Having the right equipment is essential when welding. Most importantly, you must have the right protective gear. From protective clothing like boots, gloves, flame/fire retardant aprons/clothing, etc., to earmuffs and plugs, respirators, welding helmets, goggles or hand shields, it's imperative to ensure your safety for any welding projects. However, getting the perfect protective gear for your welding project is not always easy. That's because there are usually several options available and many considerations to make. Therefore, you need all the guidance you can get, especially if you are a first-time buyer. This piece looks into some of the top considerations you need to make when selecting a welding helmet.
Consider The Viewing Area
Visibility is crucial when you put on your welding helmet. Naturally, a helmet with a larger viewing area is a better option because you can see more and better, enhancing your welding results. Besides having a large viewing area, the ideal welding helmet should also have high-class optics, allowing you to clearly see the materials you're welding, enhancing your welding efficiency. What's more, ensure the helmet you select offers proper peripheral vision and doesn't have a green haze that can affect how you see your welds.
Assess The Lens Type
The type and quality of the lens are other crucial factors to consider when selecting a welding helmet. Welding helmets come in two primary lenses: passive and auto-darkening lenses. Passive lenses are usually a less costly option than their auto-darkening counterparts. Typically, passive lens welding helmets, also referred to as standard lenses, come in only one shade. And to use them, you have to snap your neck or nod to get the helmet into the correct position to shield your eyes and face. However, this design makes them the least ergonomic option compared to auto-darkening lenses. In addition, you have to snap the helmet into place at the right time. Otherwise, you risk exposing your face and eyes to harmful light. For these reasons, passive lenses may not be the right option if you are a beginner and inexperienced.
On the other hand, auto-darkening lenses automatically change their shade to fit your needs while welding. They feature sensors that lighten and darken the shade of the lenses, depending on what you are doing. For instance, when you strike an arc, the lenses will darken automatically and lighten once you are done, allowing you to inspect your work. This design comes with high convenience and efficiency.
Worth noting is that if you select auto-darkening lenses, you will need to decide between variable and fixed shade options. As the name implies, fixed shade auto-darkening lenses will only darken to a defined shade level. This is ideal if you are working on single material whose recommended shade level is predefined. However, if you must weld different materials, a variable-shade auto-darkening lens would be the perfect solution.
For more information about different types of welding helmets, like Speedglas Adflo helmets, contact a local supplier.