Best Welding Helmets In 2021
Welding can be dangerous. So, it’s no surprise that there’s so much technology designed to protect your face from the sparks. Back in the day, welding helmets were pretty simple bits of kit – just a metal lid with a porthole that made you look like some scary deep-sea monster. Now though, they’re a lot more advanced. They often have auto-darkening technology, solar power, and even brightness options. Without the right welding helmet, your eyes could be exposed to UV light, which can burn your cornea and cause a condition called ‘welder’s flash’ or ‘arc eye’. That’s why we’ve been searching to find the best welding helmet to keep you safe. Here’s our top ten.
The Best Welding Helmet
The Antra AH6-260-0000 is our Best Choice product on this list. That’s not because we think it’s the best welding helmet, if you read on, you’ll see some much more advanced options. The reason it’s our Best Choice is that we think most of our readers will be part-time welders. You might be working on an old car at the weekends or fixing some piping. If that’s the case, this helmet will definitely do the job. It’s a pretty simple and inexpensive option, but it’s still high-quality and will keep your eyes safe.
It’s actually pretty packed with technology. Instead of a fixed shade glass window, it has a passive filter, that provides permanent UV/IR protection, even when it’s turned off. And, with the power on it has auto-darkening technology that is super sensitive to different levels of light. The whole helmet turns on and off automatically and is powered by a solar panel and built-in battery. We don’t have the space to tell you about every little feature, but we will say that this helmet is more than good enough for welding at home. Nake sure you also check our guide to the best safety glasses.
Lightweight and ergonomic design
Smart chip controlled 4 sensor
Built-in passive filter
Conveniently adjustable sensitivity and delay times
- Weight1 pounds
Not built for regular welding.
The Lincoln Electric Black Welding Helmet is a sturdy and durable safety work helmet that also has a lightweight form. Made with a thick plastic it can withstand the uncertainties of the welder’s workshop, holding form regardless of what’s dropped on it. This promotes comfort during work hours since it’s designed to suit the welder’s needs and rugged work environment. The weight is well distributed and the helmet sits well on the neck adding less weight without any extra pressure. Whether you’re working for a short period of time or almost round the clock, this solar-powered helmet will keep operations going smoothly even when the batteries are low.
The auto-darkening lenses are perfect for the different lights flying around during welding and clearly show the exact color hues of the base material, arc, and the puddle. It doesn’t really matter if you work inside or outside, the easily adjustable modes work great for bright and clear viewing as well as dimmed viewing during more intense applications. The greatest advantage to the Lincoln Electric helmet has to be the amazing optical clarity it provides, unmatched by most competing brands.
Industry-leading 1/1/1/1 optical clarity
X6 headgear for improved comfort
12.5 Square inch auto-darkening lens
- BrandLincoln Electric
- Weight3.2 pounds
If you’re looking for something a bit better for your hobby welding needs, check out the Deko Pro Solar Powered Welding Helmet. It’s still not a professional standard welding helmet, but it’s a great price and has passed all of the safety certs it needs for you to put your trust in it. It’s got auto-darkening technology that goes dark in .00004 seconds, which means you don’t have to wait for it to fire up. Plus, you are always protected from UV and IR, even if it turns off (not that it should).
It’s also got a decent sized viewing area at seven square inches. You should have a great view of whatever you’re working on. You can manually adjust the sensitivity to make sure it’s perfect for the type of welding you’re doing. Of course, this requires a bit of practical knowledge of how bright you should have the lens. To sum up, this is a pretty high-quality option for hobbyist welders. It’s lightweight, comfortable, has a great battery, and will protect your eyes. And also makes a perfect DIY gift for your loved ones.
MMA, MIG, MAG/CO2, TIG and Plasma Welding applications
Enhanced visibility and color recognition
Battery-powered with solar panels for prolonged run time
- BrandDeko Pro
- Weight2.4 pounds
Large view port.
Long battery life.
Some problem with the harness falling down.
The Esab Sentinal A50 Welding Helmet is the best helmet on this list. They’ve designed it to look like something out of the Halo games, which makes it seems like so much more than a welding helmet. But, it’s not just a pretty face. The technology underneath sets it apart from all of the other welding helmets on here. The wide visor is a big change. It gives you a much bigger field of view than the mail-slot style helmets of old. Plus, it’s easy to swap out if you need to change it.
It’s got a handy little ‘grind’ button on the outside of the helmet, so you don’t have to take the helmet completely off if you’re switching from welding to grinding. But the biggest advancement in technology has to be the LCD touchscreen inside. It makes changing the settings much easier and it even comes with some presets, so you don’t have to program it yourself. Other features include a four-strap system to give you the perfect fit on your head. Plus, it’s designed to be low-profile, which means that it barely sticks out above your head when you lift the cap up. In short, this is the best welding helmet out there, but it’s also a lot more expensive. If you’re doing some serious welding, this is definitely the product for you. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best cordless impact wrenches.
Optical class rating of 1/1/1/2
Colour touch screen control panel with 8 separate memory settings
Large viewing area
Replaceable front cover lens
- Weight4.25 pounds
HD-quality view port.
Easy-to-use color touchscreen.
Compliant with safety regulations.
Nothing, except for the price.
On the heavy side.
Now, we’re getting into the more professional quality welding helmets. The Jackson Safety 46131 Welding Helmet is more suited to the regular welder that is going to use their helmet all the time. It basically has the same technology as a cheaper auto-darkening welding helmet. You control the shade of the lens using the Auto-Darkening Filter to manually to adapt to different working environments. Plus, it has two main modes – grind and weld – which make it easy to find the perfect setting for the type of welding you’re doing.
One of the main differences with this helmet is the quality. Everything on the helmet feels much sturdier. And, it’s CSA compliant and compliant with ANSI Z87.1+ standards. This is important if you’re working in a professional setting because your company will have to adhere to these safety regulations. This is one of the best professional level welding helmets you can get for this price. It’s lightweight, durable, easy-to-operate, and you can put your complete trust in it to protect your eyes from potentially damaging sparks. Love this product? Check out our review of the best soldering kits for our top picks.
Grind and weld modes
- BrandJackson Safety
- Weight2 pounds
Large view port.
Compliant with safety regulations.
Some problems with shipping.
Miller Electric is one of the best-known brands in the welding helmet business and they make some top range helmets that are used by professionals all over the world. The Miller Electric 260938 Welding Helmet is one of their entry level helmets, but it still costs well over $100. On the first read, the stats don’t look as impressive as its cheaper cousins. But it’s the quality of this helmet that really stands out.
It has three sensors the automatically darken when it notices an arc. In fact, the reaction time is 1/15,0000 second, which is one of the best in its class. It’s got a mid-sized viewing area, that’s actually only just over 5 square inches. The reasoning behind this is that it is less area to steam up when you’re working. Whether you like that feature or not is a personal preference, some people prefer a larger view port.
The best thing about this helmet and all Miller Electric helmets is the build quality. You can tell immediately that it’s a higher class of helmet, just by picking it up. And, it’s pretty compact which makes it much better for working in tight spaces. You may also like to check our guide to the best reciprocating saws.
Bottom-mounted control panel
5+ square inch view port
- BrandMiller Electric
- Weight2.8 pounds
Great for working in small spaces.
Excellent build quality.
A bit on the heavy side.
If you’re the kind of patriotic guy that likes to show off how much they love their country, we’ve found the perfect mask for you. Well, that is, if you live in the USA. This Deko Pro Solar Powered Welding Helmet is emblazoned with a bald eagle draped in the stars and stripes, and we love it. It’s also our Best Value product because you’re not going to find a better welding hood for less than $40.
Despite its low price, it’s actually a pretty good helmet. The technology is pretty similar to the first Deko Pro hood we featured. For example, it has auto-darkening technology that switches from light to dark in 1/25000 seconds. So, you’re protected from UV and IR even in the event of an electrical failure. You also need to manually adjust the level of the filter to different welding situations. The view port is the same large size as well. The only problem with a mask this cheap is that you can’t completely trust the auto-darkening technology. It should be fine for a small amount of welding, but it’s not suitable for professionals. Plus, there have been some questions about how effective the solar panel is. Having said that, if you’re looking for a cheap option, this is your best bet. Be sure to also check out our list of the best hearing protectors for more great items like this.
Bald eagle design
7 square inch view port
- BrandDeko Pro
- Weight1.8 pounds
Large view port.
Some questions raised about the quality.
The Tacklife Pro Welding Helmet is another hobbyist welding helmet. It’s got all the features you need to keep your eyes safe from the bright sparks. Before we get into the features, the best thing about this helmet is that it has the top optical grade (1/1/1/1), which means it offers maximum protection for your eyes. This is something you normally see in a more expensive welding shield, so it’s great that you can get it at this price.
It’s got four premium sensors that detect any light source and immediately protect your eyes. Then, you can manually adjust the settings, so you get the maximum protection for the job you’re doing. If you’ve never used a welding helmet before, you’ll definitely need to read the instructions thoroughly before you start using it. The view port is the largest yet, at over 11 square inches.
It’s pretty lightweight and is designed to spread the weight evenly over your neck, so it doesn’t strain you too bad on a long job. But it’s not the most comfortable helmet around. Again, you’re not going to get the best quality welding helmet at this price, but this one is as close as you can get to a pro welding helmet. Our handy guide to the best respirator masks features more great products like this.
11+ square inch view port
- Weight14.1 ounces
Super large view port.
Not that comfortable.
The Instapark ADF Series GX990T Welding Helmet is another reasonably affordable option if you’re welding at home in your spare time. It might even be good enough for professional welders, but we’ll leave that decision to you. It has very similar technology to most of the helmets we’ve seen so far. It’s got four arc sensors and an auto-darkening filter that automatically protect your eyes from UV and IR. This helmet has a slightly different method of control, in that the control panel is situated on the outside of the helmet. The idea of this is that you can change the settings without even taking off the helmet, but you’re going to need to know the panel pretty well to have any success. Plus, the buttons are really small, so it’s hard to be accurate, especially when you’re not looking.
One of its best features is the massive view-port, which is nearly 15 square inches. This is the largest in its class, and it really gives you a great view of what you’re working on. The other cool thing about this helmet is the dark blue skull design. A lot of welding goggles just go for a plain black color, so it really makes this product stand out amongst its competitors. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best jigsaws.
External control panel
15 square inch view port
Dark blue skull design
- Weight1.5 pounds
Massive viewing area.
The control panel is difficult to use.
The Yeswelder welding helmet is the last budget option on our list. It’s another fantastic option for people who are just getting into welding or those that need something relatively affordable to protect their face. The technology inside is pretty standard, except for the huge screen, which is over 14 square inches. That makes it the second biggest screen on this list. If you’re working on a big project that requires a wide field of view, this could come in really useful.
The control panel is situated on the outside, but the button is a lot bigger and easier to use than most welding helmets. In fact, we think this is one of the best features on this helmet. It’s also got a comfortable headband that can be fine-tuned to grip your head perfectly. And, it shows in true color, which makes it much easier to view what you’re welding. Of course, you’re not going to get a really high-quality helmet for the price, but it’s good enough to get the job done. If you’re looking for something for professional equipment, you’ll have to spend a bit more money. If you love DIY projects check out our guide to the best electric hand planers.
External control panel
14 square inch view port
- Weight1.95 pounds
True color looks great.
Large viewing port.
Not amazing quality.
The last welding helmet on our list is the Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet. It’s a fantastic, professional-quality helmet that will serve any welder well. We already talked about how Miller Electric is basically a byword for quality, and this is one of their top-level helmets. Like the Esab Sentinal A50 Welding Helmet, we featured earlier, it’s got a digital control panel that lets you select the perfect settings for the task at hand. This one features four pre-set modes as well – Weld, Cut, Grind, &, X-mode. This allows you to quickly select the right settings to make sure your eyes are properly protected.
It’s also got an improved headgear system that easily makes it one of the most comfortable welding helmets we’ve featured. It’s got multiple different ways of adjusting the tightness and a padded brace for the back of your head. This adds up to give you a really snug fit.
Miller Electric has included – what they call – Clearlight Lens Technology™. This is similar to the True Color technology we saw on the last helmet. Basically, it allows more colors to get through the lens, without compromising on your safety. It gives you a much more realistic view of what you’re working on. This is a definite contender to be the best welding helmet on this list – if you’re looking for something that’s professional standard, you should definitely consider it.
Digital control panel
9+ square inch view port
Clearlight Lens Technology™
- BrandMiller Electric
- Weight0.16 ounces
HD-quality viewing area.
We can’t find any.
Welding Helmet Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of Welding Helmets
Reviews – We care what customers think about products. It’s often true that the best source of information about a product is the customers that have already bought it. That’s why we go straight to the product reviews on online marketplaces like Amazon & eBay. We scoured through hundreds of reviews to see what people think.
Brand – You’ll find that most industries have a few key brands that dominate the marketplace. In the case of welding helmets, it’s Miller Electric, Jackson Safety, and a few others. However, there are also many lesser-known brands that are innovative and creating high-quality products.
Price – We know everyone has a different budget. If you’re a professional welder working in an auto shop, you’re going to be wearing your welding mask every day, and will, therefore, require the best of the best. However, if you’re just doing a bit of welding for a small project at home, you’ll probably be looking for something cheaper. We’ve included welding helmets that cover the whole price range. For both ends of the spectrum, check out our Best Value and Premium Product items.
Features To Look For In Welding Helmets
Auto-Darkening – This means that the lens or filter is a piece of tinted glass that protects your eyes from the brightness of the welding. Look out for an auto-darkening mask with a #10 shade and ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) coating.
View Port – This is what you look through. Some welding masks have much larger view ports than others and that makes them more expensive. If you are doing detailed work, it’s better to have a large view port.
Power – Generally, welding helmets are powered using an internal battery, which is sometimes backed up by a solar panel. This avoids the need for having dangerous wires trailing around whilst you are welding.
Solar Power – Solar power is often the best power option for a welding helmet because they don’t require much power at all to operate. However, if you’re going to be using yours for long periods of time, make sure it can handle it.
Size – Some welding helmets are designed to be small and lightweight, but others are large and heavy. Which you choose will depend on your preference and budget.
Fit – You need to make sure that the welding helmet you choose will fit your head. Generally, welding helmets operate a one-size-fits-all, so we’d check the returns policy before you buy off the internet.