Questions to consider when choosing a welding helmet
The most important criteria when choosing a welding helmet are of course protection and reliability. But, for your overall comfort and work performance there are other valuable features to consider, like: possibility to incorporate other protective equipment, easy-of-use, welding filter type, viewing area, flexible use. Before you select helmet you might get guidance by considering these questions:
When performing many non-welding tasks, you might like a helmet that combine a protective visor with a flip-up welding filter (G5-01, 9100FX, 9100MP helmets), especially when needing respiratory protection as you don’t need to remove your respiratory protection. When welding is your main task you might benefit from a helmet with external control to switch welding filter mode for different applications, for example grinding mode or your favorite settings when welding (helmets including 9100XXi filter kit).
When working in areas with overhead hazards you might benefit from a welding helmet with flexible head protection (QR – Quick Release). There are ear plugs available for most situations, however if there is a need of ear-muffs you might need to consider a helmet that has a design that does not interfere when using ear muffs.
As all welding processes produce fume, we always recommend using respiratory protection. 3M offers disposable and reusable particulate respirators that fits with Speedglas welding helmets.
However you might find that you need a powered or supplied air system and then you need a helmet with air duct. There are several models to choose from depending on what other needs you might have. Further details in section Welding Respiratory Protection (link).
For many welders, the ability to see more of their workpiece without moving their helmet or head is very important. For these big picture people, the G5-01TW, G5-01VC, 9100XX or 9100XXi models will be most appropriate.
Then our tack welding comfort mode may be for you. The comfort mode setting may help reduce eye fatigue caused by your eye constantly adjusting to differing light levels during tack welding. When the tack mode is activated, an intermediate light state (shade 5) is used. If another arc is not struck within two seconds, the welding filter switches back to its normal light state (shade 3). The tack welding comfort mode is available on G5-01TW, 9100XX, 9100X and 9100V filters.