Whether you weld professionally or as a hobbyist, a welding helmet is a compulsory safety gear for protecting your eyes and face during welding. Face and eye injuries are the most types of injuries due to intense light and radiation emitted during welding. Many of these injuries are mainly due to using poorly designed helmets that allow sparks to enter, poor visibility, arc flash, or poorly fitting helmets. Welding helmets come in different forms from fixed shade and auto-darkening to solar powered and battery powered etc.
As a general rule of thumb, the helmet should be lightweight, so it doesn’t cause neck strain and fatigue. The best welding helmet should accommodate the specific requirements of the task at hand, and it should be fitted with a filter that is ideal for your type of welding. Generally, welding helmets are worn over safety glasses or welding goggles for the best protection and to make your job more enjoyable.
Comparison Table for the Best Welding HelmetsTable could not be displayed.
1. Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
The 3350 series is manufactured by Lincoln Electric, one of the most trusted brands in welding. It offers perfect optical clarity, which makes your work more enjoyable and ensures better productivity and quality work. So, if you need a helmet that will give you peace of mind knowing that you have the best protection, then this helmet is a worthy choice.
Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series Highlights
- Optical class rating 1/1/1/1: It is safe to say that this helmet is top of the range welding hoods for exceptional optical clarity and color vision. On top of this, this helmet offers a significantly large viewing area in its class at 3.74″ x 3.34″. You’ll appreciate these features if you’ve had problems trying to see your welds, and you’ll be able to work like never before.
- Outstanding lens shade: Boasting of 4C lens technology, this helmet delivers natural color, which helps to increase visibility and improves the weld pool sight. That way, you’ll be able to see what is happening during the welds. It also features adjustable variable controls, covering shades from 5-13 to suit all conditions. There is also a grind mode, which is necessary for weld preparation and clean-up.
- Impressive lens switching speed: This helmet features a record 1/25,000 sec switching speed, which is ideal for a variety of welding applications, including MIG, TIG, and stick welding. It also comes with four arc sensors that help to darken the lens appropriately during welding. It is solar-powered, which saves you the additional costs of batteries and is also great for the environment.
- Balanced design: The 3350 series keeps you comfortable all day long with its balanced design that reduces neck tension and pressure. Besides, at only 3.2 pounds, this product is quite lightweight and very easy to handle, and a stylish carry bag is included. The helmet also has good ventilation to keep the harmful gases and fumes away from the operator.
- Great optical clarity
- The helmet features a balanced and comfortable design.
- A backpack is provided.
- There is no distortion, lighter or darker spots.
- Great for different work environments.
- The price is not for budget hobbyists.
- The hinge system could be better.
If you have had a difficult time trying to see the weld area, this welding hood offers a large viewing area so you can rest assured that it will deliver the best clarity, and you’ll have total control during your weld. It is a fairly expensive helmet, but it will deliver more than you paid for.
2. ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50
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Every welding operation needs proper protective gear to get the job done, and when it comes to your helmet, the ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 is worn by the best. This helmet offers a bit of style, and it has made full use of available technology to ensure that it offers superior comfort and user-friendly operation that will amaze you to the core.
Features of ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50
- Ergonomic revolutionary shell design: ESAB has crafted this helmet from high impact resistance nylon to make it more tough and stable. Also, the low-profile design with central pivot points helps to ensure maximum head clearance while the helmet is flipped in an upward position while its ergonomic shell design provides maximum comfort and balance. The curved design is also designed to maximize head coverage and also to avoid collisions while working.
- Color touch-screen control panel: The control panel of this helmet has eight separate settings (shade 5 -13) with a backlit display that enables you to read even in low light. The touch screen is colored, and it also has an externally activated grind button (shade 4) so that you don’t have to lift the helmet to switch to grind mode. Additionally, the helmet is easy to use, and you can easily operate it even without the user manual.
- Impressive optical rating: Sentinel A50 provides an auto darkening optical class rating of 1/1/1/2 that makes everything vivid and clear. The helmet is among the best in vision accuracy, diffusion of light, and luminous transmittance. The only part it tends to struggle is angle dependence, as depicted by the last class (2). This means that you are likely to uneven shading from some angles, but it is usually within the accepted levels.
- Exceptional viewing area: With a viewing area of 3.93 X 2.36 inches, ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 has a considerably large view that maximizes clarity and vision. You can also look sideways very easily, especially for close work like welding in cabinets, inside cars, and machinery. The helmet provides an incredible field of vision, so you’ll have a clear view from multiple angles during your work.
- both vertical and horizontal views.
- It is designed to offer ultimate comfort.
- The color is great.
- The grid mode button is on the exterior do you don’t have to remove the helmet when changing the mode.
- Handy eight separate memory settings for ease of use.
- It may be slightly uncomfortable to wear all day long due to the large viewing screen.
- The lenses tend to scratch easily, but with proper care, they are quite durable.
There is no doubt that ESAB puts a lot of effort into producing unique welding equipment and some of the best welding helmets. The ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 offers exactly what you need in a welding hood: large lens, comfort, and crucial technology.
3. Antra AH6-260-0000
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This lightweight helmet is mainly a DIY helmet, but it offers quite a decent performance, so it is a solid choice if you are simply looking for entry-level equipment. It is exceptionally versatile, and you can switch between modes depending on the task being performed. It also offers adequate ventilation and space to keep you comfortable, especially when you need to wear the helmet for long periods.
- Accurate shade range: The inbuilt passive filter works independently and continuously to provide consistent and permanent UV/IR protection in the presence or absence of power. Additionally, the auto dimming feature provides variable shade range from 5-13 and shade 4 for grinding. That said, this helmet will deliver a professional-grade performance at a fraction price of other highly regarded welding helmets.
- Highly responsive arc sensors: The smart chip controlled arc sensors are highly responsive to electric arc from basic MIG, TIG, MMA processes to plasma applications. It is a great PPE designed for use in welding schools, repair industry, auto manufacturing as well as DIY hobbyists projects. The helmet also provides fast switching time, decreasing the chances of harmful radiant bypass and consequently minimizing eye stress.
- Comfort & convenience: Antra AH6-260-0000 is very light, which helps to reduce head and neck stress, and it offers full neck coverage to protect the operator from harmful radiant and spatters. The helmet is also fully automated, eliminating the need to move the hood up and down, and it also has a convenient grinding switch for easy switching when you need to grind.
- Reliability: The Antra AH6-260-0000 has incorporated Interference Suppression technology in its design to help reduce false triggering caused by strong sunlight and fluorescent light, among other interferences. This means that it is very responsive to welding arc and less sensitive to workshop lights and sunlight. What’s more, this helmet meets ANSI Z87. 1 standards, so you’re sure you’re getting the best.
- The Antra AH6-260-0000 offers optimal clarity.
- On/off function is fully automated.
- This headgear is tough and durable.
- It is a budget-friendly option yet is offers unmatched versatility.
- The magnifying lens is sold separately.
- Entry-level welding helmet; not perfect for industrial use.
This welding helmet combines comfort and ease of use to give you an all-round welding hood. It is a great piece to make welding more interesting with ultimate safety.
4. JACKSON SAFETY 46131
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JACKSON SAFETY 46131 is a highly versatile helmet, and it offers the protection you need to get the job done efficiently and safely. It is designed with multi-function controls for a wide range of welding applications, and it is the best welding helmet for your professional needs and budget. Besides, you can choose between welding and grinding modes on the go.
Special features of the JACKSON SAFETY 46131
- High-performance auto-darkening filters: These smart filters allow you to adapt to varying working conditions by giving you the ability to manipulate the shade of your lens (shade 9-13). With this feature, you’ll be able to control the amount of light entering, and it also allows for adjustment for sensitivity from ambient lighting sources. Besides, this helmet gives you the compliance you require since it is CSA compliant, and it meets ANSIZ87.1-2010 standards.
- Easy-to-use digital controls: The digital controls are handy and easy to use, making this helmet an excellent product to get the job done in different welding applications. This includes four independent arc sensors to ensure that the filters work optimally and the sensitivity and delay functions. Furthermore, you can use it for MIG, TIG, and arc welding, and you can switch from weld to grind mode.
- Designed for maximum comfort: The headgear is made a large ratcheting dial that enables the operator to adjust the size without removing the helmet, thus reducing downtime. It also features a crown strap adjustment to lower or raise the mask quickly and a 3-position slider to adjust the distance between your eyes and the lens.
- Design and build quality: If you are planning to go for a long shift, the lightweight and flexible build of the 46131 makes it a perfect option. The helmet is also designed with an extended collar to protect your neck from fumes and debris. Its design also allows for use in narrow spaces thanks to the expansive viewing area. Using this helmet is a breeze, and it is also easy on your wallet.
- It offers maximum comfort, and it is easy to use.
- It also comes with easy to use controls.
- It is lightweight, so it is for ideal all-day use.
- It is a perfect option for both professionals and serious hobbyists.
- Weld and grind modes available.
- The plastic parts are flimsy.
- JACKSON SAFETY 46131is a small-sized helmet; no room for a respirator.
With JACKSON SAFETY 46131, you get a high-grade helmet with super amazing components, and it is a smart choice for professionals, hobbyists, and general inspectors. The helmet is very comfortable, and it reduces neck tension.
5. Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350
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The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 is a perfect combination of productivity, comfort, and optics. It comes with a low-profile grind button on the external, which allows you to switch to grind mode swiftly. Additionally, its design is optimized to distribute weight across the entire helmet for improved balance.
Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350 Highlights
- Exclusive 4C lens technology: The Viking 3350 features the 4C lens technology that allows you to have a crystal clear view of the arc and the weld puddle. It also creates a true-color view, and this helps to enhance your control over the puddle while increasing weld quality and reducing eye strain. Besides, the lens has 1/1/1/1 optical clarity rating, which ensures consistent brightness and desired performance at any angle without blurriness and distortion.
- Extra-large lens: With the 12.5 square inch auto darkening lens, this helmet offers you a large view for added safety benefits and increased productivity and versatility. It is ideal for general fabrication, power generation industry, shipbuilding, and more. In addition, the sensors are highly sensitive, so it can be used even for low amperage TIG welding.
- Increased productivity: This helmet uses both solar cells and CR 2450 battery, so you’re your helmet is always powered and ready to go when you are. The battery has a longer life making your work easier, safer, and more comfortable. Additionally, the low-profile and externally placed grind button ensures continuous production by quickly switching from weld to grind mode without removing your helmet or the gloves.
- Superior comfort: This X6 headgear contours to the welder’s head, distributing weight across the six core points of the helmet, making it feel lighter. This also brings about improved balance and reduced pressure while giving you a personalized fit for improved comfort. This auto darkening helmet comes with an adapter meaning you can fit it onto a hard hat.
- sing, whether working indoors or outdoors.
- It features a balanced design that makes it feel lighter.
- Large viewing window.
- Adjustable settings for superior comfort.
- The Viking 3350 is made from resilient materials, so it is very sturdy.
- It does not offer enough neck coverage.
- The shiny black coat is easily scratched.
- It is expensive.
If you are a serious welder, you need a comfortable headgear and one that does it well. The VIKING 3350 Series is a favorite of professional welders, and the optical clarity makes it stand out from the crowd.
6. YESWELDER Large Viewing Screen-LYG-M800H
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This helmet has generous features that both newbies and experienced welders will sincerely like. The controls are on the side and easy to manipulate, and you can adjust the shade depending on the type of job i.e., cutting, welding, or grinding. The helmet comes at a really fair price, and it will elevate your entire welding experience.
Features and Benefits
- True color technology: The LYG-M800H is a true color welding helmet, which means it will make a good view even better. The true color technology improves visibility by eliminating the lime green coloring while preserving the existing 1/1/1/2 optical clarity. This also helps to reduce eye strain, and it does not only allow you to see better but also enables you to see more.
- Wide-screen view: The 3.93″X3.66″ screen gives you a vast and full range field of view in relation to the weld puddle, thus improving your control over the work piece. The large viewing screen also gives you more clarity, and it comes with four sensors with a wide shade range for TIG, MIG and arc welding. Additionally, the screen makes it easy to dabble through several sensitivity settings while reducing eye strain.
- Pivot style headgear for superior comfort: YESWELDER offers extensive adjustability for a better fit, and it features pivot-style for easy lifting. Besides, it offers a padded head fit for extra cushioning while working. It is relatively light, so seasoned professionals will find it a pleasure to wear even for a long hot day on the job, and it does not get in your way as you move.
- Increased battery life: Once charged, this helmet has a long-lasting battery life so you can do more even in the absence of power. So, if you are a professional welder who welds full time, this helmet will definitely work for you. Plus, it comes with a battery, two replaceable lenses, and a storage bag to get you started. What’s more, this helmet is reasonably priced, but it has everything a professional-grade and a high-end model should have.
- It is ideal for all types of welding, as well as grinding.
- Prolonged battery life.
- The helmet is incredibly lightweight and easy to use.
- One of the best auto-darkening helmets to work you’ll find.
- Super large viewing screen.
- The plastic shell feels flimsy and low quality.
- Most users complain about the cheap design though it fit comfortably.
Welding is about to get more enjoyable and exciting with this YESWELDER Large Viewing Screen helmet. It makes a good view even better, and what’s more, it is pretty easy to manipulate. This helmet will, without doubt, take your welding to a whole new level.
7. Optrel Crystal 2.0 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet 1006.900
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The Crystal 2.0 delivers unmatched performance in terms of color and clarity. With this helmet, you’ll see the weld pool as it melts and will give you full control over your work. The comfort headband adjusts easily and quickly for better balance, comfort, and reduced neck fatigue. This helmet is excellent for welding outdoors in the sun.
Special features of Crystal 2.0 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet 1006.900
- Crystal lens technology: Crystal lens technology will ensure that you see the difference immediately when you put your helmet on. It also means that you will be able to clearly see what happens before, during, and after welding. The view in the light state is as clear as a window glass while in dark mode, it allows you to enjoy a high-contrast view and a beautiful weld pool with the utmost clearness.
- The autopilot: Optrel Crystal 2.0 always offers you the right protection level thanks to the autopilot that gives you a bright vision like through a glass pane. In addition, it adjusts automatically to the changing working conditions with the fully automated infinite shade from 4-12. So if you are doing TIG and you want to shift to something bright like MIG, it will simply auto-adjust.
- Twilight feature: The twilight feature helps to lighten the lens from a dark state to a light state gradually and naturally. This feature provides a smooth transition without resulting in eye fatigue. Welders who work more than 10 hours a day will appreciate this feature. For the first time, the welder can see what is happening on the weld pool with the desired clarity. Besides, the comfort headband allows you to adjust for size, for optimum weight distribution for almost any head shape.
- Sensitivity adjustment: If you need to weld outdoor or in sunlight, this feature allows you to change lens sensitivity for varying light conditions. The external grind button also allows you to switch easily and quickly between the weld and grind modes, and you don’t have to remove the helmet to grind. Plus, the heat-reflecting paint keeps you cool under the hood.
- e auto adjust feature is just awesome.
- Decreased eye fatigue.
- Allows you to use a respirator underneath it if your work environments demand one.
- The clarity of colors is outstanding; it is as clear as safety glasses.
- This helmet can be used either manually or in a fully automatic mode.
- The helmet is expensive, but worth it.
- Not the biggest viewing angle.
The Optrel Crystal 2.0 is a professional welding helmet, and as the name suggests, it gives a crystal clear view of the weld pull as it should be. It can be used for all welding processes, and it can be used by everyone from welders in the manufacturing industry to aerospace welders and more.
8. DEKOPRO Welding Helmet (Blue Eagle)
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The Blue Eagle is light, comfortable, and it is an excellent choice for a beginner’s welding helmet. It provides multiple adjustments meaning it can be tailored to different comfort settings and personal preferences. That’s not all; this helmet offers a fast switching from light to dark in just 1/25000 sec, so with this helmet, you’re sure of getting the best.
DEKOPRO Welding Helmet (Blue Eagle) Highlights
- A smart choice for safety: The blue eagle offers ultimate eye protection by ensuring that the operator remains protected against UV/IR protection in the event of electric failure. This welding hood meets both ANSIZ87.1-2010 and EN3794 safety standards, so it is an excellent choice for safety. However, it is rated 1/2/1/2 for optical clarity, but it does a great job of protecting your face from harmful sparks and radiation during typical welding applications.
- Clear, comfortable view: With a standard 3.62” x 1.65” viewing area, the Blue Eagle offers enhanced visibility and clear color recognition thanks to its clear visor. The visor allows for perfect diffusion of light and luminous transmittance, allowing you to see clearly from different angles. This helmet is recommended for repair and maintenance, automotive, metal production and fabrication, etc.
- The auto darkening filter: The helmet is equipped with the ADF DX-500S auto darkening filter, which allows for perfect dimming enabling the welder to adapt to various working environments. The screen has a light level of DIN4, and the time it takes to switch bright to dark state is 1/25000 seconds. It also provides sensitivity and delay functions for enhanced visibility and color recognition.
- Uniquely designed: The Blue Eagle comes with adjustable head straps to ensure a customized and tight fit so your hands will be free for welding. Besides, it is lightweight (1 lb.) to reduce fatigue when working all day long, and it features a rounded perimeter so you can wear it comfortably. Also, the solar panel technology offers a longer battery life of up to 5000 hours for improved productivity and uninterrupted operation.
- Improved battery life.
- Excellent price.
- Exceptional lens clarity and auto-darkening function.
- The lens area is quite generous and wide.
- Lightweight, comforting and fatigue-free design for more productivity.
- It very dependable, and it does not compromise your safety.
- Auto darkening is not the best.
- The plastic parts may not hold up to constant use.
The Blue Eagle is priced low but has most features of more expensive gears to enable you to accomplish your tasks exceptionally. It is compatible with several welding processes, and you can tailor it using the adjustable headband.
9. TOOLIOM Auto Darkening-TL-M800D
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Welding is about to get more enjoyable. The TOOLIOM Auto Darkening-TL-M800D provides a clearer welding vision with a comfortably padded head fit while welding. Besides, this fantastic auto-darkening helmet has a prolonged battery life that will allow you to work more even in the absence of power, and it is compatible with MMA, MIG, TIG, and MAG.
Features and Benefits
- Ultimate versatility: The TL-M800D offers ultimate versatility through its welding lens, which allows you to customize the shade range for different applications. For weld mode, you can choose from shade 9-13, shade 4 for grind mode, while for the cut mode, you can select from shade 5-9. Other internal features that make TL-M800D one of the best welding helmets include sensitivity and delay settings as well as UV/IR protection.
- Super large view area: The viewing area is huge to ensure brighter and great performance, and you don’t need to keep raising your hood every time you move. In addition, you can install cheater lens or magnifying lens, making it suitable for people who may need vision correction. And even with the large field of view, it is lightweight, and you can wear it for up to 10 hours with zero neck fatigue.
- The True Color Technology: If you don’t like the traditional lime green tint, the TL-M800D offers true color view like looking through clear window glass. That way, you’ll have a clearer welding vision, so you will clearly see your workpiece and locate the welding point accurately. Also, darkening is even and, it allows you to set the perfect shade for seeing the path and watching the puddle.
- Adjustable and smooth design: Featuring a smooth and rounded perimeter, this helmet is designed for maximum support and better fit. It is very light, and it comes with multiple adjustment points to fit personal preferences and different comfort settings. The helmet comes complete with two replacement outer lens, 11 replacement inner lens, and one replaceable battery.
- It includes weld, grind, and cut modes.
- The batteries are easily changed, so you don’t have to get a new helmet when it runs out.
- Controls are easy to adjust.
- It is a low price game changer.
- The field of view is good, and adjustments work perfectly.
- Sometimes it takes time to darken so you might get flashed.
There is a lot to like about this welding helmet from the auto darkening feature to the grinding button. The helmet provides the expected protection level while ensuring that you get a clear view of the weld area no matter the shade level you are working with.
10. Solar Powered Welding Helmet
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This helmet is one the cheapest helmet you’ll find there, but it offers decent features and great protection. Its design is minimalist and straightforward with a smooth exterior for better comfort. What’s unique about this solar helmet is that it provides a long battery life of 5000 hours, which more than satisfactory for the price.
- Excellent optics and wider lens: This solar helmet has adjustments for darkness, sensitivity, and delay, and it offers a viewing area of 3.85 x 3.15 inches. The lens is extensive, and it gives you a very nice field of view. It has a rating of 1//1/1/2 optical clarity and using the default shade of DIN 16, this helmet will protect you against ultraviolet and IR radiation.
- Lightweight and comfortable: This unit is robust, lightweight, and it feels good on the head. Also, it is easy to put together as long as you take your time while fitting detachable components onto the helmet. The finish and fit are perfect. The plastic parts are sturdy enough, although it generally looks cheap, it will exceed your expectations.
- Optimum eye protection: The auto darkening filter switches from light to dark mode in just 1/25000 seconds for optimum eye protection. Besides, you can adjust to various working conditions and task duration by controlling the shade of your lens. Ideally, it is easy to use, and it gives a clear view before and after welding.
- Internal grinding setting button: When grinding, you need something to keep the dust and debris away. This solar helmet is equipped with an internal grinding button so you can switch to grind mode. Placing the button on the inside means it won’t get on your way, but it requires you to remove the helmet when you need to make adjustments. Be careful not to weld when it is set on grind mode, as this may damage your eyes.
- It is very versatile, and it can be adapted to fit your personal preferences.
- Decent switching speed.
- It features a smooth and curved exterior for improved comfort.
- The viewing area is large enough, and it offers an unobstructed view.
- Low price. li>Generally, it is a lightweight helmet and also well-balanced.
- It comes disassembled, but the instruction manual is easy to follow.
- It looks cheaply made and less durable.
- The grind button inside meaning you need to switch back and forth.
This is yet another solar-powered helmet that’s good value for the money. It is lightweight, so you do have to strain your body, and it can be adjusted to fit your comfort settings.
11. TACKLIFE Welding Helmet -PAH03D
TACKLIFE PAH03D series is an incredibly made helmet, and it fulfills the safety requirements of a welding helmet. It has a grinding feature, and it is best suited for MIG, TIG, MMA, and plasma cutting applications. The PAH03D provides excellent ventilation, and it comes with 6pcs-Cover Lens, a black storage bag, and the user manual.
Features of the TACKLIFE Welding Helmet -PAH03D
- Top optical clarity: TACKLIFE PAH03D offers the highest optical clarity (1/1/1/1) for optimal eye protection. Besides, it comes with four premium redundant arc sensors with supper switching speed (1/25000 seconds) from dark state to light state. Additionally, this helmet is made from PA material, which is lighter and more durable than the commonly used PP material.
- DIN 16 UV/IR Protection: The passive filter offers DIN 16 UV/IR protection during all your welding applications. The higher the number (DIN 16), the better the protection. And for best eye protection, it also comes with a three-layered auto-dimming LCD shutter and full neck coverage to protect you from harmful radiant and spatters. What’s more, the switches are inbuilt, so you don’t need to take the helmet when you want to change the shade or switch from welding to grinding.
- Specially designed headband: The headband is designed in such a way that it allows the center of gravity of the hood to be in line with that of your head when you flip the mask up or down. This offers better comfort, and it helps to reduce the pressure of welder’s head or neck. And with the supper large viewing area, this helmet provides a clear and bright view on top of good ventilation.
- Wide Application: This helmet is a great protective gear designed to handle multiple welding processes, plasma applications, cutting, and grinding. Aside from that, it also has numerous adjustments joint, which helps to ensure that the helmet fits your head snugly, thus offering maximum comfort. This helmet will come in handy in any metal fabrication industry.
- rable and eco-friendly.
- It offers a range of shade for standard welding, including plasma cutting processes.
- Reduced eye strain.
- It is made from high-quality PA material that is resistant to fire and impact.
- Excellent controls, great field of view and decent head adjustment.
- Flipping the helmet up and down can sometimes be annoying, especially in the middle of work.
- The headband is fragile, and the plastic parts don’t feel durable.
The clearer the view, the better. TACKLIFE allows you to view your weld puddle clearly so you’ll be able to deliver accurate and high-quality welds. It also well ventilated for improved comfort while carrying out welding processes.
Guideline on choosing a welding helmet
Technology has come a long way over the past few years, and the range of helmets available continues to flock the market day by day. Buying a helmet is probably one of the most important investments in your welding career, but we understanding choosing the best welding helmet can be very tricky. There is a wide range to choose from, and before making a decision, you need to consider several important aspects such as:
i. The viewing area
The viewing area’s size varies from one brand to the other, and the bigger the view, the better. With a broad viewpoint, you don’t have to turn your head when working on longer pieces, and ideally, if you can see more, the better. It also makes things easier when welding in tight spaces or when welding out of position. However, some prefer a small viewing for ergonomic reasons. Moreover, a smaller viewing area means a lighter helmet.
ii. Optical clarity
Optical clarity is how well the welder can see through the lens, which is perhaps the most crucial feature after comfort. The optical clarity is determined by four metrics, i.e.,
- Accuracy of vision
- Diffusion of light
- Consistent shade
- Angular dependence
The metrics are rated using numbers 1, 2, and 3, with 1 being the best rating and 3 being the worst. Most high-end helmets typically have a score of 1/1/1/2 and sometimes 1/1/1/1, while low-end one scores 1/1/1/3. Usually, angular dependence is the most difficult to attain the best score. The capability to be able to see weld puddle clearly will help you increase productivity. Also, looking through clearer lens will enable you to work longer and put less strain on your eyes and body.
iii. Number of arc sensors
The work of arc sensors is to detect flashes and darken the helmet in a fraction of second to protect your eyes. The number of sensors is something you need to consider when buying the helmet since it determines how faster it reacts. Generally, most helmets will have three to four sensors, while some cheap models will have two or less sensors. You can still use the one with two sensors, but such a model is not ideal when you need to weld out of position. Four sensors give you better coverage, and they increase the chances of catching the flash when welding out of position.
iv. Lens type/shade
Helmets come with either fixed lens or variable lens (auto-darkening lens). Fixed lens comes with just one shade that remains the same at all times. However, they are graded according to different welding needs so you can choose a shade that will provide you with the required level of protection. On the other hand, auto darkening helmets offer a range of shades, and they adjust the shade based on the type of welding. A good helmet should have at least five shades; the more the shades, the wide the range of applications.
v. Lens switching speed
This is the speed at which lens changes from a light state to a dark state after an arc is initiated. Typically they will change in a fraction of a second with the best lenses rated up to 1/25,000 of a second. Fast lens reaction time is particularly important to people who weld frequently. Constant exposure to arc can lead to eye fatigue, so you’ll definitely want something that will go back to the dark state as fast as possible.
Other important factors that should be on your checklist include;
- Knob placement: Are the knobs on the inside or the inside. Remember, with exterior knobs, you can make adjustments easily with your helmet on.
- General coverage: Does your helmet your face, ears, or neck properly?
- Weight: A heavy helmet might do you more harm than good.
- Comfort: Does the helmet stay tight, or is it fitted with comfort pads?
- Safety standards: The helmet should meet the safety requirement as stipulated by regulatory bodies.
Choosing the right welding helmet that’s safe yet comfortable can be a challenge. Trusted brands and customer reviews are your best bet for finding the right one. This review and guide will help you choose the best welding helmet across every price range. Remember to look out for important factors such as the material used, helmet functions, comfort, and compliance with different safety standards. You also need to factor your needs and preferences as well as something that reflects your personality. The choices are truly endless, but we hope our selection will help you narrow them down. Beside helmets if you are also interested in welding caps, you may read our review.
William Phillips was born and raised in Keller, Texas. He is a licensed general contractor, and he has been a home improvement specialist for two decades. His passion for the trade led him to freelance writing to share his life experiences with his readers. Phillips enjoys thoroughly researching DIY tools and writing guides at ToolsHaunt as a way of giving back to the community.