7 Different Types of Welding Helmets Explained

A quality welding helmet is the only protection between a welder and a horribly scarred face. And aside from welding helmets being the correct kind of protection, there’s more it can offer.

In the old days, a welding helmet seeks to protect your face and neck without actually making provisions for your eyes. Those old school types of welding helmets were absurdly heavy, and a good number of them were made in tough metal.

Fast forward to the present and you’ll be surprised as to how innovations have transformed the world of welding helmets! There’s now a mountain of products with so many exciting features to get welders confused on the right pick.

Well, if a right pick is what you’ve been looking for, then don’t despair! You’re in for top info on the hottest welding helmets out there right now. Let’s take a look!

7 Different Types of Welding Helmet

For the best welding operations and safety assurance, here’re the types of welding helmets you can select from;

  • Auto-Darkening Helmets
  • Passive helmets
  • Variable shade welding helmet
  • Fixed shade welding helmet
  • Battery helmet
  • Solar helmets
  • Hybrid-powered helmets

Auto-darkening helmets

Auto-darkening helmets

A helmet with the right functions for eye protection is regarded as the finest choice. When in the market for a helmet that won’t make you feel blind after a weld, get the auto-darkening helmet.

The auto-darkening helmet comes with an auto-darkening filter (ADF). This device ensures the wearer’s eyes are fully protected even when there’s no activity going on. Also, the auto-darkening filter comes with knobs to facilitate easier operation.

Auto-darkening helmets also come with knobs or digital input to enable faster eye protection. And that isn’t all!

These helmets also come with a state switching function, keeping your eyes secure. The head gadget will switch from light to dark at break-neck speed when it detects your welds are active.

In some cases, an auto-darkening helmet could switch from light to dark at a speed of two-fifths of a millisecond!

With all these features and a lot more, your welds will be more precise and your sight sharper than ever!

Passive helmets

Passive helmets

Have you ever seen a helmet that packs durability for welding protection? If yes, it must have been a passive helmet.

Passive helmets have been in use for ages, and there’re many welders who still stick to it. These helmets have a sturdy build and provide a good amount of protection from welding arcs and splatters.

Most of these helmets are obviously heavy, as many old models were made with sturdy glass and metal. If you’re worried about safety certification, know that most of these helmets still pass safety tests naturally.

But one feature that differentiates this device from other modern helmets is its lack of cutting-edge tech. There’re no provisions for shade switching, auto-dim, etc.

Another differentiating feature is the poor visibility through the lens. When you’re through with a weld, you’ve got to get the helmet pulled up for an inspection.

Passive helmets only protect your eyes when you’re welding from the arc light. But obviously, you can’t see through them when your machine’s off.

Also, passive helmets are mostly designed to be worn with a headband. A lot of models don’t offer full head/neck protection, and this serves as a drawback.

Variable-shade welding helmet

Variable-shade welding helmet

When you’re working on a weld that’s more susceptible to change light ranges, the variable-shade helmet is for you.

The helmet comes with a lens that’s capable of switching within ambiences. This keeps your eyes fixed on your weld no matter the arc it produces.

If your project involves using a range of welds, such helmet is perfect for the job. The variable-shade lens functions by enhancing the welder’s visibility in an interesting way.

When light from your weld comes up very bright, the shade switching less will turn darker.  With such a feature, welders will be able to get more precise welds even in the brightest situations.

Also, most variable-shade helmets are fitted with an interference prevention mechanism. This feature is present in the newer models and increases the level of visibility the welder has. It does this by shutting external light sources around the work area, making your work more precise.

If you’ve been looking for the coolest welding helmet to cut across welds, the variable-shade helmet is your perfect choice.

Fixed-shade welding helmet

Fixed-shade welding helmet

When welding needs to be done using a particular material, it’s a perfect choice to use a fixed-shade welding helmet. Unlike the variable-shade welding helmet, arc brightness could overwhelm the lens.

Most fixed-shade welding helmets come with a shade range not more than 9 or 10. They’re perfect for fixing simple machinery and metalwork which may not need complex welding materials.

But that’s for the novices, as an expert could use a fixed-shade helmet just fine! Many pros could use shade switching features embedded in this helmet to handle a wider range of welds. But if you’re a DIY guy, this still suits you very well.

Battery helmet

If you’re intent on working for longer hours in an environment where there’s no power, a battery helmet is your perfect choice.

Lithium batteries are the common addition to these helmets, and there’re some helmets with a rechargeable battery option. These helmets come with a range of protective features, and many welders prefer them. Their preference is borne out of their ready-to-use nature.

All you need to do is get a set of batteries waiting, and you’re ready to weld in seconds! Also, battery-powered helmets tend to be more reliable than other helmets with varying power sources.

It’s not as if there’re no shortcomings when it comes to the battery-powered helmet, but it’s all a matter of choice as we’ve rightly seen above.

Solar helmets

Solar helmets

These helmets rank as the in-thing when it comes to modern helmets. With a solar-powered helmet, you’ve assured more hours working as long as the sun’s up.

These helmets operate with an embedded battery that is recharged by solar energy. But when the sun comes in contact with your helmet, it functions without the battery! It’s one of the hottest innovations right now, and a lot of welders are switching to solar.

There’re other exciting features this helmet guarantees. For instance, there’s an auto shut-off switch meant to save the battery charge. Also, when you’re not using the lens, the helmet goes on auto standby.

It’s regarded as the most economical of helmets as you only make a one-time investment in it. A downside of this helmet is its uncertainty as to when the battery will give in. Imagine working on a crucial project and your welding helmet suddenly refuses to come on.

To forestall the incidence of such mishaps, a lot of pro welders have an extra helmet on hand for better operation.

Hybrid-powered helmets

The most modern of all the helmets, and currently regarded among the best welding helmets in stores right now.

A hybrid-powered helmet comes with both battery and solar power as its sources of energy. It packs two compartments in most units, one for solar, the other for replaceable cell.

This helmet packs a lot of features and it’s only possible to make use of one power source at a time. Currently, hybrid helmets rank as the most expensive on the market. But if you’re willing to make it your choice, at least you’ll know you’ve got your money’s worth.

An interesting feature that comes with this helmet is its anti-flash feature. When you’re making use of this helmet, it’s possible to get blinded by sudden arcs of light. Do you want to know the reason why? It’s very simple.

The device works with ultraviolet and infrared protection, even when it’s not turned on. With such a feature alongside the high-quality lens, flashes aren’t likely to occur.

Among The Helmets, Which is The Best?

Among the seven types of helmets, I’ll say the best depends on your personal preference. Welding is a very wide field, and there’re innovations that keep coming in every now and then.

When making a choice for a welding helmet, consider getting the helmet that’ll suit your working operation effortlessly.

For example, if you spend a lot of time working outdoors with plenteous sun rays on your head, get a solar helmet.

If you’re working in your yard on your metal farm fence, you could use a battery-powered or hybrid helmet. The choice solely depends on you, so make the right choice from what you’ve seen above!

Final Word

Getting the right helmet for your operation makes your work go smoother. For the record, all modern helmets have got all the elements to make your work easier.

Make a quick choice and get the helmet that’ll suit your needs with relative ease, and get that metal clamped together!

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