Forney 261 vs 299 Which One? Head to Head Review

Forney 261 vs 299 Title Image

Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC and the Forney Easy Weld 261 140 FC-i are both gas less flux core only welders made by Forney.

The Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC has been around on the market for some time. And is now no longer made by Forney.

It’ll be sadly missed.

But you’ve a new replacement flux core welder and it’s the Forney Easy Weld 261 140 FC-i.

Your question may be.

Do you buy one of the few remaining stocks of the Forney 29901?

Or a refurbished Forney 29901 on Amazon? 

Or do you go straight in and buy a Forney 261?

And when you’re looking to compare the two how do they stack up one beside the other?

Here’s a table where you can take an at a glance look at the main differences between the two Forney welders.

Forney Easy Weld29901​140 FC-i
InternallyTransformerInverter
Max Amp Output125 Amp140 Amp
Duty Cycle20% @ 80 Amp30% @ 90 Amp
Weight33 lbs.19 lbs.

Reasons You’d Buy the Forney 299 or the 261 140 FC-i

Both are great flux core welders for that quality repair job you want to do around your home or yard
The buyer feedback reports are excellent. With many pleased with both the Forney 29901 and the Forney 261 flux core welders
When you’re looking for a straight forward to use starter flux core welder. And you haven’t a lot of money to spend, then these could be just what you’re looking for

Reasons You’d Pass the Forney 299 or 261 140 FC-i By

They’re both flux core only welders. And use flux core welding wire.
And when that’s what you want then both are ideal. There’s no way to use either of these welders with a compressed gas cylinder to MIG weld.

Verdict on the Forney 299 vs the 261 140 FC-i Welder

The Forney 261 140 FC-i gets the 140 part of its name because its total welding Amp output is 140 Amp. The FC part tells you it’s a flux core welder. The i part of the name lets you know that it’s based on an inverter inside.

When you compare the 299 to the 261 side by side. The Forney 261 140 FC-i as the latest and greatest has more welding output at 140 Amp.

It’s also lighter and has more bells and whistles.

But when you can still pick up a 29901 and at a really cut price cost?

It’s worth you comparing the two yourself and deciding which is the best one for you.

*Disclosure: This document contains affiliate links. And at no extra cost to you this site earns a commissions through these links should you decide to buy.

Forney 261 140 FC-i Front

Forney Easy Weld 261 140 FC-i

Inside the 261 vs the 299

Most light and medium duty welders use transformers to generate their welding output.

The Forney 29901 has a transformer design.

With the Forney 261, Forney has moved to an inverter based design. And this is one of the big differences between the two flux core welders.

An inverter inside the Forney 261 means this flux core welder is lighter. So it’s the one for you if you’ve a bad back.

And not only lighter than the Forney 29901.

It’s lighter than most of its competition out on the market.

And not only that. You have in the Forney 261 a flux core welder that gives you more welding Amp output for the electrical power input.

And this means you can build more with your welding. And repair more and for longer.

Forney Easy Weld 299 vs 261 Duty Cycle

The duty cycle of a welder tells you how strong your welder is. And how long you can expect to weld for before you risk overheating your welder.

The Forney 299 has a duty cycle of 20% at 80 Amps.

And this means over 10 minutes you can weld for 2 of those minutes.

The Forney 261 in contrast has a higher duty cycle of 30% at 90 Amp.

And this means you can weld for 3 straight minutes over 10 minutes.

The 80 Amp part of the Forney 29901 duty cycle tells you the total Amps this duty cycle was measured at.

And you’ll see the Forney 261 measures its duty cycle 10 Amps more at 90 Amp.

Netting this out.

On the Forney Easy Weld 261 140 FC-i you can weld for 1 minute longer at a 10 Amp higher setting.

Want to know where the Forney 140 FC-i sits compared to other entry level flux core welders? You can find out in this article here on the site.

Min and Max Welding Output Forney 299 vs 261

The Forney 29901 has a welding range of 65 Amp with a total welding output of 125 Amp. 

The Forney 261 140 FC-i has a starting welding range of 32 Amp and maxes out at 140 Amp.

At the top end you’ve 15 more welding Amps on the 261 compared to the 29901.

And you can start at a lower amperage on the Forney 261.

So what does this mean in the real world?

A wider welding range on the 261 means you’ve more flexibility in your weld settings. You can dial it up or down. And get that crackle just right for the steel you’re welding up or repairing.

YouTube Video Describing the Forney 29901 125FC

In this Forney video you’ll see a great over view of the Easy Weld 29901.

Its just 2 minute 14 seconds.  Take a look!

Forney Easy Weld 125FC

Video Credit: Forney Industries

Metal Thicknesses You Can Weld with the Forneys

Forney says you can weld metal gauges from 24 gauge up to 1/4 inch thick on the Forney 299.

On the Forney 261 140 FC-i Forney says you can weld metal thicknesses from 24 gauge to 3/16th of an inch.

So no welding of 1/4 inch steel on the Forney 261?

In reality for both these flux core welders, welding anything above 3/16th of an inch. Means you’ll need to prepare your weld joint.

By beveling your weld joint and making multiple weld passes. Cleaning any slag off your weld before you make the next pass.

Plus you’ll need to buy and use multi-pass capable flux core welding wire.

Forney has dialed back from these claims on the Forney 261 140 FC-i.

You’ll be able to weld 1/4 inch steel. But you’ll need to prepare the joint well. And have the necessary skills.

What Can You Weld with the Forney 299 or the 261?

You can weld up mild steel with either of these flux core welders.

No stainless steel or Aluminum.

How To Set Your Welding Output Forney 261 vs 299?

Forney Easy Weld 125FC Front Dial and Switch
Forney Easy Weld 125FC Front Dial and Switch

This is an area where the two flux core welders differ massively.

You control your welding output on the Forney 29901 with a rocker switch. The single switch has two settings. The higher setting is thin plate. The lower output Amp setting is sheet metal.  After that you use your wire feed dial to adjust the speed of your flux core wire. And fine tune your weld.

Forney 140 FC-i Front Dials
Forney 140 FC-i Front Dials

The front of your Forney 140 FC-i is different.  On the front you’ve two dials.

You control your welding output using an infinitely variable dial instead of a switch.

What does that mean?

You can have your weld output Amp setting turned to what ever you want.

The Forney 261 here is the winner on the welding output controls. It’s a boon to be able to set your welding output just how you want.

For an entry-level flux core welder this feature leads the market.

Plus you have an infinitely variable wire feed dial. The same as on the Forney 29901.

Forney 261 vs 29901 MIG Gun and Hose

On the Forney Easy Weld 261 140 FC-i you have 8 foot of cord to MIG welding gun. And 8 foot of cord to your ground clamp.

In comparison on the Forney Easy Weld 29901 you’ve 6 foot of cord up to your MIG welding gun. And 6 foot of cord to your ground clamp.

You get an extra 4 foot of welding area on the Forney 261. Great when you’re welding up metal in a tricky to get to spot.

Both the Forney 29901 and the 261 140 Fc-i come delivered with their MIG gun. And ground clamp and cable already connected and attached to the welder.

No need for you to spend time putting your welder together before you start welding.

YouTube Video of the Forney 140 FC-i Welding

Want to see how the Forney 261 flux core welder welds?

You can find out here in this 4 minute 19 second Forney video.

Welding with the Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i

Video Credit: Forney Industries

Powering Your Forney 299 vs the Forney 261 Welder

Both these flux core welders are 120 volt machines. So they’ll they both run off the power you have at home.

The extra power output of the Forney 261 140 FC-i means that you’ll be better putting it on a 30 Amp fused socket.

But you do have in the box with the 140 FC-i a 20 Amp to 15 Amp adaptor. To allow you to plug into a 15 Amp type wall outlet. If you’re going to do that then pick one with a 20 Amp slow blow circuit breaker.

Size of Flux Core Welding Wire Used on the Forney 299 vs the 261

They both use 0.030 diameter flux core wire for mild steel.  And you can put 2 lb. or 10lb spools of flux core wire inside.

When you’re looking for mild steel flux core welding wire for your Forney 261.

And you want to find out which is the best. You can take a look at this article here.

What do Buyers of the Forney 261 and Forney 29901 Think?

The reviews on Amazon are glowing.

Most are thrilled with their Forney flux core welders.

Do check out the latest reviews yourself by following this button.

(Commissions Earned)

Scroll down to the bottom of the sales page and pick to see the latest reviews.

Carrying Both Flux core Welders Around

The Forney 261 140 FC-i with its inverter inside makes it the easier welder to carry around.

At 19 lbs. in weight it’s much lighter than the 33 lb. Forney 29901.

Nearly half its weight!

And the Forney 261 wins out in over all size too. Measuring 16.75 inches x 8.125 inches x 12 inches.

The Forney 299 measures 24.6 inches x 12.6 inches x 18.5 inches. It’s much bigger.

Both flux core welders have handles with ‘ears’.

The ‘ears’ are a place you can use to wrap your MIG gun, ground clamp and their cords around. Making it easier for you to carry either of these flux core welders.

What is the Forney 299 Warranty Compared to the 261 Warranty?

The Forney 29901 comes with a 6 month warranty.

The Forney 261 comes with a much longer 1 year warranty.

Standing out from its competition the Forney 261 offers one of the longest warranty for an entry level flux core welder.

In Conclusion

The Forney 29901 sun setting and no longer being made is sad.

It was the quality flux core welder at the entry level part of the market place.

But its replacement the Forney 261 140 FC-i certainly steps up to the plate. And redefines the quality and welding power you can have.

Ideal when you’re looking for a starter flux core welder.

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