Welding-man

Best Flux Core Wires 2020 – Top 6 Flux Core Welding Wires

Best Overall

Inetub BA71TGS .035-Inch
Available at Amazon
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Most Popular

Blue Demon E71T-GS
Available at Amazon
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Best Value for the Money

Lincoln Electric Inner Shield NR-211-MP
Available at Amazon
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If you are just getting into welding, a flux-core wire is one of the easiest gateways to get the hang of welding operations. It is also one of the most versatile welding solutions you can opt for. It can be used in several different situations and environments.

For welding dirty or galvanized steel, you won’t find a better alternative than flux-core wires. The trouble is, flux-core wires come in two distinct types, each with their own set of variations. This can cause confusion for the new user, and they might end up purchasing the wrong wire for the wrong task.

We have sifted through an extensive range of flux-core wires and picked out some of the best. We believe that these recommendations deliver unparalleled performance and tremendous value for the money you spend. As you go through the article, we hope that you will get a better idea of the different types of welding wires and the tasks they work best for.

Best Flux Core Wires

In a hurry? Here are the best Flux-core wires on the market today.
Best Overall: Inetub BA71TGS .035-Inch
“With its smooth action, welders will find it easier to perform consistent, high-quality welds”


Most Popular: Blue Demon E71T-GS
“great for outdoor usage and can also be used in windy conditions”


Best Value for the Money: Lincoln Electric Inner Shield NR-211-MP
“can be used for welding galvanized sheet metal, thin gauge metal and sheet metal”


Best Premium Choice: WeldingCity E71T-GS
“the wire does exceptionally well at lap and willet welding”


Best Budget Choice: Forney 42300
“The self-shielded MIG flux-core wire has a gasless operation”


Great Quality: Hobart H222106-RTP
“produces fine results and gives tradesmen immense control over their welds”


Best Overall: Inetub BA71TGS .035-Inch

Reasons to buy:

  • Gasless welding wire
  • Fast freezing capability
  • Can weld in all positions
  • High deposition rate
  • Easy slag removal
Reasons not to buy:

  • Does not suit some flux-core welders

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Inetub’s BA71TGS is another flux-core welding wire with gasless operation. The wire works without shielding gas and can be used to weld in all positions. This makes it a versatile wire that tradesmen can use for a variety of welding tasks in almost all conditions.

The flux-core wire allows high feedability and delivers smooth arc action. With its smooth action, welders will find it easier to perform consistent, high-quality welds. BA71TGS offers good bead performance and has a low splatter and full slag coverage. The wire performs exceptionally well when welding on mild steel and zinc-coated steels.

The BA71TGS possesses a tensile strength of 82.7 PSI. This is considerably higher than what we normally see on welding wires and the highest on any of the wires that we reviewed for this list. It is suitable for welding applications that involve boilers, tanks, repairs, earthworks, steel structural works and steel building.

Inetub manufactures the wire in two different diameters. There is a smaller diameter of 0.030 inches that will work well for general welding tasks. Purchasing the wire at this diameter will take care of most of your welding needs. However, if your work involves welding on thick gauges of low carbon steel, you’ll be better served by the wider wire, which comes in at 0.035 inches.

The wire can be purchased in two quantities. It is available in 2 lbs. spools that come in a size of 4 inches. These spools work best for smaller flux-core welders that can only take small spools. For welders with a higher capacity, the company also sells 10 lbs. spools that are 8 inches in size. The Inetub BA71TGS, however, is only a single pass welding wire so it cannot be used for multi-pass welding.


Most Popular: Blue Demon E71T-GS

Reasons to buy:

  • Self-shielded design
  • Can be used in windy weather conditions
  • The wire can be used for welding in any position
  • Easy preparation and maintenance
  • Effortless arc action
Reasons not to buy:

  • Only suitable for single-pass welding

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Blue Demon may not be as old as some players in the welding business, but it has been around for quite a while. Being in business since the late 1970s, the company has created a name for itself for trustworthy and affordable accessories. Professionals prefer their products for their quality and their exceptional value for money.

Blue Demon’s E71T-GS is a highly capable welding wire used in the flux-core arc welding process. The wire is specifically used for welding carbon steel. It can be used for various welding applications on galvanized metal roofing sheets and automobile sheet metal. What sets the wire apart from many other similar wires in the market is that the E71T-GS is self-shielded.

Due to its self-shielded design, the welder doesn’t have to use any extra shielding gas or shielding tanks during the welding process. Because the wire does not require the use of shielding gas, it is great for outdoor usage and can also be used in windy conditions.

The E71T-GS is best used for small-job 120V welding machines. The wire delivers a decent 70 PSI of tensile strength. Its tubular flux-core electrode can be used in any position, whether it is flat, overhead, horizontal or vertical. It should be noted that the wire is only suitable for single-pass welding.

Welding with the E71T-GS has a number of advantages. The wire has full slag coverage, easy slag removal, a smooth arc action and low spatter. When using the wire, users will notice a higher deposit rate and narrower groove angles than many of its competitors. The wire requires only a minimum amount of precleaning. This makes it a preferred choice of tradesmen.


Best Value for the Money: Lincoln Electric Inner Shield NR-211-MP

Reasons to buy:

  • Reliability and good performance
  • Best value for money
  • Welds a selection of base materials
  • Can be used for various welding applications
  • Fast freezing capability
Reasons not to buy:

  • Not a lot of selection of smaller spool sizes

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Lincoln Electric is one of the earliest manufacturers of welding products. Through its quality products and reliable performance, the company has managed to retain a strong foothold in the market ever since it first came into the business in 1895. The company’s founders, the Lincoln brothers, are credited with inventing the variable-voltage arc welder.

The Lincoln NR-211-MP is a mild-steel flux-core welding wire that comes in varying thicknesses. The wire delivers a tensile strength of 70 PSI and can be purchased in spools upwards of 1 lb. The plate thickness for the wire lies between the range of 0.31 inches and 0.5 inches and depends on the diameter of the wire. A wire that is 0.030 inches in diameter has a maximum plate thickness of 0.31 inches.

This is a versatile welding wire that can be used in a variety of welding applications on a variety of materials. It can be used for welding galvanized sheet metal, thin gauge metal and sheet metal. Welding applications include general fabrication and repair and robotic or hard automation.

The Lincoln NR-211-MP is a solid offering that brings a number of benefits. It allows for easy slag removal that saves time and effort on the part of the user. It also possesses a good bead appearance and features a high operator appeal. The wire’s fast-freezing capability makes up for poor fit-up whenever necessary.

Lincoln NR-211-MP is a long-standing customer favorite. Most of the tradesmen you speak to will swear by it and claim that they only use Lincoln wires for all their welding needs. Although there are other manufacturers that also produce good wires, Lincoln users don’t often switch manufacturers because of the reliability and performance of their products.


Best Premium Choice: WeldingCity E71T-GS

Reasons to buy:

  • MIG (metal-inert-gas) welding wire
  • Works well on a number of surfaces
  • Available in thicker diameters
  • Affordably priced
  • Aluminum foil covering
Reasons not to buy:

  • Single-pass operation only

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WeldingCity is another trusted manufacturer of welding accessories that designs effective and affordable products. The company’s E71T-GS gasless flux-core MIG welding wire gives similar wires from more expensive brands a run for their money. The wire has a thicker diameter and high tensile strength.

The wire has a wider maximum diameter of 0.045 inches. At this diameter, the E71T-GS is leaps ahead of many of its competitors in terms of welding capability. The smaller welding wire can be used for regular welding applications and repairs. The wider wire can also be used for more demanding welding tasks, such as thick gauge welding.

WeldingCity’s E71T-GS comes with self-shielding; therefore, no welding protection gases will be required for welding tasks. The gasless operation also makes the wire more versatile, allowing users the freedom of operation. Wires that require shielding gas are often limited to certain environments where they can be used optimally. In contrast, this wire can be used in a number of environments without issue.

The wire does come with some limitations, but they aren’t anything we haven’t already seen on other wires from other manufacturers. The wire can only be used for single-pass welding. If your work involves a lot of multiple pass welding, we would suggest opting for a welding solution that allows both. That being said, the wire does exceptionally well at lap and willet welding.

Covered in a vacuumed aluminum foil, this wire has impressed users with its welding performance on a wide selection of materials. It works well on mild steel, as many wires do, but it also does equally well on stainless steel and aluminum alloys. It can be purchased in spools of 10 lbs. at a price that is easy on the pocket.

Best Budget Choice: Forney 42300

Reasons to buy:

  • Self-shielded flux-core wire
  • Works well on rusted and dirty metals
  • Works in all positions
  • Produces mild to low splatter
  • Fast and smooth welding operation
Reasons not to buy:

  • Low porosity on the bead

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Forney is a manufacturer of budget welding accessories that has been around for a considerable while. Forney’s offerings are favored by many DIYers for their great performance to price ratio. The 42300 flux-core wire is no different. It is a fairly inexpensive offering that delivers great value for several welding projects.

It is easy to doubt the 42300’s capabilities considering its incredibly low price point. This price, however, turns the wire’s already impressive performance into a true attraction. This flux-core wire works on mild steel and will not disappoint with its performance.

The self-shielded MIG flux-core wire has a gasless operation that is ideal for a diverse range of working conditions, including windy weather. It has also proven itself to be effective for welding more difficult materials such as painted or rusted and dirty metal.

However, the wire is limited to single-pass operation only and is not suitable for multi-pass welding.  Welding with the 42300 is smoother and requires less effort than many other wires in its price range. It runs faster and is even hotter than conventional solid wires. This is evident from the wire’s welding performance and ample slag coverage.

Forney released the 42300 in the common 0.030-inch diameter size for general welding tasks and in the 0.035-inch diameter size for thicker gauge welding. Forney then went a step further than some other even more established brands and released the wire in even larger diameters for more hardcore thick-gauge welding operations. The wire can also be bought in spools heavier than 10 lbs.


Great Quality: Hobart H222106-RTP

Reasons to buy:

  • Reliable wire
  • Single and multi-pass weld
  • Can weld thick-gauge up to 0.25-inch
  • Can weld in all positions
  • Smooth welding performance
Reasons not to buy:

  • Minor issues with delays in customer service

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One thing you will notice about good welding equipment is the strong history of the companies behind them. This is because manufacturing good welding requires great expertise that not every manufacturer possesses or can copy. If this was not the case, you would see more newer manufacturers in the top equipment lists.

Hobart is one such company that has been pushing grade-A reliable welding equipment for many decades. Hobart is a company known for rigorously testing the quality and performance of its welding and cutting products. Because of this, customers rarely have any complaints about the company’s many offerings. One such product that impresses is the H222106-RTP flux-core welding wire.

The H222106-RTP is a 0.030 in wide flux-core wire that the company sells in spools of 2 lbs. or higher. The wire can be used for various welding applications and is capable of being used on low carbon and mild steel. This wire has been impressing users for years with its remarkable performance.

This flux-core wire produces fine results and gives tradesmen immense control over their welds. It can be used to weld in any position that you want, whether flat or vertical. In addition to the 0.030-inch diameter, the wire can also be purchased in a slightly wider 0.035-inch diameter for welding on thicker mild steels.

H222106-RTP is ideal for thick gauge welding projects of 0.25 inches or above. What gives it an advantage over some other welding wires that we reviewed is that it can be used for both single-pass and multi-pass welds. Customer feedback on the quality and performance of the H222106-RTP has been overwhelmingly positive, as is the case with most Hobart products.

How to Choose the Best Flux Core Wires for You

A lot of consideration goes into welding. It is a task that requires tons of knowledge and prior experience. Of all the DIY tasks, welding is amongst the more complicated ones. There are so many variables and so many different components of the task which new users have to get accustomed to.

This is why many DIYers hesitate in trying their hand at welding. It isn’t just the types of welding machines or the types of helmets that new welders need to get themselves acquainted with. The welding wire is also an important aspect that often goes ignored by new users. It is important to select the right welding solution that is compatible with your welding machine.

In addition to being compatible, it must also support the type of application you will be carrying out with it. Since you are here, we are going to assume that you have a flux-core welding machine. If this is the case, read on as we take you through some of the most important considerations that will help you select the right product for your job.

Types of Flux-Core Wire

There are two kinds of flux-core wires that you need to be aware of. You can either buy a self-shielded wire, much like most of the recommendations we included in our article, or you can buy a gas-shielded wire. Gas-shielded wires need to be used alongside an additional shielding gas that prevents dirt from ruining the weld.

Gas shielded wires are more complicated to use than self-shielded ones. They are great for tougher tasks like manufacturing and heavy-duty repairs. However, the average welder does not need the power they deliver and can very well do with a self-shielded alternative.

For beginners, we always recommend starting with a self-shielded wire. This way, new users can get a feel of welding tasks without turning it into an ordeal. You can move onto bigger welding tasks and, therefore, gas-shielded wires once you have enough experience with welding to do so.

Your Type of Work

Now that we have determined that a self-shielding wire is the best option to consider, at least initially, let’s move onto the second most important consideration. The type of welding task you will be performing holds significant importance. The task as well as where you will be performing it will determine the type of wire that is best for you.

The type and condition of the material you will be welding the most becomes an important consideration. Some flux-core wires do a better job of welding coated or rusted metals than others. Other wires will only work efficiently on clean metal. This is something that you can find out easily by seeking recommendations from the online welding community.

Assess what you need the wire for before you buy it. If you will be doing a lot of steel welding, make sure you buy a flux-core wire that supports steel welding. Similarly, for stainless steel welding, ensure that the wire welds stainless steel. The wrong wire may still weld but it won’t do as efficient a job. For example, stainless steel projects can be ruined by the wrong wire if it produces rusty welds.

Diameter Range

This also has to do a lot with the type of welding project you are undertaking. Additionally, it also requires consideration of the type of welding machine that you possess. You need to assess the size capacity of your welding machine as well as the size of its nozzle.

If you buy a thicker wire than the machine can accommodate, don’t worry. Many welding machines come with changeable nozzles and feed wheels. You can modify the machine accordingly to accept the thicker wire. However, one thing you can’t modify is the machine’s amperage.

If your machine has low amperage, it will only work well with wires of smaller thickness. Trying to use a thicker wire than the amperage will allow might ruin the project and the machine itself. Another factor that you can’t change is the type of plate you will be welding. Thinner wires work well on thinner plates, and thicker wires are for more demanding thicker gauge welding.

Spool Size

We mentioned the spool size in the previous section. Your welding machine would have come with a spindle of a specific size. This is your machine’s spool capacity. If you buy a spool of wire that is larger than the machine’s spindle, it won’t fit. And if it doesn’t fit, you can’t use it.

Many welding machines allow the user to expand the spool capacity by purchasing a larger spindle. If your manufacturer allows this, you can certainly attach a bigger spindle to your machine. Doing this is also a good idea if you will be doing a lot of welding.

Conclusion

Welding is a complicated task and does require some adjusting to. But if you take your time and understand your requirements, you can purchase the right tools accordingly. With the right tools, the task that looked complicated some time ago will go by in a breeze.

We found that the Blue Demon E71T-GS is one of the best flux-core wires you can buy. It is a wire with tremendous potential that offers great value for money. This gasless wire is incredibly versatile and produces quality welds on a variety of different materials. However, we hope that all of our recommendations and buying guide for the best flux-core wires help you in selecting the wire that suits you best.