Every time you use a welder, you need to make sure that you wear proper safety equipment to prevent injury. Welding helmets are designed to protect your eyes and prevent injury or damage to them. Hence, they are mandatory for every welding job. Investing in a high-quality welding helmet will not only ensure comfort and safety, but help boost your welding ability to perform high-quality welds. When choosing welding helmets, you often have to pick between passive and auto darkening glass lenses. The latter is often the better choice for long-term comfort and effective safety.
Passive welding helmets may be cheaper and have been used for quite some time, but they have a few issues. If you do not weld much or you are still a novice, you could find it difficult to position an electrode as the helmet is positioned in one place, resulting to poor weld starts and leading to defects and the need to grind excessively. For seasoned welders, passive welding helmets can make numerous short welds or tack welding inefficient and difficult since you have to lift and lower the helmet repeatedly. Constantly having to flip your helmet up and down may cause neck fatigue and exacerbate repetitive stress injuries. If the helmet fails to lock into position, inadvertent arc flashes could occur when the arc strikes.
Auto darkening helmets are designed to address all the issues associated with passive welding helmets. When inactive, the auto-darkening lens has a number three or number four shade, so you can easily see through them. Welding lenses have shade numbers, which refer to the ability of the lens to filter light. Auto darkening helmets can stay in place at all times, so you can set the welding joint easily without having to adjust.
Certain features must be considered when buying an auto darkening helmet. You need to make sure that it meets the ANSI Z87.1 standards, so you can be sure that it will provide complete protection against UV and infrared rays. The shades may range from a number eight for low-amp operations to number 13 for high-amp applications. Top of the line auto darkening helmets are versatile with additional ranges, like number three to number eight, for cutting or grinding.