Top Overall Pick
Lincoln 3350 Series
3M Speedglas 9100
Whether you need the helmet for your business or your home workshop, it should have the proper features to protect your eyes and face. It should also be comfortable to use.
The best welding helmet choices are varied and finding the perfect equipment can be confusing. We’ve provided a comprehensive review of the best welding helmets to narrow down your list.
- Our Favorite Welding Helmets on the Market
- 10 Best Welding Helmets - Reviews
- 1. Lincoln Electric 3350 Series Welding Helmet - Best Overall Pick
- 2. Instapark ADF Series GX-500S Welding Helmet - Best for the Money
- 3. 3M Speedglas 9100 Welding Helmet - Premium Choice
- 4. Optrel Panoramaxx Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
- 5. ESAB Sentinel A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
- 6. Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet
- 7. Optrel VegaView 2.5 Welding Helmet
- 8. Hobart 770756 Impact Welding Helmet
- 9. Antra AH6-260-0000 Welding Helmet
- 10. DEKOPRO DP-33 Welding Helmet
- Final Verdict: Our Overall Winner
- Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Finding the Perfect Welding Helmet
Our Favorite Welding Helmets on the Market
10 Best Welding Helmets - Reviews
1. Lincoln Electric 3350 Series Welding Helmet - Best Overall Pick
It might be expensive, but the Lincoln Welding Helmet is arguably the best Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet on the market. It makes it an excellent mask investment for commercial users.
The auto-darkening lens shade can go from 5 to 13, offering more protection against the brightest welding glares. It also boasts perfect optical clarity and massive viewing port (3.74 by 3.34 inches). You have the best guarantee of being able to see more with greater convenience while wearing the helmet.
The nylon, polycarbonate material for the body is durable, yet, lightweight, ensuring convenience and comfort no matter how long you need to wear the helmet. The solar rechargeable features of the helmet also make it ideal for outdoor use.
2. Instapark ADF Series GX-500S Welding Helmet - Best for the Money
The Instapark GX-500S is a fantastic choice for hobbyists who want a stylish looking welding mask that won’t cost much.
The viewing port is 3.63 by 1.65 inches, which offers a view that’s smaller than many top choices but still sufficient for the occasional DIY enthusiast. Its shading range is limited from 9 to 13, but it does have a grinding mode for your convenience.
It has a solar power feature but also uses replaceable lithium batteries for convenience and durability. Considering its low price and one-year warranty, we can’t really complain about the helmet’s limited features.
3. 3M Speedglas 9100 Welding Helmet - Premium Choice
Here’s a more expensive option that costs even more than the famed Lincoln 3350. The 3M Speedglas comes with some remarkable features, though, including futuristic optical technology that delivers realistic colors while welding.
The helmet has an auto-on feature that powers as soon as you wear it. There are also user-friendly controls on its body that let you easily switch between grind, weld, and other modes.
You can choose between shading numbers 5 and 8-13 to protect your eyes from the glare of your welding. There’s also a Shade 3 light setting for optimal clarity when you’re not welding.
Another impressive feature is the 2.8 by 4.2 inches viewing port that provides an almost panoramic view while you weld.
4. Optrel Panoramaxx Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
The Optrel Panoramaxx takes visibility to another level with its advanced VegaView technology. You receive a vision range that’s six times more expansive than the average welding helmet. Combined with a 2.5 light state rating, you have a panoramic view that’s rich in color and detailed.
Aside from excellent optical clarity, the Optrel Panoramaxx is also impressive to look at and comfortable to wear.
The design is similar to a dirt bike helmet, and you can charge its electronic features via a convenient USB slot.
The auto-dim feature ensures that you get all the eye protection you need, whether welding indoors or outdoors. It is thanks to the helmet’s advanced sensor that measures welding arc brightness and selects the appropriate dimness for your protection—all achieved within a split second.
On the downside, this helmet is pricier than others in its class.
5. ESAB Sentinel A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
A relatively expensive option, the Esab is somewhere in the middle of the range. Its unique design is attractive, though. It looks like a futuristic bike helmet and works better than the average welding mask.
An Optical Class Rating 1/1/1/2 and a viewing port as large as 3.93 x 2.36 inches means you won’t have any trouble finding a clear view of your work. Its adjustable shading runs from 5 to 13 to protect you from various glares, and there’s a grind mode for protection when you aren’t welding.
If you are going to be working in low-light conditions, the helmet’s control panel’s display is conveniently backlit for optimal visibility.
6. Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet
A pricey option, it’s ideal for welders that do a lot of TIG and MIG work. You can choose between one of four modes—weld mode, grind mode, cut mode, and X-mode. Each option provides a different shade variation to protect your eyes from the glare and debris of your tasks.
We recommend the X-mode for outside jobs during the day. It stops direct sunlight from disrupting your vision while you weld or grind. Not many premium helmets offer this feature, which places this Miller helmet a notch above many of its closest competitors.
When it comes to clarity, the Miller 281000 is impressive with 1-1-1-2 optical clarity. You also achieve pleasing color differentiation with its Clearlight lens, which eliminates green tint and increases the overall visibility in natural light.
On the downside, the Miller 281000 is more fragile than other models, especially its lens. If you aren’t careful and you accidentally drop the helmet or bump something against it, it may break. The fragility makes it a poor choice for a busy commercial setting, for example.
If you are willing to be careful and don’t mind the price, the helmet is a solid choice for hobbyists that want optimal glare protection.
7. Optrel VegaView 2.5 Welding Helmet
The Optrel VegaView offers a remarkably clear view when you aren’t welding. When you are welding, it’s sensitive to arc flashes and will immediately adjust the lens tint to protect your eyes. It is a reliable and comfortable product overall.
In the light state or grind mode, the shade level of this welding helmet is around 2.5, giving you a crisp vision in between welding tasks. The helmet’s shade level stops at 12, though, so it may not be suitable for high-amperage welding.
If you spend a lot of your time grinding or welding, you’ll find the comfort and lightweight design of this helmet to be extremely helpful.
8. Hobart 770756 Impact Welding Helmet
Hobart 770756 Impact is a high-quality welding helmet that’s tough enough for intensive commercial use and user-friendly enough for hobbyists. It offers amazing features at an affordable price.
It’s a versatile Welding Helmet for TIG that boasts a variable-shade lens. It can darken from 8 to 13 to match the glare of your work, and the reaction time for the auto-darkening feature is impressive at 1/25,000 of a second.
It’s durable, and it’s also lightweight, thanks to the robust polyamide shell that sits comfortably around the face. Its gel pad interior also provides a snug fit without chafing or feeling stifling for long periods, which means fewer worries about breathing issues or dripping sweat getting in the way of your work.
If you want a high-quality welding helmet that guarantees safety and comfort, you can’t go wrong with the Hobart 770756.
9. Antra AH6-260-0000 Welding Helmet
You can buy this superb welding helmet for way under $100. Even though it’s more affordable than most, the helmet doesn’t compromise on quality and features in the slightest.
The Antra has an adjustable lens, which is solar-powered. The lightweight build also places minimal stress on your head and neck while you work.
Even more impressively, you can use it as a Welding Helmet for MIG and TIG because the helmet comes with interchangeable extra lens covers. There are also controls for switching between welding and grinding settings.
Its auto-darkening LCD lens provides comfortable shading within the ranges of 4, 5-9, and 9-13 to protect you against various levels of glare. The helmet also provides protection against sparks and debris for your entire face and neck.
All these features and many more combine to make the Antra an amazing deal for both commercial users and budget-conscious hobbyists.
10. DEKOPRO DP-33 Welding Helmet
The DEKOPRO Welding Helmet is not ideal for professional welders that work with plenty of high amperages. If you are a hobbyist, the standard size viewing screen and the 9 to 13 shade variability range should be enough.
The real attractions of this helmet are its affordable price tag and its aesthetics. You can buy it in one of three catchy designs, but the most popular choice is the flaming skull motif.
For your convenience and to save money, the helmet is solar-charged. The powerful battery can last for many hours on a full charge.
Final Verdict: Our Overall Winner
Lincoln Electric 3350 Series
Based on our experience with the welding helmets above, and customer reviews, the Lincoln Electric 3350 Series is the best welding helmet for both professionals and hobbyists. The excellent product offers all the features that you could want from a top-quality welding mask without overcharging you for the privilege.
Whether you are using it during grinding or welding, you receive ample protection that is durable enough to withstand punishment from even the clumsiest users. The three-year warranty ensures that you are making a risk-free purchase.
For those of you that can afford it, the 3M Speedglas 9100 is the premium choice. If you aren’t sold on either the Lincoln 3350 Series or the 3M Speedglas 9100, there’s always the more budget-friendly Instapark ADF Series GX-500S. Don’t expect it to last as long or perform as well as the Lincoln 3350 Series, though.
Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Finding the Perfect Welding Helmet
How to Choose the Best Welding Helmet
What counts as the best welding helmet will vary between individuals, but you’ll have an easier time finding a helmet with the features to serve your needs if you know what you need. For example, what works for a hobbyist may be insufficient for a commercial welder.
The following features are essential:
How much brightness does your welding generate? Can your welding mask protect your eyes from it? Will you be using your mask outside or inside?
You need a welding mask with a lens that can protect your eyes from the blinding glare of your welding while providing optimal visibility. Quality welding masks offer various levels of shade. Go for a helmet that has maximum shade variability to ensure that your eyes aren’t exposed to dangerous arc flashes.
Helmets with auto-darkening features are highly recommended for comfort and safety. It can detect arc flashes and automatically regulate the lens dimness for optimal protection. Once the welding stops, the lens returns to its brightest setting so that you can see clearly.
Viewing Port Size
Welding helmets with smaller viewing ports are usually cheaper, but often not better. For safety, efficiency, and convenience, you need as large a viewing window as possible. A small viewing port gives a restricted field of vision, so you’ll have to keep turning your head or taking off your mask to see.
Smaller viewing ports can be 3.62inches by 1.65inches, while average viewing ports are around 3.93inches by 2.36inches. If you want the highest visibility range, go for a helmet with a viewing port that’s around 3.94inches by 3.86inches.
Helmets with bigger viewing ports are more costly, but the convenience and versatility are worthwhile.
Lens clarity on a welding helmet is as important as adequate shading levels and port size. Without optimal clarity, you’ll have trouble viewing and assessing your work. Top-quality helmets come with lenses with a light state rating of one to three – one being the best rating. For instance, the Lincoln 3350 has a rating of one in all clarity testing areas.
Many of the helmets in our review list come with a cheater lens to magnify your vision for clarity while you work.
The reliability feature is non-negotiable. A welding helmet must provide reliable safety features that protect your eyes from the glare of welding and flying sparks, or there is a great risk of getting hurt on the job.
For instance, a helmet’s auto-darkening feature must be dependable. If not, you risk exposing your eyes to bright glare when you least expect it. Visibility must also be dependable, or you risk welding incorrectly, wasting materials, or accidentally hurting your fingers or hands.
Manufacturers that are confident about the quality and reliability of their helmets typically provide a reasonable warranty (one to two years).
Nobody wants a welding helmet that works for a couple of weeks or months before it malfunctions—that’s a poor investment. It’s even worse when the helmet breaks when you are in the middle of an important task.
Quality helmets provide an excellent return on investment by staying fully functional and comfortable for years. The best helmets are made with top quality materials, such as polycarbonate or nylon, that deliver durability with comfort.
These helmets are also heat-resistant and have a high shock absorbency. The equipment is also lightweight to ensure comfort, even for several hours of continuous use.
Your work won’t always require protection from a welding glare. Sometimes, all you’ll need is protection against flying debris, such as with a grinder. Many of the welding helmets in this review come with a Grind Mode feature, which activates automatically or with the push of a button.
The higher the quality of a welding helmet, the more it costs. There are welding helmets under $200 that compete toe-to-toe on features and quality, though.
For example, the Lincoln 3350 Series is our top pick because it does not cost much but can compete with the 3M Speedglas 9100. The Lincoln 3350’s price is worthwhile for those who need a helmet with perfect optical clarity and the largest viewing port, though. It depends on your budget and how intensely you will use your helmet.
Don’t compromise by going for the cheapest option. Products are typically cheap because they are made with inferior materials. The last thing you need is an inferior helmet that fails you at a critical moment.
Not an essential feature, it’s still nice to have work equipment that looks good. Welding helmets are available in various styles, from futuristic biker helmet types to exciting murals. No matter how good a welding helmet looks, though, it’s pointless without the function and safety features to meet your needs.
Always prioritize the functionality of a helmet over its appearance.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Welding Mask
The quality of a welding mask doesn’t matter if you don’t take good care of it. Proper cleaning and maintenance will protect your health and safety and remain comfortable for years to come.
For easy yet effective maintenance, you’ll need the following materials:
- An air cleaner
- Lens cleaner wipes
- A soft cleaning brush
- Disinfectant spray
- A soft cotton towel
- Helmet cleaner solution
How often you need to clean your helmet depends on how intensively you use it. If you aren’t sharing the equipment with anyone, we recommend cleaning it once a week at a minimum.
Six Steps For Cleaning Your Welding Mask
- Use baby wipes or a moist paper towel to wipe down the helmet’s entire surface. It will remove loose dust and debris.
- Use a soft brush to scrub dirt and dust out of the helmet’s hard-to-reach spots, especially the vents.
- Use an air cleaner or duster to blow away the dirt from the brushing.
- Use a quality lens cleaner to wipe the lens gently. It’s important to use the right material for this or risk damaging the lens. We recommend Care Touch Lens Cleaning Wipes.
- Apply a dedicated helmet cleaner then disinfect the equipment with a disinfecting spray. We recommend Clear Gear Disinfecting Spray. Focus on padded surfaces with the most skin contact.
- Do a final wipe down with a dry cotton towel to get rid of any leftover dust or moisture.