Sunday, February 5, 2023

Best Welding Helmet – Guide & Reviews

When it comes to welding, nothing is more important than having the best welding helmet for your needs. Being able to see what you’re doing while also being protected from blinding lights and sparks is crucial to ensuring your health and safety on the job.

I’ve been welding and grinding for years, and I’ve had plenty of experience with various helmets, and I want to share my expertise with you today. Whether you’re a novice welder or a veteran like me, you can find what you’re looking for here.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the best helmets you can find anywhere and created a handy guide to help you discover the perfect helmet for your work site.

Choosing the Best Welding Helmet

In the old days, choosing a helmet was a much simpler process. Most welders had a unit with a single shade that they used for all jobs. However, modern technology has made the average welding helmet much more sophisticated, meaning you need to pay a little more attention to the features offered. That being said, here are five things to consider when picking out your helmet.

Standard vs. Auto Darkening

When I started my welding career, I used a hand-me-down from my dad. His was an old-school, standard-shade helmet. It worked fine for most of my jobs, but once I got a taste of automatic, I knew I could never return.

An auto-darkening helmet is a device that senses when you are working and adjusts the shade level accordingly. That way, you can see what you’re doing when not welding and set everything to your preference. Here are some pros and cons of each type.

Manual

  • Cheaper
  • Never have to worry about flashing
  • Larger screen
  • I can’t see when not working
  • Not ideal for all jobs

Automatic

  • Customize your settings
  • Work non-stop without having to flip up
  • Perfect for a broader range of jobs
  • Sensors may not always work correctly
  • Higher risk of flashing

Overall, the trend is moving towards automatic helmets, but they are imperfect. That being said, I have compiled a list of primarily automatic helmets, as most modern work sites require them.

View Screen Size

One of the more crucial aspects of a welding helmet is the viewing area. If you can’t see what you’re doing, then what’s the point? I prefer a more wide view screen so I can see more of everything, but unfortunately, most automatic helmets have a narrow window with which to work.

Part of the reason is that a smaller surface area requires less power for the sensors so you will get less screen space than a standard shade model.

Nonetheless, certain helmets have more expansive viewing areas than others, so find ​the best welding helmet that fits your eyesight ​and go with that.

Welding Rating

As mentioned above, people consider automatic helmets the best welding helmets today because they can be adjusted to work on a broader variety of job sites than a standard model. Thus, when choosing your helmet, ensure it is rated for the work you’ll be doing. Most helmets are designed for Stick, MIG, and TIG welding, but not all are suitable for laser or plasma welding, not to mention grinding. Depending on your work, get a unit that can handle all of it.

Design and Color

At one of my first job sites, they issued everyone a helmet when they got hired. Since they were all standard, everyone got an all-black design. To help us keep track of them, they had to spray paint big numbers on the side, so we didn’t get them mixed up.

Thankfully, with my current job, we can use our helmets, meaning I can pick out a design and color scheme that matches my style. Depending on the brand you get, you may be able to choose from various helmets, which also means that you can stand out from everyone else. You don’t have to worry about anyone accidentally taking it (although intentionally is another story).

Compatibility

Finally, the last thing you should look at for your helmet is whether or not it is compatible with a stiff hat or a cheater lens. Most welding helmets can be customized to fit a hard hat, but not all of them. Depending on your work, a hard hat may be necessary, so your helmet has to accommodate the larger size.

Similarly, cheater lenses may be necessary for your work (or if you prefer to work with a magnifier like me), which means you need a helmet that can hold an extra lens. Many higher-end models can do this, but if you get a cheaper version, you may not be able to.

Top Resources For Welders

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