.030 vs .035 flux core wire: Best Flux Core Wire Review in 2021
Welding without proper knowledge is a serious matter that brings disaster. If you use the wrong flux core welding wire for metal, then doom is knocking at your door. .030 vs .035 flux core wire is a commonly asked question over the internet from welders like you.
To welders, the flux core wire is well known for various reasons. Specifically, between .030 and .035, none is less than the other in overall performance. Though these two have some problematic issues, they still deliver perfect welding finish on different metals. Despite being useful for daily use, .035 flux core wire disappoints users for some reasons. For .030, this picture is the opposite.
Today, you will acquire knowledge about flux core wire in detail. Also, you will get clear knowledge on .030 vs .035 flux core wire, along with some product reviews.
Flux core welding wire and its uses
Other than solid wire, the flux core wire is a type of wire used in welding. This type is more useful than solid wire. Also, it is the best alternative to Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW).
Flux Core Arc Welding or FCAW does not require stick electrodes like SMAW. Heavy industries like mechanical, shipbuilding, and construction need FCAW. Other than that, FCAW is applicable to stainless and duplex steels, plain carbon, and hard-facing or surfacing alloys.
There are two variations in flux core wires – one is gas-shielded, and another is self-shielded. As it is evident in names, gas-shielded flux core wire has a gas tank added with it for protecting the weld. Self-shielded flux core wire does not require any gas tank or windshield. This feature makes it easily portable and widely used for outdoor welding.
Gas-shielded flux-cored wires are commonly applied to the manufacturing of heavy equipment. Besides, petrochemical piping and general fabrication pressure vessels also need this type of FCAW. Self-shielded flux core wires are ideal for any type of outdoor welding, like shipbuilding and bridge construction.
Read more : What is the difference between e71t-gs and e71t-11 and which is ideal for single welding or used in the fabrication and erection of metals?
Benefits of using flux core wire
Be it, newbie welders or experts, to everyone, flux core wires deliver satisfactory results compared to solid wires. As being versatile, flux core wires work faster than SMAW. Not only flux core wire allows a high deposition rate, but also this wire creates strong and clean welds.
People love flux-cored wires because they do not need a tank of shielding gas. But only self-shielded flux core wires can make this possible. Generally, flux core wires penetrate thicker metals easily. Also, this type of wire works perfectly in adverse weather.
Flux core vs. solid MIG wires
The first point that makes solid MIG wires weaker than flux core wires is windy conditions. Cold or windy weather affects the shielding gas of solid cored wires. Flux-cored wires are the winner here, as they are wind-proof and eligible for outdoor operations.
On thinner metals, solid cored MIG wires deliver finer, more accurate, neater, and visually appealing weld. On thicker and stronger metals, flux-cored MIG wires do almost the same as solid MIG wires. But the problem is, a huge pile of spatter is free with flux-cored MIG wires. Again, flux core wires do not guarantee neater weld.
Before using solid MIG wires, a user must clean the metal where s/he is going to apply this welding wire. But the user does not have to do it while using flux-cored MIG wires. Sometimes, a little dirty metal improves the performance of flux-cored wires.
Solid wires need more caution and protection, whereas flux core wires are free from worries.
Flux core wire over solid wire
Flux core wire is more expensive than solid wire, yet flux core wire always remains a step ahead of solid wire. In terms of productivity, flux wire beats solid wire. Flux core wires handle dirtier materials well while welding. They trap and accumulate all the contaminants in the weld pool and prevent further weld problems. Compared to solid wires, flux-cored wires deliver better penetration and deposition rates.
So flux core wire weld comparatively better than solid wire. But that does not make solid wire valueless at all. Solid wire is worthy in its own applicable settings.
AWS flux core wire classification system
Since the 1950s, flux core wire has captured the market as an alternative to solid wires. The American Welding Society established the classification for this type of wire to understand the characteristics easily.
The classification system is noted below –
E – indicates electrode wire is continuously fed and is used in the weld pool.
7 – refers to the tensile strength. The general strength of flux core wire is 70,000 lbs per square inch.
1 – means that the wire is fit for all welding positions. 0 indicates flat and horizontal positions.
T – indicates that the wire does not require a shielding gas.
11 – refers to the usability characteristics, including DC polarity, all positions, and multi-pass welding.
GS – means that the wire is applicable only for single-pass welding.
Difference between .030 and .035 flux core wire
As these two figures are the two different diameters of a welding rod, these two work differently in many ways.
The amperage limit of .035 is higher than .030. This is why .035 flux core wire burns hotter and penetrates a metal deeply. On the contrary, .030 refers to a thinner diameter, burns less hot. Also, it has less deep penetration on metal.
Thick metal sheets having a thickness of 16 gauge or more than that need .035 flux core wire for welding. On the other hand, .030 flux core wire is good for thin metals, which have a thickness below 16 gauge.
.030 flux core wire refers to 210V machines and less than that. Contrasting, 250V machines and more than this need .035 flux core wires.
.030 flux core wire is ideal to weld things like galvanized metals, auto body parts, etc. To weld carbon steel and galvanized roofing sheets, .035 flux core wire is a must.
When it comes to spatter levels, .035 is worse than .030.
.035 welding wires can work in windy weather without any glitch. In comparison, .030 wire fails to prove itself in such a situation.
Because of high smoke levels, .035 affects a user more than .030.
Best flux core wire between .030 and .035
Both diameters are ideal for different purposes. As a welder, you can not choose one of them as the best. Because if you use .030 wire for thin metal, you need to switch to .035 wire for thick metal. .035 wire can break the thin metal while welding.
If you like to emphasize user experience, then the .030 flux core welding wire will satisfy you. This wire creates less spatter and smoke. Because of such advantages, welders who use .030 flux core wire give a thumbs up to this wire. Thus, cleaning with .030 wire is easier.
On the contrary, .035 flux core wire produces unlimited spatters, and users find it troublesome. Moreover, high smoke levels delivered by .035 wire bear the chance of affecting a user physically.
.030 flux core wire is not meant for every day, and all-purpose works like .035 wires. Again, .035 is more user-friendly than .030. Because .030 does not work in outdoor welding operations.
Both the .030 and the .035 wires are cheaper and affordable.
Note – Neither the .030 wire nor the .035 wire is the single best. Though .030 is less compatible in some ways, yet both the wires work perfectly in different settings.
Top 2 .030 Flux Core Wires Review in 2021
Forney E71T-GS .030 Flux Core MIG Wire
With high tensile strength measuring 79,000 PSI, this wire is suitable for all-position welding. It is a self-shielding flux core wire and welds metal sheets and galvanized steel. This brand comes with 2 lbs wire spool only.
This wire does not show any problem while working in windy or breezy weather. Besides, this wire does single-pass welding at high speed.
Common problems of it are spattered issues, micro explosions, irremovable slag, and dull metal depositions. People who want to weld for a long time at a stretch find 2 lbs spool inadequate. Some users complained that their metals were not cleaned as spotless, and the wire made crappy welding. Users find the spool problematic. Again, this wire can only do cheap welding.
Despite having lots of issues, Forney still manages to make its users happy. Together with Harbor Freight machines, this wire works magically.
Hobart Fabshield E71T-11 .030 Welding Wire
Another good all-positioned welding wire for outdoor welding operations. This carbon steel welding wire is meant for thin metal sheets and galvanized steel.
This wire burns quickly and hotter than solid wires and gives deep penetration. Again, the application of this wire on painted or dirty steel is successful. Like the Forney E71TGS .030 flux wire, it works speedily on single pass welding.
Users are disgusted because of the spatters that Hobart Fabshield .30 wire creates. Though .030 flux core wire is famous for producing low spatter, this wire does the opposite. And the spooling problem here is not out of the frame. Another big issue is, only the handheld spool gun is the ideal match for this wire. Comparatively, the .035 version of this brand works better than the .030 version.
Hobart’s customer support team suggests higher amperage to avoid excessive spatter. To sum up, this wire is okay for the budget.
Top 2 .035 Flux Core Wires Review
Lincoln Innershield E71T-11 NR-211-MP .035 MIG Wire
In a word, this wire gives a fantastic bead appearance. The code of this wire is E71T-11, which means the high tensile strength. This wire comes with a 1 pound spool.
As .035 flux core wire penetrates thick metals deeply, this wire does the same also. It is able to penetrate 5/16-inch thick metal easily. Be it galvanized, painted, or rusty metal, nothing is hard for Lincoln Innershield .035 MIG wire. Like other .035 wires, this wire also has a fast freezing characteristic. No slag problem is seen with this wire.
The biggest disadvantage of this wire is, it disappoints users with 1 pound spool instead of 2 pound spool. And the price is excessively higher for this very little amount of spool. Some users complained that the packaging of this wire is another disappointment.
Lincoln reigns over users’ hearts just because of its name and still attracts customers.
Blue Demon E71T-GS .035 Flux Cored Welding Wire
A self-shielded mild steel wire that is friendly for carbon and manganese steel. It welds up to ⅜” inch thick metal, can weld galvanized steel and dirty/painted steel fairly.
It gives smooth arc welding. Slag is easily removed with this wire. Users experience beautiful beads with it. The price range of this wire is moderately okay.
Smoke and spatter – two huge issues darken the good sides of this wire. The fumes have the ability to endanger users’ respiratory systems. So masks are highly recommended for the users.
The spatter level of this wire is probably the highest compared to Hobart, Forney, and Lincoln. Its poor penetration adds another level of disappointment. Users claimed that this wire runs best in cheap, weak, and old welders. So, in a word, the service of this wire is terrible.
The trial before use is the only way to avoid the sheer disappointment of this China-manufactured flux-cored wire.
For detailed flux core wire size chart flux core wire speed and voltage chart
Buyer’s guide for 0.30 and 0.35 flux core wire
If buying welding wire is your call, or specifically a flux core wire, you need to consider many things. Let’s talk about them.
Price always has an opposite relationship with product features and specifications. So you need to look for moderately okay products with average prices. If you narrow down your demands, this will help you to choose the right product according to your budget. Try to expand your budget a bit if you want a high-featured flux cored wire.
To be specific, wires with low diameter are designed for thin metals. And thick metals need high diameter wires. A low diameter wire burns faster and penetrates quickly. And high diameter wires take time to burn. So you need to understand the type of your metal before welding.
Weight and Performance
In most cases, a 2 lbs spool does not quench the thirst of the welders who prefer heavy and non-stop welding. If you are one of them, then go for wires which provide more than 2 lbs spool. If you want to search for the best in 2 lbs spool, then look for the features and specs. And decide if the combination of spools, features, and specs is logical and doable.
Sometimes, users find a 1 lbs spool as capable of penetrating thick metals compared to other low-budget wires. So, performance as well as spool range matters also.
Self or Gas-shielded
As gas-shielded flux core wires are unable to perform spontaneously at outdoor, go for self-shielded wire then. Self-shielded flux cored wires are handy compared to the gas-shielded ones. So it is evident that welders prefer self-shielded wires.
Do not forget to look at the deposition rate too. Deposition rates determine the welding position – whether the position is effective or not. Also, deposition rate represents the capability of the wire for cutting difficult metals like galvanized steel. Check Flux Core Welder Under 200$
Can you use a .035 tip with .030 wire?
A very tricky question indeed. Normally, manufacturers recommend the right-sized tip with the right-sized wire. However, some users found an amazing outcome while using a .035 tip with .030 wire. This mismatched combination or upsized tip provides better penetration on metal. But using an upsized tip may not bring an effective result.
What is the best flux core wire to use?
There is no best flux core wire to use. Solid or flux-cored MIG wires, .030 or .035 wires, have different rules for application. If you are a welder, you need to know the budget, metal type, and weather before choosing the compatible welding wire. Yet, some wires match moderately with welders’ demands. YESWELDER Gasless Flux Core Welding Wire .035 inch is a great example then.
How thick can you weld with .030 wire?
.030 welding wire is meant to be with thinner metals. The ideal metal thickness for .030 is ¼”. .030 wire is not all-purpose wire-like .035 wire. If the thickness is more than ¼”, then .035 flux core wire will do the operation. .030 wire works on mild steel and aluminum-based metals.
What is the thinnest flux core wire?
In FCAW, .030 is the thinnest, most common, and available option. You will not find any wireless other than this. If any wire exists below .030, that is rare and does not provide satisfactory results. Users or welders commonly use .030 flux core wire for thin metals.
Choosing and using the right flux core wire is not easy at all. Mismatched flux core wire can affect both the metal and the user physically. Deep planning and observation are required before buying any flux core wire. On the one hand, affordable flux-cored wires are found somewhat okay. On the other hand, costly flux-cored wires give good service but eat up valuable time and energy.
So at first, go for experts’ and experienced users’ opinions because they will give you some information that the manufacturers do not state clearly in the manuals. Keep in mind the matter of proper safety before welding.