Finding Nemo was a fun movie to watch but finding THE welding helmet for you is a tough nut to crack. Especially for a newbie in this field who does not know what to look for and what he wants precisely it’ a nightmare.
Many newbies tend to question the ground based on which professionals suggest to wear a welding helmet at all times while welding. Welding helmets are designed to prevent acute and chronic dangers such as burns from spatters or debris and eye damage.
To put an end to your miseries I have researched and put forth almost all the features that you need to know about welding helmet before you hit the market. This way you will know if you are missing out on something that you might need.
I have even gone to the extent of reviewing some of the popular welding helmets and constructively presented their pros and cons. So, by the end of this article, you will know precisely what you want and what to look out for so that can get the best welding helmet for YOU.
Why Welding Helmet?
Let’s consider a scenario where you are welding without your helmet on. What are things that could possibly go wrong?
Protect Damaging Your Eyes
High-intensity arcs with harmful radiations e.g. Ultra-violet and Infrared Radiations are created during welding. To save a welder from these welding helmets has an Auto-Darkening Filter with variable shade. This keeps the shade as per the user’s choice and see things when there’s no arc and even when there is.
Spatters and debris come flying all the time when you are welding. These are extremely dangerous and can even give a third-degree burn. To protect yourself from all these pros suggests that we use welding helmets. They themselves don’t go through a single weld without a welding helmet on their head.
Apart from repatriation from all these from all these dangers and hazards, you will also get some benefits e.g. you will be able to see things even when there’s arc, being able to see things when closely without getting too close by using cheater lens etc.
Understanding Best Welding Helmet Characteristics
In order for you to have the required ideas and knowing the methods of examining every value creating an aspect of a welding helmet and look for features that you, in particular, will be needing, I have listed down the main and unique features that welding helmets in this day and age usually have.
Most welding helmets constrict your field of vision. But with welding helmets having side windows that won’t be the case. You will have a relatively enlarged field of vision. Whether a welding helmet has side windows or not is mentioned in the manufacturer’s specifications regarding the product.
Auto-darkening helmets have variable shade feature so the shades on the lens can be set according to the user’s choice. But what varies from helmet to helmet is the degree up to which the shade can be varied.
Almost all welding helmet has a varying shade from 9 to 13. There are helmets which exceed this range. Some helmets even have a light shade 3. You can know about it from the manufacturer’s specifications.
All auto-darkening welding helmets have delay adjustment systems on them. Delay adjustment lets you control the time period up to which the lens will remain dark after the arc. This helps to protect your eyes from multiple harmful radiations like Ultra-violet and Infrared Ray.
With the sensitivity settings, you will be able to control how sensitive the helmet will be to the arcs. This feature makes it possible to work in factories wearing welding helmets. Since the lens will not darken by bright flashes from surroundings.
The apparatus that holds on to your head to keep the helmet where it is supposed to be, is the headband. Every person’s shape and size of the head is quite unique. To make the helmet fit on perfectly on every head, designers came up with this brilliant idea of headband or head clamp.
You can easily understand how adjustable a head clamp is by verifying the existence of the following from the specifications or reviews.
Over Cranium Straps
These straps hang over the cranium and are adjustable to some extent. You will be able to adjust how far below the hood of the helmet will be hanging by adjusting these straps. Most welding helmets have two or three of these.
Back Head Strap
People have different choices regards to how tightly the helmet will be holding on to the head of the user. This can be controlled with the knob on the back head strap. Even though every welding helmet has this but it’s better to be ensured before buying it.
To prevent the movement of the helmet completely designers came up with forehead strap. Every helmet has this but there are some differences between them. Some have sweatbands on them some don’t. Some even have a flexible skeleton and cushiony surface for superior comfort.
Few head clamps have a complicated mechanism which helps the user to fix the hoods in certain angles. Most of the helmets which have this feature allow snap adjustment at 7 to 9 different angles.
Adjustable Eye to Lens Distance
Usually, headbands have a knob which can increase and decrease the distance of the lens i.e. the hood to the eye. This helps to adjust the interior space to increase breathability.
Weight is a very crucial aspect to check before buying a helmet. If it’s too light then the hood is not thick enough to be durable. But if you get a heavy welding helmet thinking it to be very durable then the chances are that your neck and shoulder will start aching soon. Most welders prefer welding helmets which are within 1.1lbs to 1.3lbs.
Quality of Auto-Darkening Filter
Judging the quality of the auto-darkening filter is quite easy due to the European standards. How do you do that? European standards have rated eye and face protection devices to help buyers understand the quality of the devices. Prefixed by EN standing for European Norm has several versions each for a specific device.
EN379, a European standard to define the quality of ADF on the basis of four parameters. The ratings look something like this “1/1/2/3”. These four individual digits indicate the quality of the Auto-Darkening Cartridge from each parameter. The ratings are done on a scale of 1 to 3 with one being the best, 2 being mediocre and 3 being the worst.
First Parameter – Accuracy of vision
If you’ve ever tried seeing through a water glass or a piece of glass with bubble then you’ve already experienced distorted images and know how inaccurate they are. It can be understood even more easily if you go under the water in a swimming pool or river and look up.
Low-quality Auto Darkening Filters give distorted images, which makes welding painful and completely inaccurate. If the first digit is 1 then the distortion is minimum and perfect accuracy whereas a 3 is the worst.
Second Parameter – Light Scattering
What’s light scattering? Substandard lenses amplify bright light. This creates a blur vision and makes it almost impossible to see things during the arc.
Due to an inconsistent thickness of the glass, bubbles in the glass or impurities light scattering happens.
Having an ADF with a top rating of 1 on the second digit assures that you are getting a lens with absolutely no impurities and uniform thickness. Thus, having a lens with very much reduced light scattering effect.
Third Parameter – Homogeneity
This parameter is focused on the consistency of the variable shade due to auto darkening. Low-quality lenses have splotchy inconsistent shading all over the lenses.
Speaking like a nerd, this parameter justifies whether the luminous transmittance is same and consistent all over the lens. Examiners test this issue and give it an overall rating on a scale of 1 to 3 which is placed on the third digit of the EN379 rating.
Fourth Parameter – Angular Dependence
From the fourth digit of the EN379 rating, you will get a good understanding regarding the field of view, blurriness and the quality of image while you are viewing at an angle.
Much like the previous parameter, this one is also rated by examining whether you are getting a proper consistent shading while you are looking down or up at an angle. This parameter also indicates the flexibility that you will be getting while wearing the helmet.
Chances are high that a complicated equipment such as this will have some defected products during manufacturing. No matter the brand this happens all the time and you might take some time to understand it. Besides, the product might get damaged due to some issues.
So, it’s better to have a welding helmet with longer warranty period with the replacement policy. Most helmets have a warranty of about 2 to 3 years.
Auto On-Off Feature
Few welding helmets don’t need to be turned on. You can grab and start welding, it will turn on automatically by detecting the arc. This completely nullifies the chance of ever getting flashed because you forgot to turn on the ADF.
Forgetting to turn off the ADF will cost you your batteries. So some helmets get turned off automatically
Would you like setting the settings according to your desires? To bring an end to this issue manufacturers starting giving their welding helmets memory mode to remember your preset settings. Even if you need to change the settings, you can get back to it just by pressing a button.
Whether or not a welding helmet comes with a memory mode is informed in the specifications.
Wide Viewing Area
Viewing area has to be sufficiently large to get a proper view of the welding spot and the surroundings. Welders usually prefer viewing area of about 5.5 to 6 inches with dimensions around 1.8 inches by 3.8 inches.
You’ll find the Viewing area and its accurate dimensions on the specifications of the helmet.
How good a welding helmet can protect your eyes depends a lot on it’s switching speed. The time taken by the ADF to change from light shade to dark shade is the switching speed of a welding helmet.
It’s preferred by professionals to have helmets with switching speed equal to or less than 0.04 milliseconds.
Like other features, you will get to know about it from the specifications too.
Low battery indicator
Tired of having your batteries running out in the middle of weld? Then you should have a welding helmet with a low battery indicator.
Like always it’s mentioned in the specifications whether there’s a low battery indicator on the helmet or not.
Build material is a major concern regarding the durability of the helmet. Polyamide is said to have more strength, durability and impact resistance compared to plastic. Polyamide also comes with lighter weight than plastic. Because of these reasons polyamide has become more popular among the manufacturers of welding helmets and welders.
Check the specifications to know if you are getting a welding helmet made out of polyamide or not.
You can’t expect your ADF to last long enough without covers. ADF has to be protected both from the inside and outside to protect it from spatters and debris.
Usually, the manufacturers provide 6 to 8 extra cover lenses for free. It’s always mentioned on the specifications if you are getting free cover lenses or not.
Magnifying Lens Holder
To get a closer view of the welding spot for super precise welding there’s no choice other than the magnifying lens. You can’t get too close to the welding spot because it’s too risky and things get very hot quickly.
You can find it on the specifications whether there’s magnifying lens holder or not on the helmet.
Hard Hat Adapter
The hard hat is plastic hats (it may also be made out of other materials) to protect the head of the welder if there’s any chance of spatters or debris falling on the head of the welder.
Welding helmets are designed to fit on the head of a person. To make it fit on a hard hat you will need a helmet with a hard hat adapter.
Check the specifications to know if the helmet has one.
When you are doing a project, you will have to grind or cut stuff at some point. Just think how tiresome it would be if you had to take the helmet off every time and put it back on again. To put an end to this misery manufacturers added an extra shade for grinding.
This is especially helpful because you can easily get to the grind mode with the press of a button. And then when you are done you can shift back by pressing that button.
See the specifications list of the helmet to check if there’s grind mode or not.
Number of Sensors
The number of the sensor is a very important thing to look at while you are buying the helmet. It depends solely on the sensors whether the auto darkening of the lens functions properly or not.
Sometimes the sensors of the lens are said to not last long enough. This is very troublesome. If the sensors are fried then your helmet is as good as dead.
Some of the latest helmets pack solar power system with them. What this does is to ensure that your battery lasts long enough. It is very troubling when your helmet stops working due to the battery in the middle of welding. So, this is one of the features that you are looking for in a welding helmet.
Keep an eye out for the ventilation of the helmet you are about to buy. If the ventilation is not proper then humidity will be through the roof.
To know how good the ventilation is it’s better to rely on reviews or on somebody who is already using the helmet. It’s because every manufacturer claims that their helmet has excellent ventilation.
Some of the Best Welding Helmets
To help you get the best welding I have presented my research findings on each of the helmets below. Most of the research was done focusing on two major aspects: pros and cons.
1. Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
It’s a welding helmet of the W70 series of Jackson Safety.
What we liked
Like every other welding helmet Jackson manufactures, this helmet also has 3 headgear adjustment facilities. Thus, allowing a wide range of users to wear this helmet comfortably.
The hood or shell was designed keeping in mind the aerodynamic aspects required for a perfect welding helmet. Jackson came up with this curved anterior design to reduce heat building up within the helmet and also preventing fogs within the helmet. It’s also a reason behind the reliable angular dependence of this helmet.
The high-density plastic shell allows the helmet to take the damage of spatters, sparks and debris without being melted.
Enhanced Optical Quality
The lens on this helmet distorts the image very little giving superior image clarity. Thus, giving the welder a good view of what’s going on in his welding spot and his surroundings.
Advanced Color Recognition
The color of objects that you will be viewing through the lens will have very minimal change. This is due to the balder technology that Jackson Safety utilizes for their lens.
Minimal Light Scattering
Unlike many other welding helmet lenses, this reduces the scattering of bright lights. This feature prevents blurring of the image through the lens. Thus, giving a crystal-clear view in the midst of welding arcs.
Homogenous Image Quality
You will get the same image quality all over the lens. There are no spots or any region that gives a blurry image whatsoever.
Reliable Angular Dependence
You get a wider field of view with this helmet. Compared with this many other helmets give the desired shade in a small region. Wearing this you will be able to get a proper view of a maximum number of angles. Thus, giving you superior flexibility.
Doesn’t get dark due sunlight or any other bright lights. Since the lens is wavelength sensitive it only gets dark due to the arc of welding. That means you will be able to weld out in the dark without the lens getting dark.
Light Weight Hood
You will be able to wear it for a really long time due to the extreme light weight of the hood. Especially for the professional welder who has to wear a welding helmet for a really long time, this will make things more comfortable.
You can control the darkness of the lens. Since this has an Auto-Darkening Filter Lens this feature will enable you to control how dark the lens will get with the intensity of the arc. The shade can be varied from 9-13. Thus, giving the welders a number of choices about how dark they want their lens to be.
The entire perimeter is smooth and rounded, so there are no corners that will budge you to make you feel, uncomfortable.
Reduced Heat Build-Up
The temperature within the lens is sufficiently low. It’s maintained due to the curved anterior portion of the helmet. This also prevents fogging up within the lens.
Jackson provides a stunning 5-year warranty for this helmet. This shows how confident they are in the longevity of this helmet.
What Users Are Claiming Badly
It comes in matte black color only.
How is the lens fit?
The orientation of the lens makes it harder to look through the lower half of the lens. So, you get a smaller view of what you are supposed to get through the lens. Besides, it’s harder to adjust the settings while wearing the helmet.
There are only two sensors. So, the auto-darkening might not be functioning properly all the time. It is still suitable for fabrication shops or for bench welding. But only 2 sensors make it a bit inefficient for outdoor welding.
2. 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet
It belongs to the 9100 series of 3M Speedglas.
What We Liked
Auto Darkening turns on automatically when you start to weld. This ends the hurdle of having to turn it on every time. And when you are done with welding the helmet will automatically turn itself off within 5 minutes.
Natural Color and Contrast
Speedglas technology allows more natural color and contrast. Even in the midst of welding, you get to see the contours properly. Making the welder able to recognize colors and contrasts effortlessly.
To see things normally without having to see through the lens you can easily flip the portion of the lens. This is much like the motorbike helmet. Saves the trouble of having to take the whole helmet off or anything.
Auto Darkening Filter
Helps to get a proper view of your weld during, after and before welding. Within 0.1 milliseconds of the arc striking, allowing you to hold the electrodes and instantly see the weld pool. When there are no sparks you will be getting a very good view through the filter.
The exhaust vent lets out yours breathe as quickly as possible and keeps the inside cool. Not only it helps to keep the temperature down but also helps to keep the humidity to a humane level.
Wide Field of View
Really wide lens creates a superb view for the welder. The lens provides a viewing area of 2.8 inches by 4.2 inches. Being 4.2 inches in wide you will be getting a complete view of your surrounding.
Four head straps help to adjust the helmet perfectly to your head. The head straps make the helmet fit people with head sizes of 6.25 to 8 i.e. 50 to 64 inches.
- Two Over Cranium Straps
Both of these are adjustable and made out of flexible plastic. You can fix how much the helmet will be hanging. Over the cranium head straps enable the head straps to take the shape of your head to some extent.
- Back Head Strap
You can adjust this head strap with a knob. Since this portion of the head is moving all the time so 3M Speedglas gave a cushiony surface towards the head to make it more comfortable for the welders.
- Forehead Strap
The helmet will not be moving back and forth because of the head strap on the forehead. This strap has an interior flexible skeleton to fit the forehead of different people. Also, it’s entirely covered by foam for comfort.
- Snap Adjustment
You can set the helmet at 9 different angles for a comfortable and easy welding experience.
- Customizable Interior Space
Four different settings on the head strap allow the welder to control how close the hood will be to his face.
Switching Between Grinding and Welding Mode
External switch on the hood enables the user to easily switch between grinding and welding mode. You won’t need to take off the gloves to do so neither will you be needing to take off the helmets. Thus, making things a lot handier.
Pressing the external button, you can switch to your favorite auto-darkening settings. How’s this possible? 3M gave their welding helmets this feature to remember to preset ADF settings. By pressing the buttons for 2 seconds you can switch between those settings. Just imagine the comfort!
Wide Viewing Area
Side windows with dark shade filter of 5 extend your lateral views. With a viewing area of 1.8 inches x 3.7 inches, this welding helmet has the third largest view among the 9100 series. Extremely helpful for outdoor and factory welding, since you need to be able to see what’s going on in your surroundings.
Number of Shades
Allows welders to choose dark shades 5 through 13. Also has a light shade choice of 3 to see things clearly with proper contrasts colors when you are grinding or not welding.
For All Sorts of Welding
Settings and customizations offered by this helmet enable welders to customize the settings for all types of welding. You can do MIG, TIG and stick welding and even grinding with this single helmet. You can even customize the ADF depending on the amperage of your welding!!!!
3 sensors to detect the arc of welding makes the auto-darkening feature more and more reliable. Having multiple sensors makes it more convenient for outdoor and factory uses.
Two batteries give the ADF a life of about 117 days. Each Cr2030 battery of 3V is easily accessible and replaceable.
What users are claiming badly
Weighing about one and a half pound the welding helmets creates sore necks if you wear it for too long.
Side windows have a fixed shade of 5. So, most of the time the dimming is not sufficient and makes it hard to weld during arcs. Especially if you are welding aluminum you will face this problem a lot.
3. Metal Man Variable Shade Professional Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
These are welding helmets of Metal Man 8735 SG series.
What we liked
Wide Viewing Area
Offers a viewing area of 3.78 inches by 2.05 inches. This facilitates the welder to get a proper view of his vicinity and his welding as well. Also reduces the probability of getting a sore neck too.
Three Graphic Designs
Metal Man manufactured welding helmets of 8735 SG series in three different graphic designs. They are Blue Flame, Blue-Silver Flame with the anterior portion silver and the Techno Skull for goths. The skulls give the helmets a very eerie look.
Weighs only about 1.1 pounds. Being extremely lightweight, this welding helmet is extremely comfortable for professional welders and longtime use. Also, reduces the neck pain.
9 to 13 Shade Levels
To make the welding helmet applicable for a wide variety of welding such as MIG welding, TIG Welding and Stick welding Metal Man gave this helmet adjustable shade levels varying from 9 to 13.
Don’t have to flip or take off your helmets every time you have grind. Comes with a Grind Mode option to clearly with proper contrasts during grinding.
Solar panel on top of the lens recharges the battery automatically so that you will not be needing to replace the battery quite often. Thus, making sure that you will not have to be running around for a battery in the middle of a welding. This gives quite the helping hand.
Four Arc Sensors
There aren’t one or two arc sensors but four, which is really amazing. Enabling the ADF to flip the darkness of the lens within milliseconds of the arc, gives your eye an extra bit of protection.
Besides these enormous number of sensors makes sure that the ADF works properly even out in the open under the sun.
Your lens won’t be getting scratches on your lens and the view won’t getting blurry all the time. This is made possible by the exterior and interior lens cover. These are easy to replace and available on the market.
Replaceable lens cover increases the durability of the Auto-darkening lens and keeps the viewing area clean.
Automatic Light Shade
When you are not welding the auto-darkening feature switches light shade of 3.5. Thus, allowing the user to get a proper look at the weld.
Magnifying Lens Slot
You can set 2 inches by 4 inches and quarter inches thick magnifying lens on the inside of the helmet. The magnifying lens allows the users to get a closer view of his weld making it easier to see things without getting too close.
Adjustable Head Depth
You can customize the vertical positioning of the helmet by adjusting the over the cranium headband of the helmet. This lets the user adjust the position of his or her eyes too.
Adjustable Eye to Lens Distance
You will be able to change the distance between the eye and the lens with this headband. Since individual preference varies and to facilitate using magnifying glasses within the lens.
Variable Drop Speed Resistance
You can control how fast the helmet will fall if you shake your head. This can be easily done with the help of an exterior knob. So, you can even change it while you are wearing a welding glove.
Metal Man has provided 2 years replacement warranty for the lens. Usually, nothing will happen to your lens and if anything does happen then you will be getting a replacement. Isn’t that awesome!!
You will be needing a Lithium-ion battery for the ADF. But rest assured that one has already been provided by the manufacturer “Metal Man”.
Meets Multiple Industry Standards
Meets the requirements for various industry standards such as ANSI, CSA, CE, and DIN+. So, you can comprehend how good the helmet is.
What users are claiming badly
Malfunctioning Shade Adjustment
Some users have claimed that the shade does not adjust from 9 to 13 as it is supposed to do. It only goes from light to dark. But the worst part is the light is also too dark. This is quite troublesome.
Some users claimed that this thing went out of order pretty quickly. So, it might not be just worth buying. Even if the battery is changed it does not come back to life so it might be something internal.
4. Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
What we liked
Remarkably Light Weight
Weighs only about 602 grams i.e. about 1.3 lbs making it superbly comfortable. Typically, heavyweight helmets create problems like neck pains.
State of the art auto-darkening filter on the lens makes sure that your eyes are never hurt with the arcs while you are welding. It changes the shade quickly with the intensity of light falling on the lens.
Free Cover Bag
Lincoln electric provides a bag along with the helmet for free. You can use it to keep the helmet in the bag. This will reduce all the dust gathering on the helmet.
You will see that there is a test button underneath the lens. Pressing the test button, you can see whether the Auto-Darkening Filter is working properly or not.
Good Ventilation System
You will not have to breath in all those fumes and gases from welding while you are wearing this helmet. This helmet has been designed to circulate air properly so the gases don’t build up in the breathing zone.
Hard Hat Adapter Cables
You can wear a hard hat while you are wearing one of these helmets. The headgear has hard hat adapter cable which will hold on to the hat. Thus, allowing the user to wear a hard hat along with the helmet.
The fastest the Auto-darkening filter can change the shade is within 0.04 milliseconds. But you can increase it according to your wishes by using the delay settings.
Just underneath the lens, you will find three knobs, one among them is the delay settings. Rotating it to the left will increase the delay and rotating it to the right will decrease it.
You will be able to get to the grind mode just by rotating the exterior knob. Going on the grind mode you will find that every setting has been adjusted for a clear view of grinding.
Large Viewing Area
You will have the largest viewing area among the Viking line of helmets by Lincoln Electric. The dimensioning of the viewing area is 3.74 inches x 3.34 inches in SI units that is about 95 mm x 85 mm.
So, you will be able to see almost everything around you.
You will find the sensitivity settings just below the lens among the three knobs I talked about earlier. By adjusting the sensitivity settings, you can set how much of flux intensity will change the shade of the lens. This makes this welding helmet perfect for working in a factory and personal workshop.
Sweat Absorbent Head Band
The forehead strap of the head clamp has a soft-patching. The patching also makes it sweat absorbent. So, sweat dripping from your forehead which is extremely useful.
There are four sensors to detect the arcs of welding to change the shade automatically with the ADF. Having four sensors really decreases the odds of missing out on an arc and hurting your eyes.
Free Cheater Lens
The Viking helmet comes with a free magnifying lens provided by the manufacturer.
A sheet full of stickers with different designs is given along with the helmet. The stickers also have all the alphabets, so you can write your name or your company’s name on the helmet to make it look cool.
Lincoln Electric has provided a built-in suspension system for this helmet. This reduces the pressure on the neck and shoulder. Making it comfortable to wear for a long period of time.
3 Years Warranty
You will be getting a three-year warranty on this helmet. This shows how confident Lincoln Electric is on this helmet. So, you can keep on welding without any tension of damaging the helmet for two years.
Variable Shade Settings
You can adjust the shade settings from 5 to 13. This wide range of shade allows this helmet to be used for all types of welding.
What users are claiming badly
You will see that most of the parts are made out of metal. So, there is a high probability that they might rust. Hence you will have to take proper care.
Not for Outdoor Welding
A handful of customers have complained that they are having issues with outdoor welding. The ADF reacts too much to the sun. If the weather is a bit cloudy then you might be able to weld at piece but on a sunny day, the lens keeps getting dark all the time.
There are no graphics what so ever on the hood and comes in only one color. This is not a major drawback but people usually like a bit of design and different colors to have their favorite color.
No Memory Mode
Some welding helmets have this memory mode thing which can remember a number of settings preferences. So, when you want to go to one of those settings you can just press a button and have that setting. Unfortunately, this one does not have it.
Prone to Scratches
The shiny surface of the helmet comes with an issue that is it gets easily scratched. So, you will have to be careful with this.
5. Welding Helmet, Shade 3 and 8-12, Black
This helmet is manufactured by Miller Electric. It’s the Miller Classic Series Variable-Shade Black Welding Helmet 251292.
What we liked
Shades on this helmet switches so fast that you won’t even be noticing it. It takes only about 0.1 milliseconds to switch.
Miller Electric is providing the buyers of this user with a warrant of two years on this product. So, you can use it without having to hesitate about breaking it.
Low Battery Indicator
You will never be having the trouble of your battery running out in the middle of welding. The helmet has a low battery indicator just below the lens, this way you will get to know that the battery is running out before it actually does.
Magnifying Lens Holder
You can use magnifying lens a.k.a. cheater lens with this helmet. It has a built-in magnifying lens holder. So, you will not have to get too close to get a closer view while you are welding.
Appropriate for All Sorts of Welding
The helmet is engineered such that you will able to do MIG, Stick as well as stick welding. So, it’s a bit of all in one helmet.
To set things more to your liking and preferences you will be able to change the shade from 8 to 12. This meets individual’s choice regarding the settings. Thus, ending your worries regarding the darkness of the lens.
Right on top of the lens, you will notice a strip of the solar panel. This solar panel constantly recharges your battery to increase the lifetime of your battery. In this case, the lifetime of the battery gets as high as 2000 hours.
Auto On / Off
Automatic on thingy makes your life a lot easier by turning the ADF automatically on. So, you don’t have to worry about getting flashed anymore.
Light Shade 3
When you are not welding, it is quite usual that you will want to see things more clearly. To meet this need this helmet has a light shade system. When there’s no arc the lens will automatically adjust its shade to three. Wala! There you have a perfect vision.
Weighing only 16 oz this helmet will give you added comfort due to extreme lightweight. It will relieve you from the neck pain. So, you can weld as long as you want to.
High TIG Rating
You can TIG weld with this up to a high amperage. This helmet will allow you to do TIG weld up to 20 amps without facing any problem.
Helmet Bag and Lenses
The Miller Electric throws in a helmet carrying bag and a couple of extra few lenses. This helps out a lot in times of need. You never know when you will be needing a lens because yours got destroyed.
A large viewing area of about 5.03 square inches lets the users see almost everything around them. The length and breadth and breadth of the viewing area is 3.86 inches and 1.78 inches respectively. Perfect for welding and completely unobstructed view of your surroundings.
Cover Lens Bonanza
Miller Electric is providing 5 pieces of exterior cover lenses and 2 pieces of interior cover lenses. If you had bought these then you would have to pay a couple of bucks.
What are users claiming badly?
This is definitely one of the best welding helmets but it has some inevitable drawbacks. These keep it from being the perfect helmet money can buy.
2 Arc Sensors
Having only 2 arc sensors, the helmet can’t pick up on every arcs or flash during welding. So, the helmet is bound to miss some arcs and might bot darken like it is supposed to. This just might hurt your eyes.
Longevity of Sensors
Some users have claimed that the sensors burn out quite quickly. Which is an absolute red mark? The sensors are what makes the auto darkening of the lens work. If that is fried the basically the helmet is fried.
Not for Working Outside
This helmet definitely can’t be used outside under the sun. It stays dark all the time. Which makes it quite difficult to work with. This might not be an issue for many because most of the people do not work out in the open.
6. Hobart 770754 Impact Agent Orange Variable Auto-Dark Helmet
One of most top-rated welding helmets on the internet till date.
What we liked
Weighing about 575 grams only, the Hobart 770754 is extremely lightweight and comfortable to use. So, if you have to weld for about 8 to 10 hours a day then you can weld comfortably with this. Being constructed out of polyamide instead of hard plastic makes it so much lightweight.
Hobart 770754 Impact Agent welding helmets come in various shades for the ADF to meet the individual’s choice and suitable for various types of welding. You can choose the shade from 8 to 13 by changing the shade settings. You will also notice an extra shade of 3 for the light state.
Vast Viewing Area
You will be getting a viewing area of about 7.05 inches, which is more than sufficient to get a proper weld and view of your surroundings. The exact dimensioning of the viewing area would be 3.81 inches by 1.85 inches.
2 Years Warranty
Hobart has issued a 2 years warranty for this welding helmet. So, you will not have to think about this breaking or anything for two whole years. This also shows the manufacturers confidence in the durability of this helmet.
As always, the ADF requires a power source and the source is a replaceable battery. One CR2540 Lithium Ion battery is provided by Hobart along with the welding helmet.
On top of the lens, there’s a solar panel which charges the battery with the arcs of welding. This increases the lifetime of the battery.
The ADF functions so perfectly that the shade changes within 1 part of 25000 of a second. So, the lens will prevent those high-intensity arcs to hit your eyes efficiently.
3 Arc Sensors
Unlike most other welding helmets, the Hobart 770754 has 3 arc sensors to detect every arc created due to welding. Having multiple arc sensors decreases the odds of missing out on an arc and flashing your eyes.
Includes Spare Lenses
Hobart provides the buyers of this helmet with spare cover lenses both for the inside and for the outside. There are 5 exterior and 2 interior cover lenses.
Accepts Cheater Lenses
The Hobart 770754 accepts magnifying cheater lenses. So, it becomes easier for a welder to get a closer and magnified view of the welding spot without getting too close to the welding spot.
The head clamps are engineered to fit the head of every person perfectly. There are a few things that make this head clamp state of the art.
- Two Over Cranium Strap
The over cranium straps are adjustable. This will enable you to adjust the vertical position of the helmet. Thus, fitting the lens perfectly in front of your eyes.
- Mushy Fore Head Strap
You will not be feeling uncomfortable due to hard or plastic forehead strap since the forehead strap of this welding helmet is super soft.
- Back Tightening Knob
The knob on the back of the head allows the users to set how tightly the helmet will hold on to the head.
Automatic On/ Off
You can just put on the welding helmet and start welding without thinking about turning it on. The arc sensors will detect the arc and instantaneously turn on the helmet i.e. the ADF.
Likewise, you will not have to care about turning it off since it will turn itself off automatically.
Low Battery Indicator
Tired of batteries running out in the middle of welding, then this helmet has a solution for you. There is a low battery indicator to let you know that the battery is about to die out. So, you can prepare beforehand.
What are users claiming to be bad
Since there are so many shade levels the battery runs out of juice quite fast. If you are a professional welder and work with this for about 10 hours a day then you will have to change the batteries every week.
To make the helmet lightweight the hood is made very thin. Even though it can take the damage of spatters and regular sized debris it might not take too much impact. So, you will have to be careful about handling it.
Not So Cool Graphic
Some customers have complained that they don’t like the designs on the hood.
Solar Powered Auto-darkening Welding Helmets
7. Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
What we liked
MIG, TIG as well as plasma cutting can be done with ease and safety with this helmet. You will not have to buy a helmet for every type of welding that you are doing.
When the charge on the battery is about to end you will see a LED light glowing indicating that the battery is near the end of its life. So, you’ll never be in trouble during welding.
It’s up to you how much sense the lenses are to arcs. This will enable you to weld easily with proper auto-darkening in a factory with a bunch of welders and also in the workshop.
To block the post-arc radiations the delay settings on this thing works superbly. The lens will remain dark up to certain period of time of your preference after the arc ends.
Ginormous Viewing Size
Comes with a viewing area of 3.86 inches by 1.73 inches to let you see everything that’s going. Such large viewing area is great for all jobs and ease.
Great Budget Helmet
Price of the helmet is very low compared to other welding helmets out there and what you are getting from this. It is very usual for a welding helmet of such configuration to cost a couple of hundreds of dollars.
Cheater Lens Compatible
The magnifying lens can be used along with the helmet due to its magnifying lens compatible design. This helps out a lot to stay out of the heat of welding by letting the welder see things closely without actually getting closer.
You will be able to change the shade of the lens due to ADF just by rotating an exterior knob. The shade can be varied from 5-13 i.e. it goes from all the way from light to dark. This feature makes the helmet appropriate for every type of welding and plasma cutting.
Like a lot of welding helmets, this one also has a grinding mode. This helps the user to start grinding all of a sudden without having to take off the helmet. It’s very useful because you’ll be constantly changing between welding and grinding during a project.
Automated On – Off
The lens on the helmet has been programmed to turn on and off automatically by sensing the arc. This increases the battery life a lot.
Hard Hat Adapter
Especially during over the head welding you will be required to wear hard hats to protect your head from spatters and debris. To make this happen Antra has a manufactured a hard hat adapter for this welding helmet.
A CR2032 battery comes included with the helmet ad it’s replaceable.
Solar panel on top of the lens enhances the lifetime of the battery and makes you a part of the green revolution.
Operating Temperature Range
You’ll be working with a welding helmet on a freezing day and on a really hot day. To keep the helmet fully functional at all temperatures Antra manufactured the helmet such that it’ll work at -100C up to 550C.
Polyamide Nylon Construction
To make the helmet super heavy duty the helmet has been manufactured with polyamide nylon instead of your regular plastic. It makes the helmet more durable in spite of the spatters and debris.
Included Lens Cover
Antra is providing its buyers with 6 external and 1 internal lens cover fully free! The lens cover keeps the lens protected from any scratches or spatters.
What are users claiming badly?
Hard Hat Adapter Not Included
The hard hat adapter I talked about earlier is sold separately. It’s not included with the helmet, it’;
Not for All Heads
The headband on this helmet does not fit everybody. For those of you who are blessed with a large head, this is not the helmet you should be blessed with. It just doesn’t fit everybody.
This thing does not come in a ready to use condition. The headband comes separated from the helmet and you will have to end up putting it back together. At times knob to adjust the headband scratches the inside of the lens and that is very awful.
8. Tacklife PAH03D Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
What we liked
Eye-Catching Viewing Area
More than sufficient viewing area to get a proper weld done. The approximate dimensioning of the viewing area as per the manufacturer’s specification is 3.94 inches by 2.87 inches. That’s about the size of a small smartphone.
Slot to Attach Magnifying Lens
There is a slot for putting the magnifying lens on this thing which is absolutely lovely. At times you might feel the need to zoom in on the incident and the only way to do this is to be using a magnifying lens.
4 Premium Sensors
You get four sensors placed accurately to sense every arc in the vicinity. This enhances the safety of your eyes since the ADF will darken the lens every time.
The ADF darkens approximately within 0.04 milliseconds of the arc. This prevents the flashes to hit your eyes completely.
The Tacklife PAH03D has met multiple industry standard to ensure the quality of the product to their customers. Having met various standards such as ANSI, CSA, and CE, this product has proven it to be reliable and durable.
The shade of the welding helmet can be varied from 9 to 13 but the shade on this helmet can be varied from 3 to 13 with 3 being the lightest shade. This helps the users to work with the helmet in varying
Manufactured with high impact resistant polyamide nylon instead of polypropylene. Using polypropylene has made the helmet lightweight, durable, flame retardant and corrosion resistant.
To make the helmet more environment-friendly Tacklife has given it a solar cell right on top of the lens. Not only making you a part of the green revolution but also increases the lifetime of the battery.
The power source for the Auto-Darkening Filter is the CR24500 Lithium Battery. Tacklife has provided one for the user so that you’ll not be facing the problem.
Included Cover Lens
6 pieces of the cover lens to protect the ADF lens is given by Tacklife to protect the lens and increase the longevity of the thing.
What users are claiming badly
Head Clamp is not very strong. A handful of buyers have claimed that their headbands broke off quite soon. Thus, destroying the whole helmet.
Types of the Welding Helmet
Welders classified helmets into a couple of categories depending on whether they have some basic features.
Welding helmets might come with a built-in solar panel. This automatically recharges the battery by consuming energy from the arcs.
Welding helmets with solar panel are referred to as the Solar Powered Welding Helmets.
Auto Darkening welding helmets are the ones that come with Auto-Darkening Filter. These sort of helmets changes the shade of the lens depending on the arcs of the helmet. The lens gets dark instantaneously when it’s hit by an arc.
This one’s not more of a feature, it’s more of a drawback. These helmets have only one prefixed shade on their lens and do not change due to arc nor can it be changed manually.
Extremely cheap welding helmets are usually fixed shade. These helmets usually have a higher chance of damaging your eyes quickly.
Why I prefer auto darkening over standard Lens Welding helmet?
Auto Darkening helmets can change the darkness if the lens detecting the intensity of arcs. Not only that auto-darkening welding helmets also come with a couple of other features like delay settings, shade settings which make the helmet more customizable.
Think about having a shade on the lens that too dark and will protect your eyes from high-intensity flashes. Well, it will protect your eyes but you won’t be seeing anything properly most of the time and welding will not be precise at all. After using this for a couple of hours you will probably prefer or start to weld without it.
How about a very light shade? With a very light shade, you might see things more clearly but you won’t be able to see anything during intense arcs. Above all your eyes will be damaged before you even know it.
Another thing about auto-darkening helmets is that you can set the shade according to your preferences and the ADF will change the shade in proportion to that. Besides this, you will have a delay setting which can keep the shade dark even after the arc to block harmful radiations such as Ultra-Violet and Infrared rays.
There are some questions many beginners ask while getting welding helmets. Here are those questions and they are answered as well.
Q. Are the batteries replaceable?
Yes, the batteries can obviously be replaced.
Q. Will the lens get dark if I look at the sun?
It depends on the type of lens you are using. If the lens is not wavelength specific then it will obviously get dark in the sun.
If you were with me up until this point, then I don’t think that you have one good reason to not have a welding helmet. Even pros don’t dare to weld without welding helmets. For the sake of their eyes and more importantly for precise welding, welders prefer and suggest having a welding helmet i.e. an auto-darkening welding helmet.
I have gone through every possible feature of welding helmets prevailing in the twenty-first century. Pointed out ways and place from which you can verify the features of the helmet to get the best welding helmet for you.