If you are new to welding, you may be a bit overwhelmed by the amount of welding equipment on the market.
Since welding is a very physical career, there are so many tools you can buy. However, there are also tools you won’t necessarily need.
This welder tool list will cover all of the essential tools and pieces of equipment you need. If you take some time and get your hands on most of these tools, you will have no problem jumping into your new welding career.
It is worth noting that the first pieces of equipment you invest in should be safety equipment or personal protective gear. These pieces of equipment will be the most important and could prevent serious injuries.
If you are ready to learn what exactly you need to begin welding, let’s get into it.
The first and most important thing you need will be a welding helmet.
Welding helmets are what protect your eyes and face from the brightness of the welding arc and the sparks. More specifically, the helmet will protect you from ultraviolet light, infrared rays, and flash burns.
Welding helmets cover your entire face and have special lenses for you to see through.
There are many kinds of welding helmets, and the style you buy may depend on the kind of welding you will be doing.
However, the most important thing is to choose the right shade of lens for your style of welding. If you get the wrong shade, the welding arc could damage your eyes.
If you are a beginner, an auto-darkening welding helmet may be the best choice. This helmet will do all of the work for you. The lens will automatically darken in response to the welding arc, but it will also lighten when you are not working, allowing you to see better.
The second tool on our welder tool list is a welding machine.
A welding machine is an essential piece of equipment that generates heat. The heat that the machine generates is what heats the metal enough to melt and then reform.
There are five different kinds of welding machines, each designed for a different kind of welding. Keep in mind that you will not find a machine that suits all kinds of projects. Before you purchase a machine, compare a few different ones and choose the one most suited to you.
While framing jigs are not mandatory tools, they will make your life easier.
Framing jigs allow you to build perfectly square frames. This tool is also very easy to use. All you have to do is place the metal into the jig, tighten it, and carry out the tack welds.
This is one of the tools on the welder tool list that will depend on where you work.
If you are strictly working in a shop, you will most likely have access to a work table. However, if you work anywhere else, you will need a stable surface to keep your tools on.
Welding tables and carts are sturdy tables with a flat surface. Many of them will have drawers and designated spots for certain tools. Welding carts will also have wheels on them.
Since the carts and tables are mobile, you can move the table right beside you to easily grab your tools.
Metal brushes help clean off any slag left as residue on the metal after you weld.
You can use both metal brushes or chipping hammers to remove the slag. Keep in mind that not all kinds of welding creates slag - pick this up only if you need to.
Angle grinders are handheld tools that you can use to polish, grind, cut, or shape the metal that you are welding.
Due to their small size, they are very easy to maneuver and are essential for the welder tool list. You will have to plug in the majority of angle grinders, but there are a few cordless options available.
There will be many instances when you want to cut out a specific shape in the metal. You can use marking tools for this.
Marking tools will allow you to draw on the metal and create an outline for yourself. That way, when you pick up the torch, you will know exactly where to cut.
You can use soapstone, permanent markers, or scribes to do this.
Whenever you are grinding, you will need a grinding visor to protect your face from flying debris.
Grinding visors are typically made of plastic. Each visor will have an adjustable headband/strap with a piece of clear plastic that covers the entire face.
Welding magnets are one of the most versatile tools on the welder tool list.
Welding magnets are very strong magnets that will stick to any kind of metal. The magnets can hold metal at 45, 90, and 135-degree angles.
Many welders love them because they can work hands-free while the magnets hold the metal objects in place.
The main use of them is to hold ferromagnetic metals in place when you are tack welding.
One of the most helpful tools on the welder tool list is the speed square. This tool will help you make cut lines on the metal. It is a try square, framing square and square all in one.
Many welders will use the speed square to make short cuts, such as 45 or 90 degrees.
The thickness of the metal will determine the welding settings you use. This is why having a metal thickness gauge is a good idea.
Metal thickness gauges will measure how thick your metal is, whether you measure a metal wire or a sheet.
If you are getting into MIG welding, one of the most basic kinds, you will need MIG pliers.
You will use pliers to remove hot contact tips or nozzles on your welding gun. Furthermore, the pliers will come in handy when you need a tool to clip the wire.
Another great tool on the welder tool list is a portable bandsaw.
A bandsaw has a long and sharp single blade. The blade is wrapped around two wheels that spin the blade fast enough to cut through metal.
This tool is one of the best to cut metal at uniform lengths. Portable band saws will allow you to do the job quickly and efficiently.
Metal files are a must-have for any fabrication shop. You will be able to smooth out rough edges and get rid of burrs with metal files.
These tools will also be suitable for detail work and for shaping metal. Keep in mind that you may want to spend a little more money purchasing your first set of metal files. If you get a high-quality set, they will last you for years.
Many welders will use hacksaws to cut through metal when they do not want to use a powered machine.
A hacksaw is a single fine-tooth blade that does not need power to function. Not only can it cut through metal, but you can use it for plastic and wood as well, which is why it is so versatile.
If you need a bit more flexibility when cutting (if you need to cut perpendicular or parallel to the metal, for instance), use a hacksaw.
A measuring tape is one of the most essential tools on the welder tool list. If you work in a shop of some sort, you will most likely have one of these lying around.
If not, purchase a measuring tape. Measuring tapes are flexible rulers that allow you to get accurate measurements on various materials, including metal.
Most measuring tapes will come with a stop button and magnetic end hooks. When buying one, make sure the tool has a sturdy body that will not break if you drop it.
Buying an extension cord is never a bad idea.
An extension cord is a long, electrical cord. It has a socket or several sockets on one end and a plug-in on the other.
These cords will come in various lengths and allow you to move around your work area with ease. This tool will give you a bit of flexibility while you're working instead of being confined to a small area.
Any tool list, not only a welder tool list, should have a level on it.
Levels are small devices that have fluid inside of them. These tools allow you to see whether your project is level or not.
Using a level for all of your projects will prevent costly mistakes.
Most levels can read four main angles, including 30, 45, 90, and of course, level.
There are a few essential tools that all beginner welders should have in their pocket.
The most important tools will be a welding machine and a welding helmet. Both of these pieces of equipment will depend on the kind of welding you do.
Generally, an auto-darkening helmet will be the best choice for beginners.
Before you buy any other tools, make sure you have the proper personal protective equipment such as a welding jacket, gloves, goggles, and steel-toe shoes.
Some smaller tools you may need are a welding framing jig, metal brush, angle grinder, marking tools, welding magnets, and a speed square.
If you do not have access to a table to put your equipment on, consider purchasing a welding table or a welding cart.