Best Flux Core Welders of 2021 – Reviews With Buying Guide


Flux core welders are meant to provide more efficiency than MIG welding. But it is disappointing when they cannot offer fast welding for rusty metals, galvanized materials, and metals with impurities. That's why it is more than essential to research the right welder before purchasing.

Best Flux Core Welders

Practicing testing provides clear results on which welder is better than others. That's why we have tested a large number of popular flux core welders in our facility, and the result has made us able to offer the list below. So, if you are in search of a quality flux core welding machine for DIY or professional tasks, go for the items below.

Quick Comparison On Our Top Picks


Image

Name

Feature

Price

Hobart Handler 140 Flux Core Welder

Welds 24 gauge up to 1/4 in mild steel

Forney Easy Weld 261 - Flux Core Welder

Lightweight 19 lbs. easily carried

Super Deal PRO Commercial 130 AC Flux Core Welder

Self release metal-inert gas while welding

Reboot MIG175 Flux Core Welding Machine

Maintenance and repair and metal fabrication

Goplus AC Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder

Compact and exquisite MIG gas welder

Lotos 140 Amp MIG Wire Flux Core Welder

Welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum


Best Flux Core Welders 2021 Reviews


1. Hobart Handler 140 Flux Core Welder - Best Overall

Specifications

  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 13 inches
  • Part number: 04-ZVGR-0O8D
  • Material: Steel
  • Welding Amperage Range: 25-140 A
Hobart Handler 140 Flux Core Welder

This welding machine is powered by common 115 volt electrical circuits. That means that you will never have trouble finding a power source for your welding needs. With that 115 volt input the machine can produce 140 amps of output. 

It has a five position voltage control knob so you can have a stable arc and a smooth weld no matter what metals or thicknesses you are working with. It is recommended for use with titanium, stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, mild steel, and a wide variety of metals.

The machine weighs only 65 pounds so it can easily be moved around and used in various locations. It measures 19 inches x 11 inches x 13 inches so it is small and easy to store, even in crowded garages.

This Hobart welder has a 20% duty cycle. That means that for every ten minutes it will provide 2 minutes of optimum performance. This duty cycle is based on the highest output amps, so if you reduce the number of amps you can increase the duty cycle of the machine.

This welder will give you industrial performance in a homeowner size apparatus. It comes with heavy duty work clamps, and has a cast aluminum drive system that allows the machine to be quieter during operation.

Pros


  • The metal wire feed assembly of this welder is much better than plastic ones and is more durable.
  • Offers 40 to 700 IPM of wire speed and the option to infinite adjusting of it for better, more precise welds.
  • The welder can work on up to ¼" steel at 25-140 A amperage range.
  • The quality of the regulator is great as you will find it is a unit from Miller.
  • You can also weld aluminum with this welder.

Cons


  • Only 20% duty cycle at 90A may be a bit low for professional welders, but beginners still can use it for simpler tasks.
  • For adjusting the tension of the spool, you need to use a wrench.

2. Forney Easy Weld 261 - Flux Core Welder

Specifications

  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.7 x 12 x 8.1 inches
  • Material: Metal
  • Amperage Capacity: 140 A
  • Cord Length: 6 Feet
Forney Easy Weld 261 - Flux Core Welder

This is the perfect welding machine for beginners as well as skilled craftsmen. You do not need, and cannot use, shielded gas with this machine. Unlike the Hobart Handler 140, this is an absolute FC-i welder with half of the price of Hobart. We only rank the Hobart 140 in number 1 because of its multi-process function. But, for those who are looking for a complete and solo flux core machine Easy Weld 261 is the champion product for them.

It is powerful enough to weld 24 gauge metals that is as much as ¼” thick. That amazing ability is produced with a 120 volt electrical input. It plugs into a standard household circuit. It also produces as much as a 140 amp output.

This Forney Easy Weld comes complete with a ground clamp, and a MIG gun. It can only be operated with flux core wire so it comes with a .030” wire sample to get you started.

The machine measures 16.7 inches x 12 inches x 8.1 inches and weighs only 19 pounds. It can be used outdoors or in areas where large shop fans are creating a draft. It can also be used on new metal, dirty metal, painted metal, rusty metals etc.

It is designed so that you can hold the electrode in any position needed to make it come into contact with the metals you need to create a weld on.

Pros


  • Both voltage and wire feed settings are infinite, giving you a lot more options to work with while precision welding.
  • Up to 30% duty cycle at 90 amp is more than expected from this cheap device.
  • Not only is it portable, being only 19 pounds, but also the device has a durable and high-quality frame which makes it long-lasting.
  • Has the ability to weld ¼" steel in one pass and thicker sheets in multiple passes.
  • Great for beginners as it uses .30 wire, has a very simple control panel, and can be utilized on 120V outlets.

Cons


  • The ground clamp is only 8'. It will suffice for beginner welders, but most professionals prefer over 10'.
  • The additional accessories that you would want to get are only provided by Forney.

3. Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder

Specifications

  • Weight: 41.9 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12 x 18 x 24 inches
  • 125 Amp
  • Dual voltage 120V/230V
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 125A
  • Cord Length: 6’
Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder

This unit underperforms compared to Forney’s Easy Weld 261 when it comes to output amperage. The 261 provides 140 Amp while it is 125 Amp for the 299. The 261 model also seems to handle .035 wires better, but you can still use them for 299 with effort. Staggering how the 261, being improved in so many fields, weighs a lot less than the 299!

Beginner and hobbyist welders who would want to purchase a quality flux core welder by Forney at an affordable price will find the 299 as a great choice. Providing great control over wire feed speed, the welder seems to give proper precision for welding thin and thick sheets.

If your budget isn’t good enough for the 261 and the amperage of 125A is suitable for your work, the 299 is an excellent pick. It is an overall better choice than Forney’s competitors.

Pros


  • It works very well with .030” wires, and it is also somewhat suitable for .035” wires.
  • Easily adjustable wire feed speed allows you to work on thin and thick sheets precisely.
  • The max material gauge for this unit is 3/16” for simple passes. The penetration is good enough for up to 1/8”, which is good for the value.
  • Instead of thermal protection, the auto restarting system takes place for keeping the welder safe from overheating.

Cons


  • Only a 20% duty cycle at 125A makes it suitable for beginner welders but not good enough for professionals.

4. Super Deal PRO Commercial 130 AC Flux Core Welder

Specifications

  • Weight: 38 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20.25 x 15 x 12.5 inches
  • User-friendly interface
  • Variable Feed Speed Control
  • Compact and powerful
Super Deal PRO Commercial 130 AC Flux Core Welder

The best part of this product is its price. There are other multi process welding machines that are as low as Super Deal PRO. But, remember, this is an AC-powered machine while for Flux-core welding, DC output is the best for a smooth process.

So, if you are a beginner and would like to practice a bit with a powerful machine at having an affordable price then go for it. However, if you can up your budget, Forney Easy Weld 261 is a far better product than Super Deal.

This is a small welding machine, but it has plenty of power to do the welding you need to do. It can produce as much as 130 amps and is powered by a simple 110 volt electrical outlet. You plug it into your household outlets and go to work.

This machine weighs only 38 pounds so it is easy for everyone to pick up and move around. It can be easily stored on a shelf in the basement or garage of your home.

You get ten levels of wire feed speed settings so you can have the precise speed according to the metal you are welding. This means you will have smoother welds that require less cleaning and less slag removal.

It comes complete with 0.5 pounds of welding wire, a welding protection face mask, a wire brush, a chipping hammer, a 2.5M torch, 2 spare tips, a ground cord, and the grounding clamp.

This welder is ideal for beginners, for homeowners, for small ranch owners, and around the sop use. It can weld mild steel, stainless, copper, steel alloy, brass, and many other metal varieties.

Pros


  • It reduces / completely prevents oxidization when you are welding.
  • Up to 10 levels of options for wire feed control.
  • Uses up to 0.035" flux-cored wire.
  • Can effortlessly weld up to 1/2" sheets, which is admirable for a welder under $200.

Cons


  • It is an AC welder, making it highly suitable for aluminum but doesn't have the capabilities of DC welding.
  • Lower in quality than the other reviewed models

5. Reboot Flux Core Welding Machine - Best Value

Specifications

  • Weight: 35.9 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19.69 x 11.02 x 14.96"
  • Part number: MIG175
  • Voltage: 220 Volts
  • Multi Use.
Reboot MIG175 Flux Core Welding Machine

This is a powerful flux core welder that requires 220 volt electrical circuits to operate. It needs that much fuel because it has an output range of 30 amps to 175 amps. You will be able to get the desired weld on whatever metal, and whatever thickness of metal, that you are working on with that kind of output.

You can easily weld materials that are up to 1 mm thick. It is perfect for mild steel, but can be used on the majority of metal types, and can even be used on metal that has been exposed to air, wind, rain, and other elements that cause it to oxidize, or rust.

It comes complete with a 1 x 2m cable, a work clamp, a 1 x 2m cable with an electrode holder, a MIG welding torch that is a 1 x 2m MB15, 1 kg of wire, 1 x 3m gas hose.

This is a small machine that is perfect for hobbyist, craft workers, homeowners, small business owners, automobile repair and restoration, decorative yard ornaments, farm machinery, mowing equipment, marine and sporting equipment repair. It provides a clean and smooth weld and in most cases only needs one pass to create a strong bond.

Pros


  • Welding carbon steel with this device is straightforward without the requirements of gas.
  • 100% duty cycle at 120A output and 40% at 160A makes it a semi heavy-duty welder that can be great for professional welders working under 160A requirements.
  • You can use .025" to .035" wires with this for different types of welding, including flux core, MIG, lift TIG, MMA, etc.
  • Great for outdoor works as the device has 100000pcs/week production ability.

Cons


  • Even though it works with 0.035", the performance isn't as good as 0.030" and requires more time.

6. Goplus AC Flux Core Automatic Feed Welder

Specifications

  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 7.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Perfect for welding steel
  • 4 adjustable heating
Goplus AC Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder

This is both a flux core welder and a MIG gas welder so you are getting the benefits of two welding machines in one small package. The exterior of this machine is made of a heavy duty stainless steel so it will not rust or corrode, and will help make the operation of the machine quieter.

It is easy to use and has only four simple buttons for you to adjust. That means that set up will take only a few minutes. You can adjust the flow settings and the wire feed speed so that you have the best wire speed for the material you are working with. The wire feed knob allows you to adjust the speed to one of ten different settings.

This is a miniature size welding machine that has the capabilities of a machine three times its size. It is perfect for the homeowner and restoration specialist, and it is perfect for shops that work on lawn equipment and other metal items.

Both the beginner and the professional welder can get a lot of use from this little power house. This machine comes with everything you need to start welding as soon as you get it out of the box.

Pros


  • 4 levels of welding speed and 10 levels of wire feed speed allow more than enough precision that you would expect for welders under $200.
  • Does not require gas as it is able to self-release metal-inert gas and also makes sure there is no oxidization on the metal you are working with.
  • Better heat control than its competitors as it features two air vents and automated thermal protection.
  • You can use .035 wire with the welder and weld up to ¼" with ease.

Cons


  • Wire feed motor inside the welder uses power from the transformer unit, causing power drop for a split second. It is fixable by installing an extra transformer for the wire feed.

7. Lotos 140 Amp MIG Wire Flux Core Welder

Specifications

  • Weight: 54 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22 x 10 x 16 inches
  • Reliable and Durable
  • Aluminum Wire Feeder
  • Multi Use
Lotos 140 Amp MIG Wire Flux Core Welder

This is a combination welder that gives you the ability to weld with flux wire or weld as a MIG welder with a solid core wire and a shielding gas. You get two powerful welding processes at your fingertips in one small package.

It is powered by the common 110 volt electrical supply you already have in your home, garage, shop or office. You do not need anything special to be able to power this machine.

It has the ability to use a wire range of .025” to .030” in the solid core wire used for MIG welding and .030” to .035” wire.

You can utilize it to weld 24 gauge steel that is up to 3/16” thick. It has an adjustable wire speed for the wire feeder that helps you to maintain the proper weld for whatever material you are working with.

In the package you get the appropriate MIG torch, a ground cable clamp, a gas hose, a ground cable, an Argon gas regulator, contact tips size .023” and .035”, a safety welding mask, and sample welding wire in sizes .025” and .030”.

Pros


  • The wire feeder of this unit is made of aluminum. Most professionals who often change the original wire feeder of similar welders for durability and performance issues will be satisfied.
  • It can use .030 to .035 flux core wires and solid steel wires of .025 to .030.
  • Has the capacity to weld up to 3/16" of 18-gauge mild steel and stainless steel. For aluminum, the limit is 1/8".
  • 2T/4T switch is included, giving you more control over the welding and adjust wire feeder speed and voltage while working.
  • Has a quick connector on the ground cable. So, better DC performance is ensured as you can easily switch between negative and positive poles.

Cons


  • A spool gun is not included with the unit.
  • The gas hose connection could be better.

Best Flux Core Welding Machine - Buying Guide


Flux core welding gives you the optimum amount of flexibility in welding. The electrode can be held in whatever position is comfortable for you and whatever position allows you to place the weld where it is needed.

This type of welding is ideal for outdoor welding because the protected flux works even in windy or drafty areas. It is also great for thicker metals, and for metal that is not pristine.

When choosing a flux core welding machine look for the following things.

Easy to Use Selections

One of the things you need your flux core welder to possess is an interface that is easy to use. You want to be able to select wire speeds and wire feed with a simple adjustment.

Some machines have preset push button selections and some use a rotary dial. Generally, the machines with rotary dial knobs have a wider range of selections and settings.

Preset selections make the welding process easier for beginners.

A Large number of wire feed speeds

In order to weld different materials and get a clean and professional looking finish you will need to be able to adjust your wire feed speed accordingly. You want to buy a machine that will give you at least ten different wire feed speed settings to choose from.

Easy setup

You want a flux core welder that will be very easy to set up and to put away. You want to be able to set your welding machine up and be welding n less than five minutes. If the setup process is complicated then you are going to be reluctant to bring the machine out.

Lightweight and portable

You want a flux core welder that is lightweight and easily transported. This will give you the freedom to weld in a variety of locations.

Combination Process Capabilities

If you buy a welding machine that can be used as a MIG, a flux core welder and a stick welder then you will be able to do any welding process that you might need to do without purchasing additional equipment.

Useful with a variety of metals

You want to buy a machine that can weld a wide variety of materials. Get a machine that can handle stainless steel, mild steel, steel alloy, copper, brass, metal plate, aluminum and cast iron.

Capable of handling 110 volt or 220 volt input

A dual voltage machine will allow you to work easily in more locations.

Why Flux Core Welding?


Flux core welding is a welding process that allows you to get deep penetration when you are welding thicker sections of metal. This type of welding allows you to seam thicker pieces of metal together with a smooth weld and it is much more forgiving if the metal you are using is dirty, rusty, or rough.

Flux core uses a welding machine appropriate for MIG welding. It simply uses a different electrode to create the welds with. Many people like the fact that if they have an MIG welder they have the capability to choose between the flux core process or the MIG process.

The biggest reason why people choose to use the flux core process is the fact that the shielded electrode allows the welder to work in outdoor scenarios where they may be a wind that would otherwise interfere with MIG welding.

Welders also like the fact that the flux core process is fast. Most welders can weld ½” pieces of metal together using just one pass when they are using the flux core process.

The flux core electrode stops the welder from having to carry a bottle of shielding gas with them, so it saves set up time and money.


Frequently Asked Questions


How to use flux core welder?

Prepare your metal for the welding process by cleaning it and removing anything that will interfere with your work. Then check the cables on your machine to assure a good connection, select the polarity of either DC electrode negative or straight polarity, make sure your drive roll is appropriate, check your tension and make adjustments if needed, then inspect your consumables to ascertain whether they are in good condition. You are ready to work.

What can you weld with a 125 amp flux core welder?

The 125 amp flux core welding machine will be capable of welding mild steel that is as thin as an 18 gauge and mild steel that is as thick as 3/16”. This is the ideal size welding machine for most homeowners and small businesses or farm use.

What is a flux core welder good for?

Flux core is a great welding process if you are working on thicker pieces of metal to create a seam or joint. It is frequently the chosen process when welders are repairing an object, manufacturing items, or working in situations such as a ship-builder or fabricator.

How does a flux core welder work?

Flux core welding makes use of a welding wire that has an inner core that is capable of producing the fluxing agent and the shielding gas you need to weld in MIG style without you having to have a separate bottle of shielding gas connected to your welding torch. The flux wire is your welding connection and the gas to make it work is included in the wire.

How to set up a MIG welder for flux core?

The main concern that you have when setting up a MIG welding process welder to do flux core welding is setting the polarity of the machine correctly. You should choose the direct current electrode negative or DCEN setting.


Final Note


Now that you have gone through all these amazing flux core welders, if you are still confused about which one you should pick, based on the features and benefits, the Forney Easy Weld 26I and the Reboot Flux Core Welding Machine will be the best choice for you. They come with all the necessary tools you need. Both are lightweight and easy to operate. They provide the maximum output with the minimum input.

Both of them can weld metal of high thickness and are designed for welding many types of metals, whether new or old and rusted. Their size and weight make them suitable for any type of workplace.

May you get through the hard task of getting the perfect welding machine with no problem with the help of these reviews. You can feel free to check the reviews thoroughly and repeatedly to make sure that the one you will get is the best one.

Last Updated on 1 week by Richard Boyer

  • May 2, 2021
Richard Boyer
 

Richard Boyer has been a professional welder for over 27 years of his life, and now he is a trainer and blogger providing critical information to anyone interested in welding. He is helping out both hobbyists, novice and professional welders to learn newer and better techniques. Read more about me