As a newbie to welding, the best place to start is flux cored welding. Flux-cored welding machines can handle a variety of welding tasks. This type of welding also has the added advantage of being a lot less hassle.
Unlike the equally common MIG welders, flux-cored welding machines can be used for outdoor welding. There are a lot of perks you get from owning a flux-cored welder. However, not every flux-cored welder will do.
Only the best flux core welder can give you all the benefits of owning this type of welding machine. Problem is, there are hundreds of flux-cored welders on the market, most of which are cheap knock-offs from China.
Finding the best flux core welder for the money will require you to know which features make up the best flux core wire welder. Also, it helps to know the strengths and weaknesses of some of the best flux-cored welders.
Here is our pick of the best flux core welder for beginners as well as professional welders.
7 Best Flux Core Welder Reviews
Forney Easy Weld 299 125FC Flux Core Welder, 120-Volt, 125-Amp
A Decent Welding Output
With an output of between 65 and 80 amps, this machine is not suited for heavy-duty work. However, it more than excels when handling light to medium tasks. It can handle the welding of mild steel as well as low carbon steel.
A Decent Duty Cycle
The Forney Easy Weld 299 has a duty cycle f 20% at 125 amps. Now, this is not the most impressive duty cycle but for what the machine is designed for it is enough. For light projects, this duty cycle isn’t a problem.
Easy To Use
One of the reasons why it is loved by many is its ease of use. It comes ready to weld out of the box and you have to do is plug it into a power outlet. Also, you get two voltage settings, which you can switch between using a rocker switch.
- 20% duty cycle at 125 amps
- 12amps amperage capacity
- 6 ft cord length
- 41.9 pounds of weight
- 120-volt input
- 2 and 10-pound spools compatible
Professional welders will find this machine a bit underwhelming. However, for beginners looking for an affordable welder will be right up their ally. Its affordable price tag coupled with its compact and lightweight design makes it an ideal option.
Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine
Portable for use in different locations
Overall it weighs only 35 pounds and measures 13.4″ x 7.3″x 11.4″. It is thus easy to move it from one location to another. The handle atop this welder also helps in this regard. In essence, this welder is best suited for multi-location welding tasks.
Adjustable wire speed control
Customizing the speed at which the flux core wire is fed is critical for someone who has different welding tasks. This unit is equipped with an adjustable wire speed control, which allows you to adjust the speed the wire is fed.
- 6.5-inch welding cord with gun
- 10A circuit breaker
- 15% at 105 amps duty cycle
- 4 levels adjustable wire feed speed
- Welding mask included
At its price range, there aren’t many welding machines that can offer you what this machine offers. For light to medium welding tasks at home, this machine excels. It is a great option for DIY projects and light auto body jobs.
LOTOS 140 Amp MIG Wire Welder, Flux Core & Aluminum Gas Shielded Welding
Offers more welding power
With an output of 40 to 140 amps, it can weld a wide range of metals. This is including mild steel, stainless steel, and even aluminum. You can weld steel of between 24 gauge and 3/16 inches in thickness. And for aluminum, it can handle a thickness of up to 1/6 inches.
Versatile welding machine
At its core, this is an MIG welder that is capable of using shielded gas and welding wire. Nevertheless, it is also built to use a flux-cored wire without the need for shielded gas. Thus you can switch between these two welding processes with ease.
The overall construction of the machine is of high quality. It can withstand the occasional accidental knocks and jolts. Furthermore, it is not that big as to require lots of storage space.
- Transformer technology
- 110V power plug
- Adjustable wire feed speed control with 2 digital displays
- 4 inch and 8-inch wire spools compatible
- Thermal overload protection
- 20% at 90 amps duty cycle
To conclude this welding machine offers great value for money. While it is a bit costlier compared to some of the other products on the list it is worth it. The added cost gives you more versatility and flexibility.
Best Flux Core Welder Under 200: Super Deal PRO Commercial MIG 130 AC
Sometimes you will want a welding machine that can weld thin sheets of metal. Stick welders might not be the best for this. The best is a flux core welder with an automatic wire feed. This is what the Super Deal Pro commercial MIG 130 is.
A versatile welding machine
This Welder can handle metals of between 16 gauge and 3/8 inches thick. Moreover, it can also handle welding aluminum sheets of between 16 gauge and 3/8 inches. Making it one of the more versatile options in its price range.
Compact and powerful
This machine weighs 38 pounds. It isn’t as heavy as some of the other offerings on the market. Also, it is compact enough that it does not require a lot of storage space. In terms of power, it is powerful enough to weld stainless steel and mild steel.
Adjustable wire feed speed
The wire feed speed is adjustable with the flick of either the min/max switch or the ½ switch. This makes it easy to use and allows you to customize your welding. For deep penetrations when welding.
- 0.9 to 0.55mm welding wire
- 2.5M torch with metal tip
- Variable wire feed speed control
- 10% at 105 amps duty cycle
- 35% at 60amps duty cycle
- Welding mask included
With all the accessories it comes with, it is unlikely you will have to spend extra cash. Maybe only to buy another flux core wire. Other than that, and considering its price, it is a pretty awesome piece of equipment. It is arguably the best flux core welder under 200.
VIVOHOME Portable Flux Core Wire No Gas MIG 130 Welder Machine
Compact and portable design
As with any other beginners friendly welding machine, this unit is compact and lightweight. It weighs 37.1 pounds and has a handle. These make it easy to carry to different welding locations when need be.
Versatile welding machine
This VIVOHOME welding machine can handle a variety of welding tasks. These include mild steel welding and aluminum welding. It is worth noting that it is more suited to welding thin sheets of metal.
There are several accessories you get in addition to the welding machine itself. These include one welding gun, a welding helmet, and a grounding clamp. All these accessories make it easy to use the welder.
- 110V voltage
- 50 to 120 amps current rate
- 0.8 to 0.9 mm flux core wire diameter
- 60% at 50 amps duty cycle
- 50 to 60 Hz frequency
- 37V max no-load voltage
This is best suited to welding thinner sheets of metal. And given its price tag, it’s not a surprise. It has an impressive list of features, which is why it is on our list. On top of that, it is a compact machine you can take to wherever you want.
SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG MAG ARC MMA Stick DC Welder 110/220V Dual Voltage IGBT Inverter 200A Aluminum Welding Soldering Machine
110v/220v power source adaptable
With this welding machine, you have the freedom to use either a 110v or a 220v power source. This makes it an ideal option for both DIY and professional or industrial projects.
In terms of power, it has a max power output of 200 amps. This gives it the ability to weld steel and aluminum. Also, it is capable of both flex-cored and metal inert gas welding. This is in addition to stick welding.
Produces little spatter
One of the best things about this welder is that it produces very little spatter. The finished weld is usually of very good quality. There is a hot start button that operates it. This makes it easy to start when you need to use it in a hurry.
- 118 inch MIG torch
- 47-inch cable with earth clamp
- 71-inch cable with electrode holder
- 48 pounds weight
- 60% duty cycle
In terms of overall quality, this is one of the best welders you can get. It can weld thicker metals than some of the other welding machines on this list. Also, it is a lightweight and compact machine that is easy to move around with.
MIG Welder MIG150 DC 220V Gas/Gasless 2 in 1 Flux Core/Solid Wire Inverter Welding Machine
Used for different welding processes
Based on the trusted and proven inverter technology, this welding machine is capable of both MIG and gasless flux-cored welding. You get the option of using either a solid wire with shielded gas or a flux core wire without the need for gas.
Welds a variety of metals
Welding both aluminum and stainless steel is very much possible with this welder. This is actually where it shines. Thanks to it’s relatively higher power output it can handle thicker metals than some of its competitors.
Great duty cycle
Another great thing about this welder is its duty cycle. At 70% it is pretty impressive compared to that of other similar products.
- 1KG flux-cored wire for steel welding
- 70% duty cycle
- .025″-.030″ solid welding wire
- 30 to 140 amps current output range
- 5.2KG weight
- 0.6 to 0.8mm wire diameter
Compared to some of the more known models within its price point, this Reboot model does a better job. Thus, at its price point, it’s hard to find another machine with its set of features. More importantly, not many machines at this price point can deliver the same quality.
Benefits of flux core welder
because there is no need for shielding gas with flux-cored welding, you do not need to purchase a gas tank. This means flux-cored welding is more portable and flexible than other welding processes.
A flux core welder torch can be held in several directions, which means more flexibility. This is why this welding process is suited for industrial works.
No need for clean joints:
The only things you need to remove for flux core welding are moisture, oil, and paint. This type of welding can be used on rusty and dirty metal surfaces.
this welding process is known for having a greater penetration than some of the other welding processes available.
The best flux-cored welding machine buying guide
Most flux-cored machines run on either a 110v or a 220 v power circuit. However, some run on both. For a beginner, a machine that runs on the 110v circuit is a better choice. The reason being that this power circuit is most common in most homes.
For more demanding or industrial projects, you may consider going for one that runs on both. This may end up costing you slightly more money though.
The max amp rating of a welding machine will give you a clue of just how powerful it is. Also how thick or thin of material it can handle. A machine with a higher amp rating will be able to handle thicker sheets of metal.
For light to medium work a max amp rating of about 140 amps is enough. For industrial projects, a max rating of 200 amps will be ideal. Thus, this depends on how thick or thin the materials you will be welding are.
The duty cycle
A machine with a duty cycle of 30% will need to cool off for at least 7 minutes after 3 minutes of continuous welding. This percentage is thus an important factor to consider. Some of the more affordable machines have a duty cycle of about 20%.
For demanding projects, a duty cycle of about 50% and above will be ideal. However, for light to medium tasks, a lesser duty cycle will do. However, the higher the duty cycle the better.
There are countless welding machine options to choose from. Some of them offer better value for money than others. But ultimately it depends on what you intend to use the welder for. For light to medium tasks, an inexpensive model with just the right features will do.