The 8 Tools You Need to Start Metalworking

gloved hands smoothing metal with die grinder

They say that you’re only as good as your tools, no matter what you’re trying to do. And when it comes to metalworking, that is definitely true. Without the right tools, you aren’t going to be able to do a whole lot with any type of metal. Get the tools you need and start getting excited. Soon, you’re going to be a pretty expert metalworker!

Metalworking Tools

If you’re going to work with metal, fill your shop with the tools that can get the job done. You need tools for cutting, shaping, forming and bending different metals. Get the basic tools you need to get some real metalworking done and soon, you’ll be able to build whatever you need!

Ball Peen Hammer

It's such a simple tool it's often overlooked, but you're going to need a good hammer to work with metal. A ball-peen hammer should enable you to work with many different metals. If you're going to do a lot of work with steel, upgrade to a bigger hammer, such as a heavy club hammer. Ball peen hammers are pretty straightforward tools that you can find pretty much anywhere. Any tool supplier or hardware store will have a wide selection of ball peen hammers, something all metalworks have probably used at least once.


bandsaw cutting small metal rods

A good bandsaw is essential for any metalworker. This too is great for cutting metal and it's safer to use than some of your other options. Keep your bandsaw well oiled and it will work great for you almost all the time. Bandsaws are large pieces of equipment, so make sure you have the room in your shop even before you buy this tool. The last thing you want is to have this tool sitting around somewhere waiting to be installed.

Press Brake

If you want to bend sheet metal, a press brake is essential. This will help you shape metal to make it exactly as you want it, and that's what metalworking is all about. You will need help moving and placing this tool but once you do, you’ll have many different options for metalworking.


Just shopping for it might make you giggle, but the nibbler is one of the best tools in your whole metalworking arsenal. These tools cut shapes in steel, which is extremely useful. Nibblers can be used all alone or be attached to a drill or air nibbler. Any tool this versatile definitely can’t be overlooked.

Flux Core Welder

gloved hands using welder to connect pipes

If you're going to work with metal, you're going to end up welding. A good flux core welder will help you do what you want to do in your metal shop. It doesn't need gas and it's easy to use, always good traits for any tool. These are heavy-duty tools but metalworking is pretty heavy-duty business.

Die Grinder

After you weld, you have to smooth. A die grinder is the best way to smooth out rough edges from welding. This will give you an even surface to work with. Using attachments, you can also polish the metal when you're done. This tool is exactly what you need to complete beautifully finished metalworking projects.


All the metal you work with won't come in huge rods and sheets. When you're working with smaller pieces of metal or you need to make very exacting cuts, a hacksaw works wonders. This handheld tool doesn’t need any power, gas or anything extra. Hacksaws are powered by your own energy and they're quite effective at cutting sheet, tubing and small rods. This makes the simple hacksaw a true must-have for anyone who wants to work with metal.

Drill Press

drill press drilling holes in metal

Use a drill press to make clean holes in metal. With this tool, you'll find many more possibilities for using metal and creating with metal. Get a drill press and let your imagination take flight.

With the right tools, many new things start to become possible. So start flexing your DIY muscles and see what you can do with metal.