What Is The Best Flux Core Welder Under $300?

• Post By: Brandon M. Fox  • Updated: 04/25/20

Many homes or garage projects require small-scale welding at some point. And you don’t have to waste the money on expensive MIG/TIG welders. In fact, flux core MIG welders literally changed the game for DIYers, hobbyists & even pros. It can meet the budget while delivering powerful arcs.

But the market seems overwhelmed with too many available options. Likewise, you can’t afford to spend your time exploring individual equipment. Our experts on mechanical equipment have done the homework for you.

Keep scrolling to know the best flux core welder under $300 in the entire market.

Best Flux Core Welder Comparison – We Have Researched 48+ Hours

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
KICKINGHORSE F130 UL-Certified Flux Core GaslessKICKINGHORSE F130 UL-Certified Flux Core Gasless
  • Weight: ‎10.78 pound
  • Duty cycle: 90 amps @ 15%
  • Temp: 40°C
Check Price!
Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i WelderForney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i Welder
  • Duty cycle: 30% @ 90A
  • Lightweight: 19 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
Check Price!
VIVOHOME MIG Welder 130 Welding MachineVIVOHOME MIG Welder 130 Welding Machine
  • Voltage: 110V
  • Frequency: 60Hz
  • Output: 50-120
 
Check Price!
SUPER DEAL PRO Commercial 130 ACSUPER DEAL PRO Commercial 130 AC
  • Max voltage: 37V
  • Duty cycle: 10% at 105 AMP
  • Weighs: 38 lbs
Check Price!
ETOSHA MIG 160 Welder PortableETOSHA MIG 160 Welder Portable
  • Voltage: 110V, 60 HZ
  • Duty cycle:15%
  • Wire diameter: 0.8-0.9MM
Check Price!

What is a flux core welder good for?

Flux Core Arc Welding or FCAW is an automatic/semi-automatic strategy of electric arc welding. The process holds considerable similarity with the standard MIG welding mechanism.

FCAW is a noticeably quick process with dependable versatility in its mechanism. Compact frame with lightweight design enables exceptional portability for relevant tasks.

Its usability among the commoners lists homes DIY projects, general repairing jobs & plumbing works. Also, industrial production & underwater welding heavily use the FCAW process.

Best flux core welder for money

We had to pull lots of strings to narrow down the available flux core welders. Our expert team went through every detail of individual products with customer feedback. Hours of research on online resources regarding the practical aspects finally paid off. You can definitely rely on the enlisted best flux core welder for the money.

Related: Can You Weld Stainless Steel With Flux Core?

1. Best For Beginners – Kicking Horse F130 Welder Review

Kicking Horse F130 Flux Core Welder Review

Key features

  • Smooth and quiet welding.
  • Lowered spatter for stability.
  • Reduction of the arc heat.
  • Least electricity consumption.
  • Steady wire feeding system.

About the product

It’s a premium-quality IGBT flux core welding inverter. The device enables precise MIG welding right at home. Advanced built-in features simply outperform transformer welders from every context. It comes with infinite possibilities to accomplish pro-level outcomes on completion.

Who is this product for?

Anyone to try a light-duty flux core welder should try the intended F130. Welders to stay on a tight budget can certainly afford its purchase.

 best flux core welder under $300

Product specifications

  • Duty cycle: 15% @ 90 AMPS
  • Max amp output: 130 Amps
  • Circuit voltage: 46 V
  • Spool size: 4 inch
  • Input: 120 V
  • Item Weight: 10.78 pounds

Why do we love kicking horse f130 welder?

  1. Efficiency – Highly efficient HF – IGBT inverter technology generates more current in the system. It features an integrated cutting-edge 40K Hz functionality. Energy conversion efficiency counts 80% to reduce the cutting cost by 25%.
  2. Duty cycle – Safe welding operation heavily depends on duty cycle percentage. And F130 a minimum 15% duty cycle at 90 Amps. The system will switch to thermal cooldown after 1.5 minutes of welding at the 90-Amp output. However, the actual amperage range of F130 counts 50A up to 130A.
  3. Spool size Kicking Horse checks 2LB or 4” spool size for its action. But you may need to purchase tips & nozzles separately to meet the tip’s changing requirements. And precise design with the sideloaded spool streamlined the welding task.
  4. Welding capacity A 24-gauge mild steel can hold up to ¼” welding with optimum smoothness. The ultimate capacity directly coincides with the maximum 130Amp output.
  5. Portability – F130 sizes about 13.8” x 7.0” x 7.5” to weigh 10 pounds or 4.9 kg. It should feel extremely lightweight, regardless of the Jobsite specs. An adjustable shoulder strap enables absolute portability for the compact design.
  6. Control – Infinite control over the 46V open-circuit voltage initiates a smooth arc ignition. Also, continuously fine-tuning provides more freedom in welding. Stepless adjustment with dial-out spatter lets to establish complete control.

What to keep in mind?

  • DC Current Only – It’s indeed a beginner-level device to strictly require DC. You’ll have to get an AC-to-DC converter to make it work with household electricity.

Check Price on Amazon


2. Best Metal Fabrication – Forney Easy Weld 261 Review

Forney Easy Weld 261 Review

Key factors

  • Smooth welding for DIY projects.
  • Comfortable operational layout.
  • Perfect entry-level welder support.
  • Absolute all-metal construction.
  • Simple carriage & maintenance.

About the product

Forney develops its 140 FC-i Welder to ease the challenge of precise welding for starters. A rugged framework with integrated features enables maximum field service. And the AC-supported welder checks an impressive green appeal. Its usage can range a good number of do-it-yourself projects.

Who is this product for?

Entry-level welders to set control towards precision should try the intended device. The MIG welding equipment should meet the welders on a moderate budget.

Why do we love forney easy weld 261?

  1. Duty cycle – The spec counts 30% at 90 Amp output to enable secure operation. And the system takes a 7 minutes cooldown session after delivering the output for 3 minutes.
  2. Portability – The 140 FC-i sizes about 16.75” x 8.125” x 12.0”, weighing 19 pounds only. However, a complete metal case keeps the device intact from outside elements. The compact design initiates excellent portability without creating any issues.
  3. Voltage – It comes with a 120V rating with convenient in-field control. In fact, you can set control over its infinite voltage & wire feed speed. Perfect settings will let you dial in the exact outcome.
  4. Output – Maximum 140 Amp output can weld mild steel up to ¼” in the plate. Meanwhile, the supported wire spool counts 0.030” in diameter. The combination induces superb welding accuracy to maintain the alignment.
  5. Warranty – You’ll receive a 12-month warranty from its authentic purchase. And it covers certain contents of the package. The pack contains an 8’ MIG gun with an 8’ ground clamp with a 15A – 20A adapter.

What to keep in mind?

  • Cannot weld aluminum – The application is strictly limited to mild steel only. You should check somewhere else to weld aluminum.
  • Wire feed rate – Despite a matching 0.030” wire feed, it’s somewhat low for heavy tasks. However, specs on its 0.035” wire feed seem confusing as well.

Check Price on Amazon


3. Best Home Welding – VIVOHOME Portable 130 Welder Machine Review

VIVOHOME Portable 130 Welder Machine Review

Key factors

  • Simple alteration of current flow.
  • Precise fitment for needed cuts.
  • Additional parts for maintenance.
  • Compact design for easy operation.
  • Highly protective exterior surface.

About the product

The intended flux core welding machine combines quality materials with optimum functionality. It imposes a professional finish on the welded joint. Standard features let you improve the working quality with minimal effort. Package contents are good enough to take care of the equipment.

Who is this product for?

DIYers to need durable, precise & steady welding at home should check the equipment. Beginners to pro – the design should match everyone’s skill.

Why do we love vivohome 130 welder machine?

  1. Welding speed – You’ll get to use the integrated levels of welding speed. There are 4 settings in total in the form of buttons. Adjusting either min/max or 1/2 should set the intended speed level.
  2. Duty cycle – It measures 15% at 105 amp output, checking lower percentage at higher amperage. The 10-minute cycle will take 8.5 minutes to reduce the heated temperature.
  3. No reaction welder – The flux-cored wire comes with self-release metal inert gas on the operation. And it prohibits eventual oxidation of the welded plate. Therefore, gauge/mild/stainless steel can retain the joint’s strength for years.
  4. Current input & output – Voltage rating is 110v against its 50hz – 60hz frequency. Maximum power absorption can reach 3.6kva. And the current flow on output ranges from 50 amps to 120 amps.
  5. Storage space – Integrated storage on the top section lets you store many essential items. Of course, you can only keep smaller items in the open slot. The list may include – widgets, screws & nails.
  6. Free parts – The package contains a solid facial shield to protect the entire face while welding. And there comes a wire brush for simple Jobsite maintenance. Wipe metal particles & debris from the working surface on completion.

What to keep in mind?

  • Wire feed motor The 2.5 flux core wire depends on motor power for action. But the motor quality isn’t exactly up-to-the-mark on consistency.

Check Price on Amazon


4. Best for User-Friendly Interface – Super Deal 130 AC Flux Core Welding Kit Review

Super Deal 130 AC Flux Core Welding Kit Review

Key factors

  • Well-treated PVC construction.
  • Simple setup & easy operation.
  • Waveform control technology.
  • Suitable for DIY repair jobs.
  • Clean welds with no oxidation.

About the product

Super Deal introduces delicate, supportive, functional equipment for MIG welding. The impressive number of features serves the requirement to the optimum extent. Despite its cheap tag, the precision prevails in every session. Everything remains in a proper order to meet the satisfaction.

Who is this product for?

Any beginner or intermediate welders in need of a personalized outcome can rely on the device. And it should suffice the welders on a tight budget.

Why do we love super deal 130 welding kit?

  1. Feed speed control – There are 10 different levels of wire feed speed for total control. Integrated rotary knob requires simple turning for adjustment. Right there, you can set the righteous wire-speed in no time.
  2. Duty cycle – The spec counts 35% at 60 Amps, requiring 6.5 minutes for a cool down. But the cycle goes down to 10% at 105 Amps. Therefore, it’ll take about 9 minutes in the cycle for cooling.
  3. Metal tip & face Shield – Featured metal tip at the gun’s end prevents slag buildups. However, you must change the tip to retain the precision. And get started with the face shield helmet to ensure personal protection.
  4. Application – Somewhat compact size can easily fit into narrow/hard-to-reach places. The soft arc with increased fusion depth stands for home DIY & repairing tasks. And built-in controls let you weld steel sheets of different thicknesses.
  5. Voltage – Single-phase voltage requirement is 110V/60Hz to deliver 50Amp – 120Amp output. And the maximum open voltage counts a standard 37V.
  6. Overheat protection – The integration of thermal protection prohibits overheat damage. There’s one cooling fan inside to keep temp under control. It maintains absolute system stability with the current flow adjustment.

What to keep in mind?

  • Aluminum welding Welding aluminum plate is impossible with the equipment. Likewise, you can’t check anything other than stainless steel sheets.

Check Price on Amazon



5. Best For Large Radiator – Etosha 160 Welder Review

Etosha 160 Flux Core Welder

Key factors

  • Good work on metal sheets.
  • Clean welds without spatter.
  • Efficient use with ease setup.
  • Uniform adjustment system.
  • Portable design for carriage.


About the product

It’s more like a great possession to deal with metal sheet welding requirements. Etosha develops the welder to resolve the limits of the traditional welding strategy. It provides the maximum benefits of MIG welding every time. Improved technology enables further support without cutting your pocket.

Who is this product for?

Professionals & hobbyists who need a DC welder can get Etosha 160. Anyone to perform home DIY, as well as outdoor tasks should try the device.

Why do we love etosha 160 welder?

  1. Duty cycle – Minimal spec concerns a 15% duty cycle for Etosha 160. However, there’s no indication of a fixed amperage output. However, a lower cycle depicts higher sensitivity to thermal overload.
  2. Control panel – Simply adjust the current flow using 4 integrated buttons on the panel. You get to reset the MIN/MAX & 1/2 on the job. Turn the rotary knob for adjusting the wire feeding speed.
  3. Design – The exterior holds 13.7” x 7.3” x 7.1” in size to weigh 39.68 pounds in total. Built-in IP21S protection keeps the internal mechanism secure in operation. Meanwhile, class H insulation keeps the system against outside intrusion.
  4. Application – Inclusion of ARC-160 stick lets you check the precise welding outcome. Exceptional component strength simply widens the applicability. Professionals to individuals – almost anyone can proceed with the equipment.
  5. Voltage – Its power voltage rating counts 110V with a 60Hz support. The DC input holds consistency in generating the required power on the output. The maximum input power is 3.6KVA whereas the maximum no-load voltage is 37V.
  6. Fan – Advanced cooling system prevents potential thermal overload during heavy uses. The included fan ensures smooth performance with greater longevity. Protective stainless steel receives good circulation of air to keep things cool.

What to keep in mind?

  1. Heavy duty – Somewhat heavy 39.68-pound design isn’t exactly portable on all occasions. You can face trouble while going up.
  2. Thin metal – It only supports thin metal sheet welding. You can consider a 1/16” up to ¼” welding plate with Etosha 160.
  3. Power cord – The power supply cord is only 6’ in total length. It’s difficult to cover a larger space with a minimum number of outlets.

Check Price on Amazon



How to choose a flux core welder?

As mentioned, there are too many options from different brands on cheap flux core welders alone. But you don’t have to spend the budget on any least-quality equipment.

And that’s where you should know the essential facts to influence the overall welder performance. Make checks for the following points to confirm your ultimate purchase.

1. Efficiency

Mechanical devices can never transform their complete input into energy. And you don’t want to use a cheap one to raise the cost. Lack of info on efficiency is pretty common with flux core. Check the necessary details to determine an approximate idea.

2. Duty Cycle

Electric arc welding involves extreme heat to cause eventual damage. And duty cycle initiates a shutoff for cooldown after a certain temperature. Reasonable welders should provide 3-3.5 minutes of running to follow 6.5-6 minutes of rest.

3. Output

Almost all standard flux core welders generate 50/60 Amp to 120/130 Amp on output. It’s important to note the absorption as well as its input voltage. It’s better to maintain a subtle output to skip interior mechanical issues.

4. Portability

One obvious benefit lies with portability, coming from weight & dimension. The majority of the available models remain within 35 – 40 pounds of weight. Only a minimal number of options can weigh less. Check additional straps on the assembly for carriage.

5. Thermal protection

It’s indeed a must for welders, regardless of the type. You must consider overheating protection while dealing with extremely hot arcs. The inner temperature shouldn’t interfere with its built-in mechanism.

6. Push or pull

Many entry-level welders make the mistake of pushing the weld. The abundance of slag can merely perform its intended function with pushes. But flux core welding actually requires pulling for a precise joint.

7. Skill Level

Not every machine is ready to work with novice welders. Of course, flux core welding seems incredibly simple for almost anyone. Still, you should know the right equipment to match the current skill level.

8. AC or DC

A minor yet extremely useful consideration goes with the output type. And we’re talking about the result in terms of AC/DC. AC isn’t exactly the best way to produce precise welding. That’s where you can keep DC options on your checklist.

9. Thickness

Plate thickness plays an essential part in confronting weld durability. The part tends to struggle with exceeded thickness. Flux core welding can primarily weld 24-gauge or thicker steel. One thumb rule implies further output amperage to allow greater thickness.

10. Wire type

Wire diameter, as well as reel diameter, should meet the standards. Light welding projects require 0.030” wire with a 6” reel. Meanwhile, a somewhat heavier bead will check 0.035” flux wire. However, a limited lifespan of a 6” reel will require regular changes.

11. Control panel

Different levels of adjustment should occupy the design for the customized outcome. Feed speed control can offer up to 10 levels of change with a rotary knob. And the welding speed concerns 4 buttons for sufficient adjustment.

12. Lead quality

Lead remains one of the most neglected facts to depict flux core quality. The trivial fact holds a dramatic level of variation in physical specs. You should check 10’ – 24’ for torch leads & 10’ – 12’ for ground leads.

How thick can you weld with flux core?

It’s essential to understand the extent of welding thickness. A standard 110V – 120V flux core welder to have 0.030”/0.035” electrodes can weld up to ¼”.

What is the difference between flux core & mig welder?

Flux core welding is suitable for moderately thick gauges. And it particularly concerns the thickness. Better avoid the process for 20-gauge or less steel. The process remains less prone to cold lapping.

Meanwhile, MIG welder can support 12-gauge to 24-gauge steel sheets only. And the actual welding thickness should range between 1/16” to 1/8” or ¼”. It provides a gentle appeal on the welded part.

What can you weld with flux core?

Flux core can explicitly weld ferrous metals only (different types of steels). Almost all kinds of steels within a certain gauge limit can check the flux core welding process. You can’t treat other common metals, aluminum for example.

However, special equipment to combine flux core with MIG can impart further applicability. You can possibly treat aluminum as well as other metal sheets. But there are several restrictions to obtain a satisfactory outcome.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q1. Is a flux core welder any good?

Ans: Yes, flux core is useful since it’s gasless and if you’d like to weld outdoors. You don’t have to worry about the gas getting blown by the wind.

Q2. Is MIG welding better than flux core?

Ans: Flux core machines are an upgrade and boast of many advantages when you compare to MIG and TIG welders. They are suitable for basic repairs at home and outdoor projects. Unlike the MIG, they don’t use shielding gases such as argon.

Some modern flux core welders run MIG shielding gas; hence they’re versatile. They are also reasonably priced and energy-efficient.

Q3. What can a flux core welder weld?

Ans: A flux core can weld different types of metal, such as steel, stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum

Q4. How thick can you weld with flux core?

Ans: The main advantage of flux core is that it can weld thicker metal in one instance. Several factors come into play, such as the power and flux-core wire gauge.

If your house has 115 voltage and 0.35 inches, then it means your machine can weld up to 1/4 inches of thick steel. If your power supply is 220Voltage, then you can weld 1/2 inches of steel.

Q5. Is flux welding strong?

Ans: Yes. Flux core welding creates strong welds and can deliver a maximum of 25 lbs. of wire every hour. A typical MIG welder delivers only 8 lbs. per hour.

Conclusion

Every choice from the expert narrated list can meet the satisfaction from different contexts. You just need to understand the practical requirements to match the equipment specs.

And our team saved specific recommendations from the best flux core welder Under $300. Settling for a slight limitation can surely get you a precise outcome.

Brandon M. Fox

I have completed Diploma at Welding. I have spent 10+ years in Welding. Now love to write about welding and welding products and share my own experiences. Find me: Twitter | Facebook

Keep Reading

Search Welding Technician Programs

Get information on Welding Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Search