Best Flux Core Welders Reviewed (Gasless MIG) 2021

Flux core welders or gasless MIG welders are an excellent addition to your workshop. They’re one of the most portable types of machine and they don’t require gas to start welding.

This lack of shielding gas and portability makes them a good option for outdoor welding and can also save you money on gas and free up some room in the garage. The downside of a flux-core machine vs a MIG or TIG welder is that you’ll have to do a bit more work to clean spatter from the weld bead once you’re done.

This article reviews our top picks for flux core welders on the market.

All of these welders only perform gasless MIG, you cannot connect a gas cylinder to these machines.

Best Flux Core Welders

Click any of the links below to find which welder is best suited for your needs.

1.Forney Easy Weld 261 140FC-i

medal Best all-round

Forney Easy Weld 261 140FC-i
Portability:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Build:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Performance:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Power:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Price:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Our top pick for the best flux core welder is the Forney Easy Weld 261, it ticks all the boxes for an all-round great welder, it’s powerful, lightweight, performs well and is available at a decent price. It runs up to 140A and states that it will weld up to 1/4″ steel, in truth it can do 1/4″ at a breeze so you can get a bit more out of this machine if you want. The duty cycle is 30%@90A and you can use 0.30 and 0.35″ wire with both 2lb and 10lb rolls, so it’s versatile and powerful.

It’s an inverter unit so it weighs just 19lbs, despite its all-metal case, making it one of the lightest on the market. This makes it perfect for anyone looking for a flux core welder for repair and maintenance and needs something portable. The machine is really simple to use as well, making it a great welder for beginners. All you need to do is set the voltage and wire speed and you’re ready to go.

Overall for an all-round balance of price and features, we don’t think you can beat this. It’s great for beginners and also more experienced welders who want a reliable, portable gasless MIG welder in their workshop.

Specifications

Brand Forney
Model Easy Weld 261 140FC-i
Process Type Flux Core
Amperage Range (A) 25-140
Duty Cycle 30% @90A
Input Voltage (V) 110V
Weight (lb) 19
Dimensions (in) 16.75 x 8.125 x 12

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • 140A welds up to 1/4″
  • Can handle 2 and 10 pound rolls of wire
  • Can use 0.30 and 0.35 wire
  • Good value for money
  • Cold contactor safety feature
  • 12-month warranty

Cons

  • There are cheaper models
  • Not one of the big three brands

2. Hobart 500572 Handler 100

Hobart 500572 Handler 100
Portability:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Build:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Performance:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Power:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Price:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Another great flux core welder is the Hobart Handler 100. We love the Handler range and this machine is no different, it’s affordable, reliable, and makes nice smooth welds. It’s a transformer welder so it’s about 3 times as heavy as Forney model. But you might find it easier to repair if it’s damaged. If portability isn’t an issue and you just need a flux core welder for the garage that’ll be sat on a welding cart, then this is a great choice.

It’s not as powerful as the Forney model, but at 30-100A offers a decent range of power and is capable of welding 18-ga. to 3/16″, making it a great choice for thinner steel. There isn’t too much spatter with Hobart wire and it’s not too difficult to clean up.

On the machine there are four voltage output settings to adjust for different thicknesses and infinite wire speed. You just need to set these and you’re good to go. You can use both 0.30 and 0.35 wire with either 4 or 8 inch spools. It also has a built in contactor which keeps the wire in the gun electrically “cold” when not welding. This helps usage and is a nice safety feature. Overall it’s a great flux core welder if portability isn’t key but you want a reliable and versatile machine.

Specifications

Brand Hobart
Model Hander 100
Process Type Flux Core
Amperage Range (A) 30-100
Duty Cycle 20% @ 80A
Input Voltage (V) 110V
Weight (lb) 44
Dimensions (in) 13.5 x 10 x 16

Pros

  • 3 year warranty
  • Solidly built
  • Good performance
  • Handles 4 or 8 inch spools
  • Good value for money
  • Welds 18-ga. to 3/16″

Cons

  • Not very portable
  • Only suitable for thin metal

3. Display4top No Gas MIG 130

medal Best budget flux core welder

Display4tio MIG 130
Portability:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Build:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Performance:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Power:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Price:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Average:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

This lightweight flux core welder is great if you’re just looking for a cheap flux core welder for occasional repair work.

It has a stainless steel body and weighs just 18lbs. On the front panel you can’t adjust the wire feed and diameter, the display lets you simply choose from different metal thickness sizes from 0.5mm (24ga) to 4mm (5/32″) so will weld 1/8″ nice and smooth. It has a decent duty cycle at 35% @ 120A with thermal overload protection.

Its suitable wire diameter is 0.6-0.8mm and it comes with a 1lb spool of 0.31. The instructions for setting up the machine aren’t great, so it’s probably better if it’s not your first time using a wire feed welder. Overall it’s a decent machine that’s well priced, great for a portable machine for DIY repair work.

Specifications

Brand Display4top
Model MIG130 PLUS
Process Type Flux Core
Amperage Range (A) 30-120
Duty Cycle 35% @ 120A
Input Voltage (V) 110V
Weight (lb) 18
Dimensions (in) 17.8 x 12.1 x 11.7

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Really Cheap
  • Brush and wire included

Cons

  • Cheaply made
  • Unclear instructions

4. Lincoln K2278-1 Handy Core

medal Best for thin metal

Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core
Portability:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Build:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Performance:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Power:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

The Lincoln Handy Core is a top-quality flux core welder. It uses 120V power and only has an amperage range of 35-88A, but can weld 18ga to 1/8″ steel. It’s a great machine for light repair work and welding thinner steel in the garage. It’s made for 0.35 wire and comes with a 1lb spool and a chipping hammer and brush for removing slag. It also comes with a welding helmet, but really you’ll want a better auto-darkening welding helmet, you can pick these up for very cheap off Amazon.

On the front are 10 wire feed speed settings and four voltage settings. Lincoln explains which settings are optimal for each metal thickness, making it a good choice for beginners.

It’s a heavier welder at 46lb, so we’ve marked it down on portability, but if you’re purely using it in your workshop then this is worth looking at. Just note that it’s not that powerful, we tend to recommend that if you think you might want to weld thicker steel that you get something with a bit more power to save you having to purchase again down the line.

Overall it’s a good welder for beginners and those looking for a reliable flux core welder to weld thinner steels.

Specifications

Brand Lincoln Electric
Model K2278-1 Handy Core
Process Type Flux Core
Amperage Range (A) 35-88
Duty Cycle 20% @ 70A
Input Voltage (V) 110V
Weight (lb) 46
Dimensions (in) 12.8 x 8.8 x 18

Pros

  • Easy to use with good instructions
  • Great build and performance quality
  • Perfect for thinner metals
  • 1 year warranty
  • Tools included

Cons

  • Not every powerful
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

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