If you have a strong passion for working on cars, you may want to consider learning how to weld. Metal fabrication comes in handy, whether it’s to do some body repair or fixing an exhaust. Regardless of whether you’re an amateur or an expert when it comes to welding, you’ll want to invest into a quality welding helmet. Designed to protect your eyes, face, and neck from flash burn, ultraviolet lights, sparks, and other similar elements, a welding helmet is extremely important for safety reasons. And that’s why it’s particularly important to make sure you’re getting a quality welding helmet, as it’s the thing that stands in between you and potential disaster.
The main reason why professional welders are willing to invest more into a welding helmet is for comfort and improved welding ability. Our top 10 picks range quite a bit in terms of price. If you only plan on welding from time to time, you don’t necessarily have to invest hundreds of dollars into a helmet. It is highly recommended to do so however, if you’re going to be welding often.
There are several important factors to consider when shopping for a welding helmet, including optical clarity, auto-darkening capabilities, switching speeds, and whether they meet strict safety standards. For more information on the best welding helmets and how to choose the right one, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Antra Welding Helmet (AH6-260-0000)
- 2. Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Series Welding Helmet
- 3. YESWELDER Welding Helmets
- 4. DEKOPRO Welding Helmet
- 5. Miller Electric Classic Series Welding Helmet
- 6. TACKLIFE Welding Helmet
- 7. Instapark ADF Series Welding Helmet (GX-500S)
- 8. Tanox Welding Helmet (ADF-206S)
- 9. ESAB Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet
- 10. Jackson Safety W40 Insight Welding Helmet (46131)
- What is ANSI Z87.1?
- What is Switching Speed?
- What about Weight?
1. Editor's Pick: Antra Welding Helmet (AH6-260-0000)
Offering a quality welding helmet at a reasonable and affordable price is Antra. This solar powered, auto-darkening welding helmet is one of the most popular on Amazon, providing sufficient and accurate shade range within 4/5-9/9-13 to visible lights, and features a passive filter with permanent shade 13 to UV/IR. Interference suppression technology helps reduce false triggering caused by strong sunlight, fluorescent light, or other interference. A total of 4 premium redundant arc sensors are used, with highly responsive detecting and controlling units to provide extremely fast switching time (1/25,000 second) and accurate auto shading. As a result, this welding helmet minimizes harmful radiant bypass, reduces eye stress, and provides full face and neck coverage. It also meets ANSI Z87.1 standards, while optical clarity is rated at 1/1/1/2.
One factor as to why this helmet is popular is its weight, tipping the scales at just 1 pound when fully assembled. Another reason is how easily you can adjust delay time and sensitivity controls. It’s also cheater lens compatible and includes six bonus exterior lens cover plates and a single interior lens cover plate. Although it’s a solar powered welding helmet, you will need a pair of replaceable CR2032 batteries. To help save on power usage, this helmet does have fully automatic on/off functionality along with a battery indicator and a convenient self-darkening test button. With the power off delay, the filter will stay on for 10 minutes in dark environments before it goes to sleep.
Safely use this welding helmet on TIG, MIG, MAG, Flux Core, MMA, plasma cutting, and more. There is also a quick grind switch so you can easily go from grinding to welding.
- Full of features at an affordable price
- Solar powered
- Auto darkening
- Sufficient and accurate shade range within 4/5-9/9-13 to visible lights
- Passive filter with permanent shade 13 to UV/IR
- Interference suppression technology
- 4 premium redundant arc sensors
- Provides full face and neck coverage
- Meets ANSI Z87.1 standards
- Lightweight at just 1 lb
- Adjustable delay time and sensitivity control
- Can be used on TIG, MIG, MAG, Flux Core, MMA, plasma cutting, and more
- Quick grind switch for grinding before welding
- Optical clarity: 1/1/1/2
- Reaction time: 1/25,000 of a second
2. Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Series Welding Helmet
If you’re shopping for a welding helmet, there’s a real good chance you’ve heard of Lincoln Electric. One of the most well known brands when it comes to welders, the company naturally also offers high quality welding helmets. A popular option from Lincoln Electric is the Viking 3350 Series, featuring exclusive 4C lens technology that creates a crystal clear, true color view of the arc and puddle. The lens also has a 1/1/1/1 optical clarity rating, which showcases the absence of common lens imperfections such as blurriness and distortion, while providing consistent brightness and performance at an angle.
A 3.74″ by 3.34″ (12.5″ square inch) auto-darkening lens delivers a large field of view, offering enhanced application versatility, increased productivity, and added safety benefits. The X6 headgear contours to the wearer’s head and evenly distributes weight across 6 key contact points. According to Lincoln Electric, this helps improve balance, eliminates pressure points, and provides a personalized fit for maximum comfort.
Another standout feature on this welding helmet is the innovative low-profile external grind button, allowing you to quickly switch between weld and grind modes without having to remove the helmet or your gloves. Powering this welding helmet are a solar cell and a CR 2450 battery, and it is cheater lens compatible. This welding helmet meets ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and EN 379 standards.
Although Lincoln Electric’s welding helmet is noticeably more expensive than other options on our list, you’ll get a 3-year warranty to protect your investment.
- Well known brand in the world of welding
- Lens has a 1/1/1/1 optical clarity rating
- 4 arc sensors
- Shade range: 5-13
- Viewing area: 3.74″ by 3.34″ (12.5 square inches)
- Switching speed: 1/25,000 sec.
- Power source: solar cell + CR 2450 battery
- Cheater lens compatible
- Meets ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and EN 379 standards
- Includes 3-year warranty
3. YESWELDER Welding Helmets
YESWELDER offers a lineup of affordable welding helmets, each with their own unique style. These helmets are great for TIG, MIG, and MMA, with certain models applying to plasma applications with grinding feature. Viewing size also depends on which helmet you choose with the LYG-S400S and LYG-S400S-A measuring 4.33″ by 2.37″ with side view (non auto-darkening), the LYG-M800H, LYG-M800H-A, and LYG-M800H-B all have an extra large viewing size of 3.93″ by 3.66″ with 4 premium sensors. The LYG-Q800D and LYG-Q800D-A models have a viewing size of 3.94″ by 3.23″ with side view (non auto-darkening) and 4 premium sensors.
All of YESWELDER’s offerings deliver 1/1/1/2 optical clarity with true color view, while improving visibility by reducing the lime green tint. They are also all solar powered with auto-darkening for the main lens, while the pivot-style headgear provides good adjustability and comfort. Standards met include ANSI Z87.1 and EN 379.
- Wide lineup of affordable offerings
- Unique styles to choose from
- Works for TIG, MIG, and MMA—certain models can be used with plasma applications
- Viewing sizes include 3.94″ by 3.23″, 3.93″ by 3.66″ and 4.33″ by 2.37″
- Deliver 1/1/1/2 optical clarity
- True color view
- Reduced lime green tint improves visibility
- Solar powered
- Auto darkening
- Pivot-style headgear enhances comfort and adjustability
- Meets ANSI Z87.1 and EN 379 standards
4. DEKOPRO Welding Helmet
If you’re not welding all that often and want a more affordable helmet that still gets the job done, take a look at this offering from DEKOPRO. It’s available in several variants, but we’ll be focusing on the DX-800S Large Viewing model. That model has a 1/1/1/2 rating and meets ANSI Z87.1-2010 and EN379 4/9-13 safety standards. Viewing area measures 3.85″ by 3.15″ with a clear visor. An auto-darkening filter switches from light to dark in 1/25,000 of a second, and in case of electric failure, you’ll still be protected against UV and IR radiation according to shade 16.
This welding helmet is also equipped with sensitivity and delay settings that can be adapted for different environments and jobs. The filter’s light level is DIN 4 and switching from a dark to bright state happens within 0.1 second to 1.0 second.
- 1/1/1/2 rating
- Meets ANSI Z87.1-2010 and EN379 4/9-13 safety standards
- 3.85″ by 3.15″ viewing area
- Auto-darkening filter goes light to dark in just 1/25,000 of a second
- Solar powered + CR2450 battery (up to 5,000 hours of life)
- Shade range: DIN 4, Variable 9-13
- UV/IR protection: DIN 16
5. Miller Electric Classic Series Welding Helmet
Like Lincoln Electric, Miller Electric is a very recognizable brand in the welding industry. The company offers several different welding helmets, but our recommendation is one of its more affordable units. The Classic Series welding helmet features 2 independent arc sensors to provide excellent arc sensing capabilities, variable shade so operators can customize the lens shade to their needs, adjustable lens sensitivity for varied lighting conditions and weld amperage, along with auto on/off, which automatically turns the lens on at the strike of an arc.
Reaction time on this Classic Series welding helmet is 1/12,000, while shade range is #8-12. Viewing field is respectable at 5.15 square inches.
Miller’s Classic Series Welding Helmet comes with a 2-year Miller’s True Blue Warranty.
- Reputable brand in the welding industry
- Features 2 independent arc sensors
- Variable shade
- Adjustable lens sensitivity
- Auto on/off
- Reaction time: 1/12,000
- Shade range: #8-12
- Viewing field: 5.15 square inches
- 2-year Miller’s True Blue Warranty
6. TACKLIFE Welding Helmet
If you’re all about that “tacklife” then take a look at this welding helmet from, well, TACKLIFE. This feature-rich helmet delivers top optical clarity (1/1/1/1), provides sufficient and full shade range within 3/3-8/9-13, and meets several standards including EN 379 CE, ANSI/ISEA Z87.1, AS/NZS 1338.1, and CSA Z94.3. Boasting a large viewing area of 3.94″ by 2.87″, the helmet is also equipped with 4 premium arc sensors, allowing it to switch from light to dark in 1/25,000 of a second. Constructed from PA material, TACKLIFE says its welding helmet is lighter, more durable, and offers better fire resistance than common PP material. It does provide full face and neck coverage, protecting you from spatters.
Comfort isn’t an issue thanks to multiple adjustment joints, helping ensure the helmet fits perfectly on your head. Accessibility is also a plus, with built-in switches that allow you to make adjustments to shade range or switching from welding to grinding without having to take off the helmet.
Use this welding helmet on a variety of metal-related fabrication tasks including plasma cutting, abrasive wheel cutting/grinding, DC TIG, AC TIG, MIG/MAG, and MMA/stick welding.
- 1/1/1/1 optical clarity
- 3/4-8/9-13 full shade range
- DIN 16 UV/IR protection
- 3.94″ by 2.87″ viewing area
- DIN 3 light state
- 4 premium arc sensors
- Multiple adjustment joints for comfort
- PA material
- Full face/neck coverage
- Meets multiple safety standards
- Wide application: plasma cutting, abrasive wheel cutting/grinding, DC TIG, AC TIG, MIG/MAG, MMA/stick welding
7. Instapark ADF Series Welding Helmet (GX-500S)
This is one of the most affordable welding helmets on our list, equipped with dual arc sensors that activate the auto-darkening filter to switch from light to dark in 1/25,000 of a second when an arc is struck. It features a variable dark shade that is adjustable from #9 to #13 and has a resting shade of #4. You can use this welding helmet for most stick, MIG, and TIG applications. The ADF GX-500S is constructed from lightweight composite materials, and you can customize and adjust the fit through a ratcheting headband and padded interior.
Viewing area on this helmet measures 3.63″ by 1.65″. It is a solar powered helmet, but it still requires a pair of CR2032 lithium batteries, which are included. Optical class is rated at 1/1/1/2 according to the specifications provided by the manufacturer. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, this helmet is in conformance with GS, DIN-Geprüft, CE, ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and AS/NZS standards.
- Extremely affordable
- Auto-darkening filter switches in 1/25,000 of a second
- Variable dark shade #9 to #13
- Resting shade #4
- Suitable for stick, MIG, and TIG applications
- Constructed from lightweight composite materials
- Ratcheting headband, padded interior
- Viewing area: 3.63″ by 1.65″
- Optical class: 1/1/1/2
- UV/IR protection: DIN 16
- 2 arc sensors
- Grinding function
- Requires 2 CR2032 batteries (included)
- 1-year warranty
8. Tanox Welding Helmet (ADF-206S)
Another affordable option is the Tanox ADF-206S welding helmet. Suitable for arc, TIG, MIG, MMA or plasma cutting, this helmet is equipped with 4 arc sensors and can switch from light to dark in 1/25,000 of a second. The solar shade lens is adjustable 4-9/9-13 and its optical class is rated at 1/1/1/2. Viewing area on this welding helmet measures 3.86″ by 1.73″ and it meets EN 379 and ANSI Z87.1 standards. Along with the welding helmet, Tanox includes a pair of 16″ double-layered leather gloves with Kevlar stitching thread as an added bonus.
The helmet comes with a comfortable headband design that is adjustable for the best fit. It weighs about 1.6 lbs with the padded head adapter.
- Affordable option
- Suitable for arc, TIG, MIG, MMA, and plasma cutting
- Equipped with 4 arc sensors
- Switch time: 1/25,000 of a second
- Viewing area: 3.86″ by 1.73″
- Solar shade lens: adjustable 4-9/9-13
- Optical class: 1/1/1/2
- Meets EN 379 and ANSI Z87.1 safety standards
9. ESAB Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet
Not a huge fan of conventional welding helmets and how they look? The Sentinel A50 from ESAB might be made just for you. Sporting a shell design that is similar to what you see on racing helmets, the Sentinel A50 is constructed from high impact resistance nylon and is ergonomic and “infinitely” adjustable. It has a low-profile, 5-point design and the central pivot point allows for maximum head clearance while the helmet is in the up position. For adjustments, there is a full color LCD touchscreen panel, similar to what you see on your smartphone.
Viewing area on this helmet measures 3.93″ by 2.36″ and optical clarity is rated at 1/1/1/2. This helmet can be used with plasma cutting, oxy-fuel cutting, stick, TIG, MIG/MAG and plasma arc welding, as well as grinding. It meets multiple standards: DIN Plus, CE, EN 175, EN 379, EN 166, ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and AS/NZS 1338.1. Equipped with 4 arc sensors, it will switch from light to dark in just 1/25,000 of a second.
It’s quite a bit more expensive than most of the welding helmets on our list, but owners absolutely love the Sentinel A50.
- Shell design
- High impact resistance nylon
- Halo headgear—ergonomic, infinitely adjustable 5-point headgear
- Viewing area: 3.93″ by 2.36″
- Optical clarity: 1/1/1/2
- Lens shade: DIN 5-8/9-13
- 4 arc sensors
- Standards: DIN Plus, CE, EN 175, EN 379, EN 166, ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, AS/NZS 1338.1
- Weight: 1.4 lbs
- Solar powered + 2x CR2450 lithium batteries
10. Jackson Safety W40 Insight Welding Helmet (46131)
Our last recommendation comes from Jackson Safety, another company that has a long history within the welding industry. This particular welding helmet (46131) has a wide viewing angle of 3.93″ by 2.36″ and a variable shade of 9-13. Other features include sensitivity and delay adjustments, 4 independent auto-dimming sensors, and easy-to-use digital controls. You can switch from grind and weld modes with this mask, which is suitable for MIG, TIG, and arc welding. It can switch from light to dark in 1/15,000 of a second.
This welding helmet uses Jackson’s HLX-100 helmet shell, which weighs just 6 ounces. It’s paired with the Jackson 370 headgear featuring a 3-position slider that adjusts the distance from eye to lens, a crown strap adjustment to raise or lower the helmet, and a large ratcheting dial that allows size adjustment without removing the helmet.
The Jackson Safety welding helmet meets ANSI Z87.1+ standards and is CSA compliant.
- Variable shade: 9-13
- Wide viewing area: 3.93″ by 2.36″
- Sensitivity and delay adjustments
- 4 independent auto-dimming sensors
- Digital controls
- Has grind and weld modes
- Auto-darkening Filter (ADF) controls the shade of the lens
- Features Jackson HLX-100 helmet shell and Jackson 370 headgear
What is ANSI Z87.1?
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If you’ve browsed through our list of options, you’ll notice that the products meet ANSI Z87.1 standards. This standard requires manufacturers to show that they can prove certain helmet specifications, like switching speeds and darkness shade settings, via laboratory testing. Surprisingly, not all welding helmets meet the current safety standard, so make sure you’re purchasing one that at least meets ANSI Z87.1. Be wary of products that say “ANSI Approved,” since that doesn’t specifically mean it meets the ANSI Z87.1 standard.
What is Switching Speed?
Switching speed is how quickly a welding helmet’s lens switches from light to dark when welding begins. Many of the helmets on our list do it as quickly as 1/25,000 of a second, helping reduce eye fatigue if you’re welding for several hours in a day. Essentially, auto-darkening helmets use arc sensors to detect when a welding arc has started. Normally when a lens is in its “light” or natural state, it will have a #3 or #4 shade. But once it detects an arc, the auto-darkening feature will darken the lens to a shade ranging from #9 to #13.
Variable shade or auto-darkening helmets are extremely convenient since you don’t have to lift up your mask while setting up your welds. Instead, your welding helmet can stay in place and it’ll automatically switch over when you’re starting to weld.
What about Weight?
You don’t want to ignore the weight of your welding helmet, especially if you’re going to be welding for hours at a time. Lighter helmets with plastic shells tend to be more comfortable for extended sessions. Also pay attention to the headgear, as properly designed units will help distribute the weight more evenly, resulting in a more comfortable fit. Lighter helmets do tend to be more expensive, so you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons. If you’re only welding for short periods of time and not on a regular basis, weight may not be as big of a concern to you.
March 25, 2021: Updated the information and link for the DEKOPRO Welding Helmet to a newer model.
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