10 Best Welding Helmet To Buy – Including Latest Auto-darkening Helmet

Welding can be a very dangerous task if the right precautions are not taken. One of the most important precautions is to save your eyes and face from the heat and the harmful rays that are emitted. This, in turn, makes choosing the Best welding helmet absolutely important to have before using welding gear.

Since the UV rays emitted from the arc can further cause permanent and serious damage to your eyes, a welding helmet is an absolute requirement. Not only will that save your eye from damage, but it will also ensure that no mishap occurs during the process of welding.

Welding Helmets can come in several shapes and sizes and are known to have different features. However, with so many options, it can be quite daunting to choose the Best Welding Helmet that fits your requirements perfectly. One such variant is the auto-darkening helmets which have sensors that automatically increase and lower the shade of the glass, depending on the requirement.

To further make a choice easier for you, some of the best welding helmets are mentioned below, along with a buying guide for them. Ensuring safety is the number one thing you should do for tasks like welding, and buying the right welding helmet can significantly help you with that.

Here Is Our List On 10 Best Welding Helmet

Choose the Best one according to your budget & requirement
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Last updated on July 5, 2020 11:37 am

1. 3M Speedglas 9100XX Welding Helmet | Top Choice

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 with Extra-Large Size Auto-Darkening Filter 9100XX

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The 3M Speedglas is one of the most elite welding helmets available in the market and is perfect in almost every aspect. 

It has a whooping viewing area of 72mm X 100mm and a user-selectable shade range which starts from #5 to #13 and also includes a light shade of #3 for grinding. The Auto darkening feature in this welding helmet is controlled by 3 arc sensors responsible for transitioning the shade from light to dark in approximately 0.1 milliseconds.

A ‘tack welding comfort mode is incorporated in the helmet along with a uniformly shaded filter which offers minimal distortion for reducing eye strain.

The classic helmet offers sensitivity adjustments for most Stick Welding (arc welding), MIG and TIG welding processes. To prevent the welding filter from getting humid and foggy, the exhaust vents direct the exhaled air out of the helmet to reducing heating.

The helmet is powered by two Cr2030 3V lithium batteries which have a battery life of approximately 2000 hours. The ergonomic head suspension system design consists of two crown straps for increased stability and weight distribution.

The Pros & Cons Of 3M Speedglas

PROS Of 3M Speedglas

  • Large viewing area
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Fast response time (0.1 milliseconds)
  • Exhaust vent to reduce heat inside the helmet
  • Delay control – 40-250 milliseconds
  • 3 years warranty
  • The impressive battery life of 2800 hours

CONS Of 3M Speedglas

  • Fairly expensive
  • No solar power source

2. Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Welding Helmet |  Best Budget

Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series

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Coming from the world leaders in the welding industry – Lincoln Electric, the Viking 3350 is an auto-darkening helmet which is the rightful king who sits on the iron throne of our list. It features the latest 4C lens technology for a zero distortion and crystal clear welding experience through a wide viewing area.

It offers a shade variation of #5 to #13 with an additional grind. It has a total of 4 arc sensors that work brilliantly in the automatic darkening of the lens when exposed to an arc directly or even from awkward angles.

The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 weighs less than four pounds and fits ahead of almost any size with the help of an adjustable headband that has padded areas and straps for maximum comfort. With a heat resistant built and a comfortable design, it a professional choice for veterans as well as starters.

The company has backed it up by a three-year warranty which shows the level of trust that the company has put in this product. The Viking also offers a wide variety of attractive designs to choose from.

Pros & Cons Of Viking 3350

PROS Of Viking 3350

  • Best optical clarity rating – 1/1/1/1
  • 4C lens technology
  • 4 arc sensors
  • Wide viewing area
  • Superfast response time: 1/25000 sec
  • Comfortable for longer working sessions
  • Solar cell powered
  • 3-year warranty

CONS Of Viking 3350

  • Moderately expensive
  • Have to remove the helmet for accessing grind feature
  • A little bit on the heavier side

3. ESAB Halo Sentinel A50 Welder’s Helmet

Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

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Flaunting a revolutionary shell design and an amber-colored reflective cover lens, the ESAB Halo Sentinel A50 resembles the classic helmets in the game Halo.

With a wide viewing area of 100mm X 60mm, the ergonomic design of the Sentinel is built for comfort with its infinitely adjustable five-point headgear system. It also features an external grind mode button for switching from weld to grind mode. A warning light switches on whenever it is in the grind mode.

The clarity with which the arc is visible through the darkened lens of the Halo Sentinel A50 auto-darkening welding helmet is impressive, to say the least. Offering shade variations from #5 to #13 and a colored touch screen control panel equipped with 8 separate memory settings

With a TIG amperage rating of less than 2, the Sentinel brings in the capability to replace the front cover lens within seconds and that too without removing the helmet which is a unique benefit while working on the job. It comes with the option of using a clear lens or a yellow lens.

Pros & Cons Of Sentinel A50

PROS Of Sentinel A50

  • Streamlined shell design with a wide viewing area
  • Ergonomic five-point headgear system
  • hypervisible LCD control panel
  • Includes accessories – helmet bag, Esab doo rag, 3 clear outside lens
  • 4 arc sensors
  • External grind button
  • 2-year warranty

CONS Of Sentinel A50

  • Expensive
  • Heavy – not ideal for continuous hours of working
  • Lens acquires scratches easily

4. Antra AH6-260 Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet | Best Cheap

Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

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Antra AH6-260-0000 is the best selling welding helmet on the market simply because it ticks all the boxes when it comes to welding helmets. Be it the quality, functionality, price or comfort, the Antra AH6-260-0000 has got it all.

The Antra AH6-260-0000 can be used to perform TIG, MIG, Flux core, MMA and Plasma applications and is flexible enough to accept a cheater or a magnifying lens. The less than a pound weighing design and the adjustable headband is more than comfortable for continuous working hours.

It features 4 sensors controlled by a smart chip for controlling the automatic darkening of the lens. The lens can vary its shade from #5 to #10 with an additional shade #4 for grinding. Consistent protection is provided by the passive UV/IR filter to protect the eyes from harmful radiation even when the power is off.

To avoid false triggering when exposed to strong sunlight, the Antra AH6 possesses an interference suppression technology which is quite useful while working outdoors. The most awesome part about this helmet is that all of the above features come to a steal price of just 45$.

Pros & Cons Of Antra AH6

PROS Of Antra AH6

  • Super affordable
  • Lightweight design comfortable for long working hours
  • Interference suppression technology for reducing false triggering
  • Grinding feature (shade #4)
  • 4 smart chip controlled arc sensors
  • Built-in passive filter
  • Wide viewing area

CONS Of Antra AH6

  • Adjustable knobs are a bit flimsy
  • Solar cells require more time to get charged (hours)

5. Jackson Safety BH3 Welding Helmet

Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology

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The Jackson Safety BH3 is an advanced ADF which has earned the “best in class optical” classification with the help of its Balder Technology.  Meeting the EN379 standards with a 1/1/1/1 rating, it offers a superior angle of view with enhanced visibility and color recognition.

The Jackson Safety BH3 is made of high-density yet lightweight plastic shell for protection against sparks and splatters. For reducing heat built-ups, reflections and fogging, the front cover plate has an aerodynamic curved design.

It has three knobs on the inside for adjusting shade, sensitivity and delay and three headgear adjustments on the outside which makes it suitable for multiple types of welders and tasks.

The lens has a variable shade range of #9 to #13 for catching harmful arc rays from Arc welding, MIG welding and TIG welding jobs allowing the user to precisely see the weld materials without getting flashed.

Pros & Cons Of Safety BH3

PROS Of Safety BH3

  • Highest optical clarity rating – 1/1/1/1
  • Aerodynamic front cover
  • 5-year warranty
  • Handy delay and sensitivity settings
  • Lightweight
  • Features Balder technology

CONS Of Safety BH3

  • No grind mode
  • Only solar powered with no alternative

6. Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Welding Helmet | Best Under $100

Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet

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A complete helmet at an insane price is what aptly describes the Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet. Designed with the latest LCD lens technology and having a lightning-fast reaction time of 1/25000th of a second, this helmet will make sure that your eyes don’t hurt while working or when you reach back home.

It has proven itself to be a valuable companion to welders who perform MIG, Stick and TIG weldings. The Impact black shell is powered by a replaceable CR2450 and it features 3 arc sensors for detecting an arc flash.

With a viewing area measuring 7.05 square inches, you can see the entire area of the job without any blind spots. It offers a shade variation of #8 to #13 with an additional option of the light #3 shade and comes with an option of switching between grind and weld modes.

The Impact Black helmet shell is made with polyamide which is both lightweight and durable. It also features the new ultra-comfortable ratcheting headgear along with knobs for adjusting sensitivity and delay for significantly improving productivity.

Pros & Cons Of Hobart 770756

PROS Of Hobart 770756

  • Super fast response time – 1/25000 sec
  • AffordableGrind and weld modes3 responsive arc sensors
  • Lightweight and comfortable for long welding sessions
  • Wide viewing area
  • 2 years warranty

CONS Of Hobart 770756

  • Buttons are not easily pressed with gloved fingers
  • Sensors might react when exposed to direct sunlight

7. Miller Electric 282000 Digital Performance Auto Darkening Welder Helmet

Miller Electric 282000 Digital Performance Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Clearlight Lens Technology

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From one of the most familiar brands in the welding industry, the Miller Electric 282000 is aptly named to be a digital performance welding helmet. With a brilliant optical clarity rating of 1/1/1/2, the helmet features a clear light Lens Technology which allows more colors through the lens for the viewer to see accurate and natural color tones.

A robust and sturdy design of the Digital Performance series which meets with the ANSI Z87.1+ and CSA standards, this helmet is complemented by the new headgear system allowing a pivoting top and extensive adjustability settings for great fit and comfort of the user.

The Miller Electric 282000 features three arc sensors for accurate lens response across the three modes that the helmet offers. The three modes being – Weld (from shades 8 to 13), Cut (from shades 5-8) and grind (Shade 3). Digital controls are available in the helmet for adjusting shade, delay, and sensitivity.

Miller as a brand is known for its long-lasting and durable products. However, the Electric 282000 is backed by a 3-year warranty which shows the faith that the company has put into this product.

Pros & Cons Of Miller Electric 282000

PROS Of Miller Electric 282000

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Clear light lens technology
  • 3 independent arc sensors
  • 3-year warranty
  • Three modes – Weld, cut and grind
  • Adjustable pivoting top headgear mechanism

CONS Of Miller Electric 282000

  • A bit heavy for long sessions
  • A comparatively smaller viewing area

8. Fibre-Metal Pipeliner Fiberglass Welding MASK

Fibre-Metal Pipeliner Fiberglass Welding Helmet with Rubber Headband (110PWE)

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If you are someone whose work often involves getting into smaller spaces and tight spots then this might be the best pick for you. The Pipeliner Fiberglass Welding Helmet is one of the best pipe welding helmets in the market.

Constructed with impact-resistant SuperGlas Plus material which has two unique features –

  1. Thanks to its self-extinguishing design, the SuperGlas Plus material deflects sparks that land on the helmet and preventing them from causing any accidental fire
  2. The SuperGlas Plus material is resistant to any damage caused by moisture. It is also strong enough to prevent cracks, splits or chips in severe welding conditions

A shade 10 lens allows the user to clearly view the weld puddle and protects the users’ eyes by filtering out 100 percent of the harmful Ultraviolet and Infrared radiations leading to safe working experience.

For fitting it comfortably on the head, it features a constant fit rubber headband which allows frequent readjustments if desired welders. The lightweight and compact design are also enhanced by free-floating arms for minimizing pressure points and ultimately increasing the level of comfort.

Pros & Cons Of Metal Pipeliner Fiberglass

PROS Of Metal Pipeliner Fiberglass

  • Specifically designed for pipe welders
  • Super affordable
  • A compact design ideal for welding in tight spaces
  • Lightweight
  • SuperGlas Plus material
  • Moisture resistant
  • Impact-resistant

CONS Of Metal Pipeliner Fiberglass

  • No auto-darkening feature
  • Fixed shade not ideal for multiple welding types
  • Headgear mechanism not sturdy enough

9. Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welder Helmet

Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 4 Optical Sensors, Viewing Area and Adjustable Shade Range #5 - #13 Bluish Devil

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Be it the awesome design, the huge viewing area, the wide range of available shades or the super quick response time, the Instapark GX990T is way above its class in almost every aspect.

The solar-powered helmet also includes a replaceable CR2450 battery and is equipped with 4 arc sensors for activating the auto-darkening filter in 1/30000th of a second as soon as an arc is struck. Thanks to the external controls, adjustments for delay and sensitivity can be easily made without removing the helmet.

The GX990T has a unique eye-catching design with an eagle on both sides. It can be used for performing multiple welding operations including Arc welding, MIG and TIG as it offers a wide range of shades starting from #5 to #13 (with a resting shade of #4).

The helmet is a custom fit helmet in design supported by a ratcheting headband and padded interior. With an ergonomic design and the use of lightweight composite materials in the construction combined with the large viewing area, the GX990T is a comfortable choice for welders working in long shifts.

Pros & Cons Of ADF Series GX990T

PROS Of ADF Series GX990T

  • Luxurious viewing area
  • Affordable price
  • 4 arc sensors
  • Solar powered1/30000 sec response time
  • Lightweight and catchy design
  • Ratcheting headband with a padded interior

CONS Of ADF Series GX990T

  • Small switch for switching between weld and grind modes
  • Knobs are harder to adjust with gloves on
  • Might automatically darken when exposed to bright shop lights

10. Antra AH7-860-0000 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Antra AH7-860-0000 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

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Yet another brilliant product from Antra, the AH7 overwhelmed us with its brilliant performance. Coming at a dirt-cheap price of just 70$, it has 4 built-in premium arc response sensors that change the shade of the LCD shutter from 4/5-9/9-13 when desired. A passive filter with a default shade of #13 is present for protecting the welder’s eyes from Ultraviolet and Infrared radiations.

The best part about the AH7-860 is the humongous viewing area that it provides. A total viewing area of 13.5 square inches is an absolute delight to the user as it allows them to gain better control and better finishes on the jobs.

A versatile helmet that can be used for various applications like DC TIG, AC TIG, MIG and Plasma cutting across all industries which involve welding. The rigidity of the helmet is due to the High Impact polyamide-nylon used in it and is durable for old-timers and beginners alike.

The AH7-860 is equipped with Interference Suppression technology to minimize false triggering while exposed to bright lights. The efficiency with which the sensors detect the slightest of arcs (e.g DC TIG) speaks volumes about the quality of this magnificent hood.

Pros & Cons Of Antra AH7

PROS Of Antra AH7

  • Super affordable
  • Huge viewing area
  • Built-in passive filter
  • 4 premium arc sensors
  • Interference suppression technology
  • 1/30000 response time
  • Solar-powered
  • Lightweight design

CONS Of Antra AH7

  • Head adjustments are flimsy

  • Let’s light in from the backside of the helmet (need to put off lights in the back

  • while welding)

Aspects to consider while buying Your Best welding helmet

A welding helmet is the best defensive equipment in any welder’s arsenal. Along with safeguards the eyes from the potential damage caused by UV radiations emitted by a welding arc resulting in the inflammation of cornea more commonly known as the ‘arc eye’, It also covers up the face and neck providing protection to the skin from burns and harmful radiations which might even lead to skin cancer.

It is always a smart move to put in some research before purchasing equipment which ensures your safety, Below are some questions which you should ask yourself before splurging some hard-earned cash:-

  1. What are the features that you are expecting in your Best Welding Helmet?
  2. What is your budget?
  3. What are the kind of operations that you would be using the helmet for? (for identifying whether or not you require a variable shade type lens)
  4. Do you prefer external controls or internal controls?
  5. What are the national safety standards?

Now that we have a basic idea of the features to specifically look for in our helmets, we will straight away go through the most important aspects to look for in welding helmets:-

Fixed shade or variable shade Is Important For Your Welding Work

Depending on your requirement you can opt for a passive helmet with a fixed shade lens (#10 being the most standard shade) or an auto-darkening helmet with variable shades that adjust depending on the work you are performing.

If you perform the same arc welding process on the same material then you can safely go for the cheaper standard lens. In case your work involves a variety of applications and materials then your best bet would be the variable shade lens.

Below is a chart with suggested lens shade numbers. As a thumb rule, you should always choose the shade which allows you to see the weld puddle most clearly and feels comfortable

helmet shade chart

Clarity of lens – Important Factor for A Good Welding Helmet

For determining the optical clarity of a lens the EN379 standard scores the lenses based on below mentioned four judging criteria on a scale of 1 to 3 (1 being the best and 3 being the worst) and is one of the best ways to judge the clarity of lenses present in similarly priced helmets :

  • Accuracy of vision
  • Diffusion of light
  • Consistent shade
  • Angular dependence

Since this is a European standard, most helmets that are sold in the US do not offer this rating with the products. However, if the rating is available it can definitely give a very good insight into the overall quality of the lens used in the helmet.

Design and Weight is an important factor while buying the Top Welding Helmet

The design and weight of a helmet are often overlooked and are not considered to be crucial while purchasing a helmet. However, ergonomically designed lightweight helmets result in more comfort while being used continuously for long durations. The best designs come with paddings and are also adjustable so that the helmets fit the user’s head comfortably and allowing them to move their heads easily. A good helmet weighs around 500-800 gms.

Certification for The welding hood

Before purchasing any welding helmet, the most important thing to do is to make sure that the product meets the requirement of the ANSI Z87.1 – 2003 safety standard (most recent safety standard at the time of publishing the article). To comply with the national safety standards, the helmets are tested rigorously to ensure that they are safe enough to be used. Only buy a helmet that complies with these standards. Some models also feature a “+” sign which indicates that the helmet is certified for high-impact.

Check Knob placement Before choosing the best welding mask for you 

Deciding whether your helmet should have knobs on the inside or the outside beforehand always helps. If you want to make adjustments on the fly then you should opt for helmets with external knobs. The external knobs can get in your way while working in a confined space such as working under a car.

Check the Battery type before buying an auto-darkening helmet

The auto-darkening helmets come with different sources of power. Solar-powered and battery-powered. Solar-powered helmets are preferable as they don’t need to be replaced as they are rechargeable, turn off automatically saving power thus helping in longer operations, last longer than conventional batteries and are lighter than the battery-powered helmets. Nevertheless, the solar-powered helmets won’t be the first choice for low light environments

Delay and sensitivity settings for auto-darkening helmets

When the arc is terminated, the sensors signal the ADF to switch from dark to normal state. The time taken by the lens to switch from dark to normal is called the delay. This time frame can be adjusted according to your type of welding. For example, it would be more appropriate to allow a longer delay for very bright arcs. A decent helmet provides the option of choosing a delay within the range of 0.2 to 1 milliseconds

Sensitivity allows the user to set the minimum value of brightness of the arc which will result in a change of shade in the lens. The sensitivity comes in manual and automatic modes in different helmets giving the users control over the preferred arc brightness to activate darkening of the lens

No of arc sensors In the auto-darkening welding

The arc sensors in an auto-darkening helmet are responsible for controlling the darkening of the lens whenever light from the arc strikes the lens. A higher number of arc sensors means that the helmet is more sensitive and can be used to perform a larger variety of welding operations. It is always recommended to use helmets having more than 2 sensors for any kind of professional-grade welding.

Lens Reaction time is Important for a good helmet

The time taken by the lenses to switch from a normal to a darkened state and vice versa is called the reaction time of the lens. While most of the helmets switch so fast that it is not perceivable by the naked human eye, the best experience is observed for helmets having a reaction time of around 4/10ths of a millisecond. Naturally, a welding helmet with faster reaction time offers more protection to the eyes.

Conclusion

Welding is a highly competitive job and requires high levels of dedication and concentration throughout long working hours. Hence, it is very crucial that the welding gears and especially the helmets along with being safe are also comfortable while used for long durations causing minimum fatigue to the users and ultimately improving their proficiency.

Welding helmets come in all shapes and sizes. However, keeping your requirements in mind and putting that to use in researching the available models lead to the best hood in the budget which can turn out to your companion capable of protecting you from those annoying flashes for years to come.

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