Last Updated on Nov 19, 2022
Every welder’s dream is to have the best welding equipment. Whether he is an amateur or a professional welder, working with utmost safety is the first step towards a successful welding project. And if there’s an accessory that ensures both safety and convenience of work, why not invest in it, right?
This article will tell you everything you need to know about the welding ground clamp, a significant accessory in welding. We will also list down some of the best welding ground clamps that you can consider buying for your next metal fabrication project.
But before you go ahead and make your purchase, here are few things you need to know about a welder ground clamp…
What Is a Welding Ground Clamp Used for?
A well-designed ground (earth) clamp is very important to professionally and perfectly weld. It keeps the metals secured together and avoids movement while welding. But if you thought the ground clamp is only used for holding two metals together, then you’re only partially right.
What you may not know is that the current required to weld metals passes through the earth clamp. Yes, that’s right! During this process, welders are also exposed to electrical shocks more often than not. To protect themselves from electrical hazards and enable a smooth welding process, welding workers use a ground clamp.
The welding ground clamp establishes a connection between the ground cable and the metal being worked upon, ensuring both have the same electrical potential.
Without a good earth connection, the welding machine and welder may not produce the best results. This means that the quality of welded metal will most definitely be of a low standard. Additionally, if the quality of the ground clamp is not up to the mark, there is going to be a restriction of current flow or a high possibility of current leakage. Hence, compromising on the quality of your welding ground clamp is a bad idea.
Where Do I Put My Ground Clamp When Welding?
Using the ground clamp for welding is no rocket science. For the earth clamp to do its job, you can simply connect it to the welding power source via the earth cable. After you’re done connecting it, attach the clamp to the metal piece you’re working on or place it on top of a metal. A pro tip – do not clamp it to something that’s standing against the wall; it won’t work!
How Do You Get a Good Ground When Welding? What Happens If You Have a Poor Ground?
If you are finding it difficult to weld, then the first and foremost thing that you need to do is to check your connection’s quality to ground or earth. You need to do it so that it isn’t possible to carry out good welding via a weak connection. We are all aware that affordable welders mostly come prepared with a weak and tiny earth clamp. It makes obtaining a tough bare metal to the bare metal-earth or ground connection downright impossible.
But here’s the fix:
- First, you need to position the offending earth clamp right inside your vice. Here, you need to start sawing through its handle, which is responsible for holding the cable. You need to leave about 1.5” or 40 mm of its handle rightly attached or fastened to its cable.
- Now you need to start flattening out its handle in a gentle manner using a tiny hammer.
- Start rounding off the final sharp corners using a file or tin snips. Ensure that you file it smoothly.
If your ground is in poor condition, then it will lead to welding restriction or current leakage. The welding output voltage will witness a major drop. It will come off as if someone changed the entire settings of your welder. For instance, if you are someone with a MIG Welding, then the wire’s speed might appear to be creeping upwards. You will witness this phenomenon in a MIG welder ground clamp scenario.
Recommended Welding Ground Clamps
Here is a list of the best welding ground clamps that we highly recommend:
- US Forge Heavy Duty 300amp Bronze Welding Ground Clamp
- KingQ 300amp Welding Ground Clamp
- Hobart T-Style 400amp Brass Ground Clamp
- Forney 54410 300amp Welding Ground Clamp
- Lincoln Electric KH525 300amp Ground Clamp
US Forge 300amp Heavy Duty Bronze Welding Ground Clamp
This welding ground clamp has a rating of 300 amps. It is just enough for covering most of the welding applications. This tool is fitting for welding thicker plates and comes with cable connection screws of oval-point. It does a great job in creating a secure connection and positive contact of a ground cable. This tool utilizes a big ground cable that helps in maximum conductivity.
It comes equipped with super heavy and wide cleated jaws that provide an excellent grip within its grounding surface. The thick and sturdy construction nature of this welder catches the attention of most people. The jaws of this welder possess a sizable type of contact patch. Plus, the force amount present within this spring will offer a great grip on the workpiece.
Hobart T-Style 400amp Brass Ground Clamp
This welder is professional, and its quality is that of an industry. This excellent grade piece is cast from solid brass. It tops the list with the highest rating, amounting to an impressive 400 amps. It is more than the majority of the welding works except for the professional users of pipe welding group clamp, shipbuilders, and layers.
This Hobart T-Style welder is soft, and it easily bends out of alignment during improper storage and rough careless treatment. However, you can easily straighten it out. Its high amp helps provide a cooler type of operating temperature. This stiff ground clamp comes in handy when you have to grab it tightly, and it isn’t hot.
Lincoln Electric KH525 300amp Ground Clamp
This grounding clamp is all about size, and it is quite big. It comes equipped with a rating of 300 amp and a stiff string. The people who have small hands or the ones suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome will find it hard to use. Its construction sports nickel-plated steel accompanied by replaceable hardware with copper plating. One great thing about this grounding clamp would be its warranty deal. Why? Well, because most clamp brands don’t offer warranties.
It has high-quality and comes with contact cleats that are perfectly designed for the jaws. This grounding clamp requires cable sizes of number two up to a large number zero. However, it does require enhanced cable support. This big grounding clamp features an opening of 1 ¾ inch, which enables you to fit inside tough to ground things like suspension components, axle housings, and big bolts.
Forney 54410 300amp Welding Ground Clamp
This ground clamp has a steel body that is suitable for fieldwork and shop or store maintenance. It features excellent positive connections that are fitting for conductivity. Most of the shop and farm welders seek this grounding clamp for their jobs. Since Forney is one of the longest operating brands in America that is family-owned, you can trust this item.
Its jaw opening has a wide 1 ¾ inch or 44.4 mm and 8-Inch or 203.2 mm long in dimension. It accepts the number two welding cable. Also, the warranty claims should be made within a timeframe of 90 days from the purchasing date. Here, the purchase proof is required to obtain the warranty. However, the warranty won’t be covering misuse, accident, neglect, or negligence of the product.
KingQ 300amp Welding Ground Clamp
This tool is bronze cast and features a rating of 300 amp. It is suitable for heavy-duty work and has a solid nature. However, there are some reports surrounding this clamp having to come apart right at its pivot point. It features jaws, which open widely up to a maximum of two inches. Also, its design tends to accept the number two cable, which ends up being too large for an attaching lug of bolt style. What we love about this clamp would be how it has a great opening and a lot of reaching.
However, there are some complaints from certain owners about its tiny contact patch while it is clamped to work. It acts as a function of the clamp’s shape. Its clamping force is solid and stiff; however, the mini contact area tends to limit its functionality somehow. This heavy grounding clamp isn’t fitting for work with heavy volume under a professional setting. But it will work just fine for DIY workshops and occasional usage.
What Factors Should I Consider When Picking Out a Ground Clamp?
Here are some of the important factors that you need to consider while picking a ground clamp. Ensure that you always pay close attention to these key pointers in each ground clamp. It doesn’t matter if it’s is for a copper welding ground clamp, MIG welder ground clamp, pipe welding group clamp, or any other clamp. You will need to look out for these factors. They are as follows:
POC Area – The POC stands for “Point of Contact.” This clamp component tends to remain in touch or in contact with the workplace. A wider area in POC indicates an improved grip, allowing for an enhanced circuit flow. You need to get the curved type of POC Clamps concerning the rounded objects.
Wire & Amp Capacity – You need to take the cable size into account concerning the grounding clamp welder. A smart choice would be the cable with an adequate cross-sectional portion or area. But the smaller cables also work just fine. If your grounding clamp has a rating of 200 amp, then the flow needs at least the number two cables or even bigger. It is important to pick the amp variation by proper assessment.
Style of Attachment – Your cable is attached or fastened to your clamp in two ways, i.e., a bolt-in type of system or a screw-in type of system. Does it also possess the strain relief hole required for the copper wiring? You need to answer these vital questions because it directly affects the output of your grounding clamp.
Strength of the String – The string’s strength is a super crucial factor here. How? Well, because it helps in determining how strongly your grounding clamp is going to attach itself to the metalwork. It means that your circuit will be completely safe and secure because of the stronger grip here. But you have to realize that a super-strong spring tends to wear out your hands unnecessarily. It will frustrate many welders, especially if they have small hands or suffer from medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Jaw Opening – Before you make a purchase, you need to start testing the jaws of every grounding clamp. You need to consider and take into account the workpiece’s thickness in your mind whenever you do so. Ensure that you pick the grounding clamp with a maximum or full jaw width of double (2x) the metal work’s thickness.