Choosing the right helmet for you is a bit complicated since there are now so many great welding helmets available in the market. And yet, choosing the right helmet for you is a very important task. When you are using the right helmet, one that you are comfortable in, this could increase your productivity and weld quality. It would also be comfortable for you. This will not only benefit your employer but also yourself. You should choose a helmet that meets the ANSi Z87.1-2003, which is also sometimes referred to as the ANS Z87+. This are standards that ensure that helmets and lenses have passed the independent testing to show that they can survive high velocity impact from flying objects, provide 100% ultraviolet and infrared filtering regardless of shade setting and meet advertised switching speeds and darkness shades in temperatures as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 131 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are different kinds of Lens that you should know about before you go and buy a welding helmet. These lenses are important because they have the ability to filter light and protect your eyes. You may notice that there are shade numbers. These lenses also provide protection against harmful infrared and UV rays. There’s what we call the Passive Lens. It uses a UV- and IR-coated-tinter glass with a fixed shade value which is usually at number 10. This type of lens is worn in the up position while the electrode, gun, or torch is position. Then with a nod, the operator or user, flips the helmet into position immediately before beginning. Passive lenses have long been an economical choice.
Meanwhile, auto-darkening lenses in it’s inactive state usually has only about #3 or #4 shade. That means it’s relatively easy to see through. But since it is “auto”, there are sensors that are highly sensitive, they darken the lens if they feel that it’s already too bright. And they can do this in only a fraction of a second 1/12,000 to 1/20,000 to shade #8 to #13. The auto-darkening welding helmet allows you to set up your welding joint with the hood position. This type of helmet is good for those who no longer want to nod or flip the helmet. It’s good for the neck and it’s comfortable.
If you want to begin welding aluminum materials, but you have little experience to none then here are some tips that you should seriously consider doing. Of course, first you will need the right equipment for the task.
1.) A TIG (GTAW) welder. TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas and it is also sometimes called GTAW or Gas Tungsten Arc Welder. These are quite expensive but this also means that these tools are capable of making high quality welding on aluminum as possible. The higher the price, the higher the quality. Sadly, this is true. I believe that the cheapest I’ve come across so far was Hobart welder at 2500 USD. It’s prefect for a simple hobbyist or a farmer who just wants a tool to help him weld.
2.) Of course, since you will be dealing with fire and electricity, you have to have protection for yourself. To avoid getting electrocuted, you will need to wear gloves. Humans are known to be conductors of electricity. If you happen to hold two metal objects that presently has a electric current passing through them, you may get electrocuted. This can cause a severe injury or even death. Having glove – ideally rubber gloves – can block or prevent the electric current from touching your skin.
3.) Of course to protect the most important part of your body – you head – you will need to buy a helmet. I believe a helmet with an auto darkening feature may be best since you will no longer need to adjust it, for it will adjust it self. You will no longer need to twitch your head or neck in order for the lens to cover your eyes. You just need to put on the helmet and the sensors (usually two or four sensors) will adjust the darkness of the lenses. There are also helmets available in the market that comes with filters which are good for your respiratory system. Since welding sometimes – or most of the time – comes with poisonous or harmful gases, you need to protect not only your eyes but also your lungs. These filters are great since most gases that are bad for the health are so small. This is the reason why they are bad for the health because they can easily pass through the blood-brain barrier. This could cause problems for your health that may lead to a severe illness.
Be sure to keep either a small water spray for fires that are too small to be put out by a fire extinguisher, but also be sure to have a fire extinguisher at the ready just in case. Since you are dealing with fire and electricity, there may be some events that something could accidentally explode. Be sure that you have something that you can protect yourself. Also, when choosing a helmet, be sure that it is comfortable for you and not too heavy for your head.
Here are some helmets you should definitely consider buying:
- MILLER 251292 Classic Variable Shade Auto Darkening Helmet
– Has a large viewing of 5.15 square inches
– Light sensitivity features with two sensors
– 8-12 lens shade
– Weight: 2.1 lbs
– Good for when you are doing light industrial and DIY welding projects
– Switching Speed: 1/20000 of a second
- Wel-Built Variable Shade Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
– Large viewing area of 86 x 1.73 inches
– There’s a low battery indicator
– 9-13 variable shades
– comfortable and stylish design
– 5-point ratcheting headgear
– replaceable sweatband for moisture control and eye safety
– adjustable safety control
– weight: 2.1 lbs
– Good for MIG, Flux, TIG, and Arc welding processes
– Switching Speed of 1/25000 microseconds
- Rhino RH01 Large View Carbon Fiber Auto-Darkening Helmet
– Viewing area of 10 square inches
– Two sensors
– Low battery indicator
– 9-13 lens shade
– light shade #4
-aerodynamic design for moving the helmet in and out
– weight: 1.8 lbs
– Switching speed of 1/25000 of a second
Hopefully, you find the right helmet for you. 🙂