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An important part of staying safe whilst welding is your helmet. Welding helmets have improved significantly over the years both in durability, quality and functionality. Here at Ambitek we have put together a few things to consider when purchasing a new helmet.
Cost – whether you are on a budget or willing to pay whatever is necessary, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. The more your willing to spend on a helmet, the better quality the helmet and its functionality.
Fit – Make sure your helmet has a snug fit with no large gaps at the back or around the neck and protects your face and ears. Check whether the helmet has Automatic Park which will ensure that when you lift the helmet back, it will stay in the upright position. Also, when the helmet is lowered, ensure it is not pressing on your Adam’s Apple and you have a clear, unrestricted view through the lens.
Lenses – Most traditional helmets have a passive lens with UV- and IR-coated dark-tinted glass and a fixed shade value. Whilst they can be cost effective, the repetition of having to lift and lower the helmet can be inefficient overall. Auto-darkening lenses use sensors to decide when to switch the lens from a low shade to a high one when welding starts. Whilst more expensive, these helmets help improve efficiency whilst also reducing head and neck strain caused by repeatedly lifting and lowering your helmet.
Fixed or Variable Shade – As with lenses, you need to think about what you will be using your helmet for. Most people weld different materials these days and as such, welding arcs can vary in brightness and intensity and welding amperage can vary from 40 amps to 200 amps. If you are planning on welding different materials, then a variable shade helmet is best suited for you. If your welding is only going to involve one material, one welding process and the same amperage then going for a budget fixed shade lens will be fine (and inexpensive)
Lens Reaction Time – This is the amount of time it takes for the lens to darken when an arc is detected. The quicker the lens reaction time, the less UV and InfraRed light that will hit your eyes. Faster speeds also help reduce eye fatigue. Basic speeds start at 1/3,600 but can go all the way up to 1/20,000.
Battery or Solar? – Solar powered helmets will have a self-contained, internal battery and a solar assist panel. The drawback with these types of helmet are that they require charging in direct sunlight prior to first use or after they’ve been stored in darkness for a considerable period. If you spend a little bit more you can get a helmet with replaceable batteries (as well as a solar assist panel) which allows for immediate action regardless of whether there is sunlight or not.
Weight – Heavier helmets cause neck strain and can be uncomfortable to wear. If possible, aim to get a helmet on the lighter side.
Safety Standard – It’s pointless buying a helmet if it does not meet the latest standards. A copy of the European Standards and Markings for Eye and Face Protection can be found here.
I'd also like to take the chance to thank you for all your help during my time with Ambitek. I have always been paid on time and any worries I had were sorted out incredibly quickly either by yourself or your colleagues. Thank you for making my time as a contractor as painless as possible. I would certainly have no qualms about being employed by your agency again sometime in the future. Although obviously not any time soon!!!!
I contacted Ambitek last year about employment. They quickly responded and helped me get a job! I now have a full time job thanks to Ambitek and their staff. They have always paid me on time and have always been there to help me if I needed any advice! Now me and my family are doing great all thanks to Ambitek.
"Hi, hope your all set for Xmas just wanted to say thanks to you and all the staff at Ambitek. You have all been ace this year sorting out my wages and holiday pay and the rest, it's been a real pleasure working for you this year and can't thank you enough for getting me the job in the first place it really pulled me out of it when I was down and to say I appreciate it is an understatement
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Hi, just wanted to say thank you for all your help placing me, as today I signed a permanent contract. The agency have been fantastic and in the future I wouldn't hesitate in contacting you if I need a job or recommending you to others. Once again, thank you and I would like to wish you all the best for the future. (One happy customer!)
Hi, don't know if they informed you but I got a full time contract this week, thanks to you and your team for everything mate I'd be nowhere without Ambitek.
Wish everyone looked after us like you.