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Besides your skill level, the wire is the biggest factor affecting the quality of your flux cored welds.
There is no way around it. Great skill is important, but real results require good lines.
But who can afford to experiment when your life is on the line?
Don't worry. We had trouble finding five flux-cored wires that provide clean welds.
Let's see, shall we?
in a hurry?
Here's our pick of 3 products that you might be interested in depending on your budget…
Hobart Fabshield .030 E71T-11
This is an all position self shielded wire designed for mild steel. The .030 size and high feed rate for single pass welding make it a great tool for quick and easy farm repair jobs. Hobart is an industry leader.
Forney makes an excellent single pass cored wire for gasless welding, especially in light wind conditions and high feed rates. This is a multi-position wire ideal for tough misalignment welds.
Lincoln Shield .035
This is a self-shielding stranded wire designed for use with a variety of materials. With its quick-freeze properties, this is a great wire for when you have to weld misalignment with a bad fit.
The best flux cored wire, with reviews
We've checked out the entire market to find five flux cored wires that are right for you.
1. Hobart Fabshield E71T-11 .030 welding wire
- carbon steel wire
- Suitable for thin metal sheets
- For use on galvanized steel
- 2 lb roll
- 0.030 inch diameter
- All position MIG welding wire
- For rusty, dirty or painted steel
- Ideal for outdoor welding
- High speed for one-way work
- hotter than solid wire
- complaints about a lot of splatter
- Reports of severe injuries to spools
Hobart Fabshield E71T-11 is a 0.030 inch diameter flux cored wire with high tensile strength. This wire is suitable for multi-position welding and out-of-position welding, not straight horizontal welds. Even at 0.030 diameter, it requires more heat than other brands to achieve the same penetration. This is because Hobart chose to use a harder steel as the base metal for this wire.
There have been user complaints about excessive splashing, but an answer from Hobart tech support suggested a higher amperage for better penetration. Deeper penetration burns off splashed droplets more thoroughly. Another common complaint is that spools either come off the line when first unpacked, or don't unwind well when sent out of the machine. This is actually a common problem with all flux cored wire spools.
E71T-1 welding wire is the most versatile self-shielded flux cored wire you can buy. The wire Hobart designs for use in welders is high quality, and we chose the Hobart Fabshield E71T-11 .030 as our favorite pick.
2. Forney E71T-GS .030 Core MIG Wire
- E71T-11 wire
- Suitable for sheet metal or panels
- welded galvanized steel
- 2 lb spool
- .030 Diameter Wire
- multi-position line
- for painted or rusted metal
- work in breezy conditions
- Single-pass high-speed welding
- this is a hotline
- reported some feeding problems
Forney E71T-GS is a self shielded flux cored welding wire. This particular model has a diameter of 0.030 inches. It is suitable for welding in all positions and is a high strength wire with a tensile strength of 79,000 PSI. Forney notes that this wire produces low to moderate spatter and recommends using an argon/CO2 gas mixture on MIG welders to reduce spatter. A higher amperage setting also helps with this.
There have been numerous reports from users that this wire may break or have excessive manufacturing coating. Some users have installed wire cleaners on their welders to solve this problem. There have also been some reports that this wire does not feed smoothly in Lincoln welders. As with most welding wire, complaints of tangled spools or improper unwinding are easy to spot, but these problems can often be traced to cheap or poorly adjusted feed mechanisms, dirty wire, or torch liners that need replacing.
Overall, this line has many satisfied users, especially the owners of Forney and Hobart. It also gives good results in Harbor Freight machines.
3. Lincoln Innershield NR-211-MP .035 MIG Wire
- 0.035 inch diameter
- High tensile strength E71T-11
- Big bead appearance
- For use on galvanized steel
- 1 lb spool
- Can weld plates up to 5/16"
- Suitable for painted and rusted metals
- for outdoor welding
- Easy slag removal
- Frozen Puddles
- 1 lb spool instead of 2 lb
- some quality control issues
Lincoln Innershield NR-211-MP Flux-Cored Wire is a 0.035 inch diameter wire capable of welding plates up to 5/16 inch thick with good penetration. This wire is designed to work well on coated, galvanized, painted or rusted metal. Like most flux cored wires, it's wind resistant, so it's a good choice for outdoor welding. This wire is more expensive than the others in this guide because it comes in 1 lb instead of 2 lb spools. Lincoln designed this flux cored wire for easy dross removal.
The quick-freezing properties of Lincoln Innershield flux-cored wire make it excellent for misalignment welding, vertical or overhead welding, and where poorly fitted joints need to be welded. Lincoln Innershield NR-211-MP Flux-Cored Wire is known for its excellent bead appearance and ease of wire feeding. Some users have reported broken wires, and there have been a few reports of wires splitting or kinking, but these problems don't seem to be common.
4. Yeswelder E71T-GS .030 welding wire
- for offset welding
- Self-shielded welding wire
- carbon manganese steel
- 2 lb spool
- 0.030 inch flux cored wire
- low spatter
- Rusted, painted or galvanized steel
- Easy slag removal
- Non-porous welding wire
- good bead formation
- Will not designate U.S. or EU government positions
Yeswelder E71T-GS is suitable for all position welding. Users report that this self-shielding flux-cored wire has less spatter and speak highly of its weld bead appearance. The Yeswelder E71T-GS is designed for multi-pass welding with easy slag removal making it ideal for beginners and production sheet metal work. One of the biggest problems when welding sheet metal is blowing through the metal.
This can be helped by tack welding along the seam at intervals, then going back and running more tack welds intermittently. This allows the original weld to cool down before returning to that area of the sheet metal. In fact, you can weld over the previous bead so that you can create a full bead by overlapping, one stitch at a time, and then sand it down. Users report that the wire also produces beads that are easy to grind, making it perfect for the job.
This is a mild steel wire with a diameter of 0.030 inches. One potential problem with the Yeswelder E71T-GS is that it is manufactured in Hong Kong and therefore cannot meet certification standards for US and EU government work.
5. Blue Devils E71T-GS .035 Flux Cored Wire
- Wire diameter 0.035 inches
- Can weld plates up to 3/8"
- Single or multi-pass welding
- for galvanized steel
- 2 lb roll
- Good slag coverage, easy to remove
- produce beautiful beads
- Welds well on dirty or painted steel
- Good outdoor shielding, low smoke
- Good sheet metal gap coverage
- Some users report excessive splashing
- Complain about Big 3 machine feeding
Blue Demon E71T-GS .035 Flux Cored Welding Wire is a self shielded mild steel wire for carbon and manganese steels. It is capable of single and multi-pass welding. It is suitable for jobs such as seam welding of sheet metal or filling gaps on poorly fitting components. It is easy to remove slag and is very suitable for multi-pass welding.
This wire provides single pass welding with good penetration in plate thicknesses up to 5/16 inch. Users report good looking weld beads and easy feed, but there are frequent complaints of feed problems with well-known welders such as Lincoln, Hobart, and Forney machines. This may be due to the precision solid wire feeder design based on MIG, which generally does not use the knurled feeder rolls on flux core machines. Many users have complained about the high spatter of this wire.
While the Blue Demon E71T-GS cable is of average quality, it cannot be used for US or European government work because it is made in China. Since performance varies between machines, it's recommended that you try them out before buying if you can.
About Jeff Grill
Jeff Grill hails from Long Island, a 118-mile stretch of land that stretches from the shores of Manhattan to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. He was interested in welding from an early age, as evidenced by the scars on his body when he started working with various metals.