When it comes to choosing safety equipment, you always want to stick to a name that you know and trust. This is true in any industry but especially in the welding industry. The Jackson Safety Division of Kimberly-Clark Professional is one of the best-known brand names. Whether you are looking for one of Jackson welding helmets or any other product in their line, it is good to know that this is one of the most trusted, home grown brands. This review will help you to establish which Jackson auto darkening welding helmet is best for you.
Whether you decide to go ahead and purchase one of Jackson welding hoods the aim here is to allow you to make an informed decision regarding what Jackson is offering.
What Jackson offers is a combination of comfort and protection – they know that the helmet has to be more than just purely practical to be really useful to you. They start off by ensuring that your face is completely protected from flying debris. Your eyes are protected by specialized lenses. Jackson auto darkening feature is fine-tuned to change in milliseconds so that the eye is protected as and when needed – before the arc. Cheaper helmets do not react as quickly and you are bound to get flashed.
Jackson understands the need to be able to work as productively as possible. Research has shown that those using traditional, permanently shaded lenses tend to spend about 3% of their day adjusting the helmet just so they can examine their work. This is not only a waste of time but also contributes to fatigue. Lenses with auto-dimming capabilities remove this inefficient aspect from your day. The lens darkens or lightens in milliseconds making it easy to conduct inspections on the work done one minute and continue to weld again the next.
There are a few options to choose from when it comes to Jackson welding helmets so here is a comparison table and short reviews of the most popular ones to help you decide.
[table id=3 /]
Jackson Safety W70 BH3
There are multiple headgear settings and the helmet can be used with magnification filters and hard hats.
Pros: The outstanding clarity and bigger viewing area make this model a delight to work with. A solar cell makes batteries obsolete on this model – you just need to ensure it stays charged – and the helmet is guaranteed for 5 years.
Cons: It is the most expensive helmet that we are reviewing today. There is no button that allows you to test whether or not the darkening feature is working and there is no setting for grinding.
Jackson Safety WH40
This is the little brother of the first helmet reviewed, so it offers many of the same features, with two big differences – the viewing window in this model is smaller and this helmet is not compatible with hard hats or a magnification lens.
Pros: This is a light-weight helmet that offers a lens with outstanding clarity. It is suitable for a range of welding projects and it is fully adjustable. It is more affordable option with some great features.
Cons: Some concerns have been raised with regards to the solar charging function. The helmet must be charged regularly and there are no back-up batteries. This could lead to problems in terms of safety.
Jackson Safety 24737 W10
Whilst auto darkening lenses are an important feature for those who weld professionally or often, they do tend to push up the price of the helmet. There are situations when you do not want, or need, to pay so much money for something that you will only use a couple of times. In those cases, these passive lens helmets are a more affordable option.
Pros: This helmet is definitely easier on the budget. This is also a very light-weight helmet, so it won’t strain your neck.
Cons: It has a passive lens. That means that it stays the same shade all the time. You will need to remove the shade in order to inspect your work. This is not so much an issue for a hobbyist but would become an issue for a professional welder.
Jackson Safety 35477 WH60
Pros: You can choose between weld, grind and torch modes. The lens is optimized for greater clarity of the weld puddle. And, it has to be said, this is the coolest looking helmet reviewed today – with a camouflage finish.
Cons: This is the second most expensive helmet reviewed here.
Tips on What you Should be Looking Out For
While comfort and safety are important considerations, they are not the only ones. Here are some other things to consider:
- Coverage – how much of your face and neck is protected?
- How big is the viewing port? This is extremely important. If it is not big enough, you may need to adopt an uncomfortable posture to see what you are doing or remove the helmet entirely.
- What projects are you going to be tackling? Not all helmets are activated by low amperage light, so basically offer no U.V. protection in these instances.
- How heavy is the helmet? Initially, this might seem like a non-starter. After all, what’s a couple of pounds going to do anyway? The truth is that if you will be wearing it for a prolonged period of time, every ounce extra will make a huge difference. The lighter the helmet, the less fatigue your neck will suffer.