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Using clamps for securing workpieces during welding has been the standard forever. However, clamps take time to position and don't always work well. That's where welding magnets come in.
Welding magnets offer a faster setup, and with preformed angles, makes it easier to get it right the first time. I use a lot of different styles of magnets. Some are better than others, so in this post I'll try and show you the best magnets I use and why.
The Best Selectable Welding Magnets
A selectable magnet allows you to turn the magnetism on or off. We bought these and have been using them for a while. They are awesome to work with, fit into tight spaces and stay fairly clean by turning them off.
MagSwitch Mini Multi Angle Tools
The Magswitch Mini Multi Angle magnet is my absolute favorite on/off magnet. The price is a little more than a normal magnet set, but is worth it to me. You'll like the multiple angles, strength and clean setup.
On/Off with easy to rotate switch
Offer multiple angles 45, 60, 75, 90, 105, 120, and 135
Come in multiple strengths for different applications
Good for flat stock, round stock, and tube
keeping the metal shavings off of the magnet.
knob for on/off operation is easier on arthritic hands.
easy angle finding for 7 different angles.
Best Adjustable Angle Welding Magnet:
If you're like me and design as you go, you'll appreciate an adjustable angle magnet.
Strong Hand Tools Angle Magnetic Square
Strong Hand Tools makes some quality metal fabrication tools. Their angle magnet square is a must have if you're one of those design as you go fabricators. Sometimes you're not sure what angle it will be until you hold your stock in position.
The Strong Hand Tools Angle Welding magnet will hold any angle from 30 to 270.
- 30 - 270 angles
- 33lb holding force
- 6" holding surface for each leg of the angle.
- Design as you go fabrication.
Best Budget Welding Magnets:
If you're on a limited budget like most of us DIYers, you can get more bang for your buck with a descent set of budget friendly arrow magnets.
Tool Rock 4" 50lb Arrow Magnets
The Tool Rock 4" set of arrow magnets is a bargain. You get 4 magnets with 50lbs of holding force. I buy these every so often from Amazon when ordering other stuff.
With the free shipping and wallet friendly price, you can't beat this magnet set.
- 50lbs of holding force
- 45, 90, and 135 angles
- Those on a tighter budget.
Buyer’s guide: features to consider when buying welding magnets
Angles the magnet offers-
You'll want to get all the angles that you think you'll need. If you're not sure, an adjustable may be the best option for you.
Always on or On/Off switch?
You don't have to have an on/off magnet. Having one is nice for easy setup and clean up. It really depends on your budget.
Depending on your application, you may get away with lighter magnets. For me, I always go with 50lbs of force or more.
A magnet that's covered will generally hold up better than an open one. Taking care of your yours by only tack welding while using it will keep it lasting longer for open magnets.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can welding magnets be used for ground connection?
The short answer is no. A regular welding magnet isn't rated for the amperage. There are some made that are designed to be used as a ground. You just need to ensure the amperage is rated for your machine and application.
Magswitch makes them in a 300, 600 and 800 amp rating. Way faster setup and easier than clamps on certain stocks where clamps won't fit.
How to get metal shavings off a magnet?
There are basically two ways to remove metal shavings and dust form your magnet. The first way is to blow them off with compressed air. Just be sure to watch where you're blowing the shavings off and wear eye protection.
The second way is to use sticky tape to pull off the shavings. This is a cleaner, yet more expensive way of cleaning them. I generally blow them off first to remove the bulk of the shavings. After that, I'll use duct tape to finish it off.
Do welding magnets with an on/off switch use any battery?
No, most magnets with an on/off switch do not use batteries. They're a mechanical magnet. There are some magnets that use electricity to energize them, however those aren't typically used in home welding shops.
What do welding magnets do?
Welding magnets secure your work pieces in position long enough for you to tack weld the pieces into position. Once tacked, you can remove the magnets for final welding of your project.
A welding magnet is another option to secure your work instead of a clamp. Clamps can be aggravating to use in certain layouts. A magnet will make setup quicker and easier in most cases.
There are different types of welding magnets. If you like the on/off feature, then you'll like the Magswitch brand. Strong Hand Tools makes awesome on/off magnets as well.
If you are a design as you go type fabricator, go with the Strong Hand Tools adjustable magnet. It's a little cheaper than the Magswitch and gives you a little more flexibility.
If you are on a budget like me, then get the arrow magnets are an excellent price. If you can afford it, order a combination of all three styles. It's what I have and works great for me.
Hopefully this post has shown you what is available for welders for stock positioning. Be sure to check out some of our other articles on welding tools.
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