Best Welding Helmet for the Money [2021]

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Best Welding Helmet for the Money – ESAB Sentinel A50

Top Pick

ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet, Black Low-Profile Design, High Impact Resistance Nylon, Infinitely-Adjustable, Color Touch Screen Controls, 3.93' x 2.36' Viewing Lens, Hard Hat Option
The welding helmet that shines brighter than the rest, at least in terms of value for the cost, is the ESAB Sentinel A50. This fantastic welding helmet has auto-darkening lenses and a color touch-screen built into it. What else can you ask for?

Here’s a quick overview of the Sentinel A50’s key specifications—

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/2 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade range #5 to #13
  • Color Touch Screen with Memory

The Sentinel A50 is probably the most unique auto-darkening helmets you can find today. It has near-perfect clarity (1/1/1/2) and provides a wide window of different lens shading levels for most welding, cutting, and grinding eye protection.

What sets this welding helmet apart from the vast sea of its competition is a built-in color touch screen. The color adds to the immersion of owning a premium-grade welding helmet at a budget-friendly cost. You can also scroll through settings much more clearly thanks to the color.

Another thing we found absolutely amazing about the Sentinel A50 was its storage capacity. It can save up to eight delay and shading settings based on your frequently used settings for quicker access.

This promotional video by ESAB will show you what makes it a fantastic welding helmet.

Pros

  • Fantastic clarity with easy adjustability
  • Quick shading reaction times
  • Fits snugly around all head sizes
  • Fast access to most frequently used settings

Cons

  • Lens could be more robust

With frills than you’d expect from its price tag, the ESAB Sentinel A50 is truly a remarkable piece of PPE technology.

Our reviews are unbiased, fact-based, and comprehensively researched to help you make the right buying decisions.

 
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The best welding helmet is out there, but it can take years to dig through them all to find the best helmet for your welding needs.

Thankfully, we have all the time in the world to spend researching countless models (actually, 35 to be precise) to find the best welding helmet for the money.

We’re sure you’re going to find the most suitable welding helmet on our list.

Reviews of the Top Welding Helmets for the Money

Product Image
Product Name
Features
Price
ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet, Black Low-Profile Design, High Impact Resistance Nylon, Infinitely-Adjustable, Color Touch Screen Controls, 3.93' x 2.36' Viewing Lens, Hard Hat Option
Best Welding Helmet for the Money – ESAB Sentinel A50
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 5 to 13
  • USP: Color Touch Screen with Memory


3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100, 06-0100-30iSW, with Auto-Darkening Filter 9100XXi 3 Arc Sensors for MMAW TIG MIG Tack Plasma Arc Welding and Grinding Mask, 1 EachBest Premium - 3M Speedglas 9100
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
  • No. Arc Sensors: 3 sensors
  • Shade Range: 5, 8 to 13
  • USP: Adjustable Arc Sensory Reaction Time


Antra Wide Shade Range 4/5-9/9-13 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 Engineered for TIG MIG/MAG MMA Plasma Grinding, Solar-Lithium Dual Power, 6+1 Extra Lens CoversBest Budget - Antra AH6-260-0000
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 4 to 13
  • USP: Cheater Lens Compatible


Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology, BlackLincoln VIKING 3350 Series K3034-4
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 5 to 13
  • USP: Low-Profile Grind-Weld Button


Hobart 770890 Auto-Darkening Welding HelmetHobart 770890
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 8 to 13
  • USP: Non-Darkening Grind Mode


Reviews of the Top Welding Helmets for the Money

Even though the ESAB Sentinel A50 is our favorite pick, there are several more welding helmets that are deserving of your attention and love. And here they are!

Best Premium - 3M Speedglas 9100

best overall rating 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100, 06-0100-30iSW, with Auto-Darkening Filter 9100XXi 3 Arc Sensors for MMAW TIG MIG Tack Plasma Arc Welding and Grinding Mask, 1 Each

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/1 Optical Clarity
  • 3 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #3, #5, #8 to #13
  • Quick Welding-Grinding Selection

The 3M Speedglas 9100 is a fantastic piece of welding headgear that offers 100% flawless clarity when worn. No colors or details are hidden from the shaded lens at any time before, during, and after starting an arc.

Although it comes with only three arc sensors, they’re of a premium quality and quickly detect the presence of extreme brightness. In a mere fraction of a fraction of a second, the sensors can alter the shading depth of the lens to between #8 and #13, depending on your configurations.

There’s also a button on the outside of the Speedglas 9100 that lets you switch to grinding mode. This deactivated the auto-darkening feature, allowing you to see what you’re grinding with minimal interference.

Here’s a quick demo video of the Speedglas 9100 in action.

Pros

  • Perfect viewing clarity
  • Simple to use and choose delay and shading options
  • Adjustable headgear for small and large heads
  • Seamless switching between welding and grinding

Cons

  • Could be cooler inside

Coming from 3M, we expected nothing less from this mega-manufacturer, and the Speedglas 9100 certainly maintains the company’s good name.

Best Budget - Antra AH6-260-0000

best overall rating Antra Wide Shade Range 4/5-9/9-13 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 Engineered for TIG MIG/MAG MMA Plasma Grinding, Solar-Lithium Dual Power, 6+1 Extra Lens Covers

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/2 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #4 to #13
  • Cheater Lens Compatible

The Antra AH6-260-000 doesn’t appear special in any way. Its matte black finish contrasts against the majority of welding helmets with shiny finishes, but what it’s in eye-pleasing appeal, it more than makes up for in value.

The Antra has near-perfect 1/1/1/2 clarity when shielding your face from harmful UV and IR rays. It’s also compatible with cheater lenses for when you switch to TIG welding and need to see every minute detail on your workpiece.

In every other way, the Antra doesn’t differ very much from the other models on our list. It comes with an ultra-affordable price tag, though, which is super-nice for beginner welders. However, its durability will come into question after a couple of years of regular use.

Pros

  • Usable for all types of metalworking jobs
  • Flexible settings
  • Quick response time
  • Cheaper lens (sold separately) compatible

Cons

  • Could be more durable

The Antra AH6-260-0000 is one of your favorite welding helmets that comes at an affordable price.

Lincoln VIKING 3350 Series K3034-4

best overall rating Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology, Black

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/1 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #5 to #13
  • External Grind Button

The VIKING K3034-4 is a popular choice among hardcore welders. First, it’s made by an actual welding machine manufacturer, so you know that you’re getting a high-quality piece of welding safety equipment.

Next, it has perfect optical clarity ratings of 1/1/1/1, so nothing is distorted or diffused in the presence of a super-bright arc.

The VIKING uses simple analog buttons built into the interior, which lets you effortlessly scroll through different settings before finalizing your configurations.

It offers shading levels of between #5 and #13, so you’re safe from all sorts of welding arcs.

This video showcases the VIKING 3350’s astounding performance and adjustability.

Pros

  • 100% perfect optical clarity
  • Adjustable to any head size
  • Wide shading range
  • Effortless shifting between welding and grinding shades

Cons

  • Could have a backup battery source

It’s pretty clear that the VIKING K3404-4 is packing all of the features you’d want and more, and it’s certainly one of the top-performing welding helmets of all time.

Hobart 770890

best overall rating Hobart 770890 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/1 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #8 to #13
  • Non-Darkening Grinding Mode

The final welding helmet we’d like to draw your attention toward is the Hobart 770890. It’s a Hobart-made piece of welding equipment, so you know you’re getting a high-quality product. This is evident from the 100% perfect 1/1/1/1 optical clarity ratings.

Built with four ultra-sensitive arc sensors, this helmet can detect the presence of super-bright lights from nearly any angle.

Plus, they deliver quick reaction times, less than 1/25000 of a second, to go from a light shade to a welding-arc-blocking dark #8 to #13.

The 9.3-square-inch window offers a clear view of your workpiece with plenty of visibility on either side of the weld. To get to the controls, you’ll need to remove the helmet first, but this is just a minor inconvenience in an otherwise near-perfect helmet.

Pros

  • Great arc-blocking performance
  • Comes with welding and grinding shade settings
  • Shade and delay flexibility
  • Comfort on the head and neck

Cons

  • Could be sturdier

Despite its somewhat flimsy feel, the Hobart 770890 is a fantastic all-around welding helmet that will benefit pros and beginners alike.

FAQs

1. How much should I spend on a welding helmet?

It’s entirely up to the buyer. If we’re being honest, the variance in price in relation to quality is pretty random, as you can see from the listed products. That said, it’s safer to go slightly more expensive than not since their price tags generally reflect the overall construction. If you’re looking for more alternatives, allow us to direct you to our list of the best auto-darkening welding helmets and the best budget welding helmets (under $200).

2. Are cheap auto-darkening welding helmets safe?

Yes, they are, at least the products mentioned above. The most critical parts of an auto-darkening welding helmet are its lenses and inner headgear. The best models shouldn’t flicker or turn off completely unexpectedly, and they should also accommodate free movement without dipping or sliding upward when working out of position. As long as you keep it safe during storage, you shouldn’t experience any lens issues for many years.

3. How long do welding helmets last?

Although it depends on how well you care for the lens, solar panel (if available), and don’t allow it to get soaked or gunked up with dirt and metal shards, on average, a welding helmet will last upwards of five years. Check out the included paperwork to see how you can care for your helmet.

4. What benefits do solar+battery powered helmets offer?

With built-in solar panels, you can let the helmet soak in the rays when it’s sunny out to power the auto-darkening feature indoors. When there’s not enough sun to fully the solar batteries, a backup li-ion battery pack will keep the shading function working optimally for hundreds of hours. It’s best to have both power sources built into your helmet, just in case.

Summary

In this guide, we’ve shared with you what we feel are the best welding helmets for the money.

And after putting over 30 welding helmets to the rigorous research, we’re sure you’ll find our best overall pick to suit your every welding need.

If you have questions, thoughts, or suggestions, we’d love to hear it! The floor (comments section) is all yours.

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Joseph Carter

Joseph is DIYer with a passion for building. He is an experienced writer on tools and design and contributes to his ideas on various platforms.

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