Traditional welding helmets have passive lenses – that is they have a fixed shade value. They are worn in the up position to prepare the welding material and then moved downwards immediately before work begins. While they are cost effective, repeatedly lifting and lowering the helmet is inefficient and if the helmet isn't lowered in time there is danger of arc flashes.
An auto-darkening lens does what the name suggests. In it's inactive state it has a low shade which is relatively easy to see through. When sensors on the helmet sense an arc start, the lens darkens in a fraction of a second. The helmet stays in position before, during, and after the weld which has the potential to improve weld quality and ease the neck strain associated with snapping the helmet into place. We support the idea of auto darkening welding helmets, so we made our own. The Foster Auto Darkening Welding Helmet 9-13 provides sensitivity and delay time adjustment, accompanied with four sensors to aid response time. Other popular auto darkening welding helmet options include the 3M Speedglas 9100XX Welding Helmet, and the Esab Sentinel A60 Welding Helmet.
With HSE now classifying all welding fume as a carcinogen, the emphasis on protecting operators with RPE has increased. The pointers above hold true for the head top, but what about the PAPR (powered air purying respirator). You should consider the weight of the PAPR unit and its ability to provide constant air flow, battery life in hours per day and recharge time, price of the filters and the protection level of the unit supplied. It is important to change your filters regularly, we provide a range of filters, PAPR units, and batteries among a range of other welding supplies, so you have as much choice as possible, for your welding equipment needs.
One main contribution to your choice of welding helmet will be the accessibility to the range of spares available. As a leading welding supplier with access to the latest welding helmets we stock a range of welding helmet spares and consumables. Welding helmet lenses form the first line of defense against impact and weld spatter, our range includes the likes of Esab, Speedglas, Parweld, Miller and Jackson. With a large offering of filter inner and outer lenses, spares including sweatbands, filter lenses and holders, and next day delivery, you can rely on us for your welding helmet accessories.