Welding is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. It requires you to work with different light sources, including ultraviolet and infrared light that can harm your eyes if you don’t use the proper welding helmet. Your helmet also needs to protect you from flying sparks.
The modern welding helmet was introduced in 1937, and companies are still finding ways to make them better. When choosing the perfect one, you shouldn’t look at the design only, but at the full functionality of it. We’ve done some research to help you make the perfect choice for under $200.
In a Rush? Here is Our Top Choice
TGR Panoramic 180 View Solar Powered - True Color
Our Top Choices On The Market
Top 7 Models On The Market
1. TGR Panoramic 180 View Solar Powered - True Color
This TGR Panoramic has 4 independent ARC sensors with adjustable sensitivity and delay control. You won't have to worry about light harming your eyes because this models lens auto-darken in 1/10,000th of a second. This is one of the best responsive times of any other option on the market.
The grind of it will protect you from the flying particles.
The TGR Panoramic 180, as the name suggests, has an extra-large viewing area providing your with a good picture what you’re working on. This model also has True Color Technolgy (TCT), allowing you to see a realistic color perception while welding. It also has an external throat guard for added safety while working.
It's lightweight, so you won't even feel it while working. You’ll enjoy the comfort of it not putting any extra pressure on your neck during long jobs. It’s made of carbon fiber, which will give you extra protection from your working environment.
The headband of is adjustable to fit every type and shape of head. It also has a sweatband to keep you dry during long welds.
It costs just under $200.
2. Hobart 770756 Impact Variable
With the Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto Darkening Helmet, you don't have to worry about the long hours of welding and its effect on your eyes as this model will react and darken in just 1/25,000 of a second after detecting an arc or flash.
Both grind and shut-off mode are possible on this model, and the transition between the two is almost instant. The shell is resistant to impacts to further help you protect yourself in industrial or construction workplaces.
The viewing area is quite large at 7.05 square inches, which will ensure you have a complete view of the area in front of you both in active and inactive mode. It comes with three light shades, but it also has a variable shade that you can use at numbers 8 to 11.
You can adjust the sensitivity and delay with a knob, and you can also lift the mask off your face and adjust the straps to increase your comfort.
You’ll pay less than $120 for this model.
3. Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Variable, HaloX
This Jackson Safety Insight model is a great one that comes at a great price (less than $110). It is digital and easy to use. It has variable shades from 9 to 13 and a wide viewing area to see what you’re welding. You can also adjust the sensitivity and delay of the helmet.
This is a value-centric welding mask that allows you to choose between grind and weld modes with ease. It is compatible with HLX100 and HSL100 shells. It meets all the safety standards of the industry and is an all around ideal helmet for its function and price.
It is also equipped with an Auto-Darkening Filter (ADF) that enables you to adapt to various working environments because as you easily control the shade of the lens and adjust the sensitivity the ambient light.
4. Antra AH7-X90-001X TOP Digital Controlled, Wide Shade
If you work with TIG, MIG, MMA, or plasma welding this Antra AH7 is a great helmet for you because it has 4 digitally-controlled sensors and an auto-darkening lens with TOP Optical Class 1/1/1/1(the lower the number, the better). With its LCS Shade display, all the guesswork is eliminated, and the lens will always stay on the shade for you to see better. Not only can you use this helmet for welding, but you can also use it for grinding and cutting.
It is extremely versatile and it is also very lightweight, making it easy to wear during long work hours. It has a manual ON and auto OFF switch, which is very useful. The power off delay is 30 minutes, and the filter stays on for another 30 minutes in the dark environments.
The reaction time of the lens is 1/25,000 seconds, which shows very high responsiveness for this type of helmet. It will prevent the light from harming your eyes when you fire up.
The price is nice at around $130.
5. Lincoln Darkfire Variable-Shade with Gloves - Model# K2799-1
The Lincoln Darkfire is another great product from the famous Lincoln Electric company, known for producing high-quality gear for workers. It comes with welding gloves, which is a nice extra as you’re sure to need an extra pair sometime. It has a side-mount dial that allows you to adjust shades from 9-13 for even better protection, and you don't even have to remove the helmet to make the change.
This option meets all the idustrial safety standards, including ANSI and SCE/CE. The responsiveness of the lens is a fast 1/25,000 seconds.
The Lincoln Darkfire has a suitable viewing area of 3.82in. x 1.73in, providing you with a wide if not very long view. It's great for long projects as it is lightweight and won’t additionally tire you. It has an adjustable fit, which means that one size fits most.
This kit is available for less than $140.
6. Forney 55708 Advantage Series Patriot
This Forney Patriot is a great option for experienced and advanced welders. When compared to the other auto-darkening welding helmets, Forney models generally stand out because they are user-friendly and more comfortable, enabling you to work longer.
The Forney 55708 has expanded the ultra-clear viewing area of 7.70 sq. in., which is enough space for you to work with. The responsiveness is 1/16,000 per second. It has 4 optical arc sensors that will protect your eyes from the light.
The shell is made out of high-impact resistant nylon to protect your head from any external injuries. The helmet is very light, weighing only 16.22 oz.
There is also a 5-point adjustable geared headband with a sweatband insertion area.
You can buy it now for a little over $115.
7. Save Phace 3010288 Chameleon Gen-X Series
The lens on the Save Phace Chameleon model has a 180-degree rotation and ADF 3/10 fixed shade that will meet the industrial standards of safety at any workplace. Because it is designed as a gas mask, it has a lot of free space inside that will let you move your head around and be much more comfortable wearing it.
This Save Phace is made out of high-quality carbon that can absorb shocks and impacts that could otherwise be harmful to you in your workplace.
There are nine points on the headgear that you can adjust to the shape of your head. It also comes with a headband that will absorb all the sweat that you may produce working in high-temperature workplaces.
Our Top Choice for Your Money
TGR Panoramic 180 View Solar Powered - True Color
These are all great welding helmets. The best among them, however, is the TGR Panoramic. It has one of the largest viewing areas, the best protection, and is quite comfortable. It also stands out from the other options because of its True Color Technology (TCT), which is proven to help welders make fine welds.
A huge plus for this model is, of course, its panoramic view, giving you ideal visibility of what you are working on and the environment around you. It is an all around durable and well-built tool that won’t let you down in any situation.