Best Metal Fabrication Tools List (Great For Starting)

If you are looking to start up a metal fabrication shop these are all the tools you will need to get by (or that we used) to start a metal fabrication business.
Being in the Engineering, Design and Metal Fabrication business for over 40 years here are some of the tools we started out with.
We have started up and helped many others start their own Welding and metal fabrication business.  These are the tools we feel are needed for getting into the business.

10 Pieces Of Welding – Fabricating Shop Equipment For Your Startup

You can start out with minimal shop equipment just like we did and get up and rolling with these tools.  Starting out in just our garage we built up a fabrication business still thriving today you can check it out here.  If we can do it so can you with the following tools you can handle a myriad of projects.

Band Saw

  • Small 4” x 6” Horizontal Metal Cutting Band Saw: The jigsaw’s big brother, this is an ideal buy for working with bigger projects that require diverse cutting. You are probably not going to need a bandsaw bigger than 4 x 6, and this is the best one in that size department. Manufactured by WEN, it’s not the best one out there but it’s also the easiest to use in my opinion. If you have any problem with it, you can call WEN customer service to get a free replacement.

Drill Press

  • Drill Press With ½  Drill Chuck Size: A drill press is a great tool that can be used for a number of tasks. They are especially useful if precision is a concern. This is the particular drill press that I’m using at the moment, and I haven’t found a problem with it so far, at least when it comes to smaller plans & projects. This is NOT a heavy-duty drill press, and you are probably going to have problems with the adjustable table if you put a lot of pressure into it. Still, a great drill press with an attractive price point.

Welding Table

  • Welding table: I always recommend newbies to go purchase a small welding table to start. As you get into welding you are probably going to have to purchase a new, bigger one, but the size of this one is good enough for starters. Also, the smaller size means that not only is it more affordable, but it’s also easier to store and more around.

Oxyacetylene Torch Set

  • Oxyacetylene Torch Set With Cylinder Cart: Harris has been making quality welding equipment for years now, and this torch set is no exception. If you prefer this welding method or want to braze, I would strongly recommend that you buy this set over the others. It has about 4.5 stars on Amazon and even better: you get 7 years of warranty with your purchase.

Floor Jack

  • 3 Ton rolling floor jack: Just like the engine hoist below, if you are going to be welding or doing any kind of repairs on cars, you are probably going to need this floor jack. This jack is rated for 3 tons though, which will probably be enough for most cars out there, but be wise and do your due diligence and make sure whatever you are going to lift up isn’t heavier than that.

Engine Hoist

  • 2 Ton Hydraulic engine hoist: Those looking to do automotive-related projects are going to have to get an engine hoist, you can’t do better than looking at this one made from Strongway. Because it’s made to be corrosion resistant, It is probably going to last you a lifetime as long as you take care of it.

Tool Chest On Wheels

  • Tool Chest on wheels: If you want to save your back, you need to get this. This is exactly what it seems, a tool chest that will make it much easier to move around a garage or other location. There are some very intricate tool chests, but this is my favorite. This has a ridiculous amount of drawers, cabinets, and trays, so if you are going to be doing some bigger projects where you need to move a lot, then this chest is for you!

Air Compressor

  • Small Air Compressor 2 HP 115 Volt 20 Gallon Size: Air compressors are not necessary for everybody, but if you are going to be using a nail gun, or anything else that requires it, you are going to have the shell out the cash for it. The main pro about this one is that it’s very quiet, which is a very common problem among compressors. There are some people that have had a defective compressor shipped to them, but it’s pretty rare though. I would recommend that you go with this compressor.

MIG Welder

  • Wire Feed .030 MIG Welder: This is perhaps the best choice for people that are going to be doing light welding. This has everything that you look for: lightweight, high amp rating (140), and some safety features that are hard to find in other welders in this price range. Of course, don’t expect the best results with this. After all, you get what you pay, and this is especially true with this MIG welder.

NOTE: I talk a little bit more about the best welders for beginners in this post

Plasma Cutter

  • 115/230 Volt Plasma Cutter: There are some plans that I offer on this website that can only be done with a decent plasma cutter, and if you are interested in doing so, you are going to have to get yourself one of these. Scrap metal art is beautiful and you can easily make a quick buck with it, and this plasma cutter will definitely suit your needs.

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