It might seem easy to overlook the variety of welding helmets and just opt for the cheapest, but you have to understand that it plays a very crucial role in your health and safety while working. When it comes to choosing the right helmet, you should not settle for just any random headgear. It’s best to invest with the right protective equipment in order to keep yourself safe.
If you’re planning to buy a new welding helmet soon, take a look at these points so you can make a sound purchase.
1. Passive Helmet
A passive helmet is one of the two types of headgear for welders, and it comes with a fix-shade lens made of glass. This type of welding helmet has been worn and used by welders for years. It’s also notable for being more affordable and optically clear. When wearing a passive helmet, you have to flip it up so you can check your work station, and position the electrode properly.
To start welding, you have to flip your passive helmet down again so your eyes and face will be protected. This action can lead to neck fatigue and stress injuries, so this option may not be ideal for many. That said, novice welders might find it difficult to position an electrode when wearing a passive helmet. You also have to make sure that you snap your passive helmet at the right time, or else you’ll be exposed to harmful light.
2. Auto Darkening Helmet
Auto-darkening helmets, on the other hand, automatically darken when the torch is lit up, and turn clearer when the torch is not used. When shopping for this kind of headgear, you have to look out for the speed of its auto-darkening filter. For you to choose the best auto-darkening helmet, you have to select one with a standard and safe rate of 1/25000. The faster the speed is, the gentler it is on your eyes.
Other things you should consider are its sensor, cheater lens compatibility, and other special features. One great perk about the auto-darkening helmet is that there’s no need to constantly flip your helmet every now and then. Not only does it minimize eye strain, but it also lowers the risks of neck problems that a passive helmet can trigger. However, auto-darkening helmets are significantly more expensive than passive helmets because of its advanced features.
3. Ease of Comfort
You should always check if you are comfortable with the welding helmet that you intend to purchase by trying it on. Comfort is a big deal here, as you will be wearing the helmet frequently. It’s best to try on a helmet first so you can evaluate how comfortable it is for you.
Check if it’s adjustable, and that it won’t easily fall off when you bend. Heavier helmets tend to put a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders, thus they’re not highly recommended to be worn for a long time. If you have to work for longer hours, a lighter helmet is much better for you. However, you should know that lighter helmets that are made out of plastic shells are generally more expensive than regular ones.
4. Viewing Area
Another important factor is the size of the helmet’s viewing area. This is still up to your level of comfort and preference. The main concern is that you have to make sure that your helmet provides you a clear view of your weld pool, so you can work efficiently and accurately. For example, if you will be working with larger metals, then it would be appropriate for you to get a helmet with a larger viewing area.
5. Your Needs and Frequency of Usage
When choosing the right helmet for you, you have to identify your preferences. Is there a helmet feature, or specification that you need? What kind of projects will you be working on? How often are you going to use a welding helmet? You have to ask yourself these kinds of questions so you can weigh in realistic options.
If you are just going to work on a small project at home for a short time, then it may not be necessary to splurge on a fancy welding helmet. If you are a professional welder, then it would be more practical for you to invest in an advanced welding helmet that would ensure your safety on a long-term basis.
Investing in a good welding helmet is an investment for your safety. Choosing one can be a daunting experience at first because of the overwhelming options available in the market. However, that shouldn’t be the case. You can simplify the process by knowing your preferences, what are you comfortable with, and what fits your budget.