Welders

10 Best Flux Core Welders of 2020

Best Flux Core Welder

Photo: Ironton

Flux core welding is so simple and easy, nearly everyone can do it. These welders are easy to set up and even easier to work with, making flux core welding a popular choice for most beginners.

They are also inexpensive when compared to other welding types, and their versatility means you can flux-core weld everything from auto body sheet metals to serious steel plates.

This flux core welders review presents you with the list of the market's top offers, as well as the buying guide that you need to choose the right machine.

10 Best Flux Core Welders – Review

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Hobart 500559

1. Hobart 500559 (Best Overall)

  • MIG and flux core welder with accessories
  • 5-level voltage control & 10-level speed
  • Welds 24-gauge to 1/4-inch mild steel
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
Super Deal B00XXVFH2Y

2. Super Deal B00XXVFH2Y (Best Budget)

  • Lightweight and portable flux core welder
  • Comes at a low and attractive price
  • With wire-speed & voltage controls
  • The package includes many accessories
Lotos MIG140

3. Lotos MIG140 (Best with Intermediate Features)

  • 140-Amp welder with intermediate features
  • Features a 20% duty cycle @ 90 Amps
  • Offers a manual and semi-automatic choice
  • Can weld aluminum if you want
Sungoldpower 140A

4. Sungoldpower 140A (Best Dual Voltage Welder)

  • 110V and 220V flux core welder
  • Lightweight modern inverter design
  • 60% duty cycle @ 120 Amps
Lincoln Electric K2185

5. Lincoln Electric K2185 (Best Package)

  • Full package flux core welder
  • Features a 29% duty cycle @ 70 Amps
  • Welds mild steel up to 1/8-inch
  • Includes many accessories
Goplus MIG130

6. Goplus MIG130 (Best for Beginner)

  • Simple and compact welder
  • Ideal for beginners
  • 10 wire speeds and 4 current levels
  • Comes at an attractive price
Forney Easy Weld 299

7. Forney Easy Weld 299 (Offers 125-Amp)

  • Compact and stylish welder
  • Offers 125 Amps max power
  • Rated at 20% duty cycle at 80 Amps
  • Includes necessary cables and gun
Ironton NEOMIG

8. Ironton NEOMIG (Compact & Affordable)

  • Compact and modern welder
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Rated 20% @ 80 Amps duty cycle
  • Includes everything you need
Suncoo 130

9. Suncoo 130 (Affordable 105-Amp Welder)

  • Cheap, simple, and compact welder
  • Rated 15% @ 105 Amps
  • 10-speed wire control and 4 power levels
  • Includes a welding gun with button
Arksen 9-WE-90299

10. Arksen 9-WE-90299 (Small Design With Accessories)

  • Portable flux core welder for small jobs
  • Rated 10% @ 105A & 35% @ 60A
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

PRODUCT

1. Hobart 500559

(Best Overall)

Hobart 500559
  • MIG and flux core welder with accessories
  • 5-level voltage control & 10-level speed
  • Welds 24-gauge to 1/4-inch mild steel
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty

2. Super Deal B00XXVFH2Y

(Best Budget)

Super Deal B00XXVFH2Y
  • Lightweight and portable flux core welder
  • Comes at a low and attractive price
  • With wire-speed & voltage controls
  • The package includes many accessories

3. Lotos MIG140

(Best with Intermediate Features)

Lotos MIG140
  • 140-Amp welder with intermediate features
  • Features a 20% duty cycle @ 90 Amps
  • Offers a manual and semi-automatic choice
  • Can weld aluminum if you want

4. Sungoldpower 140A

(Best Dual Voltage Welder)

Sungoldpower 140A
  • 110V and 220V flux core welder
  • Lightweight modern inverter design
  • 60% duty cycle @ 120 Amps

5. Lincoln Electric K2185

(Best Package)

Lincoln Electric K2185
  • Full package flux core welder
  • Features a 29% duty cycle @ 70 Amps
  • Welds mild steel up to 1/8-inch
  • Includes many accessories

6. Goplus MIG130

(Best for Beginner)

Goplus MIG130
  • Simple and compact welder
  • Ideal for beginners
  • 10 wire speeds and 4 current levels
  • Comes at an attractive price

7. Forney Easy Weld 299

(Offers 125-Amp)

Forney Easy Weld 299
  • Compact and stylish welder
  • Offers 125 Amps max power
  • Rated at 20% duty cycle at 80 Amps
  • Includes necessary cables and gun

8. Ironton NEOMIG

(Compact & Affordable)

Ironton NEOMIG
  • Compact and modern welder
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Rated 20% @ 80 Amps duty cycle
  • Includes everything you need

9. Suncoo 130

(Affordable 105-Amp Welder)

Suncoo 130
  • Cheap, simple, and compact welder
  • Rated 15% @ 105 Amps
  • 10-speed wire control and 4 power levels
  • Includes a welding gun with button

10. Arksen 9-WE-90299

(Small Design With Accessories)

Arksen 9-WE-90299
  • Portable flux core welder for small jobs
  • Rated 10% @ 105A & 35% @ 60A
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

1. Hobart 500559 – Best Overall Flux Core Welder

Hobart 500559

Photo: Hobart

  • Input Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Output Current: 25 to 140 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90 Amps
  • Weight: 57 pounds

This Hobart 500559 welder package features a compact and durable welder that offers both MIG and flux core welding, making it a versatile multi-use machine. It also features a 5-level power control and a 5-year warranty to make it our overall best flux core welder on this list.

In general, it's a great unit that's ideal for use on the farm, at home, and for auto repair projects. It runs on 115 Volts and outputs 25 to 140 Amps of direct current, which is better than the AC offered by lower-quality welders.

It also offers a nice 20% duty cycle at 90 Amps, which is enough for most beginner to intermediate projects, and will weld mild steel up to 1/4-inch thick.

The only issue it has is weight because it's one of the heaviest units in this review. But if that isn't a problem for you, then you'll surely benefit from its numerous features.

Pros:

  • MIG and flux-core welder with accessories
  • Features a 5-position voltage control
  • Welds metals from 24-gauge to 1/4-inch mild steel
  • Backed by a solid 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • Backed by a solid 5-year warranty

2. Super Deal B00XXVFH2Y – Best Budget Flux Core Welder

Super Deal B00XXVFH2Y

Photo: Super Deal

  • Input Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Output Current: 50 to 120 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 10% @ 105 Amps
  • Weight: 38 pounds

Combining a lightweight construction, a low-price offering, and a 1-year warranty, this Super Deal PRO welder is the best flux core welder for the money here, and with good reason.

It comes with everything you need to get started, including the torch, two extra tips, a brush and chipping hammer, as well as the ground cord.

There are 10 speed-levels for the wire and four power levels, designed from a simple combination of two inter-connected switches.

For the duty cycle, it's rated 10% @ 105 Amps, which makes it incapable of doing commercial work. For everything else though, it's a great welder at a nice price.

Pros:

  • Attractively priced flux core welder
  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Offers wire-speed & voltage controls
  • Comes with plenty of accessories

Cons:

  • It's not ideal for intensive commercial work

3. Lotos MIG140 – Best Intermediate Flux Core Welder

Lotos MIG140

Photo: Lotos

  • Input Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Output Current: 140 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90 Amps
  • Weight: 54 pounds

For those who want a little more functionality at a good price, this Lotos MIG140 welder combines MIG and flux core welding with a 20% duty cycle @ 90 Amps to make a nice unit for intermediate welders.

You can switch between manual and semi-automatic for easier welding and it can weld mild and stainless steel from 24 gauge to 1/4-inch thickness.

Everything else is standard, from the included Argon regulator for MIG welding, to the gas hose, ground cable, torch, and contact tips for 0.023 and 0.035-inch wires. And if you want the best flux core aluminum welding system, you can even order an optional spool gun to work with aluminum.

While it's a great offer, it's one of the heaviest welders here. But if weight and compactness isn't an issue for you then feel free to check this one out.

Pros:

  • 140-Amp welder with good performance
  • Features a 20% duty cycle @ 90 Amps
  • Lets you choose between manual and semi-automatic
  • Welds aluminum with optional spool gun

Cons:

  • It's one of the heaviest welders here

4. Sungoldpower 140A – Best Dual Voltage Flux Core Welder

Sungoldpower 140A

Photo: Sungoldpower

  • Input Voltage: 110 / 220 Volts
  • Output Current: Up to 200 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 60% @ 120 Amps
  • Weight: 30 pounds

Most other welders on this list use a transformer for voltage control, but this Sungoldpower 140A welder uses inverter technology for voltage control. This gives it two edges against other units. The first is a lighter weight at 30 pounds and the second is more features.

You can use it for example with both 110 and 220 Volts input power. Then it offers a maximum of 60% duty cycle at 120 Amps, a very efficient unit when compared to many others.

It's also offered at a very good price, which is great when compared to its many features, making it one of the cheapest flux core welders in the market.

But its warranty isn't as impressive, which is understandable given the average shorter lifespan of inverters against transformers.

Pros:

  • 110V and 220V flux core welder
  • Lightweight inverter design
  • High 60% duty cycle for serious welders
  • Includes an adapter for 220 Volts

Cons:

  • Some welders have longer warranties
  • Transformers last longer than inverters

5. Lincoln Electric K2185 – Best Package Flux Core Welder

Lincoln Electric K2185

Photo: Lincoln Electric

  • Input Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Output Current: 35 to 88 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 29% @ 70 Amps
  • Weight: 46 pounds

With Lincoln Electric's K2185, you get a full MIG and flux core welding package with a 35 to 88 Amp output, ideal for working on mild steels up to 1/8 inch.

The package includes everything you need, from the cable assembly, to contact tips, ground cable and clamp, hand shield, flux-cored wire, and a brush/hammer.

For wire speed, the K2185 offers a variable speed control reaching a 300 IPM maximum. But for output power, it offers a 4-level control up to 88 Amps at 17 Volts.

Its duty cycle rating is 29% at 70 Amps and this makes it powerful above average, but also one of the costlier multi-purpose welders out there.

Pros:

  • Full package of MIG/flux core welder
  • Features a 29% duty cycle @ 70 Amps
  • Welds up to 1/8-inch mild steel
  • Also comes with flux core wire and hammer/brush

Cons:

  • It's a relatively expensive package

6. Goplus MIG130 – Best Beginner Flux Core Welder

Goplus MIG130

Photo: Goplus

  • Input Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Output Current: 105 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 15% at 105 Amps
  • Weight: 35 pounds

If you are searching for the best portable flux core welder, then you may want to check out this Goplus MIG130 flux core welder.

It's a small and compact welder, made specifically for flux-cored welding, and very lightweight at just 35 pounds. Still, it offers 4-level power control and 10 for wire speed.

The package comes with everything you need to weld and this includes all cables and even a roll of flux-cored wire, plus extra tips and the gun.

This welder also outputs AC and not DC, and this is one of its downsides because DC is better. You also can't MIG-weld with it, but when you consider its price, then it's still a great offer.

Pros:

  • Simple and compact flux core welder package
  • Perfect for beginners and hobby welders
  • Offers 10 wire speeds and 4 current levels
  • Available at a very low and attractive price

Cons:

  • Its output current is AC, not DC
  • You can't MIG weld with it

7. Forney Easy Weld 299 – 125-Amp Flux Core Welder

Forney Easy Weld 299

Photo: Forney

  • Input Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Output Current: 125 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 20% at 80 Amps
  • Weight: 51 pounds

Forney's Easy Weld is also an impressive unit. It runs on 120 Volts and produces up to 125 Amps, with a duty cycle rating of 20% at 80 Amps.

One major feature that sets it apart from others though, is its aesthetics, because it's very stylish, modern-looking, and simply lovely to work with,

The package includes all the necessary cables, including the ground cable, clamp, and the gun. Plus it offers a simple and easy to use control interface.

Only its warranty isn't so impressive. It's covered for just 6 months and you also can't MIG weld with it.

Pros:

  • Compact and stylish flux core welder
  • Delivers up to 125 Amps
  • Rated at 20% duty cycle at 80 Amps
  • Comes with the necessary cables and gun

Cons:

  • Warranty coverage is only for six months
  • It can't MIG weld

8. Ironton NEOMIG – Compact & Affordable Flux Core Welder

Ironton NEOMIG

Photo: Ironton

  • Input Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Output Current: 60 to 80 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 80 Amps
  • Weight: 32 pounds

If you want a medium-duty flux core welder at an affordable price, then this Ironton NEOMIG welder might serve your needs.

It delivers 60 to 80 Amps of power and has a 20% @ 80-Amp duty cycle rating, making it perfect for most medium-sized projects around the house on in the shop.

Ironton also adds all the necessary accessories in the package, including the flux core gun, the ground clamp with its cables, a hammer/brush, and two tips.

What you won't get with this unit is MIG functionality because it's designed solely for flux-cored welding. When you consider its price though, then you'll agree it's one of the best flux core wire-welder offers in the market.

Pros:

  • Compact and modern-looking welder
  • Offered at a very affordable price
  • Rated 20% @ 80 Amps duty cycle
  • The package includes everything you need

Cons:

  • It can't do MIG welding

9. Suncoo 130 – Affordable 105-Amp Flux Core Welder

Suncoo 130

Photo: Suncoo

  • Input Voltage: 110 Volts
  • Output Current: 105 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 15% @ 105 Amps
  • Weight: 36.4 pounds

Here's one of the best flux core welders when it comes to price. This one features 105 Amps tops, is rated 15% @ 105 Amps duty cycle, and Suncoo offers it at a very low and attractive price.

It features a four-button power level control and 10-level speed control for the wire speed. The welder is compact, lightweight, and easy to use.

But, it can't MIG weld and it's also one of the lowest-powered units on this list. In its defense, however, it's also one of the lowest priced.

Pros:

  • Cheap, simple, and compact welder
  • Rated 15% @ 105 Amps
  • Offers variable wire speed and 4 power levels
  • Includes accessories plus a welding gun with button

Cons:

  • It's one of the lowest-powered welders here
  • It can't do MIG welding

10. Arksen 9-WE-90299 – Small Flux Core Welder With Accessories

Arksen 9-WE-90299

Photo: Arksen

  • Input Voltage: 115 Volts
  • Output Current: 105 Amps
  • Duty Cycle: 10% @ 105 Amps, 35% @ 60 Amps
  • Weight: 36.7 pounds

Small and inexpensive, this Arksen 9-WE-90299 offers you a simple and compact flux core welder that's perfect for most small jobs.

It runs on 115 Volts, so you can practically take it anywhere. It also  produces a maximum current of 105 Amps and has a 10% duty cycle at that level and a 35% duty cycle at 60 Amps.

You also get everything necessary for operation in this package, although you can't MIG weld with it. There are extra tips, fuses, flux-core wire, and a chipping hammer with a brush.

This welder isn't designed for heavy-duty or commercial work, but it's perfect for the hobbyist or beginner.

Pros:

  • Portable flux core welder
  • Perfect for small jobs
  • Rated 10%@105A and 35%@60A
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • It's the weakest welder on this list

How to Buy the Best Flux Core Welder

How to Buy the Best Flux Core Welder

Photo: Goplus

1. Single vs. Multi-purpose Use

Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) machines are similar to metal inert gas (MIG) welders because they both feed their electrodes through the welding gun. This makes it possible to have a single machine such as the Hobart 500559 carry out both MIG and flux-cored welding.

Keep in mind that while most MIG welders can handle flux-cored welding, most flux core machines such as the Suncoo130 can't run as MIG welders. So, if you plan on doing MIG welding later, then you might want to consider a machine that's rated to do both.

2. Input & Output Power

This is another important consideration because it can make a lot of difference. Higher-voltage welders work better for thicker materials, so if you're planning to weld a lot of sheet metal or heavy steel, then you might want to consider a welder with 240-Volt input. Else, 120 Volts will do for smaller, everyday stuff.

For output power, DC (direct current) works better than AC (alternating current) when it comes to flux core welding, and this shows in the quality of the welds produced. AC is also terrible at welding stainless steel, so plan accordingly.

3. Plate Thickness

In simple terms, the thickness of the plates you'll be welding will determine the ideal output power of the welder that you should buy. The output can be in DC or AC, but the output level is measured in Amps and a higher-Amp welder will weld thicker materials better than a lower-Amp welder.

For instance, a welder with a 130 to 140 Amp output rating will do well with most materials measuring up to 1/4-inch in thickness. If you want something stronger, for instance, to weld 3/8-inch steel, then you should look for more powerful welders with about 200-Amp outputs.

4. Weld Metals

Another consideration is the work you intend to do with the welder and type of metals you intend to weld. This consideration is necessary because flux core welders can't weld all types of metals.

They can weld carbon steels, stainless steels, and cast iron without a problem, but they have issues with exotic or non-ferrous metals such as aluminum. So, plan well.

5. User Friendliness

The average MIG or flux core welder is a simple machine with simple controls when done well. But, some manufacturers can fail at keeping the system simple and easy to use.

So, when you're deciding on a welder, take a good look at its layout and overall design. Go through its user manual, if you have to, but make sure it feels intuitive and user-friendly to you.

Most machines will offer a simple way to control the arc voltage and the wire speed, while others go further and provide a digital readout or a tidier interface.

6. Duty Cycle

If you're new to welding, then this is another factor you'll also have to consider. The duty cycle measures how long you can use a welder before it will need to rest. It's often stated in percentage at a given power output, such as a 20% duty cycle @ 85 Amps or 35% @ 70 Amps.

The duty cycle is given in percentage of 10-minute cycles, so what the above example ratings simply mean is that the welder will work for 2 minutes @ 85 Amps before needing to rest for 8 minutes or it will work for 3.5 minutes at 70 Amps before needing to rest for 6.5 minutes.

7. Portability

Most flux core welders are compact with small dimensions, so size isn't much of an issue there. Many are heavier than others, however, with some weighing about twice as much as other welders. So, keep an eye on weight if you can't handle the heavy stuff.

Conclusion

We've come to the end of this flux core welders review and you've seen all the great offers out there, from the low-priced beginner units to the more costly and powerful options. Now is your turn to make a choice.

For a simple but good choice, we recommend our overall best offer, the Hobart 500559 flux core welder, with its MIG compatibility, 5-level power control, 20% @ 90-Amp rating, and 5-year warranty.

Those on a budget will will appreciate the Super Deal B00XXVFH2Y with its lightweight and compact design, lots of accessories, and a very attractive price.

And for those who love new technologies, we recommend the Sungoldpower 140A flux core welder, with its inverter technology, its resultant very-low weight, dual voltage, and impressive 60% @ 120-Amp duty cycle.

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