26 Best Welding Helmets 2020 - Reviews & Buying Guide
Last Updated on
Welding is one of the most dangerous professions because it requires working with different light sources like ultraviolet and infrared lights that can cause serious damage to your eyes. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires that you wear protective gear like welding helmets and gloves to stay safe at work.
Though you can choose from different models, the top welding helmets for those who do MIG, TIG and arc or stick welding is the 3M Speedglas.
It features padding inside, adjustable straps and an ergonomic design that reduces fatigue and helps you feel comfortable when working. It also comes with side windows that enhance your field of vision and larger knobs that you can reach and use when wearing thick gloves.
In a Rush? Here is Our Top Choice
3M Speedglas 9100
Top Rated Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets On The Market
26 Best Welding Helmets - Reviews 2020
1. 3M Speedglas 9100 Welding Helmet - Top Pick
No matter what type of welding you do on the job or on a daily basis, the best welding helmet is the 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet.
The auto darkening filter responds in just 0.1 milliseconds and will automatically detect a welding arc and force the model to darken, which keeps your eyes safe and also lets you work faster and more efficiently because you do not need to adjust it yourself.
3M designed to protect against infrared radiation and ultraviolet rays too.
Windows located on each side of the helmet increase your peripheral view, but these windows have filters that adjust in five different ways to lighten or darken each side.
Designed to mimic the natural shape of the human head, it has an ergonomic design that increases your comfort for extended wear and use.
Suitable for stick, MIG and TIG, it features larger knobs for making adjustments while wearing gloves and padded straps inside.
Read 3M Speedglas 9100 Full Review.
2. Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Welding Helmet
Though it might lack some of the features of our number one pic, this Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Black with 4C Lens Technology still comes with lots of features that easily secured it the number two spot.
Those features include its 4C lens technology, which lets you see more and see clearer when using it in an inactive or active state and a grind setting that works well on some jobs.
It comes with all necessary lenses as well as a bandana that you can wear under the model and its own carrying bag.
As a pivoting welding helmet, you’ll find that you can move more comfortably when wearing this, that it won’t get in your way and that it actually moves as you move.
It weighs under four pounds, which will significantly reduce the pressure and tension on your head. With an adjustable design, it comes with padded areas and straps that adjust to fit your head.
3. Miller Electric Digital Elite Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
Weighing just 1.13 pounds, this Miller Electric Digital Elite welding helmet is one of the most lightweight models available, and that lightweight design ensures that you can complete all your jobs without the weight of the model leaving you tired or sore.
It has a nine-inch by nine-inch viewing area that gives you a better view of your working area, and its digital design saves on energy and helps you see clearly too. The lithium batteries included provide hours of power and let you use it inside or when it’s cloudy outside.
As an auto darkening model, it detects arc welds in front of you and forces it to automatically darken to keep your eyes safe.
It comes with five lens covers that you can use on the outside and two lens covers that work on the inside, and you’ll also get a magnifying lens holder and a bag for taking it to different job sites with you.
4. Jackson Safety BH3 W70 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
This BH3 Auto-Darkening welding helmet from Jackson Safety comes with Balder technology and an auto darkening lens filter that meets all workplace standards.
Three knobs inside let you adjust the shade, sensitivity and delay without fumbling with knobs on the outside, and the band that surrounds your head has its own knob that adjusts for a looser or tighter fit.
A variable shade range of nine to 13 protects your eyes from the arcs produced and make it suitable for ARC, TIG, and MIG jobs.
Made from lightweight plastic, it has a design that protects more of your face as well as your neck and other parts of your upper body from arcs and lights. That shell has a more durable design that absorbs impacts to help you stay even safer.
The front cover plate has a slightly curved design that that reduces fog and keeps heat from building up inside the model.
5. Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Dark Welding Helmet
This welding helmet boasts incredible clarity, and in some cases looks like you’re not even wearing a helmet at all, while providing all the protection you need. The Esab Sentinel A50 has an Optical Class Rating of 1/1/1/2 being best in class for vision accuracy (very low distortion), diffusion of light (no spots where light will block vision due to impurities), and luminous transmittance (even shading). The last class is where it struggles a bit: angle dependence. From some angles you will get an uneven shading, but it’s within acceptable levels.
In addition to those impressive numbers, the Sentinel provides a wide view screen (3.93” x 2.36”, or about 9.27 square inches), auto-darkening shades from 5 to 13 (8 memory settings, and an external button for shades 3 and 4 for grinding), and is remarkably lightweight (1.4 lbs) for this type of helmet, reducing strain on your neck.
As an added bonus the amber coloring on the view screen keeps exterior colors normalized. This means your arc will still appear blue instead of some other wonky shade.
Read Esab Sentinel A50 Full Review.
6. Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
With this Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto Darkening welding helmet, you can weld for hours without worrying about your eyes because it will react and darken the model in just 1/25,000 of a second after detecting an arch or flash.
The shell used on the outside of the model is resistant to impacts to help further protect your head and face. It comes with both a grind mode and a shut off mode that lets you turn it off almost instantly.
Though it comes with a number three light shade, it also has a variable shade that you can use at numbers eight through 11. The viewing area measures 7.05 square inches to ensure that you can see the total area in front of you in both an active and inactive mode.
It has knobs for adjusting the sensitivity and delay as well as for lifting it off your face and adjustable straps that increase your comfort.
Another best model available from Miller Electric is this, which has a classic design that includes a solid black background, gray knobs on either side of it, a solid black background and the Miller Electric logo in the center of the welding helmet.
Weighing just two pounds, it is so lightweight that you may forget you even have it on, and its viewing area offers a clearer view of the area in front of you than other models do.
It comes with a number three lens shade that will also work at a higher setting that increases the shade range between eight and 13.
It comes with a solar cell battery inside that can use sunlight for power, but it can also use a standard AAA battery that will last for up to 2,000 hours when clouds are out or you can’t work outside.
It also features a ratchet that helps you adjust the fit of the model based on the size of your head.
8. Antra AH7-860-0000 Welding Helmet
Thanks to its solar powered design, this Antra AH7-860-0000 Solar Powered Auto-Darkening lets you weld anywhere you want or need without worrying about your batteries running out.
When you wear it outside, it transforms sunlight into power, but it can also take the arc flashes produced when you weld to create that necessary power.
It has a classic design that includes a black model with a large viewing area on the front and knobs on each side. That viewing area measures 3.78-inches by 3.5-inches.
Suitable for use in most applications, including MIG and TIG, it also works well for plasma cutting because it comes with a separate grinding feature. It has a variable shade range from a minimum of number five all the way up to number 13.
Knobs inside it let you adjust the sensitivity, delay, and shade, but other buttons let you switch from the welding to grinding feature and change the shade level.
9. Instapark ADF Series GX-350S Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
With this Instapark ADF Series GX-350S Solar Powered Auto Darkening, you no longer need to carry batteries with you or worry about changing out the batteries because it uses solar energy to darken the model as needed.
That filter responds in just 1/5,000 of a second to ensure that you never damage your eyes, and it can instantly darken without you turning any knobs or making any other adjustments. Instapark optimized the optical clarity to reduce eye strain too.
Its funky design includes a solid black background with blue graphics across the top and sides that feature blue flames and a bright blue skull. It comes with a viewing area of 3.5-inches by 3.75-inches and both a Variable shade adjustment and a resting shade.
You can use this for MIG, TIG, and arc, and the model meets all standards put in place by professional organizations and agencies to ensure your safety on any job site.
Whether you do plasma cutting, MIG, TIG or even stick, you can use the Antra AH7-860-001X Solar Power Auto-Darkening to your advantage.
Antra even designed this model for use with grinding applications, and it comes with four premium sensors that help the model respond quickly to any flash or arc.
It is compatible with both cheater lenses and magnifying lenses and has a viewing area of 3.78-inches by 3.5-inches.
A sensitivity knob instantly adjusts the sensitivity of it and filter based on your specific application, and it has a delay setting that lets you pick how quickly you want it to respond.
It comes with a shade that ranges from number five to number nine and then from number nine to number 13.
Not only does it respond to arcs in 1/30,000 of a second, but the model also uses a solar cell battery that you can replace if needed.
11. Save Phace 3010288 Chameleon Gen-X Welding Helmet
Even if you aren’t part of the Gen-X Generation, you’ll still appreciate this Save Phace Chameleon Gen-X Series Mask when working.
It comes with a number 10 shade lens that works with the ADF lens holder, which has a 180-degree rotation and an ADF 3/10 fixed shade that meets industry standards for safety in the workplace.
Designed to look similar to a gas mask, it offers plenty of free space inside that lets you move your head while increasing your comfort.
The halo headgear that comes with this model completely surrounds your head and has nine points that adjust to fit the exact shape of your head, and this headgear also comes with a headband that absorbs the sweat you produce. At 23 square inches, the viewing area on this model is one of the largest viewing areas currently available.
Made from high-quality nylon, it can absorb shocks and impacts that might otherwise lead to injuries at work.
12. Antra AH6-660-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Designed for MIG, TIG, and MMA applications, the Antra AH6-660-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening welding helmet comes with a grinding feature for keeping your eyes and face safe while working.
The four sensors placed around it identify the type of work that you do and help the model know when to turn on the auto darkening feature, and it has a larger viewing area on the front that allows you to see more of your work area. Its shade variable of 4/5 to 9/9 also makes it suitable for different jobs.
A knob on the side of the model lets you switch between the amount of shade you want, but you can also select the grind option when doing different types of jobs. It is compatible with different lens types too, including magnifying lenses and cheater lenses, to better see the work in front of you.
You can use a knob on the welding helmet to adjust the sensitivity and delay too.
13. Fibre-Metal by Honeywell Pipeliner Welding Helmet
For protection when MIG or TIG, you can’t go wrong with the Fibre-Metal by Honeywell Piperliner, which meets all industry standards.
Made from Superglass Plus designed by 3M, it has a self-extinguishing design that will actually put out any sparks that land on the welding helmet to keep it from catching on fire.
The material used on the outside of the model is also resistant to moisture and will not crack or split like other models do after becoming wet.
Honeywell opted for a more compact design that reduces the space between the model and your skin or head, which allows it to absorb more of the pressure of an impact.
It has a rubber headband inside that you can easily adjust to increase your comfort, and you can adjust that headband while working too.
The model, which the manufacturer guarantees are made in the United States, will flip up to help you see better, but the attached headband keeps it on your head.
14. iMeshbean Pro Cool Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
One of a unique models that we came across is this iMeshbean Pro Cool Solar Auto Darkening Grinding, which features a solid white background with a fun and quirky design of a large mouth, complete with bright pink gums and jagged teeth, that surround the face plate.
Once you look past that design though, you’ll find a model that meets all OSHA standards to help you stay safe.
Those features include a filter shade on the front that can protect your eyes from infrared and ultraviolet lights when doing arc, TIG, MMA or MIG, but it also works well for plasma cutting too.
Instead of using batteries, it gets its power from solar rays and will automatically absorb sunlight to give you the power that you need, but it can also power itself from the lights produced as you weld.
It automatically darkens after noticing an arc and will respond in 1/30,000 of a second.
15. Antra AH7-X30P-6404 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Not only is the Antra AH7-X30P-6404 Digital Controlled Solar Powered auto darkening model suitable for plasma cutting and MIG, it also works well for those who do TIG and MMA model, and it has a grinding feature as well.
The 3.86-inch by 3.5-inch viewing area is a little larger than the standard size found on other models, and it comes with four premium sensors that cut down on redundancy while ensuring that the model responds quickly to even the smallest of arcs.
It also uses a digital control that helps you avoid mistakes to ensure that you always use the right settings.
Designed to work with both cheater and magnifying lenses, it has digital controls and settings that you can see in even the lowest of light conditions, and you can make the adjustments that you need via the interior controls.
It has a higher sensitivity level than other models and comes with a bright LED display.
16. Flexzion Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
This Flexzion Auto-Darkening has an elongated design that allows it to more adequately protect your chin and neck from arcs and other potential hazards.
Available in a Lightning Skull design, it features a solid black background with lightning, flames, and skulls printed over the shell in shades of blue, white and gray. That shell is flame-retardant to protect your face and head, and it is lighter than other models to keep it from weighing you down.
You can pick the setting that you want for using the model during grinding applications, and it features a design that lets you adjust both the delay and the sensitivity. Both of those buttons are on the inside of the model, which keeps the buttons from getting in your way.
Though it has a solar powered design, it can also rely on an internal lithium battery to ensure that you have power when wearing the model inside or away from the sun.
17. AUDEW Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Not all welders want a basic welding helmet that uses just one color, which is why AUDEW makes this Solar Auto Darkening, which uses more colors and brighter shades in its design.
The design includes a large skull on one side, bones along the front and even more bones on the opposite side. An adjustable knob, which you can use with bare hands or gloves, sticks out from one side and makes it look like the skull has a cigar in its mouth.
It comes with an adjustable strap that you can remove, try with your head and create a custom fit before slipping right back inside the model, and this strap ensures that the model fits more comfortably.
Designed for use in both grinding applications, it features a 3.62-inch by 1.66-inch viewing area and an automatic power control.
AUDEW designed it to work with a solar cell battery, which helps it respond in 1/30,000 of a second or less.
Access all the features that you need via buttons and controls on the inside of this Antra AH7-220-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening. One knob lets you adjust the sensitivity, while a second know lets you adjust the delay, and a small switch in the center instantly makes this model work with either welding applications or grinding applications.
Though it uses just two sensors instead of four, those sensors have convenient locations around the model that help it respond just as quickly as those with four sensors do.
A 3.62-inch by 1.63-inch viewing area is larger than other models in this price range, and Antra designed it to work with both magnifying and cheater lenses. It has a minimum light shade of four and a maximum range of between nine and 13.
To ensure that you have the constant power source that you need, the manufacturer added a solar cell battery inside that absorbs and transforms sunlight into power.
19. Z ZTDM Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Though some people will claim that you should spend a lot of money, this Z ZTDM model proves that you can get an auto darkening model at a low price.
Designed for MMG, TIG and MIG, it can work in other applications too and comes with a feature that will automatically darken the filter on the front in just a fraction of a second.
We think that you’ll also like the design, which features flames in different shades of blue against a black background with matching patterns on the front and sides.
The 3.66-inch by 1.69-inch viewing area is a little smaller than those on other models but is still large enough to give you a full view as you weld. A knob lets you adjust both the delay time as well as the sensitivity.
It has a solar function that uses sunlight to create the power necessary for using all its features.
When you graduate from a welding program and need to save some money while starting your career, this Hobart 770286 Flip Front welding helmet can help.
Though it lacks an auto darkening feature and some of the features of our higher rated models, it does have an easy to use design with a front that flips up to let you see everywhere in front of you, but you can drop the model back down to protect your face and eyes while working.
It has a simple lens on the front that measures 4.5-inches by two-inches that provides a solid view of your working area.
Adjustable straps make it easy to adjust the fit for your head and face, and knobs on the side help you flip the model up without taking your gloves off first.
The included lens has a number 10 shade that is suitable for many welding jobs, but you can switch out that lens for using the model on other jobs.
21. Instapark ADF Series GX990T Welding Helmet
A 3.94-inch by 3.86-inch oversize viewing area is just one feature you’ll love on this Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar Powered Auto Darkening.
It features an unusual design that includes a skull on the top and flames that wrap around the welding helmet, and that design uses darker shades of both blue and black.
Four sensors on the model detect arcs and flashes and then darken the filter on it to ensure that those flashes don’t damage your eyes.
As a solar model, it can absorb light produced by the sun as well as light produced as you weld to power the helmet, which ensures that you have power when you’re working inside or out of direct sunlight. It has an extensive shade range of number five through number 13 and a resting shade of number four.
It responds in 1/30,000 of a second and features a durable outer shell that is resistant to impacts.
The Lincoln Electric K3064-1 Variable Shade Auto-Darkening features shades of white, blue and black as well as slightly geometric flames to make you stand out among all the other welders while working.
At just 1.5 pounds, this is one of the lightest models that you’ll find today, and that lightweight design is great for use on longer jobs because it won’t weigh down your head or neck.
This is also a larger model designed for larger heads, but you’ll want to check the fit before you purchase it.
It features a viewing size of 3.82-inches by 1.73-inches that helps you see clearly without the model interfering with your field of vision, and its auto darkening feature helps it respond in just 40 microseconds.
The two arc sensors work with a solar cell power supply that gets power from the sunlight. It has an extensive operating temperature range that lets you use this in more places too.
23. Nesco 4656 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
When you wear this Nesco 4656 Auto Darkening Solar Powered on the job site, everyone will know that you have a fun personality and a sense of humor right off the bat.
Designed to look like the model worn and used during World War II, it features a graphic on one side of a beautiful bombshell of a woman sitting on an actual bomb ready to do a little work of her own as well as rivets painted on the edges of the model.
It also meets all safety standards for TIG and MIG.
Made from a durable material, this Nesco model is more lightweight than other models to reduce head fatigue, and the material used in the model is both flame retardant and resistant to corrosion.
It comes with a sensitivity adjustment knob on the outside that lets you make this adjustment more easily and a variable shade that adjusts between DIN 9 and DIN 13.
One of the best-fixed shade models that you can use in most welding applications is this Jackson Safety Fixed Shade W10 HSL 100 model.
It features a more narrow design than other models do, which helps you work in tighter and cramped spaces without it pressing uncomfortably against your head, and that outer shell is resistant to common hazards like moisture and impacts.
The front of it is larger than others to protect more of your neck and upper body.
Another benefit of this model is that it is compatible with the hardhats that you might wear when working on construction sites.
It comes with a standard filter plate in a number 10 shade that is suitable for most jobs, but Jackson Safety designed that filter plate to come off, which lets you use with a different plate of your choosing based on the job at hand.
25. AUDEW Adjustable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Another option from AUDEW is this Adjustable Auto Darkening Solar, which features a flame pattern on each side that uses shades of yellow, gray and white.
It comes with a fully automatic on and off feature as well as a viewing area that measures 3.62-inches by 1.66-inches, which is standard across many of these models.
Separate knobs inside let you control the delay and sensitivity of the model.
As an auto darkening model, this AUDEW model monitors the area in front of you for any flashes or arcs that can damage your eyes and darkens it in only 1/25,000 of a second.
Though it has a number four lens that works in a light state, it works with a lens of between numbers nine and 13 in its dark range.
It comes with a solar cell as well as a lithium battery that acts as backup power.
26. TR Industrial 88024 Welding Helmet
The TR Industrial 88024 Shade 11, ANSI Z87.1 MIG/TIG Flip-Up model has a flip-up design that lets you pull the lens and face mask up to get a better look at your project, and once you flip that mask down, it offers all the protection that you need on the job site.
Made from glass, the filter has a darker and deeper shade that helps you see the project you need to work on without the arcs produced as you weld from damaging your eyes.
It meets all safety standards put in place by OSHA and other leading organizations too.
At 4.5-inches by 5.35-inches, the viewing area on this model has a larger shape that eliminates blind spots to further increase your safety. The headband inside adjusts in two different ways to help you reach the comfort level that you need.
An included number 11 shade is suitable for most welding applications and jobs too.
The Ultimate Winner is
3M Speedglas 9100
When we compared features, prices and customer reviews, we learned that the 3M Speedglas is the best welding helmet that easily beat out other welding helmets. Designed for both MIG and TIG, it also does well when used in stick or arc applications.
The auto darkening feature automatically identifies any arcs in front of you and responds in just 0.1 milliseconds, forcing the filter to darken to keep your eyes safe from those arcs.
This ergonomic model fits comfortably as-is, but it also comes with extra padding inside that cuts down on the pressure that you feel as well as adjustable straps to customize the way it fits. Not only does it have large viewing windows on the front, but it also has to view windows on the side that increase your peripheral vision, and each of those windows has its own filters. 3M also added larger knobs that you can turn while wearing padded gloves.
How to Choose Which Welding Helmet To Buy?
It comes with either a fixed lens or a variable lens. A fixed lens comes with just one lens that stays the same as you weld, and most manufacturers opt for a number 10 lens. With a variable lens, the shade on that lens will adjust based on the type of work that you do, and many of these welding helmets come with a lens that ranges between at least five different shades.
Auto-darkening welding helmets that come with a lens that will automatically adjust based on the amount of light available. These models are also great for using on different job sites because you can let the helmet do the work of changing the lens and shade for you.
The faster the welding helmet reacts, the more protection it will offer for your eyes. Auto-darkening will notice an arch or flash and instantly adjust the filter. You generally want a welding helmet that will react in just 1/3,600 of a second, but some models will now react in 1/250,000 of a second or even faster.
No matter what type of welding hood you buy, make sure that it has an adjustable fit. Some cheaper models have a one size fits all design that may feel uncomfortable on your own head. A welding helmet with an adjustable design will have one or more straps inside that you can adjust to fit your own head.
Never buy an auto-darkening welding helmet unless it comes with at least two sensors, and look for those with up to four sensors. The more sensors it has, the more arcs and flashes it can detect, which allow it to react faster.
You’ll need to decide between a welding helmet that has knobs on the inside or the outside. Interior knobs won’t get in your way and won’t snag on anything around you, but these models require that you make all your adjustments before putting it on. With exterior knobs, you can make adjustments anytime you need them.
You may want to look at the size of the knobs too. Smaller knobs are hard to turn when wearing thicker or padded gloves. Models with larger knobs are easier to use when wearing safety gloves.
Look for a welding helmet that has some type of padding inside. This padding may sit on the chin, on the top or even on the sides. Any amount of padding making the welding helmet fit more comfortably.
Battery Power Type
When choosing a model, you can choose one that uses internal batteries or one that uses solar power. Those that use battery power are suitable for interior and exterior use. You can change those batteries whenever you start to lose power. Welding helmets that rely on solar power require that you use it outside to provide the cells inside with power. Some manufacturers now offer welding helmets that will also create power from the arcs produced when you weld.
Our Other Reviews
We have also reviewed other high quality welding helmets. Check out our reviews if you are interested.
Optrel welding helmet
Top welding helmet under $200
Since our readers interests go far beyond welding helmet, we have decided to test and review the top welding machines and safety accessories. Hope you have a great time reading our articles so you can find the perfect match for your needs.