When it comes to professional welding, it is important to understand the different types of machines, whether you are working with alloys or joints.
Welding machines (also known as welding guns or welders) are one of the essential tools for a professional welder.
One single type of machine is not suitable for all types of welding. Various kinds of machines are designed to cater to different types of techniques.
Our today’s topic is flux core welders.
I’ve rounded up the 10 best flux core welders of 2019 to help you find your ideal machine. There will also be a buying guide and other information regarding welding.
Let’s get started.
In a Hurry? Check out Our top picks of Flux Core Welders
Our Top 10 Best Flux Core Welders Review
There are too many options on the market. I’m here to help you narrow it down with the following reviews. Let’s begin.
SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 150A Welder
If you are looking for the ideal machine for welding mild steel, iron and other such metals, then this is the one for you. It uses a flux-cored wire, approximately 0.8mm to 0.9mm and automatic feed welding.
This welder is made up of a steel body and maneuvers with the gasless operation, which makes it perfect for welding outdoors. This machine is of a comfortable size, which makes it portable.
It also is an AC welder with adjustable power settings to control the welding current range from 80 AMP up to 150 AMP. The welder runs on 110V/60HZ single-phase voltage. Containing no gas, the welder comes with thermal protection. This is a good safety precaution in terms of fire hazards.
Other safety controls registered in the machine include feed speed, torch, automatic thermal safety protection, and heating.
The torch is very safe, it will not have leakage of electricity, and it is in accord with the US standards. All these options are controllable and adjustable according to the required amount and depending on the type of work being done. This makes the equipment extremely handy and portable.
ZENY MIG130 Welder
This gasless flux core wire welder uses an automatic feed and is one of the best in the market for solid construction as a home improvement tool for your various DIY projects and general repairing work.
The machine is compact and is made up of high-quality, durable steel. It is fully painted to withstand rust, wear, and tear. This also prevents oxidation of the part being welded. And this makes it an exquisite, strong, and durable welder for long term use.
With a maximum frequency of 50/60HZ, an absorbed power of 60% (KVA), a current range of 50 AMP to 90 AMP, and a flux wire diameter range of 0.8mm to 0.9mm, the specifications of this machine makes it one of the best contenders for at-home construction work.
Besides using flux-cored wire and no gas, a notable feature of this welder is that it has automatic thermal safety protection, which makes it ideal for welding both mild steel and stainless steel. It also has adjustable feeding speed, which can be done using four different buttons, especially for your safety control.
Ironton Flux Core Welder
If you’re the type of person who mainly works outdoors, the Ironton Flux Core Welder is the perfect machine for you as it has a convenient carry handle and is compact in size for easy portability. Capable of operating on an amp power of 115V/20, this welder requires no special wiring.
This welder is great for various projects that can be done in and around the house. It can even be used in farms, hardware stores, or places where old scraps of metals are recycled.
The Ironton 125 flux core welder can weld gauges of 18 mild steel up to the thickness of 3/16 inches. It is an excellent product that runs smoothly in almost any weather.
Even though this welder runs on a high voltage of 115V and a current of 125 AMP, it has dependable performance, which makes it a sure-shot instant favorite. This welder is also versatile in the sense that has two voltage settings.
One of the most important safety features of this particular welder is the trigger. If you activate the trigger, only then it creates an arc.
SUNCOO 130 MIG welder
Like the other products on this list so far, this particular welder also uses a flux core wire, an automatic feed, and is also gasless. The gas is self-releasing while the welding is being done. This is a plus point as it helps prevent oxidation of the part that is being welded.
The entire body of the machine is made of heavy-duty stainless steel, making it compact and exquisite. It is also painted completely with black paints, which not only makes it look clean and professional, but it also makes the welder extremely long-lasting and very durable.
Also, the product is very simple to set up and use, which makes it attractive for beginners.
Additional features of this welder include a variable speed control which lets you easily adjust the flow of the current with the four available buttons situated on the machine and also a button for adjusting the wire feed.
This welding machine is perfect for welding normal thin steel and iron, which makes it the perfect contender for DIY home-related projects and also other such general repair work. According to reviews, the SUNCOO 130 MIG welder will enable you to obtain a professional finish.
Its relatively small size makes for it a portable design that allows you to take it to any site. The design also includes 2 air vents on the machine which help heat dissipation.
Goplus MIG 130 Welder
This one will get you off to the best possible start, especially if you get your hands on welding for the first time. It uses a convenient flux core wire and releases inert metal gas automatically.
The machine is also built of a strong stainless steel body and is entirely painted with durable yellow paint to make sure it lasts for a long time. It is known as a “household smart” welder as it is great and highly useful for household-related welding, which means anybody could use it.
Because of it releasing gas automatically, it ensures that the area that is being welded does not become oxidized. A big plus point for this machine is that it has multiple adjustable buttons that control the flow of the current and the wire speed. In fact, it has 10 different levels for wire feeding speeds.
What’s nice about this machine is that it is quite small, or as most would say “miniature” in size, which makes it practical to be carried around everywhere. Even though it is small in size, it gets the job done properly and can get you results with a professional finish.
Its two air vents on the machine also help heat dissipation, and the welding gun has a full-on/off safety control. The machine comes complete with a reel of 0.9mm, 0.55lbs welding wire, a protection mask, and a brush/chipping hammer.
Forney Easy Weld 299
The Forney Easy Weld 299, as its name clearly suggests, is an extremely handy and easy to use welding machine. It is regarded as the best flux core welder for the money due to the immense value it provides.
This one’s functionality is very basic, so it makes it a hassle-free device, perfect for entry-level welders or people looking to do it themselves in terms of home-based projects.
Also, the specifics of this machine indicate that it can weld 24 gauges up to ¼ of an inch. It runs on a 120-volt input and 125 AMP output, and it accepts spools ranging from 2 and 10 pounds in weight.
Moreover, the device is capable of welding 1/8″ of steel. The flux core wire that it uses is 0.030” in thickness, with the flux fabricated into the wire, which helps shield the welded area.
One drawback is that even though it can be used for any projects whatsoever, this welder is not recommended to be used for heavy-duty or long periods of time as it could slow down the power of the machine. For jobs that require penetrating through 1/4” of steel, the machine will not be able to deliver.
From something as complex as creating metal sculpture masterpieces or to something simple like fixing an old home appliance, this welding machine can do it all but following certain limitations.
Super Deal MIG 130
This top of the line household welder is lightweight, powerful, and intuitive. The grip on this machine is comfy, and it gives a tremendously precise result with just a simple operation. This is because the material of the machine is PVC, that is of top-notch quality.
What’s great about this machine is that it has a user-friendly interface which makes set up super easy. Also, accessing the advanced options is pretty simple. As like almost all great flux core welders in the market, the gas releases itself while welding, preventing oxidation of the welded part.
A phenomenon such as ‘waveform control’ technology is used in this machine, which makes it an extremely cool welder as the inductor can be adjusted according to the type of welding needed by the user which helps bring in a soft electric arc, increases the depth of fusion and reduces the amount of splatter created.
The Super Deal has enough power to tackle heavy-duty projects. As powerful as it is, it can easily adjust feed speed control by changing up the flow of the current with buttons on the machine. This lets you weld steels of different measurements.
Even with its incredible power and compactness, the machine only weighs 38 pounds. Its lightweight makes it ideal for shop, home, or field use. For welding mild steel and stainless steel, it is a perfect choice.
Lotos MIG140 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder Flux Core Welder
This model is one of the most expensive options out there, but it does not disappoint. It will offer you high-quality welding due to its striking wire feeder made of aluminum, which will let you experience a very stable welding machine.
The technology that the transformer uses is also trustworthy and long-lasting, as proven by experts. This whole machine can be set up in just 10 minutes.
A lot of welders end up jumbled up with the wires of a welding machine, but that will not be the case with Lotos MIG 140. What prevents that from happening are the twin digital screens that help you to adjust the wire feeder speed easily and the duty cycle used for welding more precisely.
For its hefty price, it is great for long periods of welding and can be used at big factories and by professionals. It is appropriate for welding stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, and other metal types. This product is reviewed as a resourceful welder for all types of welders, including professionals and even home workers.
4” or 8” wire spools can be used, which is the ‘industrial’ standard. It is combined with a protection system which can help prevent the machine from overheating. And this machine is also powerful enough to weld aluminum, which not a lot of welders can do.
MIG Series Gas-Less Flux Core Wire Welder
This machine has a welding current range of 50 AMP to 120 AMP. Its duty cycle runs on 105AMP for 10% and 60 AMP for 35% maximum.
The open voltage for this machine is 37V, and its wire capacity is 0.030″ or 0.035″. It has a variable feed speed control along with a torch that has a full-on/off adjustable safety control and automatic thermal safety protection.
¼ inches is the thickest that this machine can weld. The machine is not set up for gas. It is strictly flux-cored, so it has no gas circuit/system built-in. However, it has four different switches for four different temperature controls, which make it very useful.
It is recommended for both beginners and professionals.
ARKSEN MIG-130 Welding Machine
This model from Arksen can be a great choice for you. The superb well-built welding machine is actually a MIG gas welder that uses a useful flux-cored wire.
And like all the other products mentioned in this list, it automatically releases inert metal gas while the machine is in use that prevents oxidation of the welded part and makes for a smooth result.
The smart household welder is composed of a yellow-painted robust and sturdy stainless steel body. This paint ensures its long-lasting life to serve your welding needs.
There is also an adjustable rotary knob to control the wire feeding speed that can go up to 10 different levels. It can take wire capacity of 0.023” to 0.035”, rated input voltage of 115V/60Hz, and a welding current of 50-120 AMP.
It is portable, adjustable, and can manage a variety of applications, and carry out a number of works. The ARKSEN MIG130 is the perfect appliance for welding materials such as regular thin steel and iron. This makes it the ideal welder for DIY projects and at home works.
Other features of this welder include its great storage capability and ease of mobility because of its miniature size compared to other welding machines. You can take it anywhere! It’s perfect for home, auto repair and other such places where welding is necessary.
Additionally, the machine comes with a welding wire, a welding mask, a chipping hammer, a wire brush, a torch, a tip, and a ground cord.
Benefits of Using Flux Core Welder
There are numerous benefits of using a flux core welder. They are discussed below:
Shielding Gas isn’t Required
The best thing about these machines is that you won’t need shielding gas to work with flux-cored welding machines. That is because the flux is able to produce shielding gas. It does that while being melted in the weld pool. As a result, you get to save a few bucks.
Ideal for Penetrating Thick Metals
The metal doesn’t need to be clean for the device to work its magic. Flux-cored machines can penetrate deep into the metals. Even when the metal is thick, it can penetrate real deep. So, if you are planning to weld something thick, you gotta give this guy a chance.
Can be Used Outdoors
If it is your intention to weld outdoors, then flux-cored welders can be the ideal choice. They are a good fit for welding anywhere.
Professional welders and farmers are usually more appealed to it because of its low initial startup cost. The absence of having to purchase or lease extra equipment just to get started also reduces the initial cost.
Great Deposition Rate
Last but not least, flux core welders usually have a high metal deposition rate, which means it will penetrate faster. This will ultimately save time.
Flux Core Welder vs. MIG Welder
Flux core welders and MIG welders both use the process of wire welding.
Wire welding is best known as a semi-automated welding process. It is half manpower and half machine power. The user feeds the gun with wire spools, and the spools automatically set into the machine, ready for use.
The pattern of feeding the wire becomes a constant notion, and it minimizes the number of times the machine initiates and stops itself. Newly experienced welders can benefit from this smoothness, which will enable them to create joints that look great with ease. Experts say it is the perfect type of welding machine for beginners.
It also gets the job done quicker, it’s gentle on the wallet, and it is the perfect welder type to weld metals that are relatively thin and sheet-like in shape.
However, there are differences between flux core welding and MIG welding.
Flux Core Welding
With or without the shielding gas, flux core welding uses a wire that is designed in such a way that can be used both ways. For outdoor work, I would recommend you use the flux cores that are designed without gas as using the ones with gas will cause the wind from the outside to disrupt the flow of the gas.
The wire has a flux-based center. As the metal melts, the flux flows out and covers the weld. For this particular method, a continuous power supply is required.
Another benefit is that welding can be done extremely fast, and the machine can be easily carried around. It is best used in the construction industry. It is generally used for materials such as steel and other rusty metals.
As mentioned before, gasless flux core is ideal for almost any outside welding, in breezes or in heavy drafts, because unlike gas, the flux is not easily blown off the weld.
On the other hand, MIG welding involves the process of continuously streaming shielding gas, which is inserted through a gas bottle into the gun. This is to prevent contamination of the weld.
One of the disadvantages of using MIG welders is that it can be hard to maneuver them outdoors as the gas bottle that comes along with it needs to be carried around as well. Wind can also disrupt the flow of the shielding gas when using it outdoors.
Because of this disadvantage, it can only be used outdoors if there are supplies used specifically to block the wind. These supplies can be plastic sheets. Similar to the flux core, MIG welders constantly feeds itself with a wire electrode as well as the shielding gas in order to run the welding gun.
An advantage of using the MIG welder Machine is that there is little to no splatter. Automobile industries involved with making car parts, doors, and roofs, for example, mainly use MIG welders.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Flux core welder reviews alone won’t be able to help you. It’s important to note all the things you should keep in mind before purchasing a welder. Let’s get to know them
First of all, you should know what you will be using the welder for. Buying a welding machine is like an investment. When you think about it, it isn’t just a disposable machine.
You will use it multiple times on various occasions for many different purposes if you like to get creative.
Will you be using the welder for general repair work? Or will you be using it for a DIY project and be artistic?
Identifying the kind of project you will be working is the first step into knowing what to look for in terms of specifics when it comes to buying a welder.
As I’ve mentioned, buying a welding machine is an investment. You should have a budget in mind. The market offers a variety of welders of different price points.
According to the tasks, specifications, and purpose, the type of welder you decide to buy should be compatible and coincide with them all.
So if you are a hardcore mechanic and welding is something you do on the daily, it will only be right for you to invest some good money on a machine that will have a high-performance value and also last a long time.
However, if you’re a beginner or you plan on welding occasionally, a cheaper option would be more suitable.
Power and Amperage
Different jobs will require different amperage and power. Amperage and power working together are known as the duty cycle.
You will only get the best results by purchasing the machine with the right duty cycle for the type of welding you will be performing. It will not only be cost-effective, but it will get your job done.
That’s why if you’re thinking about using a machine with higher amperage and power in the near future, it’s better to save up and purchase the best one for the job right away.
By accessories and supplies, I mainly mean protection gear. Welding involves a lot of heat, melting, and electricity, which can all go horribly wrong if you are not careful and are not wearing the right gear while performing these tasks.
Welding gloves can be found in any hardware store, and there are a variety of types you can find. Whether you choose to purchase generic welding gloves or those made specifically for your welding process, hand protection is a must.
And as for welding masks or helmets, it is recommended by experts to use an auto-darkening helmet for extra safety. The lens will remain transparent until the welder starts arcing, making positioning much easier and safer. Other supplies include consumable gas.
The type of metal that you will be welding is also important to know when buying welders. This is because not all welders have the capacity or capability to weld all types of metals or alloys.
Some can weld aluminum, while others cannot. If you know what type of materials you plan to weld before purchasing your welder, it can make your decision much easier.
Where will you be working when you use your welder? That is another essential question to ask before buying a welder.
Your work environment can factor in greatly when it comes to the type of welding machine you choose. The welder you plan to buy should depend on whether you will be using it outdoors or indoors.
Besides noting down the welder’s movability, price, and the materials it is made of, it is also important not to forget that a welder proposes fulfillment and other conveniences.
You can easily save on maintenance costs and make a lot of money in the long run by creating your projects. It is like a gateway for you to take part in your hobbies. The perfect welder can last your whole life if it is chosen correctly and carefully for your specific needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding flux core welders:
What is safety in welding?
A: Safety is an extremely vital factor to consider when working on any welding-related project. Many different hazards can come with welding if you don’t follow safety precautions. Dangerous occurrences include fire, blasts, electrical shocks, and even the emission of smoke.
What kind of gas is used as a shielding gas?
A: For flux core welding, there can be two types of gases used: it can be pure carbon dioxide or a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide.
What are the types of transfers in flux core welders?
A: Spray transfer and globular transfers are the two different metal transfers used in flux core welding.
Do you push or pull the flux core?
A: The pulling technique is highly recommended when operating a flux core. The pulling technique is also known as the drag technique. It is when you pull away from the point you started to weld, as you keep welding. This makes it easier to know how far and how much you have welded.
Can you weld galvanized steel with flux core wire?
A: One of the properties of the self-shield flux core wire is that it’s great for welding galvanized metal. The wire will burn through the metal, and the galvanized coating will burn off near the weld from the heat.
You’ve read about the best flux core welders and now it’s time for you to pick which one of these is best for you. Get the welder that fits your needs on fixing or creating.
If you’ve come this far into the article, then thank you. Hopefully, my review and specifications on each welder listed here will steer you in the right direction.