Best Welding Helmet 2020 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Last updated on August 9th, 2020 at 08:10 am

Welcome to the best welding helmet 2020 list. When it comes to safety, no one would ever want to rely on substandard products. In welding, the use of a quality helmet is integral because it can save your eyes from damaging UV and infrared radiations. And no one would ever want to have poor sight when you can avoid it through the use of protective headgear.

Though the arc sensors and auto-darkening features are a must for a good welding helmet. Yet, the best welding helmets have some additional features like a comfortable headband, large viewing area, and fine arc sensors. In today’s world, customers have myriad of choices which makes decision making a bit chaotic. So, in the absence of basic information, it’s likely that one will fall for something inadequate.

But wait,

Not all helmets can meet your needs. It’s essential for a helmet’s features to complement your needs. Like, both mig and tig welders need helmets with some specific features. In the same way, if you are welding tight spots an entry-level helmet will not work, you would rather need a panoramic view helmet. In short, it’s important to carefully analyze the nature of work and then choose the best-fitting helmet.

Our Top Picks

best welding helmet

Lincoln Electric 3350

best welding helmet

  • Perfect Optical Clarity

  • Sleek Design

  • Three-year Warranty

 

best rated welding helmet

Miller 281000 Digital Elite

best welding helmet 2020

  • Best for outdoor welding

  • 4 arc sensors

  • 3-year warranty

 

Best Welding Helmet 2020

best welding helmet

Before purchasing anything online we search that product online and compare that with other products to find if it fits our needs or not. This happens for welding helmets too. Like, whether your helmet has high shade variability to allow work in both bright outdoor and dark indoor light? Or does it has enough sensitivity to quickly detect the arc? What about the clarity and size of the lens?

Along with extensive research, we have also sought the reviews of experts in the field, to conclude the list of best welding helmets 2020. Most of the helmets in our list are consumer-friendly and offer quality without costing you a fortune. So, let’s begin and explore the list to find a helmet that suits you best.

List of Best Welding Helmets 2020

ModelViewing AreaArc SensorsRatingPrice
Lincoln Electric 33503.74″ x 3.34″4⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Miller 281000 Digital Elite 3.85″ x 2.38″4⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Antra AH6-260-00003.86″x 1.73″4⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Esab SENTINEL A50 3.93″ x 2.36″4⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Miller Shade 3 and 8-125-1/5 sq. in2⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
3M Speedglas 91004.2″ x 2.8″3⭐⭐⭐⭐
YESWELDER LYGL500A3.64″ x 1.67″4⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
DEKOPRO MZ-2243.62" x 1.65"4⭐⭐⭐⭐

1: Lincoln Electric 3350

best welding helmetAre you looking for a welding helmet with top-notch features? Lincoln 3350 can be the right choice. It has attracted a lot of apostle costumers because of comfort, value, and reliability. It has wide shade variability to adjust with bright outdoor conditions and the dark indoor environment.

With Lincoln 3350, you can make use of the external grind button to swiftly switch between the weld and grind mold without having to remove gloves or helmet. It is also compatible with a hard hat and cheater’s lens. For all the good reasons Lincoln 3350 has made into the list of best welding helmets. Read the following section to find more details of the helmet.

 Extra Large Lens: 

Viking 3350 has quite a large viewing area as it has a 12.5 square inch lens. It will make you see vividly even if you are welding difficult parts in an awkward position. So, this feature can be really helpful for professionals who had to deal with complexities in welding. Simply put. It’s one of the best wide view helmets.

 True Color Technology: 

The 3350 Series has introduced the 4C lens technology which provides realistic color perception and vivid view of the workpiece. It will certainly enhance the quality of your work, making it the best true color technology helmet.

 Solar Powered Battery: 

Along with lithium battery, it also has a solar cell which can be charged using solar energy. It considerably saves your money and time as it gets charged very quickly.

 Auto Darkening Feature: 

It’s an exciting feature that darkens the lens right at the time when welders strike the arc. It automatically changes shade from a light state to dark as welding starts and turns back to the original state when you will have your workpiece ready. Its shad can be adjusted from 6 to 13 as per your need. The auto-darkening feature of the headgear protects welders’ eyes from the potential damage of hazardous radiations.

 Adjustability: 

You can adjust the headgear to fit your head size by simply turning the knob. Besides that AFT adjustment enables you to adjust the distance between the lens of the headgear and your face. It improves the welder’s ability to see clearly.

Pros
  • Perfect optical clarity
  • Sleek design and versatile use
  • Adjustable and comfortable
  • Sensors with auto-darkening feature
  • Three-year warranty
Cons
  • Screws for adjustment can be tedious
  • Need high maintenance and protection from rust
  • May be high in price

2: Miller 281000 Digital Elite

best welding helmetsSome patented and unique features of the helmets set it apart from other alternatives. It is equipped with four welding modes i.e. weld, cut, grind and X-Mode. It has a durable shock-absorbing gasket that protects the lens from drop impact.

Miller 281000 is suitable for most welding and cutting purposes. The helmet has variable shades for different applications. For welding mode, it offers shade 8-13. For cutting, shade 5-8 are available. While welders can use shade 3 for grinding.

It has four arc sensors. As far as the power source is concerned, the mask has both the lithium battery and a solar cell. So, users can easily charge solar cells to cut the cost of batteries. Another unique feature is its aluminum heat shield which protects the lens even if you are working on high amperage.

 ClearLight Lens technology: 

Clear light technology is a patented feature of this mask and it works like wonders. It allows natural color perception and visibility. Improved visibility enables a welder to see the puddle clearly, thus improves welding quality.

 X-mode: 

An extra perk to the helmet is its unique X-mode with electromagnetic sensors. This mode has made the helmet perfect for outdoor welding as it will detect the arc even if sensors are blocked. It also blocks auto-darkening due to sunlight. And ADF will come into action a few moments before the arc is struck. This is why it’s regarded as the best outdoor helmet.

 Accessory kit: 

Besides all unique features, Miller’s helmet has accessories in the package. These include a helmet bag, 5 outside lens, and 2 inside lens.

Pros
  • Patented X-mode
  • 4 arc sensors
  • Best outdoor welding helmet
  • Sensors with auto-darkening feature
  • Three-year warranty
Cons
  • Viewing area is average in size

3- Antra AH6-260-0000 Welding Helmet

Antra AH6-260-0000 It’s an auto-darkening welding helmet with 4 arc sensors. So, it’s highly responsive to welding arc from MIG, TIG, MMA or plasma application. In addition, it has adjustable delay time and sensitivity. It also lets you choose shades from 5 to 13 and work in diverse light conditions.

Mask is also solar powered with a power-off delay feature. Due to power-off delay, helmet automatically goes to sleep, if it stays on for 10 minutes in dark light. On the other hand, the mask is also very light-weight and reduces neck and head strain.

For novice welders, it can be a perfect upgrade from fixed shades and goggles. Trainers find it amazing as it works best for welding simple articles. Together, the sensors, cost-effectiveness, versatility have made it the best choice for beginners and hobbyists.

 Four Arc sensors: 

AH6 is equipped with 4 premium arc sensors. Arc sensors have increased its responsiveness. So, it detects sparks from the arc in no time and turns the auto-darkening lens on. Four arc sensors are something that is not usually found in budget welding helmets as it does.

 Interference suppression technology: 

Antra AH6 welding helmet makes use of interference suppression technology which lowers its sensitivity to all lights other than welding arc. Turns out, it’ll save battery and allow work conveniently.

 

Pros
  • Variable shade range
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Sensors with auto-darkening feature
  • One-year warranty
Cons
  • May not last for many years
  • Not suitable for work at awkward angles

4: Esab SENTINEL A50 Welding Helmet

Esab SENTINEL A50Here is the awe-inspiring auto-darkening helmet by ESAB. Its shell is very resistant and designed with quality nylon. You will find the external grind mode button which allows switching between grinding and welding without removing glove or headgear.

What makes it stand out from the crowd is the control panel and touchscreen display inside. This allows users to switch between different shades, sensitivity, and other settings easily. Yet, it may become difficult to use a touchscreen when you have the gloves on.

The helmet weighs only 1.4 lbs which have made it lighter than other headgears with similar features. Best of all, it’s famous for highly adjustable halo design which can fit the head very easily. This is why it is ergonomic and improve productivity considerably.

With SENTINEL A50, buying batteries would not be a hassle anymore. Because it’s not only solar-powered but also has two replaceable lithium batteries. Even more, welders do have a hard hat adapter option with this headgear.

Above all, Sentinel A50 has easily-replaceable cover lenses. They can be replaced within seconds without having to remove the helmet. So, the scratches on cover lenses are not a problem with this product. In short, Sentinel A50 has made into the list of best welding helmets due to the value it offers.

 

Pros
  • Durable
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Ultimately comfortable
  • Solar-powered with 2 replaceable batteries
Cons
  • View area is smaller than other alternatives

5: Miller Shade 3 and 8-12 Welding Helmet

best welding helmet 2020Are you a beginner or a hobbyist? And don’t want an expensive welding helmet? We have the right solution. Try shade 3. It’s an auto-darkening helmet and can protect you from hazardous radiations.

Moreover, it has 2 arc sensors that darken the lens when the welders struck an arc.

 

It comes with variable shades ranging from 8 to 12. Yet, the mask does not have grind mode which limits its use to welding. There’s also an auto-on/auto-off power control. The battery life of the mask is 2000 hours. The package also includes 2 AAA batteries, magnifying lens holder, along with 5 outside and 2 insider cover lenses.

 

Pros
  • 2 arc sensors and auto-darkening lens
  • Extra outside and inside cover lenses
  • Great basic welding helmet
  • Better than other low-cost helmets
Cons
  • Doesn’t have grind mode
  • The Lens is not suitable for plasma cutting

6: 3M Speedglas 9100 Welding Helmet

3m speedglas 91003M Speedglas 9100 is one of the best welding helmets with 12.11 square inches’ auto-darkening lens. There’re three sensors in the lens which enable auto-darkening in milliseconds. Thus, saving welders from any possible kind of sight problem. And when welders are finished with weld, it automatically turns back to light shade 3.

It’s suitable for different types of welding including stick welding, metal inert gas, and tungsten inert gas welding. On top of it, the mask also has grind and torch mode making it one solution for many problems.

And you know what? The most exciting feature is its side windows. These windows can make welding fun as you can enjoy astonishing visibility of your workpiece and the surroundings. On the bright side, it also has exhaust vents that keep the lens clear by expelling air.

The helmet is indeed user friendly and you won’t have a hard time operating its diverse functions. It also lets welders switch between different modes very swiftly. Despite all good features, consumers still put it in the category of expensive welding helmets.

Pros
  • Variable range of shades (5-13)
  • Best for professional and industrial use
  • Exhaust vents
  • Side window
Cons
  • High in price
  • Not equipped with solar power

7: YESWELDER LYGL500A Welding Helmet

YESWELDER LYGL500AIt’s an entry-level welding auto-darkening welding helmet. It makes use of true color technology to let welders see clearly during the process. Mask is compatible with a magnifying lens.

Considering the cost, beginners find it great for protection against UV/IR radiations.

 

Though it has arc sensors and auto-darkens when you strike an arc, some users complain of the inconsistency. Issues with sensitivity can make it a little difficult mask to work with. Other than this, it has optical clarity of 1/1/1/2.

 

 

Pros
  • Highly affordable
  • Good for beginners
  • True color technology
Cons
  • Not long-lasting
  • Issues with battery
  • Inconsistent eye protection

8: DEKOPRO MZ-224 Welding Helmet

deko pro welding helmetDekopro MZ-224 welding helmet is incredibly lightweight and sleek. It features an auto-darkening lens and offers shade range from 9-13. Mask has a viewing area of 7 square inches which is considered standard.

Though it has arc sensors, users still complain of issues regarding sensitivity. But, Dekoporo claims that ADF darkens the lens in a fraction of second. And even if there is electric failure and mask fails to detect an arc, it will still protect against UV/IR radiations. So, safety is not an issue.

It doesn’t allow the installation of a cheater lens so those who want to magnify a little more may not find it suitable. Furthermore, its limited shade range will keep you from working in a variable amount of light.

As far as the power source is concerned, the mask has a lithium battery with 5000 hours of life along with the solar cell. So, it’s sustainable and efficient in terms of energy consumption. Though it doesn’t have advanced features. It still can be a useful welding helmet, if you don’t want to invest a lot of money.

Pros
  • Good for occasional welding
  • Solar-powered battery
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Limited shade range
  • Headband doesn’t adjust properly
  • ADF may not work well

Things to consider before you Buy a Welding Helmet

Need to know what factors you will need to know before purchasing a helmet? And what features are essential for the best welding helmet? Here’s the detailed discussion of all the important features that most helmets are equipped with. Just don’t rely on our review you have to look for these features too while buying a welding helmet.

 Optical Clarity: 

Optical clarity means seeing clearly through the lens which is something that every welder adores. Lenses are assessed for lens clarity in four areas and a rating from 1 to 3 is given in each area. A lens with premium optical clarity would have 1 score in all four categories i.e. 1/1/1/1 optical clarity.

 Auto-darkening feature (ADF): 

Auto Darkening Feature is essential in saving retina from UV/IR radiations. Let me explain how ADF works? This feature simply means that lens of your helmet will automatically detect the arc. And it will block intense light and radiations emitted by darkening the lens. When you are done with welding it lens will automatically turn back to the normal setting which helps you see without lifting off your mask. All the helmets listed in our review of helmets have an auto-darkening lens.

 Sensitivity Control: 

Another feature that comes with ADF is sensitivity control. Through this control, welders can set the value of minimum brightness that will trigger lens darkening. So, if your work environment has a lot of brightness or arcs from other welders, you can decrease the sensitivity. If you are working at low amperage you can increase sensitivity to accurately detect spark.

Take-away message? if you have to work with other colleagues or you at a place where it can be too bright, consider choosing a helmet that allows manual sensitivity control.

 Arc Sensors: 

Arc sensors help the auto-darkening lens to detect the arc. Helmets differ in the number of arc sensors they have. More advanced masks have three or four arc sensors that enable the lens to detect arc in a fraction of second and protect eyes. Some basic-level helmets have 2 arc sensors which also works fine. Yet, it increases the risk of not catching the arc when you are working at a place that obstructs sensors.

Takeaway message? Choose a helmet with 3 or 4 arc sensors if you need to work at a place that can obstruct sensors. However, if you are a learner or a hobbyist two arc sensors would also do.

 Grind Mode: 

Some helmets have grind mode which lets them switch between grinding and welding. In the case of grinding, the same mask will protect you from the dust and small particles that are blow off during the process. Most of the manufacturers have installed the grind button outside the helmet so that users would not have to remove the mask before switching.

 Shade Variability: 

Consider shade variability according to the available light in your environment. Helmets with high shade variability like 4-13 allow you to work in any kind of light. Shade variability will help you work in sunlight and bright light as in outdoor welding.

In case of bright light as in on high amperage, it will make the lens dark to elevate eye protection. Expensive welding helmets offer high shade variability. This can protect your eyes despite the amount of light you have in the environment.

 Viewing area: 

The size of the viewing area affects visibility. Helmets with 7 square inches are considered standard while the one with 12 square inches has the largest view area. The small viewing area can obstruct peripheral vision and affect welding quality.

If seeing things with clarity is important for an assignment large or extra-large view helmets can be used. Helmet with a panoramic view can be helpful for welding in tight spots because allows a 180-degree view.

Helmets for different types of welding

An entry-level helmet can work well for simple mig welding. However, working at high amperage needs helmet with a high level of shade adjustability. For example, if you want mig welding of up to 500 amp and tig welding of up to 300 amps, you will need a helmet with 4-13 shade range and large lense.

For mig welding of up to 300 amps and tig welding of 175 amps, helmet with 3-12 shade range would do.

Pro Tips for cleaning a Welding Helmet:

how to clean a welding helmet

Some Frequently asked questions are explained below:

1. How bad is welding for your eyes?

Welding can be very dangerous if you are not using a helmet and gloves. During welding, hazardous UV and UV radiations are emitted. These radiations can cause permanent sight damage. Other conditions associated with unprotected exposure to radiations are arc eye and retina burst.

2. When I am welding, what does flickering of lens show?

The lens can flicker due to several reasons. It may flicker due to dirty sensors or uncleaned cover plate. Another reason can be the presence of any object that obstructs the path between sparks and sensors. Even your welding torch can obstruct the path, if not carried properly. So, welders should try their best to view the arc at an angle of 90°. It can also flicker due to broken or dirty solar panels. Flickering, in this case, is due to the inefficient supply of power to the lens.

3. How can I solve the problem of a flickering lens?

You can try cleaning the lens. If the flickering is due to cover plates they can also be replaced or cleaned. However, if the solar panel is cracked you would have to replace the lens. Welders can also position themselves in a way that angle between lens and arc is 90°. Yet, if the lens is flickering even if you are not welding, turn down the sensitivity because it might be detecting arc from other welders.

4. What should be the ideal size of a lens in a welding helmet?

For ordinary welding jobs, you can use a lens with normal size i.e. 3.5 inches length and 1.75 height. Nevertheless, if you want to perform welding with a narrow view like pipe welding or welding under a car, then a large lens would be better. A large lens will improve the quality of your weld by enhancing visibility.

Safety and Practical Benefits of Best Welding Helmets

For high-risk jobs like welding, there shouldn’t be any compromise on safety. Welding helmets are of vital importance in protecting you from a number of health risks. Let’s have a look, how welding helmet saves you from dangerous rays that are emitted during the process of welding.

  Eye-Protection: 

When a welder strikes an arc, many hazardous rays are emitted and they can have a damaging impact on the eyesight of a welder. Like, infrared rays can cause a painful condition called retinal burst. Yet, the use of a welding helmet protects welders from several causes of eye damage. In the same way, UV rays can also lead to eye conditions like arc-eye. However, the use of a helmet can serve as protection against all these harmful rays.

 Head Safety: 

Welding helmet not only protects your eyes from UV/IR rays, but it protects your entire head. It’s likely for a welder to have a physical head injury due to sparks or flying particles. However, if you are using the right helmet it’s not something that will ever bother you.

Passive lens vs auto-darkening lens

Every buyer should be aware of the practical difference between passive and auto-darkening lens. In old fashioned helmets, there used to be a passive lens which has fixed shade and UV and IR coated glass. Welders have to wear the lens in an upright position and nod their head before striking the arc. It brings the lens parallel to eyes to block radiations.

In the case of the auto-darkening lens, welders don’t have to nod heads for a lens to work. They are designed to automatically detect an arc. These lenses don’t have fixed shade like the passive lens, rather they adjust shade according to the light in the environment. And when there is no arc, lens darkening ends and it goes back to lighter shade through which welder can easily see. The use of modern technology has made the auto-darkening lens far more convenient and efficient than the passive lens.

Conclusion

We have discussed the best welding helmets 2020 in this article along with all the necessary information you will need in choosing the one. By now, you should be able to understand which helmet suits you the best. In general, the main features you need to worry about are reliability, durability, sensitivity of arc sensors, and shade variability.

At times, it becomes difficult for a buyer to decide whether to choose a helmet that is expensive and has advanced features or rely on a budget-friendly basic-level helmet We recommend an entry-level helmet if you are a learner or a hobbyist. However, if you weld very often and work professionally, it is better to buy something that has advanced features and would last long, even if it comes at a greater cost.

So, it’s a kind of see-saw where you have to balance the budget and the features you need. We hope that you will choose wisely.

Let us know in the comment section what features you typically look for in a helmet? And we would love to know which helmet you are going to buy?