A pancake hood is one of the welding essentials that make your welding tasks easier and safer. Experienced pipeline welders have been using welding hoods for a long time and this is what makes them different from newbies.
Pancake welding hoods are the new trending replacements for the traditional pipeline helmets. Their industrial standard manufacturing and safety features make them popular among welders. If you are also looking for one there is something that you should know. We have discussed what and how's of welding hoods.
We have done our research and taken some advice from some experienced welders and listed out the top 5 pancake welding hoods. Before that, we have our buying guide to help you understand the parameters if you are intending to buy one.
The advantages of pancake hood:
If welding is your profession there is a possibility that you are going to ruin your eyesight or face in the long run. Preventing this is the purpose that masks, helmets, or hoodies serve.
If you are an expert welder then you know how important it is to take safety measures. This is why you should use a pancake helmet, To ensure safety.
The pancake hood is getting popular among the welders, especially among those who work outdoors. We have talked with them about the advantage of it and most of the answers were alike. We have categorized them into 4 categories.
Welding is generally done in large work areas or open environments that are noisy. This is why seeking comfort is very common for a welder.
Balsa woods are lightweight and this is why the hoods aren’t that heavy. The lightweight reduces the strain on the neck and the shoulders. This is the comfort which all the welders appreciated.
It has been discussed earlier in the article. If they are properly worn and fit properly they protect your eyes like a mother. It protects you from welding injuries, intense heat, and the Ultraviolet lights.
The other shields in the market are made of aluminum, brass, and other metals. This is a great risk as the welders work and deal with machines of high voltage and there is a risk of accidents always. On the other hand, the pancake hood is made of wood and there is no chance of conducting electricity.
There are so many welding shields in the market. Being metal made, and heavyweight the welders keep complaining about pain in their neck. This is why they often cut down parts of their protective shield. Doing so also reduces the chance of safety.
The pancake hoods are made of light wood and this is why they don’t harm your neck.
This is the most quoted problem by any welder out there. The safety and the weld quality can be often ruined because of this glaring problem.
The pancake hood is popular for the reduction of this glaring issue. The balsa wood box stays fit on the face which prevents the light entering from the back and prevents glare or glint.
Pancake welding hood buying guide:
Model (Left/Right Hand) :
There are left and right-handed models of pancake hood in the market. Always be careful while making a purchase. Because if you are a right-handed person then holding the pancake hood in your right hand and striking the arc by left hand can be struggling.
Apart from that, you will not have the right protection and comfort that you are seeking from your pancake hood.
You won't want a loose helmet while working. This can be quite irritating. This elastic band holds the helmet tight on your face. You should also be careful about the pocket depth. Check and double-check if it fits in your face. Look for the lens of industry standards. Cheater lenses are considered to be the most comfortable ones by our expert panel.
So, always keep your eye on the adjustments.
If you own a flip-up pancake welding hood helmet then it is an addition to your productivity. You don't have to take the helmet again and again while working. You just flip it up and put it down to work.
It is a very important feature if you find the use of it. There are some welders who don’t like this feature. It varies from user welding needs.
The Balsa Box:
As mentioned above, a balsa box is handmade and it should custom fit your head. If it doesn’t fit the contours of your face then there is a chance that you might not get the proper protection from it.
Always wear the helmet and check if it fits your face and don’t forget to check the weight if it will hurt your neck or not.
5 Best Pancake Welding Hood Reviews
1. Sarge's Pancake Welding Hood - Best Overall
Sarge’s pancake is an OSHA-approved hood in the market. Its body is crafted from Formica. Formica is also as light as balsa wood. This is why the hood is so light. It is available in brown and black colors. It has both right-handed and left-handed side shields.
It has a built-in lightweight balsa box attached to it. The balsa box has wood eyepiece, phenolic Formica and a side shield included. The pancake hood is designed to ensure your safety and comfort completely.
The welding helmet is extremely lightweight of 12.5 oz. This is so light that it won't strain your neck or head. The size of the face shield is 10.5” which is enough for face adjustments. The shield side is also of convenient size, 5.8”. You can slide it open.
The lens is replaceable and uses any standard lens you prefer from the market. You will get a headband and a sandpaper to adjust the eyepiece.
If you are looking forward to using a pancake hood for your occasional or professional usage, then this can be an optimum choice for you.
- Easy to wear
- Flexible and comfortable
- Available for both left and right-handed
- Available in brown and black.
- For occasional or professional usage
2. Wendy's Pancake Welding Hood Helmet w/Strap - Best For Professional Uses
Left Handed - White
Right Handed - White
Left Handed - Black
Right Handed - Black
This is an outstanding welding hood from Wendy. It is made in the USA. The manufacturing quality and the other features are exactly as discussed. The comfort has been kept in mind. It is available in black and white color.
Wendy’s pancake hood is made of a Chita lens box and white phenolic material. The metal and build quality is something to boast of. The balsa box comes with a face and eye shield as usual.
The Chita box has a ⅝” depth for lenses. This depth is compatible with any other lens in the market. You can use dark or solar auto lenses.
The most amazing feature found about this pancake hood is that it has a light killer end plug. This plug kills the disturbance you get from the light. There is also a 2-inch elastic strap attached to the hood.
This is a high-performance helmet for any sort of professional usage. Even if the spark is flying everywhere while welding something heavy there is no chance that you are going to get hurt. The modern comfortable design comes with a great white finish.
- For professional usages
- Stylish cover as per hand sides
- High quality and performance
- Chita box and a depth lens
- Light killer end plug
3. Original Pancake Welding Hood - Best For Outdoors
This is a right-handed light yellow welding hood. Its building material is chosen so wisely so that you get the most safety from this pancake hood. This is a fantastic welding hood for outdoor projects. It is available for both hands too.
The flat shield at the front protects your face. It is designed in such a way that the sparks roll away from your body while you weld looking upwards or lying on the ground.
The strap of the helmet is made of elastic. The elastic holds the hood in position while working actively. It can be adjusted to the tightness depending on the shape of your head.
The eyepiece is made of balsa wood. There is a complimentary sandpaper to sand the balsa eyepiece as per your face shape. Be careful while sanding as balsa wood is really soft. You should also be careful about not putting too much pressure as a sharp edge can do harm on your face.
It prevents light from entering from the back of the head when you are working outside or at night. This allows the welder to see more clearly.
This is a little bit expensive compared to the others in the market. Its users have found it difficult with changing the eye lens. If you are a newbie you are going to find it really difficult.
- Eliminates light from entering
- For garage or DIY works
4. WENDY’S Pancake Welding Hood Shield Z Model ANSI - Best For Comfortably Uses
Wendy's Z model ANSI pancakes are of high standards design and features. This is designed for right-handed people. The midnight black color of the hood looks outstanding and stylish while working.
The hood complies with the standard of A.N.S.I Z87.1. Instead of the basal woods, it contains the Chita lens holder. The pocket of ⅝ “ inch deep fits with the shape of your face. The deep space of the helmet allows you to wear it perfectly but comfortably.
Being compatible with all darling lenses is another cool feature of this model from Wendy's. The comfortable support of the hood makes you more productive and you work more efficiently.
- Stylish High standard designs
- Compatible with other lenses in the market
- Comfortable and stylish.
5. Wendy's Pancake Welding Hood/Shield Flip-Up
Wendy has a couple of pancake hoods in the market and they are really good. This shield flip-up model is no different. The finish of the hood is electric blue and it has a right-handed side cover.
The eyepiece is made of basal woods that is adjustable. Like any other welding hood, this is also lightweight and high quality. You can flip it up when you are taking rest. This feature is really convenient for any user. You won’t have to take it on or off repeatedly.
This is a great protection from welding accidents. The rest of the features are the same as the Wendy's Pancake Welding Hood Helmet w/Strap.
- For DIY users
- Solid protection
- Flip-up mode makes it convenient
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Why do Pipeliners use pancake hoods?
Ans: There are several reasons behind this.
- Being lightweight
- Having a flat front
- Provides the needed protection
- A better view of the items
Are pancake welding hoods OSHA-approved?
Ans: Not all the pancake hoods are OSHA ( Occupational Safety and Health Administration) approved. Some of them are approved by ANSI.
How to trim a pancake hood?
Ans: All the pancake hoods come with a complimentary sandpaper. Use the sandpaper to trim the helmet and check if it fits your face. Don’t be too harsh as it might leave some sharp edges. It is a simple process.
Selecting the best shield is also a part of your welding process.
I am sure you have already understood that buying a pancake hood won't be that hard as a beginner. There aren't many things to look for in a pancake hood. Only those pancake helmets are good who has a welding lens, a good pocket depth, comfortable ear guard design (if available), etc. There are so many pancake welding hood manufacturers in the welding industry. Strictly following the guidelines can only help you have the best deal.
You can also choose one from our list as we have done our research following the same procedure. Thanks to our expert panel.