Last updated: August 6, 2021

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The welding helmet is a fundamental piece of equipment during welding work. With the help of the welding helmet, especially the eyes and the face are protected.

However, in order to be able to find the right welding helmet, a number of things must be taken into account when choosing one. We have summarised all the information that will help you to choose the best welding helmet. Accordingly, we would like to make it easy for you to make a purchase decision so that you can find the most suitable welding helmet for you.

To do this, we explain the differences between the various types of welding helmets and give you important buying criteria that you should pay particular attention to. You will then find answers to frequently asked questions about welding helmets, which will make your purchase decision easier.




Summary

  • During welding, the welding helmet is an elementary work piece. It is necessary to protect the eyes in particular from flashing.
  • The welding helmet protects the face and neck from UV/IF radiation, which in particular prevents damage to health.
  • In addition, a welding helmet provides a certain level of comfort while working with it. It allows the welder to operate the welder with both hands.

The Best Welding Helmet: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for welding helmets

In the following, we have listed the most important criteria that you should consider when buying a welding helmet.

The listed purchase criteria are described in more detail below.

Type of operation

A basic distinction is made between three types of welding helmets. These can be subdivided as follows:

  • Battery-powered welding helmet
  • Solar powered welding helmet
  • Hybrid welding helmet

It is important to know how often and how long you will be working on the welding equipment. Depending on the frequency and intensity of use, a particular type is suitable. If you intend to weld for a longer period of time without interruptions, then the solar-powered or hybrid-powered version is particularly suitable.

If, however, you only work on the welder from time to time and not for a long time, then the battery-powered version is best.

Light sensitivity

This criterion is an important aspect during the welding process and should be given special attention. This is because the field of vision is one of the most important factors for your safety while working with a welding machine. The field of vision protects the face and especially the eyes from bright light.

During the welding process, the field of vision should darken quickly. For this reason, it is very important to observe the specifications regarding light sensitivity. To ensure good visual protection, welding helmets with automatic visual protection and light sensitivity settings are advantageous. It is even better if these two criteria can be adjusted manually. Note the standards for light protection according to DIN 9 to 15.

The viewing window is also an important part of a welding helmet. This is evaluated in order to be able to classify the visibility quality. The rating 1/1/1 is the best classification. For this, aspects such as the optical quality, light scattering, homogeneity and angle dependence are evaluated.

Protection level

When buying a welding helmet, make sure you choose the right protection level. It is important to know that each welding process is assigned a specific protection level in the EN379:2003 regulation. If you are working with an arc, levels 8-14 are intended for this purpose. Levels 10-13 are suitable for all welding processes.

Furthermore, respiratory protection also plays an essential role in protecting against health hazards. You must not forget that during welding there are also harmful substances that could damage your health. A certified respiratory protection according to the EN standard is therefore unavoidable. In order to avoid damage to health, certain EN standards apply to respiratory protection. Accordingly, these are certified and listed below:

  • EN 165
  • EN 166
  • EN 167
  • EN 168
  • EN 169
  • EN 175
  • EN 379

In order not to damage your health, you should make sure that your welding helmet is certified with at least one of these listed standards. This will protect your respiratory tract from toxic fumes. You should also replace the breathing filters from time to time.

Certification

It is particularly important that you buy a welding helmet that has been tested and, above all, certified. These helmets are tested for safety. Accordingly, they are more reliable in terms of their own protection than helmets without certification. Welding helmets are elementary protective equipment, which is why cheap products should be avoided. To ensure your safety, you should definitely choose welding helmets with a test mark.

Size and weight

To ensure that you can wear your welding helmet comfortably, you should make sure that it is well padded. If you choose a welding helmet without an integrated respirator, it is important to make sure that there is enough space for a respirator. It is therefore important that your welding helmet fits tightly and securely so that no discomfort or problems occur when wearing it.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about welding helmets answered in detail

In the following, we would like to answer the most important questions on the subject of polishing machines.

What is a welding helmet and what is it suitable for?

The welding helmet is a piece of face equipment that protects the eyes from flashing during welding and grinding. It provides special protection against flying sparks or slag particles.

schweißhelm-test

A particular advantage of wearing a welding helmet is that both hands can be used for welding work. Whereas this is not possible with a welding shield. (Image source: Igor Ovsyannykov / Pixabay)

The welding helmet is particularly popular for welders because it allows both hands to be used. This is not the case with a welding shield, for example.

What types of welding helmets are there?

Basically, there are three different types of welding helmets:

  • Battery-powered welding helmet
  • Solar powered welding helmet
  • Hybrid powered welding helmet

These three different types of welding helmets each work with a different power supply. Depending on how often and how long you want to weld at a time, a different variant is suitable for you. The battery-operated welding helmet is the most widely used variant, especially for home use.

With the help of this type of welding helmet, the obscuring effect of the field of vision is carried out by battery-powered electricity. During welding, a bright light is triggered at the welding spot. This light hits the sensors in the field of view, darkening the entire field of view. To use this type of welding helmet, only batteries are required for use. This variant therefore has a simple handling. Another variant of welding helmets are solar-powered welding helmets. The operating mode of the new welding helmets is based on this technology. With this technology, you can weld for hours without unpleasant interruptions.

For this reason, it is important to know how often and for how long you want to weld. A special feature of this type of helmet is that the field of vision quickly adjusts to current light conditions. A big advantage of this helmet variant is that the energy generation through solar technology is more environmentally friendly than with the battery-powered variant. The third type of welding helmet is the hybrid-powered power supply. Here, the above-mentioned modes of operation are combined. With the help of this technology, the service life of the welding helmet is much longer.

The solar cells take over the general power supply in this variant. The batteries, on the other hand, only take responsibility for the switching times. In the following, you can read about the different types of welding helmets and their features in tabular form:

Type Properties
Battery-powered welding helmet have large viewing windows, high energy consumption, frequent replacement of batteries
Solar-powered welding helmet environmentally friendly due to solar technology, lifetime of helmet shorter, solar cells are very sensitive
Hybrid-operated welding helmet combination of battery operation and solar operation, switching times are controlled via the batteries, longer service life of the helmet

What should you look for when buying a welding helmet?

Regardless of the mode of operation, it is particularly important to ensure that good visual protection can be guaranteed. For this reason, it is not wrong to opt for a welding helmet with an automatic visual protection setting. The standards for light protection should be considered more closely for this.

How much does a welding helmet cost?

Welding helmets vary in price depending on their purpose and use. If you only need a welding helmet for home use, you can buy a cheap one for about 25-150 Euros. You should pay particular attention to the fact that welding helmets should have certain standards. If you are a professional welder and need a welding helmet with a respiratory protection system, you should expect to pay more, up to 4,000 euros.

Quite simply, the prices depend on their functions and extras that are integrated into the welding helmet. Depending on the use, good protection should be guaranteed above all. For this reason, it is not wrong to go for a welding helmet with good technology and a robust design.

How does an automatic welding helmet work?

In the following, we will explain how an automatic welding helmet works and how the settings can be determined. An automatic welding helmet has special sensors. These assume the start of the welding process when the arc is ignited, which darkens the field of vision within a few seconds. When the welding process has taken place, the welding helmet's field of vision automatically brightens again. Automatic welding helmets also have a liquid crystal screen. With the help of this, the light is darkened depending on the protection level set, which can protect against glare from the arc.

For this, the protection level, light sensitivity and the delay time must be set. Before you put on the helmet, you should set these functions. Then you can ignite the arc. It is especially important that the light sensitivity is set for this welding helmet. This function determines when the filter cassettes are darkened. This helmet is particularly suitable for beginners, as it allows them to concentrate more on their welding work. For professional welders, this helmet is already standard.

Conclusion

To ensure that your eyes are well protected during welding work, it is essential to wear a welding helmet. It is important to pay attention to a few criteria so that your health is not endangered. These criteria will also help you to choose the ideal welding helmet without making a mistake.

Particularly important criteria are the light sensitivity, the protection level and the switching times from light to dark.

(Cover photo: mostafa meraji / Pixabay)

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