Metalworking is the process of transforming metal into various tools and objects. It mainly includes molding, drilling, casting, and other metal fabrication processes that require a set of tools to make useful tools, parts, and structures. A fabricator must know what tools he needs to achieve the desired result.
If you are a beginner in the metalworking industry, this guide can help you know about the essential metalworking tools.
Whether molding, drilling, casting, welding, or cutting, every metal fabrication process requires specific metal cutting tools to accomplish the task. An angle grinder, hacksaw, drill press, and bandsaw are some common metalworking tools.
Following are the essential metalworking tools for beginners-
A bandsaw is an essential tool in metalworking. It is more effective than the cut-off wheel. A band saw is used to cut curves in the thick wood. They are also perfect for cutting irregular shapes and cutting small pieces. Make sure you have a standard metal-cutting bandsaw to get the desired cut.
When working with heavy metal wire, you need to cut the ends of the wires constantly, and without the right wire cutting tools, this becomes very difficult. It would help if you had an end-cutting plier that could easily cut the hard edges of the wires. These end-cutting pliers reduce your hard efforts and will not let you get tired.
Laser technology is a revolutionary change in the metal fabrication industry. The invention of laser cutting machines and plasma arc cutters made metal cutting easier. Laser cutting ensures a more consistent and precise cut throughout your project. Plasma arc cutting is limited to cutting electrically conductive materials. However, it can also cut structural steel and alloys.
A beginner who has never welded before can use a flux core welder tool. It is simple and easy to use as compared to other welding tools. It works similar to a MIG welder, except you don't need to use any shielding, such as an inert gas.
A hacksaw is the best hand tool to cut metal. Hacksaws are commonly used to cut short metal rods and sheet stock. A hacksaw is a simple tool that is easy to use and portable. Saw blades have small sharp teeth to cut metal pipes, rods, and brackets effectively. You can also use them to cut plastic and wood. You can start your metal cutting journey with a hacksaw.
A drill press is a drilling tool used to make holes. The drill press works with drill bits to drill through wood, plastics, and metals. However, there is a difference between wood and metal drill bits. You have to choose from different drill bits according to your project. Use a paddle drill bit to drill rough holes in wood, a Forstner bit to drill precise and smooth holes, and an auger drill bit to drill deep holes.
An angle grinder is a metal grinding tool used to grind and polish metals. It is also used to cut metal into different forms. The selection of the proper angle grinder attachment (such as grinding wheel, flap disc, abrasive disc) depends on the type of metalwork you are working on.
A welder machine is used to join metal parts together, and this process is called the welding process. The welding process involves melting the metals first and then fusing metals with fillers.
A lathe is a machining tool primarily used for shaping metal and wood. This cutting tool performs multiple tasks such as drilling, sanding, metal cutting, and turning. It is most common among various metalworking tools.
Cut-off wheels or abrasive cutting wheels are designed with high-quality coarse/medium special abrasive grains. These wheels are perfect for cutting stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, and other metals.
A grinding wheel is an abrasive wheel with thousands of cutting edges on its surface. The grinding wheel is made with an abrasive material. This wheel is used for grinding, abrasive cutting, and machining operations. Grinding wheels are perfect for heavy stock removal, rough mixing, and surface grinding applications.
A flap disc is an angle grinder attachment made of several layers of overlapping abrasive called "flaps". The flap disc is mainly used for grinding and finishing welds, deburring, and rust removal. Flap disc is also applicable for ferrous & non-ferrous materials and is ideal for conforming and shaping metal.
The flap wheel is the most useful tool in metalworking. Flap wheels are used for grinding and finishing hard-to-reach areas such as the inside of pipes and tubes. Flap wheels are made of multiple abrasive sheets fixed to a core for deburring, cleaning, polishing, and finishing operations in metalworking applications.
A sanding belt or grinding belt is an abrasive tool used for high-speed sanding of flat surfaces. The sanding belt is coated with a sharp-edged aluminum oxide abrasive grain for more effective sanding of material. The grinding belt is perfect for general purpose grinding, deburring, sanding, and polishing ferrous or non-ferrous metals. They are also used on plastics and wood.
Chop saw wheel is a metal cutting tool used to cut metal, tiles, concrete, and wood. It is also known as the grinding wheel or abrasive saw. They are designed with high-performance aluminum oxide grain for long life and fast cutting.
Carbide burr is a deburring tool used for deburring, shaping, and enlarging holes. Choosing the right carbide burr set depends on the material you want to shape. Tungsten carbide rotary burrs are commonly used on metals, including steel, chrome steel, and aluminum. They are perfect for fast removing excess metal material and cleaning welds.
A surface conditioning disc is a multi-purpose abrasive tool made from nylon and high-quality abrasive grains. These discs are available in various grades and sizes and are perfect for cleaning, blending, deburring, and metal finishing. Surface conditioning discs are widely used in the automotive, maintenance, aviation, and machinery industries.
Now that you know about the essential metalworking tools required for different fabrication processes make sure you know how to use them and take proper care of them.