So, what is a good welding helmet? Well, this article is the answer to this question.
By definition, in keeping with the official Merriam Webster definition, a welding helmet is “a helmet utilized in arc welding that shields the front of the head, has a shielding lens for the eyes, and is outfitted with a headgear on which it could commonly be tilted up out of the way.”
For a welder, the most important tool to maintaining their safety concerns especially with regards to the face area is the welding helmet.
Luckily for us, in this time and age there are many different styles of welding helmets to be had on the market, each one designed with its own specs and features, with the sole aim of offering a more convenient welding experience to the welder.
Regardless of the size, features, shape, viewing area and additional controls, every welding helmet should first and foremost be in accordance with the National Safety Standards, which have been created to ensure that users are capable of getting their work done with the utmost ease along with the most safety.
This may additionally imply whether or not the tool meets the criteria of the ANSI Z87.1 – 2003 standards, which make certain that helmets and lenses have passed through accurate and independent testing to reveal that they will that they are capable and sturdy enough to bear the strain of high velocity projectiles from flying objects, provide complete protection from the exposure to harmful ultraviolet and infrared light with the aid of special filtering systems that work regardless of color setting, and of course ought to be products that are able to switch speeds and colour shades in all kinds of conditions.
A precise and strong welding helmet will not only be responsible for the protection of your eyes and skin from problems which may even include more serious issues such as retina burns, which can bring about a lack of vision but will also permit you to take your welding skills to the next level as you will be able focus on your work without having to pause and this will enhance your quality of work as well..
While this guide will eventually make sure you are aware of the important features that go into the creation of a good welding helmet, it is also important to be sure of what you as a user requires. This is why it is important to ask yourself a few important questions before you actually make your purchase.
What type of work are you doing?
The first question has to be on the scope and nature of your work as this will make it abundantly clear what kind of tools you require. Many welders find that their job includes working on a material that has a uniform thickness and viscosity and therefore they can invest in a more affordable and less high tech version. You may additionally find that in case you are working mostly indoors, then you cannot possibly work well with a helmet that is solar powered and might want to look at a battery or electric powered device instead.
Do you need specialized grinding and welding options?
There is a reason why not all welding helmets will come with a built in grinding or purely welding mode. This is because for most welding operators, grinding takes a lot of time in the welding process. Some helmets do provide a grind mode which is important as the consequent dust and debris that pops up can cause quite the obstruction in your view. With an outside grind adjustment option, the push of a button puts the helmet into grind mode and automatically readjusts the lens, which helps enhance productiveness and protection since there may be no need for the operator to take away the helmet to make any more adjustments.
What type of environment are you running in?
The next logical question that pops up is what kind of an environment you are going to be functioning in. It’s important to understand the kind of surroundings you’ll be operating in when selecting a welding helmet because if you are constantly being exposed to really high temperatures or have dangerous debris flying at you, this requires a more heavy duty device. There are plenty of vital functions that one need to check out and a better quality device does not always have to be pricier. While it is definitely true that whatever product you purchase shouldn’t have to be a high end one it is also true that because this device needs amazing specs and features it should be a welding helmet of awesome quality.
What sort of layout are you looking for?
Another important question to ask has to do with the kind of design and build of the product. Most helmets available these days are composed of a nonflammable body that is a given due to the nature of the job at hand and there has to be some kind of a strap that may be adjusted firmly on the top to make certain it doesn’t slide off or annoy the user. In terms of the build, another important aspect has to be the amount of comfort and ease the helmet offers as many will not be too comfortable as they focus more on the technical aspects and this can be harmful in the long term.
Now that we have gotten the basics out of the way, it is time to set our sights onto the more detailed specifics of what actually constitutes as a good welding helmet. These are a few of the additional and crucial elements that we feel should always be taken into consideration before a purchase.
This is an important feature because not only is it the time required for the lens to replace from light to dark, it is also a feature that will equate how safe this helmet is to use. The switching speed has to be super-fast in order to keep away from being flashed. The most common and most sought after speeds in the business usually range from 1/10,000 to 1/25,000 and these are the two fastest ones most commercial helmets have to offer. While it is true that a fraction of a second may not exactly register easily to the naked eye, to any user who has to actually work in those dangerous conditions even the different of a second may protect them from irreversible damage. In the short term your eyes might experience fatigue and may feel dry scratchy but in the longer term this may translate into permanent damage. A good example of this is the Bullard Welding SparxLift Helmet.
Built in Respirator
Now this is a feature that most devices do not have because it might not be as important, however in some jobs welding tactics can regularly expose welders to dangerous gases and particulate matter which can harm the lungs and even your skin. Exposure to such gases, smoke, and fumes may be extremely risky to welders who do not have the tools to protect them with ventilation.
Exposure to these fumes produced by means of welding in extreme cases may even lead to irreversible harm to the lungs, liver or even your central nervous system. However some of the latest in welding technology comes with respirators within which deflect the smoke and fumes but the drawback is that not a lot of brands are working to incorporate this tool. We recommend the Adflo Powered Air Purifying Respiratory Helmet.
Number of sensors
Next up we have equally important technological advancement in helmet based technology and that is the number of sensors a device may have. This applies to all kinds of helmets from an entry degree helmet to a professional grade helmet since the more the sensors the more opportunity to adjust and control the product and also increase the safety measures. Most good helmets have around three sensors which are excellent for users welding as a past time but for serious and heavy duty operators, 4 or 5 is the preferred quantity. YesWelder 4 Arc Sensor is out top pick in this category.
Weight is another equally important and vital feature in the mix for the perfect welding helmet as and it directly correlates to your comfort. If the device you are using is lighter in weight it will automatically translate to a reduced amount of pressure on the user’s neck which will help the user’s quality of work to be better as well since the fatigue will be limited and they will be able to focus on the work. While many products are quite heavy and consequently require a professional hand for use properly, once you discover a helmet that is lighter you may experience the difference. Jackson safety W10 HLX helmet is one of the most lightweight ones in the market.
Adjustable Delay Controls
Adjustable delay controls are another extremely useful feature that most helmets usually do not have. This function essentially allows the consumer to set a time frame as to how long the lens should become darker or lighter after the welding arc stops. We like the Instapark ADF Series in this category.
In conclusion, while the user may read this buying guide and figure out the kind of product best suited to their needs, it is still vital to keep looking into their preference and then making a decision. I am sure, after reading this article, you won’t ask anyone else what is a good welding helmet.