Welding is a process that uses high temperatures and a specialized tool to bring together two different types of metals. As the temperature climbs so high, you need a helmet that will protect your face, neck and head from that heat. Helmets also features shades on the front that protect your eyes from the arcs and flashes that occur when welding, which can burn your eyes.
While you can find cheaper welding helmets, you should spend extra to bring home one that has an auto-darkening shade on the front. This type of shade automatically darkens at the first sign of a flash or arc. Some of the best helmets will even respond in less than one second, which reduces the risks that you might experience some of the common injuries that other welders do.
Some helmets from different manufacturers feature Speedglas, which is a material patented by 3M that acts as a filter to block out the harsh arcs produced with welding. The 3M™ Speedglas™ 9100 FX Welding Helmet is the best welding helmet because it features this material and has a fast response time of just 0.1 milliseconds. Its filter lens on the front has various settings that will automatically transition from light to dark and then back again.
The 3M™ Speedglas™ 9100 FX Welding Helmet blocks out both UV rays and the infrared radiation that could otherwise damage your skin and eyes. It also features windows on the sides that give you a clear view of the area around you. You can learn about this 3M welding helmet as well as others before deciding which one will best meet the needs of your job duties.
Best Welding Helmet
There is no doubt that the 3M™ Speedglas™ 9100 FX Welding Helmet (Check Price on Amazon.com) is the best welding helmet because it comes directly from 3M and features the Speedglas technology patented by that company to respond to arcs and welds in 0.1 milliseconds, which is fast enough to protect your eyes. As a flip-up helmet, it actually has a separate piece on the front that includes the lens filter, but when you flip up this piece, it leaves your face exposed and allows you to clearly see any tasks you need to do that do not involve welding. The helmet also has an auto-darkening lens that instantly moves from a lighter or darker shade based on the amount and intensity of arcs.
The head suspension inside has an ergonomic design that mimics the curves of your head to both ensure that the helmet doesn’t slide off and to help you feel more comfortable as you weld. While other helmets limit what you can see to the things immediately in front of you, this 3M welding helmet has side windows that enhance your peripheral view, and those windows have filters that darken the light when needed. 3M guarantees that this helmet is suitable for the three top types of welding: TIG, MIG and stick.
Top Rated Welding Helmets on the Market
Designed for use with stick, MIG and TIG welding applications, the Speedglas 9100 FX Welding Helmet allows you to work on any hobby projects that you want to do as well as the professional work that you do on the job without worrying about arcs damaging your eyes or sparks injuring your skin. The helmet has a fabric covering on top that is resistant to sparks and splatters and a front piece that you can lift up to expose your eyes and face, and 3M designed the helmet in a way that lets you lift up the front piece with one hand. As an ergonomic helmet, it reduces some of the pressure on your upper body, and it features crown straps that you can adjust as needed and padded headband on the front.
This 3M helmet is an auto-darkening helmet that instantly adjusts in 0.1 milliseconds to protect your eyes, but you can also adjust the filter lens yourself based on the type of welding that you need to do. It features a larger window on the front that expands the area you can see as well as side windows with darkening filters that enhance your peripheral view. Other features include three sensors that monitor for flashes, lithium batteries that last for up to 2,500 hours and a head covering that is resistant to splatters and sparks.
The Optrel Liteflip Autopilot Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet is a fully automated helmet that springs into action as soon as it detects any spark, and unlike other helmets that require you make a few adjustments, this one lets you use it on the same setting for all types of welding because its autopilot setting will adjust the darkness of the shade almost instantly. It features an auto-darkening shade in the center of the helmet with a flip up design that lets you lift up the shade to look at your work in the natural light, and this design can also help you do work before or after you weld. A built-in filter actually catches particles like dust and smoke before those hazards reach your face, and you can attach an optional respiratory for added safety.
Both ergonomic and lightweight, this Liteflip helmet has an oval shape that ensures the base of the helmet covers your entire face and neck, but it also has an open spot in the back that keeps your head clear and prevents overheating. An adjustable strap wraps around the inside of the helmet and features a buckle that won’t scratch against your skin. This is a solar helmet that does not require any batteries because it will harness its power from the sun’s rays as well as light flashes and arcs.
3. Jackson Safety BH3 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology (Check Price on Amazon.com)
Yellow and black never looked as good together as those shades do in this BH3 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology from Jackson Safety, which features an auto-darkening filter lens that meets all professional standards because this lens diffuses the light to give you perfect clarity. Suitable for the top three types of welding applications, the helmet has a variable shade range between nine and 13 that you can adjust on your own as you move from job to job, but the helmet will also adjust itself as sparks fly. A delay setting knob inside gives you the chance to select how quickly or slowly you want the helmet to respond, and its sensitivity knob lets you decide on how sensitive you want the helmet to be.
This helmet consists of a plastic shell that has an aerodynamic shield on the front that cuts down on reflections on the lens, reduces fogging and limits the amount of heat that builds up inside. Its plastic shell has a curved and elongated design that protects the skin on your face and neck as well as the hair on your head safe from splatters and debris that might come off while welding. The helmet also comes with adjustable headgear inside that changes its fit based on the size of your head and features that you can use for hooking up a magnification lens or a hard hat.
4. Jackson Safety TrueSight II Digital Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology (Check Price on Amazon.com)
As a three-in-one welding helmet, Jackson Safety designed the TrueSight II Digital Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology for all welding jobs and includes features that make it a good choice for MIG or TIG welding as well as arc/stick welding. As you look at popular welding helmets, you’ll find that many have a basic or plain design with a matte black shell, but the TrueSight II comes in fun designs like this Tattoo Graphic helmet, which has a tan background with graphics that look like real tattoos, include a graphic on the side of a banner wrapped around a heart with a sword through it and a cross just beneath the chin. It also has a tattoo graphic on the top with a medical inspiration of snakes wrapped around a staff and the words, “Fire it up” nearby.
In addition to its great look, this helmet comes with nice features like a viewing area that measures 3.25-inches by four-inches that helps you see a wider area in front of you and digital controls that real welders designed for ease of use on the job site. The four sensors tell the auto-darkening helmet when to adjust its filter based on the light available, and it has knobs that adjust both its sensitivity and delay. Jackson Safety added an adjustable headband that wraps all the way around your head too.
Jackson Safety makes many of the best welding helmets, according to reviews from professional welders, and its HSL 100 Welding Helmet incorporates features that you might only expect to see on expensive helmets while sticking to a lower price. As a three-in-one helmet, it comes with adjustable settings for use on grinding applications and settings that you can use when doing TIG or MIG welding, and it features digital controls conveniently located inside the helmet that you can adjust before putting the helmet on or while in the middle of a welding job. Jackson Safety added a lens in a softer amber shade to the front, and this warmer color both reduces eye strain and increases the clarity of your viewing field.
This helmet has a slightly boxier design than some of the others that you might prefer, but that boxy shape includes a collar that wraps around the base of the helmet to protect your neck and chin from sparks and wider panels on the sides that increase the safety of your face. It features a circuit design patented by Jackson Safety that lets it detect arcs and flashes when doing welding jobs that use just five amps, which makes this helmet more sensitive than others. Though you can use the helmet as-is, you can also use it with a hard hat or a different lens.
Miller Electric prides itself on making welding helmets that offer the maximum level of protection without a lot of bells and whistles that increase the price like the Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet in Titanium that offers all the features you want but at a price that more welders can afford. This helmet uses nylon in its shell to bring the weight of the helmet down to less than four pounds, which in turn reduces the strain on your neck and the pressure on your head, and it comes in a titanium color that has a clean and modern look. It also has a visor area on the front that includes the auto-darkening lens and lifts up to keep your face free, which can help you release some of the heat trapped inside and get a better look at the work you need to do.
Though it lacks side windows, the helmet does feature a nine-square inch viewing area on the front that expands the area that you can see and gives you a better view of your surroundings. As the helmet uses lithium batteries instead of the solar power that others use, you won’t worry about the helmet running out of power, and it will alert you when those batteries run low too. This helmet comes with a carrying bag as well as both interior and exterior lenses.
The Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Steampunk Welding Helmet is another unique welding helmet that has a more fun design that will appeal more to those who dislike the solid black of matte black helmets on the market because it takes the steampunk lifestyle and adds designs common in that field to the exterior shell. That shell, which has a lightweight design that reduces pressure on your head and neck while protecting your chin and face, uses rich shades of black, brown, red and gold and graphics of cog wheels, clocks and gauges. This design even includes a pair of replica goggles that sit right above your face and a graphic that looks like a smile complete with metal teeth right over your own mouth.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the overall design, you will like that the helmet uses 4C technology, which allows you to see more colors and see more clearly when using the helmet in either an inactive state or an active state, and in its inactive state, you can see just as clearly as if you didn’t put the helmet on. Though it uses a lithium batter, Lincoln Electric design that battery on the VIKING to use less power, which means that you need to replace it less often. It also features a wider screen on the front to give you a larger viewing area.
Experience a better and clearer view both while welding and while working in natural light with the Optrel VegaView 2.5 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet, which features an auto-darkening filter lens that filters out the harsh sparks and arcs that you might otherwise see while still helping you see the materials in front of you. Though its auto-darkening lens lets you work without using one or both hands on the helmet, it also comes with a shade adjustment that you can turn down to eight or up to 12 based on the materials you use as well as the type of welding that you do. It has an ADF lens with a special coating over the top that protects your eyes and reduces eye strain, but this coating allows you to see more natural colors.
A sensitivity adjustment knob is great for those who work in enclosed spaces because you can adjust the sensitivity of the helmet to keep it from darkening when it picks up on the flashes produced by other welders. The sensor slide also adjusts to an angle between 60 and 120 degrees to keep the helmet from detecting other nearby welders. For added protection, you can use this helmet with a respirator that weeds out debris.
Caterpillar is one of the top names in the construction industry and makes some of the machinery and equipment that you might use on the job site, and Miller Electric partnered with that company to create this 268618 CAT Edition 1 Digital Elite Welding Helmet, which features the CAT logo down near the chin area and uses the company’s patented black and yellow colors all across the front. The helmet has an elongated design that offers extra protection for your face and digital controls that you can adjust while wearing the helmet or before you slip it on and start working. It has four built-in modes that are suitable for all welding applications.
An x-mode designed by the company keeps the sunlight from interfering with the helmet and prevents that light from forcing the helmet to darken, and that other modes can adjust up to a maximum shade of eight. It comes with hidden cavities for use with other accessories and sensors that will never detect a false positive and darken the lens. In addition to a three-year warranty, Miller Electric gives you some accessories for use with the helmet, including two interior lenses, five exterior lenses and a helmet carrying bag.
This Jessi the Welder Welding Helmet from Lincoln Electric, also called the VIKING 2450, is one of the few unisex helmets that you’ll see on the market, and while some will love the bright red background and the white polka dots that pop off that background, others may prefer something a little more darker or a helmet that has a matte finish rather than a shiny finish. Like other VIKING helmets, it uses 4C technology that reduces the amount of light that gets through the helmet but also boosts the clarity to help you see perfectly when welding or when wearing the helmet and doing other tasks. Its 1/1/1/1 optical clarity is the best and brightest that you will find in a welding helmet.
The digital screen on the front is wider than those on similarly priced helmets and features knobs inside for adjusting both the delay and the sensitivity, which will come in helpful when working close to other welders. It also features a battery life of up to twice what other helmets have. Included with the helmet is a bandanna that you can wear underneath the helmet to keep the sweat out of your eyes, various lenses and a carrying bag with adjustable straps.
11. Jackson Safety SmarTIGer Variable Auto-Darkening (ADF) Welding Helmet (Check Price on Amazon.com)
The Jackson Safety SmarTIGer Variable Auto-Darkening (ADF) Welding Helmet is probably the best helmet for those on a budget because it features the same auto-darkening system as other helmets do, which automatically adjusts the darkness of the front to compensate for arc flashes, but costs less and is affordable enough for new welders. Though the helmet comes in two different sizes, both sizes come with the same shield range of nine to 13, which is dark enough for MIG and TIG welding but light enough for arc welding. A delay setting adjusts the delay between the arc and the helmet’s response time, and its sensitivity setting can keep the helmet from detecting the arcs and flashes from other welders working in the same vicinity.
A plastic shell on the outside of the helmet is so lightweight that most barely even notice they put it on, and the front of the helmet features an aerodynamic cover plate that keeps heat from building up inside while also keeping fog and reflections from limiting how you can work. It meets the American National Standards Institute’s standards for professional welding work and also meets the standards for impacts because the helmet can absorb impacts and keep your head safe. Compatible with accessories like magnification lenses and construction hats, the headgear inside adjusts in three different ways for use on different job sites.
As we looked at welding helmets designed for different welding jobs, we kept noticing that many looked so much alike that most people would have a hard time telling different models apart, but it took just one look at the Forney 55712 Master Series Patriot Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet for us to realize that this is the best helmet on the market for those who want a design that is more unique. This lets you show off your patriotic side and the love you have for your country because it features the graphic of an American flag that wraps around the helmet, but because it uses a vintage design of the flag, it lets you make a statement at work.
This helmet features a viewing area of more than nine-square inches, which extends both the length and the width that you can see, but its lens also has a slightly smoky finish that can extend the distance at which you can see too. Four sensors inside constantly monitor your surroundings for signs of arcs and reacts instantly when a sensor spots one, but you can adjust the settings to compensate for the flashes created by other welders working around you.
Hobart has a strong reputation for the kitchen appliances and electronics that the company makes, but Hobart also makes safety gear like this Hobart 770753 Pro Variable Auto-Dark Helmet, which meets all OSHA standards and the standards of other professional organizations for safety on the job site. It features a grind mode that changes the amount of light that comes through for doing grinding and an automatic shut off mode that turns itself off when you stop welding, and it has a reaction time of just 1/30,00 of a second. Though it uses a standard light shade of three, it also has a variable light shade that automatically adjusts between eight and 13.
The 9.02-square inch viewing area has a small border that overlaps the lens just enough to ensure that it blocks out the sparks that come from other welders. You can adjust the delay between 0.1 and one seconds, and you can replace the lithium batteries anytime the batteries run low. The helmet has a sensitivity setting that adjusts the amount of ambient light that comes through and four independent sensors inside.
With a camouflage graphic on the outside that completely surrounds the shell of the helmet, this Save Phace 3011704 Warpig 40-Vizl4 Series Welding Helmet can make you feel like you’re in the middle of a battle or in the woods as you hunt for wild animals, and that graphic can also help you blend into any background to get work done without disrupting others. Save Phace guarantees that this helmet has the largest viewing area of any welding helmet, and this viewing area actually includes smaller areas on the sides that function as windows to give you up to 40-square inches of viewing space. It also features a fast change system designed to help you change lenses faster and is compatible with cheater lenses too.
A halo headgear inside can also help you save time because this articulating headgear adjusts in a variety of different ways and even lets you adjust the fit of the helmet while it’s on your head. Its ADF filter works with the two internal sensors to respond to flashes before you even spot those flashes.
The AH7-360-7315 Solar Power Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet from Antra is a welding helmet that almost looks like a racing helmet because it features bold red graphics of a shark on one side, the word shark in bold letters and even a little fake blood on the front that makes it look like that shark just attacked. All those graphics really highlight the auto-darkening lens on the front, which responds in 1/25,000 of a second. The automatic power knob on the side lets you turn off that lens to see with your own eyes and then turn that lens back on just as quickly.
Its top feature is that it has a battery saving mode, which lets you know before the battery runs out, and this feature lets the helmet keep working for up to 10 full minutes. The helmet can move from its lightest to its darkest mode in just one second or less, and the outer shell is resistant to most types of impacts. You can use this helmet with different interior and exterior lenses as well hard hats and other attachments.