- 1 You Only Have One Pair Of Eyes – Protect Them!
- 2 What Is ADF Technology
- 3 Optical Class Ratings
- 4 1 – Best Overall – Lincoln Electric 3350
- 5 Good Reasons to Choose The Lincoln Welding Helmet
- 6 Features of The 3350 Welding Helmet
- 7 #2 – High Quality – Miller Elite Welding Helmet
- 8 Best Features
- 9 # 4 – Best Welding Helmet Combo Deal – Tanox Auto Darkening Weld Helmet
- 10 Tanox Helmet Best Features
- 11 Bonus Extras Included
- 12 What We Like
- 13 What We Don’t Like
- 14 Tanox Welding Helmet Conclusion
- 15 #5 – Best Newcomer – Save Phace Gen-Y Welding Helmet
- 16 # 6 – Best On A Budget – Hobart Welding Helmet
- 17 #7 – Pro Welders – SpeedGlass 9100 Welding Helmet
- 18 # 8 – Exceptional Clarity – Esab Sentinel A50
- 19 Conclusion
- 20 Comparison Chart
I’ve been in the welding and fabrication industry for over 25 years, and I’ve seen my fair share of accidents. In many cases, eye injuries were high on the list. Many of these eye injuries were mainly because of inadequate or poor quality welding helmets. Some of the reasons include poorly designed helmets that allow sparks to easily enter, bad visibility, poorly fitting headgear or from arc flash. Having the best welding helmet you can afford is an investment in yourself, plus the latest technology in lens vision will make your jobs more enjoyable.
With welding, the combination of metal and fire can have consequences if the operator isn’t careful and safety-minded. So having good quality safety gear is the first line of defense against any personal injury and your welding helmet is top of the list when exposed to harmful rays, heat, and emissions.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires all such workers and DIY welders to wear protective gear for safety at work and at home. It is essential to take the matter very seriously.
You Only Have One Pair Of Eyes – Protect Them!
With years of advancement in technology, it is no wonder that the welding helmet market has dozens of options for you. These welding helmets vary in many ways and in various levels of quality. Their headgear and padding system, ADF technology, viewing capacity and much more make choosing the best welding helmet for you an important decision. It is very important to choose wisely and make your best decision not only according to your pocket but for your eyes and safety’s sake.
What Is ADF Technology
ADF stands for Auto-Darkening Function. Also referred by some manufacturers as ADL or Auto Darkening Lens.
The auto-darkening function relies upon three different types of lens filters, all sandwiched into one compact lens. The first filter is a UV type filter that removes the high levels of UV radiation the welding emits. The second filters are polarizing filters that naturally darken the light, and this is why the lens is dark before being turned on. The final lens is where the magic happens. This lens is the LCC lens or Liquid Crystal Cells, similar to your everyday LCD display. This lens is activated to darken because of photosensors in the lens when the arc is struck. The best welding helmets will have an adjustable shade level of between shade 9 and 13, many now have modes that can be used for grinding, cutting and welding. Helmets with these extra functions effectively give lens shading from 3 to 13.
Optical Class Ratings
The best welding helmet auto darkening lenses are rated using an Optical Class Rating. The ratings are graded using four different scales and, without being too technical they are, Optical, Is the view sharp and clear?, Light diffusion, Is the lens defect-free?, Clarity of Angle, blurred edges? and Light variations, consistency of auto shade function. These Four grades are tested on a one to three basis with a perfect score being four ones and the poor score of four threes. The best optical rating will be shown as 1/1/1/1, a poor rating could be 2/2/3/3
Without much ado, let’s have a look at the 8 best welding helmets for you:
1 – Best Overall – Lincoln Electric 3350
lincoln Electric are well established in the welding industry for welders and welding equipment. Their products are highly regarded in the welding industry and are used widely in industry and DIY welding. The 3350 Lincoln welding helmet is no exception and you can well be assured that you are buying a quality product.
Good Reasons to Choose The Lincoln Welding Helmet
Welding is a skill that, for me is underrated. The process requires technical know-how and good vision. This is where having the best welding helmet you can afford comes into play. Many welders are wearing a helmet for many hours in a day and are likely to be working with a variety of different materials and light conditions. Being able to have a clear vision for up to 12 hours a day will not only make the job more enjoyable but will ensure quality work and better productivity.
Lincoln has produced new Auto-Darkening welding lenses (Viking-tm) That offer a perfect 1/1/1/1 score in their 3350, 2450 and 1840 series welding hoods. This means that you can be assured that the lincoln 3350 welding helmet will deliver the best clarity of vision available in a welding hood.
Features of The 3350 Welding Helmet
Optical Class Rating 1/1/1/1
Lens Shade: Features continuously variable control and adjustable to suit all conditions, covering shades 6 – 13, Includes grind mode which is excellent for weld preparation and clean-up.
Viewing area: Boasting one of the larger viewing areas of 3.3″ x 3.7″ (95x85mm) outstanding clarity and color vision.
Outstanding Clarity: In reading the reviews of what other users of the 3350 have to say it is obvious that this helmet is top of the range welding hood for clarity of vision.
What We Like:
- Maximum control of Shade and sensitivity for different environmental conditions.
- Best welding helmet for clarity.
- Adjustable delay from dark filter back to light filter
- Four arc sensors
- Comfortable headgear and hard hat adaptable
- Lightweight only weighs 567 grams
- Capable of using a magnifier lens
- Grinding mode.
- Great value for the money
What we Don’t Like:
- No real complaints, some report headgear problems and others have experienced batteries having less life than expected. Pros outweigh the cons however.
Electric has maintained a standard for itself by providing an outstanding welding helmet with a very pocket-friendly price.
Lens Shade: The Miller Welding Helmet, allows you to adjust the shade of your lens according to your working mode. For welding purposes, you can choose between the shade -8 to shade -13. While, for the grinding mode, you have an option to choose between shade -3 to shade -5.
Adjusting the shade helps you to reduce the pressure on your eyes when focusing on your work.
Viewing Angle: It has a large viewing angle, in comparison to most of the welding helmets available in the market. The viewing area is almost 9 square inches wide that offer clarity and ease in looking sideways.
X-Mode: The helmets are equipped with special sensors that detect the welding arcs. The helmets electromagnetically detect a weld and, hence decrease the sunlight interference. The X-mode allows the helmet to detect the arcs even if the sensors are get blocked for some reason.
Working Modes: The Miller Welding helmet has different working modes for the operator’s ease. Apart from the X- mode, the operator can adjust between the grinding mode, weld operating mode, and a cutting mode without taking off the helmet. These options display how versatile the miller auto welding helmet is.
- Adjustable lens shade for welding mode and grinding mode.
- Large viewing angle ( up to 9 square inches), for a better view
- Different working modes that include: welding, grinding and cutting mode.
- Four arc sensing system, to enhance the lens response and increase productivity.
- Large lens plate height( 2 -2.5 inches) and width (3- 4 inches) so, peripheral view supports your work.
- Good value for the money
- A bit heavier than 43 ounces.
- Helmet exerts a little pressure on your neck, using it for a prolonged period can result in neck strains.
If you are looking for a cost-effective helmet that can aid you with your tough profession, then this is the right option. Jackson’s welding helmet has got a range of features with its versatile nature as the highlight.
Auto Darkening Filter: The ADF feature controls the shade of lens by controlling the amount of light entering. It helps in getting used to the environment by controlling the shading.
Viewing Area: Jackson Safety Welding Helmet is acknowledged as the world’s largest viewing range. The screen is wide enough for a clear, high-quality view. The viewing area is around 3.93 x 2.36 inches wide.
Versatile: The helmet is extremely versatile with different working modes options on the go. You can choose between the grind mode and the welding modes. The operator has further options to decide from such as MIG welding, tig welding, and arc welding.
Design: The shell is designed with such dexterity that it can easily be used in narrow spaces. The extended collar provides protection to your neck from any smoke and fumes. While you weld and grind, the collar provides you security.
Variable Shade: The option between shades of the lens is vacillating. You can choose between shade 9 and 13. Moreover, the helmet is equipped with 4 sensors that dim the lens automatically. The sensitivity of the helmet is high, which makes it very effective.
- Auto Darkening Filter controls the shading of your lens
- World’s largest viewing capability, with an enormous viewing area.
- Narrow shell to easily fit in spaces
- Different work mode options are available.
- Shade ranges available between 9 and 13
- 4 sensors available that automatically dims the lens according to the environment.
- Plastic is flimsy and very small to act as a respirator.
- Headgear can easily slip off.
# 4 – Best Welding Helmet Combo Deal – Tanox Auto Darkening Weld Helmet
While Tanox is not a regular brand name in the welding industry the customer reviews for this welding hood have been nothing short of excellent with most reviewers giving a five-star rating. Suited to both professional welders and home diy workshop this welding helmet ticks all the boxes because of quality and price.
Tanox Helmet Best Features
Very Fast Auto Darkening lens will go from dark to light in 1/25000 of a second and is up there with the very best of Auto welding shades. The lens is solar charged with a battery backup and is adjustable in shades 4 to 8 for cutting and grinding and 9 to 13 for Mig Tig and Arc welding.
High Optical Rating. The optical rating for the auto-darkening filter is very good coming in at 1/1/1/2 where the best optical rating class for weld lenses is 1/1/1/1
Versatility. With this welding hood you are covered for any type of welding shop activity you are likely to come across. Including the standard welding practices of Arc, Mig and Tig you can also use the helmet for plasma cutting, arc air gouging, grinding, gas cutting and gas welding.
Lightweight Comfort – coming in at 1.6 pounds the helmet includes fully adjustable and comfortable padded headgear.
Viewing Area – The lens viewing area is an impressive 2.4 inches x 3.86 inches. The helmet is also compatible with magnifying and cheater lens.
Powered By: Solar Cells & Lithium Batteries with auto on / off function.
Bonus Extras Included
Not many quality welding helmets offer these extras for such a good price. However, the helmet comes with one pair of top-quality welding gloves, extra Exterlan and Internal Lens covers, plus a carry bag.
What We Like
- Quick auto lens response time of about 1/25000 seconds
- Large viewing screen
- Comfortable and lightweight headgear
- Amazing clarity when welding
- Well priced welding helmet for the quality
What We Don’t Like
Can’t find any bad reviews
Tanox Welding Helmet Conclusion
This is a mid-priced weld helmet and it ticks all the boxes and comes highly recommended by all those who have purchased and I feel this would sell regardless of the extras being offered.
#5 – Best Newcomer – Save Phace Gen-Y Welding Helmet
Save Phace welding hoods bring you an amazing lightweight welding helmet with incredible features that no one else can offer. It’s super light in weight and doesn’t cause any kind of strain in the neck even if worn for extended hours.
Adjustable ADF: Save Phace’s Gen Y Helmet is credited as the world’s first-ever welding helmet with an adjustable ADF(auto-darkening filter). Whenever your helmet is struck with a welding arc, the part of the helmet automatically darkens itself. The ADF feature meshes with the 180 lens design.
Light Weight: The helmet is crafted very skillfully. The heat resistant and high impact nylon increase its durability and the comfort level, when in use. It weighs as low as just 24 oz and feels easy on your head.
Viewing Area: Save Phace G- Y welding helmet is acknowledged as the helmet with the second-largest viewing area. The viewing area is wide up to 23 square inches. This eases the difficulty of looking at a greater range of areas without moving your head.
Grinding Mode: This ADF helmet can also be used in grind mode. The knobs are situated outside the helmet, to easily access the settings during welding. With a push of a button, the grinding mode can be activated.
This helps in increasing the productivity of work and ensures safety to the user. Moreover, it eradicates the need for taking the helmet off and saves you time.
The lens is adjusted automatically to make the grinding mode more fruitful.
Face Forming Profile:
Save Phace helmets are designed in such a way that they provide maximum protection to the operator. It has a profile that forms on the faces and permits you to fit into tight spaces easily. Moreover, it is equipped with a halo headgear which allows you to adjust the distance of helmet from your face according to your need.
- 1st ever welding helmet with an adjustable ADF.
- 180-degree viewing lens to see vertically and horizontally with ease.
- World’s second-largest viewing range of the lens. (up to 23 square inches).
- Lightweight, making it easy to carry and handle.
- Ear to ear vision.
- Heat resistant and high impact nylon for durability.
- Face forming profile to squeeze in tight spaces.
- Halo headgear allows moving the helmet near or far away from your face.
- Comes with a helmet bag and parts can be interchanged with Save Phace other series.
- The extended peripheral lens is too dark.
- Freight headgear does not like to stay tight and can fall.
# 6 – Best On A Budget – Hobart Welding Helmet
Hobart has been using technology to create exceptionally good Welding helmets for years. The engineers at Hobart try to facilitate their customers with the maximum features a good welding helmet needs, all that in a very minimal cost.
Lightweight: Hobart Welding helmet is crafted from polyamide which enhances the toughness of the helmet. The helmet is lightweight and is easy on your neck and back. This super cool ADF helmet only weighs up to 20.3 ounces.
Viewing Area: The view is enhanced with a sufficiently large view area of 7.1 square inches. Thanks to it, the operator can easily look horizontally and vertically.
Sensitivity: Hobart Impact Series Welding Helmet is equipped with sensors that boost the overall sensitivity of the shell. It aids in retaining the adjustments made. Moreover, these sensors serve the purpose of quick reaction time.
The ADF system only requires 1/25000 second reaction time. They serve as a controller for the light. The sensors can be used to vary the amount of light that enters the lens.
Comfortable: This industrial grade helmet takes special considerations about your comfort level. The forehead area is padded and the knobs are located at the exterior of this helmet. This provides stability and a secure comfortable fit. You can easily weld in an area of 5 – 10 range with Hobart Impact Variable Helmet.
Lens Shade: The lens can be shaded according to the ease of the operator and his working mode. It gives the operator an option to decide between shades 8 and 13. In light mode, the shade is automatically adjusted to shade 3.
- Good Viewing Area, for a clear view during welding.
- Crafted out of Polyamide, to boost the toughness of the helmet.
- Wide range of sensors that enhance the ADF feature of the helmet.
- Quick response time of about 1/25000 seconds.
- Padded forehead for stability and security.
- Variable Shade between 8 and 13.
- Not suitable for long spells of welding, can cause neck and shoulder strains.
#7 – Pro Welders – SpeedGlass 9100 Welding Helmet
Glass, along with creating marvels, keeps the protection of their customers in mind. The helmets manufactured by the company are equipped with different phases of protection while offering almost the same features as all other helmets available.
Pro Quality Features
Auto Darkening Filter: The incredible Speed Glass Helmet is armed with the ADF feature. It helps to adjust the shade with a slight detection of a welding arc. The feature is very efficient and takes up to 0.1 milliseconds approximately to change the transition from light to dark shade.
Side Windows: The side panels increase the field of view. It aids you in keeping a check on your environment while you work. The side windows are designed to be dark to increase the peripheral view.
Protection: The helmet helps protect your face and eyes. For a starter, the material of the helmet doesn’t let the radioactive emissions and ultraviolet rays penetrate through the helmet. The lens also helps in protecting eyes from the excessive bright light that can cause damage to the eyes.
Comfortable: The 3D SpeedGlass Welding helmet features an ergonomically designed head that provides the utmost support and comfort. Apart from that, there are two crown straps boost stability and distribute the weight of helmet evenly across your head.
- Super Quick ADF transitions.
- Good Optical quality for a better, clear view.
- The incredible head suspension offers comfort, stability, and security.
- Dark Shade 5 filters enhance the peripheral view.
- Protects from harmful emissions emitted during welding.
- Different working modes available( grinding mode, cutting mode).
- Not economical for money-strapped people.
# 8 – Exceptional Clarity – Esab Sentinel A50
Esab, no doubt puts a lot of effort in creating their unique helmets. They have made full use of the technology available and have created wonders like this one, who even have a colored display that will amaze you to the core.
Optical Rating: Optical Class Rating 1/1/1/2. In occupations like welding, clarity is a very significant subject and engineers at ESAB know it well. This is why this helmet offers an optical class rating of the lens that makes everything vivid and clear. The operator is allowed full control over the range of shades available (shade 5 till 13).
Viewing Area: The welding helmet has a considerably large viewing area, that maximizes clarity and vision. You can look sideways super easily with the large viewing area of 3.93 X 2.36 inches.
Display: The helmet has a control panel with a backlit display that aids you in reading even in low dim light. The screen is colored and comes along with 8 different memory settings. The helmet is relatively easy to use and can be easily operated even without a user manual.
Build up: The manufacturers have crafted the helmet from high impact nylon, which improves the stability and makes it tough. The Grind Button is positioned outside the helmet, so the operator doesn’t have to lift his helmet to switch to grinding mode. The Halo Headgear addition allows you to move the helmet near or away from your face.
- Optical Class Rating for exceptional clarity.
- Colour touch screen with a backlit display for better viewing options.
- Easy to use, even without a user manual.
- The grind mode button is positioned on the exterior, to avoid any trouble caused by removing the helmet for changing the mode type.
- Large Viewing Area for a clear horizontal and vertical view.
- 8 externally managed memory settings.
- Economically unsuitable for a large class of welders.
- The front Cover lens gets scratched easily.
Welding could be considered to be one of the more dangerous professions, considering the exposure to heat and UV rays. However starting with the best welding helmet you can afford, plus taking other welding safety precautions will make welding as safe as many other professions that require manual skills.
We have outlined are some of the best welding helmets that are on the market today. These are respected brands that have reliable and well build welding lenses and safety features. Be aware of cheap welding helmets, many have poor quality lenses that have a slower darkening reaction time. Make sure to pick good quality, there will be one that suits your needs and falls in your budget.
|Welding Helmet||Weight||Dimensions||Price||Viewing Area||Material|
|Save Phace Gen-Y – Welding Helmet||Weighs less than 24 oz||10 x 10 x 11 inches||Check Latest Price||23 square inches||ABS|
|.Miller Elite welding helmet||2.8 pounds||10.5 x 12 x 9.8 inches||Check Latest Price||9 square inches||Nylon|
|Hobart Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet||2.3 pounds||9 x 9 x 13 inches||Check Latest Price||3.81 x 1.85 in||Polyamide|
|Speedglas Welding Helmet||2.09 pounds||12 x 11 x 11 inches||Check Latest Price||9 x 9 Inches||Nylon|
|Jackson Safety Insight Auto Darkening||2 pounds||1 x 1 x 1 inches||Check Latest Price||3.93 x 2.36 inches||Nylon|
|Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening||1.4 pounds||21.6 x 13.8 x 13.8 inches||Check Latest Price||3.93 x 2.36 in.||Plastic|