the wire diameter and arc voltage.

The welder is also updated with 2T/4T switches, which offer versatility and improve your overall efficiency level. The 2T switch is for manual work that requires less duration while the 4T switch is great for long-term automatic welding, allowing you to place your hands away from the buttons.

What we like:

  • Has a great wire range
  • Includes a lot of accessories
  • Has a user-friendly interface
  • Can be transported easily

What we don’t:

  • Isn’t great for heavy-duty work

Editor’s Rating

4.3 out of 5 stars

3. Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder

Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the Forney Easy Weld in a glance:
  • It is used for gas-less flux core welding only
  • Welds metals with a thickness of 24 gauge up to 1/4 inch
  • 120-volt input and 125 amp output
  • Accepts two and 10-pound spools
  • It comes with a ground clamp and a MIG gun
  • uses .030″ flux-core wire that provides the shielding needed over the molten weld puddle.
  • A great machine for DIY, beginners, and hobbyists
  • It has a six-month warranty.

Features:

Forney is an 80-year-old company that has gained quite a reputation for it’s reliable and high-quality products. The Forney MIG 299 125FC Flux Core Welder is specially made for your gasless welding tasks.

Power

Some people might assume that it provides weak power due to its compact size. However, do not be fooled since the small box has mighty power. You can easily weld stainless steel and some heavier metals without affecting its life expectancy. If you are a beginner, practicing your hand on heavy-duty metals may prove to be affordable with this welder.

Furthermore, this welder consists of two power settings, relatively lesser than most welders, that can be used for sheet metals and metal plates. This may prove to be an issue while thick penetration metals, but it’s a good deal for a low price.

It operates at a duty cycle of 20%, which means that you can operate it for 2 minutes every 10 minutes.

Design

The Forney welder is meant for metals with a thickness of 0.25 inches while the spoon gun capacity is 10 pounds- great for a cheap welder. The best thing about this welder is its mere weight of 14 pounds. As a worker, you need to travel to far off areas and different workshops; hence, the mobility of the welder needs to be considered. You can easily carry it around; especially, you will not require a gas cylinder either due it’s flux core ability. The welder is specially meant for jobs such as automobile work, DIYs, household metalworking projects, or can be used as a practicing tool by beginners.; all you really need to start the machine is to plug the machine into an input power outlet. The portability is further enhanced by its 6-foot power cord, which is long enough to provide the necessary flexibility for moving around.

Secondly, it has an onboard storage space that is great for storing the spool guns. It contains multiple wire spool options ranging from 2lb flux wire to 10 lb flux wire, locked and loaded. Moreover, you get a 2-pound spool as a freebie after purchasing it.

Other features

The MIG welder has a 6-month warranty that starts after the day of purchase. It is applicable to broken parts, replacements, and machinery defects. The overheating protection system shuts down the machine automatically after the end of a duty cycle to prevent overheating and short circuits.

What we like:

  • It is quite affordable
  • Require a low maintenance
  • It is made of high-quality products

What we don’t:

  • It is only meant for small scale projects
  • Has a short wire feeder

Editor’s Rating

4.1 out of 5 stars

4. Ironton Flux Core 125 115V Flux Cored Welder

Ironton Flux Core 125 115V Flux Cored Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the Ironton Flux Core Welder in a glance:
  • Welds 18-gauge mild steel up to 3/16in. Thick.
  • Operates on 115V/20 amp power
  • Convenient carry handle and compact size
  • Trigger-activated arc keeps wire “electrically cold” when shutting off
  • Two voltage settings add on to its versatility
  • Contains a heavy-duty flux core gun and ground clamp
  • Has a one-year limited warranty

Features:

Ironton Flux Core 125 Welder provides a decent range of features for what you pay for. This is a great option for beginners who want to practice welding, small DIY projects, or people with an extremely low budget.

Power

The one thought you would have after looking at its compact size is whether it is strong enough to provide the necessary power for welding? Our answer is yes. It operates on a voltage of 115 Volts, which means that you can readily find it in your primary household power outlet, and these no need to spend extra cash on a secondary source. It gives out an output power of 20 amperes that is enough for small scale projects. Furthermore, the duty cycle has a rate of 20% at 80 amperes, so you can easily run it for 2 minutes after every 10 minutes; this is the average rate provided by welders priced much more than Ironton.

Design

The one thing that we liked about this welder is the compact size. Construction workers do not have an office job, which means that they need to move around constantly for completing odd welding jobs. What is the one thing you will look for in equipment that will accompany you everywhere? It’s portability. Ironton doesn’t disappoint you since it weighs quite less. Moreover, you will not require a gas cylinder since it doesn’t offer any MIG welding facility. It has a convenient carry handle at the top, so you won’t have to drag it around or rent out a cartwheel. How economical?

Secondly, it features two voltage settings. As a result, you can weld a variety of different metals by following the specific job requirements.

Other features

The Ironton welder comes with heavy-duty flux core gun and a ground clamp- the clamp is necessary for equipment that uses electricity as it transfers the extra electric ions to the ground, preventing the risk of electrocution.

Another safety feature is it’s trigger activated arc. Safety should be your utmost priority while working with any machine that involves electricity and heating. The arc keeps the wire cold while it’s not being used. If you have kids around the house, this proves to be a lifesaver by preventing accidental burns.

People purchasing it from Amazon might get access to a great deal of US FORGE Welding gloves, a great safety precaution along with a Carbon Steel gas-less flux wiring for just a few additional bucks. Overall, this machine is an optimal tool for people who are low on cash.

What we like:

  • It is pretty affordable
  • Great for beginners
  • It is portable

What we don’t:

  • Has an AC output
  • It only has two power settings

Editor’s Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

5. ARKSEN MIG-130 Flux Core Wire DIY Home Welder

ARKSEN MIG-130 Flux Core Wire DIY Home Welder

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the ARKSEN MIG-130 in a glance:
  • made of the heavy-duty stainless steel body, painted with durable yellow paints
  • uses convenient flux-cored wire that automatically releases the metal-inert gas
  • Has wire feeding speed adjust rotary knob with ten levels of wire feeding speeds
  • perfect for welding normal thin steel and iron, home DIY and general repairing work
  • easy carrying handle, lightweight, compact design for easy mobility
  • Has two air-vents on the machine to help heat dissipation
  • Standard American triangle ground cord and automatic thermal safety protection.
  • Build In Cooling Fan
  • Torch Features Built-In On / Off Safety Control
  • Rated Input Voltage: 115V/60Hz
  • Duty Cycle: 10% @ 105amp and 35% @ 60amp
  • Welding Current: 50-120amp
  • Wire Capacity: 0. 023” To 0. 035” Steel And Stainless Steel, 0. 030” To 0. 035” Aluminum, 0. 030”

Features:

The Arksen MIG-130 Gasless Flux core welder is a great product for people with a low budget yet high demands. Arksen proves that you don’t need to pay a hefty amount to get a high-quality machine with amazing features.

Power

The Arksen MIG-130 is the perfect place of technology that can weld several metals. Rated as one of the most versatile pieces in the market, it fulfills each job with a high-performance level for a smooth and professional finish. It has a cooling fan (we will talk about it later) that increases the welder’s duty cycle to 60% at 60 amperes. We were very surprised to be very honest since we didn’t see any welder with a duty cycle even close to this. You can run it for 6 minutes with a break of 4 minutes. If you are always on the run, this welder is your safest bet.

Many flux-cored welding machines do not allow users to weld metal, but Arksen made the cut once again. It lets you weld any metal including aluminum by the different wire lengths of 0.023 to 0.035 inches for Steel & Stainless Steel and 0.030 – 0.035 inches for aluminum. Furthermore, it runs on a household power of 110 volts, cutting back on the additional costs of installing a secondary power outlet.

Design

While welding a material, your machine would heat up to melt the metal within its duty cycle, after which it will overheat and result in short circuits. What would increase the productivity of your machine? A cooling fan. Arksen comprises of a built-in cooling fan that has been smarty engineered to handle a tough welding process for a long time. This increases your duty cycle without demanding extra power.

Secondly, it has four adjustable heat settings due to the different demands of each material and thickness.

Other features

Safety should be your top priority while using any machine. This flux core welder is, quite easily, one of the safest machines since it doesn’t require any gas, so there aren’t any potential risks of fire eruptions, etc. Moreover, it has a thermal overload protection system. This automatically closes the welder after the end of its duty cycle to prevent short circuits and burns.

Moreover, this welder comes with several accessories to avoid any urgent visits to the hardware store. The toolkit includes welding wires, chipping hammer, wire brush, torch as well as a proper welding mask for your safety.

What we like:

  • It is quite affordable
  • Has a wide range of heat settings for ease of use
  • Portable
  • Has an excellent customer service department

What we don’t:

  • A short instructions manual
  • Has a low penetration

Editor’s Rating

4 out of 5 stars

6. SUNCOO 130 MIG Welder Flux Core Welding Machine

SUNCOO 130 MIG Welder Flux Core Welding Machine

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See the SUNCOO 130 MIG in a glance:
  • Made of heavy-duty stainless steel body
  • The durable yellow paint prevents rust and wear
  • Cored wire automatically releases metal-inert gas while welding
  • The current flow can be adjusted by the four buttons for MIN/MAX,1/2
  • Features a wire feeding speed adjust the rotary knob
  • perfect for welding normal thin steel and iron,
  • Has a Standard American triangle ground cord
  • Stainless steel body
  • Perfect for welding steel
  • The air-vents lower the temperature
  • Torch With Full On / Off Safety Control
  • Automatic Thermal Safety Protection
  • Has builtin storage space

Features:

If you are a DIY enthusiast, the Suncoo 130 Welder is the best choice for you. At an affordable price, it is meant for mild projects. The manufacturers take pride in their workmanship and allow you to obtain a professional welding finish.

Design

It doesn’t consist of an extraordinary exterior but has a simple stainless steel body coated with yellow and grey paint. The paint, on the other hand, consists of chemicals that prevent it from galvanization, rust while ensuring a long life. It consists of two air vents that promote airflow and distribute the accumulated heat away from the machine.

Moving on to its portability, it’s great for jobs that require constant movements and workshop changes. The compact size with a mere weight of 36.5 pounds allows you to move it around freely while the mobility is future enhanced by the absence of any gas cylinders.

Furthermore, it has built-in storage space so you can store your welding gun or other accessories. It’s great for beginners since the welder features a torch with a safe on and off switch.

Power

The Suncoo welder is an optimal choice for welding normal thin steel and iron at a low price. It requires a voltage of 110 Volts that can easily be provided by your primary household power outlet and features a duty cycle of 20% at 150 amperes. Therefore, you can run the machine for 2 minutes every 10 minutes- a normal range for such a price.

Safety

Safety precautions are a must while using any machine, and Suncoo knows it. Therefore, they have provided you with four unique safety systems, ensuring minimal difficulties or injuries during its use. The first one is Overheat Protection. This is similar to a Thermal Overload system and works by shutting off the machine after it exceeds a certain temperature. This is great for occasions when you forget the time and go over the duty cycle, preventing short circuits and burns. It cools the machine by force and restarts after returning it back to the original temperature.

Secondly, it has an Insulation Protection, which is part of the welder’s ergonomic design; the metal casing is coated with an electrostatic spray while the inner circuit board has an insulation board. These features work together to prevent any internal problems. Last but not least, the overcurrent protection serves the users by detecting the current. If your machine faces a sudden increase in amperage, it will cause unnecessary damage; hence, this feature maintains the set amperage value.

What we like:

  • Keeps you safe and secure with the several safety features
  • Very affordable
  • Great for light jobs around the house

What we don’t:

  • The instructions manual doesn’t contain enough details
  • Not meant for heavy-duty projects

Editor’s Rating

3.9 out of 5 stars

Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose The Best Flux Core Welder 

Every worker buys a welder for a different purpose. They can range from DIY purposes, occasional household jobs to major constructions. On the other hand, every welder is meant for a different job. Therefore, you should be aware of your specific needs before going to the market.

These are the factors one must consider before investing in a Flux core welder.

Skills and Budget

It is impossible to start with the buying process without considering these two factors. How much are you willing to spend on a welding machine? This answer depends on your skill level. Beginners usually opt for relatively affordable machines since they need to practice their basic skills. Hence, they do not need the advanced features.

Professional welders, however, invest in high-end machines that give a variety of features. These factors are also dependent on the scale of your job. If you work for a large-scale project with several metals, you need to invest in an expensive welder with a high duty cycle and power range.

Plate Thickness

You should be realistic while selecting your plate range; a machine specifically designed for fusing your maximum plate gauge will not provide a great finish as compared to a welder designed for thick materials; a welder with a high amperage range can also weld thick metals and vice verse.

Usage

Most of the MIG welders in our list are great at multi-tasking i.e., flux core welding and gas welding. This is a great option for people who use both the operations since they can save quite a few bucks. You wouldn’t have to worry about running out of gas when most of the jobs can be done by a flux core welder.

In short, it is better to invest in a machine that offers both of the features, and Hobart 140 is the perfect example.

Type of Metal

What is the use of buying a spool-less welder when you constantly need to work with aluminum? It is necessary to be aware of the metals you’ll be working with during your job. Many welders work with a limited range of materials and thickness, while flux core welders do not weld aluminum.

This determines the current of your machine i.e., AC or DC. Alternative currents do not work well with flux core welders, but they are great for stainless steel. However, a DC current is the best option to go for since it fuses stainless steel and produces a high-quality finish.

Wire considerations

While buying a welder, you need to look out for the wire diameter and reel diameter. The household machines feature a standard 0.03″ diameter wire with a six-inch wire reel, while a thicker metal employs a feed rate of more than 0.035 inches.

Power

Welders work by being connected to a power source that provides the necessary current to weld. While MIG welding a metal, you can change the wire speed, voltage, and current according to the requirements of your job. However, with a flux core welder, you require a constant voltage as it can fluctuate to change the amperage. You should opt for a welder that has a highly adaptable range for different job requirements.

Secondly, input power depends on the power outlet. Most welders need a voltage of 110V to 150V, which can easily be operated through your primary household power outlet. However, a higher voltage may need you to spend some extra time and cash to install a secondary outlet.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle is an important factor to consider while buying a welder of any sort. It is a metric that sets down the running time of a welded, after which it will start to overheat. This is given as a percentage, e.g., 20% at 40 amperes. A welder with a duty cycle of 20% will work for 2 minutes, after which it will need a rest period of 8 minutes.

A welder with a high duty cycle works well since they are more efficient and don’t waste much of your time.

Safety

Looking out for the safety features of any equipment must be the first priority on your list. What is the use of buying an exorbitant MIG welder when it doesn’t provide the necessary protection for the several risk factors associated with overheating? Moreover, flux core welders tend to produce more heat compared to the other welders. Most welders consist of a thermal overload protection system; it shuts down the machine after the end of the duty cycle to prevent overheating and burns.

Portability

As a welder, the occurrence of moving to several work stations at once isn’t new. Welding jobs are carried out several workshops in different areas. Hence, a portable welder is needed.

They should not weigh much since carrying them around is tiring. An added benefit of using flux core welders is that you do not need a gas cylinder, cutting down on a major weight cause. Some machines may also have an ergonomic safety handle on top of them so you can carry them around easily.

FAQs: About Flux Core Welder

Q:  Is a flux core welder any good?

A: Flux core welding might look the same as MIG welding but has a massive difference. It uses a wire rather than shielding gas; the flux flows out of the wire and covers the weld. Therefore it is a great option for materials that are rusted or galvanized. If you are working in a breezy outdoor area, it is recommended to use flux-cored welding since it doesn’t blow the flux out of the weld, unlike gas. It is relatively faster and great for heavy-duty welding jobs.

Q:  Is MIG welding better than flux core?

A: MIG welding is done by feeding a wire welding electrode at selected speed while the output power creates an arc to melt the wire and create the weld. Flux-cored welding, on the other hand, doesn’t require a shielding gas but rather shields the arc from any contaminations. It is simple, productive, and effective, especially for outdoor jobs due to excessive winds and dirty materials. Its speed and portability are great for contribution work, whereas MIG welding is a relatively clean and easy procedure that can weld thick and thin materials.

Q:  How thick can you weld with flux core?

A: Flux core welding is recommended for materials with a thickness of 24 gauge or more, while the minimum range is 20 gauge. Briefly, this method is meant for thick and textured metals.

Q:  Can you weld galvanized steel with flux core?

A: Yes, you can weld galvanized, rusted, and textured metals with flux-cored welding since it brings the contaminants to the surface to be burnt off.

Conclusion

Flux-cored welding is much different from MIG welding for all the right reasons. It’s fast, effective, and great for outdoor welding jobs since it doesn’t blow off the weld regardless of the environmental restrictions or the condition of the material. Selecting a flux-cored welder can be tiring; hence, we have compiled a list of the best flux-cored welders in the market to make this process easier for you.

A buying guide is also included, which mentions the necessary factors of a welder.

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