There is more to having the best plasma cutter than being able to cut metal. Before the introduction of the plasma cutter, cutting metal was hell of a work. This is due to the intense human effort that goes into the process of cutting metal, you struggle, physically exhaust yourself, sweat, and waste a lot of time all in a bid to cut out sheets of metal.
The introduction of the Plasma cutter came as a savior to the welding industry. It is not only the best tool to cut metal, it also has several other varieties of advantages to a welder.
In simple terms, a plasma cutter is a piece of tool that employs a high-speed inert gas to cut through metals or alloys of various thickness with ease. A plasma cutter makes use of an inert gas with an electrical current, the result is a torch that does the cutting process.
On this note, I welcome you to this plasma cutting review where I will pick out the top 30 plasma cutter available in the market today and give my honest opinion on each of them, I will also discuss on what you can do with a plasma cutter, the essential safety gear mandatory for use while cutting with a plasma cutter, the safety hazards involved and the essential tools needed to run a plasma cutter.
Join me as I introduce the best plasma cutters available in the industry.
Seeking a compact plasma cutter with the capacity to divide through various metal thickness and size, the Lotos LTP5000D 50Amp Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma is the best choice. It has the capacity to seamlessly divide aluminum, copper, mild steel, stainless steel and all sort of metal.
The plasma cutter works with a Pilot arc torch that can pierce through any surface – painted, rough, hard or rust surface to produce a fine and smooth cut. It also features an advanced German cooling system
LOTOS, one of the largest manufacturer of plasma cutters is a highly trusted brand. The Lotos LT5000D Plasma Cutter was designed for rugged and extensive use in all forms of working condition. It is suitable for light home jobs as well as industrial fabrication.
Like most plasma cutters, it comes with an automatic dual voltage as well as PAPST Advanced German Cooling System. When used at a High-frequency DC, the plasma cutter can cut thicker materials than the standard frequency DC.
The PRIMEWELD premium & Rugged Plasma cutter is the best choice for welders that value precision work. It is a 50 Amp Digital Air Inverter Plasma cutter that can cut metal with thickness as much as 0.34 inch seamlessly.
This is a plasma cutter suitable for both industrial and home use. It can cut several varieties of metal including mild steel, alloy steel, copper aluminum and many more with ease. It can work between 110v and 220volts power supply.
PRIMEWELD is a highly trusted brand when it comes to manufacturing welding accessories. Hence, they can boast of the manufacture of various high-quality plasma cutters that can handle metal of all sizes and shapes.
Seeking a classy plasma cutter that can deliver a smooth cut at excellent speed? The SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter is the best choice available! It gives a clean cut without slag or dross. It is a 240Volts plasma cutter that comes with digital display, it makes cutting so easy!
The SUPER DEAL DC Inverter Plasma Cutter features a current regulator which allows you to work comfortably and efficiently. It consumes low amount of energy which makes it very fair to the environment.
The PrimeWeld Ct520d 50 is the best multipurpose plasma cutter available. It features a 3 in 1 multipurpose plasma cutter with the ability to handle multiple cutting and welding functions. It can also alternate between DC STICK and DC TIG welding easily.
It is suitable for professional and DIY jobs. This plasma cutter is very portable, also, it operates on 50A power source. It can perform TIG/Stick welding, plasma cutting, and the arc welding function in a single unit!
The Lotos Technology 04-ZVGR-0O8D is a 50 Amp Non-touch plasma cutter that gives an efficient cut for various surfaces – painted, rusty, rough etc. It is compact and very portable. This plasma cutter is able to handle various types of metal without using a hazardous gas
It gives a 3 in one function – a 200 Amp stick welder, a 50 Amp Pilot Arc Plasma cutter and 200 DC TIG Welder, all with the flip of a switch. It is appropriate for industrial and DIY uses. It has the HF hand start control and also support the dual voltage system. The Pilot arc technology allows for cutting without contact with the metal tip.
Seeking for a plasma cutter for your day to day job requirement and industrial use? The Plasma Cutter Spectrum 375 is the answer you’ve been searching for. With a rated output of 30 A, it gives a fine precision cut for all sort of metal, alloys, carbon, steel etc.
It is very light in weight, compact and performs it’s duties seamlessly. It’s Manufactured by Miller, one of the giants in the welding accessory industry, the Plasma Cutter Spectrum 375 is a reliable tool to take your welding experience to the next level.
Seeking for an efficient plasma cutter that can cut just like a hot knife going through butter? The Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i is the answer you’ve been searching for. Using about 40 Amps of power, the Hobart 500566 Airforce 40i is able to slice through 5/8 in. and sever cut 7/8 in. steel.
It is a heavy duty plasma cutter weighing just 31 pounds hence it’s very light in weight. The wind tunnel technology guards against particles and abrasive dust from damaging the internal parts of the machine.
Seeking for a cheap and effective plasma cutter? This is your answer. The SUNCOO Cut-50 Plasma Cutter Electric DC Inverter is a 50 Amp Plasma cutter, it is suitable for copper, iron, stainless steel and all sort of metal. It performs excellently, and can be applied in many areas like site work, ducting work, repair and maintenance service etc.
The SUNCOO is pretty easy to assemble, with a comprehensive manual to guide the user through the installation process. The voltage ranges from 110 to 220V, and the machine has the capacity to adapt.
The Goplus Plasma Cutter Cut-50 is a new plasma cutting machine that features a new technology with an advanced inverter. It comes with a high-quality plasma torch engineered to give users a new cutting experience.
The Goplus Plasma Cutter Cut-50 is applicable for individual DIY projects and industrial use. It was designed with your maximum comfort in mind, hence it’s very easy to operate. It’s also equipped with the necessary accessories to make using it very safe. It can be applied in ducting work, repair work, automotive work, maintenance service.
Seeking for a light, portable, and compact plasma cutter? The Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter is the best choice. It comes with very capable size breaker and requires a 30 amps source.
It has a built-in compressor with the ability to cut through all types of metal. When performing flame tuning, there is no gas pressure required. The Hobart 500564 Airforce 12ci Plasma Cutter gives a very accurate cut with a thin kerf and less sla
Seeking a plasma cutter to comfortably handle light cutting projects? The Lotos LT3500 35Amp Air Plasma Cutter is the best choice. It is the most compact plasma cutter available on the market but, it is only powerful enough to handle a metal with 15 mm thickness.
It comes with an air filter and air gauge that works perfectly with your air compressor. It is an excellent choice for light projects and DIY jobs. Assembling it is very easy as the whole machine can be set up in just a minute.
The ZENY DC Plasma cutter features the latest cutting technology. It is recommendable for all metal cutting work, it’s suitable for both industrial and DIY jobs. The high-quality plasma torch which it has, gives it an enhanced and improved cut quality.
It features a double voltage adapter with a current range of 20 to 50 Amps. It is equipped with essential accessories like AIR regulator and earth clamp as well as many safety accessories needed to ensure a seamless cutting operation.
The Hypertherm 088079 Powermax30 XP plasma cutting machine is a 2 in 1 plasma cutting machine. It works with high vigor to cut through metal with ease. It delivers a very high-performance cutting experience with the ability to handle thick metal of all sorts – up to 16mm. It comes with Fine Cut consumables that give detailed cutting.
It comes with various accessories that ensures you work safely. The automatic voltage setting allows it to adapts to either 120V or 240V circuit. The Kit comes with nozzles, electrodes, shields, retaining cap etc.
The Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter is a strong heavy duty plasma cutter. It comes with an inverter based design and reliable technology. It’s very portable and easy to use.
The Hobart 500565 Airforce 27i Plasma Cutter features multi-voltage plug that allows it to work effectively with either a 120V or 240V power supply. Setting it up is pretty easy as all you have to do is connect and start cutting!
Seeking a reliable plasma cutter able to handle all form of metal and aluminum? The JEGS 81545 Plasma Cutter is your answer. It comes with all necessary and useful accessories that makes it deliver a seamless working and cutting experience!
The SUNGOLDPOWER 50A Air Plasma Cutter comes with a superior IGBT tech, giving it the ability to slice through as much as 15mm thick metal. Like most plasma cutter, it uses a dual voltage technology. It’s less power consumption from the high duty cycle makes it more efficient.
It has a Digital LCD display and a front pane air pressure gauge making it more appealing and effective. It can cut smoothly without any polish demand. It comes with amazing protective features to make the machine safe for use. It can cut through copper, steel, carbon and several other types of metal.
The CUT-50, 50 Amp Pro Plasma Cutter was designed for small businesses and DIY jobs. This is a new and improved model that uses 15 – 50 Amps with an advanced inverter tech. It comes with plug adapter that makes the voltage adapt automatically to the supplied voltage – 100 to 240 Volts.
It has a comfortable grip and a torch design that allows it to slice through various metal forms seamlessly.
The VIVOHOME DC Inverter Plasma Cutter boasts of the most advanced inverter technology in its construction. It has a high cutting ability with a fast cutting speed way better than that of oxy-acetylene cutting.
It features MOSFET technology that steps up the 50 Hz frequency to over 100KHz. It is fast and economical, able to cut through thickness of up to 12 mm. It’s Suitable for wide application – DIY and industrial use.
The HYL CUT30C plasma is one of the best heavy duty plasma cutter suitable for both home hobby and personal welding. It features a 110/115/120 current type.
It comes with various accessories such as ceramic cups, nozzle, electrodes, ceramic diffusers, replacement torch assembles etc. It can cut a maximum thickness of 0.25 inches.
The Hypertherm 088096 Powermax 30 AIR Hand is a small and lightweight plasma cutter designed with an internal air compressor. It’s small and compact in size, it can handle cutting metal of various forms. Unlike most compressors, it doesn’t need an external air supply due to the in-built compressor system.
The Hypertherm 088096 Powermax uses the latest technology with reliable torch and consumables to keep the system running at its peak. It features a New AIR T30 torch which makes it rugged enough to withstand unconducive environments
Seeking for a classic plasma cutter that uses advanced technology to slice through metal? The Biltek 50Amp Air Plasma Cutter is what you need. It delivers high cutting performance with a non – pilot arc torch that is able to deliver high cutting performance with longer life for consumables.
It comes with a cutting torch, air hose, air filter and other accessories. It uses clean oil – free and dry air from a compressor to deliver very clean cutting experience.
The VEVOR Plasma Cutter is a 50 Amp machine. It is very light in structure and compact in design. It saves energy with extra-axial flow fan for forced convention needed to cool the machine. It can cut up to 12 mm with a digital display on the front panel of the machine. It is able to cut various forms of metal like mild steel, stainless steel, alloy steel etc.
The unit comes with various accessories such as gas pipe, cutting torch etc.
The Miller Spectrum 625 X-treme Plasma Cutter is one of the most portable plasma cutter available in the market. It works with a dual voltage setting. It comes with the Auto-Line technology and MVP adapters. It has extra protective features which makes the unit safe during transport and storage.
It comes with essential protection gears to ensure that safety isn’t compromised while working. There is an Ultra-Quick Connect XT 40 torch designed with ergonomic handle that reduces unnecessary fatigue while working. With the Auto – refire technology, it directs the pilot arc when cutting expanded metal
Weighing about 16 pounds, the Plasma Cutter by HITBOX can slice through thick Carbon of up to 12 mm thickness. Asides carbon, it cuts steel, copper, and aluminum effectively. It features a digital display and comes equipped with plasma cutting torch consumables.
The Plasma Cutter by HITBOX gives an outstanding cutting performance that is able to work effectively, irrespective of the air pressure. The unit prioritizes safety with various features meant to keep you safe while using the plasma cutter.
Seeking for a plasma cutter for your DIY product? The 2017 Everlast SuperCut51P is a perfect fit for you. The SuperCut 51P comes with a high-frequency arc that offers continuous engaging pilot arc. This unit is perfect if you are seeking to make low dross cut, it’s very efficient and easy to use.
The Air Inverter Plasma cutting machine uses the MOSFET inverter technology to give stable, mature and improved cutting experience to its users. It is made with very high-quality components that make the plasma cutter economical with the consumables.
Weighing just 22 pounds, it is compact and portable. Asides, it is applicable for both industrial and personal work. The plasma cutter is able to adjust itself even with a very high air pressure giving a direct and precise cutting experience.
The Forney P+ Plasma Cutter is very easy to use and comes with a 15-inch ground cable. It utilizes compressed air and electrical arc to slice through metal like it’s a piece of meat. It is capable of giving a precise cut due to the drag technology that allows users to move the torch on the metal surface.
It comes with many cutting accessories like electrodes, diffuser ring, compressor shield cup etc. There are features to ensure that using the plasma cutter is completely safe. It features a lightweight inverter power supply and a built-in compressor.
Seeking for a heavy duty plasma cutter with the ability to cut up to 16mm of metal? The Powermax45 XP plasma cutter is the best choice. It comes with varieties of features that give it an optimum and improved performance over other brands.
There is the automatic gas adjustment for simple setup operation as well as the new Duramax Lock torch to give it an improved performance. It is able to cut a wide range of metal with various thickness, and it’s also capable of handling precision gouging and part marking.
The LOVSHARE comes in a compact 3 in 1 structure capable of handling TIG, CUT and ARC/MMA function. It has a compact design. It’s portable, reliable and very easy to use.
It is suitable for DIY jobs and industrial application hence, capable of handling shipbuilding, aerospace, automobile and quite a lot of other functions. This plasma cutter has a 110V Welding Machine Portable CT312Welder with Air Regulator.
Having analyzed the review of the best plasma cutter available in the market, I will proceed to discuss what you can do with a plasma cutter, as a welder.
Plasma Cutter is recommended for cutting metal, copper, steel, and other non – ferrous materials. When using oxyacetylene for cutting, you have to carefully control the cutting speed in order to keep the oxidizing process going. Plasma cutter stands out in this aspect.
The plasma cutter is very handy and effective if you will cut expanded metal which can’t be done with oxyfuel. Also, plasma cutting is very fast, it produces a clean cut and also good at making a nonlinear cut!
1. Fabricating Metals on the Go
Plasma technology is extremely invaluable in cutting pieces of metal together. This is especially useful to contractors and welders on site. Many times, metals come in lengths that are too big. At times as well, the job specification requires an exact length of metal that can only be gotten with the use of a plasma cutter.
2. Metal recycling
One of the places where the applications of the plasma cutter is irreplaceable is the junkyard. There are scrap metals that might not be useful to a welder again. A plasma is extremely useful as it helps cut pieces of metal down into bits or size that makes storage easy. With this, you increase storage space and improve productivity!
3. Cutting Pipes
There are times you might need to cut a huge length of pipe. You won’t be able to cut this with a standard cutter due to the time it takes. With a plasma cutter you can do this with ease, you also minimize resources wastage. There are pipe cutting jobs that needs to fit perfectly, and with the smooth neat and quick cut a plasma cutter creates; it is the best for the job!
Thanks to the improvement in technology, plasma cutter has been widely accepted in homes, shop, industrial use, fabrication yards, and many cutting industries. Yes, the plasma cutter is a very useful piece of equipment but a risky one as well.
Hence, the necessary safety precautions are very essential to ensure a seamless operation with the plasma cutter. Irrespective of what you desire to do with the plasma cutter, you need to learn about the necessary level of safety required to get the job done with ease.
From my experience, hazards from using a plasma cutter mostly comes from being exposed to metal fumes, ultraviolet radiation, and hot metals. This could lead to cuts, loss of body parts, crushed toes or fingers, eye damage, electric shock, burns etc.
The good news is that you can limit these type of health hazards with the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and right safety attitude. It is when you use the recommended personal protective equipment that you can be protected from all the hazards associated with the plasma cutting machine.
Hence, in order to work safely, you have got to protect yourself and those around you with the essential safety gears:
While working with a plasma cutter, it is very good to prioritize safety. Hence, on no account should you compromise on this personal protective equipment while working in the workshop. Remember working safely is critical to your health and wellbeing!
Having discussed the essential safety gears needed for plasma cutting, I will also address the safety hazards that are common while using a plasma cutter.
Welding is a hot job. And, plasma welding involves cutting iron or other metals at extremely high temperatures. This presents a lot of health risk to you. Asides physical hazards, there are chemical hazards that you can be exposed to.
In order to guard against the injuries and hazards associated with plasma cutting, you need to be aware of the risks involved. When you know the risk, you will be able to protect yourself adequately against the inherent dangers present during plasma cutting.
Here as some safety hazards involved in plasma cutting:
Plasma cutting often releases vapors, sparks, slag etc. that are physical threats to you. There is a huge risk that this flying debris could get into an unprotected eye. This is why it is essential to be fully kitted before using a plasma cutter. Putting on a welding helmet, as well as a safety goggle, is very important. Not only the eyes need protection, but the entire face as well.
As indicated above, plasma cutting produces splash and sparks that are usually very hot. Thus, the tendency of any flammable liquid around you catching fire is very high. A fire could erupt if sparks comes in contact with any liquid that is highly flammable around the workshop, clothing materials covered in grease or oil also has a great tendency of catching fire. This is why the workshop or working space should be free of flammable liquids, clutters and chemicals.
Careless handling of hot metal also poses a great risk to you. When this drops, there is the tendency of injuring an exposed leg. This is why a safety boot is always recommended while using a plasma cutter. You can never be overdressed for safety. A hot piece of heavy metal dropping won’t only burn the toe but has the tendency to crush the toes! So dropping pieces of hot metal should be dreadfully avoided.
It is very important to be aware of the dangers involves in dangerous fumes that might come around during plasma cutting. The process of burning might cause toxic gases like Carbon monoxide, argon, and hydrogen fluoride to be released. Inhaling this can lead to serious health complications like eye, throat and lung irritation. When you’re exposed to these fumes for a very long time, there can be severe damage to the internal organs like the kidney, lungs, and liver.
As a result of this, it is important a welder takes a conscious step to get rid of these fumes. The choice of the plasma cutting machine matters. Also, having an engineering control, like a local exhaust ventilation, in place is very important. It helps you get rid of harmful fumes while on the job.
The plasma cutter can also expose you to the risk of electric shock. As a result, you need to take precautions to make sure that the plasma cutting machine and the associated wires are in top conditions, the earth wire should be properly grounded and no naked wire should be in sight.
You should use the necessary and recommended pair of gloves to avoid handling a conductor. Also, the protective clothing, jacket, and gloves should be free from moisture to avoid conducting electricity when working with your plasma cutter. The ground wire should also be in a very good condition to limit the risk of electric shock!
This is a common mistake with many first-timers. Some welders might even be distracted and not realize that a metal just cut is usually extremely hot. Hence, even If you are with a glove, the metal can pierce the glove and burn the naked hand. This applies mostly to small pieces of metal.
I recommend that you give these pieces of metal enough time to cool down before picking them up. But, if it is necessary to pick up a metal while hot, a pair of vice – grips are better!
As evident from the risks listed above, plasma cutting is a dangerous exercise and taking the right precautions can help limit the dangers associated with it.
Having discussed the dangers and hazards associated with plasma cutting, I’ll proceed to discuss the necessary accessories that are very important and needed when using a plasma cutter!
“During the best plasma cuter review section of this guide” I pointed out that some machines operate either on the 110V or 220V or both power supply.
The power supply of the plasma cutter is able to convert a single or three phases AC voltage to a constant DC voltage from between 200 to 400VDC. This Direct Current voltage maintains the plasma arc while cutting.
This voltage also stabilizes the current given out due to the requirement of the nature and thickness of the material being handled.
Also, in the section where I reviewed the top plasma cutter available, you will realize that some machines come with a built-in air compressor. But, if it didn’t come with one, for it to function appropriately a constant supply of air is required to get the desired pressure to make the cut.
A moisture filter ensures that only clean and dry air, coming from the compressor, gets transferred to the plasma. This is a good practice that will keep your plasma cutter functioning at optimum capacity. Most air filters go for averagely $60.
In a case where you have to cut metals or materials with paints on them, you will have to grind down the surface or path around the cut. This is to ensure that the naked metal is exposed to the plasma. The reason is that paint, being highly flammable, can catch fire during the cutting process.
This isn’t very compulsory, but it’s advantage is that you get an improved visibility line.
A plasma torch is essential to give the necessary alignment as well as cooling down of the consumables. To form an arc generation, the major consumable parts are the swirl, the electrode, nozzle, and ring.
There is the need for an extra shielding cap which can help improve the cut quality.
There are many brands of plasma cutter in the market. Hence, choosing the most appropriate one can be very confusing, especially for someone that has no prior knowledge. In this regards, in the next section I’ll discuss how to choose the best and most appropriate plasma cutter.
Plasma cutter is a very important welding tool for every form of welding operation. It makes the cutting of metal and other hard substances very easy, accurate and fast. This is due to the new designs and technology that backs up the plasma cutting machine.
Quite a lot of plasma cutting machines exist in the market. This alone can get anyone who wants to buy a plasma cutter confused on the most suitable one to use. In view of this, I’ll explain how to go about selecting the best plasma cutter and what you should consider before making the final choice.
Discussed below are the necessary considerations you should look at before selecting a plasma cutter.
One of the most important factors to consider in selecting a plasma cutter is the cutting speed. The basic thickness of the metal you will be handling and the desired cutting speed are things you have to know before selecting a plasma cutter. Basically, a plasma cutter provides cutting in three different quality which are the rated cut, quality cut, and severe cut.
Examining the average thickness of the metal that will be cut as well as the desired cutting speed is one of the guiding factor in selecting the best and most desired plasma cutter!
One of the very important factors you need to consider in selecting a plasma cutter is the duty cycle of the plasma cutter. Should you desire to use a plasma cutter frequently but not over and over for a very long period of time, the maximum amperage output should be the guiding factor in selecting the plasma cutter. The more the amperage output of the plasma cutter, the more the duty cycle.
On the other hand, if you will be using them over and over for a very long time, then you should select a plasma cutter based on the average size of the material you will be cutting. In this case, considering the maximum thickness that the plasma cutter can deal with is the way to go.
When the pilot arc is brought near the work piece, then one will have a transfer from the pilot arc to the cutting arc. As a result, a plasma cutting machine that gives a fast and reasonable transfer from pilot to cut at a huge transfer height.
These type of plasma cutters make much sense and will be useful for gouging, ideal for proper fitting when welding heavy plate. How do you test advanced characteristics? You can do this by cutting expanded gratings or metal. This will require the machine to switch from pilot to cut and back to the pilot as fast as possible.
Although the portability is not one of the most important factors, it is still essential for some users. A portable plasma cutter can come in handy for some folks which will be very important to their job.
If you will have a plasma cutter that will be stationary for as long as possible, and the materials to be sliced will always be brought to your shop, then the size and weight of the plasma cutting machine might not matter. But, if you’ll be moving the plasma cutter a lot, especially to various job sites, then portability is an important factor.
Most of the plasma cutter that I mentioned in “ the best plasma cutter review section” are very compact and light in weight. Technology has made them abundant these days!
Plasma cutting is a hot job which presents a lot of hazard to you, the work environment and the neighbors around. Also, the voltage needed to establish an arc for a plasma cutter is usually as high as 300VDC. One of the safety factors to keep you safe is the nozzle.
Having the machine on without the nozzle can result in a serious accident. Thanks to the improvement in technology, there are sensors that detect the nozzle. These sensors prevent the machine from coming up when the nozzle is disconnected.
The pre-flow sequence is another safety factor that comes with the plasma cutting machine. This feature warns you before the arc is triggered. Another safety factor essential in a plasma cutting machine is the three-second pre-flow safety, this is important to warn and alert you in case of any obstruction on the part of the nozzle before the arc comes on!
Air is a very good insulator. In establishing a plasma, the air has to ionize to get the necessary current flow needed. Ideally, plasma cutters should have a pilot arc that makes use of high frequency to turn the air into a conductor. With this, getting the machine to start will be easy. It does come with some cons anyway. The excessive frequency generated can interfere with equipment like PC and co.
Thus, if there are sensitive PCs or OC powered accessories around, it is recommended that one go with an alternate method in getting the plasma cutter to start working!
The lift arc method can get rid of this issue. It employs a DC positive nozzle alongside a DC negative electrode in it. At first, the electrode and the nozzle will be in touch. On pulling the trigger, there will be a current flow between the nozzle and the electrode which draws the nozzle away. This forms the pilot. The switch from pilot to a cutting arc happens when the pilot arc is moved near the work piece. This movement is triggered by the electric potential that goes from the nozzle to the work piece.
There are two main elements involves in plasma cutting – air and electricity. Thus in selecting a plasma cutter, it is important to know the type of input power source is available. For a 115 primary service, there is no cause for alarm. There are many 12- and 25-amp plasma cutters that operate on the 115 or 230V power supply. Thus, with an input circuit of 30 – amp, there will be an equal cutting capacity at the two voltages.
Miller Electric comes with a unique power technology known as Auto – Line. Basically, a machine with auto – line can accept input voltage in the rage of 190 to 630 V, which can be single or three phase. The interpretation of this is that the plasma cutter can be used with any source of power. Also, if the main source of power rises or falls (within the 190 to bucks630V range), the machine will work seamlessly.
Source of input power is one of the most important factors that you mustn’t overlook when buying a plasma cutter. The reason is simple – all plasma cutters require an excessive amount of electricity for effective operation. Generally, a plasma cutter will either use a 110 volts power supply or a 220 volts power supply. All plasma cutter do come with amperage ratings. The best way to select your plasma cutter is to choose something with a minimum amperage rating that works with the electrical outlet of your workshop.
Also, it is recommended that you have a separate and dedicated power outlet source for the plasma cutter. Using a single source with a plasma cutter and other electrical appliances can reduce power supply to the plasma cutter which can affect the performance.
There are some consumable items that go along with plasma cutting torches that will have to be replaced regularly. Take the handheld torch, for instance, the shield, the nozzle, the retaining cap, swirl ring, and the electrode should be easily replaced. Asides, once the plasma cutter’s performance goes down, these parts should be replaced. This is part of the hidden cost.
As a result of this, I advise going for a plasma cutting machine with limited number of consumable parts. The smaller the consumable, the less the parts to replace which translates to less extra cost in the long run. Asides, in getting the plasma cutter, there should be information on the manufacturer’s user guide on the long the consumables will last.
A couple of manufacturers prefer to classify their consumables by the number of cuts, while others prefer the number of starts as their basics. For instance, production equipment that operates all the time will have a wear profile different from a similar one that works at an interval.
The brand manufacturing the plasma cutter should also be considered in selecting the most suitable plasma cutter for your use. You have to do a thorough research about the best brands. I’ll advice you to choose one of the brands mentioned earlier in the article, they are brands that have established themselves as an authority in the welding accessories field.
The review of other users and their experience with a particular product is another way to judge and decide the most effective plasma cutter user can select.
The quality of the cut you will be getting from your plasma cutting machine is also critical. This is because it has a direct effect on your finished products and it also makes your work fast. When you have a tidy and smooth edge, you will waste no extra time on a secondary job.
The importance of a tidy and smooth cut can’t be overemphasized. This is why a good plasma cutter will give very narrow kerfs (the cut width). This translates to less wasted materials and very accurate cuts!
Having discussed the main factors to consider before selecting a plasma cutting machine, I’ll proceed to discuss the step by step guide on how to cut with the plasma cutting machine.
Without any doubt, a plasma cutter is a great machine meant to make work easier. But, if not handled properly, using it won’t be very easy.
The following are a step by step guide on how to use the plasma cutting machine, it’ll make using the machine very easy if followed diligently.
Step 1 – Be Safety Conscious
Plasma cutting is a dangerous exercise which requires being safety conscious. Thus, before commencing anything at all, you want to make sure you have taken all necessary safety precautions. Be sure to be fully kitted from head to toe – welding jacket, eye protection, gloves, your pair of boot, your beanie etc. Also, make sure all flammable materials are out of the working area.
Step 2 – Be Aware of the Effects
For first time users, I advise that you are fully aware of the potential effect of the cutting process before starting the cutting operation at all. In other words, be prepared for excessive noise, very high temperatures, fumes, UV radiations etc. There are times you will have to deal with molten metal!
Step 3 – Prepare the Workshop/Work Area
Asides getting rid of flammable materials, there are other things you need to do to prepare for the cutting process. For instance, you need a well-ventilated workspace for the cutting process due to the intense heat produced. Also, you have to get the air compressor started on time in order to build the needed air pressure needed for cutting.
Step 4 – Select the Right Cutter
If you will be using a plasma cutter for the first time, I will advise you go with a version that is pretty easy to use. New designs are recommended as you don’t have to adjust the pressure!
Step 5 – Be Aware of the Thickness of Your Work Piece
Before commencing the cutting process at all, you have to measure the thickness of the metal you need to cut. This is because the thickness of the metal decides the size of your cutter. A 375 spectrum, for instance, is able to cut 3/8 inch of steel.
Step 6 – Connect to the Power Source
One of the main things to be careful about in using your plasma cutter is the power source. The good news here is that plasma cutters can work with varieties of input power such as 1 phase, 3 phase, 50 Hz and 60 Hz. You must make sure you use the right and recommended power source for the machine!
Step 7 – Placing and Preparing Your Work Piece
The metal that needs to be cut should be positioned on the vice, sawhorses or clamped to the work table – a flat surface. I recommend using any wooden table. You should be careful and certain that when the metal is cut and it falls, it will hit neither you nor the chord of the plasma.
After setting your work piece, clean the path of cut with a grinder or wire piece, especially if it is a painted material. Also, mark your cut line with a metal chalk or any marking tool you have.
Step 8 - Working With the Torch
This is the point where you proceed to work with the torch. Grab the torch of the plasma cutter and point close to the metal surface. On pulling the trigger, the pilot arch will start
Step 9 – Move the Torch
On pulling the trigger, move the touch to commence the cutting arc. Be certain that it is piercing the metal to its bottom. In a perpendicular position, hold the torch and maneuver it around the work piece
Step 10 – Judge the Speed
On moving the torch, you should be able to decide if you are making meaningful progress. An easy way to do this is to look for spark beneath the metal. It there is no spark, the plasma cutter’s speed is wrong. It’s also pointing to the fact that the work piece hasn’t been penetrated through
Step 11 – Adjust the Speed
Some minor adjustments will allow you to fix any issue with the speed. You also need to have adequate output amperage, in this regard, the speed with which you move should be minimal in order to make it effective!
Step 12 – Be careful With the Finishing Cut
You need to be very careful with the finishing cut. You should have your torch angled on getting to the finishing point. Also, you could hold on for a while when getting to the final bit, hold on and then proceed.
Step 13 – Allow Work Piece to Cool
When done with the cutting, put the cutter away in a safe place then allow to cool off and keep on a noncombustible surface. A good plasma cutter should be equipped with a cooling system which should cool the unit after use.
Now that you are aware of how to use a plasma cutter, I’ll take you through a list of the frequently asked questions and the appropriate solutions for them.
I present some questions that might answer your concern on the use of plasma cutter below:
1. Do I need a Plasma With an Inbuilt Compressor?
“In the section on the top plasma cutter review above” I mentioned that some plasma cutter that comes with compressors. These plasma cutters do give a constant supply of air while the machine is cutting. These types of plasma cutter are recommended for users that will be working in places without access to air compressor.
The cons with these types of machine is that they are usually expensive and underpowered. A plasma cutter with an air compressor is recommended if you will be moving the plasma cutter a lot.
2. What is the Pilot Arc? Do I need it?
If you have a quality plasma cutter, it should come with a pilot arc. The meaning of this is the ability to make a cut with the plasma cutter’s torch without making contact with the metal/work piece. On using a pilot arc, you are required to hold the tip of the torch near the metal.
The advantage of this is that you are able to make a smooth cut as well as prolong the life of your consumables. You will also have a smooth and neat cut, especially if you are cutting expanded steel.
On the other hand, a non-Pilot Arc plasma cutting machine is pretty cheap. In using it, the torch tip of your metal has to touch the metal for you to cut. The disadvantage of this is obvious – you waste consumables. Hence, the few extra bucks that is required for a pilot arc enabled plasma cutting machine is so worth it!
3. What are Consumables and How Often Do I Need to replace them?
The part of the torch of your plasma cutter that wears out after several cuts are called the consumables. Consumables come in various types like the deflectors, shield, nozzles, retaining caps, swirl rings, and electrodes, all on the torch. How long these components will last differs, depending on how often you use the machine.
The good news is that you can get these consumables from manufacturers. Thus, when you have a worn out part, you can easily order for it, replace and continue working. It’s also very easy to dismantle. There are consumable kits from manufacturers with all the essential parts that you can buy.
4. How Does Plasma Cutting Compare to Oxyfuel Cutting?
Plasma cutter works perfectly with any type of metal as long as it is conducive such as aluminum, carbon, mild steel and stainless steel. Mild steel gives operators faster and thicker cuts compared to alloys.
The principle of cutting with oxyfuel is oxidation or burning of the base metal. The cons with oxyfuel are that it is limited to steel and other ferrous metals which supports the process of oxidation. Aluminum, stainless steel and other forms of metal disrupt further oxidation process. This prevents oxyfuel from being a good cutting tool. On the other hand, plasma cutting doesn’t work with oxidation hence, it is able to cut stainless, aluminum and many other conductive materials.
Although the various type of gases are applicable to plasma cutting, compressed air from an air compressor is often used. Some plasma cutting machine comes equipped with a compressor, and , compressed air is readily available. This removes the need for using fuel gas and compressed oxygen in the cutting operation.
It is pretty easy to cut with a plasma cutter, and it is much easier to use a plasma cutter on thinner materials compared to oxyfuel cutting.
5. Is there any Limitation to Plasma Cutting?
There are some applications where oxyfuel and other cutting method are preferred. Oxyfuel, for instance, is able to cut very thick sections of steel – more than one inch – and cuts way faster than a plasma cutter.
Plasma cutting machine is also expensive compared to oxyacetylene. Some users also prefer torch cutting compared to plasma cutting due to the fact that they operate independently of compressed air and electric power. This makes it a more preferred method for some welders.
Users do benefit from the plasma cutting technology due to pre-existing shop services. This will translate to little cost. Also, the cost of consumables like fuel and oxygen is reduced.
6. Why Do I Prefer Plasma Cutter but not Laser or Water Jet?
The reason is the cost of cut per inch of thickness. It is relatively high in terms of cost to cut per inch of thickness with laser and water jet when compared to a plasma cutter. Thus, plasma cutter saves time, and cost when cutting both ferrous and non-ferrous work piece.
7. Can Plasma Cutter be used for Cutting Aluminum and Stainless?
Yes, Plasma cutter can handle anything metal. IF you have a standard plasma cutting machine with you, it will handle the job seamlessly.
8. Why Should You prefer a Quality Plasma Cutter?
Getting a quality plasma cutter is preferred for many reasons. First of all, I would like you to see the plasma cutter as an investment rather than an ordinary tool. And with all investments, it will pay for itself over the years to come. Thus, over the years that you will be using it, it will serve you better, compared to going for a cheap tool that might not last you for long. With a quality plasma cutter, you save money!
Plasma cutters are interesting tools that give a superb performance. This plasma cutter review has been compiled based on my personal experience as well as surveys from close friends and relatives. So, you can be rest assured that all descriptions, analysis, advantages and disadvantages of each machine given are honest!
As indicated in the previous section, getting a plasma cutting machine is a very good investment as a welder. Thus, on making an investment this expensive, you have got to be serious, fully equipped with the best information and analysis before heading to the market.
My plasma cutter is one of my most useful and loved equipment because it makes my work so fast and elegant, I owe most of my success in welding to using the best and most efficient equipment. This is why I wrote a review on the best plasma cutters available. Be assured that choosing any of the top plasma cutting machine mentioned will be a very wise decision and like I always say “you can never go wrong with the right plasma cutter!“
Getting a plasma cutter is one of the best investments I ever made, get yours so you can know how it feels to work seamlessly. With the right plasma cutter, the future is now!
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Using the best welding boots can make a big difference during any welding operation. Many people might not give preference to welding boots when thinking about the welding accessories to buy.
But, using the best welding boot is as important as your welding helmet, this is one factor that distinguishes qualified welder from others. You just can’t do without welding boots as they do an excellent work of giving your feet and toe protection from flying objects and to resist fire should something go wrong.
I understand that it could be a big task searching for the best welding boot. The fact that there are many welding boots out there that claim to be of good quality does not make things easy, so I have taken my time to share my experience with various welding boot and also review the 10 best welding boots available in the market today.
I hope you take your time to explore the various welding boots I have reviewed and select the most appropriate one for yourself.
Note: To equip the other welding gear, read the posts:
Join me as I take you through the 10 best welding boots I found in the market
Dr. Martens Guard boot is flexible, made of non-processed leather and very rugged. It comes with padded foot beds to give your feet the needed comfort while working. There is moisture wicking in the inner lining to reduce moisture from sweat that might occur while working.
The welt construction of the boot guards against moisture from seeping in. The boot is also oil-resistant hence, the boot can resist wear from chemical corrosion.
It weighs just 38 ounces and sizes are available up to 14D
This is a very good welding boot which is made of leather for welders fed up of low-quality welding boot. It comes with a synthetic sole which makes it resistant for any hazard on the floor or from flying fire arcs.
It comes at different prices and offers a firm fit for your feet. The design and workmanship put into this welding booth is impressive
This Caterpillar work boot gets you set for the task ahead with strength and flexibility. It is built with Climasphere inside to keep your sole fresh and cool while working.
There is the ASTM compliant steel toe to keep the toe against injuries. The sole is built with slip-resistant features to give your feet a grip while working.
It is made with pull up leather to give your feet extra comfort and breathability during the task.
The Timberland PRO Men's Safety boot is designed to help working professional be on top of their game. These high-performance shoes provide comfort, protection, and durability at its peak.
Designed to follow the natural shape of the feet, the Hinged Met Shield makes squatting comfortable. They are made of very light and flexible materials without sacrificing the comfort of the feet. Timberland has been meticulous in the construction of these boots so as to meet and even surpass ASTM safety standards.
It comes with a steel shank and carefully streamlined footbed. This is to give the feet the needed support. It is the perfect fit for your work deals with petrol, oil or other greasy liquid
I do fancy the Caterpillar revolver boot because of the simple design. The simplicity did not in any way sacrifice the comfort and protection it is meant to give. It is designed with a full – grain upper leather construction. Hence, the durability is not negotiable.
The rubber sole makes it resistant to slip and corrosion from oil or chemicals, providing excellent traction. Immediately you put on this Caterpillar revolver boot, you can feel a breath of comfort for your feet. It comes with padded collar support at the ankles which helps guard against rubbing.
It weighs just 2 pounds
I would admit, this is one of the most comfortable welding boot I have ever own. I once used it for ten straight hours without any iota of discomfort. This is not surprising as it is made with a complete grain leather.
The Stanley Men's welding boots are light hence provides a grip firm and maximum support while working. The manufacturer carefully engineered the both for reinforced durability and comfort while working. Asides, there are moisture wicking –lining to absorb sweats and prevent water from sipping in while working.
If you seek a very durable good welding boot, I would recommend this 6” Steel Toe Work Boots – Timberland model. I can guarantee it’s durability because I have a friend who has been using it for 20 years.
The manufacturer carefully constructed safety and comfort into this welding boot. As a result, there are various features that ensure maximum safety for the user’s feet during operation. It was made with original Nubuck leather alongside a synthetic Goodyear welt design. Hence, it is not surprising this welding boot last long.
Thus, when you own this welding boot, you need not worry about metal shavings or flying object injuring your feet.
The GW men’s welding boot sets a unique standard for durability, comfort and protection. Made with genuine nubuck leather, they are carefully crafted to withstand all harsh welding conditions and also survive the test of time.
It features a rubber sole to give it firm traction with a steel toe for protection. You don’t need to worry about the boot being corroded by water or any other chemical as it was made with tested materials proven to guard against just corrosion
When it comes to designing comfort into your welding boot, I will give it up for EVER BOOTS "Protector Men's Steel Toe. Not only for welders, but it is also appropriate for all professionals like Engineers, carpenters, handyman, construction workers, plumber etc.
The outsole is multilayered hence there are enough provisions to keep users comfortable while going about their task in the boot. Asides, there is enough steel shank to support the ball of your foot. Hence, this keeps pressure off while keeping your feet stable while walking.
It is made of pure leather hence durable with a rubber sole which provides a firm grip on the floor.
One of the features I love about Stanley Men's Dredge Soft Toe is that they are just so easy to clean. These pair of welding boots are soft and made of ultra-light material. Thus, you will not feel excessive discomfort due to the weight of the boot.
It is recommended for all professionals especially people who will work while standing for a long period of time. As a result, there are features (the removable EVA foot bed for instance) to provide extra support for the feet to guard against all forms of discomfort.
I also love that this boot is very durable as I have got a friend using it for the past 2 years. He credits the design of the shoe as it gives his feet extra air circulation
Welding in itself is a very dangerous activity. Hence, you are more exposed to the risk inherent in welding without the appropriate safety boots. While wearing a welding boot cold feel a little uncomfortable at first, it does a very good job of protecting the leg.
Below are some dangers to your feet when welding without a safety boot:
With the above in mind, it is obvious that the main reason for selecting a good safety boot is safety. Thus, you get to protect your leg and toes from injuries that could otherwise be deadly.
Looking at the dangers involved in not using a welding boot, it is a big risk not to use one as a welder. You just don’t go to the market and select a welding boot that appeals to you.
There are many things to be considered when choosing a welding boot. While I don’t trivialize aesthetics and design, comfort, ease of movement, materials etc are the factors that you should consider when selecting the right welding boot for you.
Welding is a hot job that required continuous exposure to very high temperatures. Asides, irrespective of the type of welding you are operating, heat will always be involved.
In this regards, it is important to consider leather, as it is one of the most common heat resistant material. Hence, a leather made welding boot keeps your feet secured against extreme temperatures and some of the hazards described above like sparks, molten metal, and electric shock.
Also, leather materials are often resistant to water and other corrosive materials.
Majorly, there are two basic welding boots design: the slip on and the lace-up design,
The lace-up design:
The lace-up boots give a more comfortable fit. With the lace, the tightness of the welding boot can be adjusted to give a secure and comfortable fit.
One con about welding boots with lace design is the risk of the lace catching fire from sparks. Asides, the lace makes removing the welding boot quite tedious.
If you prefer a welding boot with a lace design, I recommend that you opt for boots with leather guards to cover the lace. This reduces the risk of catching fire from sparks.
The Slip-on Boot
These slip-on boots do rise up the calves, giving more protection. Due to the absence of slip, it is very easy to put on and remove. Asides, the risk of the lace catching fire is off the table.
The downside is that it is not as comfortable as the lace up design.
In welding, you have to deal directly with electrical equipment. In other words, there could be wires on the floor with the risk of accidentally stepping on a naked wire. Asides that, there could be static discharges on conductive materials and metals which could lead to an electric shock.
With this in mind, I recommend choosing a welding booth that is resistant to shock. The best welding boot in this category is those with rubber outsoles. Most of them can withstand electric shocks up to a thousand volt.
Welding in itself is a pretty dangerous exercise and so is the welding environment. As a result, having the best welding boots on is not negotiable. When classifying welding boots based on safety toes, there are three major types. These are the steel, composite and aluminum.
Worthy of note is that these varieties all satisfy the ASTM protection. Your choice is a factor of your personal taste and your specific working environment. I discuss the types below:
One of the main features to consider before selecting a safety welding boot is the metatarsal guard design. If you work in an environment with a high possibility of a critically heavy object falling, you need a welding boot with this feature. Welders will find this feature beneficial as their feet are protected from sparks, hot embers and flying materials
Protection of your leg is essential while welding, it is not a license to sacrifice comfort. An extremely tight welding boot could make you sore with blisters after use. Asides, if the welding boot is not appropriate, you can suffer abrasions, corns and even worse. Hence, the welding boot of your choice should provide minimal discomfort.
While safety is very important while working, it is a bad idea to sacrifice comfort. This is because most times, you might be required to be in the welding boot all day. With time while using leather welding boots, it will stretch to conform to your feet size.
Before you buy a safety boot, make sure you are aware of your shoe size. This is particularly important if you are going to make your purchase online.
The sole is another very important part of welding shoes. The material that makes up the sole should be durable enough to make your boot survive all kind of usage. Welding boots, as you will agree are usually subjected to rugged use. Hence, the sole should be tough enough to handle whatever is thrown at it.
Since work environment differs, it is essential to choose a sole appropriate for the working condition. One common factor all welding boots should have is slipping resistant. Slipping and falling while working could be catastrophic.
I discuss the basic types of sole available below:
It will be bad having to buy a pair of welding boot every year. Hence, your welding boot should be strong and rugged enough to withstand the harshness of the work environment.
A slippery welding boot is a disaster waiting to happen. Hence, your choice of welding boot should have good traction on any surface. Most welding boots are designed with slipping in mind anyway.
For maximum safety, the overall height of your welding boot is equally necessary. There are cases you might have to bend or weld in awkward positions. Your welding boot should not give any discomfort and should be able to provide an extra level of support.
As a result, I will recommend getting a pair of safety boots at least 9 inches high which is also comfortable. Thus, while welding in various heights, your boot will be able to adjust with all positions.
The best welding boots are usually around a hundred dollars. Some could be way less and more. It all depends on the features you want in your welding boot. I would recommend that price should not be your determinant in choosing the right welding boot. A welding boot that will give all appropriate features might not be cheap
While I will advise that you clean your welding boot after every heavy use, it is also advisable to clean them regularly. Leaving dirt to build up will end up giving you a tough time when you decide to clean.
I don’t really buy any special cleaning material when I want to clean my welding boot. Although, I will still recommend some cleaning materials you can buy to help clean your welding boot. But if you like to use household items, you will find this list helpful
Steps to Cleaning Your Welding Boots:
Terrible odors from boot could be horrible. But, getting rid of them is not a big deal. Just spraying vinegar or using a baking soda can help get rid of the foul odor. Baking soda, being a deodorizer will absorb the foul odors, neutralizing the smell.
What do you need?
To get rid of the bad odor, take the following steps:
If your feet sweat a lot, you need to form the habit of cleaning the inside of your welding boot. You will need the following:
I will like to point out that there are different types of leather. As such, the cleaning method for each type differs. I have four basic process outlines for cleaning your welding boots:
There are many types of welding boot out there. As an expert in welding, I have carefully selected the 10 best welding boot of the hundreds of welding boots available in the market.
In choosing your welding boot, I will recommend choosing something that offers maximum protection without sacrificing comfort. Your money will be worthless if you are not comfortable in a shoe which protects your feet.
With the abundance of welding boots available, you should have no issue selecting the one that is most appropriate for your work. Also, I recommend being considerate of your job requirement before selecting your boot.
The right pair of a boot will make you work safely and efficiently!
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Say what you may but there is no denying the fact that being a welder exposes you to an array of dangers, the onus is on you to select the best welding jacket to protect you against the work-related hazard.
Prevention they say is better than cure, is there any better way to protect your body from wielding related hazards than by wearing safety apparels that is both affordable and effective in playing the much desired "protection role."
To effectively protect against hazards, welders must insist on welding jackets made from suitable materials which would make the jacket at least fireproof.
Sit back and fasten your seat belt while I take you on a short trip to discover to great extent things or features to look out for while selecting the best welding jacket. For this purpose, ten welding jackets shall be reviewed.
Note: You also need to wear welding helmet, welding boots and welding gloves before working. Read more:
Made from a blend of cotton and nylon this pocket-friendly welding jacket by Miller Electric is the first to be reviewed. The Navy Blue jacket comes with a chest size of 50 inches and a closure type of Snap Button, this might appear to be bigger than the average but who cares so far it can protect against heat while on the job.
The job of a welder is to weld metals and not to show fashion sense while at work.
Having used this jacket personally, I can confidently say it offers a great value for the purchase price it is comfy and protective. But it must be noted it is not suitable for heavy metal or aluminum work.
This lightweight jacket comes with a very eye catchy design. Contributing to its elegance apart from its beautiful color is its blue flame pattern which is visible on its sides and contoured body. The elegant jacket fits perfectly on the welder as he performs his welding tasks.
The jacket was designed with adjustable waist straps, it is also designed with cuff snaps. There are also inside pockets to compensate for its lack of open packet, one of the inside pockets even has a zipper.
This jacket is very comfortable, moving up and down while on it was really easy. As beautiful and elegant it looks its use should be restricted to light MIG and FIG application.
Made from heavy duty genuine cow leather, this brown welding jacket offers protection to the welder up to his knee level. It was designed with a high collar, adjustable straps and double stitched seams.
The jacket also has a large pocket to fit in some small tools which you might need as you perform your welding task. Protecting the arms and torso from welding spatter and heat.
The designers of this leather jacket hold safety in high esteem, it is safe to say that this is a perfect blend of affordability and protection. The foul smell could be neutralized by spraying deodorants on the jacket.
In a bid to clean it you shouldn’t make the same mistake I made by putting it inside the water as this kind of deformed the jacket. A little brushing will do wonders in cleaning it.
This low budget heat and flame resistant jacket come with a stand-up collar, a dual scribe and inside pockets. Its waist straps and cuffs are adjustable to fit. It works for a chest measurement of approximately 56-58. Its design is so stylish that it could pass for a high-end shirt.
This jacket is a further proof that you don’t have to break the bank before getting a welding jacket. Right from its first use, I realized that using it for heavyweight welding work will be disastrous.
This extra-large jacket was brilliantly made from boar hide and premium high-quality pigskin leather. Boar hides have been known to offer greater heat resistance to cowhide it is also cooler and affords you easier mobility while at work when compared to the cowhide.
The leather jacket features a vented back and underarms for maximum comfort, it also features an inside pocket.
Perhaps this is the best jacket I have ever used in a while, after buying to test run it, I tried exposing myself to hot slag and sparks, guess what? It got me well covered. Colleagues have constantly been telling me they want this exact kind if you can afford it kindly go for it. This is surely a product that offers value for money.
This brilliantly designed two colored jackets was made from cotton with the sleeves made from cowhide leather which provides for more protection around the arm area. The jacket has a relaxed non-reflective snap front and wrist closure, relaxed full cut fit, Large inside pocket and a Leather reinforced snaps.
This is no doubt an excellent product for a great price, this jacket is best suited for stick welding or flux core MIG. It is too heavy for most standard MIG and undesirable for TIG. This is absolutely a premium jacket at a modest price. Kudos to the designers.
This flame-resistant Jacket is made of 100 percent sateen cotton fabric. *Snap up jacket includes adjustable snaps at wrist for custom fit; hook and loop collar can lay flat or be worn around the neck for added protection. The jacket features a small inside pocket useful for keeping small items.
Here is another cheap jacket in a class of its own. I’d rather prefer it to be more elegant, the design looks just too basic to me, I feel the designers should add a little aesthetics at least color wise, the color seems a little boring to me. Apart from that considering its price I can say without mincing words that I got value for money.
This extra-large brown jacket was made from real cowhide split leather, it features heavy-duty stitching which joined the seams together, reinforced snaps and it is unlined. It weighs around 11 pounds and measures 15.9 inches in height, 12.6 inches in length and 3.4 inches in width.
Unlike the previously reviewed jackets made mostly from cotton that eventually gets burned when exposed to heat over a long period, this jacket stood the test of time I have no regret buying it whatsoever but the buttons cannot be removed swiftly.
This Dark Gray lightweight jacket with long sleeves was made using flame retardant cotton, it features no lining, and heavy-duty snaps providing excellent coverage. It weighs 1 pound and a size of 9.9 x 1.3 x 1.3. It also features a pocket on the inside of the jacket.
Hobart has delivered yet another cotton jacket that provides reasonable protection at a pocket-friendly price, although I have used this jacket for all kinds of welding from light scale domestic welding to commercial welder work and I have been protected. I will not recommend it for heavy welding work because of its cotton material.
There is relatively little to say about this beautifully tailored flame resistant jacket by Antra since it is relatively a newcomer to the welding jacket market. The blue colored jacket was made wholly from cotton. With a size of 1.72 pounds, it is very easy to carry about and has no pocket.
This beautiful jacket is better used by amateur welders or welders still undergoing training this should not come as a surprise considering its price and the materials it was made from. If you a welder in training or not into serious welding work and you want a flame resistant jacket at a pocket-friendly price then this is for you.
The job of a welder is a dangerous one, a welder is at constant risk of electric shock which can be so serious as to take his life, they are also exposed to heat, sparks, metal, fumes and ultraviolet light which has been linked to cancer and other health implications.
A good welding jacket should be sturdy and made from fire-proofed materials. Below we present some of the benefits of wearing a good welding jacket.
There is no denying the fact that being a welder exposes you to a lot of heat which can cause burn, a welding jacket should be able to handle sparks, and spills with ease. It is not just the molten metal itself, but also the heated welding equipment, workpiece, and the hot air around a work area.
At its least harmful, this radiation can cause ‘flash’ burns on the skin – an injury that looks like a burn, causing the skin to redden and blister. The exposure to radiation at high scale has a very tremendous negative effect on the body, radiation occurs more frequently on exposed parts of the skin.
An effective welding jacket should leave no opportunity for the radiation to pass through the body thereby protecting the wearer completely.
In case of a fire outbreak or disaster, a welding jacket being flame retardant makes it difficult for the wearer to get burnt. Any jacket that cannot protect at least reasonably against fire is not worthy to be called a welder jacket.
Both jackets have their strengths and weaknesses and shall be discussed below.
From the above, it can be safely deduced that a leather jacket is much more favorable than a cotton jacket when performing high end and heavy-duty metal work. Cotton jackets should be used when performing medium or light welder work.
Based on over one-decade experience on handling all kinds of welding task ranging from the lightweight simple metal fabrication work to a high end heavy industrial welding task I can confidently say that these are key and salient features to be considered before choosing the welding jacket that suits your taste and meets up your job demand. They shall be discussed below.
The stuff your welding jacket is made of should be the first thing you consider before selecting your jacket, as you might have realized during reading this blog, jackets are majorly made using flame resistant cotton and leather although there are a lot of jackets in the market that combines the two materials.
If you engage in heavy-weight welding work like working on a ship, high-end mig and tig welding etc. then your surest bet is to go for a jacket made majorly from leather as it is safer although it can be a little hard for you to move about. If you also work in a very cool climate a leather jacket is also better.
If you work on lightweight welding like stick welding and what have you, you might need nothing more than a jacket made majorly from cotton, the material is strong enough to protect you against heat, ultraviolet light etc. that you might get exposed to on your work.
Like in all kind of job if you are not comfortable there is no way you can give your best, believe me, you as a welder your comfortability on your apparel is very important, in choosing your jacket it is advised that you choose the one that offers maximum protection and maximum comfortability combined.
The work of a welder is hard enough the last thing you want to worry yourself about is your discomfort. From experience cotton jackets being lighter are more comfortable than a leather jacket.
As a welder, I have always taken into cognizance the weather condition before I adorn myself with a welder jacket, during winter I prefer the leather jacket for it protects in no small measure against the blistering cold and in summer I go for jackets made from cotton.
If you work in warmer countries or when the weather is quite warm then I recommend you chose a jacket made from cotton but if you work in extremely cold places like Antarctica then you need not be told that the leather jacket is your friend.
The color of a jacket is important in selecting the best jacket for you, apart from showing the elegance in your jacket, it is advisable for you to wear a bright colored jacket in the dark and a dark colored jacket in the light.
Personal bias or preference for or against some colors also determine the choice of color, I find it difficult adorning myself on red colored jackets, another color I cannot go for is color pink, you shouldn’t blame me I find the color girlish (no offense).
Just like selecting any item for buying, the durability or otherwise of the item is a great determinant to the decision to buy or otherwise not buy the item. You need not be told that to maximize the benefits you enjoy from using your jacket select a more durable jacket.
Another determinant to the durability of the jacket apart from the materials it was made from is its weight and size, I can remember selecting an oversize jacket I couldn’t use it for long because it robs me of my comfortability. I cannot sacrifice my comfortability especially with my welding job.
You don’t have to break the bank before you can select your jacket, cut your cloth according to your size. It is advisable that you chose what you can afford, from my years of experience I have noticed that leather jackets are costlier than their cotton counterparts this should not be a surprise cotton is way cheaper than leather.
While I recommend cutting your cloth according to your size I feel low price should not push you to buy jackets that are unsuitable for your kind of work, you can’t go for instance. Say because of its cheapness you select a full cotton jacket over a leather one in performing heavyweight welder work, that would be tantamount to playing Russian roulette with one’s life.
I have personally saved for a high-cost leather jacket before and I haven’t for once regretted it. Safety, comfort, durability should not be sacrificed for cheapness.
Some brands are popular for producing good quality jackets you can try them out but that is not to say that you should only go for popular brands, there are tons of reviews on the internet to help you select the best irrespective of the popularity or otherwise of the brand.
While it has been argued that cleaning of a jacket is not necessary since it is used for work and would always accumulate grime I strongly believe that to maintain its durability it is really important for the jackets to not only be cleaned but to also be cleaned properly.
The dirtier the jacket gets the stiffer it becomes and the stiffer it becomes the more it loses its comfort, dirty jackets also produce a rather repugnant smell.
To remove grime from your leather jacket, saddle soap can be effectively used, but to maintain the sturdiness of the jacket, it is better you apply some leather conditioner after the cleaning. You should not soak a leather jacket inside water it can have a negative effect on the leather, simply using little water to wipe the surface should suffice.
Cotton jackets, on the other hand, can be effectively washed just as we wash our regular clothes just that it is advisable that you add 3 to 4 spoon of fabric softener before drying, as should be expected drying takes more time.
You should not wash your welding jacket in a washing machine, and if your jacket is old and maybe you are not ready to get a new jacket, you can rub alcohol before beginning the washing process.
Flame resistant jackets or Leather for Welding?
It depends on the welding task you intend carrying on, for a lightweight welding task flame-resistant jacket is okay, but for heavyweight and industrial welding task then leather welding jacket is okay, other factors that determine the choice of jacket includes, comfortability, durability, and cost
How is the best way to soften a leather welding jacket?
By simply applying a leather conditioner on the jacket before wiping it off with a handkerchief or a small towel
Is there any good way to clean a leather welding jacket?
It can be cleaned effectively by applying wiping off the with washing soap and water.
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Did you know that more than 50% of the products in the US require welding? That is how important welding is to our existence. However, the welding process requires the right gear for safety and better performance. Welding gloves are among the vital protective gear that you need. They will protect your hands from rough equipment and burns.
How do you select the best welding glove? The answer to this question can be puzzling especially if you are new to welding. However, I have outlined insights, reviews and vital tips that you can consider while choosing the best welding gloves.
Note: Besides wearing gloves, you also need to equip welding helmet and welding boots for safety. Read more:
Steiner gloves are ideal for heavy-duty welding. Their features are best suited for MIG and Stick welding.
RAPPICA welding gloves are some of the best gloves around. They are perfect for MIG and TIG welding and also perform well in stove, fireplace or oven. The gloves are crafted from thick flame-resistant leather.
The John Tillman welding gloves are designed to endure extreme welding conditions such as MIG.
The glove is ideal for arc and MIG welding. It is made of premium Gunn leather grade which makes it thicker for proper heat insulation during welding.
This pair of welding gloves is designed for super heavy duty. They are made from pure grain leather and cowhide split which makes the glove strong and tough.
I have used the Upgrade Welding BBQ gloves in my oven and their performance was remarkable. They remained intact despite extreme heat conditions. Here are some of their features:
TIG welding does not produce much splatter, sparks or heat. This is why the Lincoln welding gloves are not so thick. They are made for top grain goat skin leather and fit perfectly in addition to being comfortable.
I can tell from firsthand experience that Dekopro welding gloves will give you quality for your money. The gloves provide the best comfort, dexterity, and protection during welding. Listed below are more pros and cons of these gloves:
Miller gloves are known for their comfort and durability. They are mostly made of cowhide or pigskin which makes them tough and enduring to extreme welding conditions. Below are some of their advantages and disadvantages:
I love these welding gloves because of their sensitivity to heat. You can keep working regardless of the temperature. This makes them ideal for TIG welding. Kidskin leather makes them firm and flexible. Here are the pros and cons
I have used the caiman 1878-5 21-inch one size fits all genuine American deerskin welding gloves a couple of times. I loved their performance in hot flames. The only downside that I noted is that they tend to be bigger and lack perfect dexterity. Here are more pros and cons:
This is another set of excellent performing welding gloves. I have used them in place of oven mitts to keep my forearms safe while reaching into the oven. They bear remarkable insulating qualities. Below are more pros and cons:
This pair is designed for extreme heat welding conditions. The gloves are an excellent choice for TIG welding.
I boast of more than ten years of experience in the welding industry. One of the key aspects that I consider for the best welding glove other than safety is the durability of the glove. This pair of welding gloves is made from pure cow leather making it very long lasting. Here are its features and downside:
This pair of welding gloves has superior insulation properties and is comfy too. They will effectively protect you arms and forearms during welding.
Stick welding also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). It is the most common welding process. A lot of heat is produced in stick welding which is accompanied by spatters and sparks. You will need to get thick gloves to protect from burns or abrasion due to heat and puncture.
Stick welding produces heat between 3000-20,000 degrees Celsius. Use aluminized gloves to reflect most of the heat away from the gloves. Aluminized backed gloves are able to reflect up to 95% of the radiant heat produced.
I would recommend thick gloves with internal cushioning. I prefer cotton cushioning for insulating the interior from heat transmitted through the aluminum. The insulation protects the fingers from the excess heat that penetrates the aluminum. However, thick and aluminized gloves leave little dexterity.
You will need to find gloves that provide a balance between protection from heat and sufficient dexterity while welding. Stick gloves are normally thick, less flexible and mostly customized with cotton insulations.
TIG welding does not produce much splatter, sparks or heat. Hence, you need to look for something flexible but with maximum protection for your hands from metal heat. TIG welding is often used for precise welding processes such as structural design and fine-works.
When purchasing TIG gloves you need to get gloves that provide ample touch sensitivity as well as enough protection from bruises and heat. The gloves should offer enough touch sensitivity.
Although heat and burns are not common in TIG welding, radiant heat from the metal can be intense. So the material should be very tough and considerably thick.
Choose gloves which provide enough hand coverage. Unlike stick and MIG gloves, TIG welding gloves do not create slag. Therefore, you will need to find breathable hand sleeves which run to the wrist to protect the arms from the UV light.
TIG gloves are susceptible to wear and tear because of the increased metal contact. You will be safer by purchasing goatskin or other tough leather. The lifespan and safety of the gloves are highly dependent on the toughness of the material used.
The MIG welding is common for its universal use in a wide range of welding processes. MIG welding processes produce less heat and spatter. Nonetheless, MIG gloves need to be protective. The gloves also need to provide sufficient dexterity and heat/burn protection.
I prefer my MIG gloves to be made from goatskin. Goatskin is thick in addition to offering ample touch sensitivity. Choose gloves with thin internal insulation lining from heat build-up.
The choice of thickness is dependent on the amount of expected heat and spatter. Therefore, deerskin, goatskin, and cowhides are some of the most common leather are some good options available.
To seal the deal, only choose welding gloves made from top-grain leather. They should be tough, flexible and if possible oily and water resistant. This is to provide the required dexterity and heat protection.
The wide range of application of the MIG gloves predisposes the gloves to damages as you haul equipment around. Therefore, go for gloves with anti-abrasion protection and nylon spandex to improve grip as well as reinforced thumb protection.
Flux cored welding produces a lot of heat. It’s by far hotter than Stick welding. Flux core has many welding positions including vertical and horizontal welding. The welder requires a shielding armor to stay protected from the huge amount of heat produced as well as spatter and sparks.
The high heat of up to 40,000 degrees Celsius requires multilayered aluminized back layer gloves. The rayon design aluminum backing reflects over 95% of the radiant heat.
Metal heat and the un-reflected radiant heat that build-up may result into the burning of fingers. Therefore, I recommend you to ensure the gloves are thick enough and have quality heat-absorbent materials. Gloves for flux core welding don’t require high dexterity. The thicker the welding glove the better.
Look for gloves with flame-retardant foam. They reduce the impact of the spatters produced by the welding process. The flame retardant foam is heat resistant and will also improve comfort for the welder.
The gloves should be properly reinforced to ensure high grip and protection. You should ensure that flux core gloves have thumb straps and are uniquely stitched to match the heavy duty quality.
Welding is associated with many risks such as burns, cuts, corrosion from reactive liquids, electric shock, high heat radiation, sunburns, and can also lead to long-term illnesses due to spatters or falls.
Gloves are therefore a principle safety gear since they will eliminate such dangers. Below is a detailed list of their benefits:
Welding gloves are made from different materials bearing different properties. The leather is the most common material for welding gloves although cotton is also used:
Although not so common, welding gloves that are made of cotton or fabric are known to have soft interiors which are good for abrasions. Their inner linings are hygroscopic to keep hands dry and comfortable. The only downside of cotton-made welding gloves is that they are not strong enough to handle sharp objects or rough material.
There are several reasons why leather is the most preferred material for welding gloves. The leather is firm and flexible. It is also fire resistant, firm, comfortable and durable. There are six types of leather that are used in making leather welding gloves. All the six types of leather feature unique qualities and exhibit different capabilities in terms of performance. There are listed below:
Welding gloves made of goatskin possess good tensile strength and abrasion as well. Goatskin is ideal for TIG gloves since it provides the appropriate dexterity. Gloves made from kidskin - which is the hide from young goats – tend to have soft interiors and enhanced dexterity.
2.Horse skin gloves
Horse skin gloves are tough and long-lasting. Welding gloves that feature horsehide also have soft inner linings and provide the necessary dexterity. They are ideal for working under mild welding temperature.
Pigskin hide performs better for TIG, MIG and stick welding. The hide is wet and oily which give comfort to the welder. Pigskin gloves are naturally breathable in addition to providing sufficient grip.
Cowhide is preferred due to its superior qualities like toughness and durability. There are two types of cowhide that are categorized depending on where it is extracted. Shoulder split leather comes from the hide that is extracted from the shoulder area of a cow. On the other hand, side split leather is extracted from the sides and it happens to bear more strength and uniformity. Cowhide is ideal for MIG and STICK welding gloves.
Deerskin welding gloves are known for their dexterity as well as comfort. Their soft feel provides hygroscopic properties to keep the hands dry and enhance gripping capabilities. Its thick surface provides adequate insulation in high temperatures. Thick deerskin is good for resisting high temperatures, and it provides the advantage of taking the form of your hand over time, which makes it a very comfortable glove option.
Elkskin gloves are known for their exceptional performance, softness, and comfort. It is more flexible compared to cow or deerskin which results in more dexterity. It is also preferred because it does not harden easily under excess heat. Welding gloves made from elkskin are ideal for STICK welding conditions due to their ability to endure extreme temperatures.
Choosing the ideal kind welding glove will not just enhance your safety, it will also improve your pace and ability. As much as people have different taste and preferences, there are certain aspects that you should consider while buying welding gloves.
The ultimate gloves should be durable, heat resistant and flexible. You can also use the aspects below for effective selection:
The perfect material for welding gloves should not only be flexible but also have the capability to protect your hands from excess heat or debris that may fly off the workpiece.
Additionally, the material should not burn, shrivel or wear out easily. This means that the material has to be thick.
Leather turns out to possess all these features and that might explain why most welding gloves are made of the material. It is also an insulator, comfortable and long-lasting.
Dexterity of a welding glove dwells on the flexibility of your fingers or hand movement while wearing the glove.
The best welding gloves should give sufficient rooms for the movement of your fingers depending on the task being done. Dexterity is determined by the thickness of the gloves. It is also dependent on the material used.
While wearing the gloves, you should also be able to move or rotate your finger in order to perform other functions such as operating the welding gun. This is why the dexterity of a glove is important. Thus, it is wise for you to first try out a welding glove and confirm its dexterity before purchasing it.
BUCKLE AND STRAP
Welding requires one to have the right gloves for protection against hot metal particles and sparks that fly off the workpiece.
Ideal gloves should cover your hands and remain intact at all times during the whole welding process. That is why you should choose welding gloves which have a buckle and strap at the end to shield you from such harm.
There are several ways of stitching welding gloves. Lock stitch - which uses two-strand stitching - stands out as the best and most durable. It is preferred due to its durability and sturdiness.
THREAD FOR STITCHING
When welding gloves are exposed to high levels of heat for long, their stitching threads are likely to experience thermal damage. Therefore, it is wise to buy a welding glove with flameproof thread.
Most welders prefer gloves with Kevlar threads due to their superior flameproof capabilities. I always avoid gloves made with nylon strands because nylon can barely withstand extreme heat.
It is advisable for you to wear welding gloves that fit perfectly. Loosely fitting gloves may fail to cover the gap between the inner lining of the glove and your hands. This can be unsafe as space might allow debris to slip into the glove.
Such a glove will also make gripping objects difficult. On the other hand, if a glove fits tightly or is smaller, it might result in discomfort and also temper with dexterity. Hence, you have to ensure that your hand measurements match with the side of glove you intend to buy.
The inner lining of welding gloves provides comfort to the user.
The comfort you get from a glove is dependent on the softness of the material used to make the interior.
Cotton is mostly used for the inner lining as well as other cushiony material.
A good glove should have long sleeves to offer protection when welding is done overhead. One way to help you get the right glove is to compare your arm length with the specifications of the glove you intend to buy.
The main idea behind having your gloves on while working is to insulate or protect your hands from the excess heat that comes from welding. The best welding gloves are more efficient at insulating heat.
The heat insulation of a glove is determined by the type or quality of material it is made of as well as its thickness.
Most manufacturers indicate the maximum temperature that welding gloves can protect you. You can confirm the insulating details of your gloves from the description. Otherwise, you can follow up on reviews.
Safety should be your top priority while welding. Welding without the right gloves is risky. You are likely to hit a sharp corner as you work.
The results from such a scenario can be devastating if you are wearing a pair of gloves that is inferior in terms of puncture resistance.
Puncture resistant gloves can be selected based on the thickness. This makes it hard for sharp edges or material to penetrate thus guaranteeing ultimate safety.
I always go for durability when it comes to selecting the best welding gloves. A glove with double stitching is firmer, stronger and more durable.
It is easy to verify whether a glove is double stitched by checking the manufacturer’s description. Similarly, you can check out for reviews and insights from other customers.
WELTING OF SEAMS
Welts refer to the material or the piece of leather joined between two pieces hence making them durable. Welting is the whole process of strengthening welding gloves.
In most cases, seams are the first parts that succumb to mechanical damage on a glove. Welts are used to hold seams firmly in place. If you want welding gloves that will last longer then go for a pair that is fortified with welts.
You can look at reviews or check the gloves out the description to select the right pair.
HYGROSCOPIC INTERIOR LINING
Naturally, hands produce sweat after working for some time. Thus, you need to have a glove that will remain comfortable and maintain a proper grip even after sweating.
This can be achieved using welding gloves with hygroscopic inner living. Such gloves absorb sweat from your palms leaving you a firm, comfortable grip.
Keep your eyes on the manufacturer’s description to ensure that you get a pair with this feature.
Price is an important element that you should put in mind while choosing a welding glove. Most hardware and stores prefer to stock cheap gloves that do not last.
Such gloves get worn out very easily and need to be replaced after a very short duration. You should not really focus on price; it can dupe you into buying a low-quality pair of welding gloves.
I would rather go for a well-made costly glove that can endure extreme working conditions for a longer period.
Therefore, I would advise you to do some comparative shopping while at the store and find a pair that is comfortable and durable.
Your work gloves are bound to get dirty if you use them regularly. I find it imperative to clean my welding gloves every time I am done working to maintain the durability and life.
Caring for your gloves is crucial to maintaining the life and longevity. Cleaning is not only good for the gloves; it prepares them for the next time you may need to use them.
There are several basic cleaning rules for gloves depending on the material with some tips cutting across all materials although leather is the most common.
There are so many things that you should consider when washing leather Regardless of how enthusiastic you are about washing your favorite leather gloves, avoid getting them overly wet. Use a sponge, cold water and mild soap to tidy up your gloves. Leather gloves should be laid flat to dry rather than wring the water out after washing.
On the other hand, cotton work gloves should be rinsed off a hose to get rid of any glass or other dirt particles that may be caked on. They can be dried using a drier or wringing.
Avoid storing your gloves in damp areas or closed plastic bags. I would recommend storing them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
This prevents the growth of mildew and also ensures that the natural oils in leather remain intact.
To make you work easier while choosing any top rated welding glove I would like to share basic questions you should ask yourself alongside their answers that will guide you.
What Is The specialty Of Top-Grain & Split-Leather Gloves?
Split-leather is known to have high abrasion resistance which is linked to dense fibers. It is also more flexible compared to other materials used to make welding gloves. Moreover, gloves made from his split-leather are thick and can withstand high heat.
Can welding gloves be used as winter gloves?
Welding gloves can be used as winter gloves since they have some properties that are ideal for the winter conditions. Most welding gloves are lined with wool or cotton which can provide warmth during winter.
Besides that, welding gloves are long for forearm protections which are an added advantage during winter.
High-temperature welding gloves?
The ideal welding gloves for high temperatures should:
Some of the best high-temperature gloves include:
The best welding gloves should offer effective protection against any hazards that you might encounter while working. Some of the common features of top-notch welding gloves are comfort quality material, heat resistance, fire resistance; adequate insulation, and good dexterity. Price should not be the main factor to be considered while buying welding gloves. You should rather consider the performance and durability. Keep your eyes on customer reviews as well as details of the manufacturer to make the best choice.
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The 3350 Series welding helmet from Lincoln is a mid-range auto-darkening welding helmet. A conventional fixed shade helmet needs to be manually lifted and lowered at the correct times to ensure that the welder’s eyes are protected and the welder can see the workpiece at the required times.
This additional work makes welding more difficult especially for a new starter, which was also my experience when I was learning to weld. This problem is addressed by using an auto-darkening helmet which automates the shade switching task.
The 3350 Series welding helmet from Lincoln is a mid-range helmet which comes in one universal size. It is a versatile auto-darkening helmet and caters for all the conventional welding processes. The welding helmet is supplied with a bag and a bandana.
This welding helmet is aimed at the tradesman and is an overkill for DIY use.
The 3350 Series welding helmet from Lincoln comes with the following features:
There are many other popular auto-darkening welding helmets of which three are listed below:
This helmet is lot cheaper than the Lincoln 3350 Series welding helmet with a smaller viewing glass and less advanced features. This welding helmet meets European, American and Canadian.
This helmet is lot cheaper than the Lincoln 3350 Series welding helmet with a smaller viewing glass and less advanced features. This welding helmet meets European, American and Canadian.
This is the higher end range of auto-darkening welding helmets and provides for more advanced and elaborate options than the Lincoln 3350 Series. These include advanced color optics, longer battery life, and elaborate sensitivity/delay settings.
The 3350 Series welding helmet from Lincoln is a versatile auto-darkening welding helmet targeted for trade use. It caters to many welding processes and is handy with numerous features. The auto darkening feature ensures that the welder’s eyes are protected as the arc ignites and makes welding easier. This helmet is a small investment to make for a tradesperson to ease welding and is reasonable value for money considering the extensive features included.
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The CARBON FIBER RH01 welding helmet from Rhino is an auto-darkening welding helmet available at a reasonable price. An auto-darkening helmet changes from light to dark shade automatically at the appropriate times depending on the intensity of the light. This capability frees the welder to concentrate on the welding without having to lower and lift the helmet depending on the work step.
An auto-darkening welding helmet requires following considerations:
Note: Read more about: How to choose right welding helmet for job
The CARBON FIBER RH01 welding helmet from Rhino is an affordable upgrade to welding goggles and fixed shade helmets. It is a versatile auto-darkening helmet and is not only suitable for most of the conventional welding processes, but also for grinding. It complies with the North American, European and international industry standards. The welding helmet is supplied complete in a retail box complete with batteries, instruction manual, and headgear.
This welding helmet is aimed at the DIY welder and not ideal for the tradesperson.
The CARBON FIBER RH01 welding helmet from Rhino comes with the following features:
There are many other popular auto-darkening welding helmets of which three are listed below:
This helmet is slightly cheaper than the CARBON FIBER RH01 welding helmet has a smaller viewing glass and fewer features. This helmet meets European, American and Canadian. It is provided with four arc sensors, adjustable delay, sensitivity adjustment knob and is compatible with a cheater or magnifying glass.
2. Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series by Lincoln Electric
This is an auto-darkening welding helmet with a mid-range price and provides for more enhanced features than the CARBON FIBER RH01. These include four sensors, advanced lens technology, and a widescreen view.
3. 3M Personal Protective Equipment 70071688561
This is an auto-darkening welding helmet in the high-end price bracket and provides for more advanced and elaborate options than the CARBON FIBER RH01. These include advanced color optics, easy to use interface, longer battery life, and elaborate sensitivity/delay settings.
The CARBON FIBER RH01 welding helmet from Rhino is a versatile auto-darkening welding helmet targeted for DIY use. It caters to many welding processes and is handy with numerous features. The auto darkening feature ensures that the welder’s eyes are protected as the arc ignites and makes welding easier.
This helmet is a small investment to make to ease welding and for eye protection. Being a helmet targeted at the DIY clientele, it is not suitable for overhead welding and laser cutting/welding applications. It is good value for money considering the extensive features included.
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The 9100 welding helmet from 3M is a high end auto-darkening welding helmet. On a welding helmet, the auto-darkening feature is a very useful feature as it automates the shade change. Otherwise, as is the case with conventional helmets, the welder needs to lower and lift the helmet according to the stage in the process. These actions divert the welder’s attention away from the actual welding process and makes welding more challenging especially to a new starter.
The 9100 welding helmet from 3M is a high end and versatile auto-darkening helmet and is suitable for most of the conventional welding processes and grinding. It have a very large viewing area and complies with the American standards. The welding helmet is supplied complete with welding cap, carry bag and starter kit.
This welding helmet is aimed at the tradesperson and is an expensive choice for DIY applications.
The 9100 welding helmet from 3M comes with the following features:
There are many other popular auto-darkening welding helmets of which three are listed below:
This helmet is a lot cheaper than the 9100 welding helmet from 3M, but has a lot smaller viewing glass and less advanced features. This welding helmet meets European, American and Canadian.
2. Rhino Large View + Grind Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
This helmet is a lot cheaper than the 9100 welding helmet from 3M, but has a smaller viewing glass and less features. This welding helmet also meets European and other international standards in addition to American and Canadian.
3. Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series by Lincoln Electric
This is a mid-range auto-darkening welding helmet and has a smaller viewing glass than the 9100 welding helmet from 3M. It has 4 sensors, advanced lens technology, and a widescreen view.
The 9100 welding helmet from 3M is a high end and versatile auto-darkening welding helmet targeted for tradespersons use. It caters to many welding processes and is handy with numerous features. The auto darkening feature ensures that the welder’s eyes are protected as the arc ignites and makes welding easier. This helmet is good value for a tradesperson considering the enhanced and extensive features included.
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The AH6-260 Series welding helmet from Antra is an affordable auto-darkening welding helmet. While learning to weld, I struggled to place satisfactory welds using a fixed shade welding helmet as I was not able to see the weld puddle and the joint. Furthermore, I had to manually lift the helmet every time there was a need to inspect the weld.
The helmet also had to be lowered before the start of each weld just in time to protect the eyes from the arc. A solution to this problem is to use an auto-darkening helmet which allows you to see the workpiece before starting the arc and makes it easier to keep the welding torch or electrode in the joint.
The choice of an auto-darkening welding helmet will depend on the following factors:
The AH6-260 Series welding helmet from Antra is an affordable upgrade to welding goggles and fixed shade helmets. It is a versatile auto-darkening helmet and is not only suitable for most of the conventional welding processes, but also for grinding. It also complies with the North American and European standards. The welding helmet is supplied complete with batteries, instruction manual, and spare covers.
This welding helmet is aimed at the DIY welder and not ideal for the trades person.
The AH6-260 Series welding helmet from Antra comes with the following features:
Availability of spare parts: Spares for this helmet are readily available including the following:
Exterior lens covers, Inner lens covers, Head Gear, Hard hat adapter, Sweat Band, Auto Darkening Lens, Cheater Lens
Three auto-darkening welding helmets are listed below for comparison:
This helmet is slightly more expensive than the Antra AH6-260 Series, but has a larger viewing glass and is lighter. This welding helmet also meets European and other international standards in addition to American and Canadian.
This is a mid-range auto-darkening welding helmet and provides for more enhanced features than the Antra AH6-260 Series. These include 4 sensors, advanced lens technology, and a widescreen view.
This is the higher end range of auto-darkening welding helmets and provides for more advanced and elaborate options than the Antra AH6-260 Series. These include advanced color optics, longer battery life, easy to use interface and elaborate sensitivity/delay settings.
The AH6-260 Series welding helmet from Antra is a versatile auto-darkening welding helmet targeted for DIY use. It caters to a number of welding processes and is handy with numerous features. The auto darkening feature ensures that the welder’s eyes are protected as the arc ignites and makes welding easier.
This helmet is a small investment to make to ease welding and for eye protection. Being a helmet targeted at the DIY clientele, it is not suitable for overhead welding and laser cutting/welding applications. It is good value for money considering the extensive features included.
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In the welding industry, among all the tools that you should invest, a protective gear must come into priority. Well, there's a lot of things that I can think of. But for now, I will recommend that you get a decent welding helmet and I love Jackson Safety Brand.
The company is among the key players in the industry because the helmets they produce are ideal for harsh applications. I have around two to three Jackson variable darkening helmets in my shop. I always treasure them because of their innate rigidity and ergonomics.
Note: Before choose product, you should read the post: "How to choose right welding helmet"
The Jackson HaloX 46100 is one of the most solid options that you can have for a darkening helmet. It embodies the goal of the manufacturer to provide safety and convenience to the welder. It is personal protective equipment that you can rely on, thanks to its durability, ruggedness, and ergonomics. Nobody can simply downplay the quality of this welding helmet because this one goes off the chart.
Despite its rugged appearance, the entire welding helmet is not that heavy. It has a total height of around 8 inches, but its weight is only 2 pounds. That's slightly lighter compared to other conventional welding helmets. Maneuvering and handling this particular helmet won't be that difficult to such feature.
Of course, your safety will always be preserved with the Jackson Safety HaloX 46100. The exterior part is crafted from industrial-grade nylon, which is capable of fending off sparks and heat rays that are produced during the welding process. The material can resist high temperatures, which is a must for a variety of welding applications. The exterior is lavished with awesome graphics so that your welding adventures wouldn't be so dull.
Having this gear in my shop boosted my performance. It simply enabled me to work for extended periods on extensive welding projects. It is extremely protective. Furthermore, I really like the goldwing graphics that it has.
Another Jackson Safety product that I want to share with you is the Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet. Trust me. This unit is one of the most exceptional auto-darkening welding helmets that are commercially available today. For instance, the auto-darkening filter (ADF) lens has surpassed the EN379 ratings. Therefore, you can ensure that with this helmet, you can really do your things in your shop.
The ADF lens of this helmet provides exceptional optical clarity. Even if there is a screen between your eyes and the natural environment, your field vision will never be blurred or darkened. As far as I have experienced, this unit offers a solid defence against the extreme brightness. It will somehow nullify or diffuse excessive light. Aside from this, it is also capable of seeing through a variety of angular conditions and luminous transmittance.
This specific auto darkening helmet from Jackson Safety has ADF that comes with a variable shade rating of 9 to 13. Take note that this is an essential feature, as it is the one that determines the safety of your eyes from immense radiation. It can efficiently handle arc welding, TIG welding, and MIG welding.
Aside from these features, the Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet comes with ergonomic features such as delay and sensitivity settings. These components will allow you to operate in different settings and degree of tasks.
I particularly like this Jackson Safety welding helmet because of its given affordability. Well, I am not saying that the first two welding helmets that I have featured here are expensive. But if you compare them to the Jackson Safety 46131, the latter is clearly friendlier to the pocket. But regardless of that, there's a lot of things that you can expect from these helmets, especially to the Jackson Safety 46131.
This auto-darkening welding helmet features an ADF lens that met the safety standards of the industry. You will never have to worry about the safety of your eyes and face here because this gear can provide full protection. Wearing this helmet is not obtrusive as other helmets that I have used before. It has a wide viewing platform so that you can see all the details of your work.
Just like the first Jackson Safety welding helmets that I have featured, this one comes with delay and sensitivity configurations. There are also automatic dimming sensors installed on the helmet to ensure that you can work progressively and continuously. I have taken advantage of the said feature whenever I am working with different welding tasks. Extreme light and sparks didn't bother me anymore.
Even if the helmet has an entry-level price tag, it still offers ergonomic features. Such of these are the digital controls that the helmet has. Different weld and grind modes are also integrated on the system of the Jackson Safety 46131 to improve its overall versatility.
With its exterior graphics, I can always say that this welding helmet is way too hot and sexy. It has a fitting design for men and women who are in the business of welding because of its wild visual statement. But aside from its fancy aesthetics, the Jackson Safety HaloX 46130 provides optimal performance to its users. Welders will have a smooth time in the shop with this amenity on board.
The viewing area of this welding helmet has a dimension of 3.93 inches x 2.36 inches. That's more than enough for you to see your working field. It will never cause any obstructions and visual interference because of its unique variable shade technology. Auto-dimming features and sensitivity and delay configurations are all present in this item. It is indeed an opus of Jackson Safety.
There are a variety of weld and grind modes that were integrated on this welding helmet. You can use these components to tackle a variety of welding applications, which includes arc and TIG welding. The value of this welding helmet is further proven by its digital controls. They will allow you to control the configurations of the gear without any fuss.
Another thing that I love about this welding mask is its full compliance with the industry's standards. As a welder, I always make sure that my tools and equipment are made with quality. Specifically, the Jackson Safety HaloX 46130 is CSA compliant and has complied with the standards of the ANSI Z87.1+.
Just like what I have mentioned earlier, wearing a good welding helmet is necessary for a smooth and safe operation. It is a non-negotiable fact, considering that the security of your face and upper body are at risk here. The extreme brightness produced in the weld--which is accompanied by numerous and sparks--are among the problems that welders face.
I have known several welders who suffered ill due to these work-related elements. Several years ago, I was put in the same kind of jeopardy when I practiced some arc welding techniques while wearing minimal protective gears. Of course, it was slightly traumatic on my part. It also taught me a lesson that I should never belittle things just because I feel that I am an expert welder already.
There is a variety of welding equipment that a welder should invest. However, the most obvious and necessary is a welding helmet. The products that I featured a while ago are some of the top options that you have for this amenity. All of them are manufactured by Jackson Safety, which somehow provides relief to various welders.
You see, Jackson Safety is not just a run-in-the-mill welding helmet brand. It simply goes beyond that. It is among the finest manufacturers a variety of welding equipment in the market today, Many welders--including me--trust Jackson Safety. The construction quality and ergonomics of their helmets are truly superb.
Here are some of the things that welders like about Jackson Safety auto-darkening welding helmets:
Welding requires keen eyes. When welding, it is important that you have a clear view of your working area. It is very dangerous if your field of vision is obstructed. That could pose a serious harm to you.
One of the biggest problems of ordinary welding helmets pose is their inability to provide clear visuals. The optical clarity of their screens is not that great. Meanwhile, the Jackson Safety offers the Balder Technology. It enables their screen to be protective and at the same time, clear.
Specifically, the shade range of the Jackson Safety Helmets ranges from 9 to 13. These ratings are enough to give your ample visibility while you are welding. The said technology also prevents your eyes from getting hurt.
Right from the start, the auto-darkening welding helmets of Jackson Safety are built to ensure the welfare of their users. Each of the helmets that are produced by this manufacturer has rugged construction. They can defend your face, ears, and other sensitive parts of your head from extreme heat and other hot metallic residues.
The Jackson Safety welding helmets have a variety of sensitivity and delay settings. These two features improve the capability of the helmets to automatically adjust itself in various working environments. In this way, your eyes will never be overwhelmed by the tasks that you are working.
Overall, Jackson Safety helmets can protect the exposed parts of your body against the scattering residues and radiating energy. It is among the features that made me prefer this brand over the others.
Let me be quick on this one. I have to emphasize that all of the Jackson Safety helmets can fit a variety of users. Regardless of your build, you can guarantee that there is a Jackson welding helmet that can suit you. If you want an exceptionally ergonomic headgear for welding, you might need to invest on Jackson helmets.
For industrial applications, it is really necessary that the helmet has an auto-darkening feature. Typically, this one refers to the lens of the helmet. Specifically, the Jackson Safety helmets have auto-darkening filters. They are the ones that can satisfy the EN 379 standards for optical and visual clarity.
Of course, the very reason why Jackson Safety welding helmets are great is due to their high-quality construction. When I say high-quality, I am not just relying on my personal preferences and bias. Instead, I am referring to its compliance with various quality standards. Specifically, the helmets have passed that International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) and American National Standard Institute (ANSI).
This plate has been made to be compatible with various welding helmets that are made by Jackson Safety. It has a rugged construction and provides the same ergonomic design as default plates that are installed on Jackson Safety helmets. With this accessory around, you can prevent damages that can be sustained by the filters and lenses.
If you want to put extra care on the Jackson Safety helmets, you must invest in high-quality replacement plates. One of the best options that you have is the Jackson Safety SmarTIGer External Safety Plate. This one is compatible with all of the welding helmets that are produced by the manufacturer. The plate is very clear and can be placed on the exterior of the ADF lens. In this way, sparks and debris won't cause serious damages.
This one is particularly designed for the NEXGEN 3-in-1 ADF Welding Helmets. The lens kit comes with at two rear safety plates and another five front safety plates. Each of the plates offers a variable shade of 9-13 for maximum visibility. It can also support the clarity of the weld puddle that is using the amber lens. You can use the plates for a variety of welding applications.
To complete your setup, it is essential that you have a good helmet adapter kit. If you have Jackson Safety welding helmet, their Hard Hat Welding Helmet Adapter Kit would certainly benefit you. This particular kit has a rugged construction. But at the same time, it is flexible enough to accommodate various needs and applications. You can guarantee that it will last longer.
The Jackson Safety 370 Replacement Headgear is an exceptional option for a replacement headgear. I have owned several units of this item, and by far, I can't see any discrepancies or downsides. This one features an adjustable ratchet suspension so that it can fit multiple models of Jackson safety helmets. It also features a three-position slider that enables welders to adjust the distance between the lens of the helmet to your eyes.
Another replacement headgear that you can get from Jackson Safety is the 14556 Welding Helmet Headgear. This particular unit features a fully rugged design and construction so that it won't break easily. The teeth of the headgear can disengage automatically throughout the adjustment process. The latter ensures that this one can fit your helmet without any problems. Meanwhile, the sweatband is crafted from air-cushioned cloth for maximum comfort.
You should not worry a thing if the filter lens of your Jackson welding helmet has worn out already. Jackson Safety has ensured that you can have them again without the need to invest in another helmet. They offer replacement filters, which can greatly benefit the practicality and efficiency of your operation. One of the top options that you have for a filter lens replacement is the Jackson Safety Welding 427 Polycarbonate Filter Lens. It has the same qualities as the factory-installed filter lenses on auto-darkening welding helmets.
You can always extend the overall lifespan of your welding helmet through the procurement of replacement parts. If you have HaloX and HSL-100 Jackson Safety welding helmets, you can always get this kit. The package comes with various replacement components that have passed the ANSI Z89.1 compliance. Specifically, it comes with a safety plate and filter that can protect your eyes from dangerous elements while doing your job.
Welders should also consider getting the JAK15977. This is a retainer lens clip that provides an additional layer of protection between your eyes and the task that you are working. It functions by holding the lends firmly and snugly. It is easy to install and has a durable construction to boast. However, always remember that this helmet is made for HSL-100 welding helmets of Jackson.
As a welder, you should take care of all your equipment and accessories. Even components that are small as battery doors for the helmet must be secured at all cost. Otherwise, the speed and efficiency of your operation will be deterred. If the battery door of your Jackson helmet has been compromised already, it is time that you replace it with this replacement package. The Jackson Nexgen Battery Doors (Pair) 0745-0075 is compatible with various battery doors, as long as it has been designed by Jackson itself.
Of course, batteries are important parts in the overall operation of an auto darkening welding helmet. The device will not run if you haven't installed the batteries properly, or if the batteries are insufficient in the count. If you need a reliable option for welding helmets batteries, you should try the Jackson Safety NexGen Replacement Batteries (15984). It features an extended lifespan and capability to operate the helmet for an extended period.
I always have a carry bag for my welding helmet. After all, I don't usually stay in my shop because there are some outsourced jobs that I have to attend. Of course, carrying the helmet would become a problem if there's no appropriate storage system for it. Thankfully, Jackson Safety was able to come up with a bag that can contain the helmet safely. This particular carry bag has a denier fabric and nylon construction. It is durable and ergonomic, too.
For those people that own the HSL-2 Jackson Safety Welding Helmets, it is quite appropriate if you will invest in this package. Specifically, this particular kit offers all the essential components for Jackson helmets. It comes with the filter lens, locking mechanism, and other essential parts for your helmet. And since it has an inexpensive price range, anyone can just get it.
This particular welding helmet from Jackson Safety can complete the setup of 940P and 430P welding helmets. Aside from being rugged, you can ensure that the parts are durable and sturdy enough for welding applications. They are easy to install and mounting them in your helmet is not a difficult process.
Investing in Jackson Safety Welding Helmet Parts Kit for 951P will never be a bad idea. The parts inside this kit are fairly durable and rugged. It is complete with all the important amenities, which include screen filters and other mounting systems. Having this kit will fully bolster your performance, especially if you are planning to abuse the helmet from extensive orders and deadlines.
The last but not the least on this list is the Jackson Safety Welding Helmet Parts Kit for HSL-1. Just like the other helmets kits, this particular product has an impressive construction. Each of the parts has been graced with insane durability so that they won't break even in extended activities in your garage or shops.
That's it for now. As a welder, I can recommend a variety of brands that are related to welding tools and accessories. However, among them, it is the Jackson Safety that I respect the most, especially when it comes to their helmets. Since they are a US-based company, you can ensure that they have been built with rigidity and durability.
For intelligent consumers, they probably realized that opting for Jackson Safety is the proper decision. The gears and helmets offer have enough flexibility and sturdiness to withstand the punishment of your workplace. Furthermore, it is notable that the aesthetics and ergonomics of these helmets are impressive as well. You can ensure that they are not comparable to the conventional welding helmets that you can get today.
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Welding releases very dangerous rays that can cause serious damage to sensitive body parts, the eyes and face especially. The best welding helmets should be able to protect your eyes and face from all hazards associated with welding as: infrared light, heat, flash burn, ultraviolet light and all kinds of burn.
This article will give a review of some of the best welding helmet available in the market.
Join me as I proceed to the review of the best welding helmets available in the market:
There are many categories of welding helmets available in the market. I am going to base this classification on price.
If you desire a light helmet, I will recommend the Antra Ah6. It is made of very thin plastic hence the lightweight. It is a very versatile helmet that can be used all sort of welding operations – cutting, grinding and welding process. It can be seen as an upgrade to goggles and comes with a fixed shade glass welding helmet.
It comes with a knob with which users can adjust sensitivity. It comes with a pretty large viewing area with four sensors. It has a magnifying lens hence, viewing your work has never been better. You can also adjust the sensitivity while working.
This is one of the best welding helmets with auto – darkening feature. It has the capacity to shield you from UV and IR variation should there be electricity failure. The helmet can be referred to as a smart helmet. This is because it has the capacity to adapt to different conditions.
It is equipped with standard viewing sensors. Thus, the welder can view his work clearly from different angles. Powered by battery and solar, it can last up to 5000 hours. It has a smoothly rounded perimeter hence, users can wear it without any form of discomfort.
There are multiple adjustments and combinations to customize the helmet to fit your personal preference.
This is one of the exceptional helmets on the market at a very reasonable price. It is easy to work with as it does not sacrifice comfort while offering protection. It comes with three pin holes with which user can adjust the helmet’s angle when raised.
Safety was built into this helmet as it meets the ANSIZ87.1-2010 and EN3794/9-13 safety standard. It has the auto-darkening filter with which the user can adjust it to the various working condition.
Powered by battery, it also solar for extremely long hours of operation. Overall, it is applicable for working condition of all sort.
This is one of the cheapest automatic helmet available in the market. Mind you, it doesn’t sacrifice the necessary protection because of its cheap price. It has amazing features that allow it compete effectively with top helmet brands.
It has a very large viewing area with 4 premium sensors. It is suitable for various welding and cutting process like MMA, MIG and TIG process. It also comes with a grinding feature.
It features an adjustable headband hence, gives a perfect fit for your head. It has a very quick response time, so fast that your eyes will not notice the difference.
It was made with high impact material hence, resistant to corrosion.
Next on our series of an affordable automatic helmet is the Instapark ADF Series GX990T. It stands out with its extra large viewing area. It is powered by a rechargeable battery and solar energy. Thus, while welding in the sun, it keeps charging.
Equipped with four powerful arc sensors, it has very strong auto darkening feature which switches to a dark state on detecting an arc.
Instapark ADF Series GX990T made this design revolutionary with outstanding features at a very cheap price. Hence, the control and adjustment knobs are external.
It Instapark ADF Series GX990T is a custom auto darkening helmet with a headband to give a perfect fit, irrespective of the shape of your head.
Without a doubt, this is one of the cheapest auto-darkening welding helmet available in the market. Even with its cheap price, it is applicable for all types of welding – plasma project, MMA, MIG, TIG etc. It is applicable for grinding operation as well.
Weighing just 1 pound, it is very light and doesn’t cause any form of fatigue. It complies with the EN379 and ANSIZ87.1 safety standard. The response time is extremely swift offering optimum protection to the eye.
With a large viewing area, the welder can weld from various awkward angles. Weighing just 2 pounds, it comes with Lithium Manganese Dioxide battery with an average life of 2 years.
Are you after a welding helmet with a large viewing area? The Hobart Impact series offers just what you need. It provides users with a professional feature that makes welding easy.
Whether you are a frequent welder of a light fabricator, you will find the Hobart 770754 Impact extremely useful. It was built with comfort in mind hence very light and comfortable.
Designed with the latest LCD lens technology, hence, your eyes enjoy the best protection. It comes with extra protective lenses thus, you have all you need to weld safely.
It weighs just 2 pounds and comes with one Lithium-ion replaceable battery