Best Flux Core Welders 2021 – Top Picks, Reviews & Guide

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Whether in a home shop or a full construction business, a flux-core welder is one of the best investments you can make to add incredible versatility and handle whatever task comes your way.

Today, we’ll help you find the best flux-cored soldering iron to meet your specific needs, thanks to our list of the 7 best flux-cored soldering irons and a detailed buying guide. So, let’s not waste time and get started!

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 10 Best flux core welder To Buy In 2021

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best flux core welder Review

SaleBestseller No. 1
Lincoln Electric FC90 Flux Core Wire Feed Welder and Gun, 90 Amp, 120V, Inverter Power Source for Easy Operation, Portable Shoulder Strap, Best for Small Welding Jobs
  • WELD ANYWHERE: Plug in the Century FC90 flux-cored wire feed welder anywhere 120V input power is available
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE: Ideal for maintenance and mobile welders, thanks to its small and lightweight inverter design and shoulder strap for portability
  • FC90 WELDER FEATURES: Automatic thermal protector shuts off output until machine cools to a normal operating temperature; Easy to turn control knobs allow you to fine tune welding parameters; Conveniently load your spool of wire on top of machine
  • SMOOTH OPERATION: Inverter power source makes it more efficient to operate and provides smoother weld characteristics compared to traditional welders
  • PERFECT FOR SMALL WELD JOBS: This machine is best for DIY projects, hobbyists, home repairs and more; Infinite welding voltage allows fine-tuning of weld characteristics; 30% duty cycle at 80 Amp; 30-90 Amp range
SaleBestseller No. 2
TOOLIOM 135A Flux Core Welder MIG Welder 110V Flux MIG/Lift TIG/Stick 3-in-1 Welding Machine IGBT DC Inverter
  • Weld up to .030"(0.8mm) and .035" (0.9mm)with flux core wire.Can Handle E7018 basic electrode.
  • Powered By Standard 110(120V) Household Current.
  • Multi-functions in one machine:Suitable for MMA,Lift Tig,Flux Mig.Can weld stainless steel and carbon steel.
  • Big enough to handle 2 pounds rolls of wire.
  • Powerful Machine:Up to 135A output current that can weld mild steel up to 1/8 inch (3.0mm) plate.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i Welder, 120V, Green
  • EASY TO USE-140 FC-I MIG machine uses 0.30, flux core wire. It has infinite voltage and wire feed speed control so you can dial in the perfect weld! Perfect entry level welder
  • POWERFUL- Up to 140 Amp output that allows you to weld mild steel up to 1/4 in plate
  • PORTABLE WELDER- Lightweight 19 lbs. easily carried to any Do-It-Yourself, Maintenance, Repair, Metal Fabrication and Hobbyist project
  • RUGGED- All metal case, Built to take the day to day. Big enough to handle 2 and 10 pound rolls of wire
  • WELDER INCLUDES- 8' MIG gun, 8' ground clamp, Integrated handle with torch wrap and a 20A-15A adapter. Backed by a 12-month warranty
Bestseller No. 4
YESWELDER 135Amp MIG Welder,110V Flux Core Welder Flux MIG/Lift TIG/Stick 3-in-1 Welding Machine IGBT Inverter Welder
  • More powerful:Up to 135 Amp output allows you to weld mild steel up to 5/32” in the plate.Suitable for 0.30” & .035” flux core wire.
  • Multi-Process:Gasless MIG/Stick/Lift TIG ,3-in-1 Welder.(need buy extra tig lift torch, not included inside product).
  • Simple to use:Automatic change of the voltage & wire feeding speed by adjusting the amperage.
  • Safety: Automatic compensation for voltage fluctuation, over current protection, over load protection.
  • Take it Everywhere:Lightweight and portable - just 13.5 lbs.
Bestseller No. 5
VEVOR MIG Welder Machine, 130A 3 in 1, MMA/MIG/LIFT TIG Combo Welding Machine, Flux Core Welder with IGBT Inverter, MIG-130 Portable MIG Welding Equipment with Welding Gun and 1 KG Welding Wire
  • Advanced IGBT Technology: Our MIG-130 adopts the most advanced IGBT inverter technology with excellent arc stability. Rated output current: 130 Amps. Output current range: 40 - 130 Amps. Suitable for welding carbon steel, iron, stainless steel, and other metals.
  • Convenient Flux Cored Wire: This mig tig stick welder can use flux-cored welding wire and solid welding wire. Feeding speed adjustment range: 8.20 - 42.65 ft/ min. MIG welding wire: 0.024 - 0.031 in. Included welding wire: 1 kg. It is the perfect entry-level welder choice.
  • Easy Control Panel & 3 In 1: MIG welding machine has MIG MMA TIG mode. The welding machine has included with function switching buttons and a current-voltage control knob, the intelligent digital display makes the operation easier for you.
  • Safety & Overheat Protection: The arc welding machine has a built-in protection device, and the engine will automatically shut down when overheated and overload; it is protected against splashing water, with a protection level of IP21, which has good water resistance.
  • Compact and Portable: Lightweight 28.7 pounds, with a comfortable handle, easy to install and store. Ideal for outdoor repairs, rusty metal, farm and road equipment, and maintenance and repairs.
Bestseller No. 6
SIMDER MIG Welder 140A Flux Core Welder MIG/Stick 2 in 1 Welding Machine Gasless 110V/220v Dual Voltage IGBT DC Inverter Welder
  • 【Easy Start for Beginner】The Synergic mode on this MIG welder will automatically change the voltage by adjusting the current. Very easy to operate and start for beginners. Advanced IGBT&Inverter make this MIG welder a portable and efficient welding tool.
  • 【Dual Voltage ARC&MIG Welders】This is an ARC&MIG 2 in 1 Welding machine. 140Amp DC 110V/220V Dual Voltage MIG welder. Package includes MIG Torch,Electrode holder,Ground clamp, 110V/220V Adapter and etc.
  • 【Multi-Application MIG Welder】This Wire Feed MIG Welder is suitable for welding iron, carbon, steel and etc. Great choice for household welding, or DIY project on steel.
  • 【APPLICABLE FLUX CORE WIRE & RODS】The wire MIG welder apply for .030"(0.8mm) &. 035" (1.0mm) welding wire. ARC mode fits rods: E7018, E6013, E6011.
  • 【What’s more】SIMDER is a professional welding machine manufacturer, we aim to provide a better welding tool and make welding easier. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us
Bestseller No. 7
ZENY MIG130 Gas-Less Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welder Welding Machine w/Free Mask AC Current 60 AMP - Commercial Grade - 110 V
  • 【Solid Construction】-- ZENY MIG 130 welding machine is compact and exquisite MIG welder is constructed of high-quality durable steel, fully painted body can withstand rust and wear, a strong and durable welding machine for your long-term use
  • 【Flux-Cored Wire, Gas Less Welder】-- This welder machine uses convenient Flux-Cored wire, self release metal-inert gas while welding, prevent oxidation of the welded part. Automatic Thermal Safety Protection, Ideal for welding mild steel, stainless steel.
  • 【 Adjustable Feeding Speed】-- ZENY MIG welder features 4 levels of current flow settings, by adjusting the 4 buttons for MIN/MAX,1/2. It also features a wire feeding speed adjust rotary knob, 10 levels of wire feeding speeds for your choice. Torch With Full On / Off Safety Control
  • 【Widely Applications】-- It is perfect for perfect for home DIY and general repairing work. Ideal for both home garages and workshops.
  • 【Specifications for This Welder】-- Frequency : 50/60HZ/ Max absorbed power (KVA): 3.6/ Absorbed power 60% (KVA): 1.1, Power factor:0.9, Flux wire diameter (MM): 0.8-0.9, Max Open Voltage: 37V/ Current range (A):50-90
Bestseller No. 8
VIVOHOME MIG Welder 130 Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed Welding Machine Portable No Gas 110V 120V AC DIY Home Welder w/Free Mask Yellow
  • NO REACTION WELDER - With convenient flux-cored wire to self-release metal inert gas while welding, this welding machine prevents oxidation of the welded part; A great choice for home repairs and hobby projects on light gauge steel
  • WELDING PROCESS - This welding machine is particularly well-suited for projects of mild steel and stainless steel; It delivers a professional finish for any thin steel welding or auto body work you may need, being powerful and efficient
  • ADJUSTABLE WELDING SPEED – The VIVOHOME MIG Welder features 4x current flow settings; Adjust the current and 10-speed variable feed controls for perfectly managed flux-cored welding of thin steel, stainless or aluminum sheet metal, or even thicker steel
  • PORTABLE DESIGN - Lightweight and compact design, with a comfortable hand grip that makes it easy to carry wherever you want; It only weighs 34.6 lbs., so you can effortlessly take it as far as you can
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED – The VIVOHOME MIG Welder package includes all the accessories you need to weld like a pro: 1x 6.6' welding gun with on/off safety control; 1x 4.9' grounding clamp; 1x welding helmet; 1x wire welding brush; 1 x 0.03" (0.8mm) Flux core wire; and several other small accessories
SaleBestseller No. 9
TOOLIOM 200M MIG Welder 3 in 1 Flux MIG/Solid Wire/Lift TIG/Stick Welder 110 / 220V Dual Voltage Welding Machine
  • Synergic Control: The welding parameter is built-in with precise data. It will choose the voltage, amperage and feeding speed that is needed based on welder data, making it much easier for new welders.
  • Multi-functions in one machine: Suitable for MMA, Lift TIG, flux MIG, gas MIG
  • Powerful Machine: Up to 200A output current that can weld mild up to 5/32 inch (4.0mm) plate.
  • Big enough to apply to 2 and 10 pounds rolls of wire. Ready to feed .030"(0.8mm) with solid core wire, and .035" (0.9mm)with flux core wire.Can Handle E7018 basic electrode.
  • Dual voltage input design: Welding machine can be plugged into 110(120)V / 220(230)V dual voltage (Automatic fitting).
Bestseller No. 10
hynade Mig Welder, MIG140D Mig Welding Machine, Dual Voltage 110/220V Gasless Flux Wire Welding Machine (MIG140D)
  • 👉Synergic Function: this mig welder design basic at One-Knob Intelligent control system. Welder can automatic compensation and adjustment of welding current, You can get the perfect weld. Machine with 10-level precise adjustment from -5V to +5V, Coordinated control of Mig wire feeder’s speed and current, Under this function machine easy get arc starting with best welding.
  • 👉Reliable Arc and less Spatter: Under synergic function, this welder machine will auto control the voltage and current to achieve smooth arc, Even easy to use for the new and DIY user, Machine works in best status, More reliable arc but less spatter. Also machine energy-saving, Fan cooling system and overheat and over current protection, Fan will works when needed, reduce the dust into machine also provide long life using.
  • 👉Dual Voltage 110/220V: This welder is dual voltage 110/220V, Machine will auto indicate the voltage. Max output current is 140A, Duty cycle 45%@140A at 40 °C in 220V. Same parameter in 110V, Machine with current display can read the current and voltage. Function can select welding core in 0.030’’(0.8mm) and 0.035’’(0.9mm), Voltage and current adjustment.
  • 👉Flux core wire: This is IGBT inverter Gasless flux welder machine, Use 0.030’’&0.035’’ (0.8mm&0.9mm) flux core wire, 0.5kg 0.8mm wire spool provide with machine, User easy to find this kind of wire on amazon, Machine is Dual voltage 110/220V, come with conversion cable easy work in different voltage environment.
  • 👉What come with machine: 1 x Mig welding machine, 1 x Mig welding torch(fixed on machine), 1 x Ground clamp with cable, 1 x 0.03’’(0.8mm) Flux core wire(1.1lbs), 2 x 0.03’’(0.8mm) Contact tips, 1 x Conversion wire(110V to 220V), 1 x User Manual.

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is Flux Core Welding?

Gas shielded welding allows for clean welds without oxidation or impurities by keeping oxygen out of the welding process. With MIG welding, an inert gas is fed to the welding process by a hose and it flows around the metal electrode, forming an atmosphere that doesn’t let oxygen into the weld.

If you’re welding outside and there’s a breeze, it can blow the shielding gas away and leave your weld susceptible to oxidation and porosity. The way engineers have solved this problem is by creating a welding wire that has a hollow core and filled it with a flux mixture. This flux core wire works the same way the flux on an arc welding stick electrode works. When the metal gets hot and melts, the wire melts the flux core, which turns to gas and shields the weld.

So in some ways, flux core welding is actually better than MIG welding, because a breeze won’t ruin your weld the same way it will with a MIG machine. Of course, with too much wind, you just can’t weld, but flux core welders can give great results in breezes that won’t let a gas MIG machine produce good work.

Do You Need MIG or Can Flux Core Work?

One thing about flux core welders is that MIG machines can run flux core, but not every flux core welder can run as a true gas MIG machine.

This point can be confusing because many flux core machines that run only as wire feed welders are labeled using the word MIG in their model names, but aren’t actually a true MIG machine. This is an important detail to pay attention to if you want to try MIG welding later on.

How Thick is Your Metal?

The thickness of the metal you’ll most often weld is the single biggest factor in choosing your best flux core welding machine.

If you’re going to be welding nothing but metal that’s 1/4-inch thick or less, you only need 130-140 amps.

If you want to weld anything thicker, you’re going to need a machine like the Hobart Handler 210 that can weld up to 3/8-inch steel with over 200 amps of output. It can also be converted to a true gas MIG machine if needed.

Input Power Sources

A 120 volt powered welder can only deliver about 140 amps maximum. That’s only going to get you up to 1/4-inch steel. If you’re mostly going to be welding sheet metal or thin plate like gate hinges, a 120 volt machine will serve you well.

If you will need to weld thick metal for trailer frames, pipe fencing or equipment repairs, you’ll need a lot more power.

You’ll have to move up to a 240-powered machine in that case, or buy a dual input welder that runs on either 120 or 240 volts to be able to generate enough current for thick metal.

Some welders like the Forney EasyWeld 140 MP can run on generators, provided there’s enough wattage to produce the current needed. Also, some flux core and MIG welders need so-called “clean” energy with a low distortion rate in the current output. Some welders are able to run on “dirty” power sources so that’s a feature that makes it easier to run on generators and might be desirable.

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.

Why Should You Use Flux Core Welding?

Flux core is also known as arc welding and collectively known as FCAW or Flux Core Arc Welding. This is a very similar process to MIG welding, also known as the GMAW or gas metal arc welding. In both methods, welding is done through an arc formed between the electrode wire and the target metal. This causes an exothermic reaction that causes both to melt and join together rock solid.

But unlike the MIG welding, the FCAW can be used even without the shielding gas. The MIG uses an inert blend of gases to isolate the electrode from any kind of contamination. This is done to ensure that the bond between the electrode and the target metal is acceptable by standards and has a cleaner finish. A tank supplies the gas in the welding area. That is why the MIG setup is a bit more complicated and challenging to use. Furthermore, the setup is costly and increases the cost of the weld as well.

Flux core welder, on the other hand, is more straightforward and very convenient to use. It uses the flux from the electrode wire to produce the gases needed to cover the weld from contamination. This rules out any need to use gas bottles, and therefore, the setup is cheap and convenient. Those advantages are significant to many welders, either professionals who want high productivity or amateurs who like to weld as a hobby. In theory, the flux core is almost the same as the MIG welder. In fact, they are the same. The only difference is that the flux core doesn’t use external connections for the gas supply. Instead, it uses the flux to create the needed gases.

Are They Good For Beginner Welding at Home

As flux core welders are cheap, there is a huge market for home use machines, i.e., people who don’t weld daily. That is why the specifications are lighter and are not suitable for more heavy-duty applications. In most cases, this means that the duty cycle will be a lot lesser. We are talking about twenty to thirty percent because they are not aimed to fulfill professional welding needs. That is why if you are a home user, you should prefer these instead of going for the expensive MIG setups.

Flux welder setups also have certain advantages over the MIG setups. The flux welding generally has a much higher penetration factor as compared to the MIG. Flux setups also don’t always require gas, making it a fit choice for outdoor DIY projects. It does high-speed welding because of the continuous and consistent gas supply produced by the flux. This welding method is also useful for handling dirty metals because it will simply oxidize any impurities like rust and put them inside the welded metal. Flux welders are also highly efficient and fast in depositing the electrode weld at a much higher rate than the MIG welders, which reduces the time taken in the project manifolds.

How To Use A Flux Core Welder?

Using a flux core welder is not much difficult. You will have to simply follow these guidelines.

  1. The first step is to gather all of your tools that will be needed while welding. This also include the metal sheets that needs to be welded. Afterwards, you have to clean the metal sheets and cut them in the size that you want.
  2. Next, you have to set up the plates in the position you want them to weld. Now, you are ready to go with the welder.
  3. Turn on the welder and adjust the settings according to the desired requirements. The wire speed and voltage of the welder machine can be adjusted according to the thickness of the metals sheet.
  4. Now, you will weld the metal sheets together at the joints. This is called the tack welding.
  5. After that, when all the pieces fall at their right position. You will have to do bead welding. To do so, you will have to maintain the consistency.
  6. Another important aspect while bead welding metals is to set the torch angle at its right position. Furthermore, to make it clean and better, you have to maintain your welding speed.
  7. The electrical stickout should also be maintained. You should never exceed its limit from ½ inches and it should also be less than ¼ inches.

The torch angle and the welding speed should not be changed while welding. It should be adjusted before you start to weld. Furthermore, after you finish the welding completely. You will have to clean the rough ends and after that, the final product will be ready.

How To Choose The Best Flux Core Welder Under 200?

Choosing the best flux core welder is not an impossible thing to do. You just need to have some basic knowledge about the features that you must target. Therefore, we are providing you with the buying guide that will help you with it.

1. Voltage Control

Voltage control has significance importance in the welding work. The power source in welding is the output characteristic of constant voltage. The voltage change directly impacts the wire speed and the output Watts. Therefore, the voltage control and the wire speed can be changed.

To provide the users with the ease of changing voltage and wire speed, most of the welders have buttons on the control panel. You will have to simply rotate the button and adjust according to your requirements.

2. Feeding speed Control

Feed speed control is the speed that the tool takes to cover the distance of one revolution. Moreover, the feed speed rate of the welder machine determines the result of the finished surface, the power requirements and the removal of the material.

The feed speed control is provided by some manufacturers on the welder machine. With the right welder by your side, you will be able to manage your welds properly and with complete accuracy. The finished product will be more neat and clean.

3. Portable Welder

Portability is the best feature for welders. You cannot get bounded to the workplace or service area. Therefore, the new welders have been designed to be lightweight so that you can easily carry them anywhere. So, if your work requirements need mobility, you must look for a welder that provides you with the ease of portability.

4. Easy Setup & Easy Use

Setting up a welder might take more effort and information then you think. Therefore, if you are buying a welding machine for the first time, you must look for the one that has user friendly interface. Moreover, you must also read out the complete details of the product that you buy. You should also search that whether it provides easy setup or not.

5. Project Criteria

If you are working in a new project then you must look for the project criteria. If your work requirements ask for a heavy duty welder then you should buy one. You must look for the welder machine that have the capacity to work on metal sheets with more thickness.

On the other hand, if work is not much demanding then you might also go for a light welder. Some welders have the ability to easily weld light sheets and stainless and mild steel panels.

6. Automatic Thermal Safety

The safety and protection of the mechanic tools is highly important. Therefore, the new welding machines have the ability to protect themselves for overheating. This is done with the provision of automatic thermal safety. So, if you are buying a new welder machine, you must also look for its safety availabilities.

7. Welder Include Component

There are a lot of components that are included in the box of the welder. Usually all the important components are provided by the manufacturers, but sometimes you need to buy some components separately. Therefore, have a look at these included components, which is provided by the selling site.

8. Price & Warranty

The price of the welding machines varies with the provided tools and the quality provided by them. There are some manufacturers that provide you with the best quality in an affordable range. Moreover, the warranty also has a vital importance. Manufacturer’s warranty of 1- 3 years shows that the product is of best quality and will last long.

Conclusion

Do you have a limited budget? Yet you want to look for the best welding machine that will do flux core welding? Well, this is not completely impossible. Although it will require a bit of time and lots of basic knowledge. Therefore, we are providing you with the “best flux core welder under $200”.

Furthermore, we are also providing you with a detailed buying guide. This will help you in the selection of the best welder for you. You will also get to know some of the most important aspects about welders. So, have a look at the buying guide and FAQ section and expand your information regarding welders.

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