Any metal fabricator will tell you the importance of a high-quality, lightweight and comfortable autodarkening welding helmet, especially underthe pump in a hot workshop.
Whether you’re welding or grinding, this new Weld Guard helmet (available from BOC) is set to impress. It features true-colour technology, 4 x arc sensors, high-impact design and construction, as well as a grinding mode. There’s also a large viewing lens for better weld accuracy.
The independent arc sensors trigger the variable shade filter lens with a fastswitching time of light to dark in 0.1ms, while the adjustable headgear makes it an easy fit. An external grinding switch gives easy adjustment and the helmet is supplied with both a solar and a CR2450 Li-Ion battery.
To put the Weld Guard helmet through its paces we caught up with Matt Wilcock from Outfall Art. Matt is a metal sculptor who mainly works with metal links salvaged from waterways and the ocean floor around Sydney. He’s had several exhibitions and his metal creations are on display in homes around Australia.
TEST #1: COMFORT
After Matt had the Weld Guard helmet for several weeks we asked about the key comfort factors.
“Pulling on the auto-darkening welding helmet for the first time I instantly noticed It was substantially lighter than my previous helmet,” said Matt, who’s a bit of a bright spark. “I’ve been running the other helmet for between two and three years now. This new helmet felt great, even after an hour of basically continuous welding, whereas on my previous helmet I would start to get a sore neck and head after around 15 minutes due to the weight and design.
“This new headband felt great and was easy to adjust for the perfect fit with the adjustable knob. I also liked the fact that the Weld Guard helmet offered great protection down to the neck.”
TEST #2: THE WELDING EXPERIENCE
As well as offering true-colour technology, the Weld Guard helmet has a wide viewing area and even a grinding mode. Matt’s perspective was interesting.
“As soon as I started welding the true-colour technology was obvious. This is the first time I’ve used a helmet with true colour, and it is such a better welding experience to really see what you’re doing. My eyes were so used to the previous green lens it was a bit weird at first, then after 20 seconds or so I started to get used to this new view and really enjoyed the experience.
“Combined with the nice wide lens, it made for a significantly improved welding experience,” Matt continued. “With my artwork I also do a pile of grinding, Brumby Wire wheel polishing and oxy-acetylenecutting. Having the ability to use the same helmet for all of those unique tasks is an excellent feature. I didn’t realise how dated my previous welding helmet was until I had used this new Weld Guard high-impact, autodarkening helmet. It was a significantly better experience.
“Selecting the right shade level to suit your amperage was quick and very easy.”
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
One thing we are yet to mention is the fact that this is a good-looking helmet and affordable. The design is very cool, and it will easily stand out from your other workers’ helmets. As far as lightweight comfort goes, this gets the official thumbs up.
Considering these helmets will get carried around in welding bags, thrown in the car or ute and carried onto job sites and workshops, the build quality is great. Any metal fabricator, boilermaker, mechanic or artist like Matty will appreciate the wide lens and true-colour technology.
If, like Matt, it’s been a few years or more since you upgraded your helmet, you will be in for a very pleasant surprise when you try this one from Weld Guard.
Visit www.boc.com.au or your nearest BOC store.