Are you thinking about pursuing a professional welding career and you would like to try your hands at it a little first? Or are you already a certified welder simply looking to improve your welding skills by mastering new techniques? Maybe a weekend DIYer seeking to learn some basic welding notions to get your next project going? Whatever the case is, learning from textbooks may very well be the answer you are looking for!
Textbooks are perfect to learn at your own pace, in the comfort of your home, and for a fraction of the price of a standard school curriculum. But not all welding books are created equal, though, and that’s why we created a list of the most useful books covering everything you need to know about welding to help you with that.
Take note that the following list is ordered based on the complexity level of the content from beginner to professional level. If you are a total noob, start with the first ones and work your way up. If you are already an experienced welder, you can definitely skip some of them and go directly to the more advanced textbooks.
by Steven Robert Farnsworth
This one is a given. Everybody knows the “For Dummies” books and how well-written and informative they can be. As with any other book in the series, it’s first and foremost oriented towards total newbies. If you have no prior welding knowledge whatsoever, this one is for you!
The text is broken up into small chunks making it easy for everyone to understand. The information is divided into themes and sections to help you find the answers you need in no time. Literally everything you need to get you started is covered in this book. From the most common types of welding to the best welding and oxyfuel cutting techniques as well as the required training you need to become a fully certified welder.
Professional, on the other hand, will appreciate it as a welder’s reference handbook. Just stick post-it notes on the most important pages and conversion charts and keep it in your tool chest for future use. You never know when you’ll need a quick on-the-fly refresh of some of the most basic notions.
Who is it for?
The Welding for Dummies book is a perfect gift idea for welding students, weekend DIYers and a good starting point for anyone with no welding background at all. It’s definitely one of the simplest books on this list. If you feel intimidated by the look of the more complicated books following next, get this one first!
Everything You Need to Know to Weld, Cut, and Shape Metal
by Andrew Pearce
Don’t let the title of this book fool you. It’s definitely not only for farmers!
Farm and Workshop Welding deserve the second place on this list because it’s a complete textbook including in-depth details about most common welding techniques and basic theoretical notions but even more so because of the way it’s illustrated.
Learning to weld and differentiating a good weld from a bad weld is not always easy based on text only. Rest assured, there are around 400 high-definition images on every subject covered to help you with that. At 160 pages, this book has an average of 2 images per page. There no need to mention that, if you are a visual learner, this one is an absolute must!
One of the most useful features of this book is the whole module dedicated to avoiding and correcting common welding mistakes. If you have some prior welding experience like I do, you already know how frustrating it is when things aren’t working out as they should and you don’t really know why and what you should do about it. This book will take care of that. At least, it did for me.
Worth mentioning, not only does this book cover most types of welds and whatnot, it even includes a section on plastic welding as well as basic blacksmithing techniques to make you a well-rounded metal worker
Who is it for?
Farm and Workshop Welding goes a little further than the “For Dummies” book, therefore it’s better suited for beginner welders to intermediate ones. The denser text and textbook approach may be a bit much for total newbies and first-timers. It will definitely take you further as a welder too, though, and that’s a point not to neglect. If you plan on becoming a certified welder in the future, you may be better off buying this one right away.
A Guide to Plasma Cutting, Oxyacetylene, ARC, MIG and TIG Welding
by Richard Finch
Richard Finch is a well-known reference in the welding community. His past experience as a Nascar consultant is really what makes his books interesting. Everything is viewed from a performance and efficiency point-of-view. He doesn’t just teach you to make good welds. He will teach you to make fast welds if such a thing is even possible.
Worth mentioning, if performance is what you are all about, he even wrote a book called “Performance Welding” specially dedicated to various types of welds and techniques used on vehicles built for speed. Race cars need stronger welds while keeping the total weight as low as possible and to achieve that performance welders have developed a wide array of secret techniques and neat little tricks.
It’s so instructive that petrolheads should buy it even if they have no plan to learn to weld in the future. It’s packed with race-developed tricks and tips you had no idea about. Have you ever dreamed of building your own roll cage? Well, this is the book you need! These race car engineers are real genius and learning from the best will definitely give you a heads up compared to the rest of the pack.
Anyway, back to the Welder’s Handbook, it is also the most recent published book on this list. In fact, it just got completely revamped to stay as up-to-date as possible, including all the new development in MIG and TIG technologies. It’s true that the basics of welding have been the same for years but aluminum is now used more than ever in car manufacturing and welders need to stay on top of their game to be relevant in such a competitive market.
Who is it for?
If you are a speed enthusiast looking to build race cars or simply attracted to the rigorous and efficient side of race engineering, both these books should be to your liking. Richard Finch definitely knows his things and his teaching will resonate with everybody who likes to build things that go fast.
by Miller Electric
This one is a Training Series originally distributed by Miller Electric, a well-known welding equipment manufacturer, to potential and regular customers. In fact, it’s the reference and training book we have been using in our auto repair shop for years now. Most mechanics need to know how to weld, especially when it comes to exhaust and bodywork, and it’s not extensively covered in auto mechanics trade schools so we use these to perfect our employees’ welding skills.
Lucky you, Miller Electric is now offering these training lessons in a Kindle format, which makes them super inexpensive to own and easy to keep with you at all time. They are perfect to train at work or in your garage on your own free time.
The Training Series covers everything you need to know about welding and they are split into multiple chapters, each on a different subject. Thanks to the ebook format, you can only buy the chapters you need to train on and leave out the rest, which will make it a lot less expensive than to buy a comprehensive textbook.
Here’s some of the different chapters available:
Who is it for?
These training lessons are designed for everyone who has at least held a welding gun once in his life and wants to get better at it. It’s also a good investment for shop owners who want to offer training to their employees while keeping the overall cost as low as possible. Kindle books are easy to share and really convenient in today’s world where everybody has a cell phone in their pocket. If you like to learn in digital format, this one is the way to go!
Modern Welding is the kind of book you could call the Bible of welding.
It has long been the reference for teaching the theory and fundamentals of welding. It’s super comprehensive and it’s exactly the kind of textbook you will have to buy if you ever take a welding vocational course.
Only short of a couple of pages from 900, the amount of informational content is definitely impressive. What makes it stand out from the crowd, though, is the fact that it even covers disciplines often ignored in other books. Plasma arc cutting, and resistance welding, for example, are thoroughly explained with in-depth instructions and visual support.
Dedicated sections on welding symbol interpretation, weld testing, and inspection as well as a ton of tips and tricks on being employed as a welder are also a must. Learning to weld is important but finding a great workshop with an interesting paycheck is also the key to a successful welding career.
Who is it for?
If you intend to work in the welding field or if you are actually a student in a welding vocational school, this is the book you need. Modern Welding contains everything you need to pass that AWS SENSE Level 1—Entry Welder certification. Nonetheless, backyard welders and weekend DIYers will also benefit from buying this book as it will probably be the last welding book they will ever need.
It’s that comprehensive.
The National Center for Construction Education and Research is a non-profit foundation affiliated with the University of Florida’s Sr. School of Construction Management, creating educational content through a standardized training and credentialing program. They are offering training courses in various location across the United States and this is the same material they use to teach their students.
You simply can’t go wrong with school-approved educational material.
The manuals are separated in different levels of training, making it easy to follow along and keep track of where you are at on the learning curve. With every completed level, a new set of competencies will be acquired by the reader just as with a traditional course, breaking down the curriculum into more easily chewable chunks.
Who is it for?
The multi-level format better suits tighter budgets as you can buy each level separately and absorb the total cost over a longer period. It’s also perfect for people who want to learn in their free time, a little every day. If a full course curriculum you can read at night in the comfort of your home is what you want, look no further. This is the one for you.
Beginning MIG Welding and Metal Fabrication Basics
by Stephen Christena
Learn to Weld is probably the most practical and user-friendly book on this list. Reading it feels like listening to an old pal who’s trying to teach you how to weld like a pro. Not too much of theoretical stuff, straight to the point with plenty of illustrated examples to help you grasp the basics quickly. When you think you get the hang of it, there’s a lot of different exercises to put all that into practice and confirm that you have mastered what you just read.
The hands-on approach is quite refreshing and really sets it apart from regular school textbooks where the theory makes up most of the content. In this one though, every notion is backed with practical exercises to make sure you understand everything in details before you move to the next level.
Worth mentioning, one of the special features of this book is the chapter on artistic welding and metalworking. Rare are the welding books covering the artsy side of welding. Most of them are exclusively oriented towards workshops operations and completely overlook metalworking and metal sculpting techniques. Learn to Weld is not one of them. It includes a whole section on the subject so you can learn everything you need to be ready to tackle your next metal sculpture project head-on.
Who is it for?
If you are a manual learner, this is the book you’ll want to get. It’s filled with more hands-on exercises than you can handle while covering enough theory to make you a well-rounded welder in no time. It’s also the obvious choice for artists and creative people to learn the just enough of the basics of metalworking to get their imagination going.
by Rex Miller, Mark R. Miller
As its name implies, this one is a study guide intended to help you pass a welding licensing exam. No matter if you really intend to take that exam or not, though. You can still benefit from it and use it to test your skills and to determine where you are at in the path to becoming a full-fledged welder.
No need to mention that you shouldn’t buy this book first. We strongly suggest you buy one of the previous books on this list and learn the basic theory and most common welding techniques first. Once all is going well and you begin to be quite good at it, testing your knowledge and level of welding ability using a study guide like this one is naturally the next step to take.
The Welding Licensing Exam Study Guide contains over 850 multiple choice question for you to pick your brain with as well as over 200 detailed instructions to make sure you understood everything before going any further.
Another clever use for this book is to use it to evaluate if you master the various competencies required to pass the Welding Code Book and Fundamentals exams and, when you do, request a recognition of prior learning to receive your welding certification in half the time.
Pretty neat, right?
Who is it for?
This is one is obviously oriented towards advanced welders seeking to either improve their formation or intending to pass their welding certification in the near future. It’s definitely not for beginners but it’s a perfect gift for any welder with a somewhat solid experience background looking to push their welding knowledge a big step further.
by Nino Marion
Welding is not only about techniques and methods. It also involves a lot of calculation when it comes to choosing the correct amp setting as well as the correct flux and wire-speed selection. Consequently, this one is a definitive must for all welders out there, especially those who work on a wide array of different metals requiring different settings on a daily basis.
Professional and full-fledged certified welders will appreciate the step-by-step arrangement of the sections allowing it to be used as a quick reference handbook at work.
Nothing is worse than forgetting a formula to calculate the amp setting you need to achieve a correct weld penetration based on the thickness of the sheet metal you are working on and having to google it. Just buy a copy of Math for Welders and keep it in the bottom drawer of your tool chest. It may very well save your life one day.
Who is it for?
Once you are way past the “For Dummies” stuff, your welding certification is in your back pocket and you now work in the field, this is probably the next book you should get. Keeping it in your tool chest as a quick reference handbook will sure to be helpful on plenty of occasions. It’s also a pretty neat gift for welder dads working on personal projects during the weekends.
by A.E. Bennett, Louis J Siy
Blueprint reading is another competency every certified welder should possess. Being a good and efficient welder is worth nothing without the ability to read, understand, interpret and weld in accordance with a given blueprint.
This textbook is a comprehensive guide covering auxiliary views, detail views, projections, sections, and detail and assembly drawings.
Worth mentioning that Blueprint Reading for Welders has just been updated and the ninth edition includes the latest terms and symbols and complies with the latest ISO certification. It even features a primer on basic sketching techniques and a chapter on how to prepare a bill of materials and how steel is classified so you can order the correct supplies and make sure everyone understand what you need at all time.
Who is it for?
This one is obviously not for starters. It’s mostly intended for professional welders looking to improve their blueprint reading skills far beyond what is normally expected from them. I strongly suggest you buy yourself a copy if you really want to take your welding career to new heights and you are seeking to be the most qualified welder in the shop.
Watch out, though. Being the best is not always easy.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
How to Start, Establish and Grow a Welding Business
by David Zielinski
Once you have worked as a professional welder for a couple of years in the field and you have gained enough work experience that you feel confident you could tackle pretty much any welding project your boss could throw your way, you may start asking yourself: “And now… What’s next?“
What about opening your own welding workshop, finding and deciding the project you want to work on and becoming your own boss? If this is a path you would like to explore, take a look at The Welding Business Owner’s Hand Book.
Being self-employed myself, I know for a fact that the key to running a successful business is to find and get the right contracts at the right time and to keep them coming. You simply can’t survive if you don’t land enough contracts to make a living out of it.
Learning how to do that is not always easy and it takes time. Sadly time is exactly what you are lacking when you have just started and bills seem to never stop coming in. Why not get a head start and learn the finer details of running a welding business before you actually quit your day job and open your workshop?
This book will definitely reduce the learning curve to establish your welding business and will also reduce the stress and anxiety related to fear that every business owner has to deal with. When you know, you don’t fear as much. It’s easier to plan ahead and it’s then easier to overcome hurdles and common pitfalls. Find out what are the most common mistakes made by shop owners before you have to actually learn from your own failures.
From insightful tips and tricks to well-kept secrets of the trade, this book is simply packed with useful information coming from workshop owners who had to learn the hard way how to run a successful welding business.
Valuable stuff right there!
Who is it for?
This book is obviously for self-made men and women who want to pursue a self-employed career or establish a welding side business. Not to forget that it’s now easier than ever to sell products or services online and the welding industry is no different. But no matter if you intend to open a brick and mortar or an online shop, you’ll need to understand the basics of running a business to be successful in the long run.
Lucky you, after reading this book, you’ll be half-way there!
A welding career is, without a doubt, a fulfilling one. The various challenges you’ll have to face every day in the shop, whether it’s to find the most efficient process to perform the task at hand or finding new and clever ways to keep the manufacturing cost as low as you can while providing the best quality possible to your customer, will require a huge amount of creative thinking and an innovative point-of-view. To be a good welder, though, you’ll need to constantly stay up-to-date with the latest developments in technology and the most recent best welding practices. In order to do that, improving your knowledge through continuing education is essential and learning through textbooks are probably your best best. They are definitely cheaper than a complete school curriculum as well as being a lot more convenient for busy workers like us!
So? What are you waiting for? Grab one of these books and start improving your welding knowledge today!
You can thank us later!