It doesn’t matter whether you’re a farmer, producing hot rods, or repairing appliances. Sooner or later, when you deal with metal, you need to weld something.
Once you start burning fuel, you’d best have a proper welding hat over your head. The suitable welding mask makes the work harder and makes it easier to do a difficult job.
Modern welding helmets are lightweight, deliver high-tech features, and can make you look amazing.
But picking the wrong helmet could be expensive and even painful. Welding is going to throw flaming flames and drips molten metal around the construction site.
We looked closely at eight different welding goggles. The cost of balancing features and utility will position you in the right gear.
- 4C Lens technology for accurate color viewing
- Auto-darkening Filter Glass
- Low-profile external grinding mode switch
- Continuous light sensitivity control
- 12.5 square inches of the viewing area
- 4 Arc Sensors
- High-quality professional helmet
- Large viewing area
- Continuous light sensing: work indoors or out
- Activate grind mode button with gloves on
- Helmet bag, bandana, five outside lenses, two inside
- Inside dials to change sensitivity and shade level
- Some users say the headgear won’t stay tight.
- Light can get inside the helmet from behind.
- Not enough coverage to please some welders
The Viking 3350 series is Lincoln Electric’s top-of-the-line auto-darkening hood. Lincoln says these welding helmets have been developed to provide a combination of comfort, flexibility, and premium optics. Vision through glass is as fantastic as it is on these helmets, with a visual visibility level of 1/1/1 and real-world colors. Most of the welders who purchase this helmet are delighted with the visual consistency, and the varying hue ranges from 5 to 13.
The concept is designed for distributing weight around the helmet to increase balance and make it feel lighter. Any people complain that the button to tighten the headgear will not remain close, which means that it often breaks off while the headgear is bent over. This auto-darkening helmet has an accessory to match on a hard hat.
The 3350 series ranges in vivid variations from driving stripes to robot heads and skull patterns. The 1.2-pound weight is not the lightest helmet on the market, but the ample display space means more glass and adds weight. Anything comes at a premium. Lincoln Electric is one of the most well-respected welding equipment firms in the industry, a favorite of experienced welders.
- Panoramic 180 view
- Auto-darkening side viewports
- 1/1/1/1 optical clarity rating
- Viewports darken independently
- Six auto-darkening sensors
- 14.8 square inch viewing area
- Inside settings controls
- True color display
- Solid construction
- Fits into tight areas
- Complaints of inadequate shade levels
- Headgear is cheap
The Yeswelder 302C Auto Darkening Hood has a panoramic view. This architecture has a single wide, forward-facing viewport and two sides. It has a wide-angle perspective with a view angle of almost 180 degrees with little in the way. Almost 15 square inches of the viewport is a lot of room to see what’s going on. This helmet features 1/1/1 visual consistency with less eye strain.
Yeswelder used six-light sensors so that the Autodesk mechanism is never shadowed. It also includes accurate color technology for a more natural vision. This is a realistic, lightweight build with enough curvature to deflect the effect, but the Yeswelder 302C Auto Darkening Welding Helmet does not look unorthodox.
This helmet comes with headgear, which consumers claim is convenient but not sturdy. Several owners advocate using Lincoln or Jackson replacement headgear, with some naming Yeswelder 302C Auto Darkening Welding Helmet ideal for this transition. And after this added charge, it’s all cost-effective.
- Continuous IR/UV protection
- Grind mode
- Variable shade levels from 8-13
- 9.3 square inches of the viewport
- 4 Arc Sensors
- Sensitivity & Delay Controls
- Turns on and shuts off automatically
- Low battery indicator
- Users love its great balance & optical clarity
- Headgear offers size and top adjustment
- Slightly heavy at 1.25 pounds
- May darken in shop lighting
Hobart has been a big player in the welding business for a long time. Products like the Inventor Welding Mask had a lot to do with it. Auto-dark controls use dials that are easier to use than buttons while wearing gloves.
The shell of the helmet, though relatively small, is made of polyamide nylon. This composite is lightweight due to its degree of defense against collisions, rocks, slag, and sparks. The headgear provides both the top and the back modifications. This is another aspect that adds more weight but increases comfort and balance.
The Hobart Inventor weighs marginally more than the other helmets in its class. This is the product of the wide 9.3-inch viewport and the magnifying “cheater mirror” inside the hood. However, weight is not always a significant factor since it’s well-balanced.
Hobart and Jackson are perhaps the most often used auto-darkening welding helmets in specialist shops. Comfort is the primary explanation for this. Hobart’s sales rate and the fact that the inventor is only available in a black account for high value at a price that is appropriate for hobbyists.
- Passive UV/IR filter works continuously
- Auto-darkening filter glass
- Quick Grind switch
- Adjustable delay and sensitivity
- 1.75 inch by the 4-inch viewing area
- 2 Arc Sensors
- Solar Powered
- Optical Clarity Class: 1/1/1/2
- Variable shading from 5-13
- Solar charging with auto-shutoff
- Users love the headgear
- Comfortable with glasses
- Reaction Time of 0.00004 (1/25,000) Seconds
- Thin plastic: No overhead or industrial use
- Some users report being flashed mid-weld
- Sometimes auto-darkens from sunlight
The Antra AH6-260 is an entry-level welding helmet that provides some unique features for its class. It has varying degrees of shade from 5 to 13. While the 17-ounce weight is a bonus, it means that the plastic on the hood is too lightweight for commercial use.
Being kicked around and banging it on the stuff when you’re wearing it would sweat it out pretty fast. The thin material also ensures that overhead welding is not chosen in this helmet since the molten slag will burn through.
It has solar battery charging and has been approved to auto-dark and cover with MIG, TIG, plasma, or arc. The filter glass is designed to guard against UV and IR whether it is operated or not.
Several users claimed that co-workers had bought these helmets to replace the headgear of their expensive helmets. The AH6-260 features both solar power and batteries.
Adjustable delay and sensitivity controls are rare for this price range. One thoughtful design element is the flexible lower limit because any time the hood is lowered, it stays in the same place.
- Improved optics make it easier to see colors
- Auto-on darkening filter
- 9100XXi Grinding Quick Switch
- Two glass darkening memory modes
- 3 Arc Sensors
- Professional-grade welding helmet
- Grab and go auto-on lets welders work quickly
- External grinding mode activation
- Meets ANSI Z87.1-2010 impact standard
- Handy side windows
- Some users report loosening of the headgear
- A matte finish can be hard to keep clean
- A little heavier than other helmets in its class
One of the most remarkable features of the ADF 9100 XXi is the reduced green appearance when watching the job through the mirror. The theory is that natural colors make it easier to see your job and handle the welding pot. Helmets in this price range are for practitioners, and some welders have concerns of headgear being loose very frequently; it’s a minor complaint.
Driven by lithium batteries, the ADF 9100 is equipped with a grinding mode button to fit with gloves. With a level 5-13 customizable shade, the button lightens the glass so that you can take care of other tasks. The glass darkens again as you hit the arc to get back to work. When you finish welding, the lenses will light up to shade 3 of the darkness. The 9100XXi option provides two preset modes that give you a simple range of the memorized set of darkness settings.
The Grab and Go feature unlocks the 3M Speedglas helmet at its most contemporary setting and immediately shuts off the glass to conserve the battery. Exhaust vents for your breath and side windows are some of the professional aspects of this helmet that make it easier to live with for a long time.
- Digital filter and shade controls
- Auto-dark feature
- Grind mode
- 2.3 inch by 3.9-inch viewport
- Meets ANSI Z87.1 standard
- 4 Arc Sensors
- Powered by Lithium Batteries
- Users rave over high-quality auto dark
- Jackson headgear is an industry favorite
- Interchangeable with other Jackson shells
- Some reports of skimpy neck coverage
- Heavy at 2 pounds
- No room for a respirator
Jackson Safety Welding Goggles are typical sights in manufacturing shops. They’re famous for the headgear configuration inside, called HaloX by Jackson Safety. Welders who choose other models also buy Jackson headgear to replace what’s on the helmet they’ve got.
This is a massive 2-pound mask that might lead to pressure in the neck if you need to weld for hours at a time. Any welders complain of seeing sparks or sunburn above the collar due to lack of coverage. This helmet may be best suited to smaller welders between this problem and the inability to fit the breather inside this close-fitting mask.
For its price point, Insight 46131 provides high-quality optics. Owners also laud the auto-darkening features on this helmet as the finest they’ve ever seen. Many love optical shade sensors, which give you a brief look at your shade level.
- Streamlined nylon shell design
- Halo 5-point headband
- Centralized pivot provides good head clearance
- 3.93-inch by 2.36-inch viewport
- Color touch screen controls
- Eight separate memories
- Hard hat adapter option
- Very lightweight
- The shape is suitable for welding in cars
- The curved front lens is costly to replace
- The lens suffers from glare issues
- Nylon shell scratches easily
Sentinel A50 of ASAB is an attempt to redefine the conventional welding mask. In reality, the futuristic “space warrior” look serves a legitimate purpose. It’s simplified to allow close work, such as welding within vehicles, cabinets, and machines.
The curved form is also designed to increase head coverage. The curved lens is made for good peripheral vision to prevent collisions. However, several owners complain that in-close welding will lead to warping damage to the lens. As a piece that is not standardized around the market, replacements are expensive. Any users complain about the glare and “fisheye” results from this viewport.
One spot where the ESAB appears to have struck a home run is the 5-point headgear. This style features a basket shape that slips over the top of the head like many hard hats. The 5-point headgear helps you move the helmet’s weight in various ways in complicated welding conditions, such as lying on your side.
The ESAB A50 doesn’t just look, either. One of the excellent high-tech features is a phone-like color touch screen for hue and sensitivity settings.
- Auto turn on and shutoff
- Biggest viewport you can buy
- Weld, Cut, Grind, and X-Mode
- 3-year True Blue warranty
- Four separate arc sensors
- X-mode eliminates sunlight triggering
- Massive viewport lets you see work at an angle
- Headgear is comfortable
- LCD screen for adjustments
- ClearLight true color filter
- Slips forward sometimes
With 13.4 square inches of viewing space, the Digital Infinity is one of Miller’s top-of-the-line helmets. You can’t afford a larger viewport than this one, which gives you the freedom to clearly see when you need to squeeze into a small space and only see work from an angle. Miller’s ClearLight Technology delivers high-definition accurate color optics with a 1/1/2 visibility quality.
- This helmet comes with four different layers of shadow.
- Welding mode offers varying shades from 8-13.
- Cutting mode provides lens shade levels from 5 to 8.
- Grind mode is shade level 3.
X Mode prevents bright sunshine from activating. A low-amper welding process like TIG will affect variable shade filters in the opposite direction, and the filter is transparent when you’re still welding. X mode uses electromagnetic sensors to track the welding arc instead of light sensors, which prevents these triggering problems.
With an InfoTrack timing record, a support menu, and Miller’s 3-year warranty, Digital Infinity is one of the most acceptable helmets available in its price range.