Basic Power Tools Used in Welding
Along with the basic set of hand tools, power tools are keys to success when working in and around our welding industry. This article is intended to cover some of the more popular tools and is not intended to be a list of all power tools in our welding industry. Power tools usually come in two forms. One is electric and the other one is air powered.
Depending upon our location and what we have access to, each one has its unique and best application. If electrical power is readily available and extension cord is handy many folks tend to move in the direction of electric tools. On the other hand, in a large shop were compressed air may be piped out through the plant, air tools may be a more economical way to approach power tool usage.
One of the very basic power tools we use in our welding industry are grinders of all types. These can be small or large handheld grinders powered by electricity or air. There may be electric powered bench grinders that are mounted to the top of a table or workbench. There may be also pedestal grinders that are large and floor mounted on their own individual pedestal. The ability to grind, shape, deburr and remove excessive material are the main purposes for using grinders.
There are many types of portable saws that come in handy when doing welding. A portable abrasive cut off saw is one widely used tool and is quick and easy to set up and use. There are also small abrasive cut off wheels that can be mounted in a portable die grinder that also serve the function for cutting off material as well. A portable handheld bandsaw sometimes is the perfect tool for the right job. Sometimes a jigsaw or reciprocating saw might be the right tool. And for many they would not be able to live without their sawzall.
An electric hand drill is also a great tool for using many different types of rotating cutting bits. Not only can we use it to drill holes in metal and wood and other materials we can also amount of small wire brush for other polishing tool in it's chuck and it can be used similar to a handheld die grinder. While not the perfect application for everything, it does have its uses and many people have these and only use these for drilling holes. The handheld drill usually will not spin as fast as powered grinder or die grinder.
Some type of chipping gun,needle scaler, air chisel, or air hammer is also another useful tool if we have to clean chip or remove slag from a weld, gouge or cut. Using a chipping hammer all day every day gets old real quick and sometimes a mechanized tool to remove the slag is a much more economical way to do it.
Having the right power tool can make a welding job much simpler and have much better results at the end. Investing in some basic power tools to complement our toolbox of hand tools can go a long way in making us a better, more experienced and capable welder and fabricator. It's always good to have an extension cord or length of air hose to extend the reach of our power tools in different locations and situations. Take care of your power tools and your power tools will take care of you.