Whether you’re interested in welding as a profession or as a hobby, you’re probably wondering how to get started without breaking the bank then check out our list of welding equipment. You might have heard that it is extremely expensive to get into welding, but the reality is there are only a few basic welding tools that you will need daily. Certainly there are plenty of other products on the market and more sophisticated specialized equipment used by dedicated welding shops, but by equipping your shop with just these starting things you can start melting metal.
Our goal with this guide is to present you with the top 10 critical welding tools that no shop should skip. We used our own experience in coming up with the list and checked with fellow welders and we think that this list is detailed enough to get you started. You’ve got everything you need here, from safety equipment to basic tools and necessary accessories.
Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
For anyone welding this first simple welding tool is a must-have. It is a helmet for the welding. Not all welding helmets are created equal but to get a decent one you don’t have to spend $350. The first piece of advice I’d send you here is to pick an auto-darking welding helmet.
A welding helmet is the most important tool you have in the welding workshop and you want something that is user-friendly.
The other option is to buy a solid shade welding helmet but that’s the issue here. Through the lens you can not see your workpiece and it could cause your welds to be positioned incorrectly.
For beginners, auto-darkening welding helmets are great welding tools as they allow you to see the workpiece clearly before beginning your welds, which means more precision and less frustration.
Welding magnets are designed to hold the various metal pieces in place when welding them. You allow you to work with both hands more comfortably and freely and make life much easier! With this you can easily create angles of 45, 90 and 135 degree for your welding projects. Such magnets, too, are made of stainless steel and are extremely durable. These are perfect when you make products with lots of angles of 90 degrees.
Your safety is paramount when it comes to welding so always invest in specialist equipment. Do not go in search of general safety gloves but buy specialist welding gloves, suitable for the type of welding you do. Since the arc’s temperature can exceed 10,000 degrees when welding, welding gloves are normally very thick but you’ll still feel some heat coming off.
You can also use them when needed to pull hot metal for a couple of seconds, but don’t make a habit out of this as it will destroy them more easily.
The speed square is a vital tool and here’s why… Let’s say you’re working on a long piece of square tubing, and you just want to cut off about 12 inches of it.
On the job piece, you set your speed square, make your mark across the tubing and now you’ve got a 90 degree cut ready to go.
Plus, if you want to make the cut across the steel tubing at an angle of 45 degrees, just slide your speed square through until it reaches the 45 mark. It’s super easy to use, and you can not do without a welding tool. I used mine on numerous projects of welding.
This is a must-have tool to weld. Welding clamps allow you to set up your work piece securely, so that a tight joint is created by the weld. Clamps come in many varying sizes. Having at least 10 clamps is better so you will always have one ready for the project at hand. The metal warpage created by welding, without metal clamps, will throw your project out of square and cause welding defects.
If you use a welding process that produces slag such as stick welding or flux cored, then the weld will need to be cleaned by removing the slag coating that covers the weld. If there’s a lot of slag you’re going to need a chipping hammer to chip away at the slag and reveal the weld underneath.
Angle Grinders are so powerful that without using one, you can not complete a welding project. Whether you need them for grinding, smoothing the weld or cutting a piece of metal, if you try to work without one, you will definitely feel handicapped.
While we still recommend investing in quality tools and angle grinders is no exception, if you are on a budget, you can also buy one for as little as $15 from some lower quality brands.
Portable band saw
For beginners, a portable band saw isn’t a welding workshop device, but it’s a great piece of machinery. In essence, it produces clean cuts which do not need any rework. Making something like this compact is a great option if you have content that you want to cut to length. I always use mine.
Your blade will sometimes get rusty, and you’ll have to remove it. That is super easy to do though.
If your welding operation creates a lot of slag, you will need a brush of metal too. Of example, if you’re welding stick or flux-cored, after the weld is done, there will be a lot of slag left behind. You’ll need to use the metal brush to scrape off the slag coating to reveal the final weld.
If MIG welding any MIG pliers is going to really come in handy. Pliers are great for cleaning out the splatter from the nozzle to help ensure a smooth flow of gas. Sometimes you will need to cut the wire so you can do that and you can also use it to remove the nozzle.
(source: kingsofwelding.com, welderportal.com, makemoneywelding.com, and weldinghandbook.com)