Monday, January 18, 2010

My Helmet Hall of Fame

As a welder, your helmet is like your second face.

Personalized helmets are cool and tell something about the person welding and who or what industry they work in. Stickers or pinstriping are always a cool thing.

 Each helmet is a bit different, if you wear it most of the day comfort is everything. I have tested almost every brand of helmets out there over the years, some of the worse helmets I had to wear for TV show sponsors and such others were pass downs from old welders who believed they had the best helmet and wanted to give it to me.

I have about 5 helmets at my shop, mostly for teaching welding as student helmets, but some are my old helmets from production or TV shows.

Here are some of my lists of stuff that is the most important in order when picking out a helmet.

1. how the headgear fits around your head and the shape of it. #1 - if your not feeling good, you won't weld good.

2. How easy is it to flip up? Does your hand have something to grab in a split second to lift it up?
This is VERY important in a production environment where speed is everything. If you need to lift 6 times per part, at the end of the day you could have welded a few more parts because of the seconds you lost lifting which could land you on the unemployeed line.

3. If the welding helmet is auto darkening, is it adjustable for the shade?    9-12 or is a 9 or 10 only.  Depending on how much welding you do, a helmet with a 9 lens can cause eye problems, just running a 10 shade can fix this up to about 150 amps, then you should amost go to a 11 darker lens for anything over 150 amps

4. If you use a MIG or ARC ( stick ) welder, the front area of the helmet shouldn't have a low spot. For example - if you are welding the exhaust on your car laying on your back, if sparks fall while welding and lands on the helmet you don't want to give them a place to sit and melt your helmet, you want them to fall off the face of the helmet before causing damage.

Here is a bunch of pictures of my helmets in my Hall of Fame - each helmet has over 20,000 arc strikes, TV filmings and stories.

The Miller Elite Big Window
Cool looking helmet but felt weird
I kept it at Edelbrock for welding concept projects

Grain belt, D&M cycles, and Taco John's stickers all over

I had a ton of stickers on this one for fiming a few Discovery Channel shows and friends companies.
The old company before Monkey like Shiny - Metal Morphosis Cycles

This helment is the fastest fliping helmet out there, I think.
Because there is a lip above the solar panel, you can grab it in a flash.
It feels more natural to flip above the solar panel then below my chin at the bottom of the helmet.

My current baby
The Lincoln Electric Trackside Platium
I can wear it for days and never know its on my head !
I have Peter Fonda (Easyrider) and a good old Wyoming Sticker for the kids

Nothing makes you feel like a pedifile at a new job more then a Hanna Montana Sticker
All the pinstriping on the bottom with my name wore off - my hommie Thick put it down for me years back.

Hope my years of good and bad helmets helps in your quest for a new helmet.

Now go weld !

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