People that do welding tasks as a hobby or for repairs at home will find that flux core welding is just for them. It’s meant mainly for beginners and hobbyists that don’t like complicated machines with many different options.
Instead, most of the welders in this category are simple to set up and use right after unpacking. Not to mention that they don’t weigh much in order to be portable. All that’s needed is a short practice and users can get a hang of them at once. There are small welders for professionals that don’t perform overly big tasks.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll go over the best flux core welders together with their features, a buying guide, and frequently asked questions. So, follow suit!
Reviews of the Best Cheap Flux Core Welders 2020
If you are interested in flux core welding, you should look for machines that are small, compact, and affordable. Yet they should be able to provide efficient welding experience. There are many models like this on the market. So, after our thorough research, here we gathered some of the best flux core welders this year. To assist you, we included their pros, cons, and notable features.
Hobart Handler 140 Flux Core Welder - Best Choice
What really stands out about this welder is its versatility. You can utilize it for all types of welding tasks. This incorporates flux core welding and MIG. Therefore it’s suitable for both beginners and professionals.
With MIG, this model can weld 24 gauge to ¼ inches thickness. This works on mild steel as well as copper, brass, titanium, cast iron, and similar. Users state that it’s easy to use thanks to the option to switch between MIG and flux core quickly. Accompanying this, the welder has a selector with five settings.
When it comes to the current, it works on the standard 115 volts that every household has. However, you should keep in mind some downsides, people pointed out. For one, this is a bulkier model when compared to the rest. Then, it can be a bit expensive, especially for beginners to invest in.
Here are some more specifications and features about Hobart Handler 140:
- Weight: 57 pounds
- Heavy-duty work clamp
- Industrial aluminum drive system
- Duty cycle: 20% at 90 amps
- Amperage output: 25-140
Reboot MIG 150 Flux Core Welder
Reboot MIG 150 Welder is another flexible welder. With it, users can do MIG, flux core, and stick welding all in one. No additional purchases are needed.
Also, it can weld about 1/3 of an inch of metal, which is slightly better when compared to other similar welders. When it comes to energy, it’s very efficient, as well. Thanks to the inverter technology, it makes a steady AC output, lowering down the DC power. Therefore, you may pay a higher price but you’ll save energy. And this comes in handy, especially to professionals, who weld for a longer period of time.
Last, but not least, this model is lighter than most in its category. However, users point out that there may appear some issues in unexpected situations while welding. This is mainly due to the fact that the inverter technology is relatively new and untested.
Here are more details about Reboot Mig Welder:
- Weight: 12 pounds
- Input power capacity: 4.9 (KVA)
- Duty cycle: 70%
- Dimensions: 245 x 150 x 180 millimeters
- Internal wire feeder
- Efficiency: 85%
Goplus MIG 130 Flux Core Welder
Goplus MIG 130 is a user-friendly model. For starters, it incorporates a lot of adjustments. With just a single switch, users can choose between four different speeds. Also, the ten wire feed rates are quickly adjustable with the help of a knob.
Another useful feature is its lightweight. For a flux core welder, it’s portable, allowing you to weld wherever you want. And the lack of gas canisters makes it very simple to set up. That’s why it’s suitable mainly for home use. But this in no case means that professionals can’t utilize it, as well. In fact, the welder has dual air vents that dissipate heat. Because of this, it can operate for a longer time without overheating.
When it comes to possible cons, users report that it can only be used for flux core welding. So, those that prefer more versatile welders should search elsewhere.
What follows is the more detailed specifications and features:
- Material of the body: stainless steel
- Weight: 35 pounds
- Size: 13.4 x 7.3 x 11.4 inches
- Thermal safety protection: automatic
- Torch with complete on and off safety control
Super Deal MIG 130 Flux Core Welders
The main thing to consider about Super Deal Pro MIG 130 is its price. It costs under $200, making it very affordable. However, there are some compromises to be accepted for the lower price.
We’ll get to them a bit later. Now, it’s important to note that Super Deal Pro MIG 130 can be adjusted to match various welding requirements. This is possible with the help of the wave form control technology. Also, it’s very compact and can be moved around easily.
What users find useful is the fact that it has as much as ten wire feed speeds that are adjustable, as well.
Yet some issues arise while utilizing this machine. Mainly, the material it’s made of is PVC and not stainless steel. Because of this, it can be heavier and less durable. Not to mention that it can overheat if you use it for a longer time.
Those that want to learn more specifications and details can read these:
- 4 current flow settings levels
- Metal tip at the end of the gun
- Weight: 38 pounds
- Dimensions: 20.2 x 15 x 12.5 inches
- Torch: 2.5 M
SUNCOO 130 MIG Flux Core Welder
SUNCOO 130 MIG Welder has a stainless steel body. This makes it tough and durable. And it enables users to take it to construction sites and other tougher surroundings without worrying that it’ll get damaged.
No matter if you need it for home welding tasks or professional ones, it is produced to do the job. To help you get the most out of it, the cored wire stops oxidation on the joints. And with a single knob, you can easily adjust the speed of the wire feeding.
In terms of power, the welder operates on both 110 volts and 220 volts. Aside from all of this, there is a slight con associated with this model. It’s connected to the complicated setup. Some users have trouble with this. But there are instructions you can follow to make the process easier.
Read some more detailed specifications:
- No gas
- Maximum current output: 105 at 15%
- Size: 13.4 x 7.2 x 11.4 inches
- Weight: 36.5 pounds
- Color: yellow
- Material: metal
VIVOHOME Portable Flux Core Wire No Gas MIG 130 Welder
As a gasless machine, VIVOHOME Mig 130 is very simple to operate. Basically, welders can use it as soon as they open the box. Its user-friendly interface contributes to this. Unlike some of the other models, this welder is easy to set up, too.
The variable feed speed control setting allows users to weld at their own pace no matter if it’s faster or slower. Connected to this, the machine is comfortable to carry around and grip. The stainless steel body doesn’t ruin this effect at all. In fact, because of it, the welder is long-lasting and tough.
However, users complain that the speed of the wire is a bit fast even though the settings are set to slow.
We present some more specifications and features:
- Power: 110 volts
- Frequency: 50-60 Herz
- Maximum current output: 105 at 15%
- Welding current: 50-120 amps
- No gas
- Weight: 36 pounds
- Free helmet
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 MIG Flux Core Welder
The first thing worth mentioning about Lincoln K2185-1 welder is that it’s lightweight and compact. This makes it movable around. Therefore, especially those that need it for home welding tasks will find great pleasure in it.
When it comes to power, it operates nicely on 115 volts. And there are four voltage settings, which connected to the adjustment options of the wire speed, enable welding of mild steel. More precisely, this welder can do from 24 gauge to 1/8 inches thickness of the steel. Users shouldn’t worry about setting it up, either. Everything you need comes in the box and the machine is ready to be used as soon as it is unpacked.
As for some cons, welders mention the fact that it can’t really perform more complex and professional tasks like the more expensive models do.
Here are some more specifications and details:
- DC output
- Weight: 26 pounds
- Dimensions: 18 x 10.3 x 16.8 inches
- Power source: corded electric
- Wattage: 2.300 watts
- Made in the USA
Buying Guide: Tips for Purchasing the Best Flux Core Welders
Before you think of the budget for buying a new flux-core welder, start by researching the average prices of models that catch your eye. If you’re done with that, you can move onto planning your budget.
Welders which have more features will be more expensive. However, you should narrow down the features you need in a welder. That way you can escape the high price and still get away with a stellar pick.
Another option is purchasing models with useful features that you may not need currently, but you can use it in the long run. That’s a good investment. It’s worth considering going for that rather than buying a cheap flux core welder that would have to be replaced soon.
Types of Output and Metal
DC and AC welders have different outputs, so it’s understandable we want to spare a few sentences on them. Welding stainless steel is more the domain of DC outputs. On the other hand, AC welders work better with just steel. Generally speaking, the AC output isn’t really the most compatible option for flux core welders.
When it comes to the types of metal, one of the flux core welder’s biggest minuses is the fact that it doesn’t weld aluminum. If this metal is important to you, you may consider buying a multi-process welder.
The dilemma of this section is whether to buy from a reputable brand or take the risk and choose a less-known company. The quality of the welding machine comes first, so in some cases, the name of the brand doesn’t essentially mean that their model is the best one there is although it may influence that.
Then again, we’re talking about a welding machine that doesn’t come for free and that you don’t buy every day. Sometimes buying from a famous brand means great after-sale activities, trust, great warranty conditions, and other extra features.
The density and durability of the lead in the welder affect the whole period of usage. What’s more, it makes the whole welding experience more enjoyable and provides the user with confidence. That’s if the length and quality of the lead are satisfactory.
To be more precise, it’s advised that ground leads should be from 10′ to 12′. For the torch lead, the range goes from 10′ to 24′.
Of course, this can be understood more like a personal preference rather than a rule that’s set in stone. Users say that longer leads mean you have more freedom while being mobile.
Density of the Plate
It’s very important to think of the plate density when buying your next welder. This ability is basically a part of the welding tasks and projects at hand. That’s because it determines whether you’ll be able to weld denser materials than usual. Take your current welding job or similar foreseeable ones in the near future and determine how thick you’ll like to weld.
The welding community has one pretty universal rule. It states that higher amperage means you’ll be able to weld much thicker materials. But consider that no two welders are exactly alike. So, it’s best to try a welder out or check out the reviews before drawing your conclusion regarding the plate density.
People use this type of welding when they want to weld dirty or otherwise known as impure metals. An electrode creates the welding arc, so it isn’t a complex technique. In fact, it’s very similar to MIG welding. That’s why sometimes you can find the exact same equipment for both MIG and flux core welding or at least similar parts.
The role of the flux is to clean the material from the impure elements. Oxidation is a great example. It’s an integral part of the welding process when dealing with these specific materials. When the materials are in a purer form, there is not much left to remove from the metals.
The self-shielding type of flux core welding has gas protection capabilities. They come into effect when the flux wires burn. For this reason, gas tanks or other providers aren’t needed. This immensely makes the welder more portable and easy to move around. It isn’t seldom to find gas used in flux core welding though. Carbon dioxide and its mixtures, for one, are pretty well-known. The same goes for Argon. Don’t limit yourself to those. Others are used a lot, too.
It isn’t one of the most popular welding processes out there for nothing, right? There are numerous positive things about flux core welding and welders. We’ll try to be as concise as possible. For starters, it’s very suitable for outdoor tasks and projects. That’s because sometimes you can go without shielding gas. Unlike other techniques, the flux core can work through very dirty metals and materials in general. Moreover, it’s considered to be one of the simpler types. Beware that users still need plenty of welding skills to successfully handle flux core welding. It’s also known for the speed. For many high-speed tasks, users often rely on outer gas. Additionally, there are plenty of improvements in the deposit rate. This rate is higher when compared to other welding types like MIG, for instance.
As we previously established, they’re pretty similar kinds of welding. So, the short answer is yes. Opting for flux core means that you can use it even when it’s pretty windy. With that being said, the ability to penetrate is heightened.
Try your best to find models that have warranty conditions. A pro tip is to look for the period or how long will you be covered and compare that to other models and the industry’s averages. Also, make sure you check what’s included in the warranty. If you think all of the terms are suitable, then you can seriously think of getting that model.
A Final Word
Overall, there are many things to look forward to when getting a flux core welder. Starting from the numerous adjustments and user-friendly interface to its small size and weight, everyone can utilize them. Of course, there are certain downsides, especially for more serious welders and professionals. That’s why you should carefully weigh everything in and decide what you want. We hope this complete guide helped you with this.
Now we want to hear your experience with this. Did you buy a flux core welder? Or do you plan to?