Best Welding Helmet Reviews 2017

(Updated )
There are numerous brands of welding helmets out there on the market. Since this is one item you don’t want to make mistakes in selecting, we decided to conduct in-depth research on several brands. We finally arrived at five top brands with some of the best welding helmets available. We reviewed one welding helmet from each of the selected five brands. Note that the brands under review have some other great welding helmets that you may want to look at, in case the featured products aren’t to your taste.
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Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Size
Material
Viewing Area
Switch Speed
Our Top Choice
3M Speedglas™ Welding Helmet
3M Company was established over 100 years ago, and delivers products that help us perform better in every facet of our lives.
Its exceptional optical quality allows good view of the work area, and the auto darkening filter responds promptly to welding arc.
It doesn’t have an automatic on/off switch.
Professional
11.5 × 10.8 × 11.8 inches; 1 lb
Info NOT provided
1.73 × 3.66 inches
Info not provided
Best Value
Hobart Agent Orange™ Welding Helmet
For the past 9 decades, Hobart has provided a full line of welding and cutting products that combine performance with style and value.
Its large LCD lens gives a very clear and wide view of the work area, and it's made from highly resilient polyamide material.
On the other hand, it drains the battery a little too fast.
Professional
9 × 9 × 13 inches; 2.2 lbs
Polyamide
3.82 × 1.81 inches
1/25,000 second
Jackson Safety Auto Dark Welding Helmet
Jackson Safety has been around for many years and is a popular name when it comes to personal and workplace safety.
Its aerodynamic design gives better fume deflection, while the protective lenses are removable for easy cleaning or replacement.
Isolated problems of poor fit.
All levels
9.8 × 9.6 × 12.5 inches; 2.1 lbs
High-density plastic
3.78 × 2.69 inches
0.15 microseconds
Miller Electric Digital Elite Welding Helmet
Miller Electric is a leading manufacturer of arc welding items. Its products are advanced, solution-focused and meet crucial needs of welding safety and health.
Its four independent arc sensors provide superior lens response, while the digital controls allow you to change modes and settings easily.
It sometimes doesn’t automatically switch to light mode as it should.
Intermediate
12.1 × 10.3 × 9.8 inches; 2.8 lbs
Nylon construction
11 × 8.25 inches
1/20,000 seconds
Antra Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Antra Technologies provides professional auto-darkening welding helmets and filter cartridges to its customers around the globe.
It has an ADF self-testing button, a battery indicator and Advanced Temperature Adaptive Technology for ensuring shade accuracy.
Occasional delay on the auto-darkening kicking in.
Solar-powered
9 × 9 × 12 inches; 1 lb
High-impact polyamide nylon
3.86 × 1.73 inches
1/25,000 seconds

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How Do I Choose the Best Welding Helmet?

Welding and fabrication requires working with very hot flames that emit ultraviolet rays, which are very harmful to the eyes. This necessitates the use of protective headgear like the welding helmet. If you are into welding and fabrication, a welding helmet is one item you cannot do without if you want to stay safe and healthy. It is a protective helmet with a face shield that has a UV/IR treated protective lens for the eyes. Some people might be using protective eyeglasses, which, while protecting the eyes from debris, are quite useless when it comes to shielding against UV rays from a welding machine.

Different types of welding may require different types of welding helmets, depending on the type of heat and light emitted from a machine like the arc welder. Let’s take a look at some very important points you need to consider when shopping for welding helmets.
Price
Every item on the market most likely has a high-end type and a low-end counterpart. Being low-end doesn’t necessarily mean being low-grade. It’s actually a marketing strategy employed by manufacturers to reach both the high and low earners. When you want to purchase an item, just have in mind the amount of money you can afford to part with. Arm yourself with a good review about that item, like the one you’re reading now, and you are good to go.

Our review covers products in both the high-end and low-end category, with emphasis on the quality, regardless of the price. This means that any product you pick from this review is sure to deliver in terms of quality and performance.

The featured welding helmets’ prices range from as low as $45.95 to as high as $855.25. We came across many cheap welding helmets, but we decided to ignore them because their quality fell well below what we were looking out for. So, keep reading, as this review is on high-quality and durable welding helmets.
Features
A welding helmet must have very good protective lenses to protect the eyes from those harmful arc lights. There are quite a number of different lenses currently being used. However, the most advanced ones have auto-darkening filters with different shade ranges. When shopping for a quality welding helmet, here are other features you ought to look for:
  • Material
  • The type of welding helmet
  • Its power source
  • The switching speed of the auto shade selector
  • The total size and weight of the welding helmet
Construction and Design
A good welding helmet should have excellent ADF (Auto Darkening Filters) with a reasonable range of shades it operates in. The viewer should not be narrow, and it should be as clear as possible. The material should be very durable, and not weigh heavily on the user. Good material usually comes in the form of lightweight nylon shell or high-density plastic.

Some welding helmets have advanced settings specifically designed for use by professionals, while others are built with intermediate or beginner features. Consider the level of the user, whether beginner, intermediate or professional, and choose the welding helmet type accordingly. Most welding helmets have digital features, including the ones in this review. This means that they require powering, which may be battery, solar or a combination to function optimally.

The switching speed varies among welding helmets. The switching speed is the time it takes the automatic shade selector to change from one shade to another, depending on the type of welding arc light being used. It’s usually very fast, in microseconds or milliseconds. Some welding helmets come with adjustable headgear to accommodate different head sizes, while others are non-adjustable. Whatever type you choose, you might want to check to see that it’s lightweight. You most likely will not want to wear a heavy helmet on your head for hours on end, as this can cause neck cramps.
Performance and Ease of Use
A welding helmet with an automatic on/off switch is preferable, because you don’t have to worry about forgetting to switch it on and getting your eyes burned accidentally. The ideal welding helmet should have a really fast switching speed, so as to protect the eyes adequately with the appropriate shade required for the particular welding arc. This also means that the sensors have to be super-sharp, to sense and send the signals to the right receivers.

Choosing the welding helmet type best suited to your level of expertise in welding makes it much easier to use the features and get the best out of the helmet. Depending on how often it’s used, it might be better to choose a welding helmet that is battery-powered. It may be easier for you to change batteries when they run down than to change a solar panel when it goes bad. Then again, there are some helmets that come with a battery usage display, so you’ll always know the battery level and be ready to change them when it's time. You might want to get one of those, so you won’t have to worry about batteries running out in the middle of your work.

What is the Best Welding Helmet?

After reading our buying guide, you are now armed with pertinent information about the features that you really want for your welding helmet. To ensure you get the best welding helmet for your needs, take a look at the reviewed products below and make your choice.
Our Top Choice
The 3M Speedglas™ Welding Helmet is a fully assembled, ready-to-use helmet with three sensitivity settings on the lens that suit a wide range of welding types. For a professional welding helmet, see the 3M™ Speedglas™ Welding Helmet 9100 FX with Side Windows. It features a flip-up 9100V dark shade 5, 8-13 auto-darkening filter.
3M Speedglas™ Welding Helmet 100 Black with Auto-Darkening Filter 100V Shades 8-12

3M Welding Helmet 07-0012-31BL


Features
3M Company was established over 100 years ago, and has evolved through the years to become a highly rated product and services company today. In healthcare, transportation, construction and design, energy, communication, electronics, manufacturing, and mining, its products have continuously impacted our lives.

The 3M Speedglas™ Welding Helmet ($233.63 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a ready-to-use helmet. It features three sensitivity settings on the lens, making it suitable for a wide range of welding types. It delivers exceptional optical quality, with a good view of the work area and an auto darkening filter that darkens instantly once welding arc is detected.

Below are some other welding helmets from 3M that may interest you:
  • 3M™ Speedglas™ Welding Helmet 9100, 06-0100-30iSW - Comes with an improved user interface that is easy to understand, a delay function to set the dark-to-light opening time, auto darkening filter, adjustable arc detection sensor and an adjustable, ergonomically designed head suspension for more comfort and helmet stability
  • 3M™ Speedglas™ Helmet 9100 06-0100-10, with 3M™ Speedglas™ - Fitted with Speedglas 9100V auto darkening shades, a sensitivity adjustment that lets you work with all Stick, TIGor MIG welding processes and a grinding and touch cutting mode
  • 3M™ Speedglas™ Welding Helmet SL with Auto-Darkening Filter 05-0013-41 1 EA/Case - Super light, while maintaining the performance of a Speedglas product. It features an adjustable headband for excellent individual fit and can be tilted to any preferred angle
  • 3M™ Speedglas™ Welding Helmet 9100 FX - With flip-up 9100V dark shade 5, 8-13 auto-darkening filter assembly that can be lifted to expose a clear 8 x 4.25 inch (200 mm x 110 mm) face shield for precision weld prep and grinding, shade 5 Side Windows that increase peripheral view and a clear 8 x 4.25 inch (200 mm x 110 mm) face shield. For Stick, MIG and TIG processes, grinding and torch cutting
Best Value
The Hobart Agent Orange™ Welding Helmet is an Impact Series welding and fabricating helmet that is powered by a single CR2450 lithium battery and built to last a long while. If you need a professional helmet with intermediate features, the Hobart Pro Variable Auto-Dark Helmet fits the bill perfectly with its auto-darkening helmet.
Hobart Impact Agent Orange Variable Auto-Dark Helmet

Hobart Welding Helmet 770754


Features
Hobart Welding Products provides a full line of welding and cutting products that combine performance with style and value. Its products are easy to use, of industrial quality, and are covered by a 5/3/1 Industrial Warranty. Whatever your field or level of expertise in welding and cutting, it’s sure to provide you with the equipment that suits your needs. Its customer service is always ready to inform and help you. All you need to do is just call or send an email.

The Hobart Agent Orange™ Welding Helmet ($135.00 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is an Impact Series welding and fabricating helmet with professional features. It is powered by a single CR2450 lithium battery. Following are some other features that make it stand out from the crowd:
  • 6.9-square-inch LCD lens viewing area that gives a larger view of work areas
  • Variable shade #9-13 and light state #4 that provide the welder with greater flexibility in low-light situations on MIG, Stick and TIG applications
  • Weld and grind mode for added flexibility
  • Super light and constructed from durable polyamide
  • Variable-shade lens darkening from 8-13 with two independent arc sensors
  • Sensitivity control with infinite adjustment for varying ambient light with auto ON/OFF
  • 1/12,000-second super-fast reaction time
  • Low battery indicator so you know when to change the battery
  • Comes with a two-year warranty
The Jackson Safety Auto Darkening Welding Helmet is one helmet that is as serious about the job as you are. It has an advanced auto darkening filter welding hood that offers “best in optical clarity” with superior view angle. If you are looking for a really professional helmet that does its job at an amazingly budget-friendly price, the Jackson Safety Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet is a good choice.
Jackson Safety Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Balder Technology Black/Orange – Available in 2 Sizes

Jackson Safety Welding Helmet 37191


Features
The Jackson Safety brand has been around for many years and is a popular name when it comes to personal and workplace safety. It’s known for its quality accessories and protective gear especially in welding and fabrication applications. Its products are a combination of top quality and exceptional style, to give 100% satisfaction to its customers all over the world.

The Jackson Safety Auto Darkening Welding Helmet ($855.25 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is one helmet that is serious about the job as you are with its advanced auto darkening filter welding hood that offers “best in optical clarity” with a 1/1/1/1 rating as defined by EN379 standards. Its other features include:
  • Superior angle of view, enhanced visibility and color recognition and a variable shade (9-13) with adjustable sensitivity
  • Aerodynamic design for better fume deflection and a smooth rounded perimeter for increased comfort. The curved front cover plate offers reduced heat build-up and better reflections (angular dependence) and fogging
  • Ultimate comfort, patented headgear with hard hat combination
  • Comes with three headgear adjustments to suit a variety of welders and welding tasks
  • Lightweight, with an Integrated air system/Air helmet supplied with PAPR bag
  • Protective lenses and ADFs are easily removed for thorough cleaning or replacement
The Miller Electric Digital Elite Welding Helmet is a professional and versatile piece of equipment constructed from nylon. It comes with lithium batteries and a magnifying lens holder. For a simple, affordable helmet for beginners, try the Miller Electric Welding Helmet, Shade 3 and 8-12, made from nylon material. It has two arc sensors and a switching speed of 1/10,000 seconds.
Miller Electric Digital Elite Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 8 to 13 Lens Shade

Miller Electric Welding Helmet 2240089


Features
Miller Electric Mfg. Co is headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin. It's grown from a one-man operation into the largest manufacturer of arc welding products driven by people-oriented ideas. Its products are advanced, solution-focused and meet crucial needs of welding safety and health. Its fast delivery, product quality and after-sale support are unmatched in the industry, as it makes concerted efforts to deliver on its mandate of top quality and solution-focused products.

The Miller Electric Digital Elite Welding Helmet ($256.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a professional and versatile helmet. It comes with lithium batteries, a magnifying lens holder, five outside and two inside cover lenses and a helmet bag. Its other functional features are listed below:
  • Digital controls with intuitive design and large push buttons that allow users to easily adjust mode and settings
  • Headgear with additional adjustability settings and enhanced support for better fit and comfort
  • Four independent arc sensors that provide superior lens response for obstructed or low amp welding
  • Four operating modes including Weld, Cut, Grind, and X-Mode, for ultimate versatility
  • The X-Mode electromagnetically senses the weld to eliminate sunlight interference and continuously detects the arc even if sensors are blocked
  • Lens that turns on automatically at the strike of an arc
  • Quick-release lens covers for easy replacement of cover lenses
The Antra Auto Darkening Welding Helmet is fitted with fully automatic power on/off, and a knob to adjust sensitivity and delay settings. For a welding helmet with a sensitivity adjustable knob that's ideal for intermediate users, check out the Antra Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet.
Antra Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with AntFi X60-2 Wide Shade Range

Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000


Features
Antra Technologies was founded by two optical electronics engineers in 2008, and provides professional auto-darkening welding helmets and filter cartridges to its customers around the globe. Its product line of high-quality filter cartridges has been internationally certified by relevant bodies. It was the result of continuous research and development of innovative auto-darkening filter core-technologies by talented engineers.

The sleekly designed Antra Auto Darkening Welding Helmet ($45.95 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is fitted with fully automatic power on/off, and a knob to adjust sensitivity and delay settings. Other notable features of this product include:
  • Superior auto-darkening lens for arc, MIG & TIG welding, and plasma cutting
  • Wideshade range control: 4 (grinding)/ 5-9 (plasma cutting)/9-13 (ARC, MIG, TIG)
  • Advanced Temperature Adaptive Technology that ensures shade accuracy
  • ADF self-testing button and battery indicator
  • Cheater lens/magnifying lens compatible
  • Each ADF is verified by Antra Testing Wizard AT200S according to EN379CE / ANSI Z87.1/CSA Z94.3
  • Optional hardhat adaptor

Get the Best Welding Helmet of 2017!

Now that you’ve read the review to the end, you’re well-informed enough to place your helmet order.

Our Top Choice
3M Speedglas™ Welding Helmet
Best Value
Hobart Agent Orange™ Welding Helmet
Jackson Safety Auto Dark Welding Helmet
Miller Electric Digital Elite Welding Helmet
Antra Auto Darkening Welding Helmet