Which Welding Cart is Right for you?
It’s no secret that the machines used for welding and plasma cutting are often quite heavy and a chore to move around. While there are some great portable plasma cutters and welders on offer, it’s still much more natural and less strain on the back to move them around using a welding cart. Doubly so when talking about some of the more massive machines used for heavy duty use.
A quality welding trolley should ideally be sized to fit most welders/plasma cutters, be made of durable, durable materials, including space for gas tanks and a storage tray for accessories and smaller equipment. Today we’ll be going over the top 3 plasma cutter carts and welder carts on the market.
1) Best Overall – Hot Max WC100
We loved using this cart from the get-go. Assembly was relatively easy and took only about 30 minutes – surprisingly since all the other carts took us a bit longer. The end result was a well-constructed steel cart which was remarkably heavy-duty. We tried fitting in a couple of plasma cutters and welders we had on site, and they all fit without any problems. There’s also plenty of space on the trolley for all our welding accessories. Couldn’t ask for anything more from a welding cart!
Comes with a strong, steel handle on the front of the cart which doesn’t get in the way of leads or wiring. Very robust.
There’s space at the back of the trolley for gas tanks and safety chains to keep them in place. This is a very well thought-out cart overall.
This is important: the cart will hold a welder or a plasma cutter, but not both at once. It’s simply not large enough for that. If you need to cart around 2 machines at once, the Eastwood might be a better option.
This cart is good value for money, is sturdy, durable and well engineered to hold your welding machine and accessories as well as a gas tank if needed. Unfortunately, it’s a little on the small side for those needing to cart around 2 computers, so be aware. We were very impressed with the cart, the assembly was straightforward and quick, and the trolley’s handlebars are sturdy and positioned comfortably.
2) Best Value – MIG TIG Plasma Cutter/Welding Cart
When correctly assembled, this cart is very sturdy and reliable. This is important as not all plasma cutter carts are as safe as this one. Regarding size, one can refer to this model as a medium-sized cart, meaning other vehicles are much larger and some that are much smaller. The size of this cart fits nicely in most areas that are used for plasma cutting.
This plasma cutter cart, while solid and sturdy, is easy to move about, using quality wheels and a handle that is easy to guide. The vehicle can hold accessories such as gloves, helmets, etc. This cart is very affordable, making it our top pick regarding low price/value and includes three shelves for easy storage of supplies, with 18″ x 10.5″ top deck; cart holds 9.5″-diameter tank and has a built-in cylinder rack. Also includes heavy duty casters (2 fixed, 2 swivels). Cart measures 28″-L x 12″-W x 28″-H,100 lb. Weight capacity.
This welder cart may not be suitable for extra large plasma cutters or larger tanks.
The enclosed assembly instructions are not written very well (poor English), but most people will be able to assemble the cart without much problem.
This cart is undoubtedly one of the most affordable cutter carts available today. Even though it is one of the cheapest (in price), it offers a great deal of value as it does everything that one needs a plasma cutter cart to do.
It offers easy mobility, even within smaller spaces, allows for easy storage of the cutter’s power source as well as room for a variety of supplies and gear. Solid construction at a meager price; the MIG TIG welding cart is sure to please.
3) Best Quality – Eastwood Welder/Plasma Cutter Cart
The Eastwood Cart is well designed with the plasma cutting professional in mind. Priced right and sturdy construction make this a great option for all those who use plasma cutters and want to be able to move their gear around with ease. The cart has plenty of room for both the power source, as well as accessories.
The cart can carry two welders or a welder and a plasma cutter; there is also a handy shelf for storing consumables or accessories. The vehicle is easy to assemble and includes high-quality wheels.
The Eastwood cart can be a bit wobbly if it is overloaded. Some buyers have mentioned that the vehicle can be hard to navigate through tight aisles or around tight corners.
For the money, this cart is an excellent choice for most plasma cutter/welder users. It can carry plenty of weight, and the construction is superior to other vehicles within this price range.
The Eastwood trolley may not be the best choice for those who need a genuinely heavy-duty, industrial type plasma cutter cart or for those who need to carry a lot of weight on their vehicle. However, for the home user or for those in light fabrication shops, this cart is an excellent option, especially for those who are working on the tight budget but still need a quality plasma cutter cart.
Tools of the Trade for Steel Fabrication
Steel fabrication is arduous work. It requires skill and precision, a solid knowledge of physics and chemistry, and the precise application of some very sophisticated machinery. While steel is a relatively malleable material, there are a few specialized tools of the trade which every fabricator needs on a day to day basis to do their job.
To give a brief insight into the everyday life of a fabricator, here are some of the critical tools of the trade for steel fabrication.
From guillotines to cranes to drills, every steel fabricator uses an array of equipment each day to get the job done. Here are some of the top tools of the trade for steel fabrication.
The guillotine has a dark history dating back to the middles ages, with precursors going back even further. The type that steel fabricators use is little different to what you might imagine though. Also known as a ‘cropper’ or ‘punch and shears,’ the guillotine is mechanically or hydraulically powered and is used to cut plates ready for fabrication. It functions by clamping the steel with a ‘ram’ then cutting it with a moving shear. Steel has an outstanding ‘shearability rating’ and requires much lower energy expenditure to cut than other metals.
Beam drill lines are used to drill and notch steel sections. They are incredibly complex pieces of equipment and provide much faster drilling solutions than manual techniques. They often integrate computer technology to precisely automating where to drill and notch holes in steel beams.
tools of the trade for steel fabrication
Guillotine – Image source
Stick welding refers to manual arc welding that employs electrical currents to lay a weld. These can range from smaller pieces of equipment that can be purchased from local hardware stores too much larger pieces of machinery. MIG, on the other hand, stands for Metal, Inert Gas and uses a wire-feeding ‘gun’ to flow a shielding gas over a weld puddle to deter atmospheric contamination and promote a strong weld.
Oxy-fuel welding refers to a cutting process that involves fuel gases and oxygen to weld metals. Acetylene is one of the most common fuels for oxy-fuel welding and is often the best choice for repairing and welding. A ‘gas ax’ the slang term for an oxyacetylene cutting torch that uses a mixture of oxygen-acetylene to create a scorching flame that can cut thick steel sections.
Cranes are every bit as important for steel fabrication as the tools used for cutting and welding. Overhead cranes are commonly referred to as bridge cranes and differ from the machinery you see on top of skyscrapers. They consist of two parallel beams ‘runways’ with a moving ‘bridge’ to span the gap – a ‘hoist’ (the lifting mechanism of the crane) is attached to the bridge and is used to transport steel sections along the ‘runways.’
Generally referred to as a ‘quickie,’ a plate gas cutting machine is a moving device used to cut long lengths of steel with oxy-fuel. It is mainly made up of three key components: a torch unit used for cutting, a motorized carriage, and a plate track. It is a versatile system that can be altered for different applications, for example using different types of oxy-fuel for different materials.
Though we use numerous tools to cut, welding, bend and transport steel, these are some of the most common you will find in and steel fabrication workplace.
If you’d like to find out more about steel fabrication or if you are considering steel for construction purposes and would like a professional opinion, we can help. Our team of experts has the experience and knowledge to answer any of your questions and will ensure that you find the best solution to suit your needs. To contact us today, directly call fax, email for information or a steel fabrication quote, or drop by our Mordialoc location.
A similar blog post we wrote:
Australian General Engineering is a Melbourne based General Engineering business that provides a comprehensive range of complete sheet metal fabrication Services