11 Essential Welding Tools

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Getting started with welding can be overwhelming, especially given all the tools you will need. Welding carries some inherent danger, which makes it extra important to have all the right tools and safety measures. Being well-equipped will not only improve the quality of your work, but it will also ensure that the risk of injury in your workspace is low.

Once you get the equipment out of the way, welding is nothing but rewarding. Let’s take a look at the essential welding tools you will need, along with our recommendations for each one.

Welding Helmet

Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology, Black

What is it for?

A welding helmet is one of the most vital pieces of safety gear used in welding. The electric arcs generated in the process of welding, in addition to their high heat, give off harsh ultraviolet rays. If your eyes and face go unprotected, serious eye damage and bad sunburn is practically unavoidable. Make sure to never weld without a helmet.

Our Recommendation: Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

This welding helmet is a great all-around option. The construction of its lens allows for a clear view without sacrificing any of the eye protection, not to mention its lightweight build and wide variety of available colors and prints. 

Welding Jacket

Leather Welding Work Jacket by QeeLink - Flame-Resistant Heavy Duty Split Cowhide Leather (Medium)

What is it for?

A jacket is another essential piece of safety equipment. Not only is it important to keep your upper body covered to avoid burns from UV rays, welding jackets are also specially designed to keep you protected from sparks, heat, and metal spatter. Without a jacket, you risk painful burns from sparks and molten metal; it’s not fun!

Our Recommendation: Leather Welding Work Jacket by QeeLink

This is a durable, high quality welding jacket that will get the job done in terms of keeping you safe. Made out of leather, along with other heat-resistant components, it is an affordable option that can be used for any project that requires a heavy-duty jacket. And it has a clean, timeless look to boot.  

Welding Gloves

KH641 Gray, Commercial, Welding Gloves

What is it for?

Much like the last two items, gloves are essential for preventing burns during the welding process. Because of how close your hands come to heat and electricity when welding, gloves are also needed to protect against electric shock and provide a firm grip.

Our Recommendation: KH641 Gray, Commercial, Welding Gloves

Luckily, welding gloves don’t have to be too expensive, and these will get the job done for a great price. Made of leather with kevlar stitching, they’re durable, and they will keep your hands safe from burns. What more do you need?

Safety Glasses

Bolle Safety Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses, Scratch-Resistant, Black

What is it for?

Safety glasses are another piece of safety equipment that every welder should have. Many people wear these glasses underneath their helmets when arc welding as an extra precaution against metal spatter and sparks. They are also great to have for cutting or brazing with an oxy-acetylene torch. This kind of work does not emit the same level of ultraviolet radiation as arc welding, and thus does not usually require a full welding helmet. Glasses are still essential for eye protection, however, and should always be used. 

Our Recommendation: Bolle Safety Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses

Bolle’s safety glasses are affordable, well-designed, and will give you all the eye protection you need, whether you are wearing them under your helmet, or by themselves while using a torch. The adjustable elastic strap is great for making sure they never fall off. 

Welding Machine

Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i Welder, 120V, Green

What is it for?

And here it is – the actual welding machine. This will be the core piece of gear in your setup, so it is important to choose one carefully. While there are a few different types of arc welding, they all use an arc to melt a base metal and a weld metal into a molten pool, which fuses the two metals together as it cools. One of the most common types of arc welding is called metal inert gas (MIG) welding. In this type of welding, the electrode used to generate the arc is a wire that melts in the process, acting as a filler metal in the fusion of the metals being welded. 

Our Recommendation: Forney Easy Weld 261

Forney’s Easy Weld 261 is a fantastic entry-level welder, and is definitely worth checking out for anyone getting started with welding. One of the great things about this machine is its weight, at only 19 pounds, which makes it easy to transport. The quality of the build is high as well, and its user friendliness, price point, and output make it a top contender. 

Angle Grinder

Dewalt DCG412B 20V MAX* Lithium Ion 4-1/2” grinder (Tool Only)

What is it for?

An angle grinder, which uses a spinning disc to grind or cut through metal, is a versatile tool that has applications in a number of different welding scenarios. Most commonly, welders use these tools to cut, clean, and polish metal. Different discs perform different functions; for example, sanding or cleaning a piece of metal would require a different disc than cutting.  

Our Recommendation: Dewalt DCG412B 20V MAX* Lithium Ion 4-1/2” grinder

It’s hard to go wrong with Dewalt tools, and this angle grinder is no exception. It is powerful and conveniently battery powered, making it a great option for newer welders. It should have enough power for whatever you throw at it, and at a good price point for the quality you get.


Hobart 770150 MIG Multi-Function Welding Pliers

What is it for?

One of the most versatile tools in general, pliers also prove very useful for welding. Adjusting your welder’s nozzle, cutting or bending your wire, and removing metal spatter from your welder are just a few of the most common uses for pliers while welding.

Our Recommendation: Hobart 770150 MIG Multi-Function Welding Pliers

While your old pair of needle-nose pliers may perform some of the functions you need them to, you will be better off buying a pair designed specifically for MIG welding. These Hobart pliers have a number of welding-specific functions: they cut wire, have a hole for adjusting your welder nozzle, and are shaped specifically to be able to remove spatter. 

Marking Tools

Flat White Soapstone Pens 27 Pack Soapstone Refills Professional Quality for Welders & Textile Marking Tools Perfect for Making Removable Markings on Steel Cast Iron

What is it for?

Like in most types of construction, using exact measurements and marking them is often essential for welding projects. The heat and materials used in welding, however, make this aspect a bit more tricky. Pencil does not show up clearly on steel and other metals, and chalk burns up when exposed to high temperatures. For this reason, welders use soapstone to create their markings. Soapstone functions much like chalk, except it is able to withstand the heat from a welder, ensuring that you always know where you marked off your measurements. 

Our Recommendation: Flat White Soapstone Pens 27

There isn’t a lot of variation when it comes to choosing soapstone to buy. This pack of 27 will get the job done and last for a while, which is all you need. The only consideration to keep in mind is the size of your holder, should you choose to use one. 

Welding Wire

Blue Demon E71TGS .035 X 2# Spool Gasless Flux Core Welding Wire

What is it for?

As we noted earlier, MIG welding uses a consumable electrode, meaning that the wire creating the arc is consumed in the process, melting and becoming a filler metal. Because of this, you will need to buy replacement wire periodically. 

Our Recommendation: Blue Demon E71TGS .035 X

Blue Demon makes a nice .035 welding wire, which is compatible with the Forney welding machine mentioned above. This wire is not too expensive and will do nicely to create quality welds. Make sure that your wire is the right size for your welding machine. 

Welding Magnets

4Pcs 25LB Arrow Welding Magnets – 3" Magnetic Welding Clamps Holder Metal Working Mig Tools and Equipment Workshop Magnet Welding Welder

What is it for?

Welding magnets are strong magnets used to hold metal pieces in place before they are joined together. This can be useful in a variety of situations when you need free use of your hands, but also need your pieces to stay together. 

Our Recommendation: 4Pcs 25LB Arrow Welding Magnets – 3″ Magnetic Welding Clamps Holder

This set of magnets is strong and perfect for beginner welding jobs. Their shape allows for pieces to be held together at a range of different angles. These are a great tool to have, and you never know when you may need them.

Welding Ground Clamps

What is it for?

US Forge Welding Heavy Duty Bronze Ground Clamp 300 Amps

If you have ever done any electrical work, you should be familiar with the concept of grounding. Arc welding works through electricity, and as a result, it is necessary to ground your circuit. Grounding reduces the danger of electric shock while also ensuring that the electricity flowing through your welder and other equipment is correct, making for quality welds without any unforeseen variables. Make sure the ground clamp you use is rated to withstand the correct amount of electricity to avoid overheating. 

Our Recommendation: US Forge Welding Heavy Duty Bronze Ground Clamp

When it comes to equipment like grounding clamps, it is important to buy something that will last. This clamp is incredibly sturdy and rated for 300 amps. It should last you a long time, and prevent problems from improper grounding.


That might seem like a lot of equipment, but being well-equipped is important when it comes to welding. Make sure to get the right tools, especially the safety gear, before you start working. This guide should give you a good idea of the basics you’ll need to begin and set you up with some solid options. The rest is up to you – time to get welding!

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