Trying to choose between the best Lincoln welding helmets is not the easiest task, since there are some excellent models available in the market. In this article, we review, rate and recommend some of the best helmets provided by the Lincoln Electric Company, as a guide for welders.
After research and trial, we recommend the Lincoln Viking 3350 as our top choice. Its sturdy structure, solid exterior part, high quality ADF and excellent optical clarity are only a few of the features that this awesome auto darkening welding helmet has to offer to the welder.
If you are one of those interested in revamping your old welding helmet, then you should keep in mind that there are a few essential steps involved in the particular process. That said, it is certain that it can be done, and your welding helmet is going to be functioning almost like when you first purchased it.
First of all, you need to know the parts of your welding helmet and the role they play into the state of its optical clarity. In this article, we are going to guide you through a step-by-step process on how to expose them, clean them and restore them to enhance the functionality of your welding helmet.
Best Lincoln Welding Helmets
In order to make sure that you are safe during any welding process, you need to acquire the best welding helmets possible for the job. Below, we have a list with 5 of the best Lincoln welding helmets that we recommend. Let’s take a look:
1 – Lincoln Viking 3350
The particular welding helmet is my top pick when it comes to welding galvanized steel. It is an auto-darkening helmet that a vivid blue tint, which makes it surprisingly beautiful. The clarity of the lens is amazing, and it helps you spot every detail even when the darker shades are applied.
The Lincoln Viking 3350, which you can fin here, is a tool that is more than necessary for welding galvanized steel. It has offered me convenience, as it wears very comfortably over my head and helps me function better without getting tired too often.
A huge advantage of the helmet is that it is more than effective in tight spaces, and with the shade sensitivity as low as 7 or 8 you are never going to be flashed for sure. For even more safety, it has the external profile which enhances the safety of the particular helmet.
2 – Lincoln Viking 2450
The Lincoln Viking 2450 is a welding helmet made for full face protection. In my opinion, it is one of the best options because it is extremely lightweight. Although it may sound common, with this helmet you are going to feel the comfort instantly, even after the first use.
Its auto-darkening features works great, and I have used it in some of my most difficult projects. Even though the helmet has a small viewing field, it does not prevent you from viewing every single detail like you should. You can check the Lincoln Viking 2450 on Amazon for more information.
3 – Lincoln Viking 1840
If you are like me and you want to invest in safety, then this is the right welding helmet for you. It is a model with which you can very easily make adjustments, as the switches are placed near the lens on the exterior part of the helmet.
The window of the Deep Sea is large, more than average, which means that it makes the welding process as convenient as it gets. You can read more info for the Lincoln Viking 1840 on Amazon.
The changes of the lens are easy to make even with gloves on, and it has a significantly sturdy structure that means that it will keep you safe under any circumstances and it is going to last over time.
4 – Lincoln Viking 1740
- ANSI Z87.1-2010 & CSA Z94.3 Compliant
- Perfect 1/1/1/1 Optical Clarity
- Auto On / Off Functionality
- Variable 9-13 Shade, Sensitivity & Delay Control
- User Replaceable AAA Batteries
I will admit it, I initially chose this one for its amazing design. Not a long time later, I found out that not only it is a beautiful welding helmet perfectly designed by the Lincoln Electric Company, but it also has all it takes for welding steel safely and effectively.
Regarding the lenses of the helmet, they are optically perfect and they are clear enough to help you speed up your projects without mistakes. You are going to find it very easy to adjust the settings as did I, given that I usually adjust them with gloves on to save time.
The Lincoln Viking 1740, which you can find here, offers nice comfort when you wear it. If you ask me, along with safety this is one of the most important reasons to purchase a welding helmet. It is all about upping your welding game, and this helmet is going to help you for sure.
5 – Lincoln K4134-1 Lone Star
- Welding & Soldering Equipment & Supplies
- Import From: China
- Commercial Brand: Lincoln Electric
The general functionality of the Lincoln K4134-1 Lone Star (you can find more info on Amazon) has worked great for me. The viewing area is average, but clear. It has a very solid structure, and has the ability to protect you effectively from debris and rays no matter what.
One of the biggest advantages of the particular model, is the fact that you can attach a magnifier lens. Auto-darkening does save you a lot of time when welding thick metals, as you don’t need to take the helmet on and off.
Being lightweight along with the comfort it provides when you put it on, are two great reasons to acquire this affordable welding helmet.
Lincoln welding helmet parts
To begin with, let’s take a look at the parts of your Lincoln welding helmet that play this critical role regarding its visibility, and try to learn about their exact definition. Here we go:
1 – Viewing area
The viewing are is probably the first thing that welders look on a welding helmet. It is necessary for welding helmets to have a large, convenient viewing area, to provide more flexibility to the users and allow them to move without restrictions especially when working in tight spaces.
A large viewing area is going to offer the welder the ability to have a better understanding of his working environment, and will enable him to avoid unnecessary moves. In addition to this, it is going to make the inspection more comfortable, allowing the welder to have better visibility regarding the details of the weld.
High quality welding helmets with large viewing areas, such as the Lincoln Viking 3350 tend to prevent eye fatigue and neck injuries. The reason why is because they allow the welder to work with less head movement, and they provide more room for better view.
As far as tight spaces are concerned, there is a also a variety of compact welding helmets with large viewing areas. A great helmet model is the Welding Helmet Black 3350 Series by Lincoln Electric, which works great for small working environments.
2 – Arc sensors
The arc sensors are another extremely important part of your auto darkening welding helmet. They are responsible for the detection of the arc, one the welder strikes the torch or welding gun. Welding helmets have 2 to 4 arc sensors, depending on the model and the manufacturer.
The majority of welders tend to get confused with the role of the arc sensors. Most people believe that the bigger the number of the sensors, the better and faster the detection of the arc. Although this is not completely false, welder should focus on the quality of the sensors rather than the quantity.
What is more, we must emphasize the importance of the arc sensor placement on the welding helmet. There are lots of helmet models that have their sensors placed at the side part of their surface, and there are also welding helmets that have their sensors placed in the center.
A great example of an auto darkening welding helmet that has 4 sensors and the ability to detect the arc instantly after the welder strikes his torch is the Lincoln Viking 2450. It is a great welding helmet with one of the fastest ADF response times in the market.
3 – Optical clarity
The optical clarity of a welding helmet is probably the most important factor as far as the precision of a weld is concerned. Every welder that respects his welding projects needs to acquire a welding helmet with high quality lens for great optical clarity.
There are lots of welding helmets that offer great visibility to the welders. One that I have come across is the Lincoln Viking 1840. It has been an excellent tool for many of my welding projects, and allowed me to work with precision and convenience, during and after the welding (while inspecting the weld).
If you invest in a welding helmet with a nice optical clarity, it is going to help you boost your productivity and allow you to work faster and more effectively. Being more accurate, means that you are going to need less cleaning and grinding after the welding process.
In addition to the above, high optical clarity is essential when the working environment is not ideal. For instance, if you work in tight or dark places, you are going to need the best visibility possible in order to be precise with your welding.
4 – Peripheral vision
The use of the peripheral vision of a welding helmet is similar to the use of a large viewing area. It allows you to gain better contact with the working environment, and reduces the unnecessary moves. It can be extremely important when working in tight places, as it lets the welder inspect his project in great detail.
One of the welding helmets with significantly effective peripheral vision is the Lincoln Viking 3350. Lincoln Electric is one of the best welding helmet manufacturers in the market, and it is no surprise that they have designed helmets with such amazing side vision.
5 – Auto darkening filter
It is common sense that the ADF of your welding helmet is going to be a critical factor regarding its visibility levels. The response time and the effectiveness of the Auto Darkening Filter, determine the quality of the workflow for a welder, and the safety levels of his welding helmet.
Helmets with high quality ADFs allow the user to work effectively under rough circumstances, and protect him from sudden arc flash that could harm his vision. Acquiring an auto darkening welding helmet with nice ADF functionality such as the Lincoln Viking 1740 is essential.
The quality of the Auto Darkening Filter determines the amount of time a welder is going to spend on a welding project to. An ADF with fast response is going to help the user stay protected and move on to other positions much faster. If you need to work on more than one project in a short period of time with nice visibility, make sure that the ADF of your helmet works properly.
How to see better through your Lincoln Welding Helmet
After determining which are the parts that are responsible for the visibility levels of our Lincoln welding helmet, we need to find out how to make our own welding helmet have better optical clarity. This is a guide on how to see better through your welding helmet, by repairing it and making it functional again.
1 – Replace the batteries
The first thing you need to do in order to improve the visibility levels of your welding helmet, is to check the batteries and replace if they are leaking. You should refer to the manual provided by the manufacturer and read the battery section.
If there is a battery indicator on your welding helmet, then you should read it and find out what are the power levels of the batteries. If there isn’t a battery indicator, replace the batteries with new ones to play safe. Make sure that you use high quality batteries such as the Energizer AA Batteries.
After placing the new batteries, make a case of testing the auto darkening mode of your lens. Turn it towards a light source, and find out if it darkens automatically and what if the dark shades are correct. Take the time to test it multiple times with different light sources just to be sure.
If you decide to keep the old batteries, test the ADF of the lens to find out if the filter works properly. Sometimes, when the batteries get too old and start to malfunction, the darkening filter is not as strong as it should be, which may be unable to protect you from arc flashes.
2 – Clean the protective lens
All auto darkening welding helmets have a protective lens in front of the auto darkening module, to keep it protected from debris and flames during the welding. If the protective lens gets dirty, you might not be able to see clearly through the lens of your welding helmet.
After using it for a long time, the particular lens might get dirty and lose its initial transparency. Use a lens cleaner such as the Zeiss Lens Care Pack to clean the lens, and wipe the dirtiness away with the wipes included in the package.
Try to remove it with caution, and refer to the manual when you are about to place it back to its original position. The protective lens is something most welders overlook, and its maintenance is essential for improving the optical clarity of your welding helmet.
3 – Clean the welding helmet
During the welding process, there is a lot of smoke, fumes and gases produced. The heat is responsible for the debris and the flames that jump around the place, so it is more than likely that your welding helmet is going to get dirty over time.
Make sure that you clean the surface of the welding helmet properly to remove the dust. While you have removed the protective lens, you have the chance to clean the main part of the lens properly, using moistured wipes such as the Care Check Lens Wipes, which were designed especially for lenses.
What would be ideal, is to clean your welding helmet before and after every welding process. This way you are going to be certain that your helmet will not collect dirt. If your welding helmet stays out of usage for long periods of time, it’s better that you keep it stored in a proper environment.
4 – Buy a new welding helmet
If you apply all of the above and your welding helmet is still non-functional, then you should definitely consider acquiring a new helmet. The reason why, is because you need to be sure that you are properly protected during the welding process, without taking any risks.
There are a lot of welding helmet models to choose from. If you are a beginner, you could go for a more affordable (but still high quality) solution such as the Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet.
If welding is your profession and you need a high standard welding helmet, then I would recommend that you go for a helmet like the Jackson Safety 46101 Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet. This way, you will make sure that your productivity is at its finest, and you protect your face and eyes the best way possible.
No matter what your budget is, there are various welding helmets that can offer the desired protection and optical clarity you need. If your old welding helmet cannot be repaired, do not hesitate to replace it with a functional helmet, to ensure that you work with precision and high visibility.
What to keep in mind
As we can see, there are some steps we can take in order to repair and clean our old welding helmet in order to be able to see better through its lens. If the necessary parts are not completely damaged, we can replace them, clean them or repair them.
Before we take any action, we need to know about the role each part plays regarding the functionality and the visibility of our welding helmet, and refer to the manual or contact the manufacturer to learn about the ways we can improve it or acquire the correct replacement parts.
If nothing of the above is able to improve the optical clarity of our welding helmet, we should consider purchasing a new Lincoln welding helmet. This way, we are going to be sure that it can protect us effectively, and that it is going to be the suitable tool for our specific welding projects.
Welding helmet shade basics
Being able to understand the shades of your welding helmet, whether it is a passive or an auto darkening model, will allow you to take advantage of the entire range of your helmet’s ability to enhance your productivity.
Learning how to tell the shade of your Lincoln welding helmet, is going to be the most efficient way to determine which welding processes are right for the particular helmet. This way, you will acquire guaranteed safety no matter the circumstances.
Here are three Lincoln welding helmets with excellent shading:
Different Lincoln welding helmet models have different shades. When it comes to auto darkening welding masks, they might have fixed or variable shades.
In this article, we are going to find out how to tell the shade of a helmet, and the best ways to determine the kind of shade we need for a particular welding procedure for absolute protection.
How to tell what shade welding helmet you have
The first thing you can do, is search on the surface of the lens. Most welding helmet lenses tend to have their shades written on them. In case it is a variable shade lens, depending on the model, you might find all the ranges on the surface, usually on one of the lens corners.
Secondly, you can refer to the manual provided by the manufacturer. The helmets manuals are detailed guides, that analyze in depth the specifications of each welding helmet model, along with ways you can fix it in case of a damage, or information regarding the shades and the material of the lens provided with the purchase.
Third way is to ask the employee of the shop where you purchased the welding helmet or the replaceable lens. Most times, the employee or the shop owner is going to have all the necessary information for you regarding any issues you face with the lens or the helmet, and they most certainly will know the shades of the welding helmet.
It is important to be sure about the shade of the lens before you start any procedure. The profession of the welder requires significant caution in order to stay protected. The reason why, is because certain welding processes require different shade levels from others.
For instance, if you are about to initiate a TIG welding process, you will need different shade lenses compared to Plasma welding. In case of Plasma, you can weld with a lens shade of 9 or 10, whereas for TIG you are going to need up to 13 level shading for more intense welding processes.
The different types of shades
There are two different types of shades for every welding helmet lens in the market. The fixed shade and the variable shade. They are used in various situations, depending on the intensity and the requirements of the welding project. Let’s find out more about them.
Fixed shade welding helmets or lenses are simpler than the variable, because they provide a very specific level of shading. The most common lens shades in the market, are the 8, 10 and 12 shades, which you are going to find easily in big marketplaces.
All passive welding helmet models have fixed shades, the most common being the shade 10 helmets such as the Jackson Safety W10 Passive which you can find on Amazon. His type of welding helmet is recommended for welders that work with the same or similar material on a regular basis, and they do not change their welding processes.
In the case of a fixed shade welding helmet, you need to change your lens if a higher level of shading s required. For more intense welding processes like TIG, shade 12 is more preferable in comparison to 10, because it will allow the welder to work more conveniently and safely.
The majority of the auto darkening welding helmets have variable shade lens, which allows them to be used for a number of different welding processes rather that a specific one. Most welders tend to work with more than one welding methods, and this is why variable shades are so useful.
Having a variable shade welding helmet, will enhance your productivity and provide convenience along with effective no matter the material you work with. The variable shade lens is going to adjust appropriately to any voltage or amp you use, providing the essential darkening level for protection.
One of the best welding helmets with a high quality variable shade lens I have used for multiple processes, is the Hobart 770753 Pro Variable Auto-Dark Helmet. Considering its quality and specifications, it comes at a very logical price and is the ideal solution for welders that work on several different projects regularly.
How to decide on the shade level
Determining the shade level of your welding helmet lens, depends mainly on the welding methods you use. Since different methods require different shade levels, below we recommend the most effective levels for some of the most common welding processes:
- Stick Welding: A shade range of 9 to 13 is sufficient for stick welding. Usually, shades 10 to 12 are more than enough for average processes.
- MIG Welding: The particular welding process requires a shade range of 10 to 13, although it depends on the intensity of the project. For significant protection, don’t go under shade 12.
- TIG Welding: The sufficient range for TIG welding is 9 to 13, although I would suggest shade level 9 for extremely mild projects only. For bigger projects and thicker materials, use higher shade levels for safety.
- Plasma Cutting: The range for Plasma Cutting is narrower when compared to the rest of the methods. A shade range of 11 to 13 is ideal, since it is more intense that the rest of the processes.
- Plasma Welding: On the other hand, Plasma Welding is considered one of the mildest processes, so lower shade levels are acceptable. The range of 9 to 10 is more than enough.
- FCAW: The last welding method, the FCAW requires a range between 10 and 13. The particular range of shading is considered the average for most processes.
Lincoln welding helmets for galvanized steel
So if you are a beginner, the main question you might be asking yourself is what exactly are we talking about when we say welding galvanized steel. The main purpose of galvanizing is to prevent iron or steel from rusting over time. It is a time-costly and sometimes difficult process, this is why Lincoln helmets are perfect for this type of welding.
The most common places you have seen this process take place, is the wire ropes that hold heavy bridges, which are used for the suspension cables. You can understand, that the particular process is extremely important not only for the stability of such projects, but to ensure the safety of the people that use them too.
To put it in simple words, galvanizing means that we coat zinc over steel. In order to keep the steel from rusting, the galvanizing creates a shield which protects the steel from the attrition caused by environmental factors as time goes by.
What is more, galvanizing is also responsible for the electrochemical protection of the steel. What this means is that zinc being more electrochemically reactive than steel, it creates a stable shield that protects the steel by oxidizing it.
The result of the galvanizing process, is that it creates a type of steel, the galvanized steel that is more durable than any other type of steel. This happens because it protects the steel even after damages or attrition, in contrast to other types of steel.
What is galvanized steel?
There is no big difference between the welding of galvanized steel and bare steel. Of course the composition is what matters in this case, but the process is almost identical. You can use the exact same welding processes in both cases with minimal modifications need, for instance when the zinc coating is thicker than usual etc.
The main difference between the two processes, the welding of galvanized steel and the welding of uncoated steel is the vaporization temperature of the zinc coating. The zinc that is close to the weld gets vaporized, and as time passes and the weld pool freezes, the zinc is completely gone.
What we get from this is increased levels of fumes and welding smokes, which are a result of the vaporized zinc, and the removal of the protected zinc coating caused by the burning of the zinc when hit by the heat of the arc.
Where is galvanized steel used?
The welding of galvanized steel is a very common process, and is most usually applied by the metal fabricating industry for obvious reasons. Most of the experienced welder at some point of their career they are going to use the process of welding galvanized steel.
One of the very well-known uses of the galvanized steel is for construction purposes. Such projects are bridges, balconies or verandas, canopies, staircases, ladders, building frames and many more.
Keep in mind that except from commercial construction projects, galvanized can be found in transportation, electronics, piping and wire ropes. This last use of the galvanized steel, is also one of the most famous ones.
How to prepare metal before welding?
Doing all the appropriate preparation before the welding process is a necessity, both for your safety and the functionality of the project. Your main purpose when preparing for welding galvanized steel, is to reduce or avoid your exposure to zinc oxide fumes.
Although there are some steps you can take in order to prepare the base metal properly and remove the zinc from its surface, you should always have in mind that a small portion will remain and as a result some galvanizing may occur. This is something you will not be able to avoid no matter how well you prep the metal.
In order to be aware of when the galvanizing occurs, you are advised to keep your eyes open for signs. One of the most common ones is the appearing of yellow or green smoke, that it is a certain indication of galvanizing. In addition to this, white particles and residue in the air or around the weld, are also indicators of galvanizing.
Be always careful of such signs, and take all the appropriate measures such as welding helmets in order to avoid exposures to zinc oxide fumes. In case you get exposed, you may experience galvanize poisoning and you should refer to a doctor immediately.
How to avoid exposure to galvanize fumes
You should avoid overexposure to galvanize fumes at all times. Like stated above, in case of exposure you may be poisoned. The intensity of the poisoning depends solely on the amount of time you were exposed to the fumes.
In order to avoid harming your health, you are advised to maintain proper ventilation so that the air stays fresh. In addition to this, you must avoid contacting the zinc fumes during the welding process.
The best way to achieve these is by taking all the safety measures, such as wearing welding gloves, using welding blankets and welding helmets especially designed for galvanized steel (we have a list of welding helmet ready for you later in the article).
A nice additional tip that experienced welders and professional suggest, is to drink milk before and after the welding process, as it reduces the possibility of get poisoned by the fumes.
How to weld galvanized steel
The particular welding process is not complicated at all. There a few simple steps you need to take in order to begin. In this article we have made a list of considerations and practices you need to take before starting to weld galvanized steel.
Basic types of galvanizing
The first type of galvanizing is the Hot Dipped. The particular type has thicker plating, and the reason why this happens is because the steel used has been submerged into molten zinc. The particular coating will burn away, and it is going to leave a dirty weld area that will need some more work for full penetration.
The second type of galvanizing is the Electroplated. This has thinner zinc coating than the Hot Dipped and is going to leave a much cleaner weld area. There is also less work required and it is not as messy as the first type.
Appropriate preparation of the metal
In order to achieve the best welding results possible, you need to prepare your pieces of metal properly. In order to do so, you should leave the smallest gap you can between the two pieces. To ensure that you achieve full penetration, make sure that you grab the thickest parts of the base metal so that it can receive the filler metal properly.
The welding machine
The thickness of the metal will determine how much you need to adjust the amperage of your welding machine, as well as the diameter of the rods. A common 150 arc welder will be fit for most welding projects regarding galvanized steel.
Set up the environment
Having proper ventilation or making the welding process in an outdoor environment would be ideal. You do need to be in a closed or tight place where you are in danger of inhaling zinc fumes. If you are about to weld indoors, it is highly recommended that you use a respirator like the Miller Electric ML00895, to boost the safety levels and filter out the particulates produced by the welding.
Begin the process
After you have everything set up, you are ready to begin welding. Hold the arc tight and strike it in order to produce flame. Hold it in the right position and start welding the piece of metal.
You may need to make multiple passes if the weld prep doesn’t fill with the first one. It is considered a better technique than insisting over the same area for a long time, as you may overheat and damage the metal if you try it with a single pass.
Welding galvanized steel is a process that requires taking all the necessary safety measures like any other welding process. I hope that with this article we have provided some useful information as to what welding helmets to choose in order to weld galvanized steel properly.
Lincoln welding helmets have great optical clarity and great shading. That said, it is not too difficult to tell the shade of your welding helmet, although having the necessary knowledge around the helmet model is essential.
Knowing what shade ranges are ideal for the welding method you use is going to help you choose the Lincoln welding helmet that is appropriate for you more easily, since the type of shade is going to play the most important role when it comes to choosing the appropriate lens for your welding helmet.