Are you ready to tackle a welding job? If so, you should have a welding helmet ready. This is a must-have for any welder as it protects the face and neck from weld sparks, flash burn, heat, and ultraviolet light. It can also prevent a condition known as arc eye or inflammation of the cornea which is due to ultraviolet radiation coming from the welding arc. This can lead to temporary and even permanent blindness.
It’s not only your eyes that you are protecting when you use a welding helmet. You can also protect other parts of your body, such as your face and neck, especially against flying sparks and other debris.
Below is a listing of the top 12 welding helmets, followed by our quick buying guide. All of the following models meet the latest ANSI Z87 safety standards:
Arguably the best welding helmet today, it combines superior construction and top-notch functionality in a reasonable package. It has a viewing area of 3.74 x 3.34 inches, which is one of the biggest on the market. With such a wide field of vision, this helmet will let you work even in tight spots.
Moreover, it has an optical rating of 1/1/1/1, meaning it gets the best marks for consistency of viewing angles, uniformity of shade, degree of clarity, and extent of distortion. It has a quick switching time that is designed to minimize eye strain. It also has controls for internal shade, sensitivity, and delay.
With four arc sensors, the shade of this helmet won’t flicker in case of obstructions. It has solar power with battery assist aimed at prolonging the lifespan of the battery and lowering the chances of battery drain. It is backed by a three-year warranty.
The only chink in the armor, so to speak, of this helmet is its size. With a weight 3.2 pounds or about 54 ounces, this is not the lightest helmet around. But its functionalities and build quality more than make up for it.
Be sure to also check out our selection of the best TIG welders on the market.
The Antra AH6-260-0000 helmet can hold its own against other more expensive welding helmets. Sure, it may not have a view size as wide as the Lincoln Electric Viking, but it does have other features that make it a good buy, especially for those who are on a budget.
The helmet is made from strong and durable polyamide nylon which enables it to resist wear and tear. It has a view size of 3.86 x 1.73 inches, which is pretty good for any budget-friendly helmet.
In terms of optical clarity, it gets a rating of 1/2/1/2. It has four arc sensors and runs off solar power with battery assist. Plus, it is lightweight at 16 ounces. Simply put, you won’t feel like you are wearing it at all.
This helmet is compatible with a magnifying lens sized 2×4 inches, which can come in handy when you need to carry out a job requiring attention to detail. It has a fast switching speed of 0.00004 seconds.
This is another highly rated welding helmet that’s affordable and built like a tank. It has a high optical rating, too, and comes with a five-year warranty, which puts it in a class of its own.
It has an auto-darkening feature powered by a solar cell that completely eliminates the need for battery changes. The said feature is specific to wavelengths, meaning it will only go dark for a welding arc and not for other light sources like a lightbulb.
There are three headgear adjustments in this helmet making it well-suited for all kinds of welding. It is comfortable to use, too, because the hood and headband are adjustable. Weighing less than 3 pounds, it is made from lightweight and high-density plastic designed to protect its users from weld sparks and plasters. The curved front cover plate is aerodynamic and offers heat protection, too.
You may also be interested in some of the top MIG welders from our list. Check them out.
This helmet provides a high level of protection, a wide viewing area, and digital controls, which makes it simpler and easier to use.
It weighs just 1 pound, so it is lightweight and comfortable to use. It has an advanced auto-darkening lens with variable shades of 9-13. Four auto dimming sensors are present and work properly with delay and sensitivity adjustments. It should be noted that all controls are digital and so, the helmet is easy to use.
This is a versatile welding helmet that lets you choose from grind and welding modes.
This is a good option if you are on a budget but do not want to sacrifice comfort and safety. It is a good welding helmet despite its low price, and it is suitable for both beginner and experienced welders.
It has a variable shade lens, which is adjustable from 9 to 13, with a resting shade of 4. It has a fast switching time of 0.0004 seconds.
While it has a relatively small viewing area of 3.63 x 1.65 inches, it should still be good enough for most welding jobs.
It has an auto-darkening function with its dual arc sensors able to activate the switch from light to dark. While most of the top-rated welding helmets have four sensors, this entry-level item has only two.
The welding helmet has an optical rating of 1/2/1/3, which means it can deliver enhanced clarity and limit the risks of eye fatigue. In short, this is a value for the money welding helmet that you should consider if you are on a limited budget.
This is a welding helmet that’s best suited for hobbyists. It has a relatively large viewing space of 3.7 x 2.07 inches. This makes it easy to use especially in awkward spaces. Plus, the padded headband is two-way and adjustable for a more comfy fit.
It has a grind mode meaning it automatically adjusts for grinding. As the name suggests, it automatically darkens when subjected to sparks. It can also re-adjust the shade in case of excessive arc ray production, which is harmful to the human eye. The helmet adjusts its shade between DIN 9 and DIN 13.
It’s also a welding helmet that’s suited for oxy fuel burning as the fumes and flickering will not get into your head when you use the ArcPro 20704 helmet. It can also be used for stick welding and is thus ideal for use by beginners.
This exceptional welding helmet protects users from debris and harmful radiation. It has a large viewing area and a flip-up design for convenient and easy removal.
It weighs a mere 2 pounds with a view area of 2.1 inches high by 4.2 inches wide, making it one of the best welding helmets in terms of viewing area. The enhanced field of view should give you enough field of vision to work on your projects with minimal obstruction. Designed for convenience, this welding helmet can have its auto-darkening filter positioned down for welding and flipped up for other tasks.
The lens is made of polycarbonate nylon and features dark shades 5, 8, 9, and 11 through 13. There is also a light shade of 3. When an arc is struck, three sensors in the lens activate the auto-darkening filter, which can minimize the need for flipping the helmet in between torch placements. The lens can switch from light to dark shade in 1/10,000 of a second. It’s ideal for use in various welding applications, such as stick, MIG, and TIG.
This large view helmet is lightweight, comfortable to use, heat-resistant, and durable. It offers a viewing size of 4 x 2.6 inches, giving it one of the biggest view windows on this list.
Weighing less than 1.2 pounds, it reduces user fatigue. Yet it is made from a strong nylon shell that makes it resist cracks and shattering from accidental bumps.
The Rhino Large View helmet has an auto-darkening feature with a fast reaction time, allowing users to get to work right away. Its lens is made with shade from 9 and 13, which is more than enough for most welding applications. You can also adjust delay and sensitivity ratings to suit your requirements.
It’s easy to adjust, too, with its knobs placed outside to make altering sensitivity and auto-darkening lens delay a breeze. Finally, this is an inexpensive helmet that should be a good deal for beginner welders.
The Hobart 770756 is lightweight, comfortable to use, and functional. It offers a viewing area of 3.81 x 1.85 inches. There are three arc sensors designed to give users a more accurate shading whenever working in tight areas.
Powered by a lithium battery, this helmet has an automatic on feature that activates whenever it is exposed to light. As such, you should store it in a dark area to prevent its battery from draining.
The helmet has one of the fastest lens switching reaction times at 1/25,000 of a second. It is a full variable shade offering protection of shades 8 to 13. You can also switch to grind mode which operates in shade 3.
Highly durable, reliable, and affordable, this welding helmet from Miller Electric is a steal given its features. It has a solar powered panel that can come in handy during cases of power failure. Its adjustable knobs make operation a breeze even for neophyte welders.
Weighing less than 2 pounds, this helmet is lightweight and thus comfortable to use, even for extended periods. The helmet has an auto-darkening lens and offers protection of shade 3 and 8 to 12.
This high-quality welding helmet is built with enhanced features including an auto-darkening feature that works within 1/2500 of a second. Made from hard nylon, it weighs just 2 pounds and thus should not make you feel fatigued even after hours of use. The headgear has overhead straps and a sweatband on top of its ratcheting adjustment sizing mechanism.
The viewing size is quite generous at 3.93 inches by 2.4 inches. The viewing window is LCD illuminated. It even has a solar power panel that gives it an optional power source during a power outage. It can thus be said that this helmet is ideal for people who want to work non-stop on their projects.
If you are looking for a welding helmet with a generous view without spending too much, then this should be on your short list. It’s viewing area measures 3.62 x 1.65 inches, which is quite impressive for such an affordable product.
It may offer manual adjustment, but don’t worry as it can be easily performed with a slider found on the side. The design – a funky skull with flames – is also worth noting and should appeal to welders who want their helmets to stand out from the rest of the field.
This helmet has an auto-darkening function. It is also solar powered which is not only important during power outages but also for conserving energy. The optical rating (1/2/1/2) is not bad at all, especially for an entry-level helmet. In short, this is one of the more impressive, affordable welding helmets available today.
How to Choose a Welding Helmet
In choosing a welding helmet, make sure that the helmet you buy has passed ANSI Z87.1-2003, a safety standard that proves that the product has passed independent testing and is capable of surviving high-velocity impact, providing complete protection against ultraviolet and infrared, and meeting required switching speeds and dark shades.
Another important consideration is the viewing size. Viewing sizes differ depending on the type of welding helmet. For light duty applications, the typical view size is 6 square inches, while for industrial use, it is 9 square inches.
You must also be wary of the lens type. A welding helmet may come with either variable or fixed lens. Fixed lens helmets are often less expensive. It is also a practical choice if you are to weld just one type of material of the same thickness. The downside of a fixed lens helmet is that it can be quite a challenge to use especially for inexperienced welders. Variable lens helmets, on the other hand, feature auto-darkening filters and electronic filter lens allowing you to weld materials of varying thickness. Variable lens helmets are also recommended if you want adequate eye protection.
Auto-darkening is a feature you will often come across in many welding helmets. With an auto darkening helmet, you won’t have to flip the viewing lid or the entire helmet. This can also spare yourself neck fatigue, as you won’t have to do all that flipping.
Weight is equally important as a lightweight helmet is comfortable to use even for many hours. It can also reduce fatigue and minimize neck strain with extended use. A good helmet is one with a weight of lower than 50 ounces or around 3 pounds. Moreover, its headgear assembly should be padded and adjustable.
Then, there are the power options. Welding helmets may be powered by non-replaceable batteries or by replaceable batteries with solar assist panels. There are those powered by lithium batteries that are known for its impressive battery life although those batteries are not widely available, unlike AAA batteries. Moreover, lithium batteries are quite expensive.