Best Welding Helmet Reviews

If you’re welding, then safety gear is of paramount important. One of the things that you NEED is a welding helmet to protect your eyes from the arc. The UV rays that are emitted from the arc can cause serious problems with your eyesight if you don’t wear a helmet.

We’ve listed our top 10 welding helmets on the market today at a range of prices. All of these welding helmets are auto-darkening, which are our favorite type of welding helmet. Auto-darkening means that the lens does not have a fix shade and you can keep it on for different welding processes. The sensors in the helmet will automatically increase or lower the shade of the lens depending on the welding process, so they’re much more versatile. We’ve also written a buyers guide to show you how we chose our top 10 which you can see below to help you choose the perfect welding helmet for you needs.


Best Welding Helmet Comparison Chart

HelmetImageViewing AreaWeight (oz)SensorsOptical ClassPricePowerMore
Lincoln Electric 3350
medal Best Overall
lincoln electric 33503.74″ x 3.34″2141/1/1/1$$$Solar & Battery
3M Speedglass 9100
medal Best Professional
3m speedglass4.2″ x 2.8″2131/1/1/2$$$$Solar & Battery
Esab SENTINEL A50esab sentinel a503.93″ x 2.36″22.541/1/1/2$$$Solar & Battery
Miller Digital Elitemiller 281000 digital elite3.85″ x 2.38″1841/1/1/2$$$Solar & Battery
Jackson Safety BH3jackson safety bh33.8″ x 2.7″19.8421/1/1/1$$$$Solar
Jackson Safety HSL100jackson safety HSL100 welding helmet3.93″ x 2.36″3241/1/1/1$$Battery
Hobart 770756Hobart 770756 impact variable welding helmet3.81″ x 1.85″20.331/1/1/1$$Solar & Battery
Antra AH6-260-0000
medal Best for the Money
antra ah6 welding helmet3.86″x 1.73″1541/1/1/2$Solar & Battery
DEKOPRO Auto Darkeningdekopro welding helmet3.85’’ x 3.15’1541/1/1/2$Solar & Battery
Tanox Auto Darkeningtanox welding helmet3.86″x 1.73″25.641/1/1/2$Solar & Battery

10 Best Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets

Below is our list of our top 10 welding helmets on the market today.

1. Lincoln Electric 3350 Series - TOP PICK

lincoln electric 33501. Brand name: Lincoln Electric
2. Model: 
3350 Series
3. Viewing Area: 
3.74″ x 3.34″
4. Arc Sensors: 4
5. Weight:
21 oz (595g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
7. Shade Range: 5-13
8. Lens Reaction Time:
1/25,000
9. Power Supply: Solar & One replaceable lithium battery

This doesn’t have the curvature and wide field of view of the ESAB or 3M Speedglass, but makes up for this with a taller viewing area that gives it a huge overall window size that’s better for seeing directly what’s in front of you. It ticks all the quality boxes, with a super fast lens reaction time, 4 arc sensors and a perfect optical classification. The clarity through this helmet really is exceptional, and it’s comfy and lightweight too. Great work, Lincoln!

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2. 3M Speedglass Welding Helmet 9100 - BEST PROFESSIONAL

3m speedglass 91001. Brand name: 3M
2. Model: Speedglas 9100XX
3. Viewing Area: 4.2″ x 2.8″
4. Arc Sensors: 3
5. Weight: 
21oz (595g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
7. Shade Range: 5, 8-13
8. Lens Reaction Time:
1/10,000
9. Power Supply: Solar & Two replaceable lithium batteries

There’s no doubt this is one of the best welding helmets on the market, it’s comfortable, clear, stylish and has a large viewing area. The side windows in this helmet are probably the best feature, it will give you amazing visibility of your surroundings, which can make welding much more enjoyable. It’s been designed for comfort, too. It’s pretty lightweight and has two adjustable head straps to keep it secure, along with a padded headband and a swivel mounted smooth ratchet system. The helmet fits head sized of 50 to 64cm, and the carefully thought out design helps to ensure it’s comfortable for long periods of time. The Speedglas 9100XX is a good choice for Stick, MIG and TIG and also has exhaust vents to help reduce heat and steaming up. Overall this a great helmet that offers excellent comfort and clarity.

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3. Esab SENTINEL A50

esab sentinel a501. Brand name: Esab
2. Model: 
Sentinel A50
3. Viewing Area: 3.93 x 2.36 in
4. Arc Sensors:
4
5. Weight:
22.5oz (640g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
7. Shade Range: 5-13
8. Lens Reaction Time:
1/25,000
9. Power Supply: Solar & Two replaceable lithium batteries

This futuristic looking helmet has a large viewing area with great visibility and a blueish arc color. You can see the external grind mode button on the top which is useful for changing between processes. There’s also unique touchscreen display on the inside to change between different shades, sensitivity, delay and save settings for different processes. I do like this feature but it might be tricky to operate with big hands and gloves. It’s comfortable to wear with an adjustable 5 point head gear to help you fit it to your head shape and you can easily replace the lens on the front in just a few seconds.

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4. Miller Digital Elite

miller 281000 digital elite1. Brand name: Miller
2. Model:
Digital Elite
3. Viewing Area: 3.85″ x 2.38″
4. Arc Sensors:
4
5. Weight: 
18 oz (510g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
7. Shade Range: 5-8, 8-13
8. Lens Reaction Time:
1/20,000
9. Power Supply: Solar & Two replaceable lithium batteries

Miller always produce reliable products, and this is no different. It’s lightweight which makes it great if you’re welding long hours and you can easily adjust the headgear for comfort. There are four different modes, weld, cut, grind and X-Mode. X-Mode stops sunlight darkening the lens and low-amperage lens opening. There’s a useful digital display on the inside that’s easy to use the lens uses ClearLight technology to help optimize clarity and color contrast.

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5. Jackson Safety BH3

jackson safety bh31. Brand name: Jackson Safety
2. Model:
BH3
3. Viewing Area: 
3.8″ x 2.7″
4. Arc Sensors: 2
5. Weight:
19.84 oz. (562g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
7. Shade Range: 9-13
8. Lens Reaction Time: 
1/6667
9. Power Supply: Solar 

Jackson offers a long 5 year warranty to boast their confidence in the product. It’s power only by solar cell, so there’s no need to buy batteries. I usually prefer the to have the option of batteries but it’s up to your personal choice. There are 3 comfort adjustments available, there a knob on the back that’s easy to adjust when wearing gloves, a strap adjustment to raise and lower the hood, and suspension to change the distance between your eyes and the lens, which is useful if you wear glasses. There’s no grinding mode and there are only two sensors, which is a shame. However, it’s still a good helmet that’s lightweight and the lens is 1/1/1/1 rated with excellent clarity.

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6. Jackson Safety HSL100

jackson safety HSL100 welding helmet1. Brand name: Jackson Safety
2. Model:
HSL100
3. Viewing Area: 
3.93″ x 2.36″
4. Arc Sensors:
4
5. Weight:
32 oz (900g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
7. Shade Range: 9-13
8. Lens Reaction Time:
1/15,000
9. Power Supply: Solar & Lithium Battery

This is a much more affordable model from Jackson that’s good value for money. It’s the heaviest helmet in the top 10, so we don’t recommend it if you’re welding for extended periods of time. The viewing area is a decent size for the price, and the slim shell makes it a good choice for welding in tight spaces. It has a grind mode available and digital controls to switch between sensitivity and delay. It also has four sensors to help pick up the arc.

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7. Hobart 770756 Impact Variable

Hobart 770756 impact variable welding helmet1. Brand name: Hobart
2. Model:
770756 Impact Variable
3. Viewing Area: 
3.81″ x 1.85″
4. Arc Sensors: 3
5. Weight:
20.3 oz (575g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
7. Shade Range: 8-13
8. Lens Reaction Time:
1/25,000
9. Power Supply: One Lithium Battery

The Hobart Impact Variable is another mid-range welding helmet that’s good value and is great if you’re welding for long periods of time due to being lightweight and fast lens reaction time of 1/25,000 of a second. Despite it’s low weight, it’s a durable helmet as it’s made from polyamide. The shade ranges from #8 to #13 so it’s flexible for a range of appliations. It’s also really comfortable and there are lots of adjustments points to help fit the shape of your head so it doesn’t slip about. The main downside is that the viewing area isn’t that big and it’s only powered by one battery.

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8. Antra AH6-260-0000 - BEST FOR THE MONEY

antra ah6 welding helmet1. Brand name: Antra
2. Model:
AH6-260-0000
3. Viewing Area: 3.86″x 1.73″
4. Arc Sensors:
4
5. Weight:
15 oz. (435g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
7. Shade Range: 4/5-9/9-13
8. Lens Reaction Time:
1/25,000
9. Power Supply: Solar & 2 Replaceable Lithium Battery

The Antra Welding Helmet must be the most popular welding helmet on the market and is definitely the best welding helmet for the money. It ticks a lot of boxes in terms of quality, with a good optical class, lens reaction time and shade range. It also now has a grind mode and adjustable sensitivity options. It’s so lightweight that it’s great for welding for long periods of time, but not the best choice for durability so I wouldn’t use this for heavy welding applications or overhead welding. The main downside of this is the small viewing area. The viewing area is still ok but it’s about half the size of the Lincoln 3350. Overall the AH6-260 is an excellent welding helmet for the price and a perfect choice for beginner welders of hobbyists looking for a bargain.

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9. DEKOPRO Auto Darkening with Wide Lens

dekopro welding helmet1. Brand name: DEKOPRO
2. Model:
XG30
3. Viewing Area: 
3.85’’ x 3.15’
4. Arc Sensors:
4
5. Weight: 
15 oz. (435g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
7. Shade Range: 4/9-13
8. Lens Reaction Time:
1/25,000
9. Power Supply: Solar & One Replaceable Lithium Battery

Another welding helmet that’s good value for the money, this also has a large viewing area to help increase your field of view when welding. It’s lightweight so it’s not as durable as the higher rated helmets.

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10. Tanox Auto Darkening with Welding Gloves

tanox welding helmet1. Brand name: Tanox
2. Model: 
Auto Darkening ADF-206S
3. Viewing Area: 3.86″x 1.73″
4. Arc Sensors:
4
5. Weight:
25.6 oz (725g)
6. Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
7. Shade Range: 4-9/9-13
8. Lens Reaction Time:
1/25,000
9. Power Supply: Solar & One Replaceable Lithium Battery

It’s already a cheap helmet, but it also comes with a nice pair of 16 inch Kevlar welding gloves to add even more value. It’s a quite comfortable helmet but without the sturdiness of adjustment capabilities of many other models. The main pros of this are that it has good clarity, the free gloves and the price.

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How to Choose a Welding Helmet

There’s a lot of different options when choosing an auto darkening welding helmet. Many look similar but have different specifications and it can be hard to understand the differences in price. Factors such as viewing area size, sensors and optical class are all things to consider. We’ve outlined the key things to consider when choosing a helmet and how we chose our top 10 auto darkening welding helmets on the market today.

Helmet Weight & Comfort

If you’re wearing your welding helmet for several hours at a time, the weight of the helmet will be an important factor. Heavier welding helmets will add more strain on your neck and can become quite painful, even if it doesn’t feel that heavy when you first put it on. Lighter helmets can also reduce the chance of stress injury over time if you’re wearing the helmet for very long periods. Comfort is general is worth considering here, if you get a lightweight, padded helmet then the chances are you’ll enjoy welding more due to your comfort. Look for one that fits securely round your head. A helmet that you can’t fit tightly will move around and will distract you when welding and will need to be adjusted.

Viewing Area

Viewing area size can be very important if you’re regularly welding out of position or require visibility over a wider area. Some helmets have a longer and some have a wider viewing area, anything near 4″ x 3″ would be considered a large viewing area and 3.5″ x 1.75″ a small viewing area. I prefer helmets with a viewing area taller than 2 inches, but it all comes down to personal preference and the project you’re working on. If you’re working in an area with restricted space, you’ll want the largest viewing area possible because it will be hard to keep adjusting your body to see clearly.

Optical Class

All auto-darkening welding helmet lenses are tested and rated for quality and given an optical class. This corresponds to the clarity of vision through the glass. Auto darkening lenses are evaluated in four clarity categories and given four numbers that are graded either 1, 2 or 3, with 1 being the best. Hence, the best optical rating is 1/1/1/1. The difference between a 1/1/1/1 and a 1/2/1/2 isn’t great, but an experienced welder will immediately notice the change in clarity of the workpiece.

Arc Sensors

The number of arc sensors in an auto darkening welding helmet is something to consider when choosing a helmet. Sensors detect flashes while you work and darken the helmet in a fraction of a second to protect your eyes. Generally, the less expensive ones will have two or less sensors and the more advanced models three or four. Having two sensors can work fine, but it increases the risk of not catching the flash if you’re welding out of position. Having four sensors helps to decrease the risk of the helmet failing to catch a flash that may arise by having sensors obstructed by objects such as pipes.

Helmet Power Source

Welding helmets are either powered by solar power, lithium batteries, or both combined. Generally a combination of the two is the best option because this allows you to extend the battery life of your welding helmet and means if one power source runs out you can still rely on the other one.

If your welding helmet uses batteries, the main thing to consider is if the power source is replaceable or not. Welding helmets that just use replaceable batteries are good because you can attach the batteries and use the helmet right away. However, you’ll always need to have replacement sets of batteries with you. If your welding helmet relies on solar power, this can be cost effective as you don’t need to worry about replacing batteries. A useful feature you get on most good auto darkening helmets is called auto-off. This helps to automatically turn the power off to save your battery life.

Sensitivity Control

Most auto-darkening welding helmets provide the ability to set the minimum brightness value that triggers the darkening. This manual option is useful if you’re welding at low amperage where you may need increased sensitivity. It’s also good if you’re working an environment where there are other welders and lots of arcs. Here you can increase the decrease the sensitivity so it’s not being triggered by other people’s arcs.

Lens Shade Options

An auto-darkening welding helmet lens will provide a range of shades. The more shades you have then the more flexible you can with be with applications. If you’re constantly changing settings and processes then you’ll benefit from a range of shade options. A 9-13 shade is normal, but if you’re working on low amperages where it’s harder to see the arc then a 6-13 shade is a good option.

Lens Reaction Time

The lens reaction time is the speed at which the lens changes from being light to becoming dark after the arc is started. The lenses will change in a fraction of a second, with the best professional lenses are rated up to 1/20,000 of a second. The more frequently you weld, the more important having a fast lens reaction time is. If you’re constantly starting arcs, then the slight increase of exposure to the arc time and time again can lead to eye fatigue, so you’ll want it the change to dark as quickly as possible.

Personalization

There are lots of different styles of welding helmet on the market with artwork to help show you personality There are many more different colors available instead of just the classic grey or black. You can also get graphic designs such as flags, eagles and flames, which are all popular styles of welding helmet that you’ll sometimes find as alternative color options when you select a helmet to buy such as the DEKOPRO. There are also quality helmets available from a range of brands, so if you like a particular brand such as Lincoln or Miller then you can stick with their stuff with confidence.

Safety Standards

ANSI standards require that welding helmets provide full and adequate protection to people wearing them. There is rigorous testing that a welding helmet has to pass to achieve ANSI national safety standards including protection from ultraviolet, infrared, impact and temperature. The current safety standards is ANSI Z87.1 – 2003, which is the standard you should purchase to help ensure safety.

Price

The price of welding helmets ranges from around $40 at the cheap end to around $800 at the high end. If you have a set budget in mind then this will obviously help your selection but generally the more expensive ones will be better helmets. We’ve listed a range of helmets to suit different budgets, ranging from the lower end right up to the high end. We feel that all the helmets we’ve included at a certain price range offer value and are the best available at that price range.

We hope you liked our article “The Best Welding Helmets in 2019” if so, we’d really appreciate it if you could rate and share it.

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Comment ( 1 )

  1. ReplyDavid
    Unfortunately the review left out the Eastwood and Yeswelder welding helmets which are certainly better than a few/most of the products recommended. Please update.

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