What Shade for MIG Welding?

When it comes to welding, the safety of your precious eyes should be your foremost priority. In most cases, beginners fail to realize the importance of using welding safety gears. The flash from the welding arc creates dangerous radiation, which can be fatal for your eyes. A safety shade can be your lifesaver in that case.

Wearing a shade while welding will block those harmful radiations from hitting your eyes. So, you can do your welding without getting worried about the safety of your eyes.

In the beginning, I had to go through some rough experiences with welding because of not having enough knowledge about the safety procedure. In this article, today, we are going to find out what shade for MIG welding is the best. Let’s get on with it.

Types of Shade Lenses:

There are two common shade lenses available in the market. One is a fixed shade lens, and another is a variable shade lens. If you don’t know their difference, you may end up buying the wrong shade lens. Here’s how to differentiate them:

Fixed Shade Lens:

The fixed lens is able to darken to a single. When it comes to weld, only a single material following a single process, then a fixed shade lens is what you need.

Variable Shade Lens:

This type of lens is able to darken multiple numbers of shades. Which depends on your welding process and what materials you are using. If you need to weld a variety of materials and different manner of the welding process, then you should go for a variable shade lens.

What Is Shade Number:

When dealing with MIG welding, the typical range of numbers of shade that you will be working with is 10-13. Let me simplify it for you. The lower the number means, the more light will be able to pass through the lens. On the other hand, the higher the number, the less light will be able to pass through the lens.

So, when the number of your shade is 10 you will have to deal with comparatively more light, and when the number is 13, the less light will your eyes will get to encounter.

What Is Amperage:

This is another essential thing you need to understand before picking up the right shade for your welding.

What shade you need to use highly depends on the amperage of your welding. The more the amperage, the darker the shade you will need. And the less amperage means you don’t need much of a darker shade.

When the amperage of your welding is high, it will generate a lot stronger flash of lights means you will need a darker lens to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

The Lens with The Most Darkening Ability:

The lens with the most darkening ability you will find is a shade with number #14. It’s quite hard to find this product in the market as it blocks a significant number of lights, which could create vision issues while welding.

There are some people with sensitive eyes, and this lens is especially for them. A lens with shade number 13 is pretty enough to protect your eyes from those stronger arcs from welding. However, if you have got sensitive eyes, then you should get a shade of number 14.

The Problem with Auto-Darkening Lens:

Most of the auto-darkening lens comes with a battery included. You should know that the battery comes with a power limitation. And the auto-darkening feature will stop working when the battery runs out of its power.

In that case, you will need a new battery. It’s a typical coin battery, which you will find easily in most hardware stores. The big turn off with this type of lens is when the battery runs low on power; the shade won’t get dark enough. We wouldn’t encourage you to get this type of lens.

Detecting Crack in Your Shades:

Here’s another important thing to take under consideration while using shade. At times your shade may fall off your hands or get hit by other objects, and this may cause hairline cracks in them.

The main issue is it will be harder for you to detect those tiny cracks in your shades, and it can pose some major threat to your eyes while welding. We highly advise you to check carefully if there’s any crack in your lens before using them.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know if I have got an “Arc Eye” Issue?

Answer: There are some harmful UV rays that can injure the surface and mucous membrane of your eyes, and this is known as “arc eyes”. When you notice uncomfortable pressure in your eyes, and it’s slowly increasing, this could be a big symptom of the arc eye.
Besides that, if you start to feel that there’s sand in your eye after welding or having difficulty looking at bright lights, these are also symptoms of arc eyes. You should contact an eye specialist as soon as you notice these symptoms.

What Shade Do I Need for Plasma Cutting?

Answer: It totally depends on the amperage. A shade of number 9 will work for a lower machine with an amperage range of 40-80. When it comes to working with high welding machines, then a shade of 10 to 13 will work out.

Which Welding Shade I Can Use to Look at The Sun?

Answer: If you are planning to watch a solar eclipse through your own eyes, you should get a welding shade with the most darkening ability. The sun is generally brighter than the welding arc, so you have to be a bit extra careful here.

Final Thoughts:

You don’t have to get worried about your welding when you have the essential protective gear. A welding shade is an amazing tool to protect your eyes from those dangerous UV rays produces from the arc of welding. So, having a welding shade is a crying need.Also, it is essential to keep it in working condition, so you have to do its regular maintenance. We hope our article helped you to find the information you were looking for about what shade for MIG welding to use.

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