Are you ready to weld some metal together? If so, you should first know how to prepare the metal for the task at hand. Sometimes, you might want to make a small cut somewhere to make welding easier, or you need to make a large, deep cut for other purposes. Regardless, being able to prepare metal is key to a successful welding job. Without it, all welding jobs will end up sub-par.

That being said, here are the various ways metal can be prepped for welding:

1. With a Band Saw

Band saws are very commonly used to cut and shape metal. This is because they are easy to use and are very versatile (you can cut just about anything). They are also very affordable, which is great for anyone who does not want to spend a lot on a power tool.

You should note that band saws cut a thin layer of metal at the same time. This can be an issue if you try to cut through a thick piece of metal. The blade might get dull, and it can be risky to use. Also, a band saw does not cut a nice, flat surface. This is unfortunate, as it might take a lot of time to manually grind the surface flat. This might not be an issue for some projects, but you should know that band saws are not the best option for cutting large pieces of metal.

2. With a Chop Saw

Chop saws are a lot like band saws except they have a coolant pump. This makes the metal cool just a little bit faster which means you can cut faster. They also have an automatic blade sharpener which keeps your blades sharp and ready for use.

Chop saws are even more versatile than band saws and you can use them for nearly anything. They can cut through metal, wood, and stones. This makes them very handy to have around the house. They can be used for a variety of projects and will save you a lot of time compared to having to do it by hand.

3. With a Plasma Cutter

Plasma cutters are very powerful tools, and probably the best for cutting through thicker pieces of metal. If you need to cut through metal more than 3 millimeters thick, a plasma cutter is the way to go. They are incredibly fast and will end up cutting through the metal quickly and efficiently.

The only downside to using a plasma cutter is that they have a bit of a learning curve. You need to understand how the machine works, and you need to know how to properly use it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be time-consuming. Also, the sound of the machine can be a bit scary, so you have to be comfortable with dealing with loud noises while you work with the machine. Regardless, professional welders use plasma cutters to cut thick metal all the time, so if you can master them, you will be able to cut through anything.

Conclusion

There are many other tools that one can use to properly prepare metal for weldings, such as angle grinders, wire brushes, solvents, and even sandpaper. Despite that, the three ways we’ve shared are great ways to help you prep metal for different purposes, and mastering them will allow you to make the most out of your welding efforts!

KGS Steel Nashville offers full-line structural steel and carbon steel services in the US. If you are looking for a reliable metal supplier to give you the quality metal you need for good welding jobs, work with us today!