Best Budget Welding Helmets (Under $200) With Reviews [2021]

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Best Budget Welding Helmets (Under $200): YESWELDER Panoramic 180

YESWELDER Panoramic 180 View Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Side View, True Color Highest Optical 1/1/1/1, 4 Arc Sensor Wide Shade 4/5-9/9-13 with Grinding for TIG MIG MMA Plasma

The best of the best budget welding helmet priced under $200 is the YESWELDER Panoramic 180.

With perfect optical clarity ratings and a wide viewing angle, there’s no other helmet you need for TIG/MIG/stick welding and plasma cutting.

Here’s what the YESWELDER Panoramic 180’s key specifications look like in a glance—

  • 1/1/1/1 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #4 to #13
  • 180° Panoramic View

The YESWELDER Panoramic 180 scores a 100% perfect 1/1/1/1 optical clarity rating.

All colors are as true as possible, there’s no distortion of the welding object when the auto-darkening function kicks in, and light diffusion is kept to a minimum.

This itself is more than a good reason to pick the Panoramic 180 up for your welding needs.

But YESWELDER takes it several steps further by installing a standard front window with dual side windows for 180° vision.

Your viewing angle isn’t limited to that of an owl’s, so you can always know where everything and everyone is in your shop.

The Panoramic 180 runs on either solar energy or batteries, both of which keep the auto-darkening function working perfectly every time.

Pros

  • Perfect optical clarity rating
  • Easy to wear and adjust size
  • Easy to control variable dials
  • Wide shading range

Cons

  • Solar panels could be more durable

With everything the Panoramic 180 has to offer, it’s shocking to see just great this inexpensive welding helmet performs.

Choosing the perfect welding helmet isn’t as easy as finding the coolest-looking helmet, though style points do count somewhat.

When it comes to welding helmets, there are several variables that come into play.

You can spend hours studying what they are, or you can benefit from our research and hands-on testing of over 30 budget-friendly welding helmets.

In this guide, we’ll show you our pick of the best budget welding helmet (under $200) and several noteworthy alternatives.

Comparison Table – Best Welding Helmets Under $200

Product Image
Product Name
Features
Price
YESWELDER Panoramic 180 View Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Side View, True Color Highest Optical 1/1/1/1, 4 Arc Sensor Wide Shade 4/5-9/9-13 with Grinding for TIG MIG MMA PlasmaBest Budget Welding Helmets (Under $200) – YESWELDER Panoramic 180
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 4 to 13
  • USP: 180° Panoramic View


3M Speedglas 100 Welding Helmet Tribute 07-0012-31TB, with ADF 100VBest Premium - 3M Speedglas 100
  • Optical Class: 1/2/2/?
  • No. Arc Sensors: 3 sensors
  • Shade Range: 3, 8 to 12
  • USP: Advanced TST (reacts to 10A tig welding)


TGR Panoramic 180 View Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet - True Color (BLACK)Best Budget - TGR Panoramic 180
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 4 to 12
  • USP: External Knob Dark Shade


Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet with ClearLight LensMiller 281000
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 3, 5 to 13
  • USP: ClearLight Lens Technology


Antra AH7-X90-001X TOP Optical Class 1/1/1/1 Digital Controlled Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Wide Shade 4/5-9/9-13 With Grinding Feature Extra Lens CoversGreat for TIG, MIG, MMA, PlasmaAntra AH7-X90-001X
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 4 to 13
  • USP: Cheater Lens Compatible (better blocking TIG arc)


Reviews of the Top Budget Welding Helmets (under $200)

By testing more than 30 budget-friendly welding helmets priced under and around $200, we uncovered several noteworthy models for you to choose from. Here they are!

Best Premium - 3M Speedglas 100

best overall rating 3M Speedglas 100 Welding Helmet Tribute 07-0012-31TB, with ADF 100V

Key Specifications

  • 1/2/2 Optical Clarity
  • 3 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #3, #8 to #12
  • Advanced TST Reaction Time

The 3M Speedglas 100 is a premium-grade welding helmet with an auto-darkening lens that allows you to see what you’re doing at all times.

When you start the welding arc, the Speedglas 100 responds to sudden changes in lights at a speed of less than 1/10000 of a second.

The Speedglas 100 is an ultra-durable welding helmet that functions perfectly in extreme temperatures between 23°F and 131°F.

It works at blocking both TIG and MIG arcs, and you can choose your desired shading level of between #8 and #12 for maximum comfort.

See what the Speedglas 100 is all about in this promotional video:

 

Pros

  • 3M-quality construction and durability
  • Great viewing clarity when TIG and MIG welding
  • Decent shading range
  • Easy-to-control inner delay and shade selection dials

Cons

  • Internal headgear can offer a snugger fit

As our premium pick, the 3M Speedglas 100 really sets a high standard for what a budget-friendly welding helmet with auto-darkening features can do.

Best Budget - TGR Panoramic 180

best overall rating TGR Panoramic 180 View Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet - True Color (BLACK)

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/2 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #4 to #12
  • External Control Dials

The TGS Panoramic 180 is another budget-friendly auto-darkening welding helmet that comes with side-view lenses for optimal viewing.

Since your vision isn’t directed solely on your workpiece, you can be more aware of your surroundings and any obstacles in your welding path.

This Panoramic 180 model has a near-perfect optical DIN rating of 1/1/1/2 with a slight angle distortion. This technical rating is just that—a technicality that many welders, even veteran ones, may hardly notice when in use.

One of the handiest features that enhance productivity is the location of the control dials.

They’re outside of the helmet instead of built it, meaning you can change your settings on the fly shifting between TIG and MIG welding, as well as welding and grinding.

Pros

  • Near-perfect optical clarity
  • 4 premium-quality, sensitive sensors
  • Wide shading range for all sorts of applications
  • Can change settings on the fly

Cons

  • Could be less blinky outdoors

The TGR Panoramic 180 is one of the best auto-darkening welding helmets at a reasonable price.

Miller 281000

best overall rating Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet with ClearLight Lens

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/2 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #3, #5 to #13
  • ClearLight Lens Technology

The 28100 is made by the infamous Miller Electric. Being one of the top-tier welder manufacturers, you can bet that they know their way around welding PPE.

The 28100 is a fantastic auto-darkening welding helmet at a competitive price.

It has 1/1/1/2 optical clarity ratings with 4 ARC sensors that shift the lens from #3 brightness up to a deep #13 shade in a fraction of a fraction of a second.

Thanks to proprietary ClearLight Lens technology, colors appear truer through a #3 shade, allowing you to see every minute detail on your workpiece before your MIG or TIG weld begins.

Watch this video to learn all about what ClearLight Lens Technology can offer:

 

Pros

  • Truer colors
  • Excellent clarity, even with darkest shade
  • Easy to adjust headgear and variable dials
  • Cheater lens compatible

Cons

  • Headgear could be tighter

As you can see, the Miller 28100 exceeds expectations of what a low-cost welding helmet can do.

Antra AH7-X90-001X

best overall rating Antra AH7-X90-001X TOP Optical Class 1/1/1/1 Digital Controlled Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Wide Shade 4/5-9/9-13 With Grinding Feature Extra Lens CoversGreat for TIG, MIG, MMA, Plasma

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/1 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #4 to #13
  • Cheat Lens Compatible

The Antra AH6-X90-001X is a mouthful to say, but it’s a pretty straightforward low-cost welding helmet with auto-darkening functionality.

The Antra offers a perfect optical clarity rating of 1/1/1/1, making it easy to see the tiniest of details of your workpiece before the arc begins.

This welding helmet is perfect for all sorts of welding techniques, including TIG as low as 2A.

The 4 arc sensors offer quick shading response times of less than 1/25000 of a second, switching seamlessly from true clarity to arc-blocking dimness.

The Antra is built to accommodate a cheater lens that magnifies your workpiece for more intricate TIG welding jobs. This is the perfect helmet for professional welders working on high-detailed beads.

Pros

  • Perfect optical clarity
  • Wide shade range
  • Digital controls for more accurate variable selection
  • Can work with cheater lenses

Cons

  • Could be more durable

As one of the most inexpensive products on our list, the Antra sure does offer a pleasant surprise with its flawless optical clarity, though it might need a replacement after a couple years of moderate use.

FAQs

Here, we’ll attempt to address any and all FAQs about budget welding helmets around $200 in price.

How much should I spend on a welding helmet?

That depends on your budget, but the consensus is that costlier welding helmets are preferable to cheaper ones from obscure companies. That said, you certainly can get by with under-$100 models, but generally speaking, a $200 budget should get you durable welding helmet that’s usable for at least three years. All of the models, even the less durable ones, can pass the 3-year mark with minimal maintenance and storage care. You can also check the best welding helmets for the money here>

Does welding helmet optical clarity matter?

Yes, it does. We highly suggest getting a 1/1/1/1 auto-darkening welding helmet if possible, but a slightly lower rating in any of the 4 categories can be fine. As you can see on our list, we’ve included a couple of 100% optical clarity models, including our number-one pick. You don’t have to spend a fortune—i.e., upwards of $500—for picture-perfect viewing from inside of the helmet!

What shade should I work with?

Every welding helmet listed above offers a flexible range of lens shading that makes it safe to stare directly at TIG, MIG, and stick arcs, as well as plasma cutting arcs. The higher the shade number rating, the darker it appears, and the better it’ll block bright lights from penetrating your eyeballs. When welding, you should stick to between #10 and #13, though if it can go higher, you should definitely give it a try.

What is a cheater lens?

A cheater lens is a separate lens that slides into the helmet, in front of the main viewing lens, that magnifies your workpiece and allows you to see the finer details of your workpiece. A cheater lens is mainly used for TIG welding to produce appealing beads on visible portions of your work. Not every helmet is compatible with cheater lenses, so make sure you find the perfect model if you do TIG welding extensively.

Summary

After putting over 30 different budget welding helmets to the test, the best budget welding helmet (under $200) is the YESWELDER Panoramic 180.

However, we also offer several alternatives if you’re not into the whole 180° viewing angle or are looking for different frills in your helmet.

We invite our readers to leave your thoughts and feedback in our comments section down below.

Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Linda Johnson

Linda has been working with power tools since she was 13 years old. As DIYer she works on wood and metal to develop artworks that she puts on sale. She loves traveling.

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