What Shade Lens Is Required for Plasma Cutting? 

Jul 5, 2024 | Plasma Cutting Tips

Metal working means dealing with high-temperature materials and an extremely bright blue light. However, it’s not just the visible light that’s an issue. The arc that plasma cutting creates also emits infrared and ultraviolet radiation. 

This makes it critical to choose the right eye protection. In this article, Cyrious Metal Works, your reliable stockists of hypertherm plasma cutters, discusses what shade lens is required for plasma cutting.

Why Shade Lenses are Critical for Plasma Cutting

You’re dealing with several hazards and solutions here, so it’s important to know why you need to protect your eyes. The radiation the arc emits can sear your eyes, causing photodermatitis or welding flash. Over time, the eyes may form cataracts to protect themselves.

When working with various metals, you need shade lenses so you don’t damage your eyes. 

Why Use Eye Protection?

The radiation is only part of the problem. The heat the arc generates can also cause damage. Working with such bright light also causes fatigue and eye strain, but the most damaging part is the blue light, which is the brightest on the spectrum. 

How Much Damage Can the Arc Do? 

You might think you can risk it every now and again. However, every time you stare at that arc without proper protection, you risk severe macular degeneration. Over time, this can cause retinal damage and permanent blindness. 

We recommend using safety lenses in conjunction with full face protection. There’s no point in taking any chances here. 

What Shade Should You Choose?

Now, let’s get down to the crux of the matter. What shade lens is required for plasma cutting? The onset depends on how intense the light is. Most metal workers use a #10 shade or higher when plasma cutting. 

We recommend starting there and increasing the protection as necessary. Your eyes shouldn’t feel tired or sore after a session. If they do, consider going up to an #11 or #12. We’d go so far as to say choose better protection than you think you’ll need. 

Does the Type Make a Difference?

Yes, the brand does make all the difference. It’s tempting to stick to cheap options, but you’ll be sorry in the end. You should look at lenses specifically for plasma cutting. Welding glasses don’t provide the same level of protection against UV radiation. 

So, no, you can’t just use the same lens you do when you weld. You should invest in a decent set that is purpose-built to protect against radiant energy. While it’ll cost a bit more, the extra protection is worth it. 

What’s more, you’ll notice a difference in performance that makes the expense worthwhile. You’ll be able to work for longer while feeling less fatigued. 

Contact Our Team to Discuss Your Options

Now you know what shade lens is required for plasma cutting, what else do you need to know? Cyrious Metal Works has all the answers about hypertherm plasma cutters and the advantages of plasma cutting arcs

Call us at 903-329-2791 to schedule your free consultation today!