Welding is a dangerous profession—which is why all welders need welding helmets, among other protective devices. The price of these helmets can range from $20.00 to over $1,000. Apart from price, though, what are important factors to consider when looking for the perfect welding helmet? According to weldinghelmetgenius.com and weldingdesign.com, some factors to consider are the lens, shade, controls and speed, weight, speed, and safety standards.
In 1981, the first auto-darkening welding helmet was invented. Because of this, welders have two choices regarding their lens type: the auto-darkening lens or the standard lens. The lens protects the wearer from UV and infrared rays, so it is an important consideration when purchasing a helmet. As the name suggests, sensors on auto-darkening lenses make the lens darker as the welder starts working in a blink. Unlike standard lenses that need to be flipped down and up for visibility, the auto-darkening lenses provide both convenience and usability. This is especially useful for jobs in small spaces. For those who have decided that they need auto-darkening welding helmets, they also need to consider the power source—battery or solar powered.
The shade of a welding helmet is how dark the lens gets—each shade is assigned a number. When working with different material, the necessary lens shade ranges anywhere from #9 to #13. On the other hand, if a welder only works with one material (e.g. steel), then he or she only needs a helmet that darkens to shade #10.
Higher grade auto-darkening welding helmets come with a number of controls. These controls allow the professional to control how long his or her helmet stays dark after the job is done to the sensitivity of the helmet. Also, some helmets get darker faster than others. These are important things to consider when purchasing a helmet, as they contribute to comfort and convenience.
The weight of the helmet, while usually overlooked, is also among the important things to consider when purchasing one. A heavy helmet causes increased strain on the neck, translating to less work done. The heavier his or her helmet, the shorter a professional can work—a heavy helmet is also detrimental to health. The weight contributes both to comfort and usability.
Last but not the least, the compliance of the helmet to safety regulations. While a helmet may be more affordable than the other, a welder should always purchase whichever one is safer. The entire point of the helmet is to keep the welder safe, albeit some helmets do their jobs better than others.The entire point of the helmet is to keep the welder safe, albeit some helmets do their jobs better than others.
When it comes to welding, comfort and convenience are both important factors to consider when purchasing equipment of any kind. The more comfortable his or her helmet, the more work the welder can get done. A welding helmet plays a huge role in a welder’s career because of its protection as well as usability—the more features, the better. While welding is definitely a dangerous job, if one takes the proper precautions, he or she will shine in the profession.