What to Consider When Selecting a Welding Hood

December 25, 2019 10:38 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The welding hood (or welding helmet) is one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll use in the welding process outside of the welder itself. It protects you not only from the heat and sparks of the welding process, but also keeps your eyes safe from what would otherwise be blindingly bright light.

If you’re new to welding, you might be surprised at just how many types of welding hoods in Phoenix, AZ are available on the market. You should take the proper amount of time to research your available options to determine which is right for you.

We generally recommend the use of auto-darkening lens helmets. Here are just a few examples of some of the varieties of auto-darkening welding hoods:

  • Fixed vs. variable shade: A variable-shade lens is the better option if you’re going to be using multiple welding processes, and thus will have varying arc brightness to contend with. You’ll be able to protect your eyes while still being able to see everything you’re doing with any kind of weld. A fixed-shade auto-darkening lens in Phoenix, AZ will darken to a fixed #10 shade when it senses an arc. If most of your welds will be performed on similar materials of similar thicknesses and will utilize the same welding process, then this is a good selection for you, as it will be more economical.
  • Lens reaction time: The lens reaction time of a welding hood determines how fast the lens changes from its natural light state (usually #3 or #4 shade) to the darkened shade when welding starts. The faster the shade changes, the more protection you’re able to get. Industrial-grade lenses are often six times as fast with the lens reaction time as entry-level lenses. If you start a lot of arcs in a single day, you’ll want a faster reaction time—otherwise, you’ll have to deal with a lot of eye fatigue.
  • Number of sensors: Hobby-level welding hoods will generally have two sensors, while professional-grade hoods will usually have four. More sensors allow for a greater level of coverage, especially if you’re working on out-of-position welding, in which a sensor might be obstructed.
  • Viewing size: This is a decision that mostly comes down to personal preference and the amount of out-of-position work you’re probably going to be doing. You can find welding hoods that have anywhere from six to nine square inches of viewing area. The more visibility, the more likely it is meant to be for industrial use. But again, personal preference is really what matters most here.
  • Sensitivity controls: Both professional and intermediate-level helmets will offer the ability to adjust how much light and brightness will cause the lens to darken. This feature, known as sensitivity control, is particularly beneficial if you’re welding at lower amperages, which will result in an arc that isn’t quite as bright as some other common welding processes.

For more information about the process of choosing welding hoods in Phoenix, AZ, contact Vern Lewis Welding Supply, Inc. today.

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