Best flux-cored mig wire?

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Hey all, I'm looking for some better quality flux cored wire. I have a hobart 125 and I've been using the 0.03 lincoln electric flux cored from home depot, but it hasn't been working out well for me. My feeder can't seem to feed it properly. It keeps starting and stopping even though the feeder runs fine. I used to use a different kind from home depot which I can't find there anymore, I don't remember the name of it though. Thanks a bunch.
 
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So upon closer inspection and after changing out the wire (same kind) it appears to be a wire feeder problem. I took apart the gun mechanism and cleaned it up as it was a little dirty inside. That didn't help though. I can see the feeder bearings running just fine without wire. However, with wire it appears that the bearings won't "grab" the wire and feed it through properly. It comes out in short, sporadic bursts. I cleaned up that area too, but to no avail. I'll post up a video tomorrow.
 

fj40charles

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Make sure you're using a knurled drive roll and using one size larger contact tip.

I've had great luck using ESAB flux cored wire. I believe the wire is called coreshield 15. I have a .030 in 10# spool. This is what I use in my little 120V Millermatic 130. Used for dirty/rusty metal and galvanized steel only.

http://products.esab.com/Templates/T041.asp?id=159162


I tried a roll of .035 Lincoln innershiled NR-211-MP (T-11 spec. what they sell at homo depot and lowes) and I didn't like it very much. Arc was inconsistent. Felt like part of the wire was lacking flux. Many people like this Lincoln wire because it is cheap (around last time I bought a roll $45.xx for 10# roll), easy to obtain, and has decent performance.
 
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e71t-11

never used esab wire but there 7018 works better then anyone else's upside down .

wire just like stick all depends on what your welding and how your welding it , there is a wire for every situation .
 
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Thanks for the weigh ins. Been busy all day so no video, but I do have the day off tomorrow. As far as material goes, it's all between 18-14 gauge sheet metal.
 
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I got the Hobart 140 and I also have a hard time getting the wire to feed through smoothly. I find the tips wear out very fast and that affects the feed. Both the upper and lower drive wheels are smooth, although one of them has a groove in it. I am not a very good welder.

Waiting for answers as well.
 
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Fixed the welder for now. I noticed that the wire would run fine through the tubing but seemed to get stuck when I felt it run through the gun, around where the curve is. So, I took it apart and took the liner out of the gun. Then, I ran the wire through several times, back and forth. Finally, I blew compressed air through the line and put everything back together. Welder works great again.
45Kevin: Try to back the line out manually and then run it through the line as if you're putting on a new roll. Does the wire run fine until a certain point?
 
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Get rid of the flux core wire and get a bottle and solid wire.

Stop being frustrated with garbage asss flux core junk.

Tips will last longer, weld easier, Welds upside down without falling out, Rollers stay ALOT cleaner, welds with less clean up afterwards. I could go on and on.

And nothing says "ghetto" like chipping slag on nice tubing.

You dont need flux core unless you are welding up old logging trailers in the woods on a windy day.

Flux core 110V welders frustrate more welding noobs than arc welders even.
 
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Thanks, I know the plus sides and I know I should get the gas and bottle. I will eventually, but the flux-core works best for me for now. I live in a place with wind basically every day, so the flux core is what I need for now.
 

Mace

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Get rid of the flux core wire and get a bottle and solid wire.

Stop being frustrated with garbage asss flux core junk.

Tips will last longer, weld easier, Welds upside down without falling out, Rollers stay ALOT cleaner, welds with less clean up afterwards. I could go on and on.

And nothing says "ghetto" like chipping slag on nice tubing.

You dont need flux core unless you are welding up old logging trailers in the woods on a windy day.

Flux core 110V welders frustrate more welding noobs than arc welders even.
Please explain why flux core wire is "dirtier" than solid core wire?

You ever bother reading up on Dualshield Wire?
 
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if it makes you feel better, most folks that have the smaller miller or lincoln seem to have the same feed issues. my buddy with a miller 180 has the same feed issues that i have with my lincoln 180. one of those hold the hose just the right way kinda things.

i did notice that the .35 innershield wire from lincoln did have some spots that lacked flux in the core, or the jacket didn't fullly wrap around the flux. wire quality seemed to be a bit lacking. bad wire coupled with a weak feed system seems to bite all of us with the smaller setups. perhaps better quality wire would help though. i'll have to try. if anyone has any ideas on how to improve the wire feed situation i'd love to try it out!
 

fj40charles

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if anyone has any ideas on how to improve the wire feed situation i'd love to try it out!
Easiest and cheapest is to buy a knurled drive roll. I've never had any feeding issues on my little Millermatic 130 welder feeding flux core using a knurled drive roll. Use 1 size larger contact tip and keep your mig gun length to 10 feet or less.

Using a knurled drive roll will prevent you from applying too much pressure on the drive roll to feed cored wire. Too much pressure will flatten the wire making it more difficult to feed through the contact tip.

If you're too lazy to swap drive roll(s), then I suggest you have multiple welders. Keep the little 110v welder loaded with flux core and use other welders for solid wire, tig, stick, etc.,
 
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Back when I had the money I should have just splurged and gotten a tig. haha A knurled drive roll sounds like a much better choice.
 
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Please explain why flux core wire is "dirtier" than solid core wire?

You ever bother reading up on Dualshield Wire?
Your obviously familiar with both.

I dont need to read up on dual shield, I use it. Not on 4x4 builds tho.

By dirtier I meant it needs to be chipped and cleaned.

You seem to have a passion for flux core. It has a place in the world, just not in my world. Why do you love flux core so much?

Is it just to rebut one of my suggestions? Really its crappy compared to a solid mig wire and I dont understand why you back the ol smokey fizzly stiff so much?

Does anyone sell bumpers or chassis welded with dual shied or flux core?

Do beadlock companies weld their wheels with fluxcore wire?

Do custom fab shops build custom things with fluxcore?

NO. Because its not as good, sure it works fine, but there is a better way.

Welding with flux core is like drum brakes. If you are old and crusty it will work but not the best, but if like to upgrade/advance then maybe its time for discs.

I dont get why you (mace) offer tech advice to upgrade folks cruisers, then say that welding with inferior methods is OK.

At least once every 4 trips out in the woods I help someone winch a spring mount or shackle mount back together cuz they were a noob with a nasty ol fluxcore machine.

The worst part is I usually fix them up with a s***ty ol flux core weld from the trusty ol READY WELDER. I hate the ready welder, but it always saves someone elses ass.

I have never once used the READY WELDER for anything on my rigs ever.

Just my .02:doh:
 

Mace

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I dont need to read up on dual shield, I use it. Not on 4x4 builds tho.
Cool, then you would agree that the weld quality is amazing with dual shield welding.

By dirtier I meant it needs to be chipped and cleaned.
True, I thought you were implying that the exterior of the wire itself was not as clean and thus created feed issues in the gun. My bad.

You seem to have a passion for flux core. It has a place in the world, just not in my world. Why do you love flux core so much?
Because it is a perfectly acceptable method of welding. And is sometimes necessary due to conditions.

Is it just to rebut one of my suggestions? Really its crappy compared to a solid mig wire and I dont understand why you back the ol smokey fizzly stiff so much?
I don't care who says it, if the statement is "Flux core sucks and should not be used" then I'll disagree. That statement is not correct. It is perfectly functional and usefull as a way to bond two pieces of steel together. Yes you have to chip the slag off of it. So it is not as "fast" a welding process as mig. But it is a lot more functional in a lot more places.

Does anyone sell bumpers or chassis welded with dual shied or flux core?
Yes

Do beadlock companies weld their wheels with fluxcore wire?
I am not aware of any, but that is a facility based process typicaly. So, when comparing time spent cleaning up welds, a gass based welding style makes sense. most of the beadlock manu that I know of use automated weldors too. Are you going to say "If a machine does not do the welding it SUCKS!" too? That follows the same logic steps..

Do custom fab shops build custom things with fluxcore?
Yes..

NO. Because its not as good, sure it works fine, but there is a better way.
BS, it works just as well if you know how to weld.

Welding with flux core is like drum brakes. If you are old and crusty it will work but not the best, but if like to upgrade/advance then maybe its time for discs.
Gas is nice to use, not an "upgrade". It has nothing to do with being old and crusty. It has everything to do with circumstances. The OP welds outside. To get away with a gass method of welding he would have to burn a tank an hr. It's not realistic..

I dont get why you (mace) offer tech advice to upgrade folks cruisers, then say that welding with inferior methods is OK.
Because it is not inferior. In fact, a weld outside can easily be considerably worse with a gas shielding method.

At least once every 4 trips out in the woods I help someone winch a spring mount or shackle mount back together cuz they were a noob with a nasty ol fluxcore machine.
So is that a beginner issue or the Fluxcore issue?

The worst part is I usually fix them up with a s***ty ol flux core weld from the trusty ol READY WELDER. I hate the ready welder, but it always saves someone elses ass.

I have never once used the READY WELDER for anything on my rigs ever.
So you can replace thier fluxcore welds that broke with another fluxcore weld that will hold up just fine. Ever stop to think that it is the weldor instead of the welding method?

The reason I keep harping on this is because you are giving an opinion as a fact. You do not like fluxcore, that's fine. Tell people that gas is a lot nicer. But don't spew BS that a Fluxcore machine cannot make welds that will stand up to abuse.
 

fj40charles

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Your obviously familiar with both.

I dont need to read up on dual shield, I use it. Not on 4x4 builds tho.

By dirtier I meant it needs to be chipped and cleaned.

You seem to have a passion for flux core. It has a place in the world, just not in my world. Why do you love flux core so much?

Is it just to rebut one of my suggestions? Really its crappy compared to a solid mig wire and I dont understand why you back the ol smokey fizzly stiff so much?

Does anyone sell bumpers or chassis welded with dual shied or flux core?

Do beadlock companies weld their wheels with fluxcore wire?

Do custom fab shops build custom things with fluxcore?

NO. Because its not as good, sure it works fine, but there is a better way.

Welding with flux core is like drum brakes. If you are old and crusty it will work but not the best, but if like to upgrade/advance then maybe its time for discs.

I dont get why you (mace) offer tech advice to upgrade folks cruisers, then say that welding with inferior methods is OK.

At least once every 4 trips out in the woods I help someone winch a spring mount or shackle mount back together cuz they were a noob with a nasty ol fluxcore machine.

The worst part is I usually fix them up with a s***ty ol flux core weld from the trusty ol READY WELDER. I hate the ready welder, but it always saves someone elses ass.

I have never once used the READY WELDER for anything on my rigs ever.

Just my .02:doh:
Nothing wrong with using flux core. I'll bet flux core weld failures you see on the trail are due to operator error and using cheap China made POS welders that are sold at Horrible fright.

If flux core is so bad, how does it get its AWS classification? Stick welding is very strong and it ALSO uses flux. Does that mean stick welding sucks and it not strong?????

Both solid and flux core have their place. Ever try to weld galvanized with solid wire?
How about trying to weld a pipe fence outside on a windy day using old rusted, magnetized, oil pipe?
 
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Cool, then you would agree that the weld quality is amazing with dual shield welding.

If welding on greasy nasty stuff I dont want to clean then yes.


True, I thought you were implying that the exterior of the wire itself was not as clean and thus created feed issues in the gun. My bad.

Flux core tends to dirty up my rollers fast. I dont run a felt slider/cleaner on my solid wire machines.


Because it is a perfectly acceptable method of welding. And is sometimes necessary due to conditions.

It is an acceptable method. But most folks arent out building a cruiser in the field like a guy that fixes conveyers or loader buckets or well pipe.

I don't care who says it, if the statement is "Flux core sucks and should not be used" then I'll disagree. That statement is not correct. It is perfectly functional and usefull as a way to bond two pieces of steel together. Yes you have to chip the slag off of it. So it is not as "fast" a welding process as mig. But it is a lot more functional in a lot more places.

This is the big area of concern. I say it sucks, you say it doesnt. You are correct.

The reason I said it sucks is because the person asking doesnt seem to be an welding expert or have years of experience with lots of types of welding.

These are the guys that buy machines with flux core wire. Typically a 110V machine too.

The two things I see noobs have trouble with when learning to weld are.....

1.. flux core wire. It is much easier to use solid wire when learning. It is also more expensive for a reg and bottle so most avoid it. Then have problems with flux core.
2.. 110V machines. The only thing more frustrating to learn on than flux core wire is a cold welder that cant burn metal good.

At that point the noob could hvae spent a few extra bucks and got a 220V machine and solid wire and never been frustrated at all.

Yes

In thew offroad bizz? Please cite examples that can be proven.

It is used allot for building buckets, bridges, trusses, pipes, etc.

Whos shop is building bumpers and caged and spring hangers with flux core? What shop installs sheetmetal patch panels with flux core?

I am not aware of any, but that is a facility based process typicaly. So, when comparing time spent cleaning up welds, a gass based welding style makes sense. most of the beadlock manu that I know of use automated weldors too. Are you going to say "If a machine does not do the welding it SUCKS!" too? That follows the same logic steps..

Facilities that build with automated welders use flux core. My neighbor build buckets and attachments in a factory using 1/8 inch dual shield and normal flux core on less thick steel items. My uncle builds dumpsters with flux core at work on a production line.

Yes..

I should have specified offroad/4x4 fab. Lots of custom fab shops use fluxcore, mostly on commercial/industrial or in the field.


BS, it works just as well if you know how to weld.

Bingo, if you know how to weld. Most owners of flux core equiped 110V machines dont weld very good. I wopuld rather be on the road next to a rig with amature solid mig welds than amature fluxcore welds. (prepares to get flamed by noobs with 110v fluxcore machines that are PROS, of course)


Gas is nice to use, not an "upgrade". It has nothing to do with being old and crusty. It has everything to do with circumstances. The OP welds outside. To get away with a gass method of welding he would have to burn a tank an hr. It's not realistic..

Maybe but not likely. I weld outdoors allot. Sometimes if the wind is heavy, Ill go make a sammich and come back when its calm. Thats just me. Ill make a sacrifice to avoid fluxcore.

Because it is not inferior. In fact, a weld outside can easily be considerably worse with a gas shielding method.

It is inferior for the things we do as cruiser heads. IMO.

So is that a beginner issue or the Fluxcore issue?

Seems the beginner always thinks the fluxcore machine he used was just fine. I hate the way the fluxcore machine is marketed to DIYers with NO EXPERIENCE.

So you can replace thier fluxcore welds that broke with another fluxcore weld that will hold up just fine. Ever stop to think that it is the weldor instead of the welding method?

Exactly the case. I can lay a good fluxcore weld to save them, but my opinion is not being heard by you. I know the difference.

The reason I keep harping on this is because you are giving an opinion as a fact. You do not like fluxcore, that's fine. Tell people that gas is a lot nicer. But don't spew BS that a Fluxcore machine cannot make welds that will stand up to abuse.
It is way shorter and easier to say, "fluxcore sucks" than to have a long winded debate with the only guy in the thread that doesnt need welding advice.

:beer:

Please see red for my responses.
 
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Nothing wrong with using flux core. I'll bet flux core weld failures you see on the trail are due to operator error and using cheap China made POS welders that are sold at Horrible fright.
Thank you for pointing out the #2 for noob frustartion, the s***ty 110V cheapy welder. (#1 is fluxcore) They go hand in hand.

If flux core is so bad, how does it get its AWS classification? Stick welding is very strong and it ALSO uses flux. Does that mean stick welding sucks and it not strong?????
When its done by a CERTIFIED weldor not an amature.

If flux is so awesome, why arent you guys suggesting stick welding for noobs too? Nothing kicks ass like a amature stickweld.

Both solid and flux core have their place. Ever try to weld galvanized with solid wire?
How about trying to weld a pipe fence outside on a windy day using old rusted, magnetized, oil pipe?
Yes I do all the time. I just burn it off with the torch. Welds way better with no zinc than leaving it there and using flux core.

I have even built several tube chassis for RC crawlers out of brakeline tubing with solid mig wire after burning off the zinc. Its easy. Not easy on 1/16 thick tube. The slightest bit of contamination will blow a hole bigger than the brake tubing.

I have a fence around a 1.5 acre chunk here I built out of all 3x3 galvy boxtube. Not once did I fluxcore weld it. But it wasnt windy I guess.:doh:
 
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