Just like with most of the skilled trades, a skilled welder needs to have some basic hand tools to help them succeed in their trade. This is not intended to be a complete list but just an example of some of the important tools some welders find useful having in their own personal toolbox.

Some type ofstandard level or the smaller torpedo level is a handy tool to have to make sure things are level and plumb. In most situations the longer the level, the more accurate it will be.

Some type of square, a framing square or combination square is also a nice item to have. This will help us layout items at 90° and 45° if using the combination square.

A ball peen hammer with a center punch and a cold chisel also comes in handy in layout work and for breaking tack welds. The center punches handy for laying out holes or important marks on metal. The cold chisel can also help to remove spatter and other prep work in and around the weld.

The compass and dividers come in handy for scribing circles and arcs when doing layout work and other sheet-metal operations. If we need to make larger arcs, a set of Trammel points that can be attached to a stick, bar or pipe comes in especially handy.

A few different files also work great for deburring parts, removing the sharp edge on the inside bevel of a pipe, or finishing off the corner of that sharp jagged metal sheared edge. Around file can help to open up and undersized hole. A draw file can leave a smooth finished surface. Still other files have specialty applications such as repairing threads and preparing sharpened edges.

A hacksaw sometimes is the best tool for small simple slow accurate cuts, sometimes in awkward positions. It doesn't require a power cord and it works almost anywhere. There are some jobs that are just too big for a handheld hacksaw.

A tape measure is another critical tool that we should have in our toolbox and one on our belt or pocket all the time. Measuring parts, checking dimensions and making sure we have the right material are just some of the functions the tape measure serves in a typical fabrication shop and weld eyes tool box. A precision steel rule or straight edge is also another important tool to have ready. Many times we need to check the flatness or straightness of a surface or edge. Other times we need to make measurements where a tape measure just doesn't work.

A  protractor for measuring angles and duplicating other angles is also a handy tool to have at our disposal. If we need to measure an angle that something other than 90° or 45° a protractor is the only way to do it. Sometimes we need to measure an angle so that we can duplicate a part and without a protractor we have to make a separate pattern or some other means by which to measure the angle.

Some basic clamps or vise grips will also come in handy for gripping parts and clamping things into position. Spring clamps, bar clamps, chain clamps are but a few of the different variations that we can have at our disposal. Sometimes the basic C clamp is all we really need.

Finally, having a good toolbox or storage container that's lockable is also an important way to store and transport these tools from site to site or job to job. Get a good padlock to finish off your tool set so they will be there when you need them.

Check out the Longevity website (www.longevity-inc.com) or YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/longevitywelding) for more details and information about equipment for different welding and cutting processes. Longevity has the right machine for your exact application, so take a look and choose what is the best fit for your materials, product and needs.