My 10 Favorite Home Fabrication Tools 7


Hi all. It is no secret that I love tools. So I thought I would write up a quick article on my top ten favorite home metal fabrication tools.

1. My Hobart Mig Welder – A staple of the Home Metal Fab Shop is the MIG welder. I have this Hobart Handler 180 since 2006. This is my go-to tool. MIG welders are easy to use and versatile. They will weld all projects that are ferrous (iron) steel. This machine and process are also known as GMAW Gas Metal Arc Welding.

They have since upgraded the model to a Hobart Handler 190 with SpoolRunner 100. The 190 has more power level options and comes with the Spool Runner 100 which you can load aluminum wire into and weld aluminum! (I really wish mine had this…)

IMG_5127

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2. My Metabo 7-Inch Angle Grinder – This is probably my second most used tool in the garage. This is a monster 7″ grinder that has the horsepower to make quick work of grinding and smoothing metals.

 Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

3. My heavy metal welding bench – I bet this thing weighs over 400lbs with all of the junk I have bolted and stored on it. The advantage of working on a metal bench is that while welding or plasma cutting you can simply hook the ground clamp to the table as long as the project you are working on is on the table or in the vice.

 Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

4. My Big 6-Inch Shop Vise – It is probably older than I am. But with it firmly bolted to my heavy metal work bench I can bend and bang on all kinds of projects without the table or vice moving around.

 Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

5. My 4.5″ grinder – This is my Black & Decker 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder. Absolutely nothing special, I got ~6 years ago and it is still kicking to this day (I am NOT nice to it either). Goes to show you that you don’t have to buy the biggest/best/most expensive tools to get projects done. Notice I have a flap disk on this grinder.

 Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

It is useful to have both a 4.5″ and 7″ grinder or even two 4.5″ grinders so I can keep a grinding wheel on one then use the other for sanding disks, flap disks, or cutoff wheels.

6. My combo Everlast 250EX AC DC TIG Stick Pulse Welder – I bought this off-brand combo unit back in college. I really wanted the capability to do all of the different welding and cutting processes without spending a bunch of money. This Everlast machine has really done well for me over the years. It is neat that it is a combo machine, but it takes 10-20 minutes to switch between processes and get all of the settings correct. So, mostly I have just kept it as a plasma cutter and occasionally convert it over to TIG welding.

Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

7. My Tubing Bender – More info on my tubing bender here: Tools of the Trade!: Tubing Benders

 Tubing Bender

8. My air compressor – I didn’t invest in a large air compressor until just a couple of years ago. Knowing now how useful they are, I should have gotten one a long time ago. It could have easily paid for itself in being able to buy cheap air tools instead of expensive battery powered tools. This unit is a 30 Gallon capacity 3 cylinder air compressor that runs off of a 220V plug.

Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

9. My Chop Saw – Though I use it less than I used to since I now have a plasma cutter, the chop saw is another one of the standard fab shop tools that make cutting all kinds of tubing down to length. There are some very affordable chop saws with free shipping available on Amazon.

 Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

10. My VISE-GRIP Locking C-Clamps– Don’t underestimate these welding vice grips. They are handy. There is a reason I keep them right next to the welding table, because I use them almost every time I am working on a project. The C – shape allows you to clamp objects that aren’t flat or are irregular shaped.

 Ten Favorite Home Metal Fabrication Tools

Well, that is a quick summary of my top 10 favorite DIY Home Fabrication tools. Of course I have a lot more than ten, but we will have to save the rest for another day.


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7 thoughts on “My 10 Favorite Home Fabrication Tools

  • Laurel Larsen

    I enjoyed reading all about your tools in this article! I never would have guessed that your go-to tool was a welder! What kinds of projects do you get done with it? I am interested in getting into welding myself. Thanks for sharing.

    • Paul Post author

      Thanks for the comment Laurel! I am glad you liked the article.

      Best thing to do if interested in welding is to either buy a cheap unit or borrow one from a friend and just get started. Don’t expect your first project to be perfect, as with anything it takes practice.

  • Hazel Owens

    I’m surprised that your shop vise is probably old than you are, but I suppose things were built to last back in the day. It’s good to be able to work on steel fabrication without having to worry about the project moving around. Having a sturdy bench and a good clamp definitely make working with steel a lot easier. Thanks for the article!

  • Brendan Bordin

    Hey great share……

    I really loved your post. Great list of tools!! Your article actually depicts that how much you love these tools. I completely agree that if you are looking for a great way to save time and effort during your construction or carpentry project, purchasing an air compressor is the best choice.

    Thanks for sharing this post.
    Cheers!!

  • Tara Allen

    Steel fabrication tools seem like an excellent way to to shape metal the way that you want it. I am amazed at all the tools there are that you can use to shape metal effectively. It continually impresses me how many things can be fabricated through the usage of welding.

  • Kendall Everett

    It’s interesting that you mentioned how you love having a welder. Having a welder is a great tool to create what you need with metal like you mentioned. If you don’t have a welder, outsourcing that work may be one way to get the work done that you need.