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Best Flux Core Welder 2021-Reviews and Buying Guide

Flux core welder is very similar to MIG welder, and in most cases, you can use one machine for both MIG and flux core welding. However, instead of using a shielding gas to protect the weld area, a flux core welder uses the flux core to generate the necessary protection from the atmosphere.

Flux core welders are powerful machines, and they are often used in the construction industry because of their high-speed welding capacity. There are also widely used in DIY and small shops, and they let you do anything from welding thin auto body sheet to thick sheet plate.

With so many machines out there, it is easy to miss out on the best flux core welder or pay too much for features that don’t meet your needs. We’ve done the research for you to provide you with some of the best options.

Let’s get started

A quick comparison for our favorite flux core welders

ProductInput VoltageOur RatingPrice
Forney Easy Weld 261120V

4.9

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Hobart 500559 Handler 140115V

4.8

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Lincoln Electric K2278-1Handy Core115V

4.7

Check price
SUPER DEAL PRO Commercial MIG 130110V

4.6

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Goplus MIG 130110V

4.5

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Weldpro 200 Amp Multi Process Welder220V/110V

4.4

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LOTOS MIG175220V

4.3

Check price
VIVOHOME MIG 130110V

4.2

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Reboot MIG 160220V

4.1

Check price
Display4top MIG 130110V

4.0

Check price

Reviews of Best Flux Core Welders

1. Forney Easy Weld 261- Best welder overall

Forney Easy Weld 261 is a gasless flux core welder made by Forney. It is a great machine if you are just starting out or for do-it-yourself. Forney Easy Weld 261 is an upgrade of the Forney Easy Weld 299, and it is designed with more power to handle different metalworking projects effortlessly.

The machine is lightweight, meaning you carry it with you to different worksites. Most welders may refer to it as a MIG machine, but it is critical to emphasize that this is a typical flux core welder, and you cannot add shielding gas.

The features of Forney Easy Weld 261 are outstanding at the price point. That said, let’s have a look at why this machine tops our list for the best performing flux core welder and what it has in store for you.

Top features

Ease of use: Forney Easy Weld 261is designed with user-friendly features and smooth operation in mind. The welder accepts up to 0.30″ flux core wire, which is ideal for entry-level welders. Additionally, it is flux-cored, meaning you do not need an external gas to shield the molten weld puddle. The learning curve is also simple and takes few minutes of practice to get the hang of it.

Powerful flux core welder: This machine delivers up to 140 amp output to allow you to transform ideas into masterpieces. This amount of power is enough to weld up to 1/4-inch mild steel, and you can use it for day-to-day welding tasks. The package includes an 8-inch MIG gun, 8-ground clamp, and 20A – 15A adapter to get you started and a 12-month warranty.

Portable design: Forney Easy Weld 261 weighs 19 pounds, making it easy to transport and store the machine. It is also equipped with a wire speed and infinite voltage controls that allow you to fine-tune your settings for the best welds. Besides that, you can control wire speed with the foot pedal to produces clean and high-quality welds that may be hard to achieve with similar welders in the same price range.

Rugged construction: This flux core welder features an all-metal casing designed to accommodate 2 pounds to 10 pounds rolls of wire. Additionally, setup is easy, and it comes with a user manual with pictorial illustrations to guide you through the setup process. It also offers troubleshooting tips to help detect and solve commonly faced problems along the way.

Pros

  • It is a gasless operation, so you don’t need to worry about carrying the gas cylinder
  • It is also quite affordable-little over 200 bucks
  • Sturdy metal construction
  • Ideal for a range of materials
  • It an ideal flux core welder for beginners

Cons

  • It is not designed for heavy welding jobs- consider Weldpro 200 Amp, or any other multi-process welder, if you’re looking for something more versatile
  • Single voltage-120 V only

Verdict:

If you are looking for a portable and affordable flux core welder, consider the Forney Easy Weld 261. It is not only feature-rich but also performance-oriented to give you the best results. It is ideal for general metal fabrication, do-it-yourself, hobbyists, and repair, and maintenance.

2. Hobart 500559 Handler 140- Best for home use

Hobart 500559 is a popular welder for both MIG (GMAW) and flux-cored (FCAW) welding processes. Unlike Forney Easy Weld 261, which runs on a 120 V outlet, Hobart 500559 requires a 110-volt outlet, making it ideal for homeowners and DIY welders. Besides, while the Forney is strictly for flux core welding, Hobart allows for both MIG and flux-cored welding processes.

It also happens to be one of the best flux/MIG welders in the Hobart lineup of welding equipment, designed explicitly for small-scale users.

This Hobart welder includes everything needed for flux core welding, including a sample spool of the gasless flux core wire, power cord, quick select drive, 10ft HR-100 MIG gun 10ft work cable and clamp, as well as 10ft HR-100 MIG gun.

It also includes a dual-gauge regulator with a gas hose for shielding gas, but you’ll need to acquire the solid wire and shielding gas if you need to switch to MIG.

Key features

Five-position voltage control: This feature allows you to fine-tune your settings to produce a smooth and stable arc at various welding thicknesses. Hobart 500559 is also relatively lightweight, making it easy to transport, and in addition, it has a small footprint, meaning it won’t take up a lot of space in your garage or work truck. However, you might still need a cart if you need to move the unit more often.

Welding capability: This Hobart welder is designed to weld from 24 gauge up to 1/4 in mild steel and other metals materials, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and more. The wire feed speed range is rated at 40-700 IPM and 50-740 IPM at no load.

Reasonable duty cycle: This unit offers a duty cycle of 20% @ 90 Amp, which is practical for most home and DIY projects. Other than that, the design includes automatic overload protection to protect your device when the duty cycle is exceeded. The machine is designed to go off automatically until the fan cools the unit and goes on again when ready to weld.

Industrial drive system: Hobart 500559 is built with a heavy-duty cast aluminum drive system to deliver industrial performance. It also comes with a heavy-duty work clamp for a sturdy performance whether you need to do household repairs, auto body projects, or farm projects. Additionally, it operates on a standard 115 household current, making it the best buy for homeowners.

Pros

  • Excellent compact model
  • Quick and easy set-up; you should have your equipment up and running in a jiff
  • It requires low operator skill
  • Improved arc performance on a variety of materials
  • The entire assembly is solid and sturdy

Cons

  • It is priced, but the difference with cheap models becomes apparent once you open the box
  • The power level is not suited for industrial operations
  • You’ll need to get an additional gas cylinder for MIG welds

Verdict:

This Hobart welder is a game-changer for amateur and professional welders alike. Hobart welders’ high quality and excellent workmanship are apparent in this model, and the good thing is it does not burden your pockets. It is suitable for auto bodywork and home maintenance or just repairing stuff in the garage.

3. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core- Best starter welder

Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core is a flux core welder only. It is ideal for those learning how to weld or developing their welding career. Lincoln is a brand to reckon with, and we think there is no other welder out there that is simpler to operate.

All essential parts are assembled at the factory, so your only job will be to attach the flux core wire, set the voltage output and wire feed speed, and you are ready to go. Ideally, the machine is ready to use out of the box, even for novice operators.

As mentioned, this welder does not use a shielding gas, so if you prefer using shielding gas and you’re loyal to the Lincoln brand, then you want to consider Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG or any other MIG welder by Lincoln.

Top features

Weld capability: The handy core is a flexible unit with the capacity to weld 18 gauge up to 1/8-inch mild steel. It is one of the best entry-level flux core welders and the go-to welder for simple home repairs or hobby applications around small shops. It offers four output ranges, which are more than enough to take care of everyday chores and handling things around the home like fencing and automotive chores.

Cold contactor safety feature: The cold contractor is inherent in all Lincoln brands, which is a safety feature designed to keep the welding wire electrically cold until you strike an arc. This is not only a safety feature, but it also helps to prevent the feeder wire from melting before you pull the trigger, thus keeping you safe while giving you more control.

Additionally, the unit is fan-cooled to ensure a safe operation and extended life expectancy.

Compact model: This welder is versatile, portable and it is designed with ease of use in mind. The unit is easy to move to different job sites, plus it scores highly for home use. However, this also means it lacks the power you need to tackle heavy-duty work, but it is sufficient for DIY enthusiasts and hobby use.

Also, the 20%@ 70 amps duty cycle does not sound satisfactory, but it will work long enough before letting the machine cool down.

Full package: This set comes with everything you need to start welding, including a sports gun and cable assembly, input power cable and work clamp, work lead, flux-cored wire electrode, and welding hand shield. It also includes a chipping hammer for removing the resulting welding slag. What’s more, it plugs into a household 115V outlet for added convenience.

Pros

  • It is pretty portable
  • It is also easy to use
  • It is perfect for thin gauge materials
  • The welder comes with a bunch of accessories and supplies to get you going
  • Pretty easy for a beginner

Cons

  • This machine is not ideal for welding thick materials. If you’re involved in large projects, consider Weldpro 200 or LOTOS MIG175 to increasing your welding capability
  • Welds mild steel only

Verdict:

Lincoln Electric K2278-1is the perfect flux core machine if you require something compact for home repairs and hobby projects. All you need to do is clean up the weld area prior to welding and let the Handy core do the job for you.

4. Super Deal PRO MIG 130-Best compact

PRO MIG 130 is made by one of the top names in the welding industry, and it packs real power. Super Deal designed MIG 130 with flux-cored wire for precise control, and you can convert it for full MIG with the gas operation if needed. However, you’ll need to acquire the regulator and gas hose separately.

Super Deal PRO MIG 130 is popular with steelworkers and metal fabricators looking for reliability in a compact unit. Additionally, it comes with many accessories, including a face mask to get you started with welding from the word go.

This machine weighs only 38 pounds, so it is portable than Hobart 500559 above, plus it is more flexible for certain jobs.

Features

Flux core operation: This welder is designed to use a convenient flux-cored wire to produce inert metal gas that prevents oxidation while welding. It packs enough amount of power you need to tackle most of your welding applications effortlessly. Additionally, its compact size allows for convenient storage, and it one of the best flux core welding machines for welding enthusiasts worldwide.

High-quality PVC construction: PRO MIG 130 is made of high-class PVC materials to give you a unit that is not only lightweight but also powerful. The construction also features a special treatment that ensures a comfortable grip while ensuring high precision during welding. On top of this, it has an inbuilt cooling fan and thermal overload protection to ensure a safe operation and protect your welder.

Convenient interface: PRO MIG 130 also features advanced options that are not only easily accessible but also make the setup easy. The digital control panel is user-friendly, and it provides a clear view at all welding levels.

One such control includes the variable feed speed control that lets you adjust the current flow using the four buttons, i.e., (MIN/MAX, 1/2).The unit also has a wire feeding and temperature control knob with up to 10 wire feeding speed levels for your different welding needs.

Convenient metal tip: The gun is fitted with a metal (copper) tip at the end to help prevent slag from building up while welding. However, the tip will still get a buildup after using it for some time, but you can always replace it with the extra tips provided together with the welder.

Additionally, the set is ready to weld straight out of the box, and it comes with a handy face shield helmet to get you started as quickly as possible.

Pros

  • Excellent portability and functionality
  • Comfortable grip
  • You can use this welder for both MIG and flux core welding processes
  • It is made of high-quality materials
  • It comes with a free face mask

Cons

  • It is an inexpensive flux core welder to get started, but it might limit as you advance your skills. The good thing is that they are better alternatives with more power like LOTOS MIG175
  • The welder is ideal for light duties and thinner materials like mild steel

Verdict:

Super Deal PRO MIG 130 delivers a considerable amount of power for use around the home or field use. It is perfect for fabricating stainless steel and mild steel, and it is ideal for budget users. Apart from the minor shortcomings, this machine is a handy welder to have in any tool shed or garage.

5. Goplus MIG 130- Best for small projects

Goplus is a very dependable flux-cored wire welder, and it comes with everything you need to start welding. The package includes the welder, welding gun, welding wire, wire brush, ground cord, and metal tip.

This model, just like Super Deal Pro, comes with a free mask, but it is still recommended to get a welding helmet and other personal protective equipment.

Its small footprint ensures convenient storage in the garage or tools shed, and it does not take much space in the workspace or work truck. So, if you are looking for a portable design that will match Super Deal Pro but without sacrificing performance, this Goplus machine is a perfect choice.

More features include;

Gasless operation: Goplus MIG 130 uses a flux core wire that self-releases metal inert gas to prevent contamination of the welded area. It is a no gas welder, and just like its Forney Easy Weld 261counterpart, you can use it for light welding projects both around the home or professional setups.

The body is made of high-quality stainless steel to ensure long life, and with its versatility, this model is one of the best flux core gasless welders you’ll find.

Multi-functional control panel: The welder is fitted with a multi-functional control panel that allows you to access various functions at the touch of a button. It includes a rotary knob that you can use to adjust the wire feeding speed up to 10 levels of your choice. You can also modify the operating current using the current flow settings, i.e., MIN/MAX, 1/2.

Overheat protection: Overheating during welding will not be an issue thanks to the automatic thermal protection with two air vents that helps in the dissipation of excess heat. Other safety measures include a ground clamp and the standard America triangle. The welding gun also features an on/off safety switch to ensure you’re in total control.

Extra storage space: The design incorporates out-of-sight storage on the upper part of the machine, which you can use to store small tools and accessories. Additionally, the mini size is practical in most DIY applications. At the same time, it packs enough power to handle steel welding projects, and it can stand abuse at the job site.

It also features a convenient, easy-carry handle that makes it a great tool around the home and for hobby welders.

Pros

  • It uses a flux-cored wire, so you don’t require a gas cylinder
  • It comes with a lot of supplies
  • The welder is quite powerful for its price range
  • It also seems well built and sturdy
  • Very little slag accumulation
  • Wire feed is straightforward

Cons

  • Most users found the face mask not entirely helpful, but you can substitute it with proper safety equipment
  • Ideal for small welding jobs

Verdict:

Goplus MIG 130 is a portable and versatile welder for everyday welding projects. It is ideal for welding light materials, and it is perfect for general repair and maintenance work. Its compact and lightweight design allows you to bring the equipment anywhere you need, plus it only takes a fraction of your storage space.

6. Weldpro 200 Amp Multi Process Welder- Best inverter welder

The Weldpro 200 is a high-end multi-process machine whose capability goes beyond flux core and MIG welding. One thing that’s interesting about this welder is that it gives the operator many choices regarding the scope of the welding processes as well as welding parameters.

With 200 amp maximum output, the unit is synergically designed to perform flux-cored welding, MIG welding, as well as lift TIG and stick welding. The flux core function is straightforward and easy to figure out, and it welds as good on the MIG, lift TIG, and stick welding mode.

And weighing just 30 pounds, the machine is unbelievably lightweight and portable considering its broad scope of applications.

Top features

Compact, multi-purpose design: The compact construction of Weldpro 200 is one of the reasons we choose this welder as one of our top picks, and it is one of the best flux core welders for beginners. The machine is compact and light, meaning it will fit in most garage spaces, and it is a perfect design for DIY use.

Also, with its multi-purpose design, there’s nothing much you can’t do with this welder, from flux core welding to aluminum applications using the MIG spool gun provided. You can also use the TIG braising technique to work on a range of metals

IGBT inverter technology: This welder uses IGBT inverter technology instead of older MOSFET technology to provide more power and ensure the best welding experience. This technology also makes it less vulnerable to power fluctuations, making it more reliable and productive. IGBT also makes the unit weigh less, but it has comparable performance to a heavy machine.

Dual digital display: Another thing that really stands out in this model is the dual display that lets the operator set the wire speed or amperage for repeatable welding applications. It also provides overload protection as well as VRD high temperature with indication to ensure a safe operation each time.

Automatic adjustments: Another key selling point of the model MIG 200 is the fact that it adjusts automatically to the voltage and wire speed to suit the specific welding needs. This takes away the worry of having to adjust the settings manually, and the best part is that you can fine-tune the voltage independently if need be or depending on the application at hand.

Pros

  • The Weldpro 200 occupies a small footprint
  • Outstanding power output
  • The display is clear and easy to read
  • Multi-purpose nature is an added value
  • It includes lots of accessories, including the TIG torch

Cons

  • The price is not beginner-friendly, but the set is worth the money
  • Duty-cycle could be better for a machine with such a high output, but it is still sufficient for most application in an average garage

Verdict:

Weldpro 200 is a versatile welding machine that is designed to offer something beyond beginner-level performance. It is perfect for auto body modification, decoration, equipment maintenance, and it is also ideal for beginners. It can handle long working hours, and it is one of the best flux core inverter welders at the price point.

7. LOTOS MIG175 – Best heavy-duty

LOTOS MIG175 is a solid machine specially designed for flux core and aluminum gas shielded applications. It is the big brother to LOTOS MIG140, which means more power and is much more convenient for long welding hours.

It is a combination of the best technologies and intuitive features to give you one of the most powerful units out there that can accommodate even the toughest heavy-duty welding tasks.

Apart from being a flux core welder, it is also one of the best MIG welders for welding aluminum and a range of other metal materials.

Top features

Reliable welding output: Unlike LOTOS MIG140, which offers an output range of up to 140 A, LOTOS MIG175 provides up to 175 A output power to let you weld almost everything from mild steel stainless steel to aluminum and other metal materials.

The welding capacity for mild steel and stainless steel ranges from 18 gauge to 1/4″ while that of aluminum is 3/16″ or Thinner. It also features a dual-frequency (50/60Hz), making it one of the most versatile welders.

Durable technology: This machine uses advanced transformer technology, which is reliable and very secure. You can plug your machine into an existing 220V wall outlet, plus the entire setup should take you less than 10 minutes. Most professional welders and hobbyists alike find this welder to be more durable and reliable than other machines in this price range.

Reliable aluminum welding: Another unique feature of this welder is the included high-quality MIG spool gun that lets you take on any aluminum welding functions with confidence. Additionally, the package comes with a 1 lb. (0.9mm in diameter) aluminum wire to improve your welding experience. Other accessories include a MIG torch, ground clamp, gas hose, and argon regulator for MIG gas applications.

Overload protection: LOTOS is famous for its resettable overload protection that helps to assure a safe operation and long service life. Additionally, the welder is suitable for heavy-duty applications since it provides a high-duty cycle. It is also perfect for most DIY tasks, such as basic home repairs, so it is not limited to industrial welding tasks.

Pros

  • Impressive power output
  • It is an ideal choice for welding a variety of metals
  • You can weld for long hours without overheating
  • It is also quite durable
  • The welds are strong and flawless

Cons

  • It might take time to master the tricks of this welder, especially for novice
  • Not the most portable option

Verdict:

LOTOS MIG175 is a supreme choice for both novice and expert welders. Welders like this machine because it delivers industrial-level performance in a unit that costs less than $1000. Its operation is incredibly smooth, and it is the best flux core welder for sheet metal.

8. VIVOHOME MIG130-Best portable

VIVOHOME MIG130 is a machine that any serious DIYer would want in their tools arsenal. It is made of high-quality stainless steel with a black finish that will stand the test time.

If you are a hobby welder, you can use this machine for light welding duties around the home. It offers impressive power output, but it does not offer industrial performance like LOTOS MIG175, but it is an ideal choice for home use.

Notable features

Superior weld protection: The welder uses a convenient flux-cored wire that produces inert metal gas to offer great protection to the welded part. The welder offers good weld penetration compared to solid wire, and it is especially helpful for home repairs and amateur projects. The welder comes with most of the accessories you need to get going including, a welding gun, welding helmet, ground clamp, among others.

Adjustable welding settings: The welding machine provides up to 10 levels of welding speed and four current flow settings that make it easy for you to weld thin and relatively thicker metal materials, including steel or stainless steel, using flux core wire. Further, the machine features two air vents that help to reduce the temperature and dissipate excess heat.

Onboard storage space: This welder offers convenient storage space at the top where you can store accessories and small tools such as nails, screws, etc. The unit also comes with a high-quality protective helmet to keep welding splatter and debris off your eyes and face while welding.

Apart from that, they have included a wire brush to remove slag and debris from the weld and keep the surface clear and smooth.

Portable construction: VIVOHOME MIG 130 is designed to be compact and lightweight to make it easy to weld. The design includes a convenient handgrip that makes it easy to carry wherever you need to weld comfortably. Both the handle and the unit’s exterior are made to be heat resistant to ensure that it does not warp in the heat of welding and resist wear.

Pros

  • It is portable, so you can take it anywhere
  • Set up is effortless
  • Performance is reliable and stable
  • It is a great welder for a beginner
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

  • It is a DIY welder
  • It produces a lot of spatter, but this is expected since it uses a flux-cored wire

Verdict:

This welding machine handles everything thrown to it, and it is particularly ideal for welding mild and stainless steel. It delivers a professional finish in thin steel projects, auto bodywork, and it is one of the best flux core welders under 200.

9. Reboot MIG160-Best flexible

Reboot MIG160 is a compact and easy-to-use multi-process welder featuring flux core, MIG, stick welding, and lift TIG capability. This 220 V machine delivers 160 amps output power which is enough to weld a wide range of materials of varying thickness.

The machine will cost you under 500 bucks, and it comes with a flux core welding wire, MIG torch, MIG welding consumables, electrode holder, gas hose, ground clamp, and more. Besides, all other accessories that are not included in the package are easy to find.

The Reboot MIG160 also includes a user manual to make setup and operation easy, especially when changing from one application to another.

Key highlights

Multi-process welding unit: Reboot MIG160 supports gasless flux core welding as well as solid wire (gas) MIG welding. It accommodates 2-pounds and 10 pounds of wire spools, and it can weld over 0.030″ thickness of mild steel. In addition it requires .030” or .040” wire but, the recommended wire diameter is 025-0.30″ for the best performance.

Lift TIG operation: For TIG welding, the unit offers lift TIG where the electrode is touched to the work material then lifted. The electrode barely sticks on the metal, but the technique is not as effective as high-frequency TIG welding. The TIG torch is not included, but you can get the WP17V TIG torch by Reboot if you plan to try TIG welding.

Generator compatible: The most interesting part about this welder you can use it with a generator. For optimal performance, consider a generator that is 5000W and as well as a 30A breaker. The unit is also inverter-based, which means it is more stable and will run for longer without overheating. For this reason, the welder takes credit for both stability and efficiency.

Quality build: Apart from the superb attributes, this model is designed to be lightweight and portable, so you can take the welder with you wherever you want. Additionally, it is durable, rugged so it will hold up really well, and it a great tool to learn with. Also, it is an excellent price point for a starter welder.

Pros

  • Easy operation
  • No gas is required for flux core welding
  • It is great for DIY users
  • Easy assembly and setup
  • Welds are excellent for both stick and wire feed.

Cons

  • It cannot accommodate heavy industrial applications
  • It might take some practice to master everything, but generally, it is a great machine for the price

Verdict:

Reboot MIG160 allows you to remain in total control of all welding applications, from metal fabrication to repairs and maintenance. It is a 4-in-1 welder, and it comes with the necessary accessories you need to start welding right away.

10. Display4top MIG 130 PLUS-Budget performance

Beginner welders often can’t afford larger, heavy-duty, and industrial-rated machines. Fortunately, the market is flooded with low-priced welders for occasional use like Display4top MIG 130.

Display4top MIG 130 PLUS is an obvious look-alike alternative to VIVOHOME MIG130, so you can never go wrong with either of the models. The unit is easy to use, and the build quality exceeds expectations at this price level.

Both entry and experienced welders will appreciate how the machine is easy to learn and use, which is not always the case with most budget-priced welders.

Top features

Gasless welder: Display4top MIG 130 PLUS uses flux-cored wire to weld a range of materials, including carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, etc. The gasless operation and controls are easy to understand, so if you’re if you are a starter welder, it won’t leave you stranded, wondering how it works.

Besides, it comes with all the accessories, including a free face mask straight out of the box. All you need is the metals that need to be welded, and away you go.

Automatic thermal safety protection: The welding machine is equipped with a safety mechanism that automatically turns off the machine when the duty cycle is exceeded or when it gets too hot. The machine also has a fan cooling system that keeps the motor cool when welding. Both functions are designed to keep you and the welder safe.

Durable construction: This welder features a heavy-duty stainless steel body to provide a strong and durable machine for long-term use. It is a versatile machine, especially if you are looking for a tool to learn with, and its quality should stand the test of time.

Endless welding possibilities: The welder is the ideal choice if you’re looking for something to take care of tasks around the home and general repair work. Additionally, its portable design comes with a comfortable hand grip to make transportation and storage easy.

Most welders are also impressed by how clean this machine welds, but it produces a little more splatter gas operations. Just remember to clean the welds after welding or before making a second pass, and you’re good to go.

Pros

  • The current flow is steady
  • Very solid construction
  • Plenty enough power to make beautiful welds
  • Affordable for almost any workshop
  • Easy to find parts
  • 3 years hassle-free warranty
  • The 40% duty cycle at 160A is high enough for constant light use

Cons

  • A little more splatter than gas welding
  • Unlike LOTOS MIG175, which is rated for industrial use, Reboot MIG130 is not for heavy use

Verdict:

Display4top MIG 130 is a great DIY welder, especially at such a low price. The machine gets high marks from users, and the price is much lower than many of its competitors. However, as mentioned, the duty cycle will not work for industrial use, but DIYers, farmers, sculptors, and auto mechanics will find this machine adequate.

How to choose the best flux core welder for the money

Flux core welders come in different designs, from true gasless welders to multi-purpose models that support more than one welding process. With so many options to choose from, how do you decide which is the best welder for your needs?

Here are some important factors you need to keep in mind when choosing a flux core welder for your welding needs;

Scope of application

One of the most important things that will determine the size and quality of the machine you buy is your welding needs and skill level. If you are a hobby welder or looking for something to enhance your DIY skills, you can go for a budget, entry-level machine to help you grow as a welder.

On the other hand, if you are looking to become a professional welder with one eye on the future, you can focus on the multi-process and high-end models that your budget can allow.

Ideally, the more the functions, the better quality of the welding machine, and this is a good thing, especially if you are looking for something that you can’t outgrow as you advance your skill level.

Flux core welder vs. MIG

One thing to note is that some MIG welders can accommodate flux core wire, making them ideal for flux core welding. However, you cannot use a true flux core machine for MIG welding because it is only designed to run a flux core wire. You’ll want to pay close attention to this detail, especially if you intend to add a shielding gas or try MIG welding in the future.

MIG welder uses inert gas fed through a hose into the weld, forming a shield that doesn’t allow contaminates, especially oxygen, into the weld. On the other hand, a flux core welder uses the flux to produce self-release gas used to shield the weld.

Flux core welding is often preferred to MIG when you need to weld outside, where the wind can blow away the shielding gas, hence increasing the chances of porosity.

Material thickness

The plate thickness is often one of the most important considerations when choosing a flux core welding machine. For instance, if you only intend to weld materials that do not exceed 1/4 of an inch, then you only need a device that can deliver about 130-140 amps. Anything thicker than that will require a more powerful machine like LOTOS MIG 175 with up to 175 amps of output.

Input power

Input power is also a major consideration, and it is mainly guided by the type of materials you need to weld. For instance, if you only intend to weld thin sheet metal most of the time, then 120 volts or less will be a good starting point.

On the other hand, if you need more power for your heavy-duty projects like equipment repairs, you may want to consider a 240-powered machine.

However, the best thing is to get a dual input welder that runs on both 120 and 240 volts to ensure that you have enough power for the type of project.

Wrap up!

Flux core welders give you the opportunity of producing cleaner welders without using shielding gas. Investing in the best flux core welder will help you weld optimally regardless of your welding experience or level. We choose Forney Easy Weld 261 as our top-rated machine because of its compact design, outstanding weld quality, and ease of use. However, if you need something that you can use as either flux core or MIG welder, consider a multi-process like Weldpro 200 Amp multi-process Welder that can be used in both gasless and gas operations.

William Phillips
 

William Phillips was born and raised in Keller, Texas. He is a licensed general contractor, and he has been a home improvement specialist for two decades. His passion for the trade led him to freelance writing to share his life experiences with his readers. Phillips enjoys thoroughly researching DIY tools and writing guides at ToolsHaunt as a way of giving back to the community.

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