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Getting The Job Done Right
Welding is a fun and interesting activity for the weekend welder and the professional. Not only do we use welding helmets and welding goggles to prevent the harmful UV and IV light from damaging our eyes but it gives an added flare as well, right? It also prevents hot sparks from coming into contact with the skin and neck. However, using just any kind of welding helmet can reduce productivity and I’ve experienced this firsthand when using a passive welding helmet. It reduced my work speed and always made my neck hurt after welding for a few hours.
In light of this, I set out to find the best welding helmet that’s comfortable and meets my requirements. I finally found the ideal welding helmet after consultation with experts and using my personal experience. Here’s what I found – Lincoln Electric Viking 3055 (Click here
to view it on Amazon). Its 4C lens technology provides a clear view of the metal before welding and while welding without getting flashed. I could clearly see the weld puddle and other areas in my workstation and work better and faster. It’s also comfortable to use for long hours due to its lightweight.
So, that’s my best welding helmet but definitely not the only good one out there with several others having varying features and prices that might suit you better. This is why I also did some research to put together the best welding helmets that you should be using in 2020. Hope you find one that’s fit you in this review.
*List recently updated for 2020
The Viking 3350 is a top-notch welding from the Viking series made by a multinational welding products company – Lincoln Electric. Its 4C technology ensures that this helmet has top-notch optical clarity.
This gives the welder a clear vision in its dark shade to give a clear view of the puddle when you weld with it. Seeing the weld puddle is a breeze with this helmet. Also, it has one of the largest viewing areas on the market if you want to have a better view of your work area. It guarantees comfort with its pivot-style headgear design. It also has a grind mode feature that makes you clean up your work with the helmet. Lincoln offers a plethora of aesthetic paintings of this helmet to choose from for a personalized experience.
The Viking 3350 is no doubt an exceptional welding helmet. Its 4C lens technology is not just 1/1/1/1 in theory, which is the optimal rating, but it actually gives that benefit in practice too. When I used this helmet, there was no green color in sight and it had an almost realistic view. It still offers a great deal of clarity while welding and gives a perfect view of the weld puddle. Also, it is really comfortable when you adjust it to fit your head and can be used for several hours with little or no discomfort. The response time is rapid and the lens darkens almost immediately the torch sparks and still does so when fumbling with the stick arc. This makes it also good for a prep welder as it is for a professional welder.
It is a bit on the heavy side especially if you’ll be using for most of the day. This is not much of a surprise due to its large viewing area and is not much of a problem.
– It has a perfect 1/1/1/1 optical clarity rating
– It comes with 4 sensors
– It has varying shades between DIM 6 to 13 DIN
– Internal controls for shade, sensitivity, and delay settings. You can switch to grind mode using the sensitivity knob
– It is suitable for hard hat use and supports “cheater” lens for the a magnified view for older and near-sighted users
– It has a warranty of 3 years
– It is powered by a replaceable that can last for up to 2000 hours
– Accessories like, a helmet bag and extra lenses are included in the pack
– Its design makes it easy to use and allows good vision when working at an awkward angle
The Speedglas 9100 is a top-notch welding helmet from 3M with a lot of effort put into its design to produce a quality helmet to welders. It’s no surprise it is branded with the “Amazon’s Choice” tag which is a symbol of quality and customer satisfaction.
It has the largest viewing area in the Speedglas series which are the very first set of ADF welding helmets and gives optical clarity of the highest class. The lens gives you a realistic view of the area rather than the green color of other models. It gives you all basic functions including UV and IR protection, spatter protection and a clear view of the puddle and it does these with class. It has 3 smart sensors in the lens that automatically shields your eyes when you strike a welding arc.
At first sight, I liked the way the design looked like the helmet of Juggernaut in X-Men and it gave me an impression that it will be a durable welding helmet. Well, I really have to say, its optical clarity is one of a kind both before and during the welding process. This makes work easier and better with a clear view of the weld puddle while welding and also removes the green night vision-like display of some welding helmets.
Also, it responds quickly to change in light and you can lock in a specific shade preference when needed. And, It’s suitable for all types of welding applications in different environments whether industrial, outdoor or at home. Finally, the exhaust vents are a great feature to reduce heat build-up and fogging in the helmet.
Honestly, its benefits overshadow any issue that might be found in this welding helmet. However, there are cases where the auto-darkening filter did not respond for up to .2 milliseconds. Not really an issue as this scenario is rare.
– Has a gross weight of just 1.37 pounds which means it’s not so heavy
– It comes with digital delay time and sensitivity controls
– The headgear has an ergonomic design with a ratchet system that evenly distributes pressure.
– It also has a large knob for adjustment of prep and pivot positions
– Long-lasting battery life of up to 2800 hours. It comes with a sleep mode feature that turns lens off after a period of inactivity
The Pipeliner has a ferocious look that breathes durability and simplicity. It was made specifically but not limited to pipe welders because of its durability. It is a great choice if you need a welding helmet that has a narrow viewing lens and prefer to focus on just the area of the welding arc.
Its rounded edges help to block fumes out while welding. In short, this is a welding helmet you can use on-field to swap for the more expensive ones you cherish so much. It offers great features that you get with these higher-end brands that are usually less durable.
I thought I might have issues remaining objective because I prefer welding helmets with larger viewing lenses. That was not the case with the Pipeliner. It’s a very strong welding made from superglas plus which is similar to fiberglass. This makes the helmet impervious to moisture and almost indestructible as it is self-extinguishing and impact resistant. Putting it on, it has a compact design that allows it rest on the face and able to access tight working spaces. The shell or build is strong and comes with an orange arc lens
A major flaw with this welding helmet is its long frame. It is prone to crashing into the collarbone when nodding the helmet back on.
– Has a fiberglass build that is moisture and impact resistant
– It weighs 2 pounds and surprisingly, users give remarks for it being lightweight
– It has a constant-fit rubber headgear that allows for regular adjustments
– It has a 2 x 4 shade 10 lens for a clear view while using the welding arc.
– It is “cheater” lens compatible
This is a gold-standard welding helmet from the stables of Jackson Safety who are well known for producing quality safety products. To show the class and quality of BH3, it is the only welding helmet with a 5-year warranty.
They use the cutting-edge Balder Technology to ensure a top-notch optical clarity for their customers. To remove the need to regularly replace batteries, it is powered by a solar cell. Also, it breathes comfort with three headgear adjustments and adjustable hood and headband. It is suitable for any kind of welding application and can be used by a hobbyist, beginner or a professional.
The smooth finishing of its exterior first caught my attention and gives off an aura of quality and class. This is not uncommon for a welding helmet of its price. Putting on, the clarity and precision of the lens show it really is a 1/1/1/1 EN379 rated welding helmet. The blue color of the lens enhances color recognition and maintains clarity before and after welding. With this helmet, you can comfortably watch your puddle all day long and still be able to read the clock afterward. The sensitivity is top-notch and does not go dark with sun contact which makes it suitable for outdoor use.
It doesn’t have a test button or on-and-off switch to know if it’s still functioning if it hasn’t been used in a while. It should have a power switch or at least, a test button.
– It is built with a high-density plastic shell and powered by a solar cell
– It has a light shade of 4 and dark shade range of 9-13 DIM
– An elite class optical clarity of 1/1/1/1
– Three headgear adjustment points. It has a ratchet suspension you adjust the distance of the lens from the eyes making a great for those that use glasses. Also, a large rear ratchet knob for adjustments with your gloves on and crown strap adjustment
– Comes with internal sensitivity and delay controls
– It has a viewing area of 3.8 x 2.7 inches
– It has just two arc sensors
– It is compatible with “cheater” lens and hard hats
This is one of the best welding helmets you can find and it’s produced by Miller Electric which has been in operation for over 80 years. One thing is certain when you get a Miller product, you get your money’s worth, if not more. The Classic Series 2512912 is no exception to this.
It is suitable for welding applications like TIG, MIG and also arc welding. It offers optimum auto darkening feature to ensure you get a clear view of the puddle for a good weld. It is gentle on the head with its soft padding and adjustable straps.
This welding helmet has a standard viewing area that’s neither too large nor too narrow to work with. For a welding helmet with 2 arc sensors, it has a really fast response that darkens almost immediately you strike your arc. Although, it doesn’t have a grind mode, adjusting the shade to 3 will do just fine and you wouldn’t have to take off the hood to grind. Plus, its internal sensitivity and delay control enhances its quality. It is a great choice for a casual welder or hobbyist.
It’s not suitable for heavy-duty or industrial welding that requires darker shade. Not really a problem if you work in a weld shop or garage. It also does not come with a helmet bag.
– It has a battery and a solar power source. Its battery can last up to 2000 hours
– It has a gross weight of 2 pounds
– Analog delay and sensitivity control inside the hood
– It has a light shade of 3 and dark shade ranging from 8-12 DIM
– It is compatible with a magnifying lens and also comes with two extra lenses
This is another welding helmet in this review that is rated as “Amazon’s Choice” and by now, you should know it definitely can’t be for no reason. The Antra AH6 is priced below $50 and has 976 reviews on Amazon and still has an astounding average of 4.5-star rating.
It is a solar powered welding helmet with an ADF lens that is very responsive to welding from MIG, TIG, MMA or plasma applications. It is also pretty versatile and can be used for not only welding but also grinding and cutting activities while at work. And of course, the Antra AH6 is CSI ad ANSI certified for better protection.
This is a really great deal for a welding helmet that costs less than $50 and gives you way more than your money’s worth. It has features that can compete with that of welding helmets you will pay top-dollar for. Its auto-darkening lens does what is expected of it and effectively shields your eyes from the light and gives you a clear view of the weld puddle with a lightning speed response time. I mean, it comes with four sensors and it costs less than $50!
The internal control for sensitivity and delay is a really good idea. This is usually only found in top welding helmets to prevent external impact and wiring which can damage or reduce the quality of the helmet. It also has a grind mode feature to top it all off.
It’s not the best option for industrial use because its plastic is somewhat flimsy and many have complained of it being uncomfortable. As a result, it is unsuitable for industrial work where helmets are used for longer periods. It also develops some sensitivity issues after using it for a while. Plus, it’s not the best choice if you do overhead welding.
– It has a viewing area measuring 3.66 x 1.73
– It has a step-less delay and sensitivity knob onside the helmet
– Its shade variable ranges 4/5-9/9-13
– Features a fast response time of 0.00004 seconds
– It is compatible with a “cheater” lens for magnified view
– It also has a battery indicator
– This welding helmet can also be used for plasma applications
The Instapark ADF GX-350S is a low-cost welding helmet that comes with a plain black, and a patriotic American bald eagle design. It has a large viewing area with an ADF lens that has a standard shade adjustment of 9-13 and shade 4 when in a normal state.
In addition, the bundle also comes with bonus welding accessories. And, the ADF unit is powered by a built-in solar panel. It switches to dark shade in 115000th of a second with just two arc sensors.
In general, this welding helmet is pretty decent. It gets its basic job done by protecting the eyes from the dangerous UV and IR lights, spatter and gives a clear view of the weld puddle. Also, I’m really impressed with its optical rating of 1/1/1/2 which ranks high for a welding helmet in its price range. For its price, it’s a great deal and increases productivity. It even has a grind mode feature and sensitivity control.
The quality of the helmet material is low and the edges are somewhat sharp. That said, it isn’t much of a surprise for a welding helmet in its price range.
– It is solar powered and has two arc sensors
– Has a UV/IR rating of DIN 16
– It has a good optical rating of 1/1/1/2
– The viewing area has a measurement of 3.5” x 1.375”
– The ADF lens has a shade of 9-13 in dark state
– Grind mode feature is available in this helmet
– It comes with Instapark’s leather welding gloves and safety goggles
This welding helmet from Jackson Safety isn’t tagged “Amazon’s Choice” for no reason. It gives you what you are looking for in a welding helmet and comes at a reasonable price. Though not the cheapest you’ll find in the market, it gives you the worth of every buck you pay.
Smartiger W40 is equipped with Balder Technology and is a lightweight helmet that offers reduced heat build-up and fogging better than the HSL-100 with its smooth rounded edges. Not to mention it meets the ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 + and other product quality requirements. It gives added comfort and adjustability with three headgear adjustments. It is suitable for professionals, amateurs and hobbyists.
As you probably know already, I like welding helmets with a large lens that offers a better view of the work area and the W40 gives me that. But that’s not enough to make me buy a welding helmet. This Balder technology makes the lens super clear and I can work comfortably without a grind mode feature. Not to mention that its response time is awesome and most importantly, gives a clear view of the weld puddle. It’s a lightweight choice that sits comfortably on the head and vents off heat with its aerodynamic design.
There should be a battery indicator to signify when it’s low. This can flash the users’ eye if it’s not exposed to light or charged prior to welding. Though, the helmet protects against the UV rays.
– It is made from thermal plastic and an aerodynamic shell to give it a durable build
– It has a shade range of 9-13 DIN
– It has a lightweight, weighing only 1 pound
– It is fitted with external sensitivity and delay control
– It has 4 different sensors for enhanced protection
– It is compatible with hard hats and “cheater” or magnifying lens
– But, the viewing angle is a bit narrow.
The Flexzion is a solar powered and battery assisted welding helmet that’s great for several welding applications like MIG, arc welding and TIG.
Its budget friendly, but the quality of its lens offers makes it popular among hobbyists and professionals. Its auto darkening sensitivity can be controlled using the external knob so you don’t have to take off.
This is a really cheap welding helmet for one that provides such good auto darkening features. The helmet saves you some time with its external knob as you don’t need to take it off to adjust the settings like the internally controlled type of helmets. Plus, you can use the helmet in grind mode when you need to clean up your work. For all the time this helmet will spend on your head, it should not be a stress as it is very light. This adds a little to your productivity. Asides that, it’s just a regular ADF welding helmet and helps protect your eyes and face at a relatively low cost.
The overall build quality of the helmet is somewhat low. Some customers complain of several part malfunctions after just a few weeks. Also, it is not suitable for oxy-acetylene or laser welding.
– It has a large viewing area of 96 x 43 mm
– It offers protection of up to 16 levels of UV ray
– It weighs only about 1lbs
– It has shade variation ranging from 4 to 9 DIN and 9 to 13 DIN
– Its sensitivity and also delay time can be adjusted with external controls
The Save Phace brand are well known for their eye-catching comical designs and didn’t disappoint with the release of this welding helmet. It has a unique and spooky painting of the Marvel character, Venom from the Spiderman series.
That’s definitely not what you are buying a welding helmet for right? Kannibal is a budget-friendly welding helmet that effectively protects the eyes from UV and IR lights when welding and prevents spatter from coming in contact with your face. It is the first and only helmet with a 4 x 4 ADF lens that allows a 180-degree view of your workspace.
It really was no surprise I liked this welding helmet when I first put it on. I like to have a good view of my work rather than a tunneled vision as with some welding helmets. The lens boasts of 40 square inches of viewing space which gives me a full frontal view of my work. This sold me at first but I it even got better with the comfort and weight it offers for a welding helmet with a large viewing space. Its gel padding offers a great deal of comfort for its price and it also offers a great deal of ventilation. And of course, the Venom painting is really eye-catching.
The front protector isn’t sealed and allows dust and other particles to pass through. Most users usually have to tape it off to stop this. This is something Save Phace should look into. Also, the sensitivity seems to be a little off and can be triggered by standard lighting which makes it unsuitable for outdoor use especially.
– It has “4 x “4 ADF lens that gives a 180-degree view
– Ample headspace that fits other welding accessories like glasses and gas mask
– It comes with two extra flex fit front pocket lenses
– It has 2 sensors with internal adjustments for sensitivity, and delay controls. It also has the grind mode feature
– It is “cheater” lens compatible and has a low battery indicatorIt has a 1-year warranty on the ADF filter
– It weighs about 23 oz.
Most, if not all professional welders have to weld for several hours in different work environments which lead to a lot of exposure to UV and IR lights from the arc. This is why a welding helmet is necessary for every welder including you. Except you want to make regular runs to the eye hospital.
That said, you need a welding helmet that not just protects your eyes from dangerous UV light and weld spatter, but one that also provides comfort for the long hours of work. This is why I have compiled this review of the best welding helmets to use in 2020 if you haven’t got one this year or if you need a replacement. I hope you’ve found the one that meets your requirement. I picked the one that meets my requirements already, which one is yours?
By Darion Robinson
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