Whether you bought the helmet from your local store or from any reputable online store, you need to make sure it functions properly. And you need to do that even before you start welding in real.
In most cases, every welding helmet comes with a replacement warranty. That’s another good reason why you need to test it. Besides, for your own safety, you need to test it before you put it in real use. You surely don’t want to hurt your own eyes with a faulty helmet.
Methods To Test Your ADF Helmet
Surprisingly there are several ways to test any ADF helmet. You don’t need to follow them all. Some of the following methods may need a special instrument. Now, let’s get to the testing!
- Use TV Remote Control
Yes, you are reading it right. The auto-darkening filter not only blocks the UV rays but also blocks any IR light as well. That’s where the TV remote control comes in handy. Just make sure it works with the IR signal. Check the remote manual to have confirmation.
Wear your helmet and point the remote to your head. Focus on the light diode of the remote and press any keys. If the auto-darkening filter functions properly, your helmet should immediately switch to dark mode.
- The Sun Test
In the daytime, you can use the sun to test your helmet. On a sunny day, wear your helmet and go outside. Look at the sun directly and check how the lens reacts. If your helmet goes into the dark state, it is functioning properly.
- Check The Weight
Any quality helmet should be lightweight. Auto-darkening welding helmets are the lightest of their other welding helmet counterparts. There is no rocket science behind this. High-quality auto-darkening helmets use top-quality materials. Usually, these materials are not dense, so the helmets become lightweight.
- Clear Visibility
Normally you can see clearly through the lens. But you should check whether you can see clearly when the auto-darkening mode is on. You simply can’t weld well if you can’t see the weld zone when the ADF filter is on.
- Arc Striking Method
There is a little bit of danger involves here. And you should only do this if you are 100% sure that your helmet is functioning properly. Wear your helmet and intentionally strike an arc.
Your helmet should immediately go into the dark mode and you should see the welding zone clearly. As you stop welding, the lens should change back to light mode.
- Using The Torch Striker
If you don’t know, a torch strike is used to light the oxy-acetylene torch. You can use it to test your auto-darkening welding helmet. Wear the helmet and use the striker to create a spark in front of your helmet. If everything is alright, your helmet should immediately switch to dark mode.
- Check The Grind Mode
There is a grinding mode in almost every auto-darkening helmet. If you enable this grinding mode, the ADF filter won’t work. So when you test your helmet, make sure to switch off the grinding mode.
What Else Should You Check?
The above-mentioned 7 methods are just to test whether the helmet’s dark mode works and vice versa. There are some other things you need to check as well. Make sure to check the followings as well.
- Check The Reaction Speed
Just because your helmet switches to dark mode does not mean it’s the best out there. Reaction time is a key consideration that you should test as well. Usually, 1/25,000 second considered being the standard reaction time. You should test this time as well. Anything below the standard is better.
- Check The Power Type
When you are in a rush and did not have enough time checking every specification, you are most likely to forget checking the power type. Is it solar-powered or battery powered? If it is battery powered, is the battery replaceable or not? If the battery is not replaceable, you are in trouble. Your helmet will be totally useless when the battery dies.
- Test The Sensitivity
There is a knob in every auto-darkening helmet. It’s there so that you can adjust the sensitivity. A slight change in light should not make your switch to dark/light mode. The knob is there to fix that. Test your helmet adjusting the lens using the knob. Then notice, whether it responds to a slight change in light.
Concluding How To Test Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
ADF helmets are the most expensive of their kinds. It’s very important to test it before you put it in real work if you want to claim a replacement. Normally you will get a 30 days replacement period. Test every function within such time without damaging the helmet. Here is a video on how to test and unbox an ADF helmet.