25 Tools Every Welder Needs – The Ultimate List

tools every welder needs

As a welder over the last 20 years, I’ve used many different tools to fabricate and build various projects for myself and customers alike. In this article, I’m going to share tools every welder needs.

What tools does every welder need? Below is a list of tools every welder needs to have:

  • Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Helmet
  • Sleeves
  • Beanie
  • Jacket
  • Pliers
  • Marking Pencil
  • Angle Grinder
  • Chipping Hammer
  • Wire Brush
  • Tip Dip
  • Tip Cleaners
  • Vise grips
  • Clamps
  • Magnets
  • Welding Blanket
  • Bandsaw
  • Plasma Cutter
  • Welders Pocket Book
  • Tape Measure
  • Fillet Welding Inspection Gauge
  • Calculator
  • Drill Press
  • Welding Table

25 Tools Every Welder Needs

In this article, I will cover these tools and accessories in-depth and share the ones I like to use. Also, remember you don’t need all these tools to be a welder. These are just the tools I’ve found helpful to have.

#1 Gloves

BEETRO Welding Gloves 1 Pair, Cow Leather Forge/Mig/Stick Welder Heat/Fire Resistant, Mitts for Oven/Grill/Fireplace/Furnace/Stove/Pot/Wood Burner/BBQ/Animal handling glove with Soft Lining

A good set of gloves is one of the first things you’ll need as a welder. After all, a MIG welder burns at around 10,000 degrees which would severally burn your hands and skin if left unprotected.

So, no ordinary gloves will be here. To MIG weld, you will need a strong leather glove that will hold up to the heat but not break the bank simultaneously.

These gloves are made for dealing with high temperatures. I like these gloves because they are heavy-duty and have a longer sleeve to protect from spattering.

#2 Safty Face Sheild

Sellstrom Advantage Series Face Shield - Clear Window with Standard Binding - Comfortable Ratcheting Headgear, ANSI Z87.1+ (S30120)

When it comes to safety glasses most people tend to forget this one. However, I have had enough stuff in my eyes over the years to know that you should always wear them while working with metal.

I remember one time in particular when I got a piece of metal in my eye right before a vacation. At first, I thought it was a scratch, but afterward, I went to my eye doctor to learn I had a piece of metal stuck in my eye. OUCH!

With a good safety shield, you’ll avoid getting metal in your eyes and save on doctor bills.

#3 Welding Helmet – 2 Options

Auto Darkening Helmet

YESWELDER Large Viewing Screen 3.93"X3.66" True Color Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, 4 Arc Sensor Wide Shade 4/5-9/9-13 for TIG MIG Arc Weld Grinding Welder Mask LYG-M800H

YESWELDER Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

The YESWELDER Large Viewing Screen 3.93″X3.66″ True Color Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet is a great option for welders who like automatically switching from on to off while welding. You can adjust sensitivity and shade darkness.

Fixed Shade Helmet

Jackson Safety Welding Helmet, Auto Darkening Hood, Durable Protective Welder Face Mask for Men and Women, Fixed Shade, Hard Hat Adaptable, HSL-100 Shell, Universal Size, Black, 14975

Jackson Safety Welding Helmet

The Jackson Safety Welding Helmet is a fixed shade welding helmet with a large viewing area, durable design, and adjustable headband. With the longer design, it covers the neck from flash burn.

One tool you’re going to need is a welding helmet. A welding helmet is a must-have tool for every welder. Here are just a few things it can do for you.

  • Protect your eyes from getting burnt.
  • Protect the skin on your face from getting burnt.
  • Allows you to move from weld to weld quickly.
  • Let you grind without getting debris in your eyes.

When it comes to welding helmets, there are two main types: auto-dark and non-auto-dark helmets.

A non-autobraking helmet has a dark shield that always stays dark, and the only way you can see through the helmet is when you are welding. This is the way I started welding.

The other option is to use an auto-dark helmet. This helmet works based on light. This type of helmet has sensors on the front of the helmet, and when you start to weld, the light hits the sensor, and the helmet goes dark.

#4 Welding Sleeves

Lincoln Electric KH813 Black One Size Flame-Resistant Welding Sleeves

Welding sleeves are another tool you’ll want to have with you. As you can tell, many of these first few tools are mostly protection tools, but protection is a big part of welding.

Welding sleeves protect your arms from getting burnt by the heat and spatter produced by the weld.

They also protect your clothes from getting burned up since they are made of mostly fire-retardant cloth.

#5 Welding Beanie

4 Pcs Welding Caps Welding Hats for Men Women Welder's Cap Flame Resistant Welding Helmet Liners Welding Accessories (Paisley and Classic Style)

Like welding sleeves, a welding beanie protects your head from spattering burns.

I’ve dealt with my fair share of burns from welding without these protective tools, and the best part is these things aren’t that expensive.

However, I like those with a bill on them when it comes to welding beanies. A beanie with a bill is meant to be worn backward like a fire hat to protect you from spattering down your back.

#6 Welding Jacket or Apron

Lincoln Electric Black X-Large Flame-Resistant Cloth Welding Jacket,KH808XL

The final protection tool is a welding jacket or welding apron. This tool is meant to protect your chest from welding. Your hands, face, and chest will be the closest to the weld.

A welding jacket or apron is the best option to protect your chest. I’ve seen a lot of different kinds of these, from leather to cloth jackets.

I like cloth jackets better than leather because they are much heavier and hotter in the summertime.

#7 Welding Pliers

SPEEDWOX Professional MIG Welding Pliers 8 Inches 6 in 1 Multi Functional Tool Drop Forged High Carbon Steel for Scraping Spatter Gripping Drawing Wire Non-slip Comfort Blue Handles

Now it’s time to get into the real tools every welder should have. And first on that list is a welding plier. This is a special tool that is meant to help you do a multitude of things from:

  • Clean the spatter from your nozzle.
  • Remove the weld tip or diffusor.
  • And even clip your welding wire.

Of all the tools I have, this is one you cannot live without because I use it daily to manage my welder.

#8 Marking Pencil

2 Pcs Welders Pencil with 48 PCS Round Refills Mechanical Pencils Metal Welding Marker for Tube Pipe Fitter Welder Steel Construction Woodworking (Red, Silver)

Next on the list of tools every welder needs is a marking pencil. A marking pencil is a special pencil that is made for marking on steel. I use this tool to do everything from:

  • Mark steel where I need to cut it.
  • Mark where I need to weld an adjoining piece of metal, too.
  • Mark where you need to weld and much more.

#9 Angle GrinderDEWALT Angle Grinder, 4.5 Inch, 11 Amp, With Paddle Switch (DWE402), Black

The next tool you’ll want to have next to you is an angle grinder. An angle grinder also known as a hand grinder allows you to grind metal to smooth out cut metal.

Here are just a few things I use my angle grinder for:

  • To smooth out fat welds
  • Clean up spatter on metal
  • Cut down metal

So if you do a lot of fabrication projects and you do a lot of shaping cutting with metal this one tool you’ll want with you.

#10 Chipping Hammer

Luckyweld Welding Chipping Hammer/Slag Hammer with Coil Spring Handle, Forge Hardended Steel Industrial Welding Hammer for Cleaning Removing Slag and Welding Residue

Another tool I use on a regular basis is a chipping hammer. Now a chipping hammer is typically used with stick welding to chipping slag away from the weld.

However, I like to use it for cleaning the spatter of metal. Depending on how your welder is set it could leave more spatter which can be hard to remove from the project you are welding.

As a result, I’ve found a chipping hammer to be the best solution here because it does minimal damage to the metal and doesn’t gouge the metal as an angle grind does.

#11 Wire Brush

Forney 70505 Wire Scratch Brush, Carbon Steel with Wood Shoe Handle, 10-1/4-Inch-by-.014-Inch

Along with a chipping hammer, I also like to use a wire brush. This tool works great for cleaning a weld surface before and after welding.

Here are just a couple of situations I’ve used a wire brush for:

  • Cleaning rust off of metal before welding
  • Removing paint from metal before welding
  • Cleaning around a weld to give a more polished look

Overall this is an inexpensive tool all welders should have to improve their welding quality.

#12 Tip Dip

Forney 37031 Nozzle Gel For Mig Welding, 16-Ounce , White

When it comes to cleaning your welder I also use something called tip dip. Tip dip is the grease that you dip the nozzle of your welder into to help protect it from spattering build-up.

Once your nozzle is coated and clean it will allow for the welding gas, and wire to properly flow from the welder.

#13 Tip Cleaner

Herain Welding Tip Cleaner, Carb Carburetor Cleaner and Torch Nozzle Tip Cleaner Set for Cleaning Engine Carburetors, Gas Orifices, Sprinklers, Shower Heads(12 Wire Set Plus a Flat File) (1)

Another simple tool I like to keep on hand is a set of tip cleaners. Tip cleaners are like small round files used to clean out the tip in your welder.

Welding is a fairly dirt job by nature and the dust and dirt it creates will tend to land on the wire spool. As that wire moves through the welder, it will eventually bring enough dirt to the tip, plugging it up.

A good set of tip cleaners works wonders to remove this dirt.

It also works well when the wire burns back in the tip, plugging the tip hole. Sometimes I can get them unplugged, but you may have to replace the tip if it’s too severe.

#14 Vise-Grips

IRWIN VISE-GRIP Original Locking Pliers with Wire Cutter, Curved Jaw, 10-Inch (502L3)

Click Here to Buy on Amazon

The next tools I will cover will help you clamp down your work; the first one I like is vise-grips. With vise-grips, I can clamp pieces of metal together and hold them in place.

Not only do they work well for holding things in place, but they also work great for welding small parts together. Often, I find some parts too hard to handle since welding gloves can be big and bulky.

To solve this problem, I like to use vise-grips to hold the part until I get it tact on.

Regarding vise grips, I like your typical standard vise grips, but I recommend getting a variety of vise grips for different situations like these.

#15 Clamps Jorgensen Bar Clamps, 12-Inch Light-duty Drop Forged Steel Bar Clamps for Woodworking and Welding, 2 Pack

Next, I also like having a good set of clamps around, like the ones in the picture. These work great for holding bigger pieces of metal together.

At my shop, I have clamps that go up to 12″ wide. For bigger projects. I use something called a pipe clamp. Which is a clamp that mounts on a pipe. I use a 3/4″ sch80 PST (Pipe Size Tubing)

The great thing about these clamps is that I can make them as big as I want.

#16 Welding Magnets

MANUSAGE 25LB Welding Magnet Metal Magnetic Welding Holder 25-lbs Holding Power Welding Accessories, 6pcs 3inch Angle Magnet Holder, Red,Black

Click Here to Buy on Amazon

Another way to hold the metal without a clamp is to use a welder magnet. I have a set of magnets to hold the metal in various positions.

So whether I want them held in a 90-degree or a 45-degree position, these magnets will hold them in just the right spot.

They also work great when clamps don’t work. For example, if I had to weld an 8″ IBeam onto another 8″ IBeam, I could use a heavy magnet to hold them in place on each side.

As a result, this will prevent warping and keep the metal in the perfect spot until you get it welded solid.

#17 Welding Blanket

YESWELDER Heavy Duty Fiberglass Welding Blanket,4 x 6ft Fireproof Insulation Blanket,1/3”(8mm) Thickened Weld Cover with Grommets,Thermal Resistant Insulation Welding Curtain Mat Grill

One tool I find great to have from time to time is a welding blanket. A welding blanket is a special material that doesn’t burn from a weld spatter hitting it.

A welding blanket works great for two primary purposes:

  • #1 Protecting stuff around the area you are welding in. For example, if you are welding on a car and don’t want the weld spatter to mess up the paint job.
  • #2 Protect the weld itself. A welding blanket also works great for covering you as you weld in an area that may blow away the welding gas. This works great if you are working outdoors in less-than-desirable conditions.

Here is a welding blanket I like to use.

#18 Bandsaw

JET 7" x 12" Deluxe Horizontal Metal Bandsaw, 3/4 HP, 1Ph 115/230V (HVBS-712D)

This next tool can be a bit more expensive, but a bandsaw is a great tool for cutting down metal fast. The good news is that you don’t need a big or expensive starting.

Back in the day, we used smaller bandsaws to cut parts, but as my business grew, we found the smaller hobby machines didn’t hold up due to the wear and tear on the barrings and gears.

Today we use much bigger saws meant to be used in more industrial situations. However, a smaller bandsaw will work fine if you’re just getting started.

#19 Plasma Torch

YESWELDER CUT-55DS 55Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Air Power Plasma Cutter 1/2 Inch Clean Cut, Digital 110/220V Dual Voltage IGBT Inverter Plasma Cutting Machine with ETL Approved

Another expensive tool to have is a plasma torch. I’ve used several of these over the years and they work great for cutting down and shaping metal.

We used this to do everything from cutting lengths of metal down to cutting circles out of sheet metal.

Today I use a CNC plasma machine to cut out multiple different types of parts the products I’m building.

However, you don’t need something this big when you’re just starting. A smaller 45 amp machine will work just fine as you’re getting started.

#20 Welding Pocket Book

Audel Welding Pocket Reference

If you’re new to welding, it’s good to have a welding pocketbook on hand. This little handy book contains various things.

  • Conversion charts,
  • Safety guidelines
  • How to work with certain metals
  • Instructions and welding symbols
  • How to do certain welds
  • And a whole lot more

I also like to have these kinds of welding charts and this MIG and TIG hand calculator to figure out the right setting for my welder.

#21 Tape Measure

Komelon SM5425 Speed Mark Gripper Acrylic Coated Steel Blade Measuring Tape, 1-Inch X 25Ft , White

Now a simple tool a lot of people might not think about having is a good tape measure. This is probably the most important tool if you plan to cut any metal it would be good to know how long it should be.

Here are just a few things I use my tape measure for:

  • Checking cut lengths
  • Using it to square things up
  • Measuring to see where I need to weld something
  • And a whole lot more

I’ve found a Stanly 25 foot tape measure to be a great option and is usually the type of tape measure I use.

#22 Fillet Welding Inspection Gauge

Ally Tools 7 Piece Fillet Welding Inspection Gauge Set Includes Leather Case - (1/8" - 1") Ulnar Metric & Inch - Perfect for Checking Leg Length and Throat Thickness for Professional Welders

Another little handy tool I like to have around is fillet welding gauge. This is a handy little tool that checks to see how big a weld should be.

For example, if a print calls for 1/4″ round weld, how would that look. You could guess but the best way to solve this is to have a fillet gauge that you set on top of the weld.

Doing this will give you a clearer idea of what kind of weld needs to be in the spot you are welding.

#23 Welding Calculator

Calculated Industries 4400 TradesmanCalc Technical Trades Dimensional Trigonometry and Geometry Math and Conversion Calculator Tool for Tech Students, Welders, Metal Fabricators, Engineers, Draftsmen Small

I also like to have a calculator around as a welder. This might seem odd but I find this be a handy tool for figuring out things like material usage or what a certain distance might be.

For example, if I am planning to build a project out of angle iron a calculator will tell me how many lengths of angle iron I will need to do the project.

This also works great for a situation where you’re also trying to get a quick number on a bid for a project you want to do.

Almost any calculator will do in this situation but if you’re looking for one that is used for an industrial situation you can check this one out.

#24 Drill Press

JET 12-Inch Variable-Speed Benchtop Drill Press, 1/2 HP, 1Ph 115V (JWDP-12)

As we get down to these last few tools to have that tools that every welder needs one that I like to have around is a drill. In this case, I’m not talking about a hand drill but rather a drill press.

A hand drill takes a lot of work and pressure to drill a hole while a drill press makes this process a whole lot easier.

For example, if I have a block of steel that I’m trying to drill a hole into a drill press has a table to set it on and allows me to do it quick and easy. It also lets me apply more pressure to the steel and the hole will be perfectly straight when I do it.

When it comes down to it a drill press is not a tool you’ll need right away but it’s good to have around in any metal shop. At my shop, I have two of them and they get used nearly every day.

#25 Welding Table

VEVOR Welding Table, 36" x 24" Adjustable Workbench, 0.12" Thick Industrial Workbench, 600lb Load Capacity Metal Workbench, Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Welding Table, Gray Steel Work Table w/Accessories

Finally, last but not least as a welder you’ll want a nice welding table to work off of. You might be thinking why does this matter so much but a good welding table allows you to do so much more.

For example:

  • Give you a flat surface to clamp down your projects.
  • It has a clean surface to hook your ground clamp too.
  • Sits at the right height for welding.
  • Holds all of your tools and jigs in one nice place.

Over the years, I’ve bought welding tables, and I’ve even made my own. depending on what you want, it can be costly or fairly cheap.

Final Thoughts…

As I’m wrapping things up here just remember you don’t need to have all these tools when getting started but they are nice over time as you buy them.

What kind of tools do you have that you can’t live without as welder?

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