10 Best Welding Helmets – Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

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Welding can be really dangerous without proper protection. It can inflame the cornea and cause infection. Even your retina can be damaged, which may affect your vision. Not to mention that the strong UV rays lead to fast aging accompanied by various skin conditions.

Yet despite all of these risks, welding is a needed activity in factories and workshops. People do it frequently both professionally or privately in order to fix something in their homes or at work. Therefore, it’s recommended for them to wear something to cover their faces and stay protected. This is the main purpose of the best welding helmets. Thanks to them, you can weld without worrying about your health and any of the previously mentioned issues.

However, finding a good quality welding helmet out there is more complicated than many people assume. This is mainly due to the fact that there are just so many models to consider. Each of them has something special that is useful to buyers.

To help you decide which welding helmet is the right for you, in this guide we collected the top quality welding helmets, their features, specifications, and other details you should know. Also, you’ll discover what to look out for in a helmet and receive answers to your questions. Enjoy!

Our Top Pick – 3M Speedglas 9100

Buying a good welding helmet is a complicated process. You can’t just go into the first store you find and grab the model that looks nice to you. On the contrary, you should observe all specifications and features carefully. Usually, those can be found in the technical sheet of specifications or online on the site selling the helmets.

It’s vital for you to clearly understand what each of the features represents in order to evade making a mistake. Be aware that a wrong choice can have serious consequences on your health and your work. Therefore, be patient and analyze the product you want to purchase thoroughly. Here we’ll assist you with that.

In the following text, we’ll explain the details to pay attention to and show you which of them are truly helpful for you.

Besides supporting all types of welding, we decided on this 3m speedglas 9100 welding helmet because it automatically shifts from light to dark and performs well in various conditions. Through the wide view area of the main window and the side ones, the user can have better control over the work and plus he/she is protected against infrared and ultraviolet rays.

What’s more, the design is one of the most comfortable ones on the market as it’s ergonomic and looks like a human’s head. There are multiple adjustment features to complement that. The design also finds a solution to fogging and heat thanks to the exhaust vent.

Buyers get a long-lasting battery life, too. Also, the warranty period is for three years.

Top Rated Welding Helmets On The Market

3m Speedglas 9100

Lincoln Electric Viking 3350

Miller Electric Digital Elite Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Hobart 770756

Instapark ADF Series GX990T

Antra Auto Darkening AH7-860-001X

Save Phace 3010288 Chameleon Gen-X Series

Instapark ADF Series GX-500S

Nesco 4656

Top 10 Best Welding Helmets Reviews

1. 3M Speedglas 9100 - Top Pick

Currently being one of the best on the market, 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet has characteristics that can be seldom found in its peers.

To begin with, it can be found in three sizes – a standard version, large, and an extra-large model. Naturally, the price fluctuates between the three models, so you should choose the one that suits you most presently as well as in accordance with the task at hand.

The welding helmet’s auto-darkening filter (ADF) can make the adjustment from light to dark in no time – or roughly 0.1 millisecond – after the welding arc is detected automatically, as the name itself suggests. That way your eyes are safe when you’re working, which results in the task being finished faster and more efficiently.

Another useful feature that takes care of your eyes while working is the ultraviolet and infrared radiation protection. Connected to this, there is an increased coverage for the sides of the head as well as the ears.

Also, the exhaled air is let out through exhaust vents on the side. In return, these vents can help minimize the heat you may be feeling while working and can prevent fogging and the appearance of humidity.

There are two windows on each side of the helmet which are meant to give you a precise view of the task and the area you’re working in. They, too, have special filters – five to be more precise – that transition from light to dark.

This 3M model can also be operated even with gloves on as well as while wearing padded straps because of its bigger knobs. No matter if you use the Stick or MIG or TIG process, this helmet can perform with great results.

Lastly, its ergonomic design is made to look like a person’s head. That additionally increases your comfort while you’re wearing it and plus, you can wear it for longer periods of time.

Pros
Cons

2. Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet 3350​

There’s a reason why we put Lincoln Electric welding helmet solution so high on this list. Some of its highlight features include the viewing as well as the comfort which we’ll talk about shortly.

The signature characteristic is the 4C lens technology that enables you to take in more details and see what you’re doing clearer without straining your eyes in multiple settings. Besides the heightened optical clarity, the helmet offers a real-life color view and even shades seen from different angles.

Note that you get all the lenses you need with the purchase.

Having in mind that the helmet’s weight is just a bit more than three pounds, it’s noticeable that the manufacturer minded a lot about comfort. It minimizes the pressure you may feel on your head with other helmets. That is amplified with the easily-adjustable design that features useful modifying straps and pads.

Thanks to the pivoting design of the headgear, this welding helmet moves with the tilting and moving of your head, so it doesn’t bother you while working or even transitioning from one working area to another.

Lincoln welding helmet from the 3350 series supports the three most popular welding processes – Stick, MIG, and TIG, too.

Another useful feature is that you also get a bag for easier carrying and even a bandana that you can put on before using the helmet.

Pros
Cons

3. Miller Electric Digital Elite Auto Darkening Helmet​ - Best For Beginner

Having in mind that this is one of Miller Electric’s lightest models and when you take into consideration all of its useful features, you easily see why we put it on the high third spot on the list. As we already mentioned its light weight, it weighs just 1.13 pounds.

One of the highlight specifications is the automatic darkening mode that protects your eyes instantly once it detects arc welds. Moreover, it supports weld, grind, X-Mode, and cut mode. Complementing these four modes, there are four arc sensors as well to make you comfortable in different settings and situations.

By combining the nine by nine inches viewing area and the clear light lens technology, this models effortlessly ranks high for clarity and ability to see more while working. Also, the Digital Elite helmet optimizes the contrast in both light and welding backgrounds. To increase effectiveness when you aren’t welding, you can see perfectly clear due to the lighter light state.

Another popular feature is the highly modifiable settings on the headgear together with a pivoting top. This design is known to take care of the comfort and relaxation of the wearer by easily fitting on her/his head.

The helmet’s digital controls are a big plus as you can smoothly play with the sensitivity, delay as well as shade. There is also an automatic power control that activates the lenses when the striking of the welding arc commences.

You can check in with the seller or the manufacturer for some interesting accessories like a helmet hook, hard hat adapter, helmet bib and more. For the more fun types of welders, Miller Electric offers multiple color design options besides black among which are stars and stripes, inferno, raptor, vintage, and similar.

If the need arises, you can get yourself the optional helmet lighting accessory kit that consists of two lights which can be placed on each side and similar additions you may need regarding that.

Pros
Cons

4. Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet​

Jackson welding helmet has set itself apart from the rest thanks to the advanced Balder technology, automatic darkening filter lenses, lightweight, and design.

Thanks to the auto-darkening lens, the welder can clearly see what she/he is doing from all angles. And the tests prove that, giving it high ratings in all four categories related to this field.

It can be used for jobs that require different types of welding like ARC, TIG, and MIG due to its equipment for sensitivity and delay control. The shade variation from nine to thirteen adds to that, while at the same time protecting the eyes.

While we’re still talking about the helmet’s ability to perform in diverse tasks, it’s worth noting that it has three adjustments of the headgear, all to increase the feeling of coziness while wearing it and reduce the tiredness. They are three knobs placed on the inside and there’s a band around the wearer’s head for that purpose as well. The welding helmet works perfectly with magnifying lenses as well as hard hats, too. However, they don’t come with it and you can purchase them separately if you want.

Jackson also minded a lot about the design, making it aerodynamic to minimize heat, reflections as well as fog inside the helmet. At the same time, it shields the face and the upper part of the face including the ears and the forehead from sparks and similar external effects.

Pros
Cons

5. Hobart 770756

Besides the fact that you’ll be able to see more and better thanks to the helmet’s large view area lens, know that your eyes will be fully sheltered as the helmet will darken in as little 1/25,000 second. Because of its automatic darkening feature, it’ll do so automatically without you even noticing or having to do something about it. The LCD lens technology is also another effort of the company to increase the eye protection of the welder.

Unlike some other models, Hobart welding helmet has both a shut-off mode and a grind mode, which can come in very handy in some welding situations. The range of shading from number eight to number thirteen is also there to reaffirm the helmet’s stability, flexibility, and ability to serve you in settings with low light.

It’s considered to be one of the lighter models, weighing below 1.3 pounds. Made of tough yet lightweight poly-amide, the design is sleek, elegant, resilient to external impacts, and won’t make you sore while wearing the helmet. The comfort is increased even more with the adjustable straps as well as knobs for altering the delay control as well as the sensibility.

With the purchase, you get the helmet as well as the ratcheting headgear and plus extra protective lenses, together with a manual.

Pros
Cons

6. Instapark ADF Series GX990T

With one of the largest view area of almost four by four inches in its class as the product description suggests, Instapark’s solution to welding helmets proves to care for the welder’s comfort, performance, and safety.

It has four arc sensors for supporting all of the most popular welding processes among which are arc welding, TIG, and MIG. The helmet also follows the standard of having an automatic darkening filter that adds to its efforts to prevent any eye damage from UV and IR rays automatically. While we’re still speaking of darkening, this welding helmet can boast with a range of number five to number thirteen lens shading. Additionally, the resting shade is number four. There is also an efficient and fast response when you switch from light to dark.

The manufacturer introduced a new, extra comfortable design for this new series of welding helmets that has a lot of external controls so that you can make all the necessary modifications without even taking off the helmet. Among such are the controls for sensitivity, darkness, delay, and such.

The helmet’s interior is also made to inspire the feeling of enhanced relaxation and safety as it’s completely padded. The material is composite and attributing to the lightweight of the whole welding helmet.

Another important feature is its solar power.

Pros
Cons

7. Antra AH7-860-001X - Best For The Money

Can use the helmet even in tight spaces. Thanks to the sleek, modern design, a great part of the head and the upper face are protected.

The large viewing area enables you to completely oversee the welding process, and thus easily control it. When it comes to the control part, the shade control, which is placed inside the helmet, can help you with that. All the welding processes are supported, as well. Among them are MIG, TIG, Stick, plasma cutting and more. Because of that, this model can be used in schools, workshops, factories, and even at home for some personal projects.

There are four premium arc sensors, which are quick to detect when you start with welding. So, the switching time is fast and precise, resulting in heightened eye protection and minimal stress on the eyes. Speaking of protection, the model can boast with a maximum shade 13 for ultraviolet and infrared rays combined with the automatically-dimming shutter.

Adjustments regarding the sensitivity and the delay can be made with a knob. What’s more, the welding helmet runs on solar power that can be replaced when it’s needed.

Antra welding helmets model is compatible with a hardhat connector, magnifying lenses, and cheater lenses, which sadly don’t come with the purchase and are sold separately.

Pros
Cons

8. Save Phace 3010288 Chameleon Gen-X Series

The model’s shade lens in #10 and is compatible with the 180-degree-rotating ADF holder. Speaking of that, the ADF has a permanent shade of 3/10.

What’s new in the Generation X helmets is that they have some of the biggest view areas. Specifically, this one’s is 23 square inches. While we’re at the helmet’s superlatives, the manufacturer points out that it’s one of the lightest models available on the market today. Moreover, it has two sensors and fully automatic power control capabilities that help the user focus just on the welding. It’s solar-powered, too.

Save Phace’s solution to welding helmets has a very user-friendly design. You can move your head inside the helmet and have a bigger comfort while wearing it. That’s why some compare it to a welding mask. The material is nylon that is able to withstand shock and can’t be easily damaged. The headgear that looks like a halo has nine points to easily adjust it according to the size of your head. There is also a headband that absorbs sweat.

Another positive aspect is that it comes fully assembled, so you don’t have to put together various elements or additional equipment. All the safety standards are met and the model can be easily used in any workspace.

The helmet has a carrying bag and it supports cheater lenses, as well.

Pros
Cons

9. Instapark ADF Series GX-500S - Best For Cool Looking

Supporting all welding methods like TIG, arc welding, and MIG, this model meets all the necessary standards and requirements for you to start using it in your work.

The optics in this series are much more improved and provide clearer visuals. All of that without making the user strain the eyes and stress them. The wide view area is also useful in that direction. The shade adjustment varies from number nine to number thirteen. Additionally, the resting shade is number four. That’s because the manufacturer wants to ensure protection for the wearer.

You shouldn’t worry about having to press buttons or knobs to control the darkening of the helmet. This model comes with auto-darkening capabilities. And the switching from light to dark is done swiftly, in 1/25000 second, to be more precise. This auto-darkening filter improves productivity in a way that you don’t need to constantly flip up and down the helmet to change the torch or make other alterations. It also minimizes the time for starting and stopping, so it saves plenty of time and is effective.

There is an added comfort while wearing the helmet due to it being light and ergonomically-designed. Moreover, the headband is of the ratchet type. Its insides are fully padded for protection as well.

The helmet is solar-powered. That means that you aren’t required to bring in extra batteries with you all the time.

Pros
Cons

10. Nesco 4656

Known for durability and comfort, the design of Nesco’s helmet is resistant both to fire and corrosion. Moreover, the material shields the helmet from dents and other damages. The colors and the pattern on the helmet is fun and memorable that will help you stand out from the rest if that is your goal.

Plus, the helmet has a turnover mechanism for the headband, which reduces the stress on the neck and can be worn for longer periods.

Due to the easy-to-access sensitivity modifications, you get clear visuals while you’re in the middle of your welding job as well as while you aren’t welding. When the arc is struck, the helmet automatically darkens and then returns to normal once the job is finished.

There is an added layer of protection for your eyes thanks to the filters against ultraviolet and infrared rays. Speaking of that, the shading ranges from number nine to number thirteen. Because of all that and other specifications, the welding helmet meets all the standards for usage at the workplace, especially for MIG and TIG.

Pros
Cons

Buying Guide

Buying a welding helmet is a complicated process. You can’t just go into the first store you find and grab the model that looks nice to you. On the contrary, you should observe all specifications and features carefully. Usually, those can be found in the technical sheet of specifications or online on the site selling the helmets.

It’s vital for you to clearly understand what each of the features represents in order to evade making a mistake. Be aware that a wrong choice can have serious consequences on your health and your work. Therefore, be patient and analyze the product you want to purchase thoroughly. Here we’ll assist you with that.

In the following text, we’ll explain the details to pay attention to and show you which of them are truly helpful for you.

Type of Welding Helmet

For starters, you should determine which type of welding helmet works for you. Overall, there are two types to keep an eye on – the standard type otherwise known as passive and the auto darkening type. Both of these come with certain advantages and disadvantages.

The passive welding helmets are known to be affordable since they are made of plastic. They incorporate shade ten, which offers sufficient protection. Connected to this, the glass is infrared and ultraviolet coated. What’s specific about these helmets is that the users should wear them in the up position and at the same time put the torch, electrode or gun in position. After a snap of the neck, the welding helmet will be flipped and the users can simply strike the arc. However, have in mind that if you are new to welding, this type of helmets can prove to be tricky mainly due to difficulties related to positioning the electrode or gun. Because of this, it can be inefficient and make you feel a bit uncomfortable.

Moving onto the auto-darkening welding helmets, it’s safe to say that they are more advanced and contemporary. With shades of three or four, they allow users to see through the glass. But they can darken to eight or thirteen in case the need arises. The sensors detect the heat at once and do this. Obviously, as a result of modern technology, they tend to be more expensive to buy. Also, they operate on batteries, so you may need to buy new batteries frequently.

Field of View

The field of view or viewing size of the helmet is a thing of one’s own preference. Some users prefer wider and some smaller views. Usually, it stretches from six square inches for light tasks to nine square inches for more complicated ones and industrial usage.

Optical Class Rating

This is an important feature in terms of the quality of your chosen welding helmet. The most reliable welding helmet on the market has a rating of the optical class of 1/1/1/1. This indicates that the lens cartridge has a high optical quality, homogeneity, scatters the light properly, and its angle is dependent.

In general, the model is better if it has a lower optical class rating.

Time of Response

This is the time the lenses need to switch from light to darker. When the intensity of the light increases, the user should be protected as quickly as possible. Therefore, the quicker the time of response of the helmet is, the better it is.

In normal circumstances and for home usage, the lenses have a time rate of 1/3600 per second. But if you intend to utilize the welding helmet at short distances or professionally, it’s best to go for 1/20000 time rate per second.

Sensors

The main thing you need sensors for is better coverage, especially in case the weld is out of position. This is when the sensors may face certain obstacles, which can be overcome with a bigger number of sensors. For this reason, it’s advisable to get a helmet with four sensors if you plan to use it industrially. Otherwise, two or three sensors may suffice.

Delay And Sensitivity Controls

With the sensitivity control, you have the ability to decide how much brightness will make the lenses darken. Many models have an automatic sensitivity control, so you shouldn’t worry about it. However, it’s more convenient to search for manual sensitivity due to the fact that you’ll be in charge of setting the minimum trigger values.

On the other hand, the delay controls let you have a say in how long the lenses should remain dark after the work is completely done. If the welding has high radiation, it’s better to have a longer delay for your own protection. Again, manual controls are more desirable than the automatic ones.

Weight

Weight is another very important aspect of choosing the most suitable welding helmet. It can affect the productivity of the welder as well as their health. For one, if the helmet is too heavy, the welder may feel pain and strain in the shoulder. Not to mention that it can be a real burden to wear for long periods of time.

That’s why it’s always better to look for a lightweight helmet that at the same time incorporates the features you are after. The bands can help you with this. Moreover, helmets with one band tend to be heavier because the whole weight is focused on the single band. The situation is the opposite if there are more bands on the welding helmet.

Connected to the weight is the adjustability. More precisely, you should check whether the helmet can go up, down, back, and front. Also, you should be able to tighten it well around your head so that it doesn’t fall off easily while you are working.

Warranty And Certifications

You are protected in terms of damages or malfunctions of the product thanks to the warranty. It’s a way the manufacturer tells you that in a certain period there will be nothing wrong with the helmet and its operation. And if by any chance, some malfunction occurs, the company will fix it for you free of charge. Therefore, it’s nice to have a longer warranty period.

The certifications, on the other hand, show you how well and safe the welding helmet is. It’s recommended for the helmet you purchase to have a certification that falls under the safety national standard ANSI Z87.1 – 2010. What’s more, you can look for a plus sign on the helmet in order to be sure that it’s certified for high-impact.

Additional Details

Aside from the previously mentioned key features, there are additional ones you can consider before making your purchase. While they aren’t always the most important ones, for some people they can make a difference in their decision of which welding helmet to get.

So, let’s look into them more precisely here:

  • Design and style – Your welding helmet is visible. So, if you want to make a statement with it or simply buy one to show people how cool you look like while working, you should pay attention to the style. Many of the helmets have some interesting graphics on them in various colors. So, when picking the helmet for you, you may want to check out how stylish it is.
  • Compatible with a hardhat – Sometimes the work requires it. Also, hardhat compatibility can be very important when it comes to the safety of the user. That’s why if they want to wear a hardhat, they should look for this feature in the particular model.
  • Autotest – The auto darkening filter should be frequently checked if it works properly. That’s because this filter is crucial for shielding the eyes during welding work. If the model has this auto-test button, that can be done swiftly. On the other hand, if the welding helmet doesn’t have the auto-test feature, the checking has to be done manually.
  • Magnification – The range of the magnification capabilities vary based on the specific product and the manufacturing company. It’s common for these lenses to deliver from 1x to 2x magnification.
  • Grinding – Users find the grind mode helpful when they want to turn off the welding helmet’s sensors. That way, the lens doesn’t switch to darkness. Thanks to the grind mode, the user can see better. And plus, they’re more physically shielded.

All in all, it’s safe to say that welding helmets that don’t have these certain features can still operate efficiently. That means that it’s good to find them available in a helmet, but they aren’t the deciding factor for making the purchase. Having said that, it’s vital for you to assess your needs so that you don’t eventually pay a higher price for some exclusive features that you don’t really need in your welding work.

Benefits

Before anything else, it’s clear that welding helmets exist mainly to offer protection to the one wearing them. They aren’t something people wear just for fun or to be noticed. The same as the tools and steel, they are a vital part of the welding process. Moreover, they bring a lot of benefits to those owning them. In case you’re still having second thoughts of whether you need a welding helmet, observe the next paragraphs carefully.

Firstly, thanks to the helmet, your eyes get direct protection from the dangerous rays and any damage to the retina and the other eye parts is evaded. More precisely, the infrared radiation causes burning of the cataracts and the retina. And the UV radiation can lead to huge issues that may be permanent. Without a proper helmet covering your eyes all of these problems will become reality.

Obviously, the eyes aren’t the only ones that are susceptible to injuries. Your whole head can suffer without a welding helmet. Particles, sparks, and the great heat can attack without you even being aware of them. So, the right helmet can save you from this trouble.

Finally, you have a better vision while welding. Understandably, since your eyes are shielded from the light, you can open your eyes fully and focus on the work completely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Final Words

After all of this, it’s clear that choosing the right welding helmet for you is more complicated than people assume. Aside from the price, there are many features and specifications to consider before making the final purchase. In this guide, we tried to compile the top details to pay attention to together with the best models you can buy on the market. We hope we helped you even a bit with everything we enclosed. So, now we want to hear it from you. What are your thoughts on this matter? Share your experience with us and stay connect with Welderit for more information!

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