Three Things To Consider When Buying a Welding Helmet

When purchasing a new helmet the 3 questions you need to ask are:

 

1. How long will the welder be wearing the helmet?

Depending on how long your welder will be wearing the helmet, you need to take into consideration the potential strain on the welders neck and eyes. The ergonomics of a helmet is the design features that reduce the stress of wearing a helmet for long periods of time. The helmet weight and how it’s distributed across the users head plays a key role in comfort and neck strain. The center of gravity of a helmet determines how comfortable the helmet will be over long periods of time, for example if most of the weight is on the front, where the lens is, then it will increase the strain on the neck. Having more than one band in the headgear will help make the helmet feel lighter by better distributing the weight over the surface of the head. When the headgear has multiple adjustment points that also helps to increase overall comfort.

Welding Accessories - Replacement Headgear SAG808 | TENAQUIP ESAB 0700000809 Headgear for Sentinel Helmet Shell

If a welder is wearing a helmet for long periods of time then it’s important to reduce eye strain from the lenses. This can be achieved by using true color technology. True-color or natural color technology allows the user to see clearer by providing proper color contrast and lessening the overall green tint most lenses have. Looking at anything blurry for prolonged periods of time will worsen headaches and other health related issues. Sometimes true color technology is only active during the grind/passive mode and not while welding, so be sure to match the technology with your usage needs.

Image result for true color technology welding helmetImage result for natural color technology welding helmet

2. What activities is the welder engaging in?

Depending on the what the user will be doing and where they’ll be doing it, you can purchase a helmet that will either increase or decrease their productivity. ADF (auto-darkening filter) is often the best solution for most applications. ADF helmets allow you to keep your helmet on to see the weld once it’s finished, instead of constantly flipping up the helmet, potentially causing neck strain. Some helmets have ADF sensors that detect the electromagnetism from welding arcs instead of just bright lights. This helps users who are outdoors, in sunlight, or welding out of position. If a welder will also be cutting and grinding, then some helmets have grinding shields already attached or an option to switch from grind to weld to cutting mode. The more you want from a helmet the more it will cost, but in the long run it will increase the productivity of your welders.

Image result for welding outdoors sunny

3. How important is it for the welder to clearly see the weld and weld pool?

The less skilled your welder is, the more important it becomes for them to clearly see both the weld pool and its surrounding area. When opting for a larger viewing area it often means the helmet becomes bulkier and heavier or more expensive if it remains light and compact. As we mentioned previously true color technology helps increase the color contrast but without it, it can be difficult to distinguish from red and orange, which can lead to fine-detailed mistakes. Having a clear view gives the welder the ability to accurately manipulate the weld, which improves the overall quality and leads to reduced amount of training time for newer welders.

Image result for large view welding helmetImage result for esab sentinel

Extra things to take into consideration:

The warranty and ability to replace parts or lenses. The costs and availability of spare parts can make or break a helmet’s overall effectiveness. If the welder cannot easily get spare parts required the helmet is effectively rendered useless.

The future is coming:

– There are 3D helmets which are in the R&D stage in a lot of companies. This technology allows the user to perfectly see the weld and surrounding area because cameras capture the scene and display it inside the helmet for the welder to see. This both increases productivity and safety.
https://www.newequipment.com/research-and-development/3d-welding-helmet-provides-smarter-visualizations

-Being able to change the settings on welding machine via voice activation in the helmet.
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2017/0173720.html

-The future that is currently here involves being able to track arc time within the helmet
https://www.thefabricator.com/product/arcwelding/welding-helmets-include-arc-on-time-tracking

 

Cheers,

 

Ron-Son’s Torch

 

 

Sources:

https://www.canadianmetalworking.com/article/welding/choosing-the-right-welding-helmet

Welding Helmet Buying Guide

 

A Few Brands That We Are Proud To Carry

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