Welding in simple terms can be regarded as the process of joining two or more metals together with the use of high temperature to melt it while allowing it to cool for a while. In recent times welding as acted as a source of income for people, with the male gender having a higher percentage. Welding helmets are protective gears which help protect the head and the face mainly from the dangers associated with welding. The market is flooded with different brands who produce similar products, and the welding helmet industry is no exception. It might be a difficult task trying to sift through all the available options in the market, that is why we have made this list to complete the job more comfortable for you. Some of the criteria that we considered while compiling out list included price, auto-darkening features, comfort, weight, sensors, size e.t.c.
The 10 Best welding helmets are Reviewed Below
Below you will find the ten best welding helmets, this list was made after carrying out extensive research, and we are happy to say this list is well researched and comprehensive. Also, you will find out the list contains both the pros and cons of each welding helmet to help you make the best decision.
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
The 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 makes it to our list for a certain reason, and it is an excellent welding helmet because of some of its unique features like, larger helmet size, which is excellent for most users as it gives them more room to move and a broader view. The 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 has the Auto-Darkening Filter 9100XX which makes difficult jobs look easy, and it also has an alert in case of the welding arc, which will automatically darken when it is noticed. The helmet protects the eye and you from radiations like UV rays and infrared radiation, so you don’t have to worry about that, it also makes work easier and faster because you don’t have to worry about adjusting the helmet. The 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 has a window on every side, which gives you a better and more accurate view of your surrounding. Each of the side windows has adjustable filters to either darken or brighten each side.
- Comfortable headgear
- Sensitive adjustment for TIG, MIG and Stick welding purposes
- Grinding and torch modes
- Side windows
- Dark and light shades feature
- Three sensors
- Uniform shading
- Padded front headband
- Viewing area: 12.11 square-inch
- Dimension: 12 x 11 x 11 inches
- Weight: 2.09 pounds
- Material: Nylon
- Size: Extra-Large Lens
- Long battery life
- It has large windows for a better and wider view
- It is shaped like the human head
- It has protection against infrared and UV rays
- It is not equipped with solar power cell
Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
The 3350 Series welding helmet is one of the best helmets for welding because it has excellent performance and a reliable feature which makes the price tag worth it. It has a larger window when compared to most other welding helmets available, and it is highly recommended for all welders who wish the get the job faster and easier. The high 1/1/1/1 optical rating present in the VIKING 3350 is one of the great features which makes it stand out from the rest. A four-category test in viewing angle consistency, distortion extent, clarity degree and shade uniformity were carried out on the VIKING 3350 helmet, and it goes the top score in each of the tests. The helmet has rapid switching time which is excellent for welders who work for more extended periods during the day, and it reduces eye strain. Also, it has an internal shade control, delay control and sensitivity control. It notifies you if there is an obstruction detected with the help of its four arc sensors.
- Viewing Area: 3.74 x 3.34 inches
- Shade: 5-13
- Ratchet Welding Helmet
- Auto-Darkening feature
- 741 series
- 1/25,000 seconds of switching speed
- Dimension: 13 x 10.5 x 10 inches
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Battery: 1 Lithium Metal battery
- Manufacturer: Lincoln Electric
- Material: Plastic
- The optical clarity of 1/1/1/1
- It has an autotest button
- It is compactable with Hardhat
- It has four sensors
- It has a fast switching time
- It is heavy
- It is a little bit pricey
Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Code Red Welding Helmet
The Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 is a heavy-duty quality and high-performance welding helmet which makes it one of the most innovate helmets. It comes with a 4C lens technology which helps you view clearly, especially when you are trying to use the grind state or the active/inactive state. The Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 has a great lense with better movement, and the lenses come with a bandana which you can wear inside the helmet, and it allows fee movement because it is a pivoting helmet. Most people hate heavy materials while working because it reduces movent and sometimes affects concentration. Still, the Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 is opposite as it is lightweight and gives your free movement. It is easy to use, and the helmet comes with padded areas and straps.
- Lens Shade: 5-13
- Viewing Area: 3.74 x 3.34 Inches
- Grind Mode
- Optical clarity
- Arc sensors: 4
- Manufacturer: LINCOLN ELECTRIC
- Weight: 0.01 ounces
- Dimension: 12.4 x 10.6 x 10.4 inches
- Material: Nylon
- Battery: 1 Lithium ion
- Switching Speed: 1/25,000 seconds
- AMP Rating: 2A
- It has a pivoting style
- It has a wide viewing window
- It is lightweight
- It is easy to use
- It has 4C lens technology
- The sensitivity settings can be modified
- It is expensive
- It takes a while to understand the functions
Miller Electric Digital Elite Welding Helmet
The Miller Electric digital welding helmet should be the first choice for anyone searching for the best auto-darkening welding helmet and something reliable. It has some fantastic features that make it stand out. This helmet is lightweight with only 2-80 pounds which makes it one of the lightest available right now and we all know a lightweight helmet helps you concentrate better on your task. You are guaranteed to finish your work easier and faster with a lightweight helmet, and it also aids free movement. The Miller Electric digital welding helmet has a larger viewing area which allows you to see your immediate surrounding clearly without having to move all the time. The helmet is a digital model which saves you a lot of time and energy, and it uses lithium batteries which enable more power and clearer visions even in the most unpleasant weather conditions.
- It is made of nylon
- Auto-darkening feature
- Magnifying lens holder
- Helmet bag
- 2 inside and 5 outside lens covers
- Series: Digital elite
- Viewing Area: 9 x 9 inches
- Plate Height: 2-2/5 inches
- Plate Width: 3-4/5 inches
- Weight: 2.80 pounds
- Dimension: 10.5 x 12 x 9.8 inches
- Batteries: 2 Lithium ion
- It has Auto-darkening mode
- It comes with covers for the lens
- Clearer view
- It has a holder for its magnifying lens
- The view is wide and covers a lot of angles
- It needs to be turned occasionally
Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Welding Helmet
The Jackson Safety 46131 is a great performance welding helmet that can be used to get the job done in less time. The ADF filter is one of the fantastic features of this helmet, and it helps with a clearer view, even in the most unfavourable welding conditions. The lens shade is controlled automatically, which reduces the stress and saves precious time when you have to adjust it manually. Another fantastic feature is the ability to change the shade depending on the lighting source because it has different adjustments. It has two different modes which make it versatile to suit your needs, the two ways available are grind and weld modes, and they are both compatible with the HSL 100 and HLX 100 shells helping you get more value for your money.
- Four auto damming sensors
- Easy to use controls
- Viewing Area: 3.93 x 2.36 inches
- Un-obstructive view
- 9-13 variable shades
- Sensitivity and delay adjustments
- Grind and weld modes
- TiG rating: < 5 Amps
- Manufacturer: SureWerx
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Battery: 1 Lithium ion
- Material: Nylon
- Battery cell type: Lithium
- Switching speed: 1/15,000
- It has automatic adjustments
- It has digital controls
- It comes with delay adjustments
- There are 4 dimming sensors
- It comes with a CSA compliant
- It is heavy
Esab SENTINEL Auto Darkening A50 Welding Helmet
The Esab SENTINEL A50 has a beautiful design that is made from the best technology available, and it is comfortable to wear thanks to its reflective cover lens. The innovative shell makes it look trendy and unique, and it gives you a peace of mind and assurance no matter the type of welding task you want to carry out. The SENTINEL A50 allows you to choose from its range of 5 and 13, which is best suited to fit the lighting conditions of the environment you wish to work. The helmet consumes less energy because it has an amperage rating of fewer than two amps, and it offers the option of switching modes from grind to welding and vice-versa depending on your choice. Also, the cover lens can be replaced within 10 seconds without having to remove the helmet.
- Solar cells
- Unique shell design
- High impact resistance
- Adjustable 5 point gear
- Comfortable and well balanced
- Eight separate memory settings
- Touch screen panel
- 4 grind button
- Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Manufacturer: ESAB
- Dimension: 21.65 x 13.78 x 13.78 inches
- Battery: 1 C battery
- Viewing Area: 3.93 x 2.36 inches
- Material: Nylon
- The cover lens can be replaced easily
- It saves a lot of energy
- It has a nice design
- It has a good rage of 5-13
- The lens could get scratched easily
Tanox Pro Digital Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet
The Tanox Pro digital auto-darkening welding helmet is a very affordable helmet that suits all types of construction workers, hobbyists and welders. It has a large viewing area, and it is also an auto-darkening helmet, which makes you view better and clearer while wearing it. It can be used by a lot of professionals not only welders but including those in the automotive, beverage, fabric production, manufacturing industry, and so much more. It is very versatile to suit most needs. This helmet is suited for mainly for people who use it daily and for an extended period each day, as it will perform the intended task without any problem. It has three different modes which are a grind, cut and weld all to suit your specific needs. As a bonus, a helmet carrying bag, welding gloves and spare lens were attached to it to make the job easy and comfortable.
- UV and IR protection
- Wide view
- Optical class rating: 1/1/1/2
- Solar shade lens
- Fast response time
- Adjustable range and knobs
- Cartridge: 4.33 x 3.54 x 0.354 inches
- Power: Lithium batteries and solar cells
- ADF: self-check
- TiG: >5A
- Working temperature: 23-131F
- Storage temperature: -4-158F
- Dimension: 8 x 12 x 9 inches
- Arc sensor: 4
- It is safe to use
- It is easy to use
- It comes with a carrying bag and free gloves
- It is versatile for all kinds of welding jobs
- It has a wide angle view
- It is bulky
Jackson Safety TrueSight II Digital Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The Jackson Safety TrueSight II 46118 is ideal for anybody both hobbyists, construction workers or just an average individual who wants to get any welding job done. The Jackson Safety TrueSight II 46118 comes with a balder technology which makes is stand out from the rest, balder is know for manufacturing fast and effective auto-darkening welding filter. The vision rating of this helmet is also excellent as it is 1/1/1/1, which means it is of the highest quality standard when it comes to the lens clarity. It makes it one of the best in regards to other helmets. This helmet gives you great value for your money and can be used for heavy-duty activities, and it is responsive when needed thanks to its film optical filters. The Jackson Safety TrueSight II 46118 has three modes available which are torch, weld and grind, which makes it great for all types of jobs. The variable shade is 5-8 and 9-13 depending on the work at hand.
- Balder Technology
- Digital keypad
- Auto-dimming welding hood features
- 3-in-1 product
- Delay and sensitivity adjustments
- Auto-off function
- Low battery alert
- Variable shade: 5-8, 9-13
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Battery: 2 AA
- Viewing Area: 3.25 x 4 inches
- Optical classification: 1/1/1/1
- Sensors: 4
- Height: 9.625 inches
- Length: 10.25 inches
- Material: Nylon
- It has a high quality optical lens
- It is highly responsive when needed
- It uses balder technology
- It is clear always
- It is pricey
Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet
The Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet is another excellent pick when it comes to welding helmets to suit every task and makes your work more comfortable, and faster. It can be used for an extended period without stress, and you don’t need to worry about your safety. It takes only a millisecond for the helmet to go dark after detecting an arc or flash, which is excellent in helping you accomplish your task faster. Another great feature of this helmet is it significant impact-resistant shell which gives your head and faces excellent protection, so you don’t have to worry about that. The Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet also has a shut-off mode which also allows it to shut off instantly and it also has a grind mode.
- Comes with Helmet and Protective Lens Kit
- Viewing length: 9.3 square-inch
- End-to-end visibility
- Sensors: 4
- Material: Polyamide-Nylon
- Grind mode
- Shut-off mode
- Manufacturer: Hobart Welding
- Weight: 1.25 pounds
- Dimension: 11.8 x 14 x 12 inches
- Battery: 1 CR2
- Measurement: Metric
- Battery cell type: Lithium
- It has a good shade range
- It has the grind and wild modes available
- It has a large viewing window
- The arc sensors are three
- The settings can be adjusted easily
- It is difficult to remove and fix the lens cover frame
Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The Instapark ADF Series GX990T can not be left out because of its unique features and can be used for any type of welding job both indoors and outdoors. One standout feature of the Instapark ADF Series GX990T is the flames and skull at the top of the helmet which was done with blue and black dark shades. It is beneficial when it comes to detecting arcs and flashes because of its four sensors. The helmet also keeps your eyes safe by darkening its filter when necessary. It is great for saving energy because it uses a solar panel, it doesn’t only absorb the light from the sun, but it can also absorb the light from when you are working. You don’t have to worry about the power supply, especially when you are working indoors.
- 4 arc sensors
- Convenient external controls
- Adjustment for sensitivity, dark state and delay
- Shade adjustment: 5-13
- Switching time: 1/30,000 second
- Padded interior
- Dimension: 13 x 9 x 9.5 inches
- Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Power Source: Solar
- Material: Composite
- Voltage: 3 volts
- Viewing Area: 3.94 x 3.86 inches
- Battery cell type: Lithium metal
- Manufacturer: Instapark
- Shade Control: External
- It is solar-powered
- The outer shell is impact resistant
- It has a nice shade range
- It has a response time of 1/30000
- Great for working both outdoors and indoors
- It is bulky
Buying Guide Questions
While writing this article, we have also taken time to answer a few questions that you may be bothered about. We hope our answers help to make your task easier.
How do I choose a welding helmet? What is the best welding helmet for the money?
A welding helmet is an essential tool needed to carry out any welding job, and there are a few things you will need to consider while trying to pick one out. A welding helmet protects some very vital parts of the body like the eye and face, so the process of selecting one should be taken seriously. No matter your budget, I am sure if you follow the necessary procedures you will find one to suit all your needs. Let us break down the vital processes you should take while trying to choose a welding helmet; they are:
Sensors are used mainly to capture flashes from different angles while welding and every good helmet are expected to have four sensors. But, if you are not working from a variety of angles, then you can go for the one with two sensors which is also good, but they are designed for people working in regular positions. It is essential you know the kind of job you want to use it for as that will then determine the type of sensor best for the job. Ideally, a four-sensor should be your first choice because it can do a variety of work.
A more comprehensive shade option allows you to carry out a different task without having to switch helmets. For grinding or cutting, the shade range commonly used by welders is 9-13, but there are other helmets with 6-13 shade. For people who don’t do many welding works, a shade range of 9-13 should be enough. But, if you can afford to get one with a more comprehensive shade range, it will be better because it allows you accomplish a lot of work done and it is also easy and convenient to use. Another critical aspect of the shade is that its lens acts as a shield for your eye from the bright flashes that occur when working. This is why auto-darkening helmets are the first choice of professional welders because they offer a more comprehensive shade range. They can also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
The weight of the helmet could affect your neck, causing fatigue and pain, especially if you are working for many hours. The ideal weight for a light helmet is 20 ounces which are very convenient and doesn’t strain your neck.
The power source is yet another critical factor to consider when choosing a welding helmet, and some helmets have replaceable power sources while others don’t. Replaceable power sources are the best option, some of the familiar power sources known include batteries, solar panel or both. If you want the best, you should go for a helmet that uses both solar and battery as it helps prolong the battery life and you don’t have to worry about low battery. If you use your welding helmet frequently, you must know that using one that works on battery only is not the best option, because you might have to change the battery often.
The weight, sensors, shade options and power source are essential factors when you are trying to get the best and ideal welding helmet.
There are a large variety of helmets available in today’s market and not every helmet is best suited for every job, and to be honest, some of them are below standard. The best and the most frequently used helmets in regards to convenience, quality and performance is the auto-darkening welding helmet. It is mainly the choice of professional welders because of its wide shade range, which helps them perform various jobs without having to take it off.
What is the best auto-darkening welding helmet? How dark should my welding helmet be?
An auto-darkening helmet is made from the innovative design of the lens, with liquid crystals and filters. It can make the darkening process automatic depending on the setting you have selected. The auto-darkening helmet lets users see their work station clearly without having to adjust or take it off. They also protect the delicate parts of the body when welding, especially the eye from arc radiation which is harmful. The auto-darkening helmet is not only selected for its safety but also for its ability to adapt to various type of welding jobs. With all that been said, the best auto-darkening helmet I will recommend is the Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Welding Helmet.
There are different shade level for other welding jobs, so how dark your helmet should depend on the job you intend to use it for. The standard range shade range is from 8-13, with 13 as the darkest. No matter the welding job you plan on doing, we are sure you will find the perfect range to suit all your needs.
Are cheap welding helmets any good? Do welding helmets expire?
Picking a welding helmet that fits your criteria can be a stressful task when it comes to accommodating your budget. It is a known fact that if you want the best products, you must be ready to spend high to acquire it. But, recently there have been products available in the market that are budget-friendly and meet the standard. YES, cheap helmets are good, but you will have to do a bit of extra research to make sure you get the best.
Welding helmets don’t necessarily have an expiring date, but like all equipment, their value and efficiency reduce over time, mainly when they are used every day and for longer hours. Usually, the significant damages that occur to a welding helmet are rusting, bending, crumbling and sometimes breaking. But, for the auto-darkening helmets which are more fragile than the usual ones, the eye protection could fade away.
What is the safest welding helmet? Does welding ruin your eyes? Is welding bad for your health?
Safety should be your top priority when it comes to selecting your welding helmet. Auto-darkening helmets are highly recommended because they have an extensive shade range that suits every welding job. The auto-darkening helmet also helps protect the head because they usually come padded internally, and they also protect the eye from harmful ultra-violet rays. An excellent example of an auto-darkening welding helmet is the Esab SENTINEL Auto Darkening A50 Welding Helmet.
The ultra-violet rays that are emitted during welding can be very harmful to the eye; that is why auto-darkening helmets are highly recommended because they have wide shade range to suit any welding job.
Welding is generally bad for your health because the fumes emitted while welding can cause severe health issues if they are inhaled. Some of the short-term symptoms include dizziness, throat and nose irritation, nausea. At the same time, prolonged exposure can be more damaging and lead to cancer of the lungs, kidney damage, urinary tract and larynx, and it could also damage your nervous system. There is some precaution that could be taken like understanding the welding hazards, remove coatings from surfaces by regularly cleaning it, make sure the welding area is well-ventilated e.t.c.
What is welder’s lung? Does welding affect sperm? Why do welders drink milk?
Welder’s lung or Pneumosiderosis as it is referred to by some is a lung disease associated with welding. It occurs when iron dust caused by welding are inhaled regularly for an extended period.
A recent study has shown that there have been low sperm cells produced by male welders with changed levels of reproductive hormones, decreased fecundity and higher abortion rates in their partners as compared to non-welders.
The idea behind the drinking of milk by welders is to help prevent the body’s absorption of the zinc produced while welding. It is expected that the calcium present in milk helps avoid the absorption of zinc by the body, although it is works to and extent, it is not a solution for zinc fumes exposure.
Are cheap auto-darkening welding helmets safe?
YES, they are. Not everyone can afford the top brands when it comes to welding helmet because they are more expensive, but that is where the smaller brands come into play. They are there as alternatives to the more expensive ones because they are cheaper. You should go the extra mile in checking the reviews when it comes to the more affordable brands because some don’t do what they specify.
Getting the right helmet can be a daunting task because of the great varieties of options available in the market presently. You should pick a welding helmet that is efficient and capable of getting your job done faster, while also guaranteeing your safety. For example, auto-darkening welding helmets are regarded as the best because they are more versatile, specifically those that have different shade options.