Picking out a welding helmet for the first time is always exciting. It’s one of the most important and distinct pieces of equipment a welder has in his arsenal of tools. But when you buy for the first time your probably asking yourself “What kind of helmet should I get?”
It all really comes down to how much you are willing to spend and what your going to use it for. This is how I look at it, the auto darkening helmets are awesome to use for MIG and TIG. The basic helmet is good for stick. This is just my own personal opinion but to me it makes sense.
The reason why I say this is because MIG and TIG are usually used for metal fabrication indoors and most likely your going to be doing high production work or custom work. With the auto darkening helmet your not going to always be flipping it up and down to strike your arc, this will help your productivity. If your boss likes your work it will also help your pay cheque.
With stick your most likely to use this process outdoors. When you work out on the field there’s a higher chance that your gonna drop your helmet and all it takes one drop at the wrong angle or repeated drops to break your auto darkening helmet. Unless you got a back up helmet somewhere your probably gonna lose a days work just to buy yourself a new helmet. That’s why whenever I work out on the field I prefer using a regular welding helmet. It can take a good beating and is quite reliable.
If your just going to be welding at home as a hobby I’d say go for the auto darkening. It’ll make your life a lot more easier. You don’t have to go out and buy the most expensive one, unless of course you really want all the bells and whistles. All you really need is one with and adjustable shade.
But if you are broke like I was when I first got into the trade a regular welding helmet will do just fine. You just gotta get use to nodding your head a lot. Once you decide you want to do it as a career, just wait till after you get a job then you can buy yourself one of the cooler welding helmets.