Essential welding kit and why you need it
If you’re here, it’s likely you’re new to welding and can’t wait to get your hands dirty, so to speak. (Side note: always use gloves when you’re welding!) You probably know about some of the essential welding equipment you need to get started. At a bare minimum, for welding you need:
- Welding goggles / helmet
- Welding gloves
- Protective clothing
Getting started welding doesn’t take a huge investment and you’d be amazed at how much you actually do with the bare minimum welding equipment. By making a few smart choices with your first welding equipment, you can cater for a wide range of situations without the need to invest in additional equipment. You’ll probably want to - but that’s a different story!
If you’re anything like us, your welding kit collection may just keep on growing - “I don’t need it, but it’ll come in handy!” is usually how a purchase like that starts. Before you get carried away though, let’s take a look at how some of your first welding equipment purchases can last you for years if you choose wisely.
A plasma cutter produces clean, precise welds, even for those new to welding. It gives you plenty of scope for adjustment; by changing nodes and consumables, you’re well equipped for a wide range of welding projects. The heat from a plasma arc is so intense, there’s barely any slag left for you to clean up - so that’s one less thing for you to worry about!
A portable plasma cutter allows you to weld outside your primary premises, be it your home or workshop. It gives you greater flexibility to enjoy your craft, especially when you consider that this model in particular can run on 220 or 110 volts.
- Cuts through rough, painted and rusty surfaces with minimal slag
- Clean cuts up to ½ inch, max severance ¾ inch
- Built-in non-toxic air compressor
- Built-in handle for easy portability
- Dual voltage / dual frequency
- Ideal for stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper and aluminum
What are the benefits?
The ability to cut through contaminated surfaces with minimal slag = less cleaning for you. Winner! It’ll save you hours in abrasive blasting scrubbing with wire brushes. Not to mention you’ll have the freedom to weld a wider range of materials, especially around the house, and the end result will look better too.
When you’ve got set up for welding, the last thing you need to worry about cables getting in your way. A built-in air compressor means you can breathe easy - literally! - as it’s non-toxic too. So you don’t need to fuss with extra ventilation - which is great news if the majority of your welding time will be spent in the house, shed or garage. There are also fewer plug sockets to worry about, which is always a good thing!
Being able to cut through a range of metals makes this welder perfect for around-the-house jobs, helping save you the time and cost of contractors. The lack of external gas supply means you can focus more on consumables - or other welding accessories.
So what are the benefits of having your own portable welder?
- You can work on projects at your leisure, be it DIY or something creative
- You can weld out and about if you need to
- You can offer simple welding services to earn some extra income and build your experience
Auto-darkening welding goggles are an alternative to a full welding goggles, so you don’t get complete face protection. In some situations that’s an advantage, as you get much better freedom of movement and visibility, where a goggles would be restrictive.
Using a standard lithium-ion battery, these goggles feature auto-darkening technology for your welding convenience. With a range of settings to choose from, these goggles give you the freedom to weld on the go without the need for a bulky helmet. They’re a must-have for welding in cramped environments, be it in a garage, shipyard or even under a car!
- True color technology for better clarity
- Adjustable brightness, sensitivity, and delay
- Panoramic viewing window
- Long battery life
- Compatible with eyeglasses, respirators and welding shield
- Lightweight for convenience
- No need to take them on and off - you can set the sensitivity, brightness, and delay according to the welding application
- Great for welding out and about - less bulky equipment to carry!
- Can be worn with prescription glasses and / or standard hard hats
- Ideal for welding in cramped environments
- Lightweight with a long battery life for convenience
Where to use auto-darkening welding goggles
We have found that our customers use these goggles for specific situations. In other words, they’re not something to use for all your welding applications, just those where a helmet would be cumbersome. It’s best used for small stuff like tack welds and cramped spaces. The settings can be adjusted to suit the environment which is great when you’re just starting out. It frees you up to focus on the job at hand without the risk of damaging your eyes from the weld arc or flash.
You might think you won’t be in a situation where you need welding goggles, especially if you’re planning to weld at home. But trust us, once you get started welding you’ll be actively looking for projects - and we can almost guarantee that you’ll need to work in an awkward space where a welding helmet is more of a hindrance than a help.
Possibly the most essential piece of kit after the welder itself is the welding helmet. It protects your eyes and face from the intense light and heat of the welding arc, giving you more control and allowing you to focus on the weld itself.
Finding the right welding helmet is like finding the right pair of glasses. There are so many to choose from, and what works for someone else may not be the best choice for you. There are tons on the market to choose from and many share similar features. This helmet in particular benefits from the following.
- Complete eye and face protection
- Wide field of vision
- True color clarity
- Auto-darkening lens
- Replacement lenses and battery
- Thick padded headgear for extra comfort
- Various styles and colors available
With true color clarity, you’ll no longer be welding through a lime green tint. A large viewing area gives you a wider field of vision without needing to move your head, which is great for working in smaller spaces and helps you focus on the precision of the weld. An ultra-fast auto-darkening lens protects your eyes from welding flash.
So what does this mean in the real world? For starters, it means you’ll have a great view of your weld without needing to move your head. For a clean and safe weld, that’s essential. Better color also means greater clarity and control for you.
Comfort when welding is important for the safety of the operator and the overall outcome of the weld. This helmet has been designed with comfort in mind, from the ultra-padded headgear down to the wide viewing lens. Again, this translates into better welding results gained through greater control for the operator. Replacement components also mean you’ll never be caught out on a job.
This welding helmet is suitable for use in most environments where you’ll be required to weld, with the exception of small or cramped spaces where a helmet may inhibit the ability to move or see properly.
What welders love about this welding helmet
The true color clarity is a huge hit, and for good reason - it really benefits the overall visibility when welding. Combined with the wide viewing angle and auto-darkening capabilities, you’ve got everything you need to weld in complete comfort and safety, producing great results.
Overall, people are seriously impressed with the quality of this helmet for the price - most models are under $100!
How to choose the right welding equipment
All it takes is a simple search on Google or Amazon and you’ll see that there is so much welding equipment to choose from. Different manufacturers, varying standards, equipment for specific types of welding - it can be a little daunting for those new to the trade. Here are a few tips to help you get started choosing your first pieces of welding kit:
- Do your research on the company and manufacturer
- Read customer reviews on the website, marketplaces (like Amazon) and social media
- Think about what is most important for you before making a purchase: style, price, quality for the money.
- Set a budget that makes sense for yourself.