The Key Differences between Metal Fabrication and Welding

Many people think that metal fabrication is the same as welding. But there are quite a number of differences between the two. Metal fabrication is the process of producing a project from metal, while welding is just one part of that process.

Knowing their key differences helps practitioners identify proper safety measures and the best methods for achieving their project objectives. It also allows professionals in the field to use only the appropriate equipment and products to ensure the safety of involved personnel and the quality of their output. 

To learn more about the crucial differences between them, read on. 

Metal Fabrication vs. Welding

From design to finishing, metal fabrication refers to the whole process of creating metal products. In welding, two pieces of glass or metal are melted and joined together. It is important to note that because of the fast evolution of the industry, most fabricators can weld and vice versa.

Tools and Disinfection

Metal fabrication has different specifications, so it is only natural that it requires tools that can not be used for welding. Some of them are:

  • Abrasives
  • Benders
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Vice and vice grips
  • Welding clamps 
  • Tungsten inert gas (TIG) consumables
  • Consumable electrodes
  • Electrode holders
  • Chipping hammers
  • Cylinders with custom carts
  • Hand file
  • Soapstone

Remember, though, that metal fabricators and welders alike need reliable cleaning products to disinfect metal. You can use an organic solvent and wire brush for scrubbing germs, grease, and other dirt and residue. 

Examples of organic solvents include:

  • Acetone
  • Citrus-based degreaser (without butoxyethanol)
  • Mild alkaline solution

After a day’s work, it’s best to use sweepers and mops to clean the floors. Some professionals may also use electron-cleaners, floor coatings, and surface protection films for industrial cleaning.

Metal Fabrication and Welding Processes 

Because both metal fabrication and welding work with metal, most processes involved are similar. Some of their shared processes are assembling and bending metal to achieve a specific form and result. 

On its own, welding incorporates many different methods, which include gas metal arc (GMA), oxy-acetylene, and TIG welding. And since metal fabrication is the more general process, specialty techniques are commonly used. They are:

  • Die-cutting
  • Hydroforming
  • Finishing
  • Roll forming
  • Spinning
  • Shrinking
  • Stretching 
  • Stamping

Safety Precautions

Both metal fabrication and welding can be very dangerous because of heavy machinery and hot metal. To ensure the safety of all personnel, each should practice safety guidelines at their shops and be provided with the following protective equipment: 

  • Auto-darkening helmet with visor
  • Coveralls or leather apron
  • Dust mask
  • Fitted, sturdy, flame-resistant jacket
  • Fume extraction equipment
  • Hearing protection
  • Leatherworking gloves
  • Non-slip working boots
  • Protective, flame-resistant pants
  • Safety goggles


Strict policies for automatic and handheld equipment are vital in ensuring safety in any metal fabrication or welding shop. It is also important to train every staff member to use machinery correctly without supervision.

Both welding and metal fabrication fields are essential in the growth of many industries, including transportation, construction, housing, and many more. But the key differences between the two must be learned by any professional in the field so that every project is completed in a safe and successful manner.

If you are looking for sheet metal fabrication in Perth, turn to CSM Fabrication and Welding. We provide the best metal fabrication and welding services and work with all steel types, including but not limited to aluminium, steel, and stainless steel. Give us a call today!

Contact US