Selecting between flux welders versus MIG welders is frequently a high-stakes gamble when buyers are on the market for a solid new welder. One major consideration that needs to be taken into effect is what you are wanting the end result of your weld to be. Another solid consideration that could spell the difference between flux core and MIG is working environment. Welders should establish if their plans are to weld indoors, outdoors, or a mobile combination of the two.
If you think you are going to be welding in an outdoor environment, you will need to establish whether or not you will have access to an overhang or shelter. After all, if you have a roof overhead and are throwing sparks, you don’t want to have a fire to deal with.
This article is a comparison of flux welders versus MIG welders. Its purpose is to determine which is most suited for one’s welding surroundings..
Comparing Indoor Efficiency: Flux welders versus MIG welders
Are you an amateur or professional welder anticipating an indoor environment for your welding tasks? If so, MIG welders are a far more appropriate welding tool type to consider for your needs. MIG welding is a cleaner wire type compared to typical flux core welding. Additionally, the welding process with MIG welders is far faster than its flux core alternative.
Not only are MIG welders cleaner and faster, but they are also quite efficient and suitable for most every day industrial and commercial applications. When compared to flux core welders, MIG welders show a far higher rate of metal transfer efficiency. The main cause of this is molten metal spatter that occurs with the higher powered flux core welding. With this spatter more wire is lost.
MIG Welders vs Flux Core Welders: Budgetary Constraints
Although, as stated above, MIG welders are far more efficient for speed and metal transfer than flux core alternatives, they have hefty expenses for the MIG gas bottles needed. However, this cost still remains lower than the cost of flux core wire for welding. For these reasons, MIG welders are still the best option for welding indoors.
It’s important to note, though, that this cost only remains low provided that the size and quantity of rolls purchased are smaller scale. Large, bulk wire roll purchases end up making the cost of a flux core welder lower and more efficient than its MIG counterparts. It is for this reason that many larger companies with access to bulk wire buys utilize flux core for their needs, and why smaller companies and individual welders go for MIG.
Speed and efficiency aren’t the only things that make MIG welding better than flux core welding for indoor welding work. When comparing flux welders vs MIG welders in terms of penetration of metal, it is clear to see that MIG welding is far superior to flux core welding. However, gas proportions in MIG welding make it a small bit more expensive and uneconomical for use in outdoor welding. It is for this reason that flux core welding is typically the better option in outdoor welding settings.
Finding a Suitable Workspace
It is important to point out that flux welding is only superior for outdoor welding work. MIG welding would result in losses from blowing winds. However, there is nothing that can be done about the low metal transfer efficiencies present in flux welding. The low transfer rate is caused, in part, by the fact that the wire is hollow and covered in flux. Most of this flux is lost to spatter because it turns into slag in the welding process. The loss may amount to approximately 3/8 of the flux being used (roughly). It is also worth noting that flux welding results in a significant amount of spatter. For this reason, more effort is required in the clean up process when compared to a MIG welding job.
MIG Welder or Flux Core Welder?
You can use both flux and MIG welding if you are working in an environment that is open but sheltered. The shelter will serve to block any breeze from interfering with the shielding gas. However, the bottom-line recommendation for outdoor welding is a flux-core weld because it is somehow immune to the breeze effects. If you want to work in both indoor and outdoor environments, it is suggested to get yourself a MIG Welder. To summarize flux welders versus MIG welders:
- Outdoor/Breezy: MIG Welder
- Outdoor/No Breeze or Sheltered: Flux Core Welder
- Indoor/General Use: MIG Welder
- Indoor/Large-Scale Use: Flux Core Welder
If you’re in the market for a new MIG welder and are looking to compare options, please check out our 6 Best MIG Welders page.