What Is The Best Welding Helmet?

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Best Welding Helmets

If you are completing ANY welding job then a welding helmet is essential! It doesn’t matter how small the job is, a welding helmet is going to keep you protected in a number of ways. Not only is the helmet itself going to protect your skin and eyes from sparks that might fly whist you are welding, but the visor is going to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and infrared rays that occur when welding. You wouldn’t stare directly at the sun repeatedly – so you shouldn’t be staring directly at your welding job without protection either!

We have found some of the best welding helmets and considered all the key features that you need to know about so that you can find models that will be right for you and the jobs that you are completing.

Why Wear A Welding Helmet? 

There’s lots of safety advice and warnings out there – so much in fact that it can be difficult to know what to listen to and what you can avoid! Do we really need 2 day training to climb up a 5ft ladder? Is ear protection when mowing the lawn totally necessary? But one piece of safety equipment that you should never miss out on is a welding helmet (if you are going to be welding of course!). 

A welding helmet will keep your face (and your neck in most cases) protected from burns from the flash or the sparks, will also protect against the heat that comes off the equipment you are working with, but most importantly will protect against the UV  light. 

When welding, a significant amount of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light will come from the welding arc that you are working with! This can lead to a condition known as “arc eye” which is where the cornea becomes inflamed. Not only this, but your retina could also get burned, causing blindness! 

Hopefully by now you understand the seriousness of wearing a good quality welding helmet at all times when you are welding – so we can get on with the process of finding the right one for you! 

Best Pick – Speedglas Welding Helmet

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 100, Auto-Darkening Welding Mask with Five Adjustable Dark Shades (8-12), Adjustable Head Suspension for Comfortable Wear, Black
  • Variable dark shade 8-12 (100V)
  • Head suspension with smooth ratchet for precise tightening
  • Delay function to set the dark-to-light opening time
  • Three sensitivity levels
  • Compatible with most 3M Disposable Welding Particulate Respirators

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Only Got 5 Minutes? 

If you have a welding job lined up and ready to go, but just need the helmet to get started then have a quick read of this part of the article. In less than 5 minutes you will know all that there is to know about welding helmets! Originating in the late 1930s by Wilson Products, welding helmets have changed quite considerably since then, making them comfier and even safer. 

Welding Helmet Features 

Here are the key features that we would recommend looking out for when purchasing a welding helmet. 

Auto-darkening 

This is a feature that is found with many modern welding helmets and as far as we are concerned is well worth opting for. Auto-darkening welding helmets do not have a fixed shade on the lens, which means that they can only be used for certain welding jobs, but the shade actually adapts depending on the job! The clever sensors in the helmet are designed to lower or increase the shade of the lens depending on the welding process that you are completing. This not only makes your welding helmet better value for money, as it means that it can be used in a wider range of jobs, but also reduces the time and hassle that you will have finding the right shade for the right job – you just know that the helmet will do the job for you and keep you protected! 

If you do opt for an auto-darkening model then there are additional features that you will need to consider, so we have discussed these in more detail below! 

This video will show you exactly how an auto darkening welding helmet will work.

Viewing Area 

The viewing area is the size of the lens you can see through whilst you are welding. We would always recommend going for the largest viewing area possible, as this makes working much easier and saves you having to change position regularly whilst working – but it does come down to personal preference. They tend to range between around 3” x 1.5” and 5” x 3.5”, which will make a big difference in the area that you can see when you are working! 

Optical Class

That leads us nicely onto the “optical class” of the lens – basically the quality, visibility and clarity that the lens is able to offer. This is judged using four categories, so you will see the optical class described with numbers from 1 to 3, in those four areas. For example, 1/1/1/1 is the best optical class rating, whereas 3/3/3/3 would be the “worst” rating. There isn’t a huge difference between the scorings in each category, so it isn’t worth being completely put off by a welding helmet that has a 1/2/1/2 score for example, but it is worth going for the best scoring that you can find. 

Weight 

If you are going to be wearing your welding helmet for any length of time then you will appreciate checking the weight of the helmet that you are going for before you make your purchase! Heavier helmets will add pressure and strain to your neck and shoulders which can actually cause muscle damage over time (particularly if you wear them for longer stretches of time). Full head models range between 400g and 900g, which is a considerable difference when it is being held up by your head and neck! A lighter welding helmet will be easier to wear for longer periods of time – meaning that you can get the job done quicker with less breaks in between.

Comfort 

But it isn’t just the weight of your welding helmet that will have an impact on the amount of time that you can wear it for – the actual comfort features of the helmet will impact on this as well. Many helmets offer internal padding on the areas that will come into contact with your body to reduce pressure. 

It is also worth looking for models that come with adjustable straps and bands as a more secure fit around the head will reduce discomfort when you are moving or lifting the front of your helmet. 

TOP TIP: Look out for models that come with “automatic park” features. This means that when you lift the helmet back it will stay upright on its own. Perfect for when you are in between jobs or checking the work that you have done so far! 

Design 

Although many welding helmets come in standard dark colours such as black or grey, there are now some manufacturers on the market that are designing more original, personalised helmets with various different designs. Although these won’t add to the safety of the helmets on offer they will help you to stand out from the crowd! 

Best Budget – Silverline 934295 Welding Helmet

Sale
Silverline 934295 Welding Helmet Auto Darkening DIN 3/11EW
  • Suitable for MIG, TIG and Arc ( mmA/GMAW) electric welding
  • Solar-powered with comfortable 4-way adjustable padded headband
  • Dual light sensors switch from light to dark in 1/5,000th second
  • DIN 11 (dark) / DIN 16 UV and IR protection
  • Certified to EN379 and 175

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Auto-Darkening Features 

If we have done our job right, then we will have persuaded you that the safest option is to go for an auto-darkening welding helmet, as these are by far the safest and easiest options! But this does mean that there are some extra features that you will need to look out for before making your purchase! 

If you opt for an auto-darkening model then you will need to check how many arc sensors the helmet comes with – this is usually between 2 and 4. Obviously the more sensors on the helmet, the quicker it will be able to detect what type of welding you are completing and therefore what shade needs to be on the lens to protect your eyes from any damage! 

You also need to consider the lens reaction time – the time it takes for the lens to react to the sensors and change shade! Obviously, the faster that the lens is able to react, the quicker your eyes are protected from that damaging UV light. 

Remember to check the different shades that the welding helmet can move between. There is a wide range of shades that are offered by most welding helmets, but it is still worth checking the range that you are likely to need for the jobs that you are completing, to make sure that this is going to be covered by the helmet that you are thinking of purchasing. Most offer a 9-13 shade which allows enough flexibility when working, but if working on a job where it is difficult to see the arc due to lower amps then you may need to go for a lower shade (they tend to start at around 3). 

Finally, it is worth checking the way in which your welding helmet is powered. Welding helmets are powered by solar power, lithium batteries or both. Lithium batteries tend to be the cheapest option but you would need to consider whether the batteries are replaceable or not. This is vital for if you are going to be working with your helmet for extended periods of time as you may need to switch between one battery and another to get the job done. Solar power welding helmets avoid this issue by being able to charge themselves, but depending on the conditions that you are working in you may find your helmet running out of charge whilst you are still in the middle of a job – however they are a lot more cost effective in their running costs. This is why we would recommend opting for a model that is powered by both, this way you know that you will always have one power source working, so your helmet will always be ready to use!

Other Safety Wear For Welding 

Now that you know the importance of wearing a welding helmet, and what features to look out for when making your purchase, we felt it would be worth mentioning some of the other safety equipment it is worth considering for welding. It goes without saying that the UV rays, heat and sparks aren’t biased towards your eyes – so it is important that the rest of you is protected as well! Not just this but there is the heat and sparks that come off the work that you are completing! 

  • Always make sure that it is not just your face that is covered when welding – wear long sleeves, gloves and full length trousers when welding to avoid any sparks or burns. It is important to use heat resistant/flame retardant gloves though! 
  • Many manufacturers recommend wearing goggles underneath your welding helmet to avoid any dust/debris getting up and under the helmet front. Obviously this will depend on the helmet itself, but if you are planning on doing this, it is worth checking that the shape and design of the welding helmet will allow for a mask to fit underneath.

Best of the Rest

No products found.

Welding Helmet, Auto Darkening True Color Welding Mask, Solar Powered Large Viewing Welder Mask, 4 Arc Sensor Wide Shade 4~5/9-9/13 Welder Helmet with Replacement Lens for TIG, MIG, Arc Weld Grinding
  • ► ► Clean Comfortable View: The welding helmet unique hemispherical enclosure protection solution can protect damage from all sides. Equipped with 10 CM × 8.5 CM (3.94‘’ × 3.27‘’) ultra large viewing area and differences angles of change provides convenience for welder. Double liquid crystal layer protect for 8+ hours welding. Better clarity, true color view - 1/1/1/2 optical clarity.
  • ► ► Ultimate Eye Protection: Auto-darkening filter switches from light to dark in 1/10000 seconds, in event of electric failure, the welder remains protecting against UV and IR radiation, the great choice for you. Balanced with an adjustable and fatigue-free comfortable headgear. Light weight is suitable for long time working.
  • ► ► 4 Premium Sensors & Solar Powered: The Solar-powered welder helmet combined with a highly sensitive probe, 4 premium sensors. Perfect for TIG MIG Arc, plasma applications with grinding feature , DIN5 ~ 9/DIN9-13 for welding and "Grind" area.
  • ► ► Meets Different Demands: The large area of solar cell will change the harmful arc and supply enough power to change the screen. Combined with highly sensitive probe can emit a signal that makes the screen darker instantly. Professional DIN5~9/DIN9-13 dark shade effectively completed the task of blocking arc and protecting eyes in welding. 4 premium sensors. Great for TIG MIG MMA, plasma applications with grinding feature.
  • ► ► Intelligent, Practical and Cost-effective: Battery powered with solar panel technology not only for longer life, but also provides support for energy conservation and environmental protection. Apply to automotive, construction, and food & beverage manufacturing, metal production and fabrication, military maintenance, repair and operation (MRO), mining, oil and gas, transportation, etc.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Welding Mask Helmet True Colour Auto Darkening Cutting True Color DIN 9-13 Eyes Protection Solar Powered Gas Mig Tig Arc Welder Black
  • Solar powered auto darkening filter. Grinding function. Comes with additional lens set
  • Viewing area: 92*42 mm. True Colour Technology welding lens benefits in seeing real light state of the environment. This allows to see true colours during welding which translates to more precision and clarity of the job
  • Adjustable shade: DIN 9-13. Protects against UV/IR radiations. Low battery indicator. Solar Cells & Replaceable Lithium battery ( CR2032)
  • True Colour Technology welding lens benefits in seeing real light state of the environment. This allows to see true colours during welding which translates to more precision and clarity of the job.
  • 2 Years Warranty. Comply with EN safety regulations

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions 

What safety requirements should I look for in a welding helmet? 

There are different safety requirements for the different parts of a welding helmet that you should ensure are met before making a purchase. EN 175 is for any equipment protecting the face and eyes from radiation and welding hazards, EN379 is for auto-darkening welding filters and EN 166 is for eye protection. Any welding helmet that does not AT LEAST offer these safety standards will likely not be safe enough to use!

How long will the battery last on a welding helmet? 

This really depends on the battery type and the amount that you are going to be using your welding helmet. If it is a good quality, li-ion battery then it could last around 2 years with regular use! 

Can I use a welding helmet for grinding?

Depending on the welding helmet that you purchase, you may be able to use it for grinding. The helmet will need to have a “grind mode” to be suitable for this though. The purpose of this is to stop the auto-darkening system from darkening the lens too much, making it difficult to see the work that you are completing. 

What warranty comes with a welding helmet? 

Most manufacturers offer a 1 or 2 year warranty with their products. We would recommend checking the details of the warranty before making your purchase, as some break this down even further to offer just 6 months for certain parts, whilst other parts are covered for up to 2 years.

Why is a welding helmet important?

A welding helmet is important for both your skin and your eyes. Welding helmets will help to protect the skin on your face from sparks and burns that will fly off when you are welding. When you are welding, there will also be harmful UV rays and infrared rays which are given off. The viewing area of the welding helmet is designed to protect your eyes from these harmful rays.

  • Performance
  • Features
  • Ergonomics
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About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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