Best Welding Helmet List - Guide and Review

Description: Shopping for the best welding helmet? Read on and find out which headgear suits you best.

You can’t weld any material without using a welding helmet. That’s how important this headgear is. The best welding helmet protects your eyes, face, and neck from harmful radiations emitted during the welding process. Having the right helmet can also increase your productivity and enhance weld quality.

The US Department of Labor says that eye injuries cost more than $300 million a year in terms of lost productivity, medical expenses, and worker compensation. It is undeniable that using a welding helmet goes a long way towards eye injury prevention.

But you just don’t get the first welding helmet you find in an online store or at a retail store. There are many factors that you need to consider in shopping for a welding helmet.

Regardless of the helmet you choose, make sure that it meets ANSI Z87.1-2003 standards. This ensures that the headgear you are to purchase has passed independent testing. Simply put, the helmet can survive high velocity impact and provide ultraviolet and infrared filtering.

How to Choose the Best Welding Helmet

Aside from that, there are other important considerations in choosing a welding helmet:

Helmet Type

There are two types of helmets—passive welding and auto darkening. Each has its pros and cons.

Passive welding is the more traditional type. It offers good safety protection. It is more affordable because it is made from molded plastic. But the problem is that it may not be the right gadget for inexperienced welders because it can be hard to position the electrode in place when it is snapped. This can lead to poor starts and affect the quality of welding.

Auto darkening welding helmets, on the other hand, are the more modern type. Unlike passive welding, there’s no need to flip the helmet repetitively. Thus you can position the gun perfectly as you can see through the viewing lens. It also makes welding work easier and without risk of neck injury or fatigue. The downside is that it is very expensive.

Viewing size

another factor to consider in shopping for a welding helmet is the viewing size. Welding helmet sizes range from six square inches to 9 square inches. Six square inches is appropriate for light duty welding while nine inches is more appropriate for industrial use. You should decide on the view size depending on comfort, and the amount of out-of-position welding you are likely to do.

Weight

You should also consider the weight of the helmet. After all, you will likely have a strained shoulder if you are to work for long periods. The ideal welding helmet is lightweight. A headgear with multiple bands is more recommended than one with a single band because the latter tends to make the helmet heavier in hand.

That’s why you should try the welding helmet first before buying it. You should also check if the helmet can be adjusted not up front but also at the back. You must also make sure it can be easily tightened around the head.

Features

Certain features can affect your buying decision. For example, an adjustable delay control can let you set the amount of time that the lens remains in dark after the arc work is done.

Sensitivity control is another feature you should look for, as it lets you adjust the level of brightness to trigger the darkening of the lens. It is very much useful when the welding is done at low amps.

Other Considerations

  • Sensors— the number of sensors ranges from two for entry-level helmets to four for more advanced models. The higher the number is, the better the helmet is in terms of coverage.
  • Power source- your helmet could either be battery or solar-powered. Battery powered helmets can add up to your energy expenses, aside from having to change the battery. Solar powered is more energy efficient.
  • Shade range—if you are to buy an auto darkening welding helmet, you need to choose the share range. Fixed shade is the best choice for welders dealing with the same kind of materials with the same thickness, while variable shade is best for those who deal with different materials
Welding Helmet

Recommended Product Reviews

So which welding helmet should you get? With the many welding helmet models in the market, you will really be confused which one to get. Here’s a list of helmets that you ought to consider buying:

Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

As the name indicates, this is a solar-powered welding helmet. Its viewing sizes is pretty large, so you can have a good view of the material being welded. Its viewing size is 3.8 inches by 1.78 inches.

This auto darkening welding helmet has several shades, which not only let you to look at the material but also adjust sensitivity depending on the intensity of the welding beam on the job.

The knobs, meanwhile, are easy to adjust. It has four sensors. The helmet also has a good response time to unshade. You can refer to the inside of the face area for the battery level. It is also very lightweight at just one pound, so you can use it for prolonged periods.

While this is a very solid choice, it does have its shortcomings. One is that the plastic nuts holding the helmet feel a bit cheap. There are also complaints that the headstap is pretty small.

Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology (37191), WH70, Black/Orange

This is another auto darkening, solar-powered welding helmet that is earning a lot of raves for being user-friendly.

It is comfortable to use and you can easily both in light and dark modes.

Aside from being lightweight, this helmet gives you top-level protection. It can guard your ears, neck, face, and eyes against weld spats and sparks. It may be quite expensive but at least, you’re getting a welding helmet that is of superior quality.

Miller 251292 Classic Series 8-12 Variable Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

This is an auto darkening welding helmet that makes it a good choice for both hobbyists and professionals.

It isn’t as lightweight as the two previous helmets, but it is not heavy at only at 2.1 pounds.

It offers automatic darkening variable shade, ranging between #8 to #12. You can optimize the shade of the helmet for your comfort. It offers two sensors, with lens speed of 1/10,000 second.

Like the two other units previously mentioned, it is a solar powered helmet. There’s an auto on/off feature for recharging the solar cells. In terms of ease of use, this helmet is pretty impressive as well. There is a knob that you can turn to in controlling the slide, resistance, and closeness of the eyes.

There are some flaws, though. The plastic hinges aren’t exactly tough and durable, and reviews say it wears out within a year or so.

Hobart 770753 Pro Variable Auto-Dark Helmet

This is welding helmet is perfect for those looking for a durable and lightweight helmet.

It will protect your eyes and face for those large welding projects. It weighs less than one pound, and is made from durable polyamide.

This helmet will give you superior visibility thanks to its 3.8x2.36 inch viewing area. Its shade settings from #8 to #13 give you enough protection during MIG, stick, and TIG welding.

You might be turned off by its price as well as its flimsy flip locking mechanism. Apart from those cons, this is still a good choice for a welding helmet.

Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Black Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology - K3034-3

Another auto darkening welding helmet, the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 features an advanced, 4C lens technology. This makes the view a lot clearer and cleaner.

Its viewing size of 3.74 inches by 3.34 inches. Plus its adjustable sensitivities lets you work in almost any lighting environment with relative ease.

The only problem with this headgear is that it is a bit heavy at around 3 pounds.

Final Verdict

As you may have noticed, all the items in this list are auto darkening welding helmets. If you are a novice welder, you will realize how more practical it is to use this type of headgear. Not only does using this modern headgear save you from having a stiff neck, but also make your work faster as you no longer have to flip down the lens unlike in the old type.

Auto darkening welding helmets may be expensive, but you will have better quality welds. And if you’re at a lost on which helmet to buy, go ahead and buy any of the items listed above. Any one on the list can be considered as the best welding helmet today.

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