In this comprehensive guide, we'll rate and evaluate the very best welding helmets.
The guide separates helmets by price point and feature set to assist you to discover the very best vehicle darkening welding helmet for your needs.
To make it to this list, a helmet needs to blow our socks off, and that's pretty unusual. These helmets were checked by our reviewers under challenging conditions and blew us away regularly. In addition to passing our quality tests, we've selected the very best welding helmets based on consumer evaluations, evaluations by welding specialists, our evaluations, and feedback from you, the Melbourne Metal Fabricator neighborhood.
The info in this document is modified continuously as welding helmets are updated or become obsolete, along with when improvements in welding helmet innovations struck the marketplace. We're continuously on the lookout for the latest, finest and highest quality welding helmets, so you can feel confident that the information you're reading depends on the date and relevant. Also check out Difference between Welding Soldering and Brazing.
Eventually, I put this list together to help novice and professional welders find a welding helmet that will satisfy their particular spending plans and welding needs. I've also made sure that every helmet fulfills the ANSI Z87.1 safety standard, so no matter which helmet you end up buying, you can be sure it will secure you efficiently from anything your welding environment can throw at you.
BEST WELDING HELMETS UNDER $400
This price variety allows you to purchase a helmet that genuinely strikes the sweet spot in between worth and quality.
Almost every item you can get at this variety is stable, able to deal with any welding in basically any scenario, so you don't have to worry so much about whether precisely what you're purchasing can handle your requirements. Instead, you can concentrate on the individual differences in between each helmet, and make sure that exactly what you're getting is exactly perfect for you and your needs.
Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Mojo Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology - K3101-3
- Price For: Each Includes: Helmet Bag, Bandana, Lenses Features: 4C(TM) Lens Technology, Optical Clarity, Wide Screen View TIG AMP Rating: 2A ADF Controls: Knobs Number of Arc Sensors: 4 Color: Black/Red Grind Mode: Yes Battery Type: Solar Cells Lens Shade: 5 to 13 Viewing Area: 3.74" x 3.34" Welding Helmet Material: Nylon, Polycarbonate Graphics: 4669
- Welding Helmet Light State: Not Rated Headgear: Ratchet Welding Helmet Color: Graphics Welding Helmet Type: Auto-Darkening Series: 741 Electromagnetic Sensor: No Power Source: Solar Switching Speed: 1/25, 000 sec. Item: Welding Helmet Country of Origin (subject to change): China
'Welding Helmet, Auto-Darkening, Lens Shade 5 to 13, Not Rated Welding Helmet Light State, Viewing Area 3.74 In. x 3.34 In., Welding Helmet Color Graphics, Welding Helmet Material Nylon, Polycarbonate, 3350 Series, Grind Mode Yes, Electromagnetic Sensor No, Number of Arc Sensors 4, Switching Speed 1/25,000 sec., Graphics Mojo, TIG AMP Rating 2A, Power Source Solar, Headgear Ratchet, ADF Controls Knobs, Battery Type Solar Cells, Features 4C(TM) Lens Technology, Optical Clarity, Wide Screen View'
Among the top brands in the welding market, Lincoln Electric hit the ball out of the park with their Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 helmet series.
The thing we saw immediately when putting on the helmet was the outstanding optical clarity. There was no distortion, no smudging, and everything was crystal clear-- just what you 'd anticipate from a 1/1/1/ one ranked lens. The 4C Lens technology that includes the more recent Viking helmets has taken the currently excellent optical clarity the Viking helmets are known for and made it to another level.
A significant watching location and remarkably comfy style make this my choice for the long, hard days. The lens is second to none, with an ideal clearness ranking, and a suite of readily fine-tuned controls and a terrific set of choices complete this fantastic little helmet. For the expert looking for the best helmet, there isn't a better choice.
Also check out Future of the Sheet Metal Fabrication Industry
Another thing we observed was that the helmet was somewhat comfortable right away, and with a few minor changes, it seemed like we 'd been wearing it for years. The four arc sensing units are cleverly put so that the helmet darkens effectively no matter in what position you're welding, and even after numerous attempts at tricking the ADF, we finally quit without having been flashed even once.
This helmet benefits novices, hobby welders and specialists alike.
The only grievance we had is the shiny black exterior of the hood, which scratches easily, especially if you're welding in difficult situations. Fortunately, the helmet is available in a few different designs, a few of which are really cool. Overall we provided this helmet a strong 4.8/ five stars, and in our opinion, it is the outright finest welding helmet on the marketplace today.
24 November 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
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24 April 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Jackson Safety Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet (46129) HSL100 ADF Black
Another helmet that impressed us with its crystal evident optical clearness is the Jackson Safety BH3. It uses an exclusive technique called 'Balder Technology' to attain a 1/1/1/ 1 (the highest possible) optical score, putting it head shoulders above most helmets in its price range.
The helmet is extremely comfortable and comes with lots of headgear changes to guarantee it's comfortable for all head shapes. Another fantastic function is the hood's curved front plate which helps reduce heat accumulation and fume deflection.
The main downside to this helmet is the lack of a grinding mode, which suggests the helmet is not ideal for all circumstances. Nonetheless, we did handle to grind with the sensitivity turned down to the lowest setting, but if you genuinely need a good grinding helmet, you may wish to pass on this one.
14 March 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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Miller Electric 282000 Digital Performance Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Clearlight Lens Technology (Black)
Head-and-shoulders above the previous design Miller Digital Performance, this helmet's been upgraded with the user's comfort and ease-of-use in mind.
- ClearLight Lens Technology allows more colors of the visible light spectrum to come through the lens for natural, accurate tones.
- Three independent arc sensors provide consistent lens response for obstructed or low amp welding. Three modes: weld, cut and grind
- Headgear provides extensive adjustability settings and a pivoting top for better fit and comfort.
- Digital controls easily allow welder to adjust shade, delay and sensitivity. Auto-on/off power control triggers lens at the strike of an arc.
- Meets ANSI Z87.1+, CSA standards.
Miller Welding Helmet description
Being available in at the 3rd location for our mid-to-high variety welding helmets, the Digital Elite by Miller Electric is an all-purpose helmet that's made to last. While the welding clearness is not as good as other options in this cost range, if you're looking for a helmet that's feature-rich, comfortable and will make working long hours with it on an enjoyment, you may want to examine this helmet out.
Most importantly, the helmet supports four operative modes: weld, cut, grind, and x-mode. You can be sure that with this helmet in your arsenal, you will not need another one for any welding-related jobs.
The only small disadvantage to this helmet, in my opinion, is that for the price range, the welding clearness is not as crystal clear as some other designs.
So if you're searching for an excellent all-purpose welding helmet that's comfy and feature-rich, the Miller Electric Digital Elite ought to be on your radar.
12 September 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
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Love the digital controls.
16 September 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
17 February 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
3M Speedglas Black Welding Helmet 100 with Auto-Darkening Filter 100V- Shades 8-12, Model 07-0012-31BL
- Fully assembled welding helmet is ready to use
- Auto darkening filter (ADF) darkens instantly after detecting welding arc
- Three sensitivity settings on lens works for most types of welding
- Optical quality gives worker a good view of the work area
- Classic black helmet
Product Welding Helmet Description
To begin with, the helmet has enough shade settings to deal with all kinds of the stick and MIG welding, as well as the vast bulk of TIG. There is also a light setting, which is perfect for grinding work and general wear. Though it isn't advised, the light mode must also be dark adequate to protect your eyes from flash burn if the worst takes place and you forget to change back.
For the cost, the 3M Speedglas is a solid helmet with a good set of features. While it may have somewhat a narrow field of view and only two sensing units, the necessary level of quality and high auto-darkening systems, plus a myriad of other choices, more than offset that. It likewise has a quick adequate sensor to handle most of TIG processes, so if you do a lot of TIG work, this is a terrific option.
Also check out Metal Fabrication Methods & Techniques used in Melbourne
The auto darkening system on this helmet is also excellent. It's got three level of sensitivity settings, so you can tailor it to the work you have to do, and its shade changing time is impressive, an extremely low 0.1 milliseconds, which blows most helmets in this rate range away. Many helmets in this range run between 0.3 and 0.6 ms, which isn't quickly enough for a lot of TIG work, so if you know, you'll be doing a great deal of TIG, this is an excellent purchase.
To top it off, it's likewise got excellent battery life. The helmet was left in the dark for a week, and it only took an hour of solar power to get it working from entirely dead.
Regarding drawbacks, the helmet has a little viewing area. I didn't discover this to be an issue since it's not limiting for taking a look at your worksite. However, you do not get anywhere near the viewing location you 'd get on the Miller or the Lincoln helmets above.
4 December 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
The lens: Quick and Reliable arc detection with no failures to darken to date, 5 dark shades cover a wide range of amperage settings, sensitivity settings are cool but don't affect much, the delay settings are A POINTLESS FLAW.
A delay choice of 2 milliseconds or 4 milliseconds is POINTLESS. Both settings can leave you staring at metal glowing as bright as a light bulb inches from your eyes. This is my biggest gripe with the lens and why I would not buy it having known how much of a problem this would become.
A delay choice of 4 milliseconds or 50 milliseconds would better protect the users eyes from over heated metal and electrodes.
The mask itself is very light, it protrudes from the face more than desired, it is wider than necessary, and the head gear is abysmal.
The headgear is designed for easy set up but not to be comfortable or stay in place. There is also no latch to keep the mask up when not in front of the face. It will constantly fall back down in front of your face unless the knobs located at the temples are over tightened; in which case it is neither comfortable or can be swung down with the flick of the neck.
Conclusion: the uncomfortable and inconvenient headgear would be redeemed by the reliable and versatile lens save for one thing; the useless delay settings that expose a user's eyes to electrodes glowing with the intensity of a new star.
Seriously. A delay setting of half a second is all this helmet needs to justify the price tag.
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The helmet likewise just has two arc sensing units. It's not truly an issue, and quickly convenient if you tend to bond in conventional locations, however, each helmet we're reviewing at this cost has four sensing units as standard, which is apparently much better and more trustworthy.
WELDING HELMET FAQ
What is an auto-darkening helmet? – An auto darkening welding helmet uses a special lens, liquid crystals, light sensors, and electronics to change from a #3.5 tint (about what a pair of sunglasses has) to a #9-13 welding tint almost instantaneously. The transition time is usually listed as something like .0025 of a second, compared to a literal blink of your eye at .1 of a second. They were invented more than 30 years ago, and have been the industry standard for at least the past 20.
What are the advantages of an auto-darkening helmet? – An auto-darkening helmet allows you to see to position the electrode, or wire feed gun on your work without needing a hand to flip the helmet down before striking an arc. Many welders have perfected the art of flipping a fixed tint helmet down with just a quick nod of the head, but that still doesn’t work for all situations and welding positions. On top of that, since the tint is created electronically, it can be adjusted to better suit all lighting conditions and types of welding.
Are there any advantages to a fixed tint helmet? – There are still a few situations in which a fixed tint helmet may be preferable. If you are TIG welding at a low amperage you may find the arc isn’t bright enough to cause the shield to darken, or it may want to strobe if the brightness is close to the threshold of the helmet’s sensitivity. Also welding with an oxy-acetylene torch, or using a plasma cutter typically requires a #5 tint, lighter than most auto darkening helmets can provide, on top of the same sensor issue TIG sometimes has. There are now some pro helmets with “cut mode” specifically to address this.
What size lens do I need? – Most of the entry level helmets come with a lens of about 3 ½ inches across by 1 ¾ inches high. This is plenty big for most welding don in a shop, or done on a car directly in front of you. If you do a lot of under car work, or need to weld in awkward positions, like to install a roll cage, the larger view helmets will work much better. They typically feature a lens 3 ½ inches wide and more than 2 ½ inches high. For the ultimate viewing of your work the Save Phace helmets feature an auto darkening standard sized lens, set into a fixed tint #10 visor, for full 180° peripheral vision while welding.
How many sensors? – Welding helmets for most DIYers, hobbyists and pros who only occasionally weld feature 2 light sensors to know when to darken the lens. The really high end helmets typically feature 4 sensors to meet specific industrial regulations.
How long will the battery last? Is it replaceable? – It is hard to estimate how long the battery in any helmet will last. All the helmets Eastwood sells feature solar cells, as well as batteries. The solar cells provide the power to darken the filter when you are in the sun, or even with just the UV rays coming off of your welding. The lowest priced helmet we sell has a battery that will last for 3 years of constant welding, the higher end helmets are all rated for more than 5000 hours of continuous use. The batteries only discharge when the shield is initially darkened, so sitting on a shelf not being used they will last nearly forever. The batteries in the Eastwood helmets are also readily available and easily replaceable when the time comes. The Save Phace helmets use a 3v lithium battery – CR2450, which is also easily replaceable.
Can I use a magnifier lens? – Sure, the Eastwood and Save Phace helmets use fairly typical lenses, similar to many other welding helmets, so fitting magnifiers or replacement lenses is no problem.
Do all helmets feature adjustable tint? – Except for the most basic helmet we sell, all the other Eastwood helmets feature an adjustable tint that can be set between #9 and #13. The Save Phace Gen Y helmets can be adjusted from as low as #3 up to a #10 tint, while the Gen X is fixed at a #10 when dark.
Do any of these helmets feature grind mode? – The Save Phace helmets feature a fixed tint grind mode for use as a face shield with an angle grinder, or even for plasma cutting.
Are replacement lenses and protectors available? – Yes. Replacements are readily available at your local welding supply store.
Which helmets are suitable for TIG welding at low amperages? – Some auto-dim welding helmets may not be sensitive enough to dim correctly when plasma cutting or when welding at low amperages (under 80 amps). If you plan to do a lot of low amperage welding we’d suggest getting a high end helmet with the maximum settings and range of sensitivity. Some high end helmets feature a mode that is sensitive to the electromagnetic pulse, rather than the light specifically because of this.
What tint do these revert to when you stop welding? – All the auto darkening helmets we carry are a tint between #3 and #4 when they are in their non-dark mode, the equivalent of a pair of dark sunglasses.
HOW TO USE THE CONTROL SETTINGS OF YOUR WELDING HELMET
The control settings of auto darkening welding helmets allow welders to make adjustments regarding the light sensitivity and delay according to their personal preference and the needs of their welding projects.
This is most likely the reason why auto darkening welding helmets have almost completely replaced the passive helmets over time. They provide more flexibility to the user, by giving him the opportunity to manually control the functionality of the welding helmet.
High quality auto darkening welding helmets come with knob and switches that control the light sensitivity, time response and delay of auto darkening filter. This fact gives the ability to the welder to ideally adjust the usability of the helmet to the specific needs of each welding process.
The proper use of the control settings is a skill that the user should obtain in order to be able to adjust the welding helmet according to the process. In this guide, we provide information about how to use the control settings of your auto darkening welding helmet in order to enhance the effectiveness of your welding helmet.
What is the role of the control settings?
The main reason that the control of the auto darkening welding helmets exist is to add flexibility to the work of the welder, by allowing him to work with more than one shades and decide how fast or how slow to activate the auto darkening filter of the lens.
Passive welding helmets had only one feature, the dark shade of the lens that they came with which usually was shade number 10. As a result, the user couldn’t make any adjustments, except from using other shade lenses for more protection, such as lenses of shade 12.
Passive welding helmets are extremely effective when it comes to protecting the eyes of the welder, this is why they were used massively in almost all industries. However, as the designs and structures of welding helmets evolved, the need for more customization in the use of the helmet led to more advanced adjustment controls with more specific settings.
Using the adjustment control settings, the work of the welder became a lot easier and faster. The user is now able to adjust in great detail all the functionalities of the auto darkening welding helmet according to the specific need of his project, and this way enhance his precision.
In addition to the above, this level of automation offered the ability to work much faster and convenient compared to past years. The control settings of the helmet determine how the ADF of the lens will work, and this way the welder can focus solely on the project.
Setting properly the control settings of your welding helmet can be a challenging task, although you can get used to it after you practice for some time. There are many factors that determine how you are going to use them, such as the welding helmet model and the specifications of the welding project you are working on.