A welder must need a welding helmet. Welding helmet protects your eyes from the welding flame. Now the question is whether you need a cheap welding helmet or you should buy an expensive welding helmet? Which one is better? Let’s try to find the answer in the context of cheap vs expensive welding helmet.
Why Do Welders Need A Helmet?
Welders use a welding helmet to guard their eyes, face and neck from flash burn. This headgear also gives protection from ultraviolet light, sparks, infrared light, and heat during welding. If you are a welder, you must have a welding helmet as welding can be dangerous to eyes. It saves from getting exposed to an arc eye. When the cornea is inflamed, it is called arc eye which is extremely painful.
A welding helmet also prevents retina burns. If you are not cautious enough then welding could lead you to losing your precious vision. So, whether you weld arc welding or gas tungsten arc welding or gas metal arc welding, you need to make sure that you wear your helmet.
Beware of the welding arc. It emits highly concentrated ultraviolet and infrared rays. Beside these, radiation, gas and splashes also may damage your uncovered skin and the eyes if you ignore your welding helmet.
Cheap Vs Expensive Welding Helmet
Hopefully, you’ve understood the importance of a welding helmet for welders. There are lots of welding helmets outside in the market. Some are expensive and some are cheap or we can say budget welding helmet. Which of them is perfect for you? Does the cheap welding helmet give you adequate protection?
You can not take risks with your eyes. Let’s have a look at several experienced welders’ opinions. Many welders also arise the same question. Who wins in the cheap Vs expensive welding helmets war?
There are mainly two types of welding helmets; the passive welding helmet and the auto darkening helmet. The passive welding helmet is the classic version of welding helmet. Though this headgear doesn’t offer lucrative features, but this item is still a must have tools for many welders due to its effectiveness. It is a well-built welding helmet which has been giving protection to lots of welders from dangerous flying objects. It does not only protect the welders from ultraviolet rays but also from the heat release from welding.
The best feature of this helmet is its price range. This is the most affordable welding helmets and yet does not compromise with safety issue. That’s why the passive welding helmet is very popular among the welders.
The auto darkening helmet comes as a revolutionary product to the welders. Unlike the passive welding helmet, it comes with lucrative features. Auto-darkening welding helmets are adjustable. This type of helmet can detect the light and adjust the lens accordingly. Adjusting your lens manually again and again is frustrating during the welding process. It kills your time and also loses your focus. The auto darkening welding helmet became popular to the welders very fast after it was first introduced.
Though, the auto darkening welding helmet is more expensive than the passive welding helmet, it is still a good choice due to its comfort and increased productivity. The passive welding helmets are for those who prefer a low budget and simple featured strong equipment.
Is Expensive Welding Helmet Worth It?
Well, the market of welding helmets is kind of tricky. You’ll see welding helmets from fifty bucks to two-three hundred dollars. Should you need to spend a ton of cash? After all, it’s your eyes.
Let me share with you the experience of one of my welder friends. He bought a cheap welding helmet from Amazon. It served him quite well for some time. However, it failed to darken a few times and the sensor did not pick up the arc during TIG welding. It was a 30 dollar unbranded auto-darkening welding helmet.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you buy an expensive welding helmet. Some good old welders claimed that the parts of the expensive and the cheap helmets are made in the same factories. To them it is all about marketing. They believe the cheap welding helmets work just fine and there is no need to spend your hard-earned money on expensive helmets.
They claimed that the expensive welding helmets are generally heavier and offer better comfortable head fittings. However, they did not vary much during the welding process.
A professional welder friend of mine has been using a non-auto-darkening welding helmet. He’s using it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. He is quite satisfied with the performance of his low budget welding helmet, and he says that will probably last forever compared to the most auto-darkening helmets. He also said that he has heard that the parts are made in the same factories and are identical. As we know that often a product’s price is raised depending on its brand. He does not believe that spending tons of money on a welding helmet is worth it.
Don’t decide too fast. Let me show you some welders’ experience which may differ with my friend’s opinions. A welder shared his experience in a blog post that he grew up with non- auto darkening helmets and was really pleased to get an auto darkening one a few years ago. He only spent less than $100 for that and was looking very promising.
Unfortunately, he noticed lately that he got flashed every third or fourth arc. Unlike him, his son used an expensive auto helmet. That one was a game changer and a world of difference from him. He suggests going for expensive helmets because he now learns to value the precious eyesight.
Things To Consider Before Investing On A Welding Helmet
Premium welding helmets come with extended warranty periods, comfort and superior features. They are built with the latest technologies to enhance the wearers’ performance. You know your needs better. What specific features do you need from your helmet?
You should consider the lens and shade type, lens reaction or response time, large viewing area, power and controls, design, comfort, weight and lastly price. In order to get a good deal, you should analyze the available welding helmets, compare their features and prices. Take some time to research the market in order to save money.
To be a good welder, you need to see things clearly. You should not compromise the quality for the sake of some petty cash. You can choose a googles over a welding helmet. But always go for the highest optical clarity available.