At present, there are nearly 405,000 certified welders in the United States alone. Hundreds of thousands of other people have taught themselves to handle a welder with skill and style. Reports show that the welding industry is surging by almost six percent per year, meaning the demand for this type of skill set is on the rise. Whether you’re planning for a lucrative career in this field or simply learning the craft to take care of projects around the house, you’ll need a good welding helmet to keep you safe and preserve your vision.
Choosing the Right Welding Helmet
Numerous welding helmets are on the market right now. Companies like Lincoln Electric offer a vast selection for certified professionals and hobbyists alike. Keep in mind, though, that not all helmets are created equally. If you’re looking for a new welding helmet, take a look at the following considerations to help ensure you get the right one to suit your needs.
1) Helmet Weight
While the weight of a welding helmet may seem like a minor consideration, it’s actually a major factor in the selection process. You can expect this type of gear to have a bit of bulk to it because of the components required to make it work properly. Still, even some of the more advanced models are lighter than others. If the helmet you choose is too heavy, it’s not going to be comfortable. As such, wearing it will make welding a great deal less enjoyable. You may even be inclined to take your chances without the helmet, which could be a dangerous move.
2) Lens Type
Picking a helmet with the most suitable lens is also essential. They’re available in fixed- and variable-shade models. Fixed-shade helmets provide a single, steady type of protection against the light given off by welding torches. These are helpful if you routinely work with the same type of welding equipment and materials.
On the other hand, variable-shade lenses are equipped with sensors that adjust their levels of protection based on the intensity of the welding arc. If you use different types of welders, techniques, and materials, these would be the better option. Consider reading up on the latest safety standards as they apply to the types of welding you’ll be doing. That’ll help you better understand which type of lens would meet your needs.
3) Lens Switching Speed
Switching speed refers to how quickly the helmet’s protective lens springs into action when you begin welding. Some switch faster than others. Slower speeds are usually fine if you only do occasional spot-welding. In the event you weld for hours at a time, faster switching speeds are recommended.
4) Power Source
All welding helmets require a power source. Some are battery powered whereas others operate on solar power. Certain models are equipped with both, so you always have a backup. Additionally, some welding helmets have replaceable batteries while others have fixed versions. They’re also powered by different types of batteries. Though solar-powered helmets may be the most environmentally friendly option, they need to be exposed to sunlight to recharge. That could be a problem if you’re indoors most of the time and can’t charge your helmet during daylight hours.
Customization may be the least crucial point to consider when choosing a welding helmet, but it’s still worth some thought. No one truly needs a helmet that reflects his or her personality, but it can certainly bring a little extra excitement to the table. Numerous designs are available, so there’s no harm in shopping around for one that shows your style.
Find Your Perfect Welding Helmet
As you’re browsing through all the welding helmets on the market, keep these points in mind. Weight, lens type, switching speed, and power source will all factor into just how well the helmet suits your specific needs. These aspects will affect the cost of the helmet as well. From there, don’t hesitate to choose a helmet that reflects your personality.