The best thing about living in today’s generation is that you have a lot of choices for everything. There’s a lot of pizza flavors to choose from. There are different kinds of soft drinks – regular, diet, or special flavored ones. Of course, there are a lot of welding mask for today’s welders to choose from. Due to this, choosing a mask for yourself gets harder and more time consuming than it was before when we only had a limited number of items to choose from.
In fact, if you take a good look around the famous online shop – Amazon. You’d find out that there are four available categories you can choose from for face protection. We have the Beard Covers, Safety Face Shields, Safety Masks, and Welding Helmets. Let’s discuss each category, shall we?
I think from the category name itself, you will already have an idea what it’s purpose is. However, if you look at it, they look a bit weird. Here’s an example of a beard cover:
Well, I think they look weird if you don’t. Weird as they may be, these face protection is quite cheap. The prices vary; the cheapest being 3.06/bag US dollars, and the most expensive is at 26.12 US dollars.
The one in the picture is a simple beard cover by Cole-Palmer. You can buy these on Amazon, as I already said above. You have to add an additional 9.30 US dollars for the shipment of this product.
Most people like this because it perfectly fits – not too tight, and that it wraps around your head, not behind your ear. This product is mostly bought together with a 3M disposable hair net.
Of course, you can’t use this when welding though but it’s nice to see your options, I guess.
SAFETY FACE SHIELDS
I believe these are mostly used by police offers during a riot to avoid getting their head or face hit by a rock or whatever the mob decides to throw at them. This cannot be used for welding since it doesn’t provide a shade to protect the eyes. Here’s a picture of a cool looking Safety Shield:
This one is called the UVEX S8510 BIONIC SHIELD. As you can see in the picture, it is a black matte face shield with a clear polycarbonate material anti-fog or hardcoat lens. The headgear of this one is highly adjustable to fit your head. You can tilt the visor nearer or farther from the face, depending on your preference and application. This helmet is also very eat to set, comfortable, and it has a secure fit around your head.
This face shield only protects you from air debris, not from brightness or UV rays.
The safety mask category is mostly focused on well, respiratory safety. Most of the masks in this category are N95 (that hardcore medical mask that makes the wearer look like a duck), and respirators. Of course, it’s understandable that these cannot be used for welding related activities. However, these are great if you are welding something whose smell isn’t really what you’d call pleasing to the nose.
Here’s an example of a safety mask:
This safety mask is called the 3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6900. Main purpose is respiratory protection. You can buy this one at 117.13 US dollars. This particular mask has been made from Silicone or thermoplastic elastomer. As you can see from the picture, this mask has a large viewing lens which allows an easier visibility for the user or wearer. Thanks to the wide field of view! This increases the wearer’s productivity and safety. Despite it’s look, the mask is actually quite easy to carry around since it’s lightweight and the design is well-balanced. It is able to enhance comfort, durability, and an ease of cleaning.
This mask is available in air-purifying and supplied air respirator modes. The center adaptor was designed like that to allow it to direct exhaled breath downward and reduce the fogging of the lens. Sadly, this item isn’t available for international shipping at the moment.
This mask if recommended for you if you are doing assembly, chemical clean-ups, chemical handling, chemical splash, chipping, chiseling, cleaning, furnace operations, grinding, laboratories, machining, masonry, painting, pouring or casting, sanding, sawing, and welding.
And now, the last but not the least… Definitely the most important one…
Unlike the three before this category, this helmet is most especially made for welding activities. Most helmets in this category offers the factors, you need if you are welding. It’s lenses are shaded so it is able to protect your eyes from too much brightness which could damage it or strain it in the long run. The lens and the mask itself protects the wearer from any stray sparks that could land on the wearer’s face or head. Most also has respiratory filters to make sure that the wearer isn’t inhaling any chemicals that can cause harm to his or her health. Most fumes that are considered dangerous have small molecules which allows them to easily pass through a human’s brain and blood barrier. Here’s an example of a welding helmet:
You can buy this helmet at 45.95 US dollars. This is called the ANTRA AH^-260-0000 Welding Helmet. It is recommended for ARC, MIG, TIG, PLASMA APPLICATIONS WITH GRINDING FEATURE. Despite the picture at the side, it actually has a large viewing size 3.86 inches x 1.78 inches with four premium sensors that will be able to detect brightness.
The lens also has a magnifying feature that makes it easier for you to see. The helmet only weighs a pound so it won’t cause much strain to a person who is using it for extended periods of time.
Of course, the most important thing when buying something in the end would be it’s ability to satisfy your needs. It should be able to give you what you are looking for in a helmet and more. You may search for different helmets in Amazon, but be sure to read the reviews at the end of the page. They tell more about the product.