So you’ve been told you need a welding helmet is a necessary accessory in your très chic workshop. You may be asking yourselves why do you need a welding helmet, and how is it different from other helmets? Allow me to explain.
Welding Helmets are a form of protective headgear common in a workshop. While regular helmets only cover and protect the top part of your head, most welding helmets offer protection for your entire head, including your face, eyes and even your neck. This is important because your helmet needs to protect you from different types of damage.
While you are welding, an intense amount of heat is emitted, which can cause damage to the skin even without direct contact. Any affordable welding helmet also protects you from any sparks that come flying towards your face and eyes.
Another possible risk while welding is the loss of eyesight. If you’ve ever seen welding before, you know that it creates a blinding light which is hard to look at. What you may not know is that during welding, infrared and ultraviolet rays are also emitted, which can cause damage to your eye retina if you are exposed to them without protection. Increased exposure can lead to eye complications and even blindness. For this reason, all helmet have a sort of visor made out of tinted glass, tinted plastic, or polarized lenses. This provides you the necessary protection, enabling you to stare
directly at the object you are working on.
Now that we’ve established the function and importance of the welding helmet, it’s time to choose your helmet. Should you buy just any old welding helmet? What are the parameters you have to consider when choosing
a great value welding helmet?
A major factor you should consider is the actual weight of the helmet. While you may be tempted to go with the heavier helmets for the extra protection, it isn’t always the best idea. Wearing a heavy helmet for long periods of time can be quite exhausting. A lighter helmet can be more accommodating, thus increasing the amount of time you are able to work without getting tired.
Another thing you need to make sure of is that your helmet of choice meets the national safety standards. Each country has a different set of safety standards, and it’s your responsibility to check if your helmet meets
all of them. The safety standards include various specifications of the standard lens, the speed at which you can switch from one lens mode to the other, and the degree of darkening on the lens itself.
Since I brought up lens darkening, let’s elaborate on it. When discussing lens darkening, there are two types of helmets you should know about: Passive Welding Helmets and Auto-Darkening Helmets (ADF). In order to simplify matters, imagine the difference between the two to be the difference between driving manual and automatic.
The Pass Welding Helmets, much like Manual cars, are cheaper and easier to replace. You can swap different lenses based on your needs, which gives you more option when welding. Much like Manual, on the other hand, you
are forced to make constant adjustments while you are working. The ADF, however, only comes in two modes, which is positive and negative. Its consistency allows you to focus on your work without constant checkups on your progress, with the tradeoff of limited options that limit the type of work you can do with the helmet.
Regardless of which helmet you end up buying, there is one thing you must remember: safety should always be your top priority!