The standard welding electrode for arc welding has been the solid wire for a long time. And for good reasons. You can do most welding jobs just fine with the use of solid wires.
Flux core wires, however, have been gaining popularity due to their unique capabilities. They typically don’t require the use of an external shielding gas as is the case with solid wires. Although a small number of them aren’t self-shielded so be sure to check the specifications of each flux core wire you purchase just to be sure. This means that flux welding can be more easily performed in various, not so accessible locations. They also have higher deposition rates and that improves productivity.
Flux core wires are excellent for welding outdoors. They work well even in windy conditions which cannot be said about solid wires. They also make it possible to effectively weld dirty and covered with rust metal surfaces. Flux core wires come in different base material compositions that can be used for various purposes.
Best flux core wires
The selection of available flux core wires is large but we recommend taking the time to search for the best flux core wire for your intended project.
Lincoln Innershield NR-211 MP
This flux core wire has a 0.035-inch diameter and can weld up to 5/16 inch plates. Its primary use is outside welding as it does a good job on metals covered with rust or paint residues. The Lincoln flux core wire can be easily used even in vertical or overhead positions. The beads also look very neat. However, it is quite an expensive choice. 1lb spool costs as much as 2lb spools from other makers. It will get the job done with no problems though, so if your budget allows it, you should give it a try.
Hobart Fabshield E71T-11
This 0.030-inch diameter flux core wire is one of the most versatile ones. It works well both with single-pass and multi-pass welds and is mainly used on galvanized steel. It also can be used in out of position welding. The steel used to build the wire is harder than most so it needs slightly more heat to work properly. The high-quality components mean that you should have no problems with completing the welding process. Some reviewers complain about excessive splatter though so be mindful of that when you wield using the Hobart flux core wire.
Blue Demon E71TGS
This flux core wire is available in 0.03, 0.035, and 0.045-inch diameter so it provides fine quality for a fraction of the cost of the other acclaimed flux core wires. It can only be used with single-pass welding. This wire is also prone to larger splatters which can be problematic if you have a lot of welding to do. This is a great choice for home-use welders as it can be incompatible with some professional-grade tools. If you are not sure about what flux core wire to choose for a small project, give this one a try. Due to its low cost, the financial risk is minimal.
Carefully choose the best flux core wire for each project to achieve the best results.