Are you a welder looking to give yourself protection while carrying out a welding job? A welding helmet is your best bet. In this guide, we have decided to show you the best welding helmet money can buy. Do well to go through this guide to find out the best welding helmet. If you are a professional, you also need to add tools like rotatory tools and automatic center punches, to your toolbox.
Why Use a Welding Helmet?
Firstly, why choose a helmet over eyecups, glasses, or safety goggles?
Welding involves working with extremely high heat to melt strong metals. The danger of sparks, molten metal, sharp fragments, debris, and getting burnt to mean that the risk of injury is almost certain if full protective clothing isn’t worn, especially on the head, face, and eyes.
Simply covering the eyes is not enough when you need to get up-close to your metalwork while using a flame-throwing welding torch. Helmets also cover your mouth to protect you from inhaling metal particles and dangerous gases and shield your ears from hearing damage caused to workshop noise.
Possible injuries caused by welding without proper safety equipment include electric shocks, inhaling toxic fumes, hearing loss, sight damage, and serious burns. All in all, a welding helmet is one tool that you want to spend a little extra on to get the best protection.
WELDING HELMETS BUYER’S GUIDE
The helmet’s viewing area is something you should consider as well. Some have a wider viewing area, that’s around 4″ x 3″ and more.
Those with smaller viewing areas are around 3.5″ x 1.75″. It all comes down to your personal preferences and the type of project you’ll be working on. If you’ll be using it in a restricted space, then you should opt for a helmet that has the largest viewing area.
This is because it can be difficult to adjust your body to be able to see clearly what you’re welding.
All the lenses of the auto-darkening helmets have undergone testing for quality control and have an optical class rating.
This refers to the clarity of the vision through the glass. Auto-darkening lenses come in 4 different clarity categories and are rated in numbers. These helmets have an optical rating of 1/1/1. This category of a helmet doesn’t differ much with the 1/2/1/2 but a professional and experienced welder should be able to notice the difference easily.
When buying an auto-darkening helmet, you need to also think about the number of arc sensors. These sensors are responsible for detecting flashes as you work and will darken the helmet in a fraction of a second to keep your eyes protected.
Generally, the cheaper ones are equipped with fewer sensors while the more advanced models have 3 to 4. Two arc sensors should be enough. However, this increases the risk of not being able to catch the flash whenever you’re welding out of position. Four sensors would be ideal as they lower the possibility of the helmet failing to catch a flash that could arise.
Remember that you’ll be wearing your welding helmet for a long period so you need to choose a model that’s comfortable for you to wear. Heavy helmets could add more strain on your neck and are truly uncomfortable, if not painful. Even if the helmet doesn’t seem to be heavy when you put it on the first time, it could eventually sore your neck.
Comfort should be given utmost importance when buying a welding helmet. When it comes to this, the lightweight and padded helmet might be a better choice. They won’t sore your neck even if you wear them for a long period. Just make sure you choose something that will securely fit around your head.
A helmet that won’t fit tightly on your head will keep on moving around as you work and this could distract you.
Welding helmets have different power sources. Some work with lithium batteries, while others with solar power. Some use both.
Generally, helmets that are powered by both lithium and solar are the best option since this extends the battery life of the welding helmet. Furthermore, if one of the power sources runs out, you can use the other.
If you opt for a battery-powered welding helmet, find out if it’s replaceable or not. Welding helmets that rely on replaceable batteries are great options since all you need to do is attach the batteries and you can immediately start using them. But you must make sure to carry a set of replacement batteries with you.
On the other hand, solar-powered helmets are more cost-effective since there’s no longer a need for you to keep on replacing the batteries. This feature is what you’ll usually get if you choose a helmet with auto-off features.
You’ll have a wide range of options when it comes to the lens shade of your auto-darkening welding helmet. Also, the more shades your helmet has, the more flexible you can be when it comes to its applications.
If you need to constantly modify the settings and processes of your helmet, then you’ll be able to benefit from getting a helmet that comes with a wide range of shade options. The 9-13 shade is considered normal.
However, if you’ll be working at low amperage where it’s more difficult to see the arc, the 6-13 shade should be good enough.
Sensitivity control is another vital factor to consider when buying a welding helmet.
Fortunately, most of the auto-darkening welding helmets in the market can be set to minimum brightness that will trigger the darkening. This feature comes in handy when you’re welding at low amperage and you need to increase sensitivity. It’s also an essential feature if you’ll be working along with other welders and you’re expecting lots of arcs.
Lens Reaction Time
The reaction time is how fast the lens goes from light to dark once the arc is activated.
Lenses move extremely fast. These professional-grade lenses are rated at 1/20,000 per second. If you weld often, it’s crucial to choose a lens with fast reaction time. If you’re starting arcs constantly, the increasing arc exposure could cause eye fatigue so you may want it to change to dark as fast as possible.
To ensure that the helmet you use will keep you safe and protected, choose a model that’s manufactured according to the ANSI Standards.
This type is guaranteed to provide adequate and full protection to the welder. It’s because the helmet has undergone rigorous testing to pass the national safety standards required for keeping the user protected from UV rays, infrared, temperature, sparks, impact, etc.
Currently, the safety standard set for welding helmets is ANSI Z87.1 – 2003, which is what the helmet should have if you want to make sure it’s safe for you to use.
You’ll now find different styles of welding helmets in the market.
They’re available in different designs and colors and you can choose something depending on your personality or personal preferences. Before, welders were only limited to black, gray, and plain colors. But now, some helmets come with attractive graphic prints and colorful designs. Other brands also offer personalization options on the helmets they sell!
The cost of the helmet varies greatly but it usually ranges from $40 to as much as $800! If you’ve got a budget set for the helmet, then this should be your basis in determining what helmet to buy.
Of course, the more expensive models have the best features and are more suitable for professional use.
BEST WELDING HELMET
|NAMES||FEATURES||WHERE TO BUY|
|Lincoln Viking 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet||Large U.S. 5.25″ X 4.5″ Cartridge Size
Continuously Variable 5-13 Shade with Internal Control
Continuously Variable Sensitivity & Delay
External Grind Mode Button
Magnifying Cheater Lens Capable
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Hobart 770890 Inventor Welding Helmet||Weld & Grind Mode
Sensitivity & Delay Controls
Low battery indicator
100% continuous UV and IR protection.
Lightweight Polyamide Nylon Shell
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Miller Electric Digital Elite||ClearLight Lens Technology allows more colors of the visible light spectrum to come through the lens for natural, accurate tones.
Four arc sensors and four modes: weld, cut, grind, and X-Mode. X-Mode prevents sunlight from darkening the lens before welding starts and low-amperage lens opening from obstructed sensors.
Headgear provides extensive adjustability settings and a pivoting top for better fit and comfort.
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Jackson Safety 46131||Extreme lightweight shell design weighs only 6 oz!
Hydraflex shell for the ultimate in flexibility and durability
Duralogic high index metallic paint
Ergonomic, lightweight design reduces neck tension and fatigue
Easily attaches to safety caps for added head protection
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|DekoPro Solar Powered Welding Helmet||Optimal eye protection
Clean comfortable view
Intelligent, practical and cost-effective
Manual adjustment meeting different demands
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Instapark ADF Series GX990T||Solar-powered welding helmet with 4 arc sensors and auto-darkening filter and the largest 3.94” x 3.86” viewing area in its class
Revolutionary new design with convenient external controls and adjustments for the dark state, sensitivity, and delay without taking off the helmet
Wide range of variable shade adjustment from #5 -#13 with a resting shade of #4 and lightning-fast switching time from light to dark, 1/30,000 second
Made of lightweight, yet durable composite material with a ratcheting headband and padded interior to ensure enhanced protection, consistent performance, and maximum comfort
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|Antra AH6-260 Auto-darkening Welding Helmet||Passive UV/IR filter works continuously
Auto-darkening filter glass
Quick Grind switch
Adjustable delay and sensitivity
75 inch by the 4-inch viewing area
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
|3M Speedglas 9100 Auto-darkening Welding Helmet||Improved optics make it easier to see colors
Auto-on darkening filter
9100XXi Grinding Quick Switch
Two glass darkening memory modes
3 Arc Sensors
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|Metal Man ATEC8735SGC||Wide Lens. Allows you to easily see your work area.
Shade Control adjustable.
Five-point adjustable helmet
78 in. x 2.05 in. viewing area
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|Jackson Safety BH3||Weight: 2.1lbs
Viewing Area: 10.2in2
Lens Shade Range: 9-13
|GET IT ON AMAZON|
This welding helmet from Lincoln Electric has a beautiful black finish weighing just over 3 lbs. Featuring a patented 4 C Lens technology, which refers to Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity, the lens of this helmet has an optical rating of 1/1/1/1.
This allows you to be able to see through. Its wide lens measures 3.7 x 3.3 inches. This solar-powered helmet is powered using rechargeable batteries. You’ll enjoy a longer battery life with this helmet so try to give it exposure to the sun when you’re not using it. The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 is available in 14 different designs. You can opt for the classic block look or go for the more unique designs, such as checkered flags and camouflage.
|Inside dials to change sensitivity and shade level||Light can get inside the helmet from behind|
|Helmet bag, bandana, 5 outside lenses, 2 inside||Not enough coverage to please some welders|
|Activate grind mode button with gloves on||Some users say the headgear won’t stay tight|
|High-quality professional helmet|
|Large viewing area|
The Hobart® Inventor™ Black auto-darkening welding helmet features a variable shade 8-13 lens with grind mode and large 9.3 square inch viewing area. The Inventor’s welding lens has an internal delay and sensitivity controls and comes with Hobart’s standard 2-Year lens warranty. It has four independent arc sensors and is rated for low amperage DC TIG welding down to 5 amps. Ratchet-style headgear has both head size and top adjustments and comes with comfort cushion and sweatband.
|Users love its great balance & optical clarity||May darken in shop lighting|
|Headgear offers size and top adjustment||Slightly heavy at 1.25 pounds|
|Turns on and shuts off automatically|
|Sensitivity & Delay Controls|
|Low battery indicator|
This auto-darkening model from Miller Electric features sturdy nylon construction and seven cover lenses – five on the outside and two on the inside. The viewing area has a satisfactory size of 9 square inches, and it has a lens shade range of 8 to 13. Additionally, it features a grinder and cut mode, which increases its application range.
Additional extras include lithium batteries and a magnifying lens holder. The Digital Elite weighs a mere 2.8 lbs and is comfortable enough to wear for hours on end. It is also compatible with a hard hat.
According to reviewers, this product is not suited for overhead welding. It is, however, incredibly versatile and you will be able to use it for all processes, plasma cutting, and grinding.
|Can be used for all metal fabrication applications||Difficult to operate with TIG gloves|
|Offers ample face, neck, and eye protection||Doesn’t offer overhead protection|
|Excellent value for the money|
|Compatible with a hard hat|
Jackson® Black Insight® auto-darkening welding helmet features a variable shade 9-13 lens with digital controls. It has four arc sensors and can be set in weld mode or grind mode. The large 3.93″ X 2.36″ viewing area also comes standard with sensitivity and delay settings.
The Jackson Insight ADF has a two-year lens warranty. The Halo-X helmet shell comes complete with Jackson’s industry-standard 370 headgear.
|Suitable for all metalworking applications||Too small for a respirator|
|Auto-darkening with four sensors||Too short for adequate neck cover|
|Comfortable to wear all day long|
|Easy to adjust and control|
|Great value for the money|
This Solar Powered Welding Helmet from DekoPro is a great helmet for both professional and home use. It comes in a black two-tone and electric blue color – both stylish. Despite being among the best-looking welding helmets in the market, it doesn’t cost a lot. It’s a great choice for those who’re looking for an inexpensive and stylish welding helmet to buy.
Made from polypropylene plastic material, this helmet is resistant to chemicals and electricity.
Furthermore, the material is breathable and flexible so it’ll feel comfortable on your head even if you wear it for a long time. Another good thing about this helmet is that it’s durable.
|Can fit any head size||Made of flammable material|
|Doesn’t cost a lot|
|The lens can be adjusted in darkness|
|There’s a control panel inside the helmet|
|Can be powered by lithium batteries or solar power|
This welding helmet from Instapark is equipped with lenses that are tall and wide, which measure 3.9 x 3.8 inches.
With this size, it’s easy to see a lot of things around so you’ll be able to comfortably work on your project. With impeccable quality and a rating of 1/1/1/2, this helmet can certainly give you the best value for your money.
The Instapark helmet is available in two designs – American Eagle and Blue Flames. For those who would prefer a simple design with a solid color, this may not be the best option for you.
|The lens can be adjusted in the dark||Not solid color|
|Comes with an affordable price|
|Wide and tall lens|
The Antra AH6-260 is an entry-level welding helmet that offers some unusual features for its class. It has variable shade levels from 5-13. Although the 17-ounce weight is a plus, it means the plastic on the hood is too thin for industrial use.
Getting knocked around and banging it on things when you’re wearing it will wear it out pretty quickly. The thin material also means that overhead welding isn’t an option in this helmet, because molten slag can burn through.
It’s got solar charging for the batteries and has been certified to auto-darken and protect with MIG, TIG, plasma, or arc. The filter glass is designed to protect from UV and IR whether it’s powered up or not.
|Solar charging with auto-shutoff||Some users report being flashed mid-weld|
|Variable shading from 5-13||Thin plastic: No overhead or industrial use|
|Comfortable with glasses||Sometimes auto-darkens from sunlight|
|Users love the headgear|
The 9100 MP auto-darkening welding helmet helps provide comfortable, uncompromising, all-in-one welding protection for highly demanding environments.
The Grab and Go feature activates the 3M Speedglas helmet at its most recent setting and shuts off the glass automatically to save batteries. Exhaust vents for your breath and side windows are among the professional features of this helmet that make it more comfortable to work in for a long time.
|Grab and go auto-on lets welders work quickly||A matte finish can be hard to keep clean|
|Meets ANSI Z87.1-2010 impact standard||A little heavier than other helmets in its class|
|External grinding mode activation||Some users report loosening of the headgear|
|Professional-grade welding helmet|
|Handy side windows|
This five-point adjustable headgear from Metal Man has a viewing area of 3.78” x 2.05” and a shade range of 9-13. The sensitivity and delay dials are controllable to ensure optimal eye protection.
The Metal Man welding hood is fitted with four arc sensors, so you have a high switching speed. It also has a grind mode so you won’t struggle with a darkening lens while you are grinding. Its five-point adjustability ensures a perfect and comfortable fit, allowing you to wear it throughout the day without experiencing any discomfort.
|Grind mode for added versatility||Not suited for plasma|
|Excellent durability for optimal protection||Shorter battery life|
This is one of the most popular welding helmets available. The Safety BH3 is fitted with an auto-darkening lens that has a shade range of 9-13 and an EN379 rating of 1/1/1/1 for optical clarity, light diffusion, luminous transmittance variation, and angular dependence.
This helmet protects your eyes from radiation and ultraviolet light. It is fitted with sensitivity and delay settings to allow for use in an array of different applications and work settings.
It is large enough to protect the wearer’s entire face as well as the neck, forehead, and ears from sparks and splatter. It also prevents heat build-up and fogging.
|Highest possible optical rating.||No grind mode. With the lowest shade being only 9, it’s not possible to use this helmet in a grinding or torch mode.|
|Fume deflection design.|
|Large viewing field.|
A high-quality helmet that fits comfortably is very important to ensure the safety of your eyes, face, neck, and ears. Never weld, grind, or use a plasma cutter without protection. Hopefully, this buyers’ guide has given you enough information to make the buying process easier. All the items listed above adhere to industry standards.