Welding equipment is an investment that requires a good amount of gear that you’ll want to protect and use for years. We’re talking safety gear, welding consumables, shielding gases, wire, welding rods, welders’ pliers, magnetic squares, grinding tools…just to name a few.
The best way to protect all that gear and keep it handy when you need it is with a good welding cart.
A welding cart helps keep all your welding related tools in one mobile unit. A good welding cart has cable wraps to manage all the welding cables & hoses. It will have plenty of space for storing cylinders and hand tools. It’s a great investment that will keep you organized and help prevent accidents that could cause product damage or injury.
There are many options for welding carts on the market. Here are important things to consider when making your choice.
Know the physical dimensions of your welder.
One size cart doesn’t fit all welders. Welding equipment manufacturers tend to change the welder footprint when they release new models. Here’s what to look for:
- Measure the dimensions of the welder to make sure it will fit on the cart shelf.
- If you’ll store more than one welder on a cart, measure the headspace between shelves.
- If you have a wire welder, make sure there will be room for the wire compartment door to be opened to reload wire. The door will need to clear the lip of the shelf. An extra inch or two of width may be required.
The Universal Welding Cart works with most models. The Heavy Duty Welding Cart has a larger top panel and extra headspace between the two shelves if you are needing to store multiple welders.
Consider the environment where you’ll be moving the welder.
Your welder cart will be loaded up with your welder, cylinders of shielding gases, and welding tools. In other words, it gets heavy. How easy will it be to move the cart where you need to weld?
If the ground floor is smooth and paved: Garages and shop floors are usually smooth, which makes it easy to push wheeled carts around. Get a cart with good-quality wheels that won’t break down over time. Make sure to have casters that turn easily.
But what if you plan to pull your welding equipment outside from time to time? What does the outside surface look like?
If the ground floor is uneven or rough: Is your driveway paved or is it gravel? Will you work on the lawn instead? You’ll be happier with carts that have larger casters and larger back wheels. The UWC4 Heavy Duty Welding Cart comes with large 8-inch diameter wheels and 3-inch front casters. It even has locking front casters which will prevent your rig from running down an incline outside.
Using shielding gas? Make sure your cylinders will fit.
When MIG welding, you’ll need to safely store cylinders of shielding gas. If you weld additional types of metal, you’ll need to store multiple cylinders. Steel, Stainless Steel, and Aluminum all require a different mix of shielding gases. The good news is most carts have a cylinder storage rack.
- Check the maximum cylinder size so your cylinder will fit without damaging your equipment or creating a tipping hazard.
- Consider how many cylinders you will need to store and what your welding cart can handle.
Think about what you need to store now.
You’ve made a good investment in tools–your welder, grinders, welder’s pliers and an auto-darkening welding helmet aren’t cheap. Let’s work to keep them all safe and organized.
Carts like the Universal Welding Cart, the Three-Tier Welding Cart, and the Heavy Duty Universal Welding Cart feature a bottom shelf that stores and organizes all those welding tools.
Welding Cabinets, such as the Welding Cabinet, Mini Welding Cabinet, and the Three-Tier Welding Cabinet & Cart have locking storage cabinets or storage drawers.
Think about what you’ll need to store later.
Don’t limit tomorrow’s projects by choosing something that only works for what you do today. Maybe you’ll weld materials that would require another cylinder of gas. Or maybe you’re thinking about getting a plasma cutter to complement your welder.
Get a cart with dual-cylinder storage now–it will make everything easier to manage in the future.Or consider a cart/cabinet combo that can accommodate both a welder and a plasma cutter AND has the cable wraps to help manage all those welding and cutting cables.
Not only do you want the cart to handle your future project needs, you want it to last a long time. Look for a cart that has been coated with a powder coat finish, is made of sturdy metal, and comes with a product warranty.
Choosing a cart seems like a simple task, but consider all your current and future needs to choose the right cart, the first time, that will increase your productivity. As always, if you have any questions or want some more help choosing the right cart for your needs, give us a call. We’re happy to talk to you.
Commercial Welding Carts
You may not want to be bothered with building your own cart at this time. It is possible that you want something you can just assemble with no hassle.
If we look at our major options and start with the big 3 welding brands, Miller, Hobart, and Lincoln. All these manufacturers produce some top notch welders, so in theory, they should have good accessories. Let’s explore some of their best selling carts now:
Hobart Welding Carts
Now I did a quick search and found only one Hobart cart. It’s a simple, low profile cart. The reviews are kind of a mixed bag, so for the cost, I would skip this one.
I believe Hobart really added their welding carts as an afterthought to their welding machines. They did offer a deluxe cart that seemed like it would have been pretty nice. Unfortunately, it’s been discontinued. I love the Hobart welders, especially the Hobart 140 for beginners, but skip their carts.
Pro-tip: I believe that, for all practical purposes, Miller and Hobart are the same company. So I think they distribute their better carts more often under the Miller name.
Miller Welding Carts
Again, the carts here seem limited and a little on the expensive side. I found this cart and was not impressed. It’s basic, it’s not a welding cart with drawers and the running gear seems suspect at best.
I also found this Migrunner cart from Miller. But oh my the price! I could buy a very basic welder, build a cart from scrap and get a great hood for less than the cost of this cart!
Lincoln Welding Carts
I found one basic low profile cart from Lincoln. There are only a few reviews on this cart. Outside of this model, I can’t seem to find anything else available from Lincoln. I would skip this cart too.
With the explosion of Amazon, there are a lot of imported goods from small manufactures with unknown brand names being sold. A lot of these carts are a mix of value and durability – said another way – you’ll get a semi-decent cart for a good price.
For an in-depth review from us, take a look at this article about the Klutch Compact Locking Welding Cabinet.
Here are some choices:
- The Yaheetech cart has three tiers and is constructed of steel. For about $50 and some assembly time – it might be worth it. There are some concerns about the castors rubbing against the bolts, and depending on the welder you pair it with, the possibility of a tip over.
- This is a generic brand two-tier cart. Same issues as we found with the Yaheetech cart (poor instructions, bolts rubbing against the tank or welder). But, it might be in your price range and those issues could be something that’s manageable.
Outside Amazon there are the Harbor Freight welding carts that are worth mentioning:
- There is the basic Chicago electric cart– which has a 100lb working load and seems straightforward. For about $40 it seems like a no-frills cart that might be worth picking up if you’re a beginner welder.
- Now, the welding cart with drawers, or welding cabinet as HF calls it, is a bit more money. But the reviews are pretty good and I like the storage drawers myself. For about $150 bucks it might be a good deal.
Thoughts On Commercial Carts
There are some well-made carts you can buy on the market, and some not so well made carts. Overall I would steer clear of anything you can buy. If you’re not a straight up new welder, then why not take the time to make something sturdy yourself? Yes, it will cost about the same as a cart you can buy or more. Yes, it will take more time to build it – but it will probably last a lot longer than any welding cart you can buy.
In this article, we looked at many of the options you have for a new welding cart. You can build your own from premade plans, go full custom and fabricate your own unique cart, or simply purchase a ready to assemble welding cart.
I think the best mix of value and durability would be to build your own welding cart with drawers. You’ll have a cart you’re proud of, a place to store all your gear and a cart that will last you many years.