Best Welding Helmet With Detailed Reviews & Comparison [2021]

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Best Welding Helmet – Lincoln Viking 3350

Top Pick

Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
The best overall welding helmet—the model that outshines countless competitors in nearly every aspect—is the Lincoln Viking 3350 series. This auto-darkening helmet offers perfect clarity with a wide range of shade levels, and it’s a super-user-friendly model with a handy external grind and welding dial for on-the-fly switching.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Lincoln Viking 3350’s key specifications—

Key Specifications

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

The 3350 series, specifically the K3404-4 model, is an upgraded Viking helmet that fits more snugly around the heat. It has a thick foam pad in the back for extra comfort, and the lens offers 1/1/1/1 optical clarity with any shading grade between #5 and #13.

To control delay and shade levels, you’ll need to remove the head to access the built-in control dials.

However, when switching between grinding and auto-darkening welding tasks, you can flip the switch on the exterior of the helmet.

Watch this video and learn all about Lincoln’s VIKING 3350 series.

Pros

  • Perfect optical ratings
  • Flexible adjustability
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Welding and grinding mode switching on the fly

Cons

  • Could come with backup battery source

With everything the Viking 3350 K3404-4 can do, this is the ideal auto-darkening welding helmet for pros and beginners. And it’s on the cheaper side of the welding helmet price spectrum!

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. You’ll need to do scour the vast sea of welding helmet models to find the most suitable one.

Or—and this is just a suggestion—you can rely on our expert research and testing methods.

After putting over 60 welding helmets to research, we’ve created a list containing the best welding helmet for a variety of different categories.

We’re sure you’ll find the best fit for your head on this list!

Reviews of the Top Welding Helmets

Product Image
Product Name
Features
Price
Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
Best Welding Helmet – Lincoln Viking 3350
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 5 to 13
  • USP: External Grind Button


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


YESWELDER Large Viewing Screen 3.94'X3.66' True Color Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, 4 Arc Sensor Wide Shade 4~5/9-9/13 for TIG MIG Arc Weld Grinding Welder Mask LYG-M800HBest Budget - YESWELDER LYG-M800H
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 4~5/9-9/13
  • USP: Pivot Style Headgear


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 Helmet - YESWELDER
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/1
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 4 to 13
  • USP: 180° Panoramic View


Antra True Color Wide Shade Range 4/5-9/9-13 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 TIG MIG/MAG MMA Plasma Grinding, 6+1 Extra Lens Covers Best Welding Helmet for Beginners - Antra’s
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 4 to 13
  • USP: Cheater Lens Compatible


ESAB® Sentinel™ Welding Helmets (A50)
Best Welding Helmet for Money - Sentinel A50’s
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 5 to 13
  • USP: Color Touch Screen with Memory


Miller 280045 Black Digital Infinity Series Welding Helmet with ClearMiller 280045
  • Optical Class: 1/1/1/2
  • No. Arc Sensors: 4 sensors
  • Shade Range: 3, 5-13
  • USP: X-Mode (blocks sunlight from darkening lens before arc starts)


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


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)


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


Reviews of the Top Welding Helmets

We didn’t examine over 60 welding helmet models just to tell you about one model in particular. Find your category down below to see which helmet we think is the perfect fit.

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, premium-level auto-darkening welding helmet that also offers 100% perfect viewing, regardless of the activated shading grade. From all angles, you won’t need to concern yourself over light diffusion or missing details when striking an arc.

This helmet has three arc-detecting sensors surrounding its exterior.

When any of them detects the presence of a welding arc, they’ll activate the darkening system in a fraction of a second to prevent the slightest bit of UV and IR from reaching your eyes.

This helmet has a wide shading range of between #5 and #13, with #3 and #5 for less eye-straining purposes such as grinding metal.

And similar to the Lincoln Viking, the Speedglas 9100 also has an external welding-grinding selection switch for quick and easy switching.

Check out other great auto-darkening welding helmets here>

This video what the Speedglas 9100 looks like in detail.

Pros

  • Perfect optical clarity
  • Quick variable adjustability
  • Adjustable headgear
  • Easy switching between welding and grinding modes

Cons

  • Could have better ventilation

It comes as no surprise that the Speedglas 9100 is the best premium welding helmet on the market. For its added cost, you get a super-versatile welding helmet that’s comfortable and easy to operate.

Best Budget - YESWELDER LYG-M800H

best overall rating YESWELDER Large Viewing Screen 3.94'X3.66' True Color Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, 4 Arc Sensor Wide Shade 4~5/9-9/13 for TIG MIG Arc Weld Grinding Welder Mask LYG-M800H

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/2 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #4 to #13
  • Pivot Style Headgear

The LYG-M800H by YESWELDER is a great auto-darkening helmet that comes with everything you’d want and more at a low cost.

With a nearly perfect optical clarity rating and four arc sensors surrounding the helmet, there’s hardly a chance that your performance or vision will be at risk when MIG welding.

This helmet features a pivot-style inner headgear piece that fits snugly around the user’s head while also allowing them to move their head and neck freely.

This will help with finding the optimal viewing angle while the arc is started.

YESWELDER’s video will show you what the LYG-M800H is all about.

Pros

  • Full, flexible controls on helmet’s exterior
  • Fits around all head sizes
  • Decent viewing angles
  • Solar and battery powered

Cons

  • Not the best for TIG welding

The LYG-M800H is the perfect helmet for MIG-specific welders on a budget.

Miller 280045

best overall rating Miller 280045 Black Digital Infinity Series Welding Helmet with Clear

Key Specifications

  • 1/1/1/2 Optical Clarity
  • 4 Arc Sensors
  • Shade Range #4 to #12
  • X-Mode

The Miller 280045 is another welding helmet that doesn’t look like much, but inside the helmet is bound to surprise.

When wearing this helmet, your vision is nearly perfect, thanks to the 1/1/1/2 optical clarity ratings. And with four arc sensors, the Miller offers quick response times in the presence of an arc in your immediate area with prematurely turning on.

But the brightest, most prominent feature in the 280045 is X-Mode. Instead of relying on the brightness of your work area to trigger the auto-darkening function, X-Mode looks for the electromagnetic activity of your welding torch.

This allows you to work outdoors without constant shading caused by the sun, as well as weld out of position where the sensors would otherwise be blocked.

Miller has a video that explains what the 280045 can do in great detail.

Pros

  • Near-perfect clarity
  • Ultra-wide viewing angle
  • Unique X-Mode
  • Digital control board

Cons

  • Headgear could be less rigid

As a Miller-made product, we expected nothing less of fantastic, and we’re happy to report that the 280045 exceeds our expectations.

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 Board

The TGR Panoramic 180 is one of the few high-quality welding helmets that offer 180° viewing angles when worn. Not only that, but its close-to-flawless 1/1/1/2 optical clarity ratings ensure near-perfect vision with minimal angle distortion.

With four arc sensors, the TGR can detect arcs from any angle relative to your position and trigger the auto-darkening function in less 1/25000 of a second.

The depth of the lens’ shading is adjustable between #4 light and #12 moderately-dark to protect your eyes from ultra-bright welding arcs.

On top of the helmet are three dials which you use to control the shading delay, shading level, and the sensors’ sensitivity. There’s also a grinding function that deactivates the auto-darkening feature when grinding metal.

Pros

  • Near-perfect vision
  • Comfortable helmet with foam padding
  • 180° panoramic view
  • Can adjust settings without removing helmet

Cons

  • Lens can be blinky at times

The inexpensive TGR Panoramic 180 is a true piece of art, and it’s incredibly easy to adjust its variable settings on the fly.

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 has a pretty complicated model name, but it’s actually a straightforward, auto-darkening helmet. The Antra has perfect 1/1/1/1 optical clarity ratings, allowing you to see minute details on your workpiece before and as you’re welding.

The Antra is perfect for TIG welding as low as 2A output, MIG welding, grinding, and plasma cutting. With four premium-grade arc sensors, it’s able to active the auto-darkening feature whenever an arc is present in your vicinity in under 1/25000 of a second.

This welding helmet can also accommodate cheater lenses, which magnify the object you’re welding. This will come in handy when TIG welding fine details onto thinner pieces of metal without distorting your vision. If you TIG weld frequently, the Antra is a great welding helmet to have.

Pros

  • Perfect optical clarity
  • Wide shade selection
  • Digital controls
  • Compatible with cheater lens

Cons

  • Could be more durable

The inexpensive Antra certainly delivers quite a surprise in the form of perfect vision. However, you might only get a couple of good years out of this helmet before you need to upgrade.

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 , as a Miller creation, is a tried and true welding helmet with premium features at a reasonable cost. It offers 1/1/1/2 optical ratings which with a hardly-noticeable flaw in viewing angles. And its four sensors detect arcs and darken the lens at super-high speeds to save your eyes from harmful rays.

The 28100 comes with ClearLight Lens technology, which shows colors in a truer form on its #3 shade setting. This lets you assess your workpiece thoroughly without having to remove the helmet beforehand.

This video teaches you all about ClearLight Lens and its awesome benefits.

Pros

  • Truer colors
  • Excellent clarity
  • Easy to adjust variable dials and headgear
  • Compatible with cheater lens

Cons

  • Headgear could be tighter

The Miller 28100 is a fantastic piece of welding PPE. Pros and beginners alike will benefit from this astounding auto-darkening helmet.

Best Budget Welding Helmet

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 budget-friendly welding helmet, at least that priced around $200, is the Panoramic 180 by YESWELDER. It offers 100% clarity with a wide viewing angle, perfect for stick, MIG, and TIG welding.

Here are the Panoramic 180’s key specifications at a glance—

Key Specifications

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

The Panoramic 180 has perfect optical clarity scores of 1/1/1/1, making colors appear truer on its lightest shading level and without distorting the appearance of the weld and workpiece.

This fact alone makes the YESWELDER the perfect budget-friendly welders of all experience levels.

However, the Panoramic 180 is much more than that.

There are lenses on either side of the front-facing lens, allowing you to see a greater area of your workpiece and environment around you. Without turning your head, you can identify objects and people in your immediate area.

YESWELDER has installed solar panels onto this helmet, along with a rechargeable battery pack, which keeps the auto-darkening function working perfectly in any weather at any time.

Pros

  • Perfect optical clarity rating
  • Comfortable fit
  • Easy-to-control variable dials
  • Wide shading range

Cons

  • Solar panels could be more durable

Considering what the YESWELDER Panoramic 180 has in store, it surprised us to find out that it costs under $200!

Best Welding Helmet for Beginners

Antra True Color Wide Shade Range 4/5-9/9-13 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 TIG MIG/MAG MMA Plasma Grinding, 6+1 Extra Lens Covers

The super-user-friendly Antra AH6-260-000 is a force to be reckoned with. And being one of the cheapest options on this list, it’s a helmet that satisfies the needs of infrequent, beginner welders everywhere.

The following list sums up the Antra’s key specifications—

Key Specifications

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

The Antra doesn’t look too special, due to its dull, matte finish and simplistic control dials built onto the helmet’s exterior, but what’s under the hood matters the most.

The Antra viewing lens is rated at 1/1/1/2 optical clarity with a slight “issue” in viewing angle distortion. But when you put the helmet on, there’s hardly a difference between this and perfect 1/1/1/1 lenses.

This ultra-inexpensive helmet also comes with four quick-reacting arc sensors that darken the lens in less than 1/10000 of a second, letting you see your workpiece and welding torch clearly before, during, and after welding has begun.

Like the other Antra model, users can slide a cheater lens into this helmet for extra protection and better vision when TIG-welding intricate beads.

Pros

  • Usable with MIG, TIG, and stick welding
  • Flexible variable settings
  • Fast shading times
  • Can use cheater lenses (sold separately)

Cons

  • Could be more durable

The Antra AH6-260-0000 is a favorite for a reason—it’s a nearly perfect welding helmet in every way (except for construction), and it’s one of the cheapest on the market!

Best Welding Helmet for Money

ESAB® Sentinel™ Welding Helmets (A50)
The helmet that shines the brightest for its cost, in our opinion, is the ESAB Sentinel A50. For its price, it comes with a wide range of features that pretty hard to beat.

You can find the Sentinel A50’s key specifications below—

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 arguably the most unique auto-darkening welding helmet of all time.

Even though its optical clarity ratings aren’t technically perfect, its super-wide viewing lens and a wide range of shading levels improve vision when welding and grinding.

The thing that makes the Sentinel A50 so fantastic is its color touch screen and storage capacity.

The touch screen is a fancy feature found in the low-cost helmet that makes scrolling between different shade and delay times much easier to do.

With storage capacity, you can save your most frequently used settings for quicker and easy access later on.

Watch the Sentinel A50 in action in this video by ESAB.

Check out other welding helmets for the money>

Pros

  • Great clarity with easy-to-use controls
  • Color touch screen
  • Can store you most used shade/delay settings
  • Fits snugly around all head sizes

Cons

  • Lens could be more robust

With more features than you’d expect from its price category, the ESAB Sentinel A50 is chock-full of surprises.


FAQs

1. Are auto-darkening welding helmets reliable?

They can be with proper care and storage. Auto-darkening welding helmets are a lot more flexible than single-shade-lenses since they can block ultra-bright and pretty-dim arcs the same. You also don’t need to constantly flip a hood up and down when assessing your work, effectively improving productivity if you’re a professional welder. Every model listed above comes with an auto-darkening feature.

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

That’s entirely your decision. Our list contains ultra-affordable models to those with premium price tags, but they’re all incredible helmets in their respective price categories. That said, pro welders may want to look for a pricier helmet that promises longer-lasting functionality as opposed to a cheaper one that might experience glitching after three or four years of use.

3. Does the welding helmet brand matter?

Not one brand is totally dominating the welding helmet market. Each manufacturer provides a twist on their products—some twists being more helpful than others—but if you choose any welding helmet from above, you’ll find your helmet to fit your every welding, grinding, and cutting safety need.

4. Do optical clarity ratings matter?

Yes, they do, especially if you’re comparing a 1/1/1/1 (perfect) helmet to a 3/3/3/3 (anti-perfect) one. The models mentioned on our list have either 1/1/1/1 or 1/1/1/2 ratings, which, in practice, isn’t very noticeable. With that in mind, helmets with technical imperfections in optical clarity are less expensive than their perfect-optical counterparts, so that should definitely be taken into account when shopping for a welding helmet

Summary

Ladies and gentle-welders, we have come to the end of our guide on the best welding helmet that the market has to offer.

We’ve tested over 60 helmets in our shop while also trying out different MIG, TIG, and stick welders, to find which helmet works the best.

If you agree or don’t agree with anything in this guide, we’d love to get your feedback. Our comments section is open to receiving your thoughts.

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Karen Taylor

Karen is an expert woodworker. He has been working as a professional in the domain for more than 12 years now. She has experience of working on a variety of power and other tools while working on her projects.

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