When it comes to choosing welding helmets, there is sometimes confusion as to which one to choose. In this article we aim to ease the confusion and give some guidance in the right one to choose. Welding helmets are a crucial piece of welding equipment that must be taken seriously.
Passive or Auto Darkening Lens?
Passive lens helmets will have a fixed shade value that Is usually #10. It is the economical choice as these cost less than the auto darkening lenses. It does however, come with some downsides though.
When using a passive lens helmet it is necessary to lift and lower the helmet, which can make it more difficult to do a tack weld, or short weld. Sometimes it is also hard to position the electrode whilst the helmet is snapping into position, which in turn can cause poor weld quality particularly in novice welders. There is also a risk of welding flash if the helmet doesn’t snap into position correctly when flipping it downwards.
Auto darkening welding helmets solve these issues, by having a variable shade lens. The way this works, is that when the sensors in the helmet detect an arc has begun, it will automatically darken in a fraction of a second, to a shade between #8 and #13. When there is no weld occurring then the welder maintains a lower shade of around #3 or #4 which is enough for the operator to see through and allows them to set up the weld without the need to flip the helmet into place.
The result of this, is generally better quality welds due to not having to shift the head around, whilst adjusting the helmet, and also better productivity. It will also prevent neck injury from consistently flipping the helmet into place.