Eastwood Welding Helmet Buyers Guide
What You Need To Know When Buying A Welding Helmet
A welding helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety gear to own if you're doing auto fabrication or other metal work. These helmets are specially designed to shield your eyes, face and head from metal spatter, sparks, infrared radiation and other hazards of working with high-temperature steel or aluminum. Our experts have developed several styles of helmets, and our buying guide has everything you need to know about choosing the best welding helmet for your needs.
All of these helmets are auto-dimming. This means the lens is shade 3 so you can see through it when the helmet is down, and when you strike an arc, it dims to protect your eyes. This feature is nice because it allows you to precisely hold your workpieces together and hold the torch in the proper position while looking through the lens.
The size of the lens increases as you move up through the helmets. The Basic helmet has 7 square inches of viewing area, the Large View has 10 square inches and the Extra Large View has 14 square inches. The Panoramic View has a field view of 15 square inches in the center lens and a total of 26 square inches when you include the side lenses. A large viewing area lets you see more of your project and helps prevent strain and neck fatigue. It's particularly useful when you're in tight, awkward positions or welding under a car. Now let's take a look at each helmet.
The Basic Welding Helmet
This Basic helmet has two arc sensors to change it from a 3 shade to an 11 shade when you strike an arc, which means it will be okay for an entry level MIG welder doing light work. The switching time is nearly instantaneous and the sensors are charged by a solar cell with no plug-in necessary. It has a lightweight design that provides full protection against potential MIG welding dangers.
Advanced Helmet Features
Our other three helmets have a lot more features that you want or may need from a quality welding helmet. All are made of impact-resistant nylon and have an adjustable headband with replaceable sweatband plus a 5-way adjustable tilt to allow you to get the helmet at the proper angle to your head and eyes. All adjustments are easily made with a few turns of the knobs.
These helmets all have arc-charging batteries that recharge while you're welding. They are built with four arc sensors for improved dimming when you're striking an arc, which is necessary for doing low amperage TIG welding. They also include the standard adjustments for delay, sensitivity and shade as well as grind mode. The adjustable shade and grind mode features are nice because they allow you to reshape tungsten, grind weld beads or even plasma cut without wasting time switching from your helmet to protective glasses and back to your helmet again.
The three helmets all have True Color Technology which provides realistic color perception and clarity so you have a much clearer view of your workpiece and the puddle. This is really helpful if you don't have the best eyes, or if you're getting older and your eyes aren't as good as they used to be. These helmets from Eastwood with True Color Technology will definitely allow you to see well whether you're MIG, TIG or Stick welding.
Differences in Helmets
Let's take a look at a few differences in these three helmets. If seeing better is an issue, you may want to consider the Large View or Extra Large View helmets. Both give you the ability to attach a magnifying lens, which may improve your welding.
The Large View and Extra Large View have an adjustable shade range from 4 to 13, giving you the ability to do MIG welding up to 500 amps and TIG welding up to 300 amps. The shade range on the main viewing area of the Panoramic helmet adjusts from a 3 shade to a 12 while the side filters adjust to shade 11. This allows you to MIG weld up to 300 amps and TIG weld up to 175 amps. So if you need a helmet for TIG welding, your best options would be the Large or Extra Large View helmets.
If you are doing advanced MIG or Stick welding, the Panoramic helmet offers a few additional features that make it better for these techniques. It is made with an extended throat guard for added protection as well as the 180-degree view, which is really helpful in tight spots. External shade controls let you adjust the sensitivity delay or shade as you're working.
Final Welding Helmet Thoughts
Let's do a quick review of the helmets. If you just need an entry-level helmet on a budget, the Basic Auto-Dimming helmet will work for light MIG welding. But we definitely suggest one of the other helmets that have all of the features you need to see your workpiece and get the best welds.
The Large View, Extra Large View and Panoramic helmets have nearly all of the same features that are available in quality helmets. This includes all of the controls you need to perfectly adjust the helmet for your needs plus True Color Technology for the best viewing. If you're buying based on lens size, you will probably want the Extra Large View or even the Panoramic welding helmet, that are both significantly larger than standard helmets and will help you see better.
If you need to add a magnifying lens, you will want to check out the Large or Extra Large View helmets which give the ability to add a lens. If you're buying for TIG welding, you should consider the Large or Extra Large View helmets which can be adjusted all the way to a 13 shade.
Whether you're buying your first helmet or looking to upgrade an old one, Eastwood has a helmet to fit your needs. We offer a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee on all our helmet with industry-leading service and support.