In order to investigate the effect of active fluxes on weld penetration, angular distortion and weld morphology in gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), three types of oxide fluxes-CaO, TiO2 and Al2O3-were used in the welding of 5mm think stainless steel plates. Those powders were applied through a thin layer of the flux to produce a bead on plate welds. The results showed that compared with conventional TIG welding, increased weld penetration and reduced angular distortion of the weld piece were obtained with the application of active fluxes. However, the weld morphology was not changed significantly when the powders were coated on the surface of steel. It was also found that each of the powders has a fittest range in penetration increment. Whether the rate of the coating run out of the range, the effects of these active fluxes on the increased weld penetration were not obvious. The CaO flux has a narrow effective range for deep penetration, while the Al2O3 powder does have no effect on A-TIG penetration. The mechanism of those different performances has not been found out. According to the investment, the mechanism of active fluxes for the increased weld penetration and reduced angular distortion is related to the contraction of the arc.