Some of the links on this page may link to our affiliates. Learn more about our ad policies.

Best Flux Core Welder

Top 7 Best Flux Core Welders: Buying Guide + Reviews

Whether at a home workshop or a full-blown construction business, a flux core welder is one of the best investments you can make to add incredible versatility and tackle seemingly any task that crosses your way.

Today, we’ll be helping you find the best flux core welder that suits your specific needs, thanks to our list of the top 7 flux core welders and a detailed buying guide. So let’s not waste any time and get started!

Best Flux Core Welder in 2020

Kicking off our list with a widely popular candidate, the Hobart Handler 140 MIG/Flux Core Welder offers outstanding durability and convenience, with lots of power to serve your every need.

This welder is designed to let you experience both MIG and FCAW since you can choose to use a shielding gas or just go for the included flux-cored wire alone.

The Hobart welder runs on standard 115 volts, so you can simply connect it to any outlet at home or workshop, generating a range of 25 to 140 amps. This makes it suitable for DIY projects as well as more serious welding jobs.

To alter its amp output, you just have to set the built-in 5-position voltage control selector to your preferred power, giving you the ability to tweak your arc and work on varying metal thicknesses.

As for how long you can operate the Hobart Handler 140 Welder, its duty cycle is 20% when you work at 90 amps output. This machine welds stainless steel and mild steel, with a thickness range of 24-gauge to ¼ inch.

You can use this flux core welder on numerous materials including aluminum, cast iron, titanium, and magnesium alloys. The Hobart Handler 140 Welder comes with a 10-foot power cord, a 10-foot gun, and a 10-foot work cable, allowing you good maneuverability.

The Hobart 50059 Handler Welder offers you a limited warranty period of 5 years.

Pros

  • Versatile machine
  • 5 power settings
  • Works on numerous materials
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Inaccurate welding chart
  • Heavy at 57 pounds

Lightweight yet Capable, the Forney Easy Weld 261 140 FC-i MIG Welder managed to earn hundreds of soaring reviews thanks to its powerful performance and amazing value.

This highly portable welder weighs just about 19 pounds, making one of the most lightweight options on the market. You can carry it around for any sort of DIY projects or repairs with minimal hassle.

The Forney Easy Weld 261 Welder is very adaptable since it features infinite voltage settings and wire feed speed control, allowing you to fine-tune your welding arc to suit every job.

It’s a great choice for beginners and hobbyists, especially those looking for ease of use coupled with power. This flux core welder operates on 120 volts input that you can commonly find in any household, producing up to 140 amps output. It can weld mild steel with ¼ inches maximum thickness.

The Forney Easy Weld 261 Welder is also pretty durable, with an all-metal case that will serve you for extended periods. It’s sizable enough to accommodate wire rolls of 2 and 10 pounds.

This flux core welder has a duty cycle of 30% when you run it at 90 amps, backed up by a reliable 12-month warranty. The package also includes an 8-inch MIG gun, an 8-inch ground clamp, as well as a torch wrap handled.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Infinite wire feed speed control
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Powerful operation
  • 12-month warranty

Cons

  • Doesn't do too well with thin gauge
  • The cords can be longer

A fantastic choice for beginner welders on a tight budget, the Super Deal Pro Commercial MIG 130 Flux Core Welder offers a lot of power and convenience at an incredible price.

This machine can be very handy to have around your home or garage since it’s capable of dealing with almost any type of maintenance or repair task. It’s also made of premium PVC material that’s carefully treated to provide you with a precise and comfortable grip.

The Super Deal Welder runs at 110 volts input, generating up to 120 amps of power to let you work on a variety of materials. Additionally, it features 10 levels of adjustable wire feeding speeds so you can pick the perfect temperature according to the thickness of steel you’re working on.

You can easily find your way around the controls thanks to the intuitive and readily accessible button display. As for its duty cycle, the Super Deal Pro Welder offers an impressive 10% at 105 amps as well as 35% at 60 amps.

Moreover, the gun of this flux core welder carries a copper metal tip which prevents slag from building up while you’re welding to improve the quality of your weld. However, the efficiency of this tip decreases over time and you’ll need to replace it.

Luckily, the Super Deal Pro comes with 2 extra tips as well as a protective welding mask so you can quickly jump right into your project. To cool down the welder and protect it against overheating, it has a built-in fan along with thermal overload protection.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Compact design
  • 10 wire feed speed levels
  • Impressive duty cycle
  • Impressive duty cycle
  • Copper tip prevents slag build-up

Cons

  • Not for heavy-duty welding
  • The included mask isn't very good quality

Bearing durability and reliability in mind, the LOTOS 140 MIG Wire Flux Core Welder is designed to provide users with superior quality and ease of use.

Starting from its durable wire feeder that’s made of solid aluminum for better stability and overall performance. Thanks to its reliable transformer technology, you can easily connect the LOTOS Flux Core Welder to any standard wall outlet with 110/120 volts input, making the setup process much faster.

This flux core welder produces up to 140 amps of power, allowing you to work on different materials such as stainless steel and mild steel up to 3/16 inch thick. You can also use it for ⅛ inch thick aluminum, but the required spool isn’t included with the package.

The LOTOS Flux Core Welder features a 2T/4T switch which lets you choose between Manual and Semi-auto modes. This is particularly helpful during long welding jobs since you can simply release your finger without stopping the process.

Moreover, you can adjust the wire feed speed with a knob that shows the set value on a digital display for improved precision.

This flux core welder has a decent duty cycle, rated as 15% at 140 amps, 20% at 90 amps, and 30% at 80 amps. It comes with multiple accessories including a welding mask.

LOTOS backs up this product with a 100% satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee, as well as a 1-year limited warranty, so you can invest your money without worries.

Pros

  • Manual/Semi-auto switch
  • Rugged aluminum wire feeder boosts stability
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight construction
  • Welding mask included
  • Money-back guarantee and 1-year

Cons

  • No spool for aluminum welding
  • Instructions aren't very clear

Another wonderful option from Forney, the Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder is praised by hundreds of customers for being one of the most convenient and practical welders for beginners and handy individuals.

Right off the bat, you should know that this machine adopts gasless flux core welding only (FCAW-G) by using a 0.030-inch flux-cored wire which is the manufacturer’s recommendation for wire size.

To operate the Forney Easy Weld 299 Flux Core Welder, you just need to plug it into a standard wall outlet supplying 120 volts voltage input which makes setup almost effortless.

The maximum power output of the Easy Weld 299 is 125 amps, allowing you to weld 24-gauge steel up to ¼ inch in thickness. You’ll actually find it fairly easy to get the hang of this machine, the learning curve here isn’t too long and the manual is very helpful.

The Forney 299 can use both 2 and 10-pound wire spools, adding a bit of versatility to the machine. As for its duty cycle, it features 20% at maximum amperage which isn’t the best out there, but then again, this welder isn’t exactly built for heavy-use.

If you’re on the hunt for a flux core welder to get you started without spending a ton of money, the Easy Weld 299 is surely a solid option. It also comes with a 6-month warranty to back you up.

Pros

  • Suitable for beginners
  • Simple set up
  • Provides good amperage
  • Mid-range price
  • Handles 2 and 10-pound spool

Cons

  • The duty cycle can be improved
  • Short warranty period

The Goplus MIG 130 Flux Core Welder is an awesome example of an affordable yet functional machine that’s packing a lot of handy features to serve the requirements of nearly all household maintenance tasks.

It features 4 levels of current flow (min/max/1/2) that you can smoothly adjust by flicking the designated buttons on the control panel. For extra versatility, you also get to choose your preferred wire feeding speed thanks to the integrated rotary know which has 10 different speeds.

The maximum output power of this machine is 130 amps, with a duty cycle of 15% when you run it at 105 amps. It adopts self-shielded flux core welding only, producing neat welds protected by gas from the flux itself.

The Goplus Flux Core Welder weighs just about 35 pounds, with a compact design and a carrying handle so you can easily transport and store it.

Additionally, the Goplus Flux Core Welder comes with 2 built-in air vents to help cool down the machine as well as automatic thermal safety protection to prevent overheating.

The body of this welder is made of sturdy stainless steel to make sure all the delicate components are well protected for an extended life span. You can pick either black or yellowish-orange for the finishing paint color.

At a decent price, you’ll also receive multiple accessories including a protective mask, a ground cord, and a brush/chipping hammer.

Pros

  • Very practical
  • 10 wire feeding speeds
  • Lightweight with carrying handle
  • Has 2 air vents
  • Durable body

Cons

  • Only does self-shielded flux core welding
  • The included wire is lacking in quality

Last but not least, the ZENY MIG 130 Gas-Less Flux Core Welder is a solid choice whether for hobby welding or general repairs around the house.

The construction of this welder is very durable, with a high-quality stainless steel case covered in rust-resistant paint to provide you with long-term use.

Recommended for welding mild steel and stainless steel, this machine utilizes the more convenient gas-less flux core welding process where the shielding gas is produced by the electrode flux itself. This makes it a great welder for learning.

The ZENY Welder features 10 adjustable levels of wire feed speeds to let you pick the most suitable one for the task at hand. It also offers 4 current flow settings, so you can tweak the entire operation.

As for the duty cycle, this machine runs 10% at 105 amps or 35% at 60 amps.

The torch comes with a built-in On/Off control button to keep you safe. This welder is also equipped with automatic thermal safety protection to prevent overheating and help you avoid injuries.

The ZENY Gas-Less Flux Core Welder package includes several accessories such as a chipping hammer/wire brush, a welding mask, and 2 extra gun tips.

Pros

  • 4 levels of adjustable heating
  • On/Off safety control
  • Multiple wire feed speed
  • Easy to set up and use
  • The casing resits rust and wear

Cons

  • The accessories aren't of the best quality
  • Doesn't support other welding techniques

The Verdict

A flux core welder, without a doubt, is a wonderful addition to any building arsenal. When it comes to choosing the best flux core welder, it can get very tricky with all the different brands and specs available out there.

However, we’re confident that our list of the top 7 flux core welders will help you find your perfect machine!

That being said, the Forney Easy Weld 261 140 FC-i MIG Welder takes this one home, offering great versatility with lots of power and excellent portability.

But if you’re looking for a more affordable option that still delivers reliable results, then the Super Deal Pro Commercial MIG 130 AC Flux Core Welder should be right up your alley!

What's a Flux Core Welder?

A flux core welder is a type of welding machine that’s capable of adopting Flux Cored Arc Welding, or FCAW for short.

FCAW is a welding process that utilizes a consumable tubular electrode wire with a flux residing in its inner core. It falls under the general Arc Welding technique because it forms an electric arc between the wire electrode and the metal workpiece.

This arc is responsible for heating both metals (base metal and filler metal) above their melting points, causing them to mix, settle, then solidify to join together all the workpieces and create one whole piece.

The overall principle is similar to MIG welding (Metal or Inert Gas Welding), a welder can even simultaneously support MIG and FCAW welding, but the difference really shows in the presence of flux as well as the freedom of ditching gas shielding which makes FCAW a more economical option.

Also, in FCAW, the electrode wire is supplied to the welder through an automated wire feed unit which typically has knurled rollers. These rollers ensure a secure grip on the wire without damaging or flattening it.

Flux core welders are highly popular among handy beginners as well as veteran professionals in the construction world thanks to its evident ease of use and remarkably powerful performance.

What to Consider before Buying a Flux Core Welder?

When trying to buy the best flux core welder, there are several factors that you need to consider so you can make a satisfactory purchase.

Type of Shielding

Basically, there are 2 major types of FCAW: Self-shielded (FCAW-S) and Gas-shielded (FCAW-G).

The first thing you should think about is the type of shielding you’ll be using because each one requires an electrode wire flux core with a certain chemistry and design to properly operate.

FCAW-S uses an electric wire with a flux core that produces a protective cloud around the molten weld pool as you consume the wire. This cloud shields the hot metal from atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen, so no reactions will take place and the integrity of the weld remains intact.

This type makes for an extremely portable process at a lower cost since there’s no need for extra gas shielding equipment.

On the other hand, FCAW-G uses flux-cored electrode wires that rely on shielding gas, such as pure carbon dioxide, from external cylinders to do the job of protecting the molten welds.

These are the same high-pressure gas cylinders used in MIG welding, where the shielding gas is introduced under the control of a regulator.

Despite the added cost, FCAW-G offers an extremely fast deposition rate which is a rather appealing advantage for many workers.

Voltage

You may be familiar with TIG or stick welders maintaining a fixed amperage, but with flux core welders, it’s the voltage that needs to be kept steady. This is because flux core welders adjust their amperage according to the speed of the wire feed.

This also explains why flux core welders usually have somewhat flexible amperage ranges so they can efficiently meet your changing requirements. The more heat you need, the faster the wire feed should be, and of course, the higher the amperage required.

You’ll find most flux core welders out there to be operating on 110 volts or 120 volts, this is the standard voltage input of nearly all households. It’s capable of generating around 140 amps which is plenty of power to work on 24-gauge steel up to ¼ inches maximum thickness.

However, if you’re searching for a flux core welder to work on thicker chunks of metal, there are models running on 220 volts voltage input that are much more powerful.

Polarity

As for polarity, you should know that flux core arc welding generally uses the current type DC (Direct Current) where one end is always positive and the other is always negative. The current flowing from a car battery is an example of DC.

In most cases when you’re using a large electrode, the polarity is DCEP, meaning the electrode is positive and the metal workpiece is negative. But if you’re welding a thin metal sheet using a small electrode, then you’ll want to change the polarity to DCEN so that the electrode is negative and the metal sheet is positive.

You can adjust such settings using control buttons on the welding machine itself, not the welding gun.

Duty Cycle

Finally, don’t forget to check the duty cycle of your flux core welder. The duty cycle is a percentage value that tells you how long you can operate a welder before it demands to cool down for 10 minutes.

For example, if a welder has a duty cycle of 40% at 90 amps, it means that you can use it to weld for 4 continuous minutes at 90 amps of power then it’ll need to cool down for 10 minutes before you start it up again.