If you own a metal works shop, there are some tools that you just can't live without. They make the job quicker, easier, and ultimately more efficient. Check out these seven tools that any self-described shop geek needs to have in their workplace.
Cordless Compact Band Saw: Band saws are great, but they're even better when they're cordless and portable. For those spaces that are overhead, in-place, or just really hard to get to, reach for a compact band saw to get the job done. Most models can deliver clean cuts on everything from strut to angled iron to threaded rod.
Floor Drill Press: The best floor drill presses make even the toughest of metalworking projects a breeze. Look for drill presses that feature multiple spindle speeds with quick adjustment times (accomplished by high-quality ball bearings) and include a drill chuck and key with purchase.
Electric Pipe Threader: There's nothing metalworkers hate more than having to constantly feed oil in order to cool threads while trying to focus on the project at hand. Luckily, electric pipe threaders feature automatic oil feeders, making it ideal for quick installation of small water or gas pipes. If you're in the construction business, look for threaders with attachable wheel kits for added mobility.
Tubing Notcher: If you're like most metalworkers, you're constantly assembling and welding tubing in your workshop. Tube notchers improve this process dramatically, with most units able to make tube notches in just a few seconds.
Pneumatic Planishing Hammer: If metal fabrication is more your thing, a planishing hammer is a must. Before buying, do your research for hammers that have maximum throat capacity for large project pieces, as well as inline pressure regulators and hammerheads that can adjust to multiple positions.
Lathe: Lathes come in all shapes and sizes these days, and many can accomplish more than just milling. Keep a look out for combination sets that mill, drill, and include a variety of accompanying parts including a three-jaw chuck, pressing wrench and wedge.
Belt and Disc Sander: Sanders are the workhorses of any shop, and it's worth investing in a quality one. The best belt sanders feature power takeoffs and optional flex shafts, which mean that you can do anything from drum sanding to basic deburring. Many also feature a disc sander combination option which allows for the completion of larger projects in half the time it would normally take.Share