Last Updated on Nov 19, 2022
Whether you weld professionally or weld as a hobby, one thing is for sure: having eye and head protection is crucial. Having a good quality welding helmet that also works best for you is a necessity.
With so many welding helmets to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best fit for you and your needs. The good news is that there is a wide variety to choose from, and we’re here to help you make the right decision with our welding helmet reviews.
How to buy the right welding helmet
Welding can be a dangerous career. That’s why every welder needs the right welding helmet. It is one of the most important resources in welding as it contributes to your safety. However, with so many options in the market, it can be a bit complicated to choose one that goes in accordance with your preferences.
If you want to find the best welding helmet for you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll guide you through the different aspects that compose these resources and how you can choose the right option for your specific case.
What to look for when buying a welding helmet
There are different elements to take into account while buying a welding helmet. Here we’ll explain each one in detail. It’s not a good idea to purchase something based solely on reviews or the price.
- Auto-darkening or passive lenses: This feature prevents your eyes from receiving harm from the brightness produced by the action of welding. Most people would recommend you use a #10 shade. You should also take into account options that include UV and infrared coating. Passive lenses come in a single, fixed shade.
- Viewport: The viewport allows you to look at the welding area. It can be large or small depending on the brand or the model, and it can be a definitory aspect of its price. If you’re required to do detailed work, perhaps a large viewport could work better for you.
- Power: Welding helmets usually include an internal battery that functions thanks to a solar panel. Solar power is often the best option as they don’t require too much power to work properly. However, make sure that the option you choose can handle the work if you’re going to use it for long periods.
- Size: You can find small and lightweight welding helmets, but you can also find larger options that are relatively heavier. The prices can vary a lot, but it’s also a matter of preference.
- Fit: Make sure the welding helmet you buy fits your head. Most welding helmets are equipped with a universal size, but always make sure to read the website’s return policy if you’re buying it from an online store.
After taking into account these aspects, it should be easier for you to find the right welding helmet.
Beginner vs. Professional Welding helmet feature comparisons
A beginner’s welding helmet usually has simplified features and is affordable. Although it all comes down to your preferences and style, most options directed toward beginners tend to be easy to adjust and use and may have large viewing areas.
On the other hand, a professional welding helmet will provide you with more specific features depending on the type of job you’re doing. Plus, the viewing area tends to be smaller, which is not necessarily a disadvantage as it can help you complete projects that require a certain level of detail.
Auto-Darkening vs. Passive Lenses welding helmets
Passive lenses are equipped with protection against UV and infrared rays at a fixed rate. Hence, it is the same in all the helmets you can find out there. On the other hand, auto-darkening welding helmets can have several lens shades, which makes it a bit more complicated to choose the right option.
When it comes to passive lenses, many people prefer them because they provide the user with more optical clarity.
Still, it is important to note that passive lenses require you to reposition the torch from time to time. Auto-darkening lenses do not require this, as the whole process happens automatically. Furthermore, passive lenses tend to be more expensive than auto-darkening options.
Do pipeliners need special welding helmets?
We can say that what this question suggests is true. Certain welding helmets have been designed to be used by pipeliners. You can easily find them as pipe welding helmets, although there is another alternative to these options referred to was pancake hoods.
Either option works great depending on your preferences and the style you decide to wear. Furthermore, it is important to know that you’re required to perform strange movements while you’re working on the pipeline, which is why you need full and special protection from any potential accident. That’s why these pipe welding helmets exist.
The Top-Rated Welding Helmets
The following helmets have been widely considered as the best welding helmets available on the market today.
Lincoln Electric Viking 3350
The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 has been on the market since 2012 and is a long-time favorite of many welders. It is widely considered the best all-around welding helmet and is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other top brands.
With the 4C lens technology, you get a clear, true-color view of the arc and puddle with minimal eye strain. The 3350 has a 1/1/1/1 optical clarity rating, which means that it lacks the common imperfections that other lenses have, like blurriness and distortion, which enhances its brightness and performance.
The extra-large 12.5 square inch viewing lens is auto-darkening and provides a wide field of view which offers enhanced application versatility, increased productivity, and also has added safety benefits.
The 3350 is also comfortable and lightweight. The helmet distributes weight across 6 contact points to eliminate pressure on the head to ensure the best and most comfortable fit possible.
YesWelder M800HP Welding Helmet
The YesWelder M800HP is the most cost-efficient, high-quality welding helmet on the market.
This comfortable and adjustable helmet has a large front viewing area with 4 arc sensors which provide excellent visibility. It offers a true-color view and has an optical clarity rating of 1/1/1/2, allowing you to see as little green as possible while welding, thus reducing your eye strain.
3M Speedglass 9100XXi Welding Helmet
The 3M Speedglass 9100XXi is one of the best and most versatile helmets available on the market. It’s not only a welding helmet, but also has an additional hardhat component and built-in respirator in some versions.
The auto-on technology allows you to be able to quickly grab your welding helmet and get to work by turning to the last setting that you used.
The auto-darkening filter allows you to be able to see more realistic colors while you weld, allowing you to be more precise and efficient with your work. The 9100XXi has a large viewing area and side windows, providing added visibility and allowing you to be more aware of your surroundings.
The 9100XXi has been designed to provide maximum comfort to the wearer. It’s adjustable and comes with a padded headband and a swivel-mounted smooth ratchet system to help keep it secure.
Esab Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet
This stylish auto-darkening welding helmet provides excellent clarity with a true color lens that gives off more of a blue arc color. The A50 also has an internal touchscreen display that allows you to switch between 8 different memory settings and save settings for different processes, along with an external Shade 4 grind button.
This headgear is ergonomic and truly designed for comfort. The A50 has an infinitely adjustable five-point headgear system to help it contour to your head shape for maximum comfort.
Miller 281000 Digital Infinity Welding Helmet
The Miller Digital Infinity features 4 arc sensors and a patented “X” mode, which allows less light interference than other helmets, making it an ideal choice for welding outdoors in the sun or under complex lighting conditions.
The viewing area is 9.2 square inches, and the auto-darkening feature is top-of-the-line. Its digital controls, although internal, are very user-friendly with large buttons and additional settings.
Optrel Crystal 2.0 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
The Optrel Crystal 2.0 uses revolutionary crystal lens technology, allowing you to clearly and vividly see your weld pool.
This welding helmet comes with an autopilot feature, in which it will automatically brighten or dim the viewing window from shades 4 to 12 depending on the brightness of your arc.
Not only does it automatically adjust during the welding process, but the twilight feature also slowly and automatically adjusts the brightness after welding is completed, allowing your eyes to adjust more naturally to reduce eye strain. It also has a wide range of sensitivity adjustment settings, making it a good choice for welding outdoors in the daylight.
All sensors and controls are external, so you will not need to remove your gloves or helmet in order to adjust or grind. You can also purchase a respirator attachment that will fit in the helmet.
Hobart 770890 Inventor Welding Helmet
The Hobart 770890 welding helmet features a 9.3 square inch viewing screen with 4 sensors and a perfect optical clarity rating of 1/1/1/1. The color does have a green tint to it, but the clarity is excellent.
This helmet is great for long jobs because it is designed to be comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. It’s lightweight, has adjustable comfort settings, and has a padded headband.
The grind mode and controls are internal and analog, but the polyamide nylon helmet is very durable and reliable.
Things to Consider When Buying a Welding Helmet
These options are some of the best-rated, top-of-the-line welding helmets that are available on the market today, but it’s very important that you make the decision that is going to benefit you and your welding the most.
Some things that are important to take into consideration are:
- If you will be welding professionally or as a hobby
- The size of the viewing window and how it will affect your range of vision
- How long you will be wearing the helmet and how comfortable you will be during that time
- The optical class of the welding helmet
- The number of arc sensors so that you can know what to expect for eye protection
- The helmet power source and whether solar or battery-powered will be more convenient for you
- What safety standards your job requires and what safety standards the helmet has met
- The price of the helmet and what will be most cost-efficient for you