No matter what type of welding you do, you must have a good helmet that offers the ultimate in eye protection. The best helmets will also protect your face and neck and feel comfortable too. When ranking the best and most comfortable helmets, you'll often come across the 3M Speedglas 9100.
This helmet has an auto-darkening filter and crown straps that adjust to fit your unique head. It also has different shades you can use and features that reduce eye strain. If you want to find out all about this welding helmet, read through our entire 3M Speedglas 9100 review.
3M Speedglas 9100
Detailed 3M Speedglas 9100 Review & Breakdown
3M uses the Speedglas name on several different welding helmets such as the 9100. Though it does cost more than some of the other helmets you might consider, the 9100 has features such as auto-darkening filter (ADF) technology that makes it a winner. This is a helmet that you can wear when MIG and TIG welding and with stick welding applications too.
The most important thing to consider when buying a new welding helmet is whether it uses ADF technology. As you weld, you will produce arcs that contain infrared and ultraviolet lights that can cause significant eye damage. The technology used by this helmet responds quickly to keep those lights away from your eyes.
Not only does this technology work quickly but it works simply too. There are three sensors inside the helmet that work together and constantly monitor for any signs of a flash or an arc and cause the filter to darken in no more than 0.1 milliseconds. You do not need to turn your head or do anything special to get the eye protection necessary when welding.
Another reason to appreciate this technology is that it runs off two internal batteries that do not require charging. The lithium-ion batteries will last for up to 2,000 hours of use. Once the batteries wear out, you can quickly open up the helmet to remove and replace them.
We wanted to look at some of the top features of this helmet in our 3M Speedglas 9100 review, which include extra windows. There is an extra-large window on the front that holds the auto-darkening filter in place. You'll find two more windows on the sides.
Those windows expand your field of vision and let you see the metal that you need to weld and your tools as well as people who might be close by. You can easily see straight in front of you and from the corner of your eye. With the locked-in feature, you can lock the shade level that you want too.
The shade selection is another top feature of the 9100. Level five is the lowest level available and is suitable for jobs that require grinding. You can choose from 8 through 13 shades too and use the lock-in feature to make sure that the helmet uses that level until you select a different shade.
Long-term welders often suffer from eye strain because they spend so much time staring directly at objects as they weld. The filter and the comfort mode on this helmet work together to reduce eye strain. Not only does this let you work faster without squinting, but it also ensures that your eyes don't feel tired at the end of the day.
We also wanted to use our review to mention some of the comfort features of the 9100, including the padded headband and crown straps. The crown straps adjust to customize the helmet's fit, while the headband reduces the pressure of the helmet on your head. It also has an ergonomic design with a ratchet system that lets it fit your head shape.
The bottom line on the 3M Speedglas 9100 is that it's one of the more popular welding helmets around due to its impressive features. This helmet lets you do multiple welding applications without any discomfort and without suffering any eye damage.
Specs, Pros and Cons
If you have any questions about the 3M Speedglas 9100, you'll likely find answers in this section. We made a list of the top pros and cons of the 9100 as well as the general specs that you should know.
The 3M Speedglas 9100 lets you get an amazing helmet for less than you thought you would spend. This helmet has multiple shade levels that let you adjust the protection you get in different applications and a locked-in feature for locking down that shade. The ADF technology adds to its overall protection.
The Speedglas is available in different model numbers from 3M, but we highly recommend the 9100 for those who want an easy to use helmet that is also comfortable. It has a padded headband and other features that let you work for as long as you need without any discomfort. The 3M Speedglas 9100 is one of the best welding masks on the market.