When it comes to the quality of flux core welding, the welding wire is the second biggest factor after skill level. You may have great skills, but the quality of the results will be determined by how good the flux core wire you are using is.
Unfortunately, if you are a beginner, it can be hard to know the best flux core wire for your needs. And considering that the market is flooded with tens of brands making hundreds of flux core wires, it can be hard to spot the right one.
However, we did most of the dirty work for you and compiled a list of the top 8 best flux core wire for welding and other purposes. We arrived at this list after analyzing over 40 flux core wire brands and products.
Be sure that by the end of this guide, you will have clarity regarding the right flux core wire for your needs.
Let’s get started, shall we?
The Best Flux Core Wire Comparison Chart
Tensile Strength (PSI)
Top 8 Best Flux Core Wires in 2021
1. Forney 42300 Flux Core Mig Wire
The Forney’s fluxed core wire is known for leaving a smooth, nonporous bead. It’s the perfect tool for fieldwork, particularly in those windy areas. With the Forney 42300, you do not need the shielding gas since the wire is flex-colored, making it the best option for the welder on-the-go.
It's suitable to work in dusty, dirty, or painted materials. This is one of the best flux core wire for stainless steel, so you'll have to look for other options if you intend to work on high-carbon steel. It works best when used in single-pass applications like assembly welding, railroad repairs, and other light construction work.
The Forney Mig wire has a tensile strength of 79,000 PSI to produce durable welds that last. It comes with 0.03 and 0.035 diameters and weighs 2 pounds. With its high working temperature, you can achieve more rapid travel speeds than other fluxed-core wires. The wire has a polarity with direct current, straight, and electrode negative.
The Forney Flex Core Mig wire has recently become popular with fabricators because it gives an outstanding finish. When used alongside a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide, it can reduce the amount of spatter, which is a bonus. The price is a bargain too, considering that it can perform all kinds of welding.
2. Lincoln Electric Co ED031448.030 NR-211 Welding Wire
The Lincoln Electric Co ED031448 is a great reel that cools quickly and keeps extra heat out of your work. It emits very little spatter, making it great for home and DIY projects and could suit beginners.
The slag forms a good average but is easily removed when cleaning. It can be used for earthworks, automobile body repair, tanks, and more. The high-quality material makes it pricier than similar flux-core wires, but you can expect great welds.
For most professionals, you are likely to work with metals that are not clean, with lots of debris, rust, and dust. This product is rated among the best flux core welding because of its exceptional ability and brilliant results.
The Lincoln electric wire is among the best flux core wire for sheet metal, including the sturdy, rusty steel. Most customers are happy with this wire because it works on any steel and reduces the spatter.
The wire is among the best flux core wires with high tensile strength of 70 KSI to ensure durable welds. The reel weighs 1lb and comes in .030 inch wire size for DIY welding applications. Overall, it’s great for any home job and comes with travel-friendly gear for all your outdoor work.
3. Forney 42302 Flux Core Mig Wire
Forney 42302 is a self-shielding flux core wire that can weld in all positions for mild steel. Coming from this popular Canadian brand, you can expect that the quality is unmatched. For starters, Forney supplies quality welding products to over 1500 dealers worldwide. They are the first brand to make 110V welders available for home hobbyists and professionals.
This flux core welding wire works with any plate from thin to medium, and you can find the wire in both the 0.03 and 0.035 diameter sizes suitable for most tasks. The wire has a tensile strength of 79 KSI and a diameter of 762 millimeters.
The Forney flux core wire is loved by many for durable welds that are smooth and can be removed with ease at any time. Besides, you do not need gas to operate it. Instead, it’s fluxed to allow for working outdoors when it’s windy.
This is one of the top picks for single-pass applications with a high travel speed. The operation is straightforward because it comes with all accessories required. It also comes with a 90-day warranty that allows you to return the item in case of manufacturer defects.
4. Blue Demon E71TGS .030 Welding Wire
Blue Demon E71T-GS Flux Core wire is suitable for both manganese steels and carbon materials. Besides, it can do both single and multi-pass welding, producing a beautiful and smooth bead in both. You can forego the gas requirement and use the flux when working in the windy outdoors.
Blue Demon runs much cleaner at fusing galvanized steel as the flux consumes zinc, which minimizes the fumes and spatters compared to other wires. The 0.035” size is ideal for higher amp machines, including 180+ welders, but you also get the 0.03” that can run a consistent amp range.
This is a fantastic tool for a mess-free workstation because it has minimal spatter. The E71TGS is suitable for jobs like filling power gaps on fitment or stitching. The slag offers easy slug removal, allowing for multiple pass welding. This makes it popular for automobile repairs, boilers, tanks, and more.
The wire has a tensile strength of 70 KSI, making it a reliable fluxed core wire option for most applications. It has a polarity with Direct Current and works with even 110V, so it can work in residential areas where power shortage could occur.
The welding ensures excellent, well-coiled welds with minima spatter. Keep in mind that working on a clean surface can minimize the spatter even further, so make sure the surface is fresh to minimize splatter that could occur in between operations. As a result, you might plan the ground before welding.
5. Hobart H222106-R19 2-Pound E71T-11
Hobart is a big name when it comes to flux core wires like the H222106-R19 that provides more powerful welds. It is suitable for all kinds of welds over a wide range of metals and comes affordable. It can work both as a flux colored wire or a MIG wire. This can be a handy acquisition if you intend to do a light sectional welding or odd outdoor job.
A few customers said it could produce excessive splatter, but this could because of low amperage. Hobart’s support recommends using higher amperage to minimize it and get better penetration. Even with the 0.030 diameters, the flux core wire is known to use more heat than other wires for the same penetration. Hobart chooses to use harder steel for the base metal of the wire to ensure durable welds.
It also comes with a 2-pound spool that enhances your performance according to your fabrication. You can also buy 4lb and 10lb spool packages. A few customers said that it could be a challenge to unspool the reel when it's first opened, although this a typical challenge with flux-cored wires. The E71T-11 alloy carbon steel wire is made in the USA in both 0.030 inches and 0.035 inches.
6. Blue Demon E71T-11 Flux Core
This is a single-pass, flux-cored wire that’s designed for carbon steel. It comes with .030, .035, and .045 sizes to fit both industrial and small outdoor job applications. This means you can get your choice of wire for any machine. Typical applications for this MIG wire include butt and lap welds on galvanized steel metal, automobile sheet metal, farm implement repairs, and tanks.
The Blue Demon welds greatly without emitting a huge amount of smoke or splatter because it’s designed to work with medium amperage. Less splatter means your arc stays consistent to get the most satisfactory result while welding your components.
If you don’t like to involve gas in your welding tasks, this is an excellent option because it does not need gas to work. It’s best suited for any beginner looking for a high-quality flux-cored wire and want to invest less to gain the best results. The Blue Demon E71TGS is the best flux core wire for the money.
7. Findmall E71T-GS
Are you looking for a good hot arc with little spatter? You cannot find it better than with this E71T-GS gasless welding wire. The wire stands out due to the all-around versatility with various wire diameters and reel sizes. It comes in both 0.030 and 0.035 diameters, depending on your needs.
It also welds greatly without emitting excessive smoke and splatter to ensure the arc has the right consistency. It’s a great option for a mess-free workstation as you don’t need to clean too much spatter or smoke after you are done with wiring.
The Findmall E71T-GS is ideal when working in a windy environment because it does not require gas. As with most flex core options, you might experience an unwinding challenge when using the machine directly. A few customers noted that it requires a higher travel speed than other wires due to increased temperature, but the results are impressive.
It’s a great product for light structural, prefab construction, machinery part fabrication, railroad car repair, short assembly welds, and tanks. Overall, the wire has so many satisfied users.
8. LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO ED016354 .035 10LB Flux Core Wire Silver
Lincoln electric is arguably the godfather of welding brands with top welding products in stores worldwide. One of their most popular flex core wires is the Lincoln Electric CO Flux Core Wire, available at an affordable price.
The 0.035 hollow wire comes with a flux in the center that makes it highly efficient for different metal types. It’s perfect for all-position welding, allowing you to take your welding job to the next level. The flex cored welding wire offers fast freezing characteristics and provides an easy slag removal capacity.
The wire is made in the USA and has a spool weight capacity of 10-pound for high-quality welds. It also works relatively well in mildly windy conditions without the need for tenting. Besides, the wire can efficiently work on dirty, rough, and galvanized metals and give a clean finish.
The Lincoln Electric gasless welding wire also works on sturdy metals, delivering smooth and exceptional results. This product is rated among the best flux core welding because of its exceptional ability and brilliant results.
Now that we have completed the review section, you might still be conflicted regarding the best flux core wire for your needs. If you haven’t made a choice or you want to know more about flux core wires, you will find this section helpful.
How to Choose the Best Flux Core Wire- Things to Consider
To choose the best flux core wire welder, you need to consider some traits;
1. Diameter of the wire
Diameter is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when buying flux core wires. Flux core wires come in various diameters, including 0.045”, 0.035”, 0.030”, and 0.024”.
The point you need to know here is, the thicker the wire, the more amperage they need. This makes thicker wires great for thicker metal. In the same manner, thinner wires are ideal for thinner metals. With this in mind, you will be able to choose the best flux core wire size for your needs.
2. Project type
It is important to get a flux wire that matches the project at hand. Knowing your project accurately will make it easier for you to know the best flux core wire for your needs. Every welding job needs specific flux core wires.
If you are working on big projects that require you to invest in high-end flux wires, then you need to set aside a proportional budget. Such projects include automobile workshop repair, ship manufacturing welds, industrial construction site, or other industrial repairs. These projects call for high-quality flux core wire materials. Using cheaper wires on such projects will yield messy results.
Also, if you are welding rusty metals, you need to go for the best flux core wire for rusty metal. There are specially-designed welding wires that work well over rusty and painted metals.
You should always go with a brand or manufacturer that has great experience in this industry. This will reduce the chances of getting products that are below standards. If you can't do this, at least go for products that are endorsed by experts and many consumers. This will ensure you get durable and reliable flux core wires.
4. Tensile strength
Tensile strength refers to the pressure a welding fusion can endure. In other words, this represents how strong a welding joint is. Good-quality flux core wires have a tensile strength of 70KSI. However, any wire with a tensile range between 60-120KSI is great.
5. Self-shielded wires vs. gas-shielded wires
In most cases, you will have to make a choice between gas-shielded wires and self-shielded wires. The truth is that, if you are working outdoors, then gas-shielded wires can be difficult to weld with, especially if you are in a windy location. Not to mention that portability can be an issue. However, for indoor welding, they may be okay.
When welding outdoors, the self-shielded flux core wire can offer a great solution as it can perform well in windy areas and is also more portable than gas-shielded wires.
Overall, self-shielded wires are better for beginner welders.
6. Deposition rate
Another great point to consider is the deposition rate. The deposition rate is the time required for depositing one layer. A welder should know the right position to weld so as to reduce the deposition rate. To be on the safe side, pick a wire that can weld from any position.
With these factors in mind, you will be in a better position to pick the right flux core welding wire for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Best Flux Core Wire
Q. Are flux core wires different from solid wires?
A. Yes. Most beginners may be confused as to which type of wire to use, but we will shed light on this.
Solid wire, also known as MIG wire, requires a gas supply to weld. The shielding gas coming from a high-pressure gas bottle protects the newly welded area from attracting unwanted substances. They have copper covering.
On the other hand, flux core wire comes in two categories- gas-shielded and self-shielded core wire. The gas-shielded one cools and solidifies at a faster rate. Self-shielded flux core wire is great for outdoor welding.
If you are an expert, you can comfortably use both, but if you are a beginner, you may need to weigh some traits.
For instance, the gas-shielded wire is affected by windy surroundings and thus great for indoor welding. Self-shielded is great for outdoor as it is also portable.
Solid wires tend to last longer and increase electrical conductance, while flux core wire is great on rusty metal. In terms of thickness, the flux core wire is better as it can penetrate deeper, thereby making a strong welding fusion.
To create a great welding connection with solid wire requires some expertise, which is why we would recommend solid wires on thinner metals. They give good finishing as well.
If you consider these points, it can be easy for you to choose the right welding wire.
Q. Which is better .030 or .035 flux core wire?
A. Before we compare these two flux core wire sizes, it is important we first talk about what sizes mean.
A 0.030 core wire has a diameter of 0.030 inches, while the other has a diameter of 0.035 inches. In terms of which is better, there is no better rod than the other; it just depends on the project at hand.
Thicker flux core wires require more amp, but they tend to penetrate deeper. This makes 0.035 wires more effective for thicker metals. These wire sizes are not suitable for thinner metals.
Therefore, if you are welding metals with thickness less than .25 inches, then 0.035 flux core wire will be ideal. Consequently, if you are using thinner metals, then a .030 flux core wire is a good choice.
Another thing to consider when it comes to wire size is your welding machine. If your welder runs at 210V, a 0.030 is a great choice. A 250V welder will work best with thicker flux core wires.
Q. Which gas should use with flux core wires?
A. You can use one with argon (80%) and carbon dioxide (20%) as the flux core wire needs a combination of argon and carbon dioxide.
Q. Can you weld aluminum using flux core?
A. No. There are no flux core wires for welding aluminum. Aluminum material is welded using a MIG welder.
Flux core wires are designed for welding a wide variety of metals, including stainless steel, mild steel, nickel alloys, low-alloy steel, etc. To get the right welding wires, make sure you know which metal material you are welding, your welding environment (windy or indoor), the condition of metal (painted, rusty), and the capacity of your welder.
For beginners and people who are involved in general welding, a 0.030 flux core will be sufficient. People with more powerful welding machine should use 0.035 flux core wires.
We do hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you choose the best flux core wire for your needs.