Welding helmets are an invaluable resource when working with welding tools. In fact, they’re necessary if you want to keep your eyesight. However, when picking out a welding helmet, you may notice that there are a lot of different types to choose from. Many welding helmets allow you to weld and grind without too much issue, but there is always the chance that you may take on a job that exceeds your helmet’s capabilities. The best welding helmets today protect your eyes from the harsh flare of the welding tool, allowing you to see what you are doing without forcing you to go blind, but they sometimes lack the comprehensive protection of being able to grind, weld, and cut with a plasma tool. Now, some of the best welding helmet models feature auto-darkening capabilities, which means you don’t have to have specific helmets for each job type. Our welding helmet reviews will help you pick out the best welding helmet type for you.
Many people have heard of the big brands of welding helmets, such as the Miller welding helmet and the Jackson welding helmet. However, you don’t need to spend big dollars on an ultra-fancy welding helmet. These auto darkening welding helmet models in these welding helmet reviews aren’t too expensive, but they get the job done to exceptional safety standards, meaning you aren’t taking a risk by cutting some coin.
To purchase the best welding helmet, you need to look at the material it’s made of, as well as the viewing window and the sensitivity settings on the sensors. Some welding helmets feature independent sensors, which allows the helmet to protect against a wider range of light sources. However, non-independent sensors still do the job just fine. In terms of material, .you want to look for something made of polyamide nylon. This material is hard, lightweight, but also heavily protective against heat and flying sparks. Individual sensors are nice, but if you can’t find a helmet with these independent sensors then a helmet with sensors all around the viewing window works just as well.
Below are the top picks for the best welding helmets, varying in price from under $100 to just over $200. This is the average price for a good quality welding helmet, though you can find some very good models for well under $50. While this may be a questionable price range, you may be surprised.
Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto-Darkening Helmet
The Antra welding helmet is one of the best auto darkening welding helmet models available on the market today. It’s simple in design, but effective when in use. What makes it so effective is the auto-darkening lens that is ideal for most welding and plasma cutting jobs. This welding helmet offers complete UV and IR protection behind the thick lenses. The helmet is battery operated, and has a reaction time of 0.00004 seconds - meaning it’s incredibly fast for all of your welding projects. The transition from dark to light takes about a second, so your eyes can adjust again.
- Thick, heavy duty polyamide nylon casing
- Battery Indicator
- Fully automatic power switch
- Adjust sensitivity and shade
- The fast reaction time ensures you aren’t left blind
- Hard and thick helmet protects your face from flying sparks
- Adjust sensitivity with ease
- Total safety from UV and IR rays.
- Adjustment dial may change settings between uses.
Tacklife Solar Power Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
This welding helmet by Tacklife ensures portability while also complete protection against damaging flash rays from welding, cutting, or grinding. The polyamide nylon is lightweight and sturdy, giving you the best protection available without interfering with your work. The viewing window is large, 3.8 by 1.6 inches, with sensitive sensors to help protect you when you begin to weld. The ultra-sensitive sensors on the helmet have an incredible reaction time, and the dial on the side of the helmet can adjust the sensitivity to ensure you aren’t at risk while you weld.
- Shade range of 4/9-13 for TIG MIG MMA
- Fully Automatic On/Off switch
- Internal shade control
- Lightweight polyamide nylon construction
- Speedy darkening (1/20000)
- Works well for the price
Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet
The Lincoln Electric welding helmet has a wide viewing window, ideal for viewing your projects while you weld. This welding helmet is perfect for TIG, and because the auto darkening is so sensitive, you can weld without fear. It has a grind mode as well as a welding mode, and the dial can be adjusted for many different types of projects. It’s made of sturdy plastic, which means it’s lightweight while also being protective against rays and sparks.
- 3.6 by 3.6 inch viewing window
- Heavy duty plastic construction
- Auto-darkening window
- Battery powered
- 1/1/1/1 rating - the best rating
- Wide viewing window is great for maximum visibility
- Sensitive auto-darkening for maximum safety
- Adjustment knob remains in chosen position
- Much pricier than other models on this list.
Solar Auto Darkening MIG MMA Electric Welding Mask
This welding helmet from Zuisu Shop provides the ultimate protection against UV and IR rays. With a reaction time of 1/250000ths of a second, the auto-darkening feature protects your eyes and lets you weld or grind freely without worry. The durable construction makes it a prime choice for construction and automotive workers, and the wide angle viewing lens ensures optimal visibility. The viewing window is 3.5 by 1.6 inches (width by height), and the sensitivity settings as well as the shade settings can all be adjusted for whatever job you happen to be doing.
- Long battery life
- Solar charging for extended use
- Multiple settings for different jobs
- Will continue to work in the event of electric failure
- Fast reaction time for optimal safety
- Secures firmly to the head
- Wide angle viewing window
- May be able to see surroundings even when darkened.
Jackson Safety 46131 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
This Jackson welding helmet is an auto-darkening welding helmet with superior sensitivity and an adjustable knob that allows you to get the best possible protection for the job you are doing. The Jackson Safety 46131 welding helmet is made of sturdy nylon, with a thick, wide viewing window that measures 3.6 by 2.6 inches. This wide angle allows you greater visibility without sacrificing protection. Grind and welding modes are available on this helmet, and the welding mode can support TIG MIG and arc welding. It meets all safety standards, which means you are fully protected underneath this helmet.
- Sturdy nylon construction
- Wide viewing window
- Hyper-sensitive auto darkening
- Easy to adjust for many different job types
- High visibility thanks to large viewing window
- Works for all types of weld and grind jobs
- Smaller head space inside the helmet
Jackson Welding Helmet Safety 46101 Auto Darkening Stars and Scars
This is almost identical to the Jackson Safety 46131, but does have some stylistic differences as well as a few functionality adjustments. This Jackson welding helmet features easy to use digital controls, ensuring that you have the right setting on any job, every time. It has a similar sized viewing window at nearly 4 inches by 2.3 inches. It utilizes 4 independent sensors that activate the auto-darkening on the helmet, and it also has sensitivity and delay adjustments for whatever job you decide to do.
- Variable 9-13 shade
- Wide viewing window
- 4 independent sensors
- Thick, heavy duty nylon construction
- Very lightweight, but hefty enough for various mechanic/construction jobs
- Wide window allows for greater field of view
- Sensitivity can be changed at will, and delay adjustments for a variety of jobs
- No cons.
In conclusion, the best welding helmets don’t have to be expensive. Many of these auto darkening helmets allow the user to grind, weld, and cut with extreme accuracy while also remaining protected behind the darkened shield. All of these helmets pass safety regulations, which means you aren’t putting your eyes at risk, whether the helmet you buy is a $20 helmet or a $200 helmet. When you purchase a welding helmet, be sure to look at how it is made, what it is made of, and how it feels around your head. All of these things, while seemingly trivial, add to the welding helmet’s safety. A welding helmet made out polyamide nylon is sturdier and more resistant than plastic, which means it will last longer for you. Overall, as long as the welding helmet passes all certification, and has a near perfect safety rating (such as 1/1/1/1 or 1/2/1/2), then you will be protected when you wear the helmet. All of these welding helmet reviews feature a welding helmet with a good or better safety rating.