6 Different Types of Welding Helmets Explained (With Pictures)

Any professional welder would agree that it is not your welding machine, grinder, or chop saw that is the most crucial piece of equipment in your shop. It is, in fact, your welding helmet. 

Because welding is a risky profession, a welder wears a welding helmet at all times to protect their head, face, and eyes from UV rays, infrared light, and heat. For any welder, it is like their shadow – an extension of themselves.

But since a welding helmet is such essential equipment, what must one remember before buying a helmet? 

In this blog, we will explore some of the popular welding helmet types available, along with their suitability. We will also learn about the points we must consider before purchasing a helmet for ourselves. To make the task easier for you, we have also jotted down the pros and cons of each welding helmet type to help you choose the most suitable one.

Auto-darkening helmets may prove to be effective, but their main drawback is that it is typically quite expensive.

Pros

  • You can select your shade level according to your job type.
  • You get good visibility before you strike an arc. 
  • You don’t have to remove the helmet to check your work. 
  • The lens is automatic and darkens when you strike an arc.
  • Many recommend this type of helmet for safety

Cons

  • It is an expensive helmet for welding. 
  • The LCD of the helmet requires power.
  • Batteries need replacing regularly.
  • Solar power can take time to charge 
  1. Fixed shade lens auto-darkening welding helmets

Fixed shade helmets commonly have a standard shade level of 10. These helmets are not arc brightness-adjustable. If you plan to work on only one kind of project that requires only one kind of material, the fixed-shade lens will be appropriate.

In this manner, the lens won’t need to be adjusted appropriately. This helmet will also be perfect for DIY experts who enjoy the option of doing their own repairs but have no prior welding knowledge.

Because dads often choose to wear this helmet while repairing their iron gates or their child’s bicycle frame, most welders refer to this style of the helmet as the “daddy” helmet.

Pros

  • A fixed shade lens is much more affordable than a variable shade auto-darkening welding helmet.
  • It is ideal for people who repeatedly undertake the same welding technique.
  • For many common welding tasks, your shade strength won’t need to be changed.

Cons

  • To perform a different welding task, a different lens will be needed.
  1. Pancake welding helmet

A pancake welding hood might be something you have never heard of if you are a newbie. They are given this name primarily because they resemble pancakes. 

A strap holds this style of a helmet to your face and rests it over your eyes. The round shield covers your face and has a viewing window that is darkened so you can see your work while being protected.

This type of helmet’s minimal weight is its main benefit. Used by pipeline welders, pancake welding helmets have a circular shield connected to what is called a balsa box, constructed of extremely light balsa wood. 

Your eyes are also shielded from outside light by the balsa box. Because traditional-style helmets can let in too much sunlight, pancake helmets are frequently advised for anyone welding outside.

Pros

  • One of the major advantages of the pancake welding helmet is that it is lightweight and therefore, can be worn for long periods of time.
  • The shape of pancake welding hoods is such that the helmet shields all the sides of your face.
  • The balsa box goggles are able to give you a clear view of your work by blocking light from all angles and from behind.
  • The pancake welding hood sits comfortably around your head because of its lightness and softness.

Cons

  • It is limited to pipeline welding and outdoor welding tasks.
  • It cannot be used for indoor projects.
  1. Solar-powered lens helmet

These helmets are designed to be recharged by solar energy with fixed batteries that cannot be changed. The helmet is powered by a battery to start, but solar energy keeps it running.

Because the battery pack doesn’t do much work, using solar-powered helmets could be cost-effective. Additionally, while not in use, this style of helmet automatically switches off the lens. The solar-powered helmet’s affordability is thereby significantly increased.

However, one reason welders might be reluctant to use this helmet is that it is not always ready for use. The day before a project, one would always need to remember to set it out in the sun to recharge. Failure to do so would result in valuable project time being lost, which might be highly expensive.

Pros

  • Solar-powered lens helmet is very economical – it saves battery life by obtaining most of the power from welding arc light.
  • It uses the sun to recharge the battery.
  • When not in use, it can be switched to grinding mode to save battery life, or it will automatically switch off.
  • Another big advantage is that it doesn’t require constant monitoring.
  • It is often lighter in weight.
  • Its versatile operations make it suitable for most welding environments.

Cons

  • Batteries in these types of welding helmets usually only last for up to 5 years since they contain built-in, non-rechargeable batteries.
  • If you forget to recharge your battery before use, it costs you a lot of time.
  1. The battery-powered helmets

The battery-powered helmet employs a rechargeable or interchangeable lithium-ion battery.

There are many different kinds of battery-powered helmets available on the market, including lithium and alkaline. However, this varies by manufacturer. 

Welders frequently work long hours finishing challenging projects. If they grumble about manually adjusting their lenses, consider how difficult it must be to use a solar-powered helmet. 

Although it is more cost-effective than a battery-operated helmet, many welders would rather spend a little more on battery replacements than find themselves in a sticky situation right before a project.

Pros

  • The batteries in such helmets do not take very long to charge
  • Using the on/off switch, the welder can have complete control over how much power the welding helmet will consume.
  • The longevity of battery-powered helmets is generally longer than that of solar-powered helmets.

Cons

  • Eventually, the lithium batteries expire and need to be replaced. This is a hassle on its own because you need to track down the manufacturer to get an original set of batteries.
  • These helmets are often manually operated, which leaves space for making mistakes and even becomes comparatively more time-consuming.

FAQs

  • What are the different types of welding hoods?

We have a wide variety of welding hoods available depending on your preferences, welding environment, budget, and more. Solar-powered welding hoods, battery-powered welding hoods, variable and fixed auto-darkening helmets, passive welding helmets, and pancake welding helmets are a few types available.

  • What is a welding hood called?

A welding hood or welding helmet. It is a piece of protective headgear that is essential to every welder. It shields the skin and eyes from vision-damaging ultraviolet and infrared radiation and heat from the severe sparks of the arc. 

  • What is the darkest welding shade?

The market standard shades available range from 8-13, with #13 being the darkest welding shade.

  • What shade should my welding helmet be?

The shade of your helmet should be according to the wedding arc you will work with and the type of project you are undertaking. A welding helmet’s shade setting typically runs from shade 8 to shade 13. However, there are lenses available for light-duty welding tasks like cutting, grinding, chipping, etc., and their shades range from 2 to 8.

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