Making the Most of Your Helmet & Lenses
A good helmet can make you a great welder and should last a long time (if you take care of it). But most welders don’t realize how to get the most out of their helmets and what options they have to make them even better. In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of cheater lenses and talk about how to use lens covers.
Chances are, you’ve at least heard of cheater lenses. You probably think that they’re mostly to help welders when their eyes get older. There’s a lot of truth to that, though the reality is, you can use a cheater lens at any age to give yourself more of an edge.
Often, a cheater lens gets compared to a magnifying glass inside your helmet. While this comparison works, most cheater lenses aren’t that extreme. Generally it’s more accurate to compare cheater lenses to reading glasses.
As you age, you’ll lose some of the elasticity in your eyes. This results in presbyopia, a sciency-sounding word that just means it’s difficult to see close objects. To counteract presbyopia, cheater lenses and reading glasses use a concave shape that magnifies what you’re looking at and removes any blur. Cheater lenses come at various magnification levels.
Could you just use reading glasses under your helmet? Yes, but it’s such a pain. Most reading glasses are designed to sit further on your nose. Inside your welding helmet, reading glasses tend to fall out of place every few minutes. On the other hand, a cheater lens slides into a special slot that holds it securely with most helmets.
While cheater lenses are often used to counteract aging eyes, a lot of skilled welders use them to get a bit of an edge. After all, they don’t call them “cheater” lenses for nothing. This allows welders to see their puddles more clearly. When it comes to TIG welding, being able to see the details of your puddle is especially important.
Protect Your Investment
When you finally buy that auto-darkening helmet you’ve always wanted, it can make such a huge difference. But as you weld, spatter and all sorts of other residue will start to build up on your helmet’s surface. All auto-darkening helmets have protective cover lenses that shield the outside and inside viewing surfaces. Without these cover lenses, any spatter would forever cover your vision, effectively ruining your helmet.
If you’re new to welding, you might not be aware that you need to change these cover lenses out every once in a while. Most lens covers come in packs. You can purchase the outside and inside lens covers separately (since the outside covers usually need to be changed more frequently than the inside).
It’s important to note that spatter on the inside or outside of the lens will void the majority of manufacturer warranties. If you can feel the spatter with your fingernail, your warranty is gone so make sure you’re maintaining your helmet.
A great way to minimize how often you need to replace lens covers is to use a protective bag to store your helmet while not in use. This is especially important if you work near other industrial tools where smoke, grime, dust and abrasive materials have a much higher chance of landing on your helmet when you leave it out.
Time to Recharge
Here’s a final tip. It might seem obvious, but many, many welders have made this mistake. When you begin using your auto-darkening helmet, especially if it’s been a while, make sure your batteries aren’t dead. Otherwise, your helmet won’t reach and adjust when you strike an arc.
Taking the right steps to protect and maintain your helmet can significantly increase its usefulness and working life. Just make sure you get all your gear at the best price by shopping online at Welding Supplies from IOC. With the best customer support in the industry, we’re the most trusted online store for welding experts. See for yourself here.