Get a Chipping Hammer for a Student


A welding chipping hammer is very important if you are looking for high quality and clean weld all the time. No matter how good you are at welding, if it is not clean, then it may not pass inspection. While many people know that they need to buy a welding hammer, they do not really give much thought to the whole thing. They just buy the next one that they find in the market.

After my daughter decided that she would pursue welding as her career choice, much to my joy and to the chagrin of her mom who wanted her to do something more “feminine,” I wanted to buy her a few times before she left for college. I have been in this business for many years now, and one thing that I know is that a man is as good as his tools.

Small tools to start a welding career

Among some of the tools that I am planning to buy for my daughter include the best small wire cutters. These are important for making clean cuts on small wires. Rather than try to do this with a pair of pliers, which may fray the edges and affect the quality of the wire, I want her to use the right tool for the job.

The second item is a welding hammer. As I was looking for one, I found that these come in all sizes, styles and shapes. In fact, there is quite a wide variety such that a person can be a bit confused about the best one to pick. Thus, it requires some footwork to get the best one.

Since this is not the same chipping hammer that you would use for chopping on rock, well, you know, like in the movie The Shawshank Redemption, you need to choose the best one. Remember, it will be used on metal, so it had better be of the best quality.

What is the best weld chipping hammer

If you can, look for a drop forged welding hammer. Drop forging is the process of heating metals to red hot status and then hitting them into any shape that you want. This same method was used centuries ago to make knights’ swords. Such a hammer would be of very high quality and would last a long time. It will definitely cost more, but it will be worth everything that you pay for it.

You might be looking for a small welding hammer. However, do not make it so small such that you have a hard time holding it, or you put your hands in danger any time you have to hit at a corner weld. 12 inches of size is deemed ideal.

Consider also the weight of the hammer. Too heavy is not good for your wrists especially when you have a hefty welding job. However, too light is also not good as you need some good weight to beat the weld to clean it. The least weight that you should consider for your welding hammer is 12 oz.

The handle material should be considered keenly. Wood is good but rubber is even better since it is anti-slip and long lasting. Then there are spring grips that do a good job of absorbing the vibrations.

After much deliberation, I decided to order the following two chipping hammers for welding, one for my daughter and the other for myself.

US Forge Welding Hammer

US Forge 99300

This one is made of steel for both the spring grip, the shaft and even the head. It is without doubt one of the longest lasting welding hammers in the market. This hammer is shaped into a pointy end on one end and a chisel on the other side. You will find them both quite handy at various points in your welding career.

Pros

  • Absorbs vibrations very well
  • It is quite durable
  • Drop forged and heat treated head makes it good
  • Looks quite stylish and futuristic

Cons

  • A bit light, only best for light-duty welding jobs

Estwing Big Blue welding chipping hammer

Estwing Big Blue E3 - WC

This is a drop forged steel hammer, which assures you of durability and total usefulness. It is drop-forged as one large piece and so without joints, you will find that it can last a long time. The length of the hammer is 11 inches. The handle is made of thick rubber, which does a good job of absorbing the vibrations. Once you see it, you will agree that this is the best welding chipping hammer.

Pros

  • Can be used for professional jobs
  • Comfortable rubber grip
  • Made of high quality drop-forged steel
  • Good length to keep your hands safe

Cons

  • Though it tries, the rubber still allows some vibrations

Learn How to Use It

My daughter has picked up welding as her career of choice. For a parent like me who has always loved doing things with own hands, there is no better result than this. However, I have had to answer a barrage of questions every now and then about how to use some of the tools. This time around, she has bought a wire cutter and she does not know how to use it, so I guess I will be helping her with a demonstration. But before that, I will share with you the tips on how to use a wire cutter.

When you buy a wire cutter, you will find that it looks like a pair of pliers, but it is not exactly the same. While you can cut wires using a pair of pliers, the wire cutter does it much better. However, you will only be able to cut the wires faster and do a clean job if you learn how to use the wire cutter.

Here is how to use a wire cutter:

Know how it works

Wire tool picture

If you do not know how a wire cutter works, then you cannot know how to use it. Of course, we all know that it cuts wires. But how? In a very simple way. You have your wire on the one hand and on the other hand, the pair of wire cutters. So you pull the cutters open, same way you would a pair of scissors, insert the wire between them and then pull the levers together. You will find that the force that you need to cut a wire will depend on the thickness of the wire.

Types of wire cutters

There are different types of wire cutters. Indeed, the type of cut that you get depends on the type of wire cutter that you use. With some cutters, you can get a flat cut, while some will give you  pointed cut. So do not worry too much if you see a pointed cut. Just know that you have the type of cutter that makes pointed cuts. Beveled-edge cutters give a pointed cut and they are best used when you want to cut spikes from the wire.

We have the semi-flush cutters that give an almost flat cut. You will find these cutters a useful tool for applying great force. They may require more effort as they have to cut more bluntly than the beveled-edge cutters.

Finally, we have the flush cutters. You can guess from their name that they cut flushly, giving you straight cuts all through.

Avoid pinching your fingers

Hand holding tool for cutting

Wire cutters may require you to apply more force. However, one disadvantage of this is that as the handles come together, you could pinch your fingers. To prevent this, you should look for wire cutters with a bigger grip span, say, about 3.5 inches. Even when you press them to the end, there will still be enough room for your fingers.

Cutting safely

Never cut wires when they are plugged in. Also, when cutting, ensure the wire cutter is straight so that you can make a 90-degree cut. Such is important for avoiding the formation of frays, which are dangerous and hamper the conductivity of the wire.

Choose Welding Now!

While woodwork lovers swear against welding saying that metal is cold and unlively, people that love welding can never change their jobs for anything. After all, this is the brand opportunity for you to create something from scratch and then watch it come to life slowly and surely. 

Having come from a long line of welders, from my grandfather, my father and his brothers and now to me, I know what you can create with metal. One minute, you could be having a dead metal rod lying at your feet and in an hour, you can have it alive and valuable.

Whenever I have an opportunity to advise career seekers, I find that I have a lot of good things to say about this trade. If you have been dilly-dallying between making a choice to take up welding or discard the idea, well, here are a few good reasons why you should become a welder.

There are many job opportunities

Picture of a welder

When you are a welder, you will have job opportunities right, left and center. You see, almost every company, irrespective of what it deals with needs a welder. And then there are the thousands of garages where a lot of welding takes place. But you do not have to limit yourself to such choices. You can even work in a shipyard, where you can dive and do welding at the same time.

You may also work on an oil rig as a welder, a production line, pipe fitter and many more. Tell you what … there are so many welding jobs but there are not enough welders to fill them all.

You can set up your own business

Instead of being employed, you can go into business for yourself and start a welding workshop. You can even start it in your basement or garage. It will require some capital, but once you have it running, you will find it more profitable being in business for yourself than being employed. 

Welding is very exciting

The reason why welding is so exciting is that it requires much more than just joining two pieces of metal together or cutting them to size. You see, welding requires you to use your brain a lot. In most cases, you will have to know how to read and interpret blueprints, designs and drawings on paper and turn them into actual objects. This is a pretty intricate job that requires a smart person. Thus, if you are smart, you should consider studying welding and making a career out of it.

You can get a job that allows you to travel to various places

Man with protective gears doing metal works

Just imagine being employed as a welder on a cargo ship and getting the opportunity to tour many places as you work. This is more like being paid to do your hobby. Whether you look for work on an oil tanker, a cattle ship, a container ship or on any other vessel, you will travel the world. 

The pay is good

That is why we work – money, right? Thus, when you choose a job that you love and you get paid for it, you are happy. For example, in California, welding salaries start at $35,500. There is a lot of career growth too. You could rise to chief technician, quality controller and more positions. Higher position means more responsibility and more money.