Safety remains the number one priority in fabrication or sculptural engineering processes. In high heat metal process such as welding, the eyes and head of a welder are always at risk. Most welders will tell you that you will need the best helmet to enjoy a welding experience.
The importance of a welding helmet is to provide maximum eye and head protection. When welding you are constantly exposed to hot slag, flying bodies (grit, particles, debris, sparks and dust), particulate fumes and gases, Infrared and UV rays, arc flash, extreme heat and chemical burns.
There are other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as Fire and electricity resistant clothing, hand shields, welding gloves, aprons, and boots. In this article, we are going to determine the best welding helmets you can use to protect yourself from heat, fires, burns and arc-eye.
There are two types of welding helmets:
• Fixed-shade welding helmets
• Passive welding helmets
• Auto-darkening welding helmets
Passive welding helmets
This type of helmet is common among welders. Its simple design makes it more affordable and budget-friendly.
• Fixed-shade welding helmets
These types of helmets come with a fixed conventional shade, typically level 10. It is ideal when you are working on one kind of material and project. In welding the lens shades vary from level 5 to 13, the typical shade you will find on passive helmets is shade 10.
• Variable shade welding helmets
These types of welding helmets come with adjustable filter lens shades. Welding processes such as Stick, MIG, and TIG have different welding amperage and arc ray brightness so that you will need a different shade for each. Being able to change the shades accordingly manually allows you to work on various projects using the same helmet.
Auto-darkening welding helmets
In case you are tired of changing lenses, you can try an Auto-darkening welding helmet. It’s design features class-leading LCD technology, which comes with adjustable sensitivity delay settings. Others come with a backlit, color touchscreen control panel.
It detects the light coming from the welding and adjusts accordingly. It improves productivity, reduces distraction and improves the quality of welds by eliminating the manual adjusting process.
The best welding helmets with auto-darkening functionality have the highest number of sensors, four. The lower the number of sensors (2 & 3) the more affordable the device. Industrial grade Auto-darkening welding helmets come with lens reaction time speeds of 1/10,000 to 1/25,000 of a second and can stay dark for a long after the arc stops.
The automation in these types of helmets gets its power from either a fixed battery, rechargeable or replaceable battery or solar power. Solar-powered Auto-darkening welding helmets are economical in the sense that you can recharge them.
When using a passive welding helmet, it is essential to use a fire-resistant hood underneath to protect the back of your head. Manufacturers will always advise in their guidelines that you use the right lens shade the type of welding. Therefore, you will have to adjust the filter lens until you have clear visibility and eye comfort.
Welding helmets protect you from UV radiation, particles, debris, hot slag and chemical burns. You must wear the right lens shade for the work you are carrying out. Use the guide that comes with the helmet is to adjust the lens filter and achieve excellent visibility.
Popular welding helmets cover the entire head and come with an internal fire-resistant hood. The passive type will come with separate attachments like side shields, respirators and hearing protection. You require adequate protection for your eyes and skin from exposure to welding arc rays and fumes.
Top 12 companies that provide the best welding helmets include:
• Lincoln Electric
The best welding helmet should be affordable and offer qualities that match your specification and personality. In America, welding helmets should meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, such as the ANSI Z87. 1+.
Certain factors are essential in the selection of a welding helmet such as Brand, viewing area, headgear, weight, material, optical class, ventilation and shade variability. The best welding helmet should be affordable or within your budget and offer dependable function and top features such as
• High shade variability
• Wide viewing area
• High lens clarity
• Head and eye Comfort
The best welding helmet should match your specification and personality: colour and artwork. You are likely to find comfort in a lightweight, head-gripping and well-padded or cushioned welding helmet. Besides a modest price, most buyers would go for a welding helmet with a more extended warranty.
As you have noticed, there are many factors to consider when determining popular welding helmets. You can choose a welding helmet based on your unique desires. You need to know what you need before you buy one, this will help in filtering the different options.