Best Flux Core Welders – Reviews and Top Picks

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Flux core welders have changed everything for the DIY welder and small shops

These inexpensive, yet powerful machines let you weld everything from auto body sheet metal to serious steel plate.

There are so many machines out there, it’s easy to miss out on great features or pay too much for not enough power.

We’ve done the homework so you don’t have to. Check out these 5 great little flux core welders.

Quick Comparison

Img Product Weight Voltage Processes Max Thickness Screen Max Output Where to Buy
Best flux core welder for beginners
Yeswelder 135AMP
Yeswelder 135AMP
15 lbs 110V Flux-cored, Stick, Lift TIG Up to 5/32 in. Digital 135A
Best MIG & flux core option
Eastwood 140
Eastwood 140
24 lbs 120V MIG, Flux-cored up to 5/32 in. None 140A
Best flux core welder for the money
Klutch MIG 140i
Klutch MIG 140i
19 lbs 120V MIG, Flux-cored up to 3/16 in. None 140A
Best overall flux core welder
Hobart Handler 100
Hobart Handler 100
44 lbs 115V Flux-cored up to 3/16 in. None 100A
Best cheap flux core welder
Ironton 125
Ironton 125
38 lbs 115V Flux-cored up to 3/16 in. None 125A
Best portable flux core welder
Lincoln Century FC-90
Lincoln Century FC-90
18 lbs 120V Flux-cored up to 1/4 in. None 90A
Best flux core welder for home use
Forney 140 FC-i
Forney 140 FC-i
19 lbs 120V Flux-cored up to 1/4 in. None 140A

Best Flux Core Welder With Reviews

Here is a list of the 7 best flux core welders we found on the market today:

1. YesWelder 135AMP 110V Gasless MIG Welder

Best flux core welder for beginners
YesWelder 135AMP 110V Gasless MIG Welder

YesWelder 135AMP

4.5 Weld Guru rating

Weld Guru’s rating is dertmined by a variety of factors including features, performance, independant research and real user ratings. Scoring is not influenced by the manufacturer.

An excellent choice for beginners with automatic (“Synergic”) adjustability, and ideal to try other processes without breaking the bank.

  • Brand:
    YesWelder
  • Model:
    Flux 135AMP
  • Weight:
    15 lbs
  • Price:
    $$
  • Voltage:
    110V
  • Processes:
    Flux-cored, Stick, Lift TIG
  • Max Thickness:
    Up to 5/32 in.
  • Screen:
    Digital
  • Controls:
    Analog
  • Max Output:
    135A

The Yeswelder 135 is the best flux core welder for beginners because it offers automatic (“Synergic”) adjustability making it easier to weld without any adjustments. It also supports manual mode, letting you adjust the output voltage in a range between -5V and 5V.

It’s inexpensive and makes a great first flux core welder purchase because it provides pretty much everything more expensive welders do, but with the slightly lower build quality. YesWelder is a brand that offers hobbyist-level inexpensive equipment. However, they typically provide more than what they cost.

The YesWelder 135 has DINSE plugs, for example. The only other welder on this list with these is the Eastwood 140, which costs more. It also supports DC lift TIG and stick welding processes, making it an excellent choice for beginners who wish to try multiple processes on a budget. Additionally, it has a digital display which is very rare at this price, allowing you to fine-tune your output settings perfectly.

With infinite adjustability, good build quality, the highest duty cycle of all welders in our review, automatic and manual settings, and 1-year warranty, the Yeswelder 135 is one of the best buys for beginners.

Pros

  • Multi-process welder - supports Flux-core, stick, and TIG
  • Much cheaper than many brands
  • Good build quality for the price
  • Digital display
  • Infinite adjustability for voltage and wire feeding speed
  • DINSE connectors for ground clamp, stick, and TIG leads
  • Extremely light and portable
  • Great duty cycle
  • Supports automatic and manual voltage adjustments
  • Very easy to use
  • 8 feet leads
  • The Control panel has a transparent lid protection
  • 1-Year warranty

Cons

  • It doesn’t support 8 in. wire spools, 4 in. only
  • TIG and stick welding equipment not included

2. Eastwood 140 Amp MIG & Flux-Cored Welder

Best MIG & flux core option
Eastwood 140 Amp MIG & Flux-Cored Welder

Eastwood 140 Amp

4.5 Weld Guru rating

Weld Guru’s rating is dertmined by a variety of factors including features, performance, independant research and real user ratings. Scoring is not influenced by the manufacturer.

A well built welder, backed by a strong warranty. It's cheaper than high end brands and provides a full MIG welding experience, including a spool gun support.

  • Brand:
    Eastwood
  • Model:
    140 MIG
  • Weight:
    24 lbs
  • Price:
    $$$$
  • Voltage:
    120V
  • Processes:
    MIG, Flux-cored
  • Max Thickness:
    up to 5/32 in.
  • Screen:
    None
  • Controls:
    Analog
  • Max Output:
    140A

If you are looking for a MIG welder with gasless flux core welding support, the Eastwood MIG 140 provides the best of both worlds at an affordable price. While it’s more expensive than any other welder on the list, it has a high build and arc quality and includes many helpful features.

Eastwood is a USA brand with a long history, and their welders are affordable without significant quality drops compared to high-end brands. The standard DINSE plugs let you change your ground clamp easily, while other inexpensive welders integrate it. Its cast aluminum wire feeding system is much more reliable than plastic-made drives of many other brands.

The Eastwood 140 includes full MIG welding experience with a gas solenoid valve. It also supports a spool gun, letting you weld aluminum. For example, Hobart Handler 140, which is more expensive, doesn’t support a spool gun. That’s why we chose this Eastwood model as the best MIG and flux core welder, on top of its excellent build quality and a 3-year warranty.

Additionally, it has 140A of power and welds up to 3/16 in. thick. This is sufficient for almost all hobbyist applications, and its low weight makes it easy to move around and transport. If you need extra power and dual-voltage capability, the Eastwood MIG 180 is a great choice and costs less than many competing models in its price range.

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Smooth, stable arc
  • Supports full MIG and flux-cored welding processes
  • Cast aluminum wire drive system with brass to gun connection
  • Infinite voltage and wire speed adjustability
  • Latest IGBT inverter technology
  • Lightweight
  • Includes 2T/4T and tack weld modes
  • DINSE connectors for easy polarity change
  • 8.5 feet leads length
  • Supports generator as a power source
  • Easy to use
  • Supports a spool gun for MIG welding aluminum
  • 3-year warranty
  • Eastwood is a USA brand

Cons

  • No display
  • Duty cycle on the lower end

3. Klutch MIG 140i Flux-Core/MIG Welder

Best flux core welder for the money
Klutch MIG 140i Flux-Core/MIG Welder

Klutch MIG 140i

4.0 Weld Guru rating

Weld Guru’s rating is dertmined by a variety of factors including features, performance, independant research and real user ratings. Scoring is not influenced by the manufacturer.

It’s a good choice for a basic MIG/Flux-cored welder on a budget. It doesn’t have advanced functions, but it can weld up to 3/16 in. thickness.

  • Brand:
    Klutch
  • Model:
    MIG 140i
  • Weight:
    19 lbs
  • Price:
    $$$$
  • Voltage:
    120V
  • Processes:
    MIG, Flux-cored
  • Max Thickness:
    up to 3/16 in.
  • Screen:
    None
  • Controls:
    Analog
  • Max Output:
    140A

This little MIG/flux-cored welder from Klutch (brand by Northern Tool) is the best flux-cored welder for the money. If you wish to squeeze out every bit of value on a very tight budget, this model is a good choice. However, it is not as good as the Eastwood model above, even if it provides the same 3-year warranty.

The Klutch MIG 140i is an inverter welder with a decent welding performance. It’s slightly cheaper than the Eastwood model and doesn’t include advanced functions like 2T/4T. The leads are integrated like with any other inexpensive welder. It’s a good choice if you are on a budget but need to MIG weld as well.

The build quality is not the greatest, but it gets the job done for hobbyists. If you need to weld in harsh conditions or transport the welder a lot in the truck bed, you should look for a more rugged unit.

It has an infinitely adjustable voltage and wire feed speed, allowing you to fine-tune your welds. The duty cycle is what you’d expect from an inexpensive welder, but the 140A of welding power is generous for a 120V input machine.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Supports Flux-cored and MIG welding processes
  • Lightweight
  • Infinite adjustability for wire feeding speed and voltage
  • 3-Year warranty
  • Northern Tool brand
  • Everything included

Cons

  • Short leads
  • Integrated ground clamp and MIG gun
  • Thin ground clamp
  • No display
  • Duty cycle on the low end

4. Hobart Handler 100 Flux Core Welder

Best overall flux core welder
Hobart Handler 100 Flux Core Welder

Hobart Handler 100

4.0 Weld Guru rating

Weld Guru’s rating is dertmined by a variety of factors including features, performance, independant research and real user ratings. Scoring is not influenced by the manufacturer.

What it lacks in portability and functions, it makes up in an arc and build quality. If you are looking for the best flux-cored only machine, you should consider the Handler 100.

  • Brand:
    Hobart
  • Model:
    Handler 100
  • Weight:
    44 lbs
  • Price:
    $$$
  • Voltage:
    115V
  • Processes:
    Flux-cored
  • Max Thickness:
    up to 3/16 in.
  • Screen:
    None
  • Controls:
    Analog
  • Max Output:
    100A

The best overall flux-cored only welder is the Hobart Handler 100 in terms of arc and build quality. However, the Eastwood MIG 140 is a much better welder, but it also includes MIG, which increases the price. So, let’s have a look at Handler 100 if you are not interested in MIG welding.

While this is a heavy transformer welder, it provides an excellent arc in this price range. The transformer core means that it will last a long time, but it is difficult to move around with its 44lbs. Additionally, it doesn’t support useful functions like 2T/4T or tack welding.

The machine has an excellent build quality, like all Hobart units. However, it has a plastic wire drive, which is understandable considering its price. The lengthy leads and a copper ground clamp are welcome and will make welding easier for rookies for who this machine is designed.

It can weld up to 3/16 in. mild steel, with a duty cycle of 20% at 80A. The duty cycle is acceptable for beginners, but if you need it higher, consider the YesWelder 135 or the Eastwood 140.

Pros

  • Inexpensive considering the warranty length and build quality
  • Stable, Hobart’s arc
  • Infinite wire feeding adjustments
  • Excellent build quality
  • Copper ground clamp for better conductivity
  • Transformer core improves durability
  • Long 8 ft. leads
  • 3-Year warranty
  • Trusted USA brand

Cons

  • Heavy at 44 lbs
  • Integrated leads
  • Low duty cycle
  • No display
  • Uses old fixed-voltage adjustment range of only 4 values
  • No advanced functions

5. Ironton 125 Flux-Cored Welder

Best cheap flux core welder
Ironton 125 Flux-Cored Welder

Ironton 125

3.5 Weld Guru rating

Weld Guru’s rating is dertmined by a variety of factors including features, performance, independant research and real user ratings. Scoring is not influenced by the manufacturer.

This welder is a good option, If you are looking for the best flux core welder under 200 that’s not a total rip-off. It handles light welding up to 3/16 in. thickness.

  • Brand:
    Ironton
  • Model:
    125
  • Weight:
    38 lbs
  • Price:
    $
  • Voltage:
    115V
  • Processes:
    Flux-cored
  • Max Thickness:
    up to 3/16 in.
  • Screen:
    None
  • Controls:
    Analog
  • Max Output:
    125A

The Ironton 125 is one of the cheapest flux-cored welders you can get. But it’s only slightly more affordable than YesWelder 135, and YesWelder is a much more capable unit. Still, if you want to save as much as possible and still get a decent welder, the Ironton 125 may be a good option.

It’s a transformer-based welder, but its longevity is questionable since the brand offers only a 1-year warranty. The build quality is adequate for the price. However, the ground clamp is as cheap as it gets, and the leads are short, but that’s expected for the least costly machine.

The two voltage preset settings are incomparable to the infinite adjustability the YesWelder and some other brands offer. You can weld with two output voltage options but forget about perfect welds. This machine will do fine for welding small DIY stuff, but you won’t be able to dial in the welds for every job.

Pros

  • Cheapest flux-cored welder
  • Decent build quality considering the low price
  • It has an overload LED indicator
  • 1-Year warranty

Cons

  • Heavy at 38 lbs
  • Integrated leads
  • Short leads
  • Low duty cycle
  • Only two fixed voltage output options
  • It may be challenging to find spare parts
  • No display and no additional functions

6. Lincoln Electric Century FC-90 Flux-Cored Welder

Best portable flux core welder
Lincoln Electric Century FC-90 Flux-Cored Welder

Lincoln Century FC-90

4.0 Weld Guru rating

Weld Guru’s rating is dertmined by a variety of factors including features, performance, independant research and real user ratings. Scoring is not influenced by the manufacturer.

This is a lightweight, compact flux-cored welder optimized for welding from gig to gig. It's easy to carry, and the rugged body handles rough surface terrain like concrete and bumpy transport conditions.

  • Brand:
    Lincoln
  • Model:
    Century FC-90
  • Weight:
    18 lbs
  • Price:
    $$
  • Voltage:
    120V
  • Processes:
    Flux-cored
  • Max Thickness:
    up to 1/4 in.
  • Screen:
    None
  • Controls:
    Analog
  • Max Output:
    90A

If portability is your no. 1 priority, the Lincoln Electric Century FC-90 is a good choice. It closely competes with YesWelder 135 in this arena, but the FC-90 has a more compact design and a shoulder strap. It has the least welding power of all reviewed units on our list, but it’s also built very well, with rugged plastics and sturdy sheet metal.

The infinite voltage and wire feeding speed adjustability let you dial in the weld just right regardless of which wire you are using and the metal thickness. The arc quality is very high and on par with Eastwood and Hobart’s units mentioned before, making the FC-90 a great welder for welding on the go.

The short leads, flimsy ground clamp, and poor warranty are the most significant downsides of this Century welder. But its low price makes up for most of those shortcomings. This is a good unit for beginners, DIY work, artists, and small contractors.

Pros

  • Extra light and portable
  • Compact design with a shoulder strap
  • Very good build quality
  • Stable, smooth arc
  • Infinite voltage and wire feed speed adjustability
  • Century brand is owned by Lincoln Electric, one of the best welding brands

Cons

  • Short and integrated leads
  • Poor ground clamp
  • Low duty cycle
  • No display
  • No helpful functions
  • Only a 6-month warranty period

7. Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i Welder

Best flux core welder for home use
Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i Welder

Forney 140 FC-i

4.0 Weld Guru rating

Weld Guru’s rating is dertmined by a variety of factors including features, performance, independant research and real user ratings. Scoring is not influenced by the manufacturer.

This is a well-rounded flux-core machine that doesn’t break the bank. It's a good choice for a home welder because it doesn’t have any high-end features (keeping the costs down) while providing the essentials.

  • Brand:
    Forney
  • Model:
    Easy Weld 140 FC-i
  • Weight:
    19 lbs
  • Price:
    $$
  • Voltage:
    120V
  • Processes:
    Flux-cored
  • Max Thickness:
    up to 1/4 in.
  • Screen:
    None
  • Controls:
    Analog
  • Max Output:
    140A

The Forney FC-140 is a great flux-cored welder for the home. Fixing stuff here and there and doing any DIY project is simple thanks to its long leads, low weight, 140A output, and decent duty cycle. It’s easy to maneuver around your work, and the welder is capable of performing well.

This unit competes with welders like Ironton and offers much better value. While it doesn’t have the same arc quality as Hobart, Lincoln, or Eastwood, it’s pretty good and makes solid welds.

It’s easy to use, and the infinite voltage and wire feeding adjustability allow you to fine-tune your welds. The body is built very well, and similarly to Lincoln’s FC-90, the Forney FC-140 offers a rugged exterior for better durability.

With the ability to weld up to 1/4 in. thick mild steel and a decent duty cycle, this Forney welder is a good choice for a home. It’s not as cheap as the Ironton model, and it doesn’t offer additional features like Eastwood 140, but it’s not as heavy as Hobart Handler 100 and welds well for its price.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Good build quality with rugged corners
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Good ground clamp, much better than of many others on the list
  • Infinite adjustability for voltage and wire feeding speed
  • Long 8 ft. leads
  • 1-Year warranty

Cons

  • No display
  • Duty cycle on the low end
  • Integrated leads
  • No additional functions

Buyer’s Guide

Flux core welding machines open up a whole world of welding to beginners, amateurs and professionals alike.

Some can be multi-purpose machines like the YesWelder 135 that can run Flux-cored, Stick and Lift TIG.

Others only offer wire feed welding but are still great workhorse welders.

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.

Wrapping it up

The Eastwood MIG 140 is your best bet if you are looking for top quality. While it does include MIG as well, increasing its price, this Eastwood model is one of the most feature-rich MIG/flux-cored welders under $500.

The YesWelder 135 is the best choice for beginners. If you are entirely new to welding, this welder won’t burn a hole in your pocket because it’s one of the cheapest welders there is. But despite its low price, it’s a rather capable hobbyist-level welder with many features other welders don’t support.

Related reads:

Can you get a proper Plasma Cutter for under $500?


About Jeff Grill

Jeff Grill hails from Long Island, a 118 mile stretch of land that starts just off the coast of Manhattan and stretches deep into the Atlantic ocean. He has always been interested in welding from an early age and has the cuts and bruises to prove it as he set out to work with a variety of metals.


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