Sometimes it is the wee details that matter. For years I had made do with various old safety helmets when cutting wood and strimming. However, last year when buying a new chainsaw I decided it also made sense to buy a new helmet kit. Buying replacement ear defenders and a visor, for one of my existing helmets, would have been more expensive than buying a whole new kit. I chose the Stihl Expert Helmet Set .
Stihl Expert Helmet Set
The Expert Helmet Set came with a steel mesh visor mounted on a three position ratchet, a decent set of ear defenders and cooling slots in the crown of the helmet. The whole lot cost less than £50, which seemed a reasonable price. The thing that was a real revelation to me was the adjustable headband which is done using a large rubber wheel at the rear of the helmet.
Detail view of the large rubber headband adjuster
Just slip the helmet on, postion correctly and then tighten the headband by rotating the rubber wheel. The helmet then stays in the correct position even when the visor is half open (which changes the centre of balance). Removing the helmet just requires slackening the adjuster and off it comes. It couldn't be easier. All my previous helmets had headbands that adjusted using double rows of teeth, and what a faff they were. The spacing of the teeth invariably seemed to have the helmet either too loose or too tight, and every time you had a haircut they had to be adjusted. I just wish I had bought a helmet with this type of adjustment system earlier.
Overall, I am very happy with the helmet and even after a year's worth of use nothing has broken or fallen off. The steel mesh visor works well and the ratchet is strong enough to hold it in the half open and fully open positions. The ear defenders cut out most of the chainsaw noise without completely isolating you from your environment. The Stihl Expert Helmet has been a good value purchase.