Equipment Every Sheet Metal Shop Needs

23rd Apr 2021

Equipment Every Sheet Metal Shop Needs

Sheet Metalworking Equipment That Every Metal Shop Needs

There are many tools that you will see in every workshop you visit. Items like hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches are universally useful, no matter what setting you place them in.

However, once you get to specific industry shops, the tools become more specialized to meet the stricter requirements. Knowing the necessary tools for the industry is an essential component of adequately outfitting your workshop, regardless of the specialization.

This rule is especially true in metal fabrication shops, where the wrong tool can shut down your entire operation. Here is a closer look at the essential equipment that should be on every metal shop tools list.

10 Sheet Metalworking Tools that are Vital for Any Shop

Anyone who’s ever tried their hand at sheet metalworking knows that it’s not as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of skill and practice to be able to cut, shape and weld metal into the desired form.

But with the right tools, anyone can do it.

This list of tools used in sheet metal shops will help you to work more efficiently and produce better results. So whether you run a large metalworking operation or a small workshop in your garage, make sure to add this equipment to your sheet metal cutting tools list!

10. Plasma Cutting Table

A plasma cutting table is a valuable tool to have in any sheet metal workshop.

It allows you to quickly and easily cut through sheet metal with precision and accuracy, making it the perfect tool for any project.

With a plasma cutter, you can easily cut shapes and designs into your metal sheets, without having to worry about wasting time or materials.

9. Press Brake

A press brake is a sheet metalworking tool that is used to create bends in sheet metal. It consists of a frame, a bed, a ram, and a throat.

The frame is the base of the press brake and the bed is where the sheet metal is placed. The ram is the moving part of the press brake and the throat is the opening through which the ram moves.

The press brake is an essential tool in any sheet metalworking shop because it allows you to create bends in sheet metal quickly and easily. It is also very versatile and can be used to create both simple and complex bends in sheet metal.

8. Marking Tools

Marking tools come in many different shapes and sizes, but all serve the same purpose: to mark the metal with a line or symbol that can be easily seen and referenced later. This enables the worker to measure and cut the metal correctly, without having to waste time trying to measure and mark it manually.

There are a number of different marking tools available, but some of the most common and versatile ones are scribers, calipers, and dividers.

Scribers are used to make very small marks or scratches on the metal, while calipers are used to take measurements and make accurate marks on the material. Dividers are used to create evenly spaced marks on a piece of metal, which can be helpful when you need to make evenly spaced holes or cuts.

7. Angle Grinder

One of the most versatile tools in the shop has to be the angle grinder. Useful for many tasks, including cutting, grinding, and polishing metals, this handheld tool is a must for any metal fabrication work.

When looking for the right one, consider the size you will need. The two most common sizes for angle grinders are 4½ inches and 6 inches.

6. Grinder Discs

Along with the angle grinder comes the need for the discs that allow the machine to operate at peak efficiency. There are multiple types of discs available for each of the different tasks, such as grinding wheels and flap discs.

The various options are what allow you to control what function the angle grinder serves. The surfaces of the wheels and discs are what dictates this function, so consider how sharp or abrasive you need the wheel to be before proceeding with the task.

5. Metal Cutting Saws

One of the most commonly performed activities in any sheet metal shop is sawing. There are a number of different types of saw you will need for your fabrication work.

The variations required will depend on the work you will be doing, but popular options include circular, chop, cold, and band saws. Try to avoid using a hand saw when other options are available to improve efficiency and worker safety.

4. Wire Cutters

Every handyperson worth their salt knows the importance of a pair of wire cutters.

This tool helps to protect the hands of everybody who handles sheet metal.

Typically used to snip the frayed ends of wires, they are just as useful for trimming bits from the frayed edges of sheet metal.

3. Drill Bits

Nearly every machine shop makes use of drills or drill presses to complete their work. This means the necessity of drill bits to combine the pieces of sheet metal.

For proper fabrication, you will most likely need standard-length and machine screw drill bits to ensure you can complete the job. Ensure the bits you are using are the proper ones for the drill or drill press you are using to provide adequate worker safety.

2. Throatless Shears

Similar to wire cutters, a good metal worker is never without your trusty throatless shears. This tool cuts the sheet metal in a straight line, curve, or any other pattern.

The thing that makes this tool so valuable is the ability to move the sheet metal around the blade freely. They typically come with large handles that allow for the extra leverage necessary to trim away the excess stainless steel or aluminum.

This tool is ideal for when you need to make intricate or complex cuts in the metal.

1. Personal Protective Equipment

Along with all of the tools, there is an enormous amount of PPE, or “personal protective equipment,” every sheet metal shop needs. Due to the conductive nature of metal, there are several extra safety precautions necessary before the work can begin, including wearing the proper PPE.

Here is a closer look at some of the most crucial protective gear for working in a fabrication shop. Any time any safety equipment is involved in a workplace incident, immediately remove the items from service and replace them.

Auto-Darkening Helmet

One of the essential safety tools for anybody doing any serious welding work is an auto-darkening helmet. These work through sensors that pick up the bright welding arc and automatically darken the lenses.

These helmets allow the welder to easily see what they are working on without the risk of blinding and burns. This extra vision also helps prevent mistakes in the welding.

Hard Hats

Workers need to remember that a blow to a hard hat may hurt, but one to the head is much worse. Though often ignored in many fabrication shops, hard hats still play an integral role in keeping workers safe.

These helmets are made from different materials, allowing the wearer to find one that works for them and their body type. Some even come with additional padding or lining to make them more comfortable to wear throughout the day.

Vision and Hearing Protection

Safety glasses and headphones are both crucial to keeping your vision and hearing safe, respectively. Eye protection comes in many different forms based on your needs, and you should always wear safety glasses when doing any metal fabrication.

Similarly, ear protection in the form of earplugs or headphones ensures your hearing stays protected when the volume is at its loudest. Neither may look cool, but they can save a person from a lifetime of struggles.


Protective clothing is also vital to keeping sheet metal workshop employees safe. Equipment such as long sleeve welding jackets and high-top boots helps prevent burns when working with sheet metal.

It’s also important to remember to wear gloves when working with metal in any situation. Metal is highly conductive, meaning it can take on the heat or cold from the environment, making protective gloves crucial.

Metal is also sharp along the edges, making the extra safety precautions even more worthwhile. When wearing the safety equipment, avoid any loose or dangling jewelry or hair that can get caught in your work or the tools.

Find Every Tool Your Sheet Metal Shop Needs at Penn Tool Co.

If you need help supplying your fabrication workshop with the best tools and equipment available, look no further than the Penn Tool Co team.

We have all of the sheet metals tools for sale you will ever need, with an experienced staff ready to answer any of your questions.

For more information on how we can help outfit your sheet metal shop with the best tools for sheet metal workers, reach out to our team today.

Equipment Every Sheet Metal Shop Needs