I think when trying to find a magnetic welding mirror, it helps to know when you would use it. Just so that you’re sure it is exactly what you need.
I’m going to explain when you would use one. Then I’ll explain how to find yourself the right magnetic welding mirror for you.
If you are already familiar with when to use, scroll on past, down to the how to choose and find one. The details you need are below.
When Would you Use a Magnetic Welding Mirror?
Here are the situations where the use of a magnetic welding mirror is just what you need:
- When you are welding up a part that cannot be bought into the workshop because it is too large or it is just impractical.
- You can’t take it to the workshop and on top of that the access to that part is cramped. You can get your MIG gun or TIG torch in to weld – just about. But not yourself and your welding hood.
- You need to weld round a pipe or a cylinder. But welding access to the back is possible but you can’t see the joint back there.
- You weld with a prescription lens and the position of the weld is difficult to see.
In fact, any weld situation, where the part or part of the part is in a tight spot. Yes you can weld but you then can’t see the weld.
Whether you are new to welding or even a more experience welder, you may have struggled making a weld. If only someone had told you that using a magnetic welding a mirror would have helped.
What is a Magnetic Welding Mirror?
At its very simplest a magnetic welding mirror, is a mirror attached to a magnet or to a magnetic base.
Usually a specialist magnetic mirror for welding also has one or more ball joints and swivel angles.
This is so that you can twist and turn the welding mirror throughout 360 degrees to get the very best angle on your weld.
The mirror may be at the end of extending ball and swivel joints with the magnetic base at the opposite end.
Or the mirror could be attached to a ball joint at the end of an extending telescoping handle.
The mirror may have included LED lights.
Using Your Magnetic Base Welding Mirror
Use when you are working around mild steel or low carbon steel. What, I hear you ask.
It may be an obvious thing to state but for the magnetism of the magnetic welding mirror to work, you need to attach it something magnetic. Mild steel and low carbon steel has enough iron in it to attract a magnet.
Have plenty of points to attach your magnetic based welding mirror to?
For example welding around a car, truck or tractor where you have mild steel fenders, a bonnet etc. Then go ahead and get one.
You’ll need to think of another way to attach your mirror.
How to Choose your Magnetic Mirror for Welding
- You’ll want a mirror that is robust, and as durable as possible. After all you’ll be taking it to site. It will be in and out of your tool box. It’s all too easy to drop and break.
- Look for a mirror with a strong magnet on the base. The magnet needs to hold firm to the surface you attach it to. Yet hold the weight of the swivel angles or ball joints plus the mirror on the end. And you want the magnetic base to hold your mirror at exactly the angle you need. Not drooping down as soon as you go to weld.
- The joints of the mirrors need to be well constructed or easily tightened. It’s so frustrating to arrive at your weld, ready to go and a joint on the welding mirror fails and you can’t get it into the position you want.
- Preferably choose a mirror that is square shaped or even rectangular as personally I find those shapes give you the best view of your weld.
- If you use prescription lenses then choosing a mirror that magnifies may well be exactly what you need.
- Choose a mirror large enough to give you a good view of your weld. If the space you’re welding in is restricted, then you may need to compromise and select a welding mirror that is small enough to fit into the space you’re working in.
Or get yourself a selection of mirror sizes.
- If the welding mirror itself has led lights on it, then that could be useful to you or a pain. The LED lights are often too bright and reflective and of little use. Personally I think a small well positioned pen torch is of more use.
- Where you can, check the reviews before you buy. Are users reporting that the joints fail after a short time? The magnetic base on your welding mirror is weak and won’t hold the mirror and its extending arm up? The led lights are too bright obscuring the view of your weld?
If the magnetic welding mirror you’ve chosen has poor feed back then move on and choose something else and save your frustration.
Using your Magnetic Welding Mirror
If you have never welded with one before and would like to know how to go about it and get some tips and techniques. Do take a look at my article here on the site “Welding Mirror – Tips on How to Choose and Techniques to Use“.
As with all things welding practice makes perfect and once you have the hang of welding this way you have many more options on the types of welds you’re happy to take on.
My Best Suggestions for A Good Magnetic Welding Mirror
I have three suggestions here on welding mirrors with magnetic bases I like and ones I think are worth you taking a look at. They as a minimum may give you some mirror ideas to think about.
My Best Pick
I like this mirror by Ullman Devices. Even though it is called an inspection mirror it makes a good welding viewing mirror. It has a well made magnetic base, is well regarded and reasonably priced.
A downside is that it is a circular mirror and I prefer square and rectangular ones for better weld viewing.
A good reason to buy is that you can buy it in 2 1/4 inch size and the Ullman C-2X in 3 1/4 inch diameter size. The larger sized mirror is only a little more expensive.
It is telescoping and has two angle joints allowing it to be adjusted to different lengths and positions on a ball joint at the bottom.
And what is really great is that you can buy additional or replacement mirrors, called a C-2HD mirror.
My Runner Up Pick
I like this one as it is available as a rectangular welding mirror. Just choose the option for the Inspection Mirror Lighted Magnetic Base II. It has LED lights.
I not a fan of the lights, as I just find them too reflective. Unfortunately choosing not light mean you then have to have the round mirror.
You may well decide the lights are fine for you.
It is extendable with two joints that you can use to adjust the mirror to the angle you want.
Other user’s feed back has been positive as well.
Worth Thinking about
When you’re not sure you want to go with a specialist magnetic welding mirror – make one up.
If you don’t need the swivel angle or extending arms then get yourself a decent mirror. This one is 3″ x 4″, which is a good size. This camping mirror is a robust and sturdy mirror designed to take a few bumps and knocks.
Then attach a heavy duty (Master Magnetics Adhesive Magnet) and stick it on the back. These magnets are self adhesive.
A great mirror, a good size and with the addition of a great magnet on the back, you have your magnetic welding mirror.
I hope you enjoyed my article “Magnetic Welding Mirror Get One [View that Hard to See Weld]”. I’ve outlined what a welding mirror that is magnetic is all about. When you may want to use one and how to go about choosing a good one. If my suggestions were not to your taste then I hope I have given you enough information to find yourself something better.