Welding with an auto-darkening welding helmet Part 8
One of the most important issues when selecting an auto darkening welding helmet is the battery type. Auto darkening welding helmets offer 4 different solutions for batteries. Each one with its advantages and disadvantages. The first is simply a solar powered welding helmet. These are usually the cheapest versions and slowest in reaction time. The solar power operates the darkening feature completely.
It is a poor choice for anything but stick welding typically. The second type is a solar powered helmet with non replaceable battery back up. Usually these are inexpensive helmets with moderate reaction times. They work well for most applications but after a time, the battery wears out and the helmet or lens should be tossed when darkening reaction times begin to become noticeable.
The next type are replaceable batteries with one or two watch type batteries powering the basic function of the machines, sometimes with the help of solar, depending upon how the helmet is made. These helmets are durable, and should be considered as a long term option, but a couple of extra batteries should be kept close at hand in case they run down in a middle of a job, and no local sources of the particular button type batteries are available.
These are lightweight and really offer the best solution to people concerned about the weight of the helmet and lens together. The last type uses replaceable AAA batteries. This type of helmet is useful to have if you aren’t going to be near a specific store that offers a selection of button type batteries. Almost any convenience store will offer AAA batteries. A good lithium AAA battery will last a long time in a welding helmet like this. However, the AAA batteries don’t last quite as long and can add an ounce or two to the overall weight. But if you are looking for convenience, these can’t be beat.