Welding is fun. It can also be tedious, as well as dangerous. Having the right welding helmet can keep you safe and become the main tool in your trade. Doing your homework can help you find a welding helmet that will last you for years and help keep your eyes, face, and neck safe from harmful rays and sparks. Know what your options are before you buy your helmet so you can get the right one for your head and your work.
Top 5 Best Welding Helmet Comparison
The 5 Best Welding Helmets Reviews
1. Antra AH6-260 Welding Helmet – Best Value
The Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Helmet lets you see your work while protecting your eyes. The front shield of your welding mask comes with a passive filter that provides a thirteen UV/IR combination to protect your eyes from damage. It allows you to see 4/5-9/9-13 visible light.
The face shield protects more than your eyes. A built-in fall neck cover helps protect you from the splattering of your work and harmful radiance from the burning hot metal. The level of protection meets the ANSI Z87.1 standards for welding safety and protection. The helmet is very lightweight, weighing only one pound with adjustable front and sides so you can flip it up and down to do your job and double-check your work. The helmet also has a convenient external grinding switch so you can use the helmet for protection while you are grinding as well as welding.
The Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening helmet has four premium redundant arc sensors around the shelf glass so they can respond instantly to changes in light and shade. The sensors can accurately read the degree of light outside the shield and adjust to prevent the harmful radiants from passing through the shield. The face shield uses Interference Suppression Technologies to help the shield be sensitive to different types of light from sunlight to shop lighting through arc welding rays.
2. 3M Speedglas 9100 Welding Helmet
The 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet is a top-quality helmet. The helmet has a viewing area of 1.8 X 3.7 inches that has an increased peripheral vision so you can see fully what you are doing. The side windows have five filters to help protect your vision while increasing it. The full front viewing window comes with an Auto-Darkening Filter to help you see every detail while protecting your eyes from the radiation from visible and ultra-violet radiation as well as infra-red radiation. The full face and neck protection work to shield your face and neck from sparks and splatters from your job.
The shield works to protect your eyes from extremely bright light produced by welding and sparks. The face plate in the helmet has a switching time verified by temperate as well as light. The shield will darken when the outside temperate reaches at least seventy-three degrees Fahrenheit to help protect your eyes from strain. You can also adjust the filter for different shades depending on the welding amperage. With a built-in battery, the shield can protect you for around twenty-eight hundred hours before requiring new batteries. The automatic adjustment helps prevent you from stopping and starting your work over to change your protective shield or putting your helmet up and down, which can cause neck strain.
The 3M Speedglas helmet is easy to adjust for different sizes of head and is ergonomic in design. There are two adjustable straps at the crown of the helmet to help it be stable to wear and distribute the extra weight. Built-in padding around the headband helps it be comfortable enough to wear around your head for a long time. It also has snap adjustments for nine different helmet angles.
3. Miller Digital Elite Auto Darkening Helmet
The Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet uses auto-darkening technology to protect your eyes from harmful radiation. The helmet comes with ClearLight lenses that let you see the hues and colors of everything you are welding. It offers crisp and bright views of everything as you weld. A lithium-ion battery keeps the different modes running smoothly for hours. The helmet also comes with the Digital Elite lens that has four built-in arc sensors so you can weld, grind, and cut without interference. The Miller X-Mode lens will help you eliminate the interference of sunlight and any low-amp lens flashes that can obstruct your vision as well as obstruct the arc sensors. Of the four modes that come built into the helmet, most operate at a range of shades eight to thirteen with only the cutting mode operating between five and eight.
The design of the helmet is a new one for the Miller Company. The redesigned headgear makes it easy to use the control while the helmet is on your head. It also makes it easy to raise and lower the shield while it is not in use. The Quick Release feature help provides easy access so you can change your front cover lens quickly without interrupting your work. The shield comes with a TIG rating of up to five amps and five different outside cover lenses. It also has two inside cover lenses to help keep you working on all your projects. There is also a helmet bag that will protect your helmet while not in use. A three-year manufacturers’ warranty will protect it beyond your efforts.
4 .Lincoln 3350 Welding Helmet – Best Overall
The Viking Welding Helmet by Lincoln Electric is a top-of-the-industry product. It has leading optics 4C lens built into the helmet. The lens offers 1/1/1/1 clarity and is extra large for a 12.5 square inches viewing area. The helmet lenses offer multiple ways for you to control the light and dark of your welding job. The Helmet offers all-day comfort with the innovative X6 headgear to distribute the weight of the helmet and reduce the pressure around your head. It also helps you balance the helmet on your head in the up or down position. The helmet can help you increase your productivity because it offers you external low-profile grind control.
The helmet also provides you with professional versatility to help optimize your performance for welding and cutting your metal. The helmet comes with five different ways to adjust your helmet to fit your head, including a padded front headband. The adjustments extend to a brace at the back of your head above your head. To exchange lenses or modes, you only need to adjust the switch at the side of the welding lens. It makes it easy to switch between welding and grinding when preparing a project for low-profile external grinding control. Made with solid, high-quality plastic, the helmet weighs 3.2 pounds, but you do not notice the weight because of the unique system of balances. The helmet uses solar cells for batteries and comes with a lens shading range of five to thirteen. It has a raged TIG amp rating of 2A. The technologies worked into the helmet also offer its high switching speed of 1/25,000 of a second for an instantaneous, clear visual of your work.
5. Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto-Darkening Helmet
The ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet comes redesigned for better functionality. The shell design is high-impact resistant nylon that helps protect you from those sparks as well as the radiation coming off of your welds. It also has an ergonomically designed Halo headgear to provide advanced balance and pivoting.
The design of the helmet makes it low-profile, so you get the most protection without taking up a lot of space as you put the shield up and down. The view screen is 100 X 60 mm wide and tall, making it one of the largest viewing areas worked into a welding helmet. The Sentinel adjusts for comfort at the back of the head and the sides to give it the best fit possible.
The technology worked into the Sentinel Helmet is some of the latest. It has a color touch screen panel to help you activate any one of the eight separate memory settings. There are also four grinding button settings so you can get the best view of everything you are working on.
The helmet is lightweight at only 1.4 pounds and has a safety battery pack designed into the helmet. The battery pack holds two lithium batteries to operate the function and modes of your new helmet.
What should you look for in Best Welding Helmet?
A good welding helmet is one that works for your projects to protect your eyes, and it is comfortable enough to wear for hours to get your job done. The following things you should consider when looking for your next welding helmet.
- Size of the Lens
You are looking through a little screen to see everything you are doing. The height, width, and the length of the screen make a huge difference in how clearly you will see your work. Most basic helmet lenses measure less than four inches wide and less than three inches tall. That is not a lot of room to see your work, which will require you to turn your head a lot to see what you are doing.
A higher-quality welding shield will come with a larger surface area and lenses for you to see your work. Multiple types of lenses will also help you see in greater detail. They also will protect your eyes from the different types of radiation that can cause permanent damage to your eyes.
- Degrees of Shading
The degree of shading can help you see your cuts and grinds better. They also come in a wide variety of ranges depending on the condition. Many types of helmets come with different modes to help you do different things at different ranges of light and shade.The different shades for welding and grinding range from five to thirteen, with thirteen being the darkest you can have. The brighter your weld, the darker you will want your lenses to shade so you can see the weld better.
TIG welding uses amperage shading. The lower the level of shading, the better you will see this type of weld. Some helmets do not go as low as five for TIG welding, so you may need to purchase a separate shied specifically for TIG welding.
Auto-darkening is a handy feature to have for some of the more modern helmets. Auto-darkening comes with sensors in and around your lens that senses the amount of light and heat around the shield and will automatically adjust for change of light. Auto-darkening should take less than a second to happen to prevent damage done to your eyes.
The faster the response for the auto-darkening, the faster you will be able to start welding and the higher quality the shield. A shield that darkens too slowly can cause damage to your eyes, so quick response time is a requirement if you plan to buy a shield with this feature.
The welding shield must be comfortable. If you are going to wear a shield for hours, it must be comfortable to wear. The hood should come with ways to adjust it around your head, so it is secure, but the headgear should also come with padding to make it comfortable to tighten.
The design of the headgear will also help the helmet balance in it’s up and down positions. The helmet should grip your head naturally without causing pressure around your temples or cause you to feel unbalanced in either position.
When you flip the hood of your helmet up and down, it should do so smoothly and stay in each position without causing discomfort. It should not cause neck strain from trying to snap the hood down that is sticking too much.
The size you can adjust the headgear to will help the helmet fit better. The size you can adjust the headgear to is critical for the fit of the helmet. If your hearing is small or large, you want to make sure the helmet you buy can adjust down or up to the right size so it will fit your head in the up and down position.
Adjustability extends beyond making sure the helmet fits your head. Some of the more advanced models will help brace the helmet in both positions with extra support at the base of your neck and head. You should be able to adjust all the components to help it fit comfortably and work well for your work.
- Quality Manufacturing
There are cost-effective helmets that will do the job and keep your eyes protected. The same applies to the more expensive brands that come with all the features. In both cases, they need to be high-quality manufacturing for the protection of not only your eyes but your face and neck. Cheap plastic can melt and cause burns. You should look for a helmet that offers more than appearances, but thick, quality plastics and shielding.
The appearance of your welding helmet is the last of its features, but you can have some fun with some manufacturers. There are different shapes, colors, and designs coming out on some of the more modern helmets. Some even have pictures from movies or shows on them.
The appearance of the helmet does not affect how well it performs, but you can have fun with your new helmet by selecting one with cartoon characters or flames. The addition of colors and designs will bring the price of the hood up, but it can be a fun thing to have, especially if this is part of your job.
A warranty for your helmet is handy to have, and it can be a greater help in case there are problems. Not all helmets that leave the manufacturer are safe to use. Quality control catches most of the faulty masks that cause permanent damage to your eyes and skin.
A warranty that covers beyond thirty days can help you if something does happen. The design of the shield, which allows for the automatic darkening, can go bad, causing eye damage or starts to flicker. A high-quality welding helmet should come with a manufactures warranty that covers two to three years.
When you are considering all the features you want, a warranty is a good safety net for your health. Make sure you read the reviews for each product because sometimes additional steps or clauses apply.
The best helmet keeps you safe, but also offers you the versatility across your work. The Lincoln Electric welding Helmet is your best bet for quality as well as comfort. The Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Helmet is a good cost-effective way to get your welding career started or replace a damaged welding helmet.
The Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet will is the best way to protect your eyesight with complete control over what you see and a large screen to see it all. It also has the best speed for automatic adjusting with speeds as fast as 1/25,000 a second. The Lincoln Electric Helmet is the shield to buy for quality and longevity.