Hobbyist and professional welders alike need to have at least some of their own equipment, but with all the tools available, newbies may not be sure what to buy. To help new welders get started, some experienced welders have shared the following advice about the pieces of welding equipment that they use the most.
First of all, every welder needs a good workbench where he or she can work safely and comfortably. A sturdy metal table is a good choice since a wooden or plastic table could be damaged by the torch. Many welders find that a portable table or rolling welding cart is the best option because many jobs require moving around. A rolling cart should have spaces to hold the welder, the welder bottle, and other supplies.
Safety equipment is essential for a welder, and one of the first things most welders invest in is a safety helmet. An auto-dimming helmet is a great choice because it can sense bright light and grow dark in response. But without bright light, the glass is clear and easy to see through, so the welder doesn’t have to flip the mask up and down between welds. Because a significant percentage of welding injuries happen to the eyes, safety glasses are another piece of equipment no welder can do without. Helmets are not enough to fully protect the eyes from sparks and flying bits of metal, so welders need goggles that completely cover their eyes in front and on the sides.
An electric angle grinder cuts metal with rotating disks that come in different sizes for different tasks. An angle grinder can smooth down a too-prominent weld or clean a weld joint. Many welders also get a lot of use out of a hammer and dolly kit. These tools can be used to shape, smooth, or flatten sheet metal, which may be deformed somewhat by the welding process.
In addition to these essential pieces, welders also recommend leather safety gloves, a respirator, a variety of measuring tools, clamps, and corrosion-proof metal treatments. With these tools, a welder will be able to handle most projects that come up.