There are different health and safety hazards related to welding and welders are well aware of that. This is the reason they need a complete safety gear to protect their eyes from injuries and to do their job efficiently.
Welding helmet is the best personal protective equipment to protect their face. But it is also important to know the different types of welding helmets and choose the best.
Whether you need to work at a mechanic’s garage or oil rig, a welding helmet is all you need for the right eye protection.
There is nothing wrong in investing a bit extra for their safety, efficiency and comfort. At least welders are doing a tough job and they deserve high quality welding helmets.
6 Different Kinds of Welding Helmets Explained
There is nothing more important for a welder than a helmet in his projects. It is a shield for a welder, at least for the time while he works. It is very vital for you to choose the one you are comfortable with. In this section, we will cover helmets for all kinds of welding jobs –
Passive welding helmet
This type of welding helmet just gives basic protection without any bells and whistles. It prevents debris, extreme heat and UV rays as it is built with a sturdy material. If you just want simple equipment and you are on a limited budget, you can go with this one.
As the name suggests, this group of automatic welders helmet adjusts the lens on its own. Welders don’t have to adjust the helmet constantly which can reduce their productivity. This is relatively new welding helmet technology that really helps welders in different kinds of jobs.
Solar powered helmet
These kinds of helmets are economical in the long run. You don’t have to change battery pack every now and then. It automatically turns the lens off when it is left idle. However, you need to charge it by keeping it under the sun.
Battery powered helmet
It consists of a replaceable or rechargeable Lithium ion battery. It is up to your own preference as whether you go for battery or solar powered welding helmets.
Fixed shade lens
These kinds of helmets have an old-school shade level of 10. They don’t adjust to arc brightness. If you have just one type of work and only one material type to work on, you can go with this one.
Variable shade lens
The lens in this helmet adapts to all types of brightness and lights emitted by a welding arc. It is the best choice to work on different kinds of projects with various materials.
TIG welders additionally release brighter arc than MIG welders as well as would certainly call for a darker lens than you would make use of on a MIG welder.
How to Choose a Welding Helmet
You can choose the welding helmet for MIG on the basis of your tasks, preference and safety requirements. Welding helmets have their safety standards, such as protection from UV and infrared rays, and protection from debris.
You should also consider the weight and choose the coolest welding helmet which doesn’t cause neck pain or hinder your movement. It should be strong enough to deal with external objects and protect you from emitted heat and light.
Tips for Choosing a Welding Helmet
Single Fixed Shade vs. Variable Shade Lenses
Also known as passive welder’s helmet, standard welding helmet has static IR and UV filter with a shade of 10. On the other side, variable shade helmets are also known as auto-darkening lens due to their electronic filter lens.
The sensors darken the lens automatically when they detect a welding arc. Hence, these are considered as the most expensive welding helmets.
Various lens shades are required for various welding processes. For instance MIG & TIG welding are low-intensity processes, so a lighter lens color will be liked.
To know more: Fixed shade vs Variable shade
The ANSI Z87.1-2003 is the most recent safety standard which requires manufacturers to prove that they can validate the specifications from lab testing.
All welding helmets don’t meet the existing safety standard. See the marking of the helmet packaging and look for ANSI Z87.1-2003 or higher. It means the helmet is approved by ANSI.
The reaction time or switching speed of the lens is another important consideration. When it comes to usual ratings, it should be between 1/3600th part of a second to whopping 1/25000. It defines the time it takes to switch from normal to shade #3 or shade #4.
Battery vs. Solar Powered or both
There are different power options available for auto darkening welding helmets. Some have non-removable batteries with solar panel. While others have removable batteries with solar panel.
Some have Lithium batteries which increase the cost. Some helmets require direct sunlight for charging to use.
It is recommended to choose lighter welding helmet to reduce fatigue and neck strain for longer use. There are several other factors combined to choose a welding helmet. Choose a helmet with lightest weight if you are using it just for welding.
Who Makes The Best Welding Helmet
Along with the above factors, you should also consider the best brand that makes the best welding helmet. To help you, we have come up with a few of the best-selling brands –
It is one of the first choices for auto-darkening welding helmets. They offer a mix of premium optics, comfort and adaptability for welding headgears.
It is the pioneer in welding segment. Inventor welding helmets and other products are some of the best examples. Comfort is the main reason to choose the auto darkening helmet from Hobart. It offers a great value for money.
It is another best-selling brand because its welding helmets are easily available in fabrication stores. They are specialized in HaloX headgear setup within. Many welders go for its digital shade controls to indicate shade level.
How to Adjust Welding Helmet
First of all, look for a clear and clean surface. Lift up the front, swing it over the headband and check if battery is placed well. Adjust the timer for shield delay to switch from light to dark and vice versa.
You can adjust the delay time from 0.25 to 0.35 second if you set fast setting and you can set slower setting from 0.6 to 0.8 second. There is an adjustment knob to adjust the shade setting.
You can usually find this knob on the left side of several auto-darkening helmets. A welder can adjust the darkness intensity as per the kind of welding.
What is grind mode on a welding helmet
These days, some modern welding helmets have a grind mode which is really helpful after weld cleanup. You can turn the helmet to grind mode with single flip of switch or push of a button.
The grind mode really improves welder’s safety and productivity as it doesn’t need welders to remove helmet for adjustments. There is an external grind button which enables you to choose two welding modes to set and switch between them.
What is the best welding helmet for the money
If you are confused between different kinds of welding helmets, the best choice is completely up to your preference. If you want long battery life, we recommend lithium battery powered helmets.
If you want lower cost for battery replacement and wider availability, choose the welding helmets powered by AAA batteries.
To know more: Best welding Helmet for Money
What are the various components of welding hand shields and helmets
A welding hand shield is a kind of mask to be held by an observer for a while. It is one of the components of personal protective equipment to protect the eyes of welder from damage due to light and heat in the process.
Welding hand shields and helmets are designed for prolonged use. The major components of hand shields are the lens and shell.
The shell should be strong enough to prevent any light to pass through and lens should be able to lower the amount of light which goes through it for eye protection. Both hand shield and shell should resist heat and withstand scratches, impact, and splatter.
Every welding helmet is made to protect the wearers from harmful infrared and ultraviolet rays when welding arc is started. But there are still plenty of options.
The key here is to know the purpose for using a welding helmet. In addition, viewing lens, weight and budget are other important factors.
A lot of welders prefer comfort and convenience. So, they prefer auto darkening and solar powered helmets that can pay off in terms of efficiency and enhanced productivity.