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25 Hours of Research
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Our Score: 94/100
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Our Score: 90/100
Our Score: 88/100
Our Score: 88/100
Buying a New Welding Helmet?
Let’s face it, as a welder, you want to do just that: weld. Welding is an artistic trade that needs to be practiced using the best available equipment. As light radiation is one of the most dangerous elements of welding, there is no other equipment that is more important to find and utilize than the right welding helmet to fit your needs. This can make searching for the best option seem overwhelming. Fear not, good welder, help is on the way!
Taking all factors into consideration, here are the top-rated welding helmets that meet some, if not all, of the criteria you are looking for. If you are a novice welder, we recommend reading our reviews of best welders for beginners.
Now, while welding helmets have either low, mid or high-range price points, there is an option for every welder. Let’s take a look at these welding helmets, and you can decide which is the best fit for your welding job!
Best Welding Helmet Under $100 Reviews
The overall best welding helmet is the Black 3350 Series Welding Helmet made by Lincoln Electric.
Most users find this welding helmet fits the necessary criteria needed for successful and safe welding.
Though the price is in the high-range, the features, options, and specifications that make this welding helmet the best overall are indisputable.
This helmet has a universal fit, and is a medium 3.2lb size. It also includes an auto-darkening lens shade ranging between 5 – 13. The viewing area size is 3.74 inches x 3.34 inches. As it is an auto-darkening lens, it comes with four arc sensors, and reaction speed is 1/25,000 of a second. While it is powered by solar energy, it comes with a lithium metal battery needed to power the solar cells for charging.
The manufacturer includes a 3 year limited warranty on this helmet. This helmet includes a bag, bandana, extra lenses, and manufacturer stickers. The additional warranty and accessories included with this welding shield is one of the top reasons to select this welding helmet.
While some users find the universal fit of this welding helmet does not fit correctly, most users insist the helmet fits properly and comfortably. The common consensus of this welding helmet includes this helmet’s durability, quality, and controllability. Users find this helmet can withstand the elements of welding with little or no deteriorating. Users also benefit from being able to control the exact shade they need with the available control knobs. While some users question if this welding helmet is worth the money, users who have tried this helmet agree that it is when considering the specifications and additional accessories included.
Things We Liked About Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet
Things We Didn't Like About Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet
When it comes to getting the most for your money, you have to look at the Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, AH6-260-000, by Antra.
This welding helmet stands out as the Best Welding Helmet Under $100 as it affordable and practical.
This welding helmet is extremely lightweight, weighing only 1lb. It features a control knob for controlling sensitivity and delay. It contains a 3.86-inch x 1.73-inch viewing area. The auto-darkening reaction time is 1/25,000 of a second. As it is an auto-darkening helmet, it features 4 sensors. Additionally, the lens shade variables are 4/5-9/9-13.
While it is powered by solar energy, it comes with a lithium metal battery needed to power the solar cells for charging.
Included with this helmet is a user manual, 6 exterior lenses and 1 interior lens cover.
Overhead welding not recommended due to the thin material the helmet is made of, however most users agree that this welding helmet is what you would need for everyday welding. Users also agree that, for the money, you can buy two to have a backup in case something happens to one.
Additionally, if you weld in more than one location (for example: if you weld as a hobby at home, and weld as a profession at work), you can have one helmet at each location. With the amount of replacement lenses included, users agree that this welding helmet is the best for the money.
Few users have mentioned that the battery light indicator has seemingly had issues; however, users have suggested that a one-time replacement of the lithium metal battery fixes this issue. Most all users agree that the auto-darkening feature is the best they have seen in welding helmets, especially at this price point.
Things We Liked About Antra Welding Helmet ah6-260-0000
Things We Didn't Like About Antra Welding Helmet ah6-260-0000
Wide view welding helmets are can make your welding job become less difficult, and the TGR Panoramic 180 View Welding Helmet is the best option for it.
With a higher price point, this wide view welding helmet has all the features for a successful weld.
The TGR Panoramic 180 View welding helmet is solar powered and auto-darkening. With four arc sensors equipped with adjustable sensitivity and delay controls, the reaction time is just 1/10,000 of a second. It features an external darkening knob shade from a lens range of 4 – 10, 8 – 12, or light shade #3. What makes this welding helmet the best wide view welding helmet is the large viewing area of 4.53 inches x 3.35 inches.
The wide view lens creates a clear and bright area for a clear weld. The helmet has an adjustable fit for your comfort and stability, allowing you to weld for longer periods of time without fatigue.
If you are concerned about damaging the wide lenses, the helmet comes with two large replacement front lenses and one set of small interior lenses.
Most users recommend this product as it gives them a clear welding view, in addition to peripheral view of the world around them, especially for car welding. Users also recommend its lightweight size of just 2.5lbs.
Most users agree that grinding with this welding helmet warrants the risk of damaging the lens, as the lens is so large and exposed; therefore, this helmet should be intended for heat welding only.
Things We Liked About TGR Panoramic 180 View Welding Helmet
Things We Didn't Like About TGR Panoramic 180 View Welding Helmet
The Sentinel A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet made by ESAB is a stylish and ergonomic design with a high price point.
This welding helmet includes a large viewing window, auto-darkening features, and durable exterior.
With a slightly heavier weight of 4.25lbs, the Sentinel A50 makes up for it in comfort. With adjustable 5-point headgear, comfort and stability are both exceeded with this welding helmet. Additionally, the helmet is made out of high impact resistant nylon, which gives it longevity and durability.
The large viewing window is 3.93 inches x 2.36 inches with auto-darkening lens range from 5 – 13. It also includes a color touch screen control panel equipped with 8 memory settings; perfect for those various welding jobs!
Included with this helmet are 3 additional outer and inner lenses.
Most users agree that the most prominent feature of this helmet is its design. While the design is easy on the eyes, it is also a productive design, giving welders additional head movement than other traditional welding helmets. In addition to the helmets design and comfort, the helmets lens clarity is the next best thing.
While some users have had issues with the curved lens causing a glare or a fisheye effect, users agree that it is just a feature you will become acquired to.
Things We Liked About ESAB Sentinel a50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Things We Didn't Like About ESAB Sentinel a50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
This helmet features a viewing lens area of 3.86 inches x 1.73 inches, adjustable lens range of 4 – 9/9 – 13, and adjustable sensitivity knobs. Auto darkening reaction time is 1/25,000 of a second. This helmet also includes 4 premium arc sensors for adjusting light accordingly.
While it is powered by solar energy, it comes with a lithium metal battery needed to power the solar cells for charging. Also included with the welding helmet are one pair of 16” gloves, as well as an extra set of interior and exterior lens covers.
Some users have had trouble with the welding helmet staying in the upright position. However, as it is an adjustable fit helmet, users have agreed that you can adjust the headband and helmet attachments in order to provide a more static helmet in the upright position.
The top feature of this welding helmet across the board includes the large viewing area, clarity, and comfort.
With the affordability of this welding helmet, you can easily justify purchasing two to keep on hand at all times. This is certainly a contender for the Best Welding Helmet Under $100
Things We Liked About Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet Adf-206s
Things We Didn't Like About Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet Adf-206s
It includes a variable shade lens range of 9 – 13, a wide viewing area at 3.93 inches x 2.36 inches, sensitivity and delay controls, and 4 auto dimming sensors for auto darkening.
This welding helmet is battery-powered with 1 lithium ion battery included.
Users agree that shade selection is easy and effective. In addition to the ease of shade selection, this helmet is also an adjustable fit, and users find it is both comfortable and stable while welding. Users who feel it is not a proper fit have not utilized the 4-height adjustment pin included with this helmet for proper fitting. This helmet also weighs an accommodating 2lbs. The helmet material is nylon, which gives welders the option to both weld and grind.
This welding helmet locks in place, whether in up or down position. It is also a smaller hood design, which gives welders the option to maneuver into tighter spaces that a larger mask would not allow.
Side coverage for your ears is moderate with this helmet, but users agree that a welding cap will do the trick.
Things We Liked About Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Things We Didn't Like About Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The reaction time of this helmet is 1/10,000 of a second. You can select various shade ranges. Light range is 3, and dark ranges are 5, 8, and 9 – 13. This helmet contains 3 sensors that are activated when an arc is struck. The helmet automatically returns to the light shade of 3 when the weld is complete in about 40 – 250 milliseconds.
This welding helmet also includes exhaust vents to remove exhaled air and reduce heat, humidity and fogging. Additionally, this helmet includes two lithium batteries, which has a lifespan of 2,800 hours.
To continue with the many features of this welding helmet, this helmet is also an adjustable fit. There are two adjustable crown straps, a padded front headband, ratchet system for tightening, nine different snap adjustment helmet angles, and large knobs for adjusting while wearing padded gloves. This helmet has all the features you would look for. To top it off, it is an extremely light 1.37lbs.
Some users have described this helmet as letting light and heat into the sides of the helmet, creating discomfort or burns. Users have agreed that additional leather spatter bibs remedy this issue.
Things We Liked About 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
Things We Didn't Like About 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
It also includes a large viewing area of 3.93 inches x 2.36 inches. Variable darkening shade ranges from 9 – 13, and this helmet includes 4 auto-dimming sensors and easy-to-use digital controls.
The helmet material is nylon, which gives welders the option to both weld and grind. It has a grinding mode and five shade settings. Additionally, it is a comfortable material with a universal fit. This welding helmet is battery-powered with 1 lithium ion battery included.
Users agree that the auto-darkening feature is top-of-the-line with exceptional optical clarity. Users also agree that the green weld tint is much clearer and a more appealing color than the amber color with some welding masks. Welders also enjoy the lightweight comfort of this welding helmet.
The downside to this helmet is the difficulty of replacing the lens. Instead of popping the lens out like in other welding helmets, you have to remove the darkening element of this helmet in order to replace the helmet. While it is not a large downside, it does create added difficulty and take additional time for welders.
Things We Liked About Jackson Safety Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet (46101)
Things We Didn't Like About Jackson Safety Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet (46101)
This auto darkening welding helmet includes 4 arc sensors for successful auto darkening reaction time. Additionally, the shade control is adjustable, as well as the fit of the welding helmet. This welding helmet includes a five-point adjustable fit.
The viewing area is a moderate 3.78 inches x 2.05 inches. This welding helmet is also available in grind mode, so that you can grind and weld using this welding helmet.
To better care for your helmet, the inner sweatband is both removable and washable.
While this welding helmet is powered by solar energy, it comes with a lithium metal battery needed to power the solar cells for charging.
This welding helmet weighs a light 1.8lbs. There are no included accessories, such as replacement lenses. However, to help ease your mind of this purchase, the manufacturer also includes a 2-year warranty.
Things We Liked About Metal Man atec8735sgc by Techno Skull
Things We Didn't Like About Metal Man atec8735sgc by Techno Skull
Welding Helmet Buyer’s Guide
While safety is most important, you also have to consider comfort, price, fit, and effectiveness. This makes for endless options, and how are you supposed to siphon through all that information? To help narrow your options, here are some of the most important features to consider when selecting your next welding helmet, as well as a selection of products that meet these criteria to choose from.
Which are the Most Important Specifications?
There are many specifications that need to be considered when choosing a welding mask.
Safety should always be a priority, especially safety from light radiation. Depending on your type of welding, you will need to verify the lens shade of the welder’s helmet to protect against light radiation. The protection of light radiation also includes auto-darkening and reaction time of your auto-darkening welding mask to ensure that your eyes are immediately protected against light radiation.
If choosing a fixed-shade welding helmet, you need to ensure your helmet meets the requirement of the welding job you are performing. For example, dark range for welding is any shade level greater than 5.
Viewing Area is vitally important, as you need to choose a helmet with a viewing area size that best fits your type of welding. Depending on your type of welding, you may need a large viewing area.
Size and Weight of helmet also needs to be considered when choosing your welding shield, as an improper fit could lead to discomfort and/or injury.
Auto Darkening & Reaction Time of an auto-darkening helmet is additionally important, as you need the welding helmet you choose to provide adequate eye protection from light radiation.
Lastly, face and ear protection from heat and flying arcs is equally as important. Welding helmets with proper face and ear protection can benefit your weld, as well as alleviate your weld time.
Lens Type & The Sensors
You will want a helmet that contains a lens shade required for the type of welding you are doing. Lens shade protects your eyes from light radiation. Dark shade range should be anywhere ranging from 5 – 13+; light shade range is 3/4 or less.
A helmet with adequate sensors to detect the change in light will adjust the lens shade to the appropriate level of protection, so long as you are using a helmet with an auto-darkening lens. Auto-darkening helmets should contain anywhere from two to four sensors for adequate adjusting. These sensors detect the arc from which the weld is being emitted and adjusts the light accordingly. This results in proper eye protection from your weld against light radiation.
A fixed shade lens is a welder’s helmet that does not have auto-darkening capabilities. This lens range will have to be set prior to welding. Here are the best lenses.
Auto Darkening & Reaction Time
An auto-darkening welding helmet will automatically adjust the lens according to the amount of light being emitted based on the light reading from the sensors.
Reaction time of the welder mask is determined by how fast the lens adjusts to the change in light. For example, some welding helmets adjust in 1/3,600 of a second, whereas newer models can react up to 1/250,000 of a second! The higher the reaction speed, the more safe and protective the helmet is from light radiation.
When choosing an auto-darkening welding helmet, make sure the helmet contains between two to four sensors for detecting light. These sensors will produce optimal reaction time for your protection against light radiation.
Welding helmets with an adjustable fit will contain at least one strap to help the helmet fit correctly to your head. Some helmets may contain more than one strap. These straps may be chin or crown straps and will adjust accordingly to fit your head shape.
This feature with the proper fitting will help create comfort and prevent injury, as well as prevent fatigue. An improperly sized helmet can cause serious strain on the neck and back, resulting in injury, poor weld performance, and/or abrupt fatigue.
The alternative to an adjustable fit helmet is a universal fit helmet, which is a one-size-fits-all helmet. This sizing option may be less comfortable and potentially less safe.
Knob Placement & Size
Welding hoods contain either internal or external knobs for adjusting lens shade, sensitivity, light, and/or fit.
Internal knobs are adjusted to the correct setting prior to using. Once the helmet is on, it typically has to be taken off to adjust internal knobs.
External knobs can be adjusted after putting on, depending on knob size.
The larger the knob size, the easier to turn while wearing thick padded gloves, whereas wearing thinner safety gloves more easily turns smaller knob sizes.
Extra Padding for Comfort
Extra padding will provide comfort as well as stability to reduce the chance of injury.
Welding helmets with extra padding around the chin and the sides will yield the most comfort and stability. The smallest amount of extra padding in any of these areas will provide additional comfort. Additionally, extra padding can help with comfort to create a better weld.
Extra padding can also help prevent fatigue. An uncomfortable helmet with insufficient padding being worn for long welding sessions can result in rapid fatigue and potential injury.
Battery Power Type
Welding helmets are offered in both battery-powered and solar-powered. The type you choose depends on the type of welding you will be doing.
For example, if you are welding outside, you may want to choose the solar-powered option, as the helmet will be powered through solar energy as it is being used. If you are welding indoors, you may want to choose the battery-powered option, as you do not have to wait for solar energy to charge the helmet prior to use. However, the battery life of solar-powered cells is long enough to weld indoors.
Additionally, you may find a welding helmet that is also powered through the arcs that are produced by welding.
Caring for your Welding Helmet
Proper care of your welding helmet is the most important practice of maintaining a safe, effective, and reliable welding helmet.
The welding helmet you choose will come with a user’s manual to include proper cleaning procedures and products for best use. In the event you do not have the user’s manual, check the manufacturer’s website for this information. In addition to the user’s manual and manufacturer’s website, online forums are an additional resource to utilize for optimal life expectancy.
Cleaning the lens needs to be a delicate process not intended to damage the protection of the lens. Additionally, the lens should be wiped down after each use to maintain a safe and effective welding shield. Try to refrain from vigorous scrubbing or rubbing of the lenses, as this can damage or weaken the light protection element.
Check your helmet’s accessories. Any accessory not working properly, such as knobs, straps, etc. will need to be replaced. Properly addressing loose straps are not only necessary for caring for your welding helmet, but it is also crucial in preventing injury. A loose strap can cause serious eye or head injury if not treated correctly.
Check your helmet’s screws to ensure there are not any missing screws. Missing screws can potentially result in injury as well.
Store your helmet in a safe place to protect the lens from scratches and the helmet from dents. A location with a low risk of falling, dents, or scratches is optimal for storing your welding helmet.
1. Are cheap welding helmets any good?
While these helmets offer rugged protection at an affordable price, they do have a few disadvantages. As a result of these concerns, many welders switch to auto-darkening helmets with continuously variable controls that allow the shade to be adjusted from light to dark and back again.
2. Are more expensive welding helmets better?
They asserted that more expensive welding helmets are generally heavier and fit the head more comfortably. They did not, however, exhibit significant variations throughout the welding process. My friend, a professional welder, has been wearing a welding helmet that does not auto-darken.
3. Do welding helmets make a difference?
Many welders discover that investing a little more in their helmets improves their comfort and overall welding ability while also providing increased protection. Having said that, welding helmets are available in a range of price points and are suitable for a range of different applications.
4. What type of welding helmet should I get?
The more lens shapes your welding helmet has, the more options you have for customization. For example, if you want to begin by grinding or cutting metal, a 9-13 shade is recommended, but some helmets include a 6-13 shade with grinding modes, allowing you to work without turning off your helmet.
5. How many sensors should a welding helmet have?
Two sensors should be sufficient in most cases, but additional sensors can help if you do a lot of out-of-position welding, for example. Magnification lenses or "cheaters" may be included in welding helmets. You can either purchase lenses that are attached to your helmet or wear corrective lenses beneath your helmet.