Tips, Tricks & News

Angle Grinders: The Portable Cleaning and Cutting Powerhouse

Angle Grinders: The Portable Cleaning and Cutting Powerhouse 0

For clean welds, smooth finishes, and quick cutoff work, an angle grinder is an indispensable tool. First designed for clean-up and removing excess material, these versatile tools have found many uses over time due to the handy interchangeability of abrasive and cutting discs. Their portability means you can take the grinding or polishing work to the piece, rather than bringing the piece to the tool. And for quickly cutting through material at the job site, an angle grinder is ideal.
  • Andrew Blatner
Keeping Your Work Space Safe With a Gas Detection Monitor

Keeping Your Work Space Safe With a Gas Detection Monitor 0

Welding is a powerful fabrication method, but it can pose a number of hazards to any metalworker who lacks experience or caution. But one critical hazard that can be overlooked is indeed one you can’t see: toxic gases that can fill up a room without adequate ventilation. Since these gases can be hard to detect with human senses alone, a safe welding environment should make use of a gas detection monitor.
  • Andrew Blatner
The TIG Brush: The Best Way to Clean Your Welds

The TIG Brush: The Best Way to Clean Your Welds 0

Stainless steel is so versatile and durable that it’s not surprising it is so frequently used across numerous industries. It accepts weld readily and can be formed into a near endless array of shapes and serves as a sturdy foundation for structures large and small. Its surface can also be used as an aesthetic choice, so when it is exposed it’s critical that welds are cleaned up for a smooth, visually appealing, and corrosion-resistant finish. While there are a number of common weld cleaning methods, one is the superior choice for most applications: the TIG brush.
  • Andrew Blatner
Official Online Partner for Fronius USA

Official Online Partner for Fronius USA 0 has become the official online store for Fronius welding machines within the United States through our partnership with Fronius USA. We work hard to partner with companies that we believe in, and take pride in offering you the very best in welding technology. If you haven't heard of Fronius yet, let us introduce you. Fronius, while new to the US, is an Austrian company that has been a leader in welding machines and technologies for many years in Europe. Fronius welding machines can do amazing things; They even have a battery-powered stick welder called the AccuPocket, and we carry them in-stock everyday. We carry a lot of great brands on our website, but we exclusively stock Fronius welders because we believe they're the best. You'll find brands like Miller and Lincoln all over the internet, but come to us for your Fronius equipment. You won't be disappointed. If you're serious about welding, Fronius is about to become part of your vocabulary. 
  • Andrew Blatner
How long does the battery last on a Fronius AccuPocket 150?

How long does the battery last on a Fronius AccuPocket 150? 0

This question has been asked more times than I can count; How long does the battery last on a Fronius AccuPocket 150.  WHICH MEANS...Time to get the answer!

I decided it was time to do some research.  First, I went around to our customer service team to see what their answers were.  The answers I received were “it depends on how much force (push) you use while welding”, to “depends on the diameter”, to “call Fronius tech support and see what they say” and then my very favorite “well depends on how hard you want to work”.  Since this obviously did not answer my question, it was time to grab my jacket, helmet and gloves and strike an arc. 

I took a fully charged Accupocket and 7018 1/8” rod.  I set the machine to 125 amps and struck my first arc.  I had a little too much heat (power) for my comfortability so I backed down to 115 amps.  Here was the first variable I noticed- not everyone was going to be welding at the same amperage, thus depleting the battery at different rates.  I was able to completely burn down to nothing 9-7018 1/8” rods. This is when I noticed the second variable, what is a used/complete rod?

I plugged the charger in and charged the machine completely in about 30 minutes.  I did take a coffee break and texted my wife back (not a good idea to not respond to her…..) so maybe a little longer.  (note I was using a 20-amp breaker on 110/120v) put the machine back in the case and back into our demo area.

So in conclusion, how long does a battery last on the Fronius Accupocket 150?  Well my answer is going to be 9-7018 1/8” electrodes.  Is this really the right answer, well I put the electricity to the metal and for me it is. 

*The views and opinions within this article are that of the author. This article has not been sponsored by Fronius. 

  • Andrew Blatner
The Fronius TransSteel 2200C has arrived!

The Fronius TransSteel 2200C has arrived! 0

We are one of the first to bring you the latest and greatest from our friends at Fronius Welding. The Fronius TransSteel 2200 is a multi-process, compact welding machine that's state-of-the-art and in-stock. Order today before 3pm Central, and your machine will ship today out of our Aurora, Illinois warehouse. This machine is available with and without a TIG welding package. This machine is the first single-phase inverter power source from Fronius that is also multi-process capable. We've run this off of some very long extension cords and it produces a consistent weld every time. 
  • Andrew Blatner
Save your knees with the Revco SmashPad Flame Resistant Welding Mat

Save your knees with the Revco SmashPad Flame Resistant Welding Mat 0

We'll be the first to admit that we were a little skeptical about this project when it was introduced to us by our friends at Revco (Black Stallion), but we've had nothing but great feedback from welders working in tough environments looking for a way to save their knees from damage while on the job. This is a great option if you hate wearing kneepads, but don't want to have a knee replacement. 

Click here to view the product page: 

  • Matt Hurd
How to Choose Your MIG Welder

How to Choose Your MIG Welder 0

MIG (or metal inert gas) welding is considered one of the easiest welding processes for beginners to learn (once machine settings are dialed in by a knowledgeable welder). Buying your own gear is a good investment if you want to develop your still and will be welding often. Choosing the right MIG welder for your needs will set you on the path to success.

  • Matt Hurd
How to Choose a Plasma Cutter

How to Choose a Plasma Cutter 0

Plasma cutting is growing in popularity as an efficient, increasingly affordable alternative to mechanical cutting tools or oxyacetylene torches. The method uses ionized gas force through a nozzle under pressure and at high velocity, producing the power to cut various types of metal. The plasma heats and melts the metal and blows it away from the workpiece. The result is a cut (though it can also be used to punch holes).

Why Plasma

Plasma cutting is a very versatile choice when you need to cut any type of conductive metal. While oxy-fuel solutions are limited to iron and steel, plasma is much more versatile and a good choice for a number of industries (particularly those using thin metals, such as automotive and HVAC). It is also efficient, generating a relatively clean edge requiring little cleanup work, portable, and relatively easy to learn and master.

Plasma Cutter Considerations

When choosing equipment, determine your needs based on your workflow and the materials you’ll be cutting.

1. Material Thickness

What types of materials will you be working with, and how thick? Heavy-duty plasma cutters can manage material thicknesses just over 2”, but if you’ll be working with lighter gauges, it is likely unnecessary to buy a more powerful (and costly) model. If you’ll be working with ferrous metals that are significantly thicker, oxyacetylene will be the necessary method.

2. Cut Quality

Simply choosing to work with plasma arc cutting means you’ll have less work to do after severing your material. The process clears away debris during the cut, leaving a relatively smooth edge. It also doesn’t produce the curling effect common with some light materials and other cutting methods. Even if edge finishing doesn’t matter as much in your project, the method still has its benefits for quick jobs, especially with the reduced curling and warping.

3. Durability and Reliability

As you make the investment in plasma cutting equipment, you’re looking for a machine you’ll be able to work with for a long time, in order to justify the investment and reduce downtime. Reliable time-tested equipment from a well-known brand, and manufactured with high standards, is in order.

4. Continuous Use

How you use your plasma cutter greatly impacts which model you should select. Brief stints? Hours on end? Longer use throughout the day, as well as longer, slow cutting mean you should select machinery with a higher duty cycle so it can handle continuous cutting without overheating. And if speed is important, you’ll need adequate amperage to handle the material. A rule of thumb is to choose a plasma cutting machine capable of cutting twice the thickness you ordinarily work with. (For example, 1” if you regularly cut ½”).

5. Costs

The most important expenses associated with a plasma cutter are:

  • Initial equipment investment
  • Consumable costs (versus how long they last)

Choose a machine that uses relatively few consumables that last a good amount of time to reduce operating costs.

Consider Hypertherm Powermax

Considering all the important aspects in choosing a plasma cutter, the ideal solution is a reliable machine with long consumable life and available in a variety of models to meet specific workflows (material thickness and length of usage). Hypertherm, one of the largest manufacturers of plasma cutters, offers a full line of Powermax plasma cutters to cover an array of use scenarios, and is well regarded for excellent reliability and consumable parts life. Check out the Hypertherm Powermax Plasma Cutters that we carry, and take your plasma cutting work to the next level.

  • Matt Hurd
Do I need the 215ic or 235ic ESAB Rebel?

Do I need the 215ic or 235ic ESAB Rebel? 0

If you're trying to decide which ESAB rebel machine is right for you, we're here to help! At, we carry two extremely popular ESAB Rebel machine packages. We've got the ESAB Rebel EMP 215ic as well as the ESAB Rebel EMP 235ic. These are excellent packages that come with just about everything you'd need to get started welding. We've had a lot of customers that are brand-new to welding purchase these machines, and we've also had seasoned welders pick these machines up so we thought it might be helpful for beginners to know why you might need to step up to the 235ic machine.  

In short, we think both machines are fantastic, but the main factor is whether or not you're going to need to weld 3/8" material or thicker. If you are, you'll need that extra amperage and spray transfer mode that you'll find in the Rebel 235ic. If everything you're welding is thinner than 3/8", you should be safe getting the formidable ESAB Rebel 215ic. 

In addition, we found this excellent video from Ian Johnson over at ESAB that discusses this topic as well: 

  • Matt Hurd