A quality welding helmet is a must for every welder. Helmets are the first line of defense against skin and flash burns. There are different styles and builds of helmets available in the marketplace. Choosing the correct fit, material, and features will guarantee your protection, so there are many considerations you should take note of.
If you're having difficulty choosing from a wide range of welding helmets, maybe it is better to have a custom-made one. With a custom helmet, you can select specific features that will help you work efficiently and style it according to your choice.
Essential Considerations for A Custom Welding Helmet
If you’ve decided to get a custom helmet, don’t put all your focus on how it looks. Comfort and functionality are important as well. Therefore, to help you come up with the best welding helmet, here are some considerations you should look into.
Types of welding lens
Choosing the appropriate lens should be the top priority for your welding helmets. There are different lenses available for a welder's helmet, and your choice will not only protect your eyes but also help you work easier. Let's go into detail about your lens choices.
Many welder's helmets in the market have passive lenses because this is the economical choice. If you're on a budget and don't want to blow it all on lenses, this is a wise choice. Passive lenses are usually worn in an upright position, and when welders work, they need to flip them down to protect their eyes from the harmful emission of the welding.
You need to repeatedly flip the lenses to use them, which can be a hassle for some welders. But aside from the manual function of the lens, it does not compromise the protection it gives to your eyes.
An auto-darkening lens feature is popular among welders because of its convenience. Compared to passive lenses, the auto-darkening feature automatically protects your eyes once you start welding. You don't need to flip the lens manually before you start working. Furthermore, this feature adapts to your working environment. If you're not working, the lens will also lighten on its own to help you see clearly.
It's also important to know that auto-darkening welding helmets need power to work. Make sure to look for an auto-darkening helmet to have back-up power supplies so you can continue using the feature and protect your eyes even when the main power source fails.
If you opt to have a manual welding helmet, you won’t have to worry about the power source. But for a custom welder’s helmet with technological features that need power, you also need to consider the best power source for you.
There are many battery-powered helmets for welding, and it's one of the more popular choices for welders. Typical lithium batteries work with welding helmets if your concern is the type of battery—no need to search for special batteries.
Just note that you have to change batteries from time to time when you run out of power. So better have a stock of batteries, so you never have to run out of power. You can also have a set of rechargeable batteries. Instead of buying disposable ones, you can reuse them, which will give you significant savings over time.
Buying batteries can be expensive, especially when always working for extended periods. Solar-powered helmets can help you cut the cost. You don't have to worry about the power output between batteries and solar-powered helmets. Both can run auto-darkening features just fine.
Of course, you have to expose the solar panel to the sun to accumulate energy during your work. Fortunately for you, solar-powered helmets have backup batteries in case you run out of power. This feature will ensure your helmet functions are working continuously.
Viewing area measurement
Most commercial welding helmets provide a small viewing area. As you'll notice, most welding helmets have viewing areas that only range from the left to the right eye. But there are welding helmets that allow a 180-degree view so you see more of your work station.
The viewing area greatly depends on your preference. There are viewing areas that let you see up to 180 degrees. Some welders prefer seeing more of their workspace to help them more efficiently. You can try on samples to see which is more comfortable for you.
Welding helmet material
You can also choose a material for your custom weld helmet. There are three popular materials used for helmet shells today: leather, metal, and hard plastic. Let's look at the different helmet materials and see which suits you best.
The most favorable material choice for metal helmets is carbon fiber. This material is known for its durability and lightweight features. It can protect you from the hot emission and possible impacts of your welding activities. However, carbon fiber is an expensive material. Choosing a welding helmet made from this metal will be quite an investment.
Other metals can also be used for welding helmets, and they are also durable but not as lightweight as carbon fiber. Heavy helmets can strain your necks and shoulders, which can lessen the time you work on your projects.
There are thermoplastic materials that are compatible with helmet use. If you're looking for a lightweight helmet that's not as expensive as metal helmets, this is your best choice. These thermoplastic materials have a higher melting point compared to standard plastics. These materials can withstand up to 300 degrees.
Although hard plastics can withstand heat, be careful not to expose them to extreme heat for too long. It can soften the materials, which can compromise the quality of your helmet.
Workers have used leather helmets for a long time, and it has proven effective in protecting welders from intense heat and potential burns. Genuine leather is fireproof and can withstand punctures to protect you from workplace hazards.
Furthermore, leather is also lightweight and breathable enough to be comfortable even if you're working for long periods. However, leather helmets can’t take much of an impact. Be careful of heavy falling objects when using leather helmets.
When it comes to headgear that guarantees to protect you from your activities, there are many considerations to think about. Taking preventive measures is better than finding an easy way to cure injuries. We hope these considerations for a custom welding helmet help you find the most suitable protective gear for welding.
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