Welding is dangerous if you are not properly equipped for the job. Getting hurt on the job is easy, and recovery can take a long time. For this reason, you must have the best welding helmet as you work.
Welding helmet reviews are a great place to turn when looking for a helmet that will work for you. You want something that’s going to protect you from the sparks and flames that can quickly cause eye injuries and facial injuries.
The brightness of the flame can damage to your eyes. The ultraviolet and gamma rays that are admitted during the process can burn the surface layer of your eyes. When it comes to welding helmets, nothing but the best will do.
Our Top Welding Helmets
|Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet||9 x 9 x 12”||1 Pound||Our Review|
|M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 with Extra-Large Size Auto-Darkening Filter||12 x 11 x 11”||2.1 Pounds||Our Review|
|Miller Electric Elite Auto Darkening Welding Helmet||Plate Height 2x 2x 2.5 Inches, Plate with: 3 x 4/5 Inches Viewing Area 9 x 9” 9 x 9”||2.8 Pounds||Our Review|
|Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology||9.625” X9 X9 and 0.75 x 12.25”||2.1 Pounds||Our Review|
|Jackson Safety W40 Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet||15 x 15 x 15”||2 pounds||Our Review|
|Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Black Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology||12.5 x 10.5 x 10.5”||3.4 pounds||Our Review|
|iMeshbean Welding Hood Helmet Solar Auto Darkening Powered Mask||n/a||4 pounds||Our Review|
|Miller Electric Classic Series 8-12 Variable Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet||21 x 19.5 x 12”||2.1 pounds||Our Review|
|Wel-Bilt Variable-Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet||n/a||n/a||Our Review|
|Hobart Pro Variable Auto-Dark Helmet||9 x 9 x 13”||3 pounds||Our Review|
Best Welding Helmet Reviews
Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
It’s versatility and ability to offer superior protection are what make the Antra AH6-260-0000 one of the best welding helmets on the market. You can use this helmet for plasma as well as MIG, TIG, and ARC applications.
Although this is a welding helmet, it can also be used to protect you while you are doing grinding tasks. This helmet is designed to work well with other accessories like magnifying lenses and cheater lenses. It is completely adjustable to meet your needs.
- Wide 3.86×1.78 Inch Viewing Area
- Compatible with Multiple Accessories
- Adjustable Sensitivity Knob
- Works with Multiple Applications
- The Plastic That Holds the Headband to the Helmet Is Flimsy
- The Auto Darkening Feature Can Be Fickle
This is one of the more popular welding helmets on the market. It provides good protection and durability. However, some of the parts on the helmet are made from a cheaper plastic and may become damaged. There is also some complaints about the life of the battery, which has led to some people getting flash burns.
M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 with Extra-Large Size Auto-Darkening Filter
This helmet has a lot of features that make many consider it to be the best welding hood in its price range. Coming in at around $400, this unit features an auto darkening filter that allows it to transition from dark to light in one millisecond.
The helmet is designed to protect against UV and infrared radiation. Its optical quality allows the user to see their work area with precision. One of the things you are going to like about this helmet is its ergonomic design. It is comfortable to wear.
You will not feel like you are visually hampered thanks to the side windows. Now you can have complete peripheral field of vision.
- Two Adjustable Crown Straps
- Padded Front Headband
- Ergonomic Fit
- Large Knobs for Easy Adjustment
- Fits Almost All Head Sizes
- It’s Heavy
- Light to Dark Speed Slower Than Comparable Helmets
As a professional grade unit that is designed to protect your face from debris as well as visible light and ultraviolet light, it has a lot of functionality, multiple features, and is easy to use and control. Its ergonomic design makes it sit nicely on your head, but it’s weight can become a burden after a long day of welding.
Miller Electric Elite Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
When you are searching online for the top welding helmet, you are going to see the Miller Electric Elite Auto Darkening Welding Helmet pop up time and time again. This is because this helmet is the standard bearer for what an auto darkening welding helmet should be.
It is comfortable, it boast a large 9.2 in.² viewing area, and it has an incredibly sensitive fourth arc sensor. This is an all-around multipurpose helmet. You can use it to weld, cut, grind, and X mode.
This is a very durable model that is worth the price. It’s dual power source include solar power and a lithium battery. You will never have to worry about this unit powering down on you when you need it to work the most.
- Extremely Durable
- Comfortable Design
- Auto on and off
- Four Operation Modes
- Four Arc Sensors
- High Quality Digital Controls
- Wide Viewing Area
- The hood may come down unexpectedly
The products made by Miller, including this Miller Electric Digital Elite, is an unbelievable investment. You get a wide viewing area, multiple operating modes, and reliable sensors. While this is not a cheap unit, it is definitely the best welding mask for the money.
Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology
There are many who would argue that the Jackson Safety BH3 is the best welding helmet on the market. It is the gold standard for what a welding helmet should be.
Its value is seen in the fact that it has a five year warranty, and customers are always satisfied with the product. One of the unique features of the Jackson Safety helmet is that it is completely solar powered. There are three headgear adjustments, and so you can use it for any type of welding. It is designed to be comfortable and to be completely adjustable.
- Blue Tinted Lenses Provide High Quality Optical Rating
- Adjustable Sensitivity Auto Darkening Feature
- Built with Safety in Mind
- Multiple Headgear Adjustments
- Does Not Have a Grinding or a Torch Mode
- Does Not Have a Test/Safety Button
The Jackson helmet is an unbelievable product in its price range. It allows the user unparalleled visibility and protection. It is well-designed, and it is sturdy. The auto darkening features work well. On the downside, it is not an all-purpose helmet. It cannot be used for grinding, nor can it be used with a torch.
Jackson Safety W40 Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
This is another example of the high quality professional welding helmets that Jackson produces. The Jackson Safety helmet boast a 3.93×2.38 viewing area with multiple sensitivity and delay adjustments.
Four auto dimming sensors along with easy-to-use digital controls makes this one of the safest welding helmets on the market. This unit is compliant with all federal standards and is adaptable to various work environments.
- Compatible with Both HLX 100 and HSL 100 Shields
- Built to the High Jackson Standards
- Great Value for the Level of Features
- Can Be Used for MIG or TIG Welding
At the end of the day, you’re going to be able to see why this welder helmet is so loved. It is very comfortable and minimizes neck strain and fatigue. You can work for longer hours with less difficulty. The digital sensitivity and delay controls make it easy to change your settings to match your work environment. You do not have to worry about accidentally bumping a dial and then changing the setting, leading to injury.
Thanks to its four arc sensors and modes that are dedicated for both welding and grinding, you are guaranteed to be kept well protected regardless of the product or project you are working on.
Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Black Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology
The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 has one of the best auto darkening welding lens that you’re going to find on a helmet for this price range. It features superb optical clarity and one of the largest viewing areas in its class. It has unique pivot style headgear that provides comfort and optimal fit.
The helmet is solar powered, but it also has a battery that can easily be replaced. This guarantees that you do not run out of juice anytime while you are using the unit.
- Large Viewing Window
- Four Arc Sensors
- Dedicated Grinding Mode
- Helmet Stays in Place When You Lift It up
- Auto Darkening Six – 13 Shades
- Solar and Battery Power Options
- Very Heavy
- You Need to Reset Shade Settings between Grind and Weld Modes
- Does Not Hold up Well under High Temperatures
- Does Not Work Well Outdoors
This is a quality unit. It has one of the best auto darkening lens you would want to find in a product of this price range. The auto darkening controls are little bit different than what you would see on a standard helmet, and it does have some difficulties handling sunlight and extreme temperatures. Besides that, it is a good overall unit.
iMeshbean Welding Hood Helmet Solar Auto Darkening Powered Mask
This helmet is thought to be the best welding helmet for the money. It has a lot of value, it’s comfortable, it’s practical.
The variable shades that range from 9 to 13 are a great addition. Although the unit is solar powered, you have a lithium battery as a backup just in case. It is one of the best cheap welding helmets on the market, and it is a great place for beginners to start.
This unit is not as sturdy as some of the more expensive models that we have reviewed, but it’s low starting price makes up for some of these challenges.
- Easy to Use
- Unique Design
- Adjustments Are Unpredictable
- Dim Knob May Fall off
If you are just starting out and you want an inexpensive welding helmet that will allow you to do minor jobs around the house, then this is the product for you. This is not recommended for industrial jobs. It will provide adequate protection and is definitely worth it for the price.
Miller Electric Classic Series 8-12 Variable Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
Miller has earned its reputation as a company that can produce some awesome welding helmets. The Miller Electric Classic Series helmet definitely falls into this class. Its popularity alone is proof that it exceeds most people’s expectations.
The first thing you will notice about this helmet is that it sleek and elegant. It is not one of those cool welding hoods that are covered in unnecessary art and graphics. It’s simple, it’s elegant, and it was built with performance in mind.
It has a curvy appearance that helps to deflect sparks while welding. It will protect your neck as well as your respiratory system from fumes. It is designed to not put weight on your neck or on your shoulders. Its durable nylon construction makes it lightweight.
- Elegant yet Functional Design
- Superb Protection
- Multiple Power Sources
- Quick Response Time
- More Suited for Hobbyists Than for Professionals
This is a beautifully designed mask. It does not have all of the unique colors and angles that you may see on some so-called cool welding masks, but it is attractive to look at, and it is functional. Its lightweight means that you can use it for hours on end without feeling uncomfortable.
Wel-Bilt Variable-Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
This welding helmet has been used by people from novices all the way to professionals. It has a basic auto darkening feature that has a transition rate of 1/25000 of a second. Its headgear is completely adjustable, so regardless of your head size, it is going to fit right.
You are going to like the fact that it is completely solar powered. This means that you can work for extended periods of time without interruptions.
There variable shades from 9 to 13 allow you to adjust the sensitivity, depending on the project and environment you are working in. This is the best TIG welding helmet in its price range and can be used for ARC, MIG, flux, and TIG welding.
- Large Viewing Area
- You Do Not Have To Remove the Helmet to Adjust Delay and Sensitivity Levels
- An Inexpensive Welding Helmet That Can Be Used in Different Environments
- The Dark to Light Transition Is Slower Than in Other Helmets
- Some Parts Are Cheap and Break off Easily
At its price range, this is the best welding helmet for TIG. This is especially good for hobbyists and younger people. This is a good investment for someone who is just starting out learning how to weld.
Hobart Pro Variable Auto-Dark Helmet
The Hobart Pro Variable Auto-Dark Helmet is a technologically advanced and durable piece of headgear. It offers high performance and has a large viewing area of 3.82×2.36 inches. The large visibility allows you to be more efficient with your welding.
The helmet has independent arc sensors, which allow you to see the arc sparks even if you’re in a challenging welding position. This, along with the auto dark function, is guaranteed to keep you safe as you are working on various projects.
Many reviews say that this is the best welding helmet for TIG.
- Large Viewing Area
- Quick Switching Speed of 1/30000 of a Second
- Automatic Power on and off
- Four Arc Sensors
- The helmet may come down on you after you have raised it up
This is a nice helmet that guarantees accuracy even if you need to weld in awkward positions. It is a tool that is designed to provide you with protection while at the same time being comfortable. Since it is made from a durable polyamide material, it is strong yet professional looking.
Benefits of Using Auto Darkening Welding Helmets
All you need to do is talk to a welder and they will tell you what a blessing it is to be able to work with auto darkening welding helmets. You can get so much work done if you’re not wasting time flipping up your lens to adjust your vision for when you are not welding.
It may seem like a simple thing to do, but when you are flipping your lens up and down hundreds of times throughout the day, it becomes a real time-consuming pain.
Auto Darkening Helmets Maximize Production
Auto darkening welding helmets maximize welding production. When you have to flip your helmet up and down, you can lose your starting point, which will also waste time.
Darkening helmets have adjustments on the side that will help you get the best vision for the project you are working on and the environment that you are welding in.
Auto darkening helmets come in a wide range of qualities. You can purchase some that allow you to adjust the light sensitivity and the delay time. Auto darkening helmets can be used for TIG, MIG, and ARC welding.
A Comfortable Worker Is a Happy Worker
A lot of companies are switching to auto darkening welding helmets because they realize that they increase worker’s productivity. When a welder is more comfortable, they are less likely to slow down and get distracted. Workers have a higher sense of well-being when using auto darkening welding helmets.
Auto darkening welding helmets are more expensive than their traditional counterparts. However, this is one of those investments that pay off in the long run.
Studies have shown that auto darkening technology reduces neck strain in welders. This is because “helmet nodding” is removed. Without this problem, welders can get into tighter, cramped spaces with full protection.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Welding Helmet
Buying a nice pro solar auto darkening welding helmet is an investment. However, getting a high quality welding helmet is the best investment you can make as a welder. It not only improves the quality of your work, but it protects your health and your vision. Here are some things that you should look for when selecting an auto darkening welding helmet.
The Size of Your Lens
On your standard helmet, your lens is going to be 2” x 4”. And that’s okay if you are going to be in a standard work environment. But most welding jobs require you to be in confined spaces, welding at uncomfortable angles. So you need all the visibility you can muster. The larger the viewing lenses, the better.
The weight of the helmet is an important factor. You are going to be wearing your solar powered auto darkening welding helmet for up to 12 hours every day. This is going to take a toll on your neck, even if you are an experienced welder.
Just a few grams of weight difference can drastically reduce the pain and fatigue you feel and allow you to focus on the job you need to get done.
If the helmet you are wearing is not comfortable, you’re going to have a very rough workday. What is worse, you might accidentally remove it while working, putting yourself at risk. Thankfully, headgear comfort is a factor that most companies look at when designing newer models of welding helmets.
It goes without saying that you want your lens to be as clear as possible. Lens clarity is defined by accuracy of vision, consistent shade, angular dependence, and diffusion of light. A perfect rating is 1/1/1/1.
Unfortunately, most manufacturers have not been able to attain this. But at the end of the day, the lens does not need to be perfectly clear, but it should be clear enough to not obstruct your work.
This is another important factor to consider. The hood you buy should have the right shade range for the type of work you’re doing.
When looking for a custom auto darkening welding helmet, try to find one that also has a grind and torch mode. This way, you can do your entire project without needing to take your helmet off.
It doesn’t matter how well your auto darkening helmet works if it does not work quick enough. Your eyes are protected only when your lens switches from dark to light as soon as the arc is detected.
The quicker, the better. Your best bet is something that has at least 1/1000 of a second reaction time.
Easy to Use Controls
Your helmet will either have digital or analog controls. The type of control that is best for you has a lot to do with your preference.
Some people think that analog controls are easier, but they also acknowledge that you have to fiddle around with them to get the right setting.
Other things to consider are internal controls versus external controls. Internal controls require you to take off your helmet to access them. But you can actually see what you are adjusting. External controls are easier to adjust, but if you do not take off your hood, all of your adjustments must be done by touch.
Number of Arc Sensors
This is very important. The more arc sensors your solar auto darkening welding helmet has, the better it is going to perform. Arc sensors are what stop you from getting flashed. Most helmets have between two and four sensors.
The number of sensors you will need is going to vary based on the work that you do. If you are in an environment that does not have a lot of obstructions, then two should be good enough. However, if you’re in a cramped space with angles that might obstruct the sensor, then it is better to have three or four arc sensors.
Solar power helmets are great if you do not want to have to fiddle with batteries. The downside is that you will have to charge it in the sun before you use it for the first time.
Battery helmets can be used right out of the box. Just make sure that you have an extra pair of batteries on hand so that you don’t have to interrupt your work when the battery power gets low.
The best option is a battery with solar assist. If the batteries run out, you do not have to worry because there is solar power to back you up.
Welding Helmets Tips
So you have found the welding helmet of your dreams and you are working with it every day of the week. However, if you don’t take the time to maintain your helmet, it may get damaged sooner than you think. To avoid making another expensive investment in a new helmet or repair parts, take a look at some of the following welding helmet tips.
Only Clean the Helmet with Recommended Products
Do Frequent Maintenance Checks
Replace Damaged Parts
Protect Your Helmet
Purchase Spare Parts
Welding Helmets FAQ
Q: Is There Any Special Way That I Should Store My Helmet?
Keep your helmet away from excessive heat or moisture. Store it in temperatures between 14°F and 120°F. Store it in a location where it will not be prone to falling or to impact. Many helmets come with a duffel bag specially designed to keep them safe.
Q: How Long Will My Battery Last, and Can I Replace It?
It is difficult to determine exactly how long a battery in a helmet will last. Batteries in helmets that are backed up by solar power will last longer than helmets that simply rely on the battery power. Most helmets are slated to have a battery life of at least 5,000 hours of continuous use. Since the batteries only discharge to darken the shield, if the helmet is sitting on a shelf and not being used, the battery will last indefinitely.
Q: Is There an Ideal Lens Size for My Welding Helmet?
Most welding helmets have a dimension of 3.5 x 1.5”. However, if you are doing under car welding or other types of welding that will require you to be at odd angles, then it is recommended that you get a larger welding lens. The larger your welding lens, the more flexibility you will have when working.
Q: Are All Welding Helmets Appropriate for Grinding?
No. Certain helmets are designed to provide protection while you are grinding. These helmets will specifically say that they have a grind mode that activates when you’re using an angular grinder. Other helmets are specifically designed to shield your face when plasma cutting. Make sure that the helmet you purchase is one that suits all of your needs in the best possible way.
Q: Is the Most Expensive Helmet Always the Best One?
No. You can purchase an expensive helmet that does not meet your needs or that does not have features that less expensive models do. For this reason, it is good to do a diligent review of the helmet you are considering to make sure that it matches your needs.
You’ve done the research and now it’s time for you to make a decision. Which welding helmet are you going to buy?
As you can see, there is a wide range as far as features and prices go. Some helmets will protect you while you are using a torch and while you are grinding. Some helmets have digital controls, whereas others have analog controls.
Not every helmet is right for every work environment. If you’re working in a standard environment with very little obstruction, then you might be okay with a helmet that has a smaller lens area. However, if you are working in an area with a lot of obstructions, the larger the lens area, the better.
We have reviewed products produced by different brands. One brand that stands out throughout all of our reviews is Miller. Every product that they make is high quality. But the other brands we have reviewed produce a nice product as well.
The next question you have to answer is, where would you buy your welding helmet? There are some brick-and-mortar stores where you can buy a helmet, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, in our experience, buying online is the better option.
When you purchase a welding helmet online, you are able to read reviews, do side-by-side comparisons, and have a wider selection to choose from.
You read our reviews, you’ve done your due diligence, and now it’s time for you to buy. If you make the right choice in welding helmets, you will have something that will last you for decades. It will be a trusted friend that will protect you and your eyes regardless of the conditions you are working in.