A New Level of Welding Helmet
While army knives and sketchy bank accounts might be the most well known contributions the Swiss have made to the world, a third item should be added to that list: Optrel helmets—more specifically, the brand new Optrel Helix CLT. While helmets are generally the number one priority as far as a welder’s equipment is concerned, there are levels to the different helmets on the market today.
The Helix features some of the most drastic changes to auto-darkening helmets we’ve seen in a long time. For professional welders, this is a big deal. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the new Optrel Helix—showing you all the pros and cons so you can decide if it’s worthy of being your next hood.
Welding Supplies from IOC is your one-stop shop for all your welding supplies and needs. We offer state-of-the-art selections from general welding protective gear, to personal protective equipment like safety glasses, welding jackets and gloves, and even fun gift ideas for the welder in your family. Like the Optrel Helix CLT, we’re constantly improving our inventory to ship to welders across the country.
In this blog, we take a look at why the Optrel Helix is a must for avid welders in the world today.
There has always been a weird void between traditional helmets and auto-darkening helmets. Old, traditional helmets require the user to flip the entire hood upward while not striking an arc. This becomes tedious and requires a fair amount of skill to position the weld in the right spot.
Auto-darkening welding helmets are ideal for welding as they don’t need to be flipped up. However, for any activity outside of welding (such as grinding, setting up clamps, etc.), the view inside an auto darkening helmet is often not ideal. For that reason, most people will still flip them up when not welding.
The Helix allows you to keep your helmet on, but flip your auto-darkening lens up by twisting the rotating knob on the side of the helmet. By moving the lens up, it’s exactly like lifting your helmet off, except you still have a protective lens in front of your face to use for grinding.
Is this feature for everyone? Yes and no. It’s a game changer. The convenience of never having to lift your hood while getting the most optimal viewing experience might just be how all welding helmets become. However, professional welders are going to get the most benefit from this, as they’re generally flipping their hood up and down repeatedly 8 to 10 hours a day.
Automatic Shade Adjustment
While the “flip” aspect of the new Helix helmet tends to get the most attention, as it’s the most visible difference, the Helix also has a revolutionary improvement in how it does shades.
First, it’s important to explain how most auto-darkening helmets work. Your average auto-darkening helmet will only adjust between having the shade off or on. However, it will not automatically pick the shade level needed. You must manually pick how dark you need the lens to turn when you strike an arc. This means that anytime your environment or process changes, you might need to adjust your shade number. Still, this is more ideal for those that need more versatile options than a fixed shade helmet.
Optrel has invented ShadeTronic Technology that actually adjusts the shade number for you. Going from TIG to MIG? No problem, the helmet automatically adjusts so you don’t have to fiddle with anything. Here’s the even cooler part: The helmet can adjust the shade number as you weld. If you use a TIG welder with a foot pedal, for instance, the shade number will go up or down depending on how many amps you’re putting into your arc at that moment.
While the flip up auto darkening lens is definitely useful, this groundbreaking “ShadeTronic Tech” should be what really sells you on the Helix.
No Stone Left Unturned
Beyond the two new features mentioned above, the Helix also comes with the best improvements to auto darkening helmets from the last 10 years. For instance, it includes Optrel’s HD lens, which offers amazing clarity and color. In fact, Optrel claims the Helix’s auto darkening lens has the truest colors on the market.
It also comes with a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery pack that lasts hundreds of hours. Any experienced welder knows the Achilles’ heel of auto darkening helmets is their battery life, which can render the helmet basically useless when it’s out of juice. So even though a high-quality battery isn’t the flashiest feature, it’s one of the most important.
The last thing you need is your battery cutting out on you in the middle of an important project. With the Optrel, you won’t have to worry about that potential issue. Modern welding demands a strong battery life for your most important piece of safety equipment, and the Optrel Helix delivers.
If you want to take your welding practices to the next level, this new and innovative helmet is the missing link you’ve been searching for.
To be clear, the Optrel Helix CLT is definitely a helmet designed for professional welders. Its $595 price tag is well worth the money though, especially if you’ll be using it from 9 to 5 every day. ShadeTronic tech is one of those improvements that won’t let you go back to using traditional auto-darkening helmets again, and the flip-up lens allows you to easily get the best visibility in any situation. Even if you’re an amateur welding enthusiast, optimize your safety features like a pro.
There are a number of additional features we didn’t cover, which you can check out for yourself here. For all your present and future welding equipment needs, visit our website today to see how Welding Supplies from IOC can make your welding process more comfortable, more convenient, and more fun.