Have you ever used a welding helmet before? If you are a beginner in welding, you must already know that wearing a helmet is very important for your protection. The welding helmet protects from the brilliant light. It also filters out the UV rays that emanate from the welding arc.
Burning metals is a high-risk job, especially for your eyes; therefore, a good helmet will make it safer. An ideal welding helmet must be light with a snug fit for your head. It must also come with inbuilt high-tech features to make the job easier.
Working with the wrong helmet is a very costly decision that might lead to nasty accidents from the sparks and drip of molten metals. Here is a comprehensive list of the best welding helmets for your safety. This is a combo list of features and values of every gear to help you make suitable decisions. Let’s dive right into it without any further ado.
Our Top Picks for Best Welding Helmets
· Best Overall: Antra True Color Wide Shade Range 4/5-13 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
· Best Protective: Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Filter Welding Helmet
· Best Upgradable: Jackson Safety Welding Helmet, Auto Darkening Hood, Durable Protective Welding Helmet
· Best Flip Front: Hobart 770286 Flip Front Welding Helmet
· Best performance: TOOLIOM Welding Helmet with Plasma Grinding
· Best Technology: Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350 with 4C Lens Technology Welding Helmet
· Best Solar Powered: YESWELER True Color Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
· Best Optical: Antra True Color Top Optical Welding Helmet
· Best Auto-Darkening: Optrel Crystal 2.0 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet 1006.900
· Best Large Viewing Screen: YESWELDER Large Viewing Screen Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Best Overall: Antra True Color Wide Shade Range 4/5-13 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Brand Name: Antra | Color: Matte Black | Material: Plastic | Item Weight: 1 Pound
This Antra bad boy is great for industrial purposes, but it is also easy to use by a beginner. It comes fitted with a passive full-time UV and IR filter. Both these features have a double-layered LCD shutter that provides a sufficient and precise shade for enhanced visibility. On top of that, it gives full coverage for both the face and the neck.
Antra seemingly did a perfect job on the performance of this sophisticated welding helmet. It features 4-premium redundant arc sensors. The units of the arc sensors are highly responsive in detecting and controlling. This provides a super-fast switching time and accurate shading. The purpose of this is to eliminate harmful radiant bypasses and to avoid high stress.
On top of that, we love the comfort and convenience of this welding hood for beginners. The automatic lens completely eliminates the flipping hood. Then there is the super lightweight aspect which greatly reduces neck stress. Besides that, the grind/weld switch is without flickering the shade setting, thus, making it very convenient in between welding.
- It is versatile in many applications.
- It is comfortable and lightweight.
- The inside settings are easy to work with.
- Very reliable and highly productive.
- It flickers when the battery is flat.
- It does not sit well on the head.
Best Protective: Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Filter Welding Helmets
Brand Name: Jackson Safety | Size: Universal | Style: Modern | Item Weight: 2 Pounds
Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Filter Welding Machine is our pick for the best overall because of its high-tech design. This efficient manufacturer designed this gear to offer the best optical clarity through the auto-darkening filter lens. The ADF also regulates the diffusion of light and angular dependence.
This welding mask gives a clear view during the job. It has variable shades from 9-13. The variables help to shield and protect eyes from radiant energy during welding. That is not all. The welding mask’s shade, sensitivity, and delay adjustments enable you to enjoy clear vision during welding.
Furthermore, this welding hood for beginners is compatible with magnification filters and hard hats. It should be noted; however, that these filters come separately. They include 3 headgear adjustments for the ability to suit a variety of welders and tasks.
- Easy to adjust.
- Very comfortable on the head.
- It has good visibility.
- Ideal for colorblind welders.
- It is lightweight.
- It does not have on and off buttons.
- No warranty or battery replacement.
Best Upgradable: Jackson Safety Welding Helmet, Auto Darkening Hood, Durable Protective Welder Face Mask
Brand Name: Jackson Safety | Size: One Size | Style: Modern | Item Weight: 0.56 Pounds
We loved this because it is both adaptable and upgradeable. The shield, which is a hard hat, is adaptable and can be upgraded for use with Jackson Safety Insight. Besides that, it is compatible with Tru Sight II and Nexgen filters to make it an auto-darkening welding mask.
It features a durable design that gives it longevity in use. This welding helmet has an added lip for slag and it could pause other dangers. All the plates are factory installed which makes them easier to use, especially for beginners; therefore, there is no need to assemble them.
On top of that, this welding hood for beginners has a narrow shell design to allow working in tight spaces. It also has an extended front, which increases throat protection from sparks, slags, fumes, and other physical hazards. This Jackson Safety welding helmet is CSA compliant and meets ANZI Z87.1 standards.
- It has a classic design.
- It is easy to change and clean.
- It does not need any batteries to function.
- It is very comfortable.
- The auto-dimming is not functional.
- It is complex for beginners to use.
Best Flip Front: Hobart 770286 Flip Front Welding Helmet
Brand Name: Hobart | Size: One Size | Style: Modern | Item Weight: 0.01 ounces | Color Type: Pull-on
Hobart did a great job with this model. This welding hood, which is ideal for beginners, is perfect for a variety of welding jobs. Its lightweight build and stability make it a perfect steal against its price. We particularly loved the handy flip front on this welding mask because it is easy to remove.
The durability of Hobart 770286 is top-notch; therefore, it can hold up together really well for so many years despite the drops and scratches. This headgear gives your money’s worth because of its excellent features, which are suitable for beginners. The shade is perfect for grinding, especially for flux core welding.
Furthermore, it is very comfortable for heights; thus, it reduces injuries. It is also very light and is conveniently adjustable. Considering all its good features, the pricing of this welding helmet is reasonable. This makes it easy for beginners because it is affordable to acquire, unlike other exorbitant brands.
- Lightweight to work with.
Very comfortable and conveniently adjustable.
It is a good bargain for your money.
The flip gives a clear lens.
- The hood does not comfortably sit on the head.
It does not have an auto-dimming feature.
Best Performing: TOOLIOM Welding Helmet with Plasma Grinding
Brand Name: TOOLIOM | Size: One Size | Style: TL-M800D | Item Weight: 2.11 Pounds | Color Type: Black
This TOOLIOM Welding Helmet with Plasma Grinding is the best bet when it comes to performance. The key features make it a smooth operator with convenient characteristics that come into play when there is a need for adjustment. This face mask is one of those gears with optical classification and color technology to improve its performance.
On top of that, it is versatile and highly functional across the board. The lens allows one to choose from shade 9-13 weld mode, shade 5-9 cut mode, and shade 4 grind mode. This performance is highly plausible as compared to other brands with models that only operate at shade 10 and do not have the auto-dimming feature.
As we all want to work under very comfortable gear, TOOLIOM did not compromise the comfortability for aesthetics. This helmet mask has delay and Sensitivity adjustments to improve your comfort and for convenience purposes. Lastly, the viewing area of this welding hood for beginners with 4 Arc sensors is absolutely lovable.
- Comfortable with a decent bargain.
- It has excellent settings.
- Excellent viewing area.
- The batteries are replaceable.
- It is a bit heavy on the head.
- The batteries are of low quality.
Best Technology: Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350 with 4C Lens Technology Welding Helmet
Brand Name: Lincoln Electric | Size: Universal | Material: Plastic | Item Weight: 3 Pounds
The optics on this welding mask is on another level. It features 4C lens technology, which creates a superior view. The premium optics give a clear color view of the arc and puddle. These features enhance your control and regulate the weld quality while reducing eye strain.
This Lincoln Electric model also comes with an extra-large lens. Its 12.5 auto-darkening lens gives a sufficient viewing window. This enhances your welding hood visibility. It also increases productivity and gives enhanced safety benefits. If you are keen on safety and your work environment makes you prone to accidents, this is the best grab.
Furthermore, you will enjoy superior comfort in this welding hood for beginners. It contours to the operator’s head. It also evenly distributes weight across its six key contact points. This feature improves balance and eliminates pressure points. Besides that, it provides a personalized fit for maximum comfort. With all the technology and sophisticated features, your productivity will definitely increase.
- It is very light and comfortable.
- It is versatile.
- It is easy to operate.
- It has a clear view.
- It does not tighten well and can easily slide during work.
- The mounting system is not great.
Best Solar Powered: YESWELDER True Color Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Brand Name: YESWELDER | Size: One | Style: LYG-L500A Bright Black | Item Weight: 1.9 Pounds | Material: PA/PP
This solar-powered welding helmet gives excellent optical clarity for improved performance. You want to be 100% sure that you are safe under your helmet long before you mount it on your head. YESWELDER Fits the bill and offers much more through its sophisticated features and technology. Besides that, you will definitely enjoy how light and comfortable this gear feels on your head.
The lens performance of this welding helmet is remarkable. At first, it will give you that impression of being too bright, but with time, you will adjust. The lens is easier to use even for green beginners. It is clear and way better than the more sophisticated brands whose sales are over the roof. This is a very safe bet if you are working on a budget, as it is a good value for your money.
Furthermore, you will get to enjoy the auto-dimming feature, which helps to regulate the brightness of your view. Besides that, this welding mask is lightweight, and it also improves the comfort of your head. On top of that, it does not require batteries, thus, reducing any inconveniences that may arise during work.
- It is lightweight and very comfortable.
- It is tinted for excellent visibility.
- It has spare protective lens covers.
- It snuggly fits on the head when mounted.
- The build on the hood feels and appears cheap.
- The lens is a bit small.
Best Optical: Antra True Color Top Optical Welding Helmet
Brand Name: Antra | Size: 3.86X2.50” (4/5-8/9-13) | Style: Modern | Color: Green Ghost | Item Weight: 2 Pounds
This welding helmet is excellent for industrial users. It features an auto-dimming LCD shutter for an efficient shade range. The range is between 5-14 enhanced visibility. This welding mask gives coverage for the entire face and the neck. Looking at this feature, we can conclude that your body’s safety is safe.
Away from that, Antra True Color Top Optical Welding Helmet is all about reliability and productivity. Its Power Off Delay helps to avoid flashes in the low ambient environment. The Interference Suppression Technologies minimize false triggering. This includes; being less sensitive to sunlight, Workshop lights while being very responsive to welding arcs, to mention just but a few.
This headgear offers maximum comfort and convenience. It features a fully automatic lens which eliminates flipping the hood. It also has an External Quick Grindingweld button with a timing feature. This is to say that you can switch modes on the fly without flickering shade settings. This welding hood for beginners is super light to reduce neck stress.
- It is versatile in many applications.
- It is very light.
- It is easy to access the battery compartment.
- Easy to maintain.
- The head harness is not secure enough.
- It is not dim enough to shield the eyes.
Best Auto-Darkening: Optrel Crystal 2.0 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet 1006.900
Brand Name: Optrel | Size: Universal | Style: Modern | Item Weight: 1.72 Pounds
No doubt this, Optrel Crystal, has the best auto-darkening feature with a shade 2.0 light state. This enables the welder to clearly see what happens before, during, and after the welding process. It can detect the arc brightness and fully automate shade level adjustment from 4 to 12. This welding mask also adjusts automatically to the changing light condition of the current welding process.
Aside from that, the twilight feature in this gear gradually lightens the lens when switching from dark to light to ease eye fatigue. The sensitivity allows you to switch lenses. This enables you to switch sensitivity for different settings in sunlight. With this, you could change your ambient to either outdoor or indoor as it suits you. It all depends on the environment.
This welding helmet can also swiftly change between modes. There is the weld and shade 2.0 grind mode. However, you will have to use external controls for this. If you are grinding, you can easily switch to grind mode without having to remove the welding mask.
- It has comprehensive controls.
- It does not need batteries.
- It has excellent vision, and there is no need to remove it when switching modes.
- It has wide lighting viability.
- The viewing window is small.
- The headset is not firm and can keep falling.
Best Viewing Screen: YESWELDER Large Viewing Screen Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Brand Name: Jingsu Mexin Optoelectronics Technology Co. Ltd | Size: 3.96’’X3.66’’ | Style: LYG-M800H | Item Weight: 2.2 Pounds
This is one of the most brilliant helmet designs by YESWELDER. It is a universal welding helmet that can work with many apparatus including; a plasma cutter. It features adjustable settings and extra clear shields, which makes it ideal for beginners. With this, you will not have to worry about visibility because this head mask has the finest.
YESWELDER did a perfect job by not compromising convenience for unnecessary sales point features. This welding hood for beginners comes with a replaceable battery and a spare to improve the welder’s work. Apart from that, it has a test button and a low battery indicator to alert for battery change. The test button will allow you to navigate; through the dimming options before embarking on your work.
Furthermore, you will get to enjoy the exterior controls for sensitivity and delays. These settings are easy to reach and read without having to remove your welding helmet. The three settings are for cutting, grinding, and welding. Last but not the least, you get to enjoy the clothes storage bag that comes with this welding mask.
- Very comfortable on the head.
- It has standout settings.
- It is lightweight.
- It has a battery indicator.
- It is not a professional grade.
- Head straps easily strip off making it unwearable.
How to Choose the Best Welding Helmet for Beginners
There is a lot to take into accounting choosing the best welding helmet for beginners. Before you splash your money, you need to consider what the helmet has to offer. A good welding helmet gives excellent protection and does not compromise on its functionality. Here is our checklist of the qualities to look out for when shopping for a welding hood for beginners.
1. The Standard
Be on the lookout and ensure that your welding helmet meets the current safety standard for your safety. The safety standards keep changing from time to time, and some sneaky manufacturers overlook such measures. It is your responsibility as a user to ensure that there is a guarantee of your protection before investing in gear. One of the most recent standards is the ANSI Z87.1-2003.
2. Shade Lens
A good welding helmet should feature a lens fitted with a static UV and IR filter. This is usually a 10-shade, but once in a while, it can vary. 10 is the best shade despite the number of amps the light gives during welding. The welding hoods for beginners with this shade hoods with a nod or a movement on the neck. Easy peasy; and super convenient.
3. Switching Speed
You need to relate the switching speed of your welding helmet to the amount of work you do. If you are an industrial welder, avoid entry-level reaction time because it can cause eye fatigue. How fast a lens can shift to a higher shade is the determining factor; therefore, you must be on the lookout when shopping for a welding mask.
4. Power Options
Different welding helmets use various power options. Some use batteries, while some use solar power. For battery users, some are irreplaceable batteries, while others are replaceable, and they even come with an extra one. However, most welding masks with replaceable batteries also use solar assist panels.
The weight of your welding helmet matters a lot. You need one that does not cause strain to your neck because of its heavy weight. Picking the correct weight will depend on the collective features of your welding mask. Invest in a good quality that reduces neck fatigue in case of extended use. While at it, check that the price corresponds to the weight of your helmet.
6. Use and Preference
Sometimes you already have a brand in mind, maybe through referrals or your research. It is very important, therefore, to invest in a piece of equipment that you have an affinity to and confidence in. If you feel like a particular brand produces crème de la crème products, do not hesitate. Go for it. Understanding how you will use the product will be of great value to you. If you are welding for industrial or heavy purposes, consider the weight and comfortability. This will help a lot to reduce fatigue and strain.
Types of Beginner Welding Helmets
There are various types of welding helmets available across the market. Picking one which is suitable for your needs will largely depend on your preference and the intensity of your work. We have created this list to help you narrow down to the best that is suitable for your needs.
1. Variable Shade Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
These types of welding helmets come with an LCD controlled by light sensors. The sensors are near the lens for convenience purposes. The most preferred welding mask by most welders is the auto-darkening with a shade variation of 8 and 13. The shade level of your helmet will mostly depend on the work and the welding torch attached to it. The best part of this type of welding helmet is the automatic light sensors.
2. Fixed Shade Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Although this type of welding helmet is not so common anymore, it is just as good as the rest. However; with this welding mask, you cannot choose between the shades. This makes it perfect for similar projects and materials as you will not need to adjust the shades. On the good side, it is affordable and ideal for standard welding jobs.
3. Passive Welding Helmet
This standard welding helmet gives you an option to separately purchase lenses of different shades. Its fixed shade lens is 10, and it works perfectly fine unless you need variety. On the flip side, this welding mask is very inconveniencing. It requires you to lift it off to see before striking an arc. This feature is quite difficult and exhausting for beginners. However, if you are a professional, you will already know how to line up your work.
4. Pancake Welding Helmet
This design is ideal for pipeline welders. It fastens to your face with a strap to make it fit snugly. It features a darkened viewing window to protect your eyes and filter out the harmful UV and IR brilliant lights. What most welders love most about this welding mask is its lightweight. The material used to design is lightweight, and it surrounds your eye area to shield against direct sunlight. Its selling point is its ability to block the sunlight from reaching your face when you are in this welding hood for beginners.
5. Leather Welding Mask
This design is not very common in the market. It protects not only your face but; also your entire head and the length of your neck. It features a google shield on the front for the eyes so that you can be able to see whatever you are working on. This welding helmet is ideal for enclosed spaces and welding overhead. This is because it shields from overhead sparks and debris. The best part of it is its durability, and it can act as a protective gear for a very long time.
Care and Maintenance of Welding Helmet
Just like every other piece of equipment that serves us, your welding helmet needs proper care and maintenance to serve you better and to improve its longevity. Always check every part of your helmet before and after use. This includes the helmet and the headband, welding filter, protection plates, face seal, and breathing tube, among other sensitive parts. Some parts can trap molten and debris, which can be harmful to your respiratory health.
Here are some of the things you can do for your helmet after use.
· Clean Your Helmet- Thoroughly wipe both the inside and outside parts of your helmet. Focus on the moist parts using fine clothing that can trap debris. Once in a while check on the breathing tube and give it some TLC as well.
· Face Seal and Sweat Band- Regularly remove these parts for thorough cleaning and airing. Check if they have any cracks or tears and replace them immediately before using them for your next project. Using a cracked face shield is harmful because it will not fully filter out the light and flying sparks.
· Protection and Visor Plates- Always use a dry cloth to wipe and clean the sensitive parts of your welding helmet. You also need to check for scratches and cracks. If there are any, arrange to change them as soon as possible.
· Breathing tube- You must use a very clean breathing tube for the sake of your respiratory system. Replace immediately if it is damaged and leaking.
· Storage- Make sure to store away your welding helmet in a clean, dust-free area. The storage should also be dry and away from direct sunlight. If your welding mask came with a cloth, use it to store away and ensure that it is clean at all times.
Finding the perfect welding helmet takes a lot, and it requires one to do thorough research before settling for any particular brand. Whatever brand you choose, don’t compromise comfort because you are working on it. Uncomfortable welding masks can cause injuries that might lead to chronic conditions. Make sure the shell is always secured and well-balanced on your head.
Away from that, never forget that cheap is expensive, and expensive does not always mean quality. Some manufacturers only sell oversell aesthetics instead of functionality.