Best Flux Core Welders 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Do you own a construction company, or want to do the welding projects on your own? Then having a Flux Core Welder is a must for you.

A flux core welder is far better than general MIG welding as it operates on Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW). Unlike MIG welding, FCAW is gasless, it means that it doesn’t require a shielding gas, like argon and it is the easiest welder to set up. These are user friendly and you can learn to weld just after an hour of practice.

Want to know the best part?

Flux core welding is the most affordable form of welding that you can do and it’s great for beginners and for those who are learning the art of welding.

The market is flooded with a vast collection of flux core welding machines and we know that it’s a very tough decision for you to choose between them. So, we are here to guide you by giving all the positive and negative aspects of the top flux core welder available in the market.

So, without wasting much time, let’s have you a quick glance over the list of best flux core welder that we have collected after doing lots of research and testing:

1. VIVOHOME Portable Flux Core MIG 130: Best flux core welder under 200

If you are a hobbyist’s welder and looking for an inexpensive household welder for a variety of home repairs then, VIVOHOME Portable MIG 130 welder is a really good choice for you.

However, it’s not the safest and most user-friendly welder available, but at a low price, it is a good quality MIG welding machine for those who don’t have any previous experience in welding.

No Reaction Welder:

VIVOHOME Portable MIG 130 welder uses suitable flux-cored wire to release metal inert gas on its own while you weld and thus stop the oxidation of the welded part. It is a great choice for home repairs and for the hobbyist welders looking for small projects.

Adjustable Welding Speed:

This welding machine inbuilt the setting of current flow up to 4 levels which allows you to easily adjust the 4 buttons for MIN and MAX by choosing buttons 1 and 2 respectively. This welder makes you easy to weld the thin metals made up of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and also you can weld thicker metals with flux-cored welding.

Compact and Portable Design:

The wight of VIVOHOME Portable MIG 130welder is only 36.2 pounds, which makes it lightweight and compact. It also comes with an ergonomic handgrip, making it easy for you to carry anywhere you want.
Best Flux Core Welders

Versatile Welding Machine:

This welding machine runs on 110v, which is standard in most homes to weld mild steel and stainless steel up to ¼ inch. It will also allow you to obtain a professional finish in welding, auto bodywork, and many other thin steel welding processes.

Made up of High-quality material:

VIVOHOME Portable MIG 130Welder Machine is made up of best-quality stainless-steel and is coated with a black finish that ensures you that it will resist corrosion, rust, and wear and tear.

Accessories Included:

The Package includes all the accessories you need to weld like a welding gun with on/off safety control, a grounding clamp, a welding helmet, a welding wire brush and two contact tips, and a spool adapter.

Pros
  • Adjustable Welding Speed
  • Highly lightweight and compact
  • Easy to install and use
  • Works with the 110V power outlet which is standard in most homes
  • The output result gives a professional finish touch
Cons
  • This welding machine uses only DC supply
  • Not suitable for heavy projects

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I will recommend VIVOHOME Portable Flux Core Wire Welder for the beginners and for those who are owning small garages and planning for small scale welding jobs.

2. Best Hobart flux core welder: Hobart 500572 Handler 100

If you are looking for a wire feed welder for a beginner or for personal use like to perform light fabrication projects, maintenance and repair then, Hobart 500572 Handler 100 is a perfect choice for you, as it runs on 115V input power and welds up to 3/16-inch-thick steel. Though it is not a multi-purpose welder but a very good option for performing personal home/hobby maintenance and repair welding jobs.

Broad Amperage output:

The Hobart 500572 Handler 100 has an output range of 30 –100 Amps which allows you to weld up to 3/16 in. (4.8 mm) steel with flux-cored wire.

4 output voltage settings:

As Hobart 500572 inbuild with4 output voltage settings so, it provides you a broader operating option for each wire, with fast and simple adjustment according to the density and joints.

Spool hub assembly consists of 4- or 8-inch spools:

It offers you the flexibility to use different size spools of wire to fit according to your welding requirements.

Built-in contactor:

The built-in contactor of The Hobart 500572 has excellent safety features which makes wire electrically cool until the trigger is dragged.
Best Flux Core Welders

Durable feed header inbuilt with fast-release drive roll tension lever:

Positive feed along with variable tension lever allows you an easy approach to threading new wire.

Short circuit protection:

The Hobart 500572 offers this protection feature which will keep your unit safe from short circuits due to current overload.

Thermal overload automatically reset:

The Hobart 500572 keeps the power transformer from getting too much current flow and thus provide you maximum reliability.

Pros
  • 8 feet of the power cord on the gun makes it easy and comfortable to use
  • Broad Amperage output of range 30 –100 Amps
  • Safe to use as wire remain electrically cool until the trigger is dragged to prevent accidental burning or wastage of material
  • Easy Access to change or swap wires
  • Runs on the household current which makes it perfect for you to use around the home
  • Plentiful operating window is available for wires
Cons
  • Suitable only for mild steels. As it is a light-duty welder, so it is not good for bigger projects
  • Horrifying Duty Cycle: The duty cycle is 20% which takes 2 minutes of uptime for every 8 minutes of downtime. This makes your work especially larger projects, tedious and annoying

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3. ZENY MIG 130: Cheapest flux core welder

If you are looking for a budget-friendly and yet powerful welding machine to perform light fabrication projects, maintenance, and repair work, then buying ZENY MIG 130 Gas-Less Flux Core Welder will be a great choice for you.

Though it not a multi-purpose welder but a very good option for performing personal home/hobby maintenance and repair welding jobs.

Let’s look upon some key features of ZENY MIG 130:

Compact, Portable, and Durable:

ZENY MIG 130 Welder is a compact and elegant MIG machine which is constructed of high-quality durable steel, the outer body is fully painted and can withstand rust and wear. It is a strong and durable welding machine for your long-term use.

Low Input Power Required:

Zeny MIG 130 runs in low input power of 110V and welding current required are 50-120 Amp, which is standard current for most of the homes. You can carry this machine anywhere you want as it requires a minimum power outlet to run.

Flux Core Wire Gasless Welder:

ZENY MIG 130 Welder utilizes suitable Flux-Cored wire which allows the metal inert gas to release freely while welding which stops the oxidation of your welded part. Thus, you will get a splatter-free result.

Adjustable Feeding Speed:

ZENY MIG 130 welder is inbuilt the setting of current flow up to 4 levels which allows you to easily adjust the 4 buttons for MIN and MAX by choosing buttons 1 and 2 respectively.

It also contains a wire feed speed adjust rotating knob with 10 levels of wire feeding speeds according to your choice and torch With Full On / Off Safety Control.

Thermal Overload Protection:

This machine is inbuilt with a cooling fan which automatically switches on if you are using the welder for a long time or if you have chosen the maximum voltage and power output level. So, this decreases the possibility of overheating and will keep the welder safe.

Wire Brush and Welding Helmet

ZENY MIG 130 comes along with a wire brush and a face shield which is handheld which means you have to use your one hand for using face shield, but the quality of this face mask is excellent.

Metal tip:

One of the best features of this welder is that it has a metal tip at the back of the gun which reduces the slags and provides good welding results.

High Duty Cycle:

Zeny 130 MIG welder provides you a high output range of 10% at 105 A or 35% at 60 A. The lower the duty cycle, the higher the output range you will get.

Accessories Included:

MIG-130 Main Unit, Welding Wire, Ground Cord, Welding Face Protection Mask, Chipping Hammer/ Wire Brush, 2.5M Torch, extra 2 Tips.

Pros
  • It runs at a low input power supply of 110V which is standard in most homes
  • It is capable of welding mild steel and stainless steel
  • It is highly portable, durable and compact
  • Gives Smooth and spatter-free clean result
  • It is budget-friendly
  • It has a Variable feed speed control setting
Cons
  • It is not suitable for heavy industrial projects
  • It doesn’t include a full-coverage face shield

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4. Forney Easy flux core: The Top-rated Flux Core Welder

If you are a beginner in welding and looking for some affordable Flux Core Welder, then Forney Easy Weld 299 is a perfect choice for you. This is not a multi-purpose welder but a very good option for those who are hunting for an easy way to add welding to your DIY skills.

Easy to Use and highly portable:

It does not require any shielding gas for welding purposes, so it’s easy for you to move this effortlessly from one place to another. It is also equipped with a 6-foot power cord, which at least allows a little flexibility before needing an extension cord.

Welds 24 gauge up to 1/4 inch:

It has the ability to weld 24 gauge up to 1/4 inch, which is correct, but it has to struggle for this process, so we recommend you to weld 3/16″ sections and less.

Respectable Output

It operates on 120 volts and produces an amperage of 125 amps output. The output is respectable, especially when you are looking into the size of this machine.

Offers large storage area:

It has the ability to Accepts 2 and 10-pound spools and thus offers a large storage area along the side of the welder which allows you to make sure your wire rolls are at the ready whenever you want to start welding.
Best Flux Core Welders

Made of good quality material:

Forney Easy Weld 299 is made from durable plastic and high-quality thin gauged metal.

Powerful enough for welding steels:

The Forney Easy Weld uses flux core wire welding only and the duty cycle is 20% at 125 amps, which is enough for welding steels, but it can’t weld stainless steel.

Come with two Voltage settings and two-wire feed speed:

You can change between the lower setting and a higher setting for thick and thin material respectively.

Stick out option available:

You can choose between stick out between 3/8” +/- 1/8”. Short stick out is equal to more current and more penetration.

Internal thermal protection:

This safety feature allows it to automatically shuts off in case the unit starts overheating and resets the tool until it’s cool enough.

So, to summarise we can say that it’s a good deal for beginners at low cost but it’s definitely a light-duty welder, so don’t expect it to crank out too much heat.

Pros
  • Easy to use and Portable
  • Gives a quick and clean result
  • Enough power output
Cons
  • It is a light-duty welder, so it is not for bigger projects
  • Only two power settings available
  • Uses flux-cored welding wire only, so you will not find any option to weld metals such as Aluminium or stainless steel
  • Short length of the power cord

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5. Lincoln flux core welder: The Budget Flux-Core/MIG Welder

If you are looking for a reliable and powerful industrial welder that can also be used for light fabrication, farm, home, and auto projects then, buying Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 is a very good option for you.

Versatile Welding Machine:

The Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 features a rotary knob for choosing two different controls, thus this versatile machine is simple to arrange MiG welding on fine gauge steel, stainless or aluminum, or flux-cored welding without gas that provides in-depth penetration on thicker steel. It has a simple plug-and-play option that puts you one step away from welding aluminum.

Respectable Output:

Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 Flux-Core has a great welding capacity. If industrial 208/230V power is easily accessible for you, then you can weld thicker materials up to 3/16in for MIG welding or 1/2in. with gasless flux-cored welding.

Gives clean result after welding:

Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 gives clean welds due to replacing solid flux with an inert gas to shield the weld pool from contaminants and the welds are smooth and very nice looking.

Fully adjustable drive system:

The fully adjustable drive system on this welder forges full steam ahead. The numeric drive tension indicator can be turned easily which gives you to develop different ranges according to your wire diameters and offering the versatile settings to reduce the problem of wire twisting and deforming.

Due to brass-to-brass gun connection, conduction gets large and the tough cast aluminum gearbox brings added drive torque and silent operation.

Heavy-duty cycle:

Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 has a duty cycle of 30% @ 130 A (230 V). which means you can weld at 130 amps for 3 minutes and have to wait for 7 minutes until you can start welding again.
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Support dual voltage:

Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 180 supports dual voltage and works flawlessly in low or high voltage. So, whether you are using it in the house or the work field, you don’t need to bother.

Proven Performance is in the Arc:

Lincoln MIG 180 offers proven performance through a forgiving arc that makes your application easier than ever with minimal spatter. Its welding range is 30–180 amp, which makes it possible for you to weld materials ranging from 24 gauge steel to 3/16 inch sheet metal in a single pass.

Accessories included:

Main Welding unit, 1 Gun with cable assembly, 1 .025in. and .035in. contact tips, a Gasless and a gas nozzle, a Spindle adapter for 8in.-dia. Spools, a Shielding gas apparatus, a Sample spool of .025in. MIG wire, a Sample spool of .035in. flux-cored wire.

Pros
  • Perfect MIG welder for Industrial Heavy project
  • 30% duty cycle with spool gun ready
  • User-friendly, Eco-friendly and durable service
  • Every time offers weld with low spatter and higher arc performance
Cons
  • Heavier when compared to the other welder and needs an additional cart to transport
  • Limited to 208/230 V Input power
  • Power Output Limited to 180 A

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6. Miller Electric Welder: The Unique Portable 120V Flux Core Welder

The Miller Electric 907612 Welder is an upgraded and better version of the welder Miller Millermatic 211. This is a welder that has been created to fulfill the welding requirements of both the amateurs and the professionals.

As an expert welder, you can use this machine for a lot of options like MIG, TIG welding, spooling, and many more. You can use Miller flux MIG welder for light to a medium thickness, and it also works well with solid and flux wire, as well as aluminum wire.

Compact and Portable:

The weight of Miller flux MIG welder is around 64.1 pounds, so it’s very portable and if you are a professional you can carry it around and go to the clients and start welding without any troubles. A handle is also given at the top of the welder to make it easier for you to carry it.

Durable:

The outer covering of this welder is made up of stainless steel which is immune to all the moisture in the air and won’t get rusted which will keep your welder durable for a long time.

Powerful:

The Miller Electric 907612 Welder is really a powerful machine as it allows you to weld 24 gauge up to 3/16” steel and stainless steel. Also, you can do the welding of aluminum from 14 gauge to 18 gauge and reach a full 3/16” with flux-cored.

Duty cycle is 20%:

The duty cycle of this machine is 20% at 90A and 60% at 40A, which means that you can weld for 2 minutes at 90A after that the unit will require a cooling down period of 8 minutes.

Thermal Overload Protection:

The welder is inbuilt with a cooling fan which automatically switches on if you are using the welder for a long time or if you have chosen the maximum voltage and power output level. So, this decreases the possibility of overheating and will keep the welder safe.
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Current Adjustment Setting available:

This welder has an adjustment range of 10A to 200A, so you can adjust according to your level of difficulty. You will be able to set the diameter of the wire easily that you want to melt in order to increase the precision and accuracy of your welding.

110 Volts or 220 Volts Power supply needed:

The Miller Electric MIG can be connected to a power input of 110 Volts or 220 Volts which is common in most of the houses.

Auto spool:

This welder comes with an auto spool feature, which means it is completely automatic and auto sets the diameter of the wire and other settings and this eliminates you changing the switch and setting it every time.

Pros
  • Compact and Portable
  • Auto spool feature available
  • User Friendly and durable
  • Works with the 110V/220V power outlet which is standard in most homes
  • Powerful enough to weld steel, stainless steel as well aluminum
  • Gives Smooth and spatter-free clean result
Cons
  • Not suitable for thicker metals
  • The length of the power cord is quite small
  • The power input is not good with generators

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7. Hobart 500568 Handler: Top Quality flux core with EZ mode

Hobart Wire Feed Welder 130 is one of the upgraded versions that is powerful and easy to access. It is a great choice for beginners as well as for those who are looking for a perfect welder to perform light fabrication projects, maintenance, and repair work. You can weld steel, stainless steel, aluminum metal, and another alloy effortlessly and with minimal knowledge.

Versatile Welding machine:

A most important aspect of Hobart 500568 welder is that it operates in 115-volt power and easily penetrates 3/16 in. steel with flux-cored wire. It has also brad output range of 30 – 130 A

EZ-Mode and Two knob control:

This welding machine features EZ-Mode which means you only need to adjust a single knob for the thickness of mild steel when welding with self-shielded flux-cored wire. The Single knob automatically adjusts itself both the volts and wire feed speed when you set the unit in EZ-Mode. It also allows you independent control of the voltage and wire feed speed (WFS).

Four output voltage settings:

The four output voltage settings provide you a broader operating option for each wire, with fast and simple adjustments according to the density of the metals. You can also change from a flux-cored wire into Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding easily due to the gas solenoid that is installed in the welder.
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Dual-groove quick-change drive roll:

This feature of Hobart 500568 Handler 130 makes it easy for you to change from one wire size to another. One knurled groove for .030–.035 in wire, and one smooth groove for .023/.025 in the wire. It has also Durable feed header with drive roll tension lever released easily which gives you an easy approach to threading new wire.

Oxidation Short circuit protection and Self-resetting thermal overload:

It comes with protection against current overload and protects power transformer from thermal overload and provide you maximum reliability. It also features a Built-in contactor which makes wire electrically cool until the trigger is dragged.

20% duty cycle:

The duty cycle of this machine is 20% at 85A, which means that you can weld for 2 minutes at 85A and after that, the unit will require a cooling down period of 8 minutes.

Pros
  • It is compact, lightweight and durable
  • Great for beginners and intermediate welders
  • Works with 120v power supply which is standard in most homes
  • Gives Smooth and spatter-free clean result
  • Can be personalized as per need with wire feed knobs
Cons
  • It has a low duty cycle of only 20% at 85A
  • It is not meant for heavy industrial projects

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8. Harbor Freight flux core welder: Titanium Easy-Flux 125 Amp Welder

Regardless of what you need to weld, Titanium Easy-Flux 125 Amp Welder is a perfect option for you to buy. It can weld mild steel from 18 gauge up to 3/16in. thick which makes it ideal for light fabrication, farm, home, and auto projects.

Let’s look upon some important features of Titanium Easy-Flux 125:

Compact and Portable:

The weight of Titanium Easy-Flux 125 welder is only 38 lbs, that means it is so lightweight that
you can carry this anywhere you want.

Thermal Overload Protection:

This welder is inbuilt with a cooling fan which automatically switches on if you are using the welder for a long time or if you have chosen the maximum voltage and power output level. So, this decreases the possibility of overheating and will keep the welder safe.

Shielding gas NOT required

Titanium Easy-Flux 125 is specifically designed to use self-shielding flux-cored welding wire, there is no need for you to buy gas bottles or regulators.

Duty Cycle is 20%:

The duty cycle of this machine is 20% at 90A, which means that you can weld for 2 minutes at 90A and after that, the unit will require a cooling down period of 8 minutes.
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Wire feed speed control system and Trigger activated gun present:

This welder features Continuous wire feed speed control which gives you optimal welding performance and also prevents accidental arc flash

Respectable Output:

Titanium Easy-Flux 125 welder has a great welding capacity. If 120v power input is easily obtainable for you, then you can weld mild steel from 18 gauge up to 3/16in.

Accessories Included:

The package includes 1 welder and 1 gun, contact tips, and 1 nozzle.

Pros
  • It is compact, lightweight and durable
  • Great for beginners and intermediate welders
  • Works with 120v power supply which is standard in most homes
  • Gives Smooth and spatter-free clean result
Cons
  • It has a low duty cycle of only 20% at 85A
  • It is not meant for heavy industrial projects

See What the Customers are Saying

FAQs:

Q: Is flux core welding any good?

Ans: Yes, flux-core welding offers greater penetration, which is great for working with thicker joints. It also allows the welder to travel in different directions and hold the torch in a number of directions.

Q: What can a flux core welder weld?

Ans: A flux core welder can weld thicker metal; thus, it is ideal for heavy-duty or industrial applications.

Q: How much do Flux Core Welders make?

Ans: It all depends on the experience of a Welder. A mid-career Welder with 5-9 years of experience can earn an average total compensation of $18.84 based on 726 salaries and an experienced Welder with 10-19 years of experience can earn an average total compensation of $20.03 based on 720 salaries.

Q: What flux core welding and what is it used for?

Ans: A flux core Welding is a process of welding that operates on Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW). Unlike MIG welding, FCAW is gasless, it means that it doesn’t require a shielding gas, like argon. Flux Core Welding is used for welding structural steel, heavy equipment repair, shipbuilding, bridge construction, and many other applications.

Q: How to practice flux core welding?

Ans: To practice flux core welding, firstly you must gather Flux Core Welding Supplies and Equipment, then prepare the workshop. Secondly, prepare the metal and wire and set the voltage and amperage according to the thickness of metal you want to weld and then use the Pull Technique to weld and finally clean up your piece.

Q: Flux core welding settings

Ans: The basic Flux core welding settings for Horizontal welding is given below:

Parameter/SettingAmps/VoltsIPM
0.035″190/25.5560
0.045″250/27375
0.052″275/28200
1/16″290/29240
5/64″325/30160
3/32″400/30165

 

Basic Parameters for Vertical welding are given below:

Parameter/SettingAmps/VoltsIPM
0.035″165/25375
0.045″195/25.5275
0.052″205/25.5200
1/16″210/26165

 

Problem with welder sputtering

Excessive resistance anywhere along the circuit of the welder can lead to a wide range of problems, including a sputtering. This problem occurs because resistance in the circuit reduces the amount of current that can flow to the welding arc and when the power source senses the reduced current at the arc it sends a stream of voltage in order to overcome the restricted current flow. Due to the increased voltage, sputtering occurs which leads to poor and inconsistent weld quality.

Flux core welding polarity

Flux-cored welding needs DC electrode negative or straight polarity. The polarity connections are usually present on the inside of the machine near the drive rolls.

Flux core welding aluminum

Aluminum is an exotic metal and most flux core welders cannot weld it. In order to weld aluminum, a better option would be to braze/solder aluminum together with a cheap propane torch. For aluminum welding, gas is the best way and you will often need a spool gun.

A Comprehensive Buying Guide for You

Have you decided which flux core welder you want to buy? If not, then please look at our buying guide which will help you to decide the best flux core welder for you.

The thickness of the metal you want to Weld:

Before buying a flux core welder, you must decide the purpose of using it that is whether you want it for your personal use like for light fabrication, farm, home, and auto projects or you need it for heavy industrial projects to weld thicker metals.

One thumb rule for deciding this is to check the amperage of the welder. If it has higher amperage, then it means that you’ll be able to weld much thicker materials. Welders with 30-40 amps are generally suitable to weld a 1.00mm sheet and are usable in 0.8mm sheets.

Duty Cycle:

This is also one of the important factors that you must take into consideration before buying a flux core welder. The duty cycle shows the time period for which you can continuously use the welding machine before it needs a rest.

For example, if the duty cycle of the Welder is 30% at 90 Amp, it means that the welder can be used continuously for 3 minutes at 90 amp and after that, it needs 7 minutes to break time.

Portability (Weight and Size):

The flux core welder that you are going to buy should be compact and portable which means its size and weight should be reasonable so that you can carry it easily along with you anywhere you want.

Thermal Overload Protection:

This feature of the welder decides its durability. Thermal Overload Protection plays a very vital role in preventing the overheating of a welding gun. The welder having this feature automatically get shut down as soon as it starts getting overheated and restarts itself after it gets cool down. As a result of this, your welding machine will continue working properly without any trouble.

The welders having this type of feature are relatively higher in price then the others, but if you can afford to pay more then it is highly recommended.

Manufacturer:

This is also an important aspect to decide whether you want to go with some reputed brands or with some less-known company and want to take a risk.

Before deciding this, just keep in mind that you are not going to buy any welder every day. The famous brand gives you a great after-sales service, trust, warranty, and another extra service, this means you don’t need to bear the repairing cost if your welder will face any technical issue. This also reduces your maintenance and repair costs.

Lead:

The quality of the lead used in your welder makes a huge difference in its use over the whole period. Moreover, it will make your welding experience more enjoyable and gives you higher confidence.

More precisely, we can say that the length of ground leads should be from 10′ to 12′ and that of torch leads should be from 10′ to 24′. Not all leads come at this length, but the more the length of the lead the more you will feel freedom in moving your welder.