Welding Supply & Equipment Reviews
Our equipment reviews are based on independent research as well as consumer feedback. Every item you find in our reviews has been thoroughly researched to make sure it does the job it’s designed to do. We do not recommend equipment unless it is an established brand with multiple consumer feedback ratings. This helps us to make sure we are recommending a validated product.
Welding Equipment Brands
Our Welding Equipment Review Criteria
In this analysis we worked with readers and consumers to gather their recommended welding helmets that are capable of being purchased on Amazon. Why Amazon? It’s a mainstream trusted buying source and as a purchases they support you and will help you arbitrate should you have issues. Our primary focus on this review was auto darkening style helmets. Please let us know what you think!
Plasma cutters are quickly gaining traction in the trade industry. Our buyers guide drills down specifically into portable plasma cutters. We find these to be the most valuable to both professionals and hobbyists. They are contact, work efficiently, and supply a steady power supply. Most if not all of our recommended plasma cutters come with a warranty or at the minimum a return policy of some kind. Our featured cutter brands are Lotos (great for beginners), Ramsond, Hypotherm, and Miller (always dependable).
MIG welders are extremely popular, MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas welder. MIG welders require a type of spool to constantly be fed through them, for example a steel spool is a popular option. There is such thing as non-gas MIG welding, and gased based welding. Non-gas systems utilize flux core technology. This type of welder is useful for just about any type of metal and great for professionals in the industry as well as hobbyists. It is also much easier to get started with when compared against TIG welding.
Right off the bat, we know your main questions is going to be TIG vs MIG. TIG welding utilizes a non-consumable tungsten for it’s welding. This produces a quality weld, but can be more complex when compared to a MIG machine. While we recommend GTAW welders for both DIYers and professional welders, they’re definitely on the upper side of difficult. This type of weld also produces an extremely precise and accurate mark, in many cases requiring zero post weld cleaning. What you gain in preciseness, you lose is speed also. You will primarily see TIG welding uses in cosmetic based jobs such as vehicles and automotive, aircrafts, and sculptures.
Curtains and blankets are highly desired for the majority of welding jobs. You need to protect your work area, your surroundings, and your equipment. You may choose to use either a blanket, screen, or curtain for a variety of reasons. For example, A screen is best in a scenario where you need to block weld splash from the side or back. A blanket is best for protecting equipment, tables, etc and can be laid on top of the item you are protecting, a curtain is a good solution if you need to hang your protecting layer.
Can you imagine getting raw molten metal on your hands? Absolutely not, and this is exactly why proper welding gloves are so important. They protect your hands from the scalding heat as well as molten metal and sparks produced during the act of welding. Generally speaking a pair of gloves is pretty cheap, so there’s zero reason to slack on purchasing a pair. We recommend buying at least two pairs of different gloves to find what fits best for you. Some are produced with thicker material that causes movement restriction and increased sweat. These are all things to keep in mind as you make your decision
Welding boots are designed to protect your foot on all sides – top, bottom, and each side from the elements that you experience during a welding scenario. A high quality welding boot will be made to withstand heat, molting metal, and maintain durability to provide a lasting use. We highly suggest you only purchase a choice welding shoe that comes with a steel toe. You’ll find that a steel toe allows you to be a little less careful, while still being very forgiving when you bump your foot against solid objects. We also suggest you only purchase a boot that is at the minimum weather resistant, and one that is also slip proof. You never know what kind of working conditions you’ll be dealing with, so why limit yourself?
Welding tables are almost exclusively used in shop welding. You’ll find them in DIYer shops as well as professional shops, but almost never will you find a welding table in use in the field like pipe welding, machine welding, or stationary equipment repairs. As for usage in the shop, they aren’t a must-have by any means, however they are extremely useful and definitely make your output increased. Steel tops in particular are useful for flat welds, you’ll find people use plywood as a substitute for small vertical welds. When hunting for a table, make sure to go thicker rather than thin. Thin means flimsy, and you need something solid and stable. However, on the flip side a table that is too thick can be very difficult to reposition, so walk the fine line when picking your dimensions!
The goal of a welding jacket is to provide protection to your torso, arms, and neck all at the same time. Jackets exist for all kinds of welding from TIG and MIG all the way to SMAW. You will find that some jackets don’t last as long with SMAW as they may with the other options, so if that’s your preferred usage make sure to understand how long each jacket roughly lasts before having burn holes. You preferably will want something with velcro straps around your wrists to keep your sleeves from slipping. There are also various densities of jackets from things like leather to lighter fabrics such as heavy duty nylon and cotton.
Welding clamps are used for holding your metals and materials in place. Many users utilize C-clamps for tack welding, or things like vise grips to old sheet metal in place on their welding surface. There is a large variety of clamp types that exist, as well as popular manufacturers to choose from. Clamps aren’t a necessary thing for beginners, but will absolutely be necessary to some extent as you begin to do projects more frequently.