There are so many choices of welding helmets out there today.
Jackson, Miller, SpeedGlas, Arc-one, Optrel, and a host of other brands
of auto darkening and passive lens helmets are only a click away
Back when I was starting welding school, there were not many choices and certainly no internet to shop for specs or reviews.
My first welding hood was a fibre metal brand and had a flip up front lens. It was pretty heavy, but at the time, that was not a huge deal because I didnt even know it was heavy.
I didnt have anything to compare it to so how was I supposed to know it was heavy.
Today, you can go online to cyberweld, amazon, weldfabulous, or other sites and learn the specifications, weight, and cost of any helmet available...and you can do all this in just a few minutes.
So with so many choices out there, you need a bit of direction in choosing a welding helmet....so here goes.
Some things to look for in an auto darkening welding helmet.
- response time---the faster the better, just look at the most expensive helmets like the miller digital elite, or speedglas high end models and use that as a benchmark
- sensitivity setting--any good auto dark helmet should have this setting to accommodate for low amperage welding and welding outside with sunlight
- delay--delay is not needed 100% of the time, but setting a delay time of one second will help prevent getting flashed if something is blocking the light from a sensor
- number of sensors--in theory, the more the better...but I have helmets with 2 sensors that seem to pick up light better that ones with 4
- cost and availability of replacement clear lenses--since using a clean clear lens is probably the best way to always see the puddle, cost of clear lenses is important
- optical clarity--all auto dark helmets are not equal in clarity. get the best rated helmet you can afford
- weight--at the end of a long day of welding, the weight and balance of a welding helmet can make a big difference in your fatigue level.
- will a respirator fit under it?--I wear a respirator now more than ever. Having a helmet that accommodates a respirator will make it easier for you to put that respirator on when its called for.
- warranty--anything with electronics involved can fail so a good replacement warranty is something to shop for
Why I like the Lincoln Viking 3350 welding hood
Lightweight, good optical clarity, robust headgear and rachet, doesnt creep downward on me, affordable and easy to replace clear lens.
I'm really not that picky when it comes to welding hoods, or anything else for that matter.
But a helmet that always seems to creep downward is a pain. Who needs that aggravation?
Also, I want a good secure rachet headband. One that stays tight.
and of course, I want to be able to see the puddle clearly.
The Lincoln Viking 3350 checks all the important boxes for me.
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