When it comes to welding, all of us must use a welding helmet, obviously. But with so many choices out on the market today it can be hard to decide which to order and place on our head. Everyone has different needs and wants in a welding helmet as well. I own more welding helmets than I probably should but that have given me the opportunity so spend time behind each and find the one I like best for a given situation. When Lincoln Electric came out with their 4C Technology in the helmets I heard great reviews right away and knew I had to have one. Today I own two.
From the hobbyist to the professional, when selecting a welding helmet the three deciding factors are typically cost, fit and view. Most want the fit and view to be as good as can be for a fair cost. The Lincoln Electric Viking 1840 with 4C Technology fits all three very well. The suggested retail for the basic black helmet is around $200.00 but you can find them in the $160.00 range making it affordable for anyone that welds. The clarity with the 4C Technology is incredible. From my eyes, it is a blue/slight green look that allows me to see the weld puddle very well as well as the surrounding while welding. I own other auto darkening welding helmets that don’t allow a very good view of the weld puddle, and that is the thing you are looking at after all. You might be asking why you care that the view is so good? Well, being able to see what your doing does in fact help you make a better weld, especially for a beginner or someone who does not weld very often. This allows you to see if the weld is going where you intended it to. I have heard and seen so many that put a weld down and when the lift their helmet up make statements like “I couldn’t see where I was going” or “It looked like I was going in the right spot” but in fact they weren’t. Another great feature you will like is how clear the inactive state is. I can wear my helmet and move my work piece around or walk without the need of raising my helmet up. I am not a fan of flipping my helmet up and down all day so this really helps my neck. I even wore it once to move my truck around in the company parking lot and was amazed at how well I could see with it down.
The knob on the outside allows for quick shade selection as well as a spot for grind mode. Very nice not having to take the helmet off and push the grind mode button like other helmets on the market. The headgear is one of the most comfortable I have worn. Once adjusted I can wear it for a 8 hour shift and not even realize it.
My only complaint is the battery. It takes one of the pill style batteries which means you need to keep an extra on hand because if it dies in the evening or weekend there is no popping in a AA and continuing your welding. It seems most new helmets are going to this battery type though.
I hope this quick review can help you in your welding helmet selection. At the very least, if you can, go to your local welding supply and try this, or any other, helmet on and see how you like it for yourself.