In a welding project, there might be a sudden thing that happens like a burning and blinding light. This accident can cause a feeling of hot sand filling the eye sockets.
The burning eye can create intense pain. The clawing of eyes might be possible.
This is an unfortunate event called arc flash. It can be very critical to protect the face and the eye during welding adequately.
You can avoid these unfortunate consequences by purchasing the proper welding helmet. There are many options for the best welding helmets available in the market.
There are many questions to answer like how the welding helmet adjusts to the sparks that start flying? Does the welding helmet have enough shade to handle the brightness, as well as darkness?
Can the welding helmet handle proper ventilation? How to discover the size of the viewing screen? What are the benefits of the welding helmet?
These welding helmets have their best features. You can read these reviews comparing features to know which welding helmet is best suited for you.
Best welding helmet comparison
Welding Helmet, Black, Lincoln 3350 Series
Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000
Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet
ESAB 0700000800 SENTINEL A50 Welding Helmet
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet with ClearLight Lens
List of the best welding helmet
1. Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
Lincoln Electric is a brand name that is trusted in the welding industry. Using the Lincoln Electric 3350 welding helmet can give you peace of mind that your face and eyes will be protected by the best protection available.
The 3350 welding helmets have a 12.5 square inches of the viewing area, which is the largest in its class. This great feature will be very helpful when you have a hard time seeing what you were welding.
You will be able to see your welding work like never before, with the optical clarity offered by this welding helmet. It provides shade levels between five to thirteen with 1/25,000 second lens switching speed.
The feature will protect your eyes in any condition. You will feel comfortable all day when wearing the X6 headgear with its balanced design that reduces pressure.
2. Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000
You can slim your budget with quality protection by spending on this Antra Welding helmet. The auto-darkening welding helmet is the best for the money.
Once you are getting to work, you do not have to worry about battery levels because ita has the solar-powered feature. You will feel very comfortable wearing this lightweight welding helmet for long periods.
It comes with variable shade levels from five to thirteen. This variable means you can work with any welding or in any light conditions.
The welding helmet features an interference suppression technology. This technology works to stop false triggering caused by light sources other than your welding.
This welding helmet has been known for its lifespan. It can exhibit screen flashes or electronics failures even after several months to a few years of proper use.
3. Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet
The Hobart 77056 has all the great features and a dependable welding helmet. The welding helmet is equipped with three arc sensors.
These arc sensors are created to control the auto-darkening functionality. To keep your eyes protected from the start of the flashing arc, this helmet has a class-leading LCD technology.
One great feature is the adjustable shade level from eight to thirteen. While welding, you will have an excellent low-light capability. However, you will get plenty of dark light for the brightest days.
The reaction time is 1/25,000 of a second.
The welding helmet has the capability to give pleasure to wear when the metal is heating up. It can keep your head cool along with ultralight design for the extra comfortable headgear.
You will get extremely comfortable wear even while you breathe, and your sweat will not be dripping into your viewing lens.
4. ESAB 0700000800 SENTINEL A50 Welding Helmet
The lens rating of this Halo-inspired Esab SENTINEL A50 has a 1-1-1-2 rating along with comfortable headgear. The clarity of the lens is so amazing that it looks like it is too light when welding.
You may underestimate the bright look, but it protects your eyes. When you purchase this welding helmet, there is a bag included.
The bigger front lens looks fantastic and fresh. It is easy to change the front lens.
The hood is durable and can withstand a slight beating while protecting the features.
You can touch the button for setting up the colored LED touchscreen with memory functions for different jobs. It is hidden inside the hood.
At the exterior, a grind button can make transitions between grinding and welding while keeping the hood on.
5. 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
This 3M Speedglas welding helmet has a viewing area of 12.11 square inches. With that measure, it has one of the largest field-of-views.
You can also widen your vision inside the welding helmet with level five shade filters. Inside the welding helmet, you can still feel the coolness with exhaust vents expelling the air from the helmet.
Shade from levels five to thirteen gives any amount of light that can be adjusted. It provides many awesome features for professional use.
6. Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet with ClearLight Lens
This Miller 281000 Digital Elite welding helmet is a grinding helmet, MIG, tremendous all-around lightweight. The optical clarity it offers is 1-1-1-2.
This welding helmet uses a lens called bright light that eliminates the green tint. The removal clears up visibility and brings in natural light.
Available in four modes: grind mode, cut mode, X-mode, and weld mode with each model has different shade variations.
The X-mode blocks direct sunlight from vision when welding. This model has better mode features compared to other helmets.
It is comfortable, and when the hood’s down, it is an excellent welding helmet. It comes with a three-year warranty.
7. Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology
This Jackson Safety BH3 helmet is designed for higher-level welders and equipped with excellent lens quality. It comes with a three-year warranty. This product has a 1-1-1-1 optical clarity.
You do not need a battery because it is a solar design. Its wide lens outshines any other hoods.
The Jackson Safety has a variable shade range from nine to thirteen that will help protect and shield the eyes from radiant energy during arc welding, MIG welding, and tig welding. For adapting to different task duration and environments, the welding helmet is equipped with sensitivity and delay.
The welding helmet meets ANSI/ISEA Z87.1+ standard for welding use and high mass impact protection, and DIN Plus requirements.
8. Instapark ADF Series GX-500S Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The Instapark ADF Series GX-500S lens is 3.63 inches wide by 1.65 inches tall, with variable shade adjustment from nine to thirteen, and resting shade of four.
It comes with the solar-powered feature, one-year warranty, replaceable lithium batteries, and a grind function.
The welding helmet is suitable for Stick (arc welding), MIG (Metal Inert Gas) TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas). Its construction is with GS, DIN-Geprüft, CE, ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, AS/NZS standards.
General consideration of welding helmet
If you are searching for an auto-darkening welding helmet and you work professionally as a welder, you have to choose carefully about which model to use. This is very important since you will be using it multiple times.
The hood’s outer shell of a welding helmet can differ in size, while many welding helmets own a large margin between the headgear adjustments. This large margin will help suit most head sizes.
You will feel the off-balance, and it would be harder to get into tight space if you wear a larger welding helmet. One small hood will not have an area or room to fit a respirator into.
Your welding helmet’s size will be determined by your specific work requirements.
Warranty that a brand can provide could be crucial. A various welding helmet has two- or three-year warranties. You may need to register your new welding helmet through a website or a form, so the welding helmet is covered.
A warranty will indicate how good the quality of the welding helmet. The length does not mean so much because you have to see reviews of the welding helmet that will give you the best insight.
Do not go for big cash for something with a year or less of warranty.
Make sure you go through the warranty to inspect whether the company will refund your money, repair the item, or replace it.
Read carefully for any excluded from the warranty, such as any parts of the product or certain types of repairs. You might find that you have to pay for labor costs during repairs.
The comfort level of your welding helmet is very crucial, especially if you are welding for a certain length of time.
The way a welding helmet feels is different and important from helmet to helmet based on the design, the weight, and the balance.
The welding helmet better provides a comfortable grip comfortably onto your head by its locking mechanism. You should not feel any excessive pressure while the helmet is sitting.
The welding helmet should also flip down and flip-up smoothly.
A welding helmet should stay in the required positions with the pivoting device between the hood and headgear working properly.
You have to know that this feature is probably one of the essential elements of welding helmets. Auto-darkening means that the welding helmet can automatically detect the light and adjust to block the light out.
When you are fabricating metal during welding, your eyes need shield and protection from the harmful UV light, and at the same time, you need to see for other tasks.
After finishing the welding practices, the sparks stop, and the lens will automatically return to the lightest setting. Now, you can see clearly without having to lift your welding helmet.
Only a few brands on the market are equipped with this function.
These are auto-darkening helmets that look very much like those drivers helmets used by the two-wheelers.
Their difference is darkening helmets reduce and cut-off the glare from the exposed light as well as harmful radiations which may have reached the eyes.
The auto-darkening welding helmet has a polarized lens to be darkened to allow only a tiny percentage of the light to get through. Wearing an auto-darkening helmet will not let one see anything.
An auto welding helmet works differently. It is darkened and adjusted at the start of the welding work at the level of exposed light. The welder sees the welding flame and continues with his work.
The auto-darkening welding helmets have gained immense popularity these days and are used as standard types of equipment for any welding projects. There is a wide variety of helmets a welder can choose from.
The two most popular ones are the battery-powered helmet and the solar-powered helmet. The former uses batteries while the latter makes use of solar energy.
People buy types of equipment like darkening helmets for various reasons. For some, it is just a hobby. Those are to be rarely used. For others, welding is a profession.
For such professional welders, it is advisable that they go for the best quality helmets and do not bother about the cost.
The features of the auto-darkening welding helmet.
4. ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 standard
What is an ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015 standard? These are a set of standards for safety face and eye products. These standards are regularly updated to make sure that the quality of different pieces of personal protective equipment, such as the welding helmet, continuously follows the global standards.
These sets of standards are updated regularly to make sure that innovations are incorporated and recognized into the list.
They provide help for welding operators in choosing the best welding helmets by giving tools such as “Selection Guide” and “Protector Markings.” Welders who opt to read these tools can recognize and evaluate the capabilities of the welding helmet.
5. Welding shade number
Welding shade numbers show the sign of the darkness of the glass when being used in the equipment. The darker the shade means, the higher the number is. Various operations or processes require a certain welding shade number. Welding shades range from eight to thirteen, cutting from five to eight, and for grinding, it is three.
6. Size of the viewing area
When wearing a welding helmet with a smaller viewing lens, you will feel a little bit of frustration to have your entire vision blocked. Some welding helmet has viewing ports of over twelve square inches.
Enlarging your viewing window, you will see your welding project in a whole new way. This will improve your welding project’s quality since it’s easier to make out the details. With this feature, it will also increase your productivity — when you can see clearly, it is much easier to work efficiently.
7. Lens Clarity
Other than the size of your viewing window of the welding helmet, the level of clarity is one of the essential factors to tell how well you can see. Usually, lenses of welding helmet are tested in four areas. After that, they are given a rating of one to three each, with a perfect score of 1/1/1/1.
Not many premium welding helmets can achieve this top score in clarity. Juts the Lincoln 3350 Welding Helmet that has perfect 1s across the board.
Purchasing a welding helmet is like an investment. A welding helmet is a tool that you want to use for many welding projects to come, without needing a replacement anytime soon or problems.
You would be very disappointed if you have expensive equipment that is failing at the wrong time. It would help if you chose a very durable welding helmet that will give you great service for a long time to come.
You must already know that reliability is very important when it comes to purchasing a welding helmet. You do not need a comfortable welding helmet or even a welding helmet, with all of it nifty gimmicks if reliability is a flaw.
If your welding helmet can not shield your eyes, it is a hazard to your health. Other than that, an unreliable lens will make it tough to see your work.
Those flashing different colors and changing levels of shade are just a distraction. You must purchase a welding helmet that can give you a proper view of your welding work. If not, you are risking your hands and fingers.
10. Grind mode
A few times, you require a welding helmet to protect your face. At the same time, it will not block out the light. Using a welding helmet is a great way to stop flying debris or dust when you are using a grinder.
In the grind mode, you have to keep your welding helmet in the lowest setting. The setting must be kept even when there may be bright sunlight or sparks.
Many welding helmets are equipped with a grind mode. The feature is useful even when you are not grinding. What you need is to see without lifting your welding helmet.
There should be a grind mode that is button activated on most welding helmets.
The price of a welding helmet is where each welder’s needs will be different. Of course, every welder requires and wants the best welding helmet for protection possible.
Other than that, the welding helmet should be the most comfortable one with all the whistles, features, gimmicks, and bells. Unfortunately, every welder has limited to a certain budget.
An excellent all-around welding helmet choice is usually packed with every necessary feature, including highly reliable, and has a modest price.
How to maintain your welding helmet
It would help if you began with the lens. The glass usually may be clogged with particles of any dust.
These lenses can get dirty too quickly. It is an excellent reason to try to clean it entirely so that you can see clearly.
You can use a soft brush to dust off the lens. Use clean tap water, or lens solution, or wipes to clean its surfaces.
Then, use a soft tissue to dry the lens. The welding helmet’s protective layers, that function to protect you against the UV and IR rays, are delicate enough. It would help if you cleaned them gently. The lens should be wiped out right after using it.
After inspecting the lens, it is important to examine all parts of the welding helmet or welding headgear. See carefully if there are parts that are defective or not working correctly or even not working at all because you have to replace them immediately. Otherwise, it will compromise your safety.
Look for dents or cracks of the welding helmet. Check for crack on the lens as it can break anytime and might injure you. Discover if any screws are missing, and replace them immediately. Loose screws can also cause injuries. Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws.
Store your helmet in a secure place and the proper way. Please choose a location to help prolong its lifespan. A solid, dry, stable, and covered area without any possibility of getting bruises or falling is fine.
Since the lens is very sensitive, place your welding helmet to protect the lens, and does not touch surfaces to stop it from getting scratched. Avoid keeping the welding helmet in a place where the temperature is very humid that will encourage the growth of bacteria.
Frequently ask question
How long do welding helmets last?
The lowest-priced welding helmet will last for at least 3 years of constant welding. The higher the price, usually are all rated for more than 5.000 hours of continuous use.
What are the advantages of an auto-darkening helmet?
An auto-darkening helmet lets the welder see when positioning the electrode or wiring feed gun during welding work. This practice is without flipping the helmet down. Even if many welders are very good at flipping a fixed tint helmet down, but that still does not work for all welding positions and welding situations. The welding helmet can be adjusted to suit better all types of welding and all types of lighting conditions.
What size lens do I need?
Many entry-level welding helmets are equipped with a lens of about 3 ½ inches across by one ¾ inch high. If you do a lot of awkward positions or under-car work, the larger view welding helmets will work much better. Larger view welding helmets feature a lens three ½ inches wide and more than two ½ inches high.
Which helmets are suitable for TIG welding at low amperages?
A few auto-dim welding helmets are not sensitive enough to dim correctly when welding at low amperages under 80 amps or when plasma cutting. For low amperage welding, purchase a high-end helmet with a maximum range of sensitivity and settings.