What to Look for in a Welding Helmet [2023 Buyers Guide & Review]
By Pablo L | Last Upload on March 10, 2023 | Home → Welding Helmet Buyers Guide
The best welding helmet is the most important investment a welder makes, aside from a welding machine. You must wear a welding helmet to protect yourself against radiation, sparks, and other fiery particles, which can cause great damage to your face and neck if you are not protected.
We’ve compiled reviews of the best welding helmets on the market right now to make sure you don’t suffer the consequences of purchasing the wrong helmet.
Welding helmets are widely used in every working industry due to their importance. Welders wear these helmets for several hours, so they need to buy a comfortable helmets for them. There are also several other factors that you need to consider while buying a welding helmet.
There’s no denying that welding helmets are essential personal protective equipment. When dealing with metals, you can’t be careful enough to work without a good helmet on.
Besides offering protection against burning sparks and molten metal, welding helmets help you feel at ease and comfortable working. And, with greater comfort comes more focus and top-tier welding performance.
What to look for when choosing a Welding Helmet
With the endless list of welding helmets available today, choosing the best one might seem like a daunting task. However, choosing the best welding helmet will be a breeze when you know what features to look for.
1. The Weight
When it comes to welding helmets, the lighter, the better. You don’t want your helmet feeling like an extra pound on your neck, as that can lead to huge discomfort during work. The best welding helmet for beginners and even experts should be light and efficient.
2. Viewing Area
Different helmets have different viewing areas, which can impact your welding ability. Typically, the best welding helmet for you will be one that offers just the right viewing area to help you achieve optimal performance. Helmets with a wide viewing area will enable you to get a broader sight, while the ones with smaller viewing areas help you focus more by eliminating distractions.
What’s the point of using a helmet if it can’t guarantee your safety? The fundamental reason for wearing a helmet is safety and protection. So the best helmet will be the one offering the most protection.
4. The Helmet Type
Helmets come in various types and sizes, and the ideal one for you will depend on your workflow, welding requirements, and personal preferences. The types of welding helmets available today include
a. Single or fixed shade Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Welders who mainly deal with one kind of material with the same thickness and follow an identical welding process will find a fixed shade helmet more relevant and a wiser investment. The main downside of fixed shades is that you don’t have control over their shade, even though they offer the same auto-darkening feature as variable shade helmets.
b. Variable Shade Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Due to its flexibility and adaptability, more dynamic welders may require a variable shade lens. Like fixed shades, variable shade helmets come with auto-darkening filters (ADF) and an electronic filter lens. They offer great freedom as you can choose the shade level based on your project demands and welding torch power. It’s safer to set your shade darker than needed and adjust down from there to prevent overexposure to brightness.
Plus, beginners may find working with fixed lenses daunting, making variable shade their best option.
c. Passive welding helmets
Being a traditional version, passive welding helmets are highly durable and offer great protection for the face. However, they lack modernized features, which makes them highly affordable.
d. Solar Powered Helmets
As the name implies, solar-powered helmets depend on solar energy to charge the battery. Most designs feature irreplaceable battery packs that primarily function to start the helmet. This is why forgetting to charge the helmet in the sun can be huge time water as their batteries can’t be replaced when low. In all, they prove to be economical as the energy required for work is derived from the sun.
e. battery-powered helmets
Battery-powered helmets use rechargeable yet replaceable batteries, unlike solar-powered ones. Highly engaged welders often do not have the time to wait for solar helmets to charge before using them. That’s why the best helmet for welders who need ready-to-use designs will be the battery-powered ones.
You should consider tons of other things when perusing through the variety of welding helmets available to you. So, this may not feel very clear for you to choose the best welding helmet to use. Look at the most popular and best helmets for welders.
Welding Helmets: Different Types
Welders wear their helmets during work as if they were extensions of themselves. It is of the utmost importance to be comfortable with your helmet since it never comes off while working. According to their features and design, the number of different types of welding helmets.
Welding helmets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here are some of them:
- Auto-darkening welding helmets
- The solar-powered lens helmet
- Passive welding helmets
- The fixed-shade lens welding helmet
- The battery-powered helmet
- The variable-shade lens welding helmet
Best Welding Helmet 2022: Experts’ Choice
Lincoln 3350 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
The Lincoln Electric auto-darkening welding helmet is a great choice for welding workers. It ensures that your eye is protected through one of the best helmets. Additionally, the premium quality helmet from Lincoln helmets offers a wide range of viewing areas. This ensures you have the largest viewing area and it is easy to complete your task.
You’ll be able to see your work with perfect clarity using Lincoln 3350. With a balanced design that reduces pressure, the auto-darkening helmet ensures safety and comfort.
- Provide the best optical clarity possible when working
- Help to look bigger area
- Fasten your work
- Design that is comfortable and advanced
- These top-notch quality helmets come at a premium price
Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet
With the Tanox welding helmet, you get a large viewing area along with a solar shade lens. This helmet is one of the best welding helmets for beginners.
You will probably never own a lighter helmet than this one. The power is automatically turned on/off for grinding. It has world-class sensors that automatically adjust dark to light levels.
With this welding helmet, you get more than gloves; you also get lens covers. Tanox can be used for various projects ranging from the automotive to the transportation industry. You must assemble the parts of Tanox before you can use it.
- Helmets come with comfortable gloves
- Perform your duties in a highly visible manner
- The product meets ANSI Z87.1 standards
- You can contact the manufacturer for any issue
- Adjustments are a little complex to make
Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Dark Welding Helmet
Jackson Safety BH3 will provide you with a perfect view of your work with its perfect visibility rating. Its high-density plastic shell provides you with maximum protection.
The headgear is easily adjustable and comfortable to your head. Despite its price range, it weighs almost two pounds and provides total protection for your head. Only nine shade options are available, making it less adjustable than the previous suggestions.
- Provide perfect optical clarity while welding
- Easy to adjust with your head
- Comfortable and keep your head fully protected
- For extra protection, the helmet may feel a little heavy
Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet
Miller Digital Elite is an advanced and modern helmet for the welder. Your work is visible thanks to the Clearlight lens technology in the product. It’s easy to use the digital controls as well. The lens technology provides a higher visible light spectrum, making it easier to see and promoting more extraordinary detail work. There are four arc sensors. X-Mode also prevents natural light from darkening the lens before you start welding.
Optimal sensitivity and delay control enable you to weld precisely. Professional welders prefer this model for performing their tasks smoothly. The Miller Digital Elite Welding Helmets are also equipped with additional adjustable settings for ultimate comfort. You can adjust the headband to make sure you get the most comfortable and secure fit.
- Provide great visibility while working
- Advanced and come with digital controls
- Fit well to your head
- You must adjust the setting accurately for perfect vision
Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
This is a top-notch quality welding helmet that comes at an affordable price. Although the viewing area is not as large as some other sets of comparable prices, this one has a large viewing area. In addition to its backlit color touchscreen interface which makes it an advanced and modern welding helmet. You can save eight different memory settings that can be retrieved at any time. Although it is not necessary to this helmet’s function, it does look pretty darn cool.
- The welding helmet is stylish
- Provide a cool look
- Premium quality touch screen panel
- Viewers accustomed to a large viewing area may find the viewing area narrow.
Optrel VegaView 2.5 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
With a world record automatic darkening filter (ADF), the Optrel VegaView 2.5 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet sets new standards for welding safety. With its excellent visibility, this helmet is perfect for plasma cutting and any other projects you may be planning.
A perfect view is possible in grinding mode by adjusting the opacity level from a range of 8 to 12. VegaView has a greater view in low-light conditions, resulting in greater visibility. Due to its lightweight design, the neck and head will not be strained.
- Provide high visibility to the users
- Excellent ADF
- Fit well to your head and comfortable
- The knobs may not feel that much high quality
Yeswelder 302C Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
With its panoramic view, the Yeswelder 302C is one of the best welding helmets with a better view. A large viewport faces forward, and two others face outward on either side. Almost 180 degrees of view angle is provided with nothing blocking the view. Helmets with this headgear are comfortable but not durable, according to users. Many owners recommend Lincoln or Jackson replacement headgear with this modification, while others say the Yeswelder 302C Auto Darkening Welding Helmet is perfect. Even with this additional expense, it remains cost-effective.
- Provide you with a large viewing area
- Comes with inside settings controls
- Comfortable and offer solid construction
- It fits into tight areas
- Complaints of inadequate shade levels
Antra AH6-260 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
A welding helmet that offers some unusual features for its class, the Antra AH6-260 is the perfect welding helmet for workers who are new to the job.
It comes with a solar charger that can charge the helmet quickly. It can automatically darken and save you from TIG, MIG, plasma, or arc. It’s designed to filter UV and IR rays regardless of whether it’s powered on or not.
The helmet is popular among welding workers. These helmets are frequently purchased as a replacement for the headgear in more expensive helmets. Both solar panels and batteries are built into the AH6-260. The ability to adjust sensitivity and delay is unusual at this price point. It is possible to adjust the lower limit so that it sits at the same position each time the hood is lowered. This welding helmet auto darkening is among the best on the market.
- Lightweight and easy to work
- Charger powered by solar energy
- It is automatic on the system.
- The headgear is popular with users
- Comfortable who uses glasses
- Sunlight may cause auto-darkening
3M Speedglas 9100 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
The 3M Speedglas 9100 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet is a high-quality welding helmet that provides superior visibility and eye and skin protection. As a result of the dimmer filter, you can see colors more clearly, which appear less green.
With the touch of a button, you can toggle between the welding mode and the grinding mode. You avoid interrupting your workflow when changing settings by not removing the helmet. In addition, the welding helmet saves power when left idle for a short time. Sometimes, it shuts off too soon and your helmet is left in the dark. It has a large viewing area and minimal obstructions. The lens is also less likely to fog up due to the boosted exhaust vents.
- The helmet offers a high level of visibility
- User friendly and comes with touch controls
- Offer Auto-darkening
- The lithium batteries last 2,000 hours,
- The adjustment fix is a little complex.
What To Look For In a Welding Helmet
To buy the best welding helmet for you, there are some factors you should consider. This will help you to choose a suitable helmet for your use.
Wide Viewing Area
You should choose a welding helmet with a wide field of view and high-quality optics to help you see contours and edges both when welding and setting up. By seeing your weld pool in greater detail, you can place electrodes more precisely, resulting in higher quality welds and higher efficiency.
Performance of Lens
It does not matter how many photo-sensors are in an auto-darkening welding helmet as long as they consistently detect welding arcs. Instead of asking how many sensors the helmet has, the better question is how powerful the lens is. So you should check out the lens’s performance before buying a welding helmet for your use.
A welding helmet must provide full and adequate protection to its wearer as required by ANSI standards. A welding helmet must pass rigorous tests to meet ANSI national safety standards, including UV, infrared, impact, and temperature protection. You should ensure safety measures before buying a welding helmet.
There are welding helmets that automatically darken at every level of the industry,
You can wear one of these helmets while protecting yourself from harmful emissions and darkening in just a few milliseconds. LCD technology enables the auto-darkening cartridges to achieve this. Auto-darkening will help you be more productive since you won’t have to take time off to adjust your helmet on the job.
Almost every workday is spent under your hood, so why be uncomfortable? Multiple adjustment points, a tailored fit, and an even distribution of weight are some of the features of an adjustable head harness. So before buying a welding helmet make sure the product is comfortable enough for you.
How Much Should I Spend on a Welding Helmet?
Depending on the features, welding helmets cost anywhere from $15 for a basic standard helmet to over $100. The helmets that have advanced features like auto-darkening cost more. You should choose a helmet that is suitable for your tasks and has the right features you need.
Are Auto Darkening Welding Helmets Any Good?
Yes. There’s no reason you should still be using those old model helmets. Today the best helmets to use are those with modern and advanced technologies, such as auto-darkening.
You will get better welds and a much easier life with an auto-darkening helmet, no matter what you’re doing. A helmet like this will shield you from harmful emissions while darkening in milliseconds.
How Long Do Auto-darkening Helmets Last?
An auto-darkening helmet should last about seven to ten years if you take proper care. Most of the sensors and lenses in some helmets are replaceable, and the battery is good for longevity.
You should now choose which welding helmet is right for you. A welder’s safety is paramount while performing the job. You must wear a welding helmet to prevent your eyes from being burned by the arc.
Hopefully, you now know what to look for when purchasing a welding helmet. With our reviews, you know what factors to consider and how to compare with other helmets. We have compiled a list of the best welding helmets that have all the features a welder needs.