Top Rated Cool and Safe Welding Helmets

As a welder, your helmet is critically important.  A proper helmet will protect your eyes from the damage of prolonged exposure to infrared and UV light coming from your arc.  It also protects your eyes, face, and head from flying sparks and molten metal.  Long hours of welding can be hard on your neck and back, so finding a helmet that offers appropriate protection without being too heavy is critical.  Below, we’ll look at some of the features that separate various models, which can help you find the best one to meet your needs.


The easiest decision you’ll probably make when choosing a new welding helmet is how much head coverage you need.  If your welding is all done standing over a workbench or other tabletop-type setting, you can probably get away with face and top-of-the-head coverage.  If, on the other hand, you do overhead or cramped-space welding, you should look for a helmet that covers as much of your head as possible since you’re likely to have sparks flying at you from multiple directions.

When it comes to eye protection, there are a number of options to consider.  Some helmets have fixed-darkness lenses, meaning that the level of darkness does not change.  If your work always involves the same type of welding, you can definitely get away with this type of lens unless you want a lens that will lighten enough to allow better helmet-on visibility when you stop to inspect your work.  Most welding-helmet lenses are interchangeable, so if you usually do one type of work but occasionally do work of a different nature, it’s possible to have a couple of different lenses at your disposal.

There are also helmets that have self-darkening lenses that work in much the same way as eyeglasses that lighten or darken based on current light.  This type of lens allows you to move back and forth from one type of project to another with greater ease.  It’s as simple as brighter light equals darker lens.  These lenses are handy not only for those who do multiple types of welding, but also for those who could find themselves welding indoors one day and outside the next.  Among these models, there are some that allow you to set sensitivity and delay controls, which gives you better control of how light or dark your lens gets and how long it takes to get darker or lighter when the ambient light changes.  The controls could be mounted either inside the helmet or on the outside.  Outside-mounted controls are easier to adjust on the fly, but are more exposed to sparks and molten metal and may be more likely to be damaged if you ever drop your helmet.  In many cases, these controls do add a bit of extra weight to the helmet, so you’ll need to decide if the convenience is worth the added weight.


The other lens-related issue you’ll want to understand is clarity.  Some lenses simply offer a clearer, crisper view than others.  If you do a lot of fine work that involves frequent stops to do close inspection, you’ll likely find that a clearer lens offers you a better chance to do these inspections without flipping up or removing the helmet.

Speaking of stops and starts, if you need to be able to do frequent naked-eye inspections, you might want a helmet that has a mask that can be flipped up as opposed to a solid-piece construction that requires you to remove the helmet altogether.  Some flip-up masks have to be held in the upright position, but others can be locked, allowing you to keep both hands free for inspection or a quick break.

A lighter helmet, or one built so well that weight is distributed so evenly that it feels lighter than it is, will help you work longer with less worry about neck strain.  Even a one-pound difference is huge when that one pound is weighing on your neck.

Click on this link for pros and cons of some of the top-rated and reasonably-priced welding helmets.

Check out best welding helmet brand for reviews and comparisons of some of 2016’s top-rated brands and models.

Awesome Job Ideas for Teenagers

If you’re a teen looking for a way to make money that can work around your school schedule or keep you busy next summer, here are some ideas to get you started on your search.  Some might even give you an idea of what sort of professional career might be a good fit for you as an adult.  If you’re the parent of a teen that thinks money must grow on trees or who is in desperate need of something productive to do, maybe you can share this list with your child the next time he or she comes to you looking for an allowance raise.

Classic sitting jobs

A little girl spending time with her mom while holding her teddy bear

Babysitting has always been, and probably always will be, a great job for teens.  Many communities now require all sitters to undergo basic first-aid and CPR training, but this training is usually readily available from the Red Cross and teaches things we all should know anyway.  In addition to traditional sitting jobs, some parents like hiring a “Mother’s Helper,” who can keep an eye on young children while mom gets housework, yard work, or other projects done.  A Mother’s Helper might also be paid to help mom with some basic housecleaning, too.

Many people who are leaving town for vacation will gladly pay someone look after their pets and plants while they’re gone.  They might even be willing to pay a little more for someone to do some light housework while they’re away.

Outdoor jobs




Another great job for teenagers is lawn maintenance.  Mowing and edging the lawn during the summer or raking and bagging leaves during the fall are well suited to teens looking to make a few bucks and such jobs can often be easily worked around a school schedule.  If you own a pressure washer, you could offer your services as a house or driveway washer, too.

Artistic jobs


If you love woodworking, consider turning that passion into a small business.  Smaller items like walking sticks, birdhouses, and yard ornaments can be sold via Craigslist or other social media with minimal marketing expense.

If you have a talent for sewing, you might be able to start a small alteration business, hemming pants, shortening skirts, or even replacing lost buttons.  You might also be able to create and sell some original items (like simple pillowcase dresses for little girls).

If you love taking photos and have been told you’ve got a knack for it, consider taking and selling stock photos to various companies.  Stock photos are usually pictures of common places, events, nature, etc.  Companies use these photos in various publications.  A stock photo is royalty free, which means that once you sell it, you no longer own any rights to it and are not entitled to future earnings on that photo.  You might also try your hand as an event photographer for family and friends.

Academic jobs


If you’re a strong student, you might be able to get a job tutoring other students who need extra help.  If you pride yourself on excellent skills when it comes to grammar, you can earn a few bucks as a proofreader.

When it comes to any school-related jobs, be sure that you don’t cross the line between helping and anything that the school could construe as cheating.

While this list certainly doesn’t include everything available to teens, it’s a good start.  People who start working as teens tend to learn what it means to be responsible, what it means to do a good job, and what the real value of a dollar is quicker than those who don’t.  A job will also help keep teenagers from getting bored in addition to putting them in more places where they’ll earn money and fewer places to spend it.

How to Choose the Right Career for You

Finding the right career can be harder than you thought.  It’s easy enough to hear about a particular field or industry and think it sounds like something you’d like, but how can you know how well suited a career really is for you without ever actually working in that field?  Given that many talents are applicable in multiple fields, even having a strong passion for a given type of work doesn’t always help.  If you’re trying to find your place in the business world, whether for the first time or after realizing that where you are can’t possibly be where you’re meant to be, it might help to understand what your primary focus really is when it comes to your attitude about work.  An increasing number of studies conducted by various experts, including psychologists, suggests that most of us fall into one of two groups:  prevention focused and promotion focused.  Knowing which one you are is a great way to help steer you down your best career path.

Prevention focused


Those who are prevention focused tend to see security as their biggest goal.  Prevention-focused individuals value stability over everything else.  They want to keep things running smoothly and safely.  They also tend to be seen as very methodical and dependable.

If you are mostly prevention focused, you generally excel at being thorough and detail oriented, careful planning, reasoning and analytical thinking, producing near-flawless work, being able to anticipate and head off problems, and being dependable and reliable.

Those who are prevention focused do tend to resist change or risk-taking for fear of failure, making them seem less flexible and adaptable.  They also tend to work more slowly, since attention to detail and accuracy are so important.

Promotion focused

Successful leader


People who are more promotion focused tend to see everything as an opportunity for advancement.  The thought of every job as a means to a more elevated end is what fuels them.  They are more focused on rewards, even if that means taking more risks.  These people tend to excel at working quickly, taking risks, jumping at opportunities for advancement, innovation and creativity, coming up with multiple alternatives and ideas, and completing work quickly.

On the down side, those who are promotion focused are often error prone (since quick work is often more important than accurate work), optimistic to a fault (in that they are often unable to see potential problems and obstacles that could arise), and more likely to take foolish risks, in part due to being so determined to excel that they aren’t prepared to deal with unforeseen difficulties (the kind of difficulties that a more prevention-focused person might have seen a mile away).

Understanding which of these groups best matches your personality can help you find a new career or job in your current field that is more likely to keep you fulfilled.  Prevention-focused folks should look for companies where stability is key, though it might mean opportunities for growth are limited.  Promotion-focused individuals do better with companies focused on growth and expansion.

Finding a career that matches your talents, passion, education, and goal orientation can be the difference between finding your bliss and finding yourself staring at the classifieds.