Best Welding Helmets With Modern Tech and Budget Alternatives 2019

Top 4 Best Welding Helmets in Action

As an experienced and professional welder or a hobbyist, you should understand the risks of the job. You also need to understand the value and the necessity of the good welding helmet that you own and use.

To do your job safely and effectively, protecting your eyes in the best way possible is not a waste of money! Be sure that no one needs a welder with bad eyesight!

What follows is our list of today’s best welding helmets available on the market. that will last for years, giving you the maximum utility and value.

These helmets offer the best value in their respective categories. They have been on the market and subjected to regular real-world use long enough that we have obtained plenty of reviews and practical data on the functionality, durability, and overall value of these helmets.


Quick Comparison of Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

Image
Best buy
Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100,...
Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding...
Optrel VegaView 2.5 Auto-Darkening...
Swiss Made
Optrel Panoramaxx Auto Darkening Welding...
Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black...
Title
Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100,...
Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding...
Optrel VegaView 2.5 Auto-Darkening...
Optrel Panoramaxx Auto Darkening Welding...
Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black...
Buyer Reviews
Amazon Prime
-
Number of Sensors
4 Sensors
3 Sensors
4 Sensors
3. variable detection angle, movable sensors
5-sensor array, movable sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 9 - 13
DIN 9-13
DIN 5-8/9-13
8 - 13 + autopilot mode
5 to12, + autopilot mode
Weld:8 –13 Cut:5 – 8
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
DIN 4
DIN 4
2.5 Vegaview
2.5 Vegaview
4
Cheater lenses
Unique Speciality
Biggest viewport size, Most Popular
Lots of adjustments, Side veiw-ports
LCD Touchscreen Panel, Low Pow. Tig mode
External Commands, Vegaview, Super Light, Autopilot
Autopilot, Vegaview, Super Light, Twilight Function, USB charging
Cutting Mode, X mode
Tig Amp Rating*
less then 4 amps
(1 amps - 20 amps)
less then 2 amps
less then 3 amps
less then 3 amps
less then 5 amps
Best buy
Image
Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
Title
Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
Buyer Reviews
Amazon Prime
Number of Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 9 - 13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
Cheater lenses
Unique Speciality
Biggest viewport size, Most Popular
Tig Amp Rating*
less then 4 amps
Image
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100,...
Title
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100,...
Buyer Reviews
Amazon Prime
Number of Sensors
3 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 9-13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
Cheater lenses
Unique Speciality
Lots of adjustments, Side veiw-ports
Tig Amp Rating*
(1 amps - 20 amps)
Image
Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding...
Title
Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding...
Buyer Reviews
Amazon Prime
Number of Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 5-8/9-13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
Cheater lenses
Unique Speciality
LCD Touchscreen Panel, Low Pow. Tig mode
Tig Amp Rating*
less then 2 amps
Image
Optrel VegaView 2.5 Auto-Darkening...
Title
Optrel VegaView 2.5 Auto-Darkening...
Buyer Reviews
Amazon Prime
-
Number of Sensors
3. variable detection angle, movable sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
8 - 13 + autopilot mode
Light Mode Shading
2.5 Vegaview
Cheater lenses
Unique Speciality
External Commands, Vegaview, Super Light, Autopilot
Tig Amp Rating*
less then 3 amps
Swiss Made
Image
Optrel Panoramaxx Auto Darkening Welding...
Title
Optrel Panoramaxx Auto Darkening Welding...
Buyer Reviews
Amazon Prime
Number of Sensors
5-sensor array, movable sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
5 to12, + autopilot mode
Light Mode Shading
2.5 Vegaview
Cheater lenses
Unique Speciality
Autopilot, Vegaview, Super Light, Twilight Function, USB charging
Tig Amp Rating*
less then 3 amps
Image
Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black...
Title
Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black...
Buyer Reviews
Amazon Prime
Number of Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
Weld:8 –13 Cut:5 – 8
Light Mode Shading
4
Cheater lenses
Unique Speciality
Cutting Mode, X mode
Tig Amp Rating*
less then 5 amps

Last update on 2019-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is the Tig Amperage Rating?  The amp rating is the minimum amp rating for the arc sensors to detect the arc. Unless you are going to weld super thin metal you may never need to go as low as 5 amps.

All helmets reviewed here  meet the standards of ANSI Z87.1 – 2003 (also referred to as ANSI Z87+), which ensures that lenses and helmets have met the expectations of independent testing, showing that they can withstand high-velocity impact .

Quick Comparison of Budget Welding Helmets

Image
Best Buy Under 50$
Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 Solar...
Solar Powered Welding Helmet Auto...
Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar...
Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered...
Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Variable...
Welding Helmet with Top Optical Class...
Title
Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 Solar...
Solar Powered Welding Helmet Auto...
Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar...
Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered...
Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Variable...
Welding Helmet with Top Optical Class...
Buyer Reviews
Sensors
4 Sensors
4 Sensors
4 Sensors
4 Sensors
4 Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 9 - 13
DIN 9-13
DIN 5-13
DIN 9-13
DIN 9-13
DIN 9-13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
DIN 4
DIN 4
DIN 4
DIN 4
DIN 3
Cheater lenses
Viewing Size
3.86" x 1.73"
3.85’’ x 3.15’’
3.94” x 3.86”
3.86" x 1.73"
3.93" x 2.36"
3.86" x 1.69"
Viewing Area
6.68 sq in
12.13 sq in
15.21 sq in
6.68 sq in
9.27 sq in
6.52 sq in
Unique Speciality
High quality build, Most Popular
Very large viewing area, Long battery life
Very Large viewing area, External controls
Padded with a hard head adapter
Digital display, Flexible Shell
More light transmittance than average budget helmet
Best Buy Under 50$
Image
Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 Solar...
Title
Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 Solar...
Buyer Reviews
Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 9 - 13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
Cheater lenses
Viewing Size
3.86" x 1.73"
Viewing Area
6.68 sq in
Unique Speciality
High quality build, Most Popular
Image
Solar Powered Welding Helmet Auto...
Title
Solar Powered Welding Helmet Auto...
Buyer Reviews
Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 9-13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
Cheater lenses
Viewing Size
3.85’’ x 3.15’’
Viewing Area
12.13 sq in
Unique Speciality
Very large viewing area, Long battery life
Image
Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar...
Title
Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar...
Buyer Reviews
Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 5-13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
Cheater lenses
Viewing Size
3.94” x 3.86”
Viewing Area
15.21 sq in
Unique Speciality
Very Large viewing area, External controls
Image
Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered...
Title
Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered...
Buyer Reviews
Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 9-13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
Cheater lenses
Viewing Size
3.86" x 1.73"
Viewing Area
6.68 sq in
Unique Speciality
Padded with a hard head adapter
Image
Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Variable...
Title
Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Variable...
Buyer Reviews
Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 9-13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 4
Cheater lenses
Viewing Size
3.93" x 2.36"
Viewing Area
9.27 sq in
Unique Speciality
Digital display, Flexible Shell
Image
Welding Helmet with Top Optical Class...
Title
Welding Helmet with Top Optical Class...
Buyer Reviews
Sensors
4 Sensors
External Grinding Button
Shading Level
DIN 9-13
Light Mode Shading
DIN 3
Cheater lenses
Viewing Size
3.86" x 1.69"
Viewing Area
6.52 sq in
Unique Speciality
More light transmittance than average budget helmet

Last update on 2019-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Overall Best For The Money Welding Helmet : Lincoln Electric Viking 3350


Black Viking 3350For our money, the best overall value you’re going to find on the market right now for the best auto darkening welding helmet is the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350. It gives you crystal clear vision through the 3.94 X 3.86 view-port.

Because of its highly sensitive sensors “Viking” can be used for low amperage Tig welding.

“At present, it is the least expensive of Amazon’s Top 5 Value Welding Helmets. It has the best reputation in its category and offers the most bang for your buck.”

4C lens technologyWith the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 you get, 4C lens technology for superior, true color visibility and minimal eye strain. It offers 1/1/1/1 optical clarity through the unusually large lens and can be used for plasma cutting and all types of welding.

This hood is from 2012 and honestly, certain newer helmets may be superior in some ways but they have not seen the same amount of use and abuse that these models have endured.

Lincoln Electric Viking 3050 has been on the market for over 7 years and has great reviews. large view-port, true color tech, and great sensor quality make this helmet great optimal choice and you will not make a mistake getting one.
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6 Best Welding Helmet Reviews With The Latest Tech

Basic Info
  • All of these listed welding helmets are top of the line. They are all tested and meet national safety standards.
  • They are all comfortable and are made to feet the head perfectly.
  • Their Auto-darkening filter switching speed (from light to dark) is less than 1/25000 sec, which is the standard and is considered perfectly safe.
  • All are made for professionals and have Tig amp rating beneath 5 amps.
  • Cheater lenses can be mounted up on all hoods
With all that said finally, here are our picks for best-value auto-darkening welding helmet.

3M Speedglass 9100xxi

Image of3M Speedglas 9100xxi

Image of3M Speedglas 9100xxi

One of the most versatile welding helmets on the market right now, the 3M Speedglass gives you an additional hardhat component for protection from falling objects. It also features an model with auto-dark visor and a quality built-in welding respirator.

Speedglas welding hood offers various view-port sizes and peripheral viewports that can be opened and closed at the user’s discretion. Three sensors in the lens provide the rapid and reliable auto-darkening capability. The lens goes from clear to working dark in .1 milliseconds.

Tig amp rating is up to 4 amps, which means that you will be able to weld or thin sheet metals, aluminum and all sorts of pro micro welding.

The lens returns to full-clear with adjustable delay settings after the weld stops, allowing your eyes to adjust and metal to cool.
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Features
  • Viewport area is pretty large 2.8 x 4.2 in. (72×107 mm). The same size is on my hood and I’m perfectly satisfied.
  • A true color filter is decent but it lags behind Optrel’s and Lincoln’s expensive helmets. Its got too much green for my taste. especially now when with Optrel panoramix you can literally “see all the colors” throughout ADF.
  • Mask is made of durable polycarbonate. The material has great heat resistant properties. It highly impacts resistant and resistant to a degree on scratching
  • Fun fact: The silver part at the front of the mask is not just for aesthetics. It’s a heat shield that deflects heat away from the user’s face.
  • Weight: 3.61 pounds (1.6 kg ). Borderline is somewhere around 4.4 pounds, 3.6 pounds is not that heavy for the welding hood but there are much lighter welding masks out-here.
  • The large grinding button is on the right side. And you can use grind mode easily with gloves on.
  • Side windows are a special feature that Speedglass pioneered. they are very useful in certain situations and increase your peripheral field of view while maintaining full eye safety. When you don’t need them there are special lens covers can be easily mounted.

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Esab Sentinel A50

Esab A50

Esab A50

If you’re looking to add a little bit of style to your equipment, the Esab A50 is a solid choice. It offers superior comfort and comes with a touch screen liquid crystal display that allows the user to control its functioning.

The viewing area measures about 3.93 x 2.36 in. (100 x 60 mm) and has 1/1/1/2 –5-13 ADF.

It also comes with a color touch screen control panel that
has eight separate memory settings plus an externally activated Grind Button.

The hard hat adapter option is available for use with ESAB hard hat. Grind mode button is on the right side.
Power Supply is shared on Solar powered cell plus replaceable battery  (2 x CR2450 lithium). Alerts indicators will light up when the battery is low.

Top notch welders deserve top notch equipment. The Sentinel is an excellent choice. You get great ergonomics and comfort, intuitive control, can be used for plasma cutting and any type of welding, crystal-clear visibility, and a broad spectrum of options.
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Features
  • View-port: The viewing area measures about 3.93 x 2.36 in. (100 x 60 mm) and has 1/1/1/2 –5-13 ADF.
  • Hyper-visible LCD Control Panel: Easy to use display that resembles a smartphone screen. (Easy to use when you don’t have gloves on) The display is full color and have some cool features like memorizing your input shade.
  • Cover lances: An extra perk to the Sentinel helmet is that the reflective, amber colored front cover lens is easily replaceable. It can be done in less than ten seconds- even without removing the helmet.
  • Comfort: It features a highly ergonomic five point suspension insert with five points of adjustment for superior comfort and optimal balance. The low profile design offers a central pivot point that gives the user maximum headroom when the helmet is in its upright position.
  • TIG amperage rating: less than two amps. Suitable for working on tin sheets and tubes.
  • The large grinding button: Placed on the right side above the view-port and fairly large indicator on the display inside. that will help you to not forget that the grinding mode is on.
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs. (640 g). Much lighter then Speedglas for example.

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Optrel VegaView 2.5

Image of Optrel VegaView 2.5

Image of Optrel VegaView 2.5

At just two and a half pounds, this is one of the lightest helmets on the market, an invaluable feature when you have to wear your helmet for long stretches of time.

It is made for overhead welding and comes with a state of the art sensor array. It features an external grind mode and adjustments for both shade and sensitivity.

Arc brightness detection is fully automated for the user’s safety. Optrel’s new VegaView 2.5 gives you clear visibility with Shade Level 2.5, improving visibility by better than 400%

Parking-Buddy belt clip also is a nice thing. When you need to remove the hood from your head you can clip it to your belt for situations like climbing leaders or taking a lunch brake.

Its Infinite Shade Level Adjustment comes with external controls that let welders manually adjust the variable shade level from 8 to 12 to suit the needs of the welding application. And you can do all of this without having to remove the helmet.

The Opening Delay function lets the user adjust the amount of time it takes to make the switch from dark to light. This makes transitioning easier on the eyes. Optrel’s patented Sensor Slide prevents the ADF from reacting to the arcs of nearby welders.

The convex helmet design deflects smoke, dust particles, and other debris even during overhead welding. Respiratory protection is available with the e3000 powered air purifying respirator. This multi-purpose auto darkening welding helmet is suitable for overhead welding and grinding.

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Features
  • Viewport: 3.93 x 2.36 in Average size window combined with comfortable headband put’s your eyes directly in front of the viewport.
  • ADF: UV/IR filter offers a real color experience. Much better then Speedglass and slightly better than Viking 3350. This helmet holds the world record with light state shading of 2.5 improving the visibility and optical clarity of welders’ environment by 400%!
  • Material: Made of nylon cone name PA6.6. Extremely light and bendable, resistant to heat, braking and scratching.
  • Outside Adjustment: A central control unit directly connected to the ADF, is placed on the left side of the helmet. Shade, sensitivity, delay, range and grinding button. All accessible from the outside.
  • Sensor Slide: by using the patented Optrel sensor slide the sensor angle can be reduced from 120° to 60°. Preventing a reaction of the ADF to welding processes in the environment.
  • Weight: Only 1.06 pound or 482 g. probably the lightest one out there and the lightest one from these in the buying guide.

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Optrel Panoramaxx

Image of Optrel Panoramaxx

Image of Optrel Panoramaxx

This Optel’s hood comes with advanced VegaView technology and a rechargeable lithium battery that can be charged using a USB cable.

The Panoramaxx provides the wearer a six times more field of vision than any other helmet.

Its panorama view combined with the light state of 2.5 DIN brightness level, plus the highly detailed color rendering gives the user a level of full visual clarity that few other helmets can match.

The automated welding mask has a massive field of vision. The nose cutouts are perfectly placed above the user’s nose for optimal positioning of the ADF nearer the welder’s eyes.

It’s also very low maintenance and easy to wear.

The Panoramaxx features the patented Optrel auto-pilot function. This is made possible by an advanced sensor that measures the brightness of the welding arc.

The sensor automatically adjusts to the correct darkness value. Its advanced design means that not only does it adjust to a finer array of tint levels, but it also does it faster and more accurately than most auto darkening welding helmets.

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Features
  • Viewport Panorama: they have a unique approach here. The viewport is close to your eyes and in the shape of sunglasses. This translates into a 6 times larger vision field than standard welding helmets, beats even the Lincoln Viking 2250 with its 3.94 X 3.86 port.
  • ADF: Again top notch UV/IR filter allows the realistic True color view.
  • Autopilot: Adjust automatically to the changing light conditions f the current welding method.
    Autopilot can be further adjusted with individual calibration option of ± 2 * If preferred, the Autopilot can be deactivated for manual shade level selection.
  • Multi-Sensor Detection: The completely redesigned controls of the 5-sensor array ensure the perfect regulation of the ADF. Depending on headband setting, 2.3x to a 6.3x vision field of a 3.93 x 2.36 in standard
    industry ADF.
  • Power technology: Solar cells, lithium-polymer battery, rechargeable by USB-cable with the life of 300 to 500 charging cycles.
  • Material: Made of nylon cone name PA6.6. Extremely light and bendable, resistant to heat, braking, and scratching.
  • Weight: 1.16 pound (530 gram)

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Digital Elite – Miller Electric

Miller Electric

Digital Elite – Miller Electric

This auto darkening welding helmet welding helmet features a nylon construction shell. It also features four arc sensors and patented “X” mode which counteracts most light interference. It’s perfect for welding outdoors during the daytime or under complex lighting conditions.

It comes with two lithium ion replaceable batteries and fully adjustable ratchet based fitments. The viewing area is just over nine square inches in total. The auto-dark feature is one of the fastest on the market and offers excellent protection.

Miller Electric has recently redesigned this helmet to incorporate additional adjust-ability settings as well as enhanced support.

A durable shock absorbing gasket protects the lens from impact damage. The digital controls are more user friendly with larger buttons and additional settings. The four operating modes available are Cut, Grind, Weld and “X” mode.
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What is X - Mode ?
X ModeX- Mode is a unique trait of this welding helmet and Miller patented technology (that’s why no one else can use it).

You see when you strike an ark, 3 types of radiation are emitted.UV (as a bright light) Infrared( as heat) and Electromagnetic radiation.

On all other welding helmets, sensors are triggered by IR radiation. Hence the flashing with a low amp, grinding problems, sun and etc.

This Millers hood’s sensors are triggered by a lower spectrum of electromagnetic radiation”X-rays”. Means there will be no flashes, never.

The ADF will go dark literally moments before the ark is struck. ADF won’t lit up when grinding, and the sun will not be a problem and it will continuously detects the arc even if sensors are blocked.

Features
  • Viewport: 9.22 in. Average window size nothing special about it.
  • ClearLight™ Lens Technology: ClearLight allows more colors of the visible light spectrum to come through the lens for natural, accurate tones. It stands with Speedglas on a quality level.
  • X-Mode: Electromagnetically senses the weld to eliminate sunlight interference and continuously detects the arc even if sensors are blocked.
  • Durable Shock-Absorbing Gasket: Protects lens from drop impact.
  • Aluminum Heat Shield: Protects the lens in high amperage welding applications.
  • Weight: 1.13 lbs Lightweight.
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Best Budget Welding Helmets Reviews

For novice welders, hobbyists, or those who only do light jobs, there is a wide range of affordable helmets that will give you full protection without breaking the bank. These helmets are capable of being used safely and effectively in many professional settings.

below are best auto darkening welding helmet reviews in the lower price range

They are not considered competitive with their professional grade counterparts. But they are an excellent choice for welders just starting out and casual welders. They are also a good choice for high school and college metal shops.

Antra AH6 260 0000

image of Antra AH6 260 0000

Antra AH6 260 0000

The Antra AH6-260 Classic Series welding helmet is equipped with the smart chip controlled four arc sensors auto darkening lens. It responds very quickly to the arc from TIG, MIG, Arc welding and Plasma applications.

It weighs just under a pound and is versatile enough to be used for a range of applications such as grinding, cutting, and welding (mig tig). It is an ideal upgrade from mask with quality fixed shade glass for just a fraction of the cost of more elaborate helmets.

This product is both economical and ecologically friendly, with its solar cell design and replaceable lithium batteries – you’ll never have to run to the store for batteries.

It features an auto darkening lens with a passive UV filter plus permanent UV protection at fixed shade range level thirteen.

It lets you adjust delay time and sensitivity of the arc sensors. It is also cheater lens compatible and comes with a useful hard hat adapter. There’s also a battery indicator and tester as well as a power off delay.

The filter remains active for ten minutes in dark environments before it goes to sleep. It comes with a one year warranty. It’s a great item for training novice welders as it can run for long periods of time, letting several learners get in their practice sessions.

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Features
  • Viewport: Dimensions: 3.86″ x 1.73″ , Area: 6.68 sq in
  • Lens Shade range level: DIN 9 – 13 with DIN 4 at light mode shading
  • Grinding button: External button for grind mode
  • Weight: 1lb
  • What is Unique about it: It is one of the most popular budget options. This helmet has a very good build quality being made of high impact polyamide nylon, it supports the magnifying lens and it is the best helmet in its price range.

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DELKOPRO Welding Helmet

image of DELKOPRO

DELKOPRO Helmet

This economical welding hood has a 1/1/1/2 rating and meets all of the safety and technical standards of EN379 and ANSI Z87.1. It is a solar-powered welding helmet that comes with an auto darkening solar powerd feature and switching speed with a reaction time of .00004 seconds.

It is lightweight and features a smooth, curved exterior for better comfort. It is very versatile and can be easily adapted to fit your personal preferences and comfort settings.

This welding helmet provides a viewing area of seven square inches. It provides a stunning five thousand hours of battery life, four arc sensors and an adjustable headband. In case of an electrical failure, it will protect your eyes against ultraviolet rays and IR radiation by the default shade level sixteen tinting.

The entire helmet is durable and simple. The factory warranty covers it against manufacturing discrepancies for thirty days.

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Features
  • Viewport: Dimensions: 3.85’’ x 3.15’’, Area: 12.13 sq in
  • Shade range level: DIN 9 – 13 with DIN 4 at light mode shading
  • Grinding button: Internal grinding setting button
  • Weight: 1lb
  • What is Unique about it: Very large view area and a long batery life of 5000h

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Instapark Series GX99OT

image of Instapark ADF Series GX99OT

Instapark Series GX99OT

This is a very basic welding helmet with a small user interface. It is powered by built-in solar cells and a replaceable CR2450 battery. The Instapark ADF GX990T series comes with four arc sensors which trigger the ADF to change to work mode automatically in less than half a second after an arc is struck.

The ADF eliminates the need to flip the welding helmet up and down in between torch placements. This boosts productivity with less stop-and-start time required with passive lens welding helmets. Among our economy picks, this helmet might be the best candidate for professional use.

The ADF GX990T welding helmet is ergonomically designed and made with patent protected lightweight composite materials. It offers a custom fit via a ratcheting headband system and a fully padded interior for comfort.

Its filter has a 3.94 x 3.86 in. viewing area – the biggest in its class and in this buying guide. It should give you a full view of your entire welding area with excellent optical clarity and good UV/IR protection.

This solar power auto darkening mask also comes with a variable shade that is adjustable from shade level five to shade level thirteen with a resting default shade of four. This makes it appropriate for a wide variety of stick, TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) and MIG welders (Metal Inert Gas). This versatility also makes it a great choice as a training helmet.

With Instapark’s new state of the art design, outside controls, multiple adjustments for dark state, sensitivity, and delay, this unique welding helmet will reduce any need for grinding and rework by boosting torch placement accuracy- saving the user time, money, and effort.

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Features
  • Viewport: Dimensions: 3.94” x 3.86”, Area: 15.21 sq in
  • Shade level: DIN 5 – 13 with DIN 4 at light mode shading
  • Grinding button: External button
  • Weight: 1.5lb
  • What is Unique about it: Exceptionally large view dimensions and the external controls

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Tanox ADF-2O65

Image of Tanox ADF-2O65

Tanox ADF-2O65

This quality, economic welding helmet features four arc sensors, solar cells, and a long life of a battery . The viewing area measures 3.86 x 1.73 in. It weighs just over a pound and a half with the padded head adapter installed. It has delay and sensitivity settings and it features an adjustable dark to light 0.1-1 second infinity knob.

It also has a grinding of 0000 plus ADF self check, low amperage TIG of more than 5A, and a low volume alarm. It comes with high efficiency solar cells and a two year lifespan lithium replaceable battery.

The Tanox solar power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet meets all of the EN379 and ANSIZ87.1 safety and technical standards for both simple and complex welding jobs. It’s reaction time is 1/25000 of a second thanks to its arc sensors – earning it a 1/1/1/2 Optical Class rating.

It can protect the welder from both UV and IR radiation in case of an electrical failure.

It also lets the welder see a wide range of different angles.

This item comes with a bonus pair of free fire retardant gloves for greater value. The gloves are sixteen inch double-layered leather with Kevlar stitching thread. They come with long sleeves to better keep your arms and clothing safe and protected.
They are pliable and comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. It’s a high quality bonus item that you just don’t get with any other reputable package on the market right now.

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Features
  • Viewport: Dimensions: 3.86″ x 1.73″ , Area: 6.68 sq in
  • Shade range: DIN 9 – 13 with DIN 4 at light mode shading
  • Grinding button: Internal button for grinding
  • Weight: 1lb
  • What is Unique about it: Tanox ADF-2065 is padded with a hard head adapter

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Jackson Safety 46131

Image of Jackson Safety 46131

Jackson Safety 46131

The Jackson Safety W40 INSIGHT Variable Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet offers high-performance WH40 Classic Series Auto Dark Filters.

These smart filters let welders adapt to various working environments with the ability to control the variable shade of the lens with additional adjustments for sensitivity from ambient light sources. It also features an expansive viewing area.

The Jackson Safety auto-darkening feature provides sensitivity and delay settings. Number of arc sensors and user friendly digital controls.

This electric auto darkening helmet is perfect for professionals, hobbyists, and novice welders. These welding helmets come with fully functional auto darkening protection that are also affordable.

The Jackson Safety WH40 Insight Welding Lens gives you an ADF with digital and multi-function controls for practically any welding job. It is a fully functional and practical choice that is also easy on your wallet.

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Features
  • Viewport: Dimensions: 3.93″ x 2.36″, Area: 9.27 sq in
  • Shade level: DIN 9 – 13 with DIN 4 at light mode shading
  • Grinding button: Internal grinding setting
  • Weight: 2lb
  • What is Unique about it: It has a digital display inside the helmet and the shell is made from flexible plastic

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Tacklife PAH04D

image of Tacklife PAH04D

Tacklife PAH04D

Advanced configuration is the key feature of the Tacklife PAH04D. It comes with 4 arc sensors and 1/1/1/1 top optical clarity to better ensure a clear and secure welding process. It has UV/IR protection up to DIN sixteen at all times, protecting the user’s vision from UV light.

The DIN 3 delivers better light transmission. It is lightweight, adjustable, it is solar powered and it uses replaceable lithium batteries.

Of all the economy solar powered welding helmets, this one is the lightest- a popular feature for those who simply want to enjoy welding as a hobby. But it is still functional enough for serious use.

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Features
  • Viewport: Dimensions: 3.86″ x 1.69″, Area: 6.52 sq in
  • Shade level: DIN 9 – 13 with DIN 3 at light mode shading
  • Grinding button: External grinding button and external sensitivity and delay adjustments.
  • Weight: 1lb
  • What is Unique about it: The best helmet in this price range that offers more light transmission with its DIN 3 light shading.

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Tips on Choosing The Best Auto-Darkening Helmet

The first things first. You do not need auto-darkening technology to get the job done, but it is difference between manual and auto-dark is a night and day. The most important thing to look when choosing the auto-darkening welding helmet is:

  • Quality of its Auto-darkening filter. The time it takes to switch from light to dark mode. Does it have an adjustable latency when switching back to light mode? You don’t want to look at the glowing metal, your eyes will strain faster
  • Viewport size. Some people like a larger port, it’s great for the beginners, you will not need to move your head that much, you will follow the arc easier. On the other side, some prefer smaller viewport, but more ergonomically designed welding hood. And smaller port means lighter mask, lighter mask means no neck pain.
  • The weight of the helmet. Often people overlook this part but trust me it is very important. Neck pain is not a joke, take care of your body
  • Comfortable headgear. A helmet that fits perfectly on your head, Durable headgear mechanism, a soft cushion on your forehead…
  • Warenty, availability of spear parts, national safety standards, material that the mask is made of, etc…

Shading

 A central control unit For more information on what shading level you should use. On what amperage and on what welding process, you have a standard table made by Lincoln {link here}.

Note that rules aren’t set in stone. If your eyes hurt you, you can tone it up a notch or two. If your eyesight is not that good dial it down a bit. On a manual welding helmet with no electric powerd auto darkening welding filter, you will have standard 11 DIN shade Which is default and suited for most of the people.

However, you can buy a different shading glass. It is quite inexpensive and you can find it anywhere.
To ensure that the auto-dark lens will work reliably, do your research, look up reviews- and remember that you get what you pay for.

Auto-darkening helmets mainly are in the variable shade range from 9 DIN to 13 DIN. When it’s not working it’s 4 DIN. It then can be used for grinding. Some more expensive auto-darkening filters that go from 5 DIN to 14 DIN and can be used for finer things. (You don’t need it if you don’t plan to go pro in this sport)

View-port

The ADF, or automatic darkening filter, consists of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), electronic components, solar cells/batteries, sensors and a UV/IR filter. This is the part of the helmet that automatically darkens when a welding arc is struck at fast switching speed

The ADF, or automatic darkening filter, consists of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), electronic components, solar powered cells/batteries, sensors and a UV/IR filter. This is the part of the helmet that automatically darkens when a welding arc is struck

Most of the inexpensive ones are of the small size viewport 3.62’’ x 1.65’’. They save money and lower production costs that way.

Biggest viewport 3.94” x 3.86” like on the Viking 3350 which is a maximum. Bigger is better, you won’t need to move your head when welding longer bits. They make jobs easier when you are in a tough position and generally it’s better when you can see more.

Some average size is 3.93” x 2.36” and gets all the jobs done. Opel’s and Miller’s main hoods are in this range.

Every auto-darkening helmet we recommend comes with numerous sensors for electronic redundancy and safety.

The best helmets come with at least 3 sensors that provide robust protection for your eyes. Your eyes are mission critical equipment. Don’t take chances with your vision by skimping on eye protection.

Material that the mask is made of should be firm and resilient yet light bendable.

Material that the mask is made of should be firm and resilient yet light bendable.

Material

Materials used in making a welding mask range from cardboard to leather to plastic alloys like polycarbonates and etc.

Simple and inexpensive cardboard face shields I honestly do not recommend since these days you can find low costs quality face guards anyway.

Hoods made of leather are for specific jobs and hard to reach tiny places. They do not offer the best protection.

What you need is a face shield made of polycarbonate or nylon. This material is light, has high shock absorbance and is heat resistant.

Polycarbonate

Image of Polycarbonate sheet taken from polymershapes.com

Image of Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is a unique, durable material with high impact-resistance. It’s heat-resistant and has flame-retardant properties that also act as a good electrical insulator.

Polycarbonate can undergo large plastic deformations without cracking or breaking and is shock absorbent as well. The downside of this material is it has low scratch-resistance, which you should consider if trying to paint it.

Concerning your health, the material is considered safe to use and it’s backed by many international studies that disprove the early results about the material.

(ABS) Plastic

ABS plastic is a ubiquitous thermoplastic polymer.
Its glass transition temperature is roughly 105 °C (221 °F).

ABS is amorphous, therefore has no discernable melting point. ABS is tougher than unadulterated polystyrene. The styrene provides the plastic a glossy, resilient surface. The material is durable at the lowest temperatures. Also, it is a good shock absorbent. ABS is most useful between −20 and 80 °C (−4 and 176 °F)

Cons: ABS is stable to decomposition under normal use though at higher temperatures (400 °C) ABS can decay into its components, i.e. butadiene (carcinogenic), acrylonitrile (likely carcinogenic), and styrene. Sometimes you can see under made of the material name.

Nylon 66 or (PA66)

My Optel 690 face shield is made of this. Nylon 66 is a synthetic polymer called polyamide. It has high mechanical strength, stiffness, hardness, and toughness and good resistance to high energy radiation (gamma & x-ray).

It has good electrical insulating properties and higher heat deflection temperature plus high chemical resistance to acids. I highly recommend it.

Respirators

hazardous welding fumes

penncoatinc.com

How many times have I seen my colleagues sticking their head inside the welding fumes?

It’s hazardous, especially if you weld stainless steel, aluminum or any kind of coated steel.

Truth is hat built-in respirators with their own power supply are expensive.

However, at least make sure that you buy a helmet with a room for one inside, even the ordinary one.

In the end, even the simple dust shield can help you because sometimes you will be stuck in cramped places with very little room to move, where you can’t evade the fumes.

Professional Welding Respirators [For Fumes And Dust]

A good, quality respirator is essential for working in hazardous environments or when working with stainless steel, aluminum, and other common toxic alloys. Your welding mask’s respirator is your lifeline. At present, there are two respirator solar power welding helmets on the market that meet our standards. These are the only respirators we endorse at this time due to their high reliability ratings and their outstanding functionality.

Optrel Respirator

The e3000 PAPR system

The Optrel Respirator is fully compatible with all Optrel welding helmets.

The e3000 PAPR system comes with the Optrel guarantee that it offers the highest protection class (TH3) from hazardous airborne substances in the form of aerosol, smoke, fumes, and dust.

Breathing with this device is measurably cleaner by a factor of up to five hundred.

The wearer will benefit from an even distribution of air.

It comes with automatic air flow control and an additional cooling component.

The Adflow Powered Air Respirator

Powered Air Purifying Respirator

An enhancement to the 9100, this piece of PPE is simple to deploy, easy to use, and comfortable to work in. It also comes with the added energy saving 3M Adflo Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) System.

Basic protection shields welders from hazardous fumes and

particles- but are not necessarily comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The 3M Adflo Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) system delivers clean, breathable air around the user’s entire face and head for better comfort.

The 3M Adflo Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) System delivers multipurpose welding protection for the most demanding environments.

The versatile design makes this respirator helmet easier to switch from welding to grinding modes without having to change equipment. It is a quality welding safety product- and it just might save your life.

Cleaning and Maintain Your Welding Mask

A welding helmet is easily the most important piece of safety equipment a welder can own. It protects your face, eyes, and respiratory system from intense light, heat, flying debris, and toxic fumes. Learning to clean and maintain it properly will help ensure that your helmet will continue protecting your health and safety as well as protect your investment.

There are many ways to clean a welding helmet. But we want to cover one of the easiest and most effective way, the way most professional welders use to protect their protective headpiece.

Recommended Materials:

Materials
• A gentle air cleaner

• Lens cleaner wipes

• Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes

• Clear Gear Disinfecting Spray

• Food Grade Multipurpose Cleaning Brush

• Soft Cotton Towel

• Baby Wipes

• Bike Brite MC19000 Cleaner/Deodorizer

Wipe down the surface of your helmet

Use a paper to wipe down the surface of your welding helmet to remove any loose dust and debris. Wipe the surface by using either dry or damp paper. Apply it gently across the whole surface of the helmet. If you choose to use wet paper, be sure to use an Ultra Soft cotton towel, to absorb any excess moisture.Cleaning Lenses

  • Using the brush

    Using a food grade multipurpose brush cleaner is the best choice for brushing away dirt from the hardest to reach areas such as the vents and other small detail components of the shell.
    For older helmets, be sure that to scrub the most hidden parts thoroughly.

  • Clear Away Debris

    After wiping and brushing, use an air pressure duster to remove any dirt or rust the brush may have exposed. The EasyGo CompuCleaner 2.0 can be used with any electric device, utilizing air pressure to clean away hidden dust.

  • Cleaning the Lens

    Power auto darkening welding lenses require special care to maintain and preserve optimal functioning. This is the most delicate part of the helmet- and the most important. Clean it gently for best results.

    Using a quality lens cleaner, you will be able to remove any dirt from the surface. Use your Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes to apply for better results.
    If you notice extra moisture on the lens, use dry kitchen paper, or a clean bathroom towel to absorb it.

  • Use a helmet cleaner

    After cleaning, apply a helmet cleaner to the surface of the helmet for a more thorough clean. Use a dedicated helmet cleaner like Bike Brite MC19000 Cleaner/Deodorizer. Apply it using the baby wipes, which are soft and absorbent.

  • Disinfect your welding helmet

    Disinfection is an important part of any welding helmet maintenance routine. Clear Gear Disinfecting Spray is a good choice to complete this simple step. Apply the spray reservedly to the interior where hair and sweat make the most contact to porous, padded surfaces. This will remove germs, and eliminate odors, keeping your welding helmet clean and sanitary.

  • Finish the process using a towel

    After brushing, wiping, cleaning, and disinfecting your welding helmet, the last thing you have to do is wipe the helmet down to remove any remaining dust or moisture.

    A thick bathroom towel is probably ideal. Apply it gently, making large movements being careful not to press too hard.

If you want to learn more there is a good article here about cleaning hoods.

 

Resources:

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