Major Differences between Welding and Metal Fabrication

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Many businesses are unaware of the science of the metal fabrication process. That is why they may mix or use the “welding” and metal fabrication interchangeably. Though these two terms share several features, there exist clear differences. This blog will clear the confusion between the two and lead you to the major differences. 

Metal fabrication vs. Welding

Metal fabrication is a wholesome process that uses several techniques to create a new part or component. Welding is a part of the technique used in the metal fabrication process. Not all metal fabrication processes require Welding. Metal fabrication involves cutting, punching, shearing, and several other skills. On the other hand, Welding helps metal fabricators to join or connect two metals using specific tools. Metal fabrication and Welding differ in the following ways:

  • Raw material
  • Processes
  • Tools
  • Safety measures
  • Essential Skills
metal fabrication welding lg 1

Raw material

Welders use various types of powders. Powdered minerals, ferrous alloys, and specific metals are used in the common welding processes. Nickel powder, iron powder, tungsten powder, and tin powders are commonly used in welding rods. 

On the other hand, metal fabrication uses molten metals, concrete, and epoxies. However, metals like magnesium, aluminum, steel, stainless steel, iron, and copper are frequently used for casting. The selection of metal depends upon the requirements of the project or business.


Another big difference between the two is the manufacturing processes. Welding connects two or more parts of the fabricated metals. So, it can go side by side during metal fabrication. It all depends upon the production specifications.

Common welding processes are stick welding, Electro fusion welding, Tungsten Inert Gas Welding, and Metal Inert Gas welding. These techniques are used with different types of metals. Metal fabrication uses hydroforming, cutting, spinning, stamping, shearing, shrinking, die-cutting, finishing, stretching, and several others. Not all techniques are used in one project. The selection of these processes relies on the requirements of the final product.


Another big difference between Welding and metal fabrication is the usage of the tools. Metal sheets need cutting and finishing using several types of tools. From machine-cutting to manual processes, a metal fabricator may use a saw, hammer, cutters, grinders, and plasma torch. Moreover, presses and CNC tools can turn metal sheets into different shapes. 

Welder tools are a bit different from the fabrication. It may include welding clamps, magnets, gauges, vices, and electrodes. 

Safety measures

To meet the safety protocols, metal fabrications assess the precautionary measures regularly. The goal is to provide a healthy and safe work site to the on-site employees. Welding and metal fabrication may share several precautionary guidelines as both are exposed to risky tools and machinery. Metal fabrication needs protective uniforms, flame-resistant overalls, steel-toe shoes, gloves, auto-darkening helmets, and respirators. 

With all essential personal equipment, welders have to use welding screens, protected glasses, and ear protectors. Moreover, Welding creates less clutter as compared to metal fabrication. Cutting, shearing, punching, and hammering may create a large number of scraps. So, metal fabrication companies must clear the clutter regularly to keep the place safer. There should be adequate light, ventilation, and fume extraction as well.

Essential Skills

Welding and metal fabrication require a completely different set of skills. However, they may share some similar set of techniques. Fabricators and welders should be aware of the technical terms and procedures. They should be capable of reading documents and technical instructions for each project. An extensive knowledge of the tools, raw materials, safety measures, and potential risks is also essential. 

Welders should have mastery in operating all types of welding tools. Similarly, fabricators should understand the skills required for drawing, punching, shearing, stretching, etc. AI-based fabrication also demands that employees know the machine’s operations. Computer-aided manufacturing is automated, and employees have to get training and workshops. Fabrication is an umbrella of several terms and techniques. In some cases, the workers must become the jack of all trades. 


Welding and fabrication are completely different projects. Welding often becomes part of the metal fabrication process. However, it is not wise to use both terms interchangeably. Several processes and techniques may seem similar, but they are unique. Moreover, metal fabrication and Welding require similar safety measures. But Welding needs extra precaution from flames and beams at the time of Welding. That is why welders are instructed to use welding screens, goggles, and ear plug-ins to avoid face, eye, and ear damage.

Welding is a small technique that may go hand in hand with metal fabrication. No matter it is a welding or fabrication process, both require an industry-specific set of skills and tools. The more expertise you get, the more professional work you deliver. However, both procedures need common preventive measures in the workplace. 

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