Every welder should have a welding helmet. A welding helmet is a great tool to protect your face from the heat, sparks and UV light. There is a lot of protective clothing available on the market and you have to pick the right welding helmet based on your needs.
Here’s a list of things that you should take note of when purchasing a welding helmet:
The Different Types
Passive Welding Helmet
Passive welding helmets are also known as the standard or the traditional welding helmets. This is the most common and popular type. Also, this type of helmet is made from plastics, so they are considered to be inexpensive and versatile.
This is why many seasoned welding experts prefer this type of helmets. In order to use this helmet properly, wear the helmet in an up position when using devices such as a torch, gun, or electrode. Once the positioning is confirmed, you must then strike the arc.
Before the striking is done, the helmet should be flipped immediately to a position that protects the node of the user’s neck.
Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
Auto-darkening welding helmets are made of light reactive materials. When the lenses detect the arc during welding, it darkens immediately. Wearing an auto-darkening helmet provides complete and consistent protection from UV exposure.
There are also adjustable electronic filter and light sensors, so that the lens will adjust according to the brightness of the arc. Among the auto-darkening helmets, there are the fixed lens option and the variable lens option.
For the fixed shades, they will darken to certain shades, which is perfect for those who weld in the same environment from time to time.
As for the variable lens option, the lens can be adjusted to a series of shades. If you have to do a variety of welds, this type of helmet will be perfect for you.
Benefits of Using a Welding Helmet
During the welding process, it is possible that the eyes may be damaged due to infrared radiation. Wearing a welding helmet can help prevent your retinal from burning or from developing cataracts.
Apart from infrared radiation, the UV radiation is also strong from welding. The welding helmet will be able to prevent your eyes from getting any severe, permanent eye issues.
A welding helmet also protects your head from receiving any physical injury at work. It’s important to ensure that you will not be hurt by any sparks, heat, or particles.
How to Choose the Right One for You
While it is important to keep your helmet on during the whole time you are working, you must also take the weight of your helmet into consideration. Picking a lightweight helmet can give you comfort and it also makes your long working hours more bearable.
There is no fixed number of sensors in a helmet. The higher the number of sensors the helmet has, the more it can provide better coverage for you. Typically, welding helmets that have four sensors should be good enough to catch flashes from different angles.
Helmets with two sensors are available and it may work fine if your work environment does not have any obstruction. However, it is possible that your helmet may not be able to catch a flash from all angles.
It is common that you will weld different types of materials which is why you need different kinds of protection for the rays. If you are getting a pair of passive lenses, you will need to get different types of lenses to match your needs.
On the other hand, an auto-adjusting lens can accommodate you accordingly.
When your helmet offers a large range of shade options, you will be able to do more with your helmet. It is common for a welding helmet to cover 9-13 shades, while some may also have 6-13. The basic 9-13 shades should be good enough for some simple welding jobs.
These shading lenses are important components of your helmet as they protect your eyes from flashes during the welding process. If you are unsure about what kind of shade you need, an auto-darkening helmet with a wide range of shades will be convenient for you.
On one hand, the helmet will protect you from the UV rays and the shades will keep you safe from the flashes. For those of you who work with smaller weld joints, there are welding helmets that come with a slot, a magnifying lens, or a cheater lens.
Having a large viewing area makes it comfortable for you to work, especially when you are working with a large piece of metal. A viewing area with about 3.74” x 3.74” is considered to be large for a welding helmet.
Similar to other types of protective garment, a helmet should fit you well. Afterall, if your skin is exposed, it is possible that those parts will get a burn from UV rays or heat.
If you work with aluminum often, be particularly careful about exposing your skin in your work environment. This is because aluminum is a very reflective material. Apart from wearing a helmet, wearing a welding bib might be able to give you some extra protection.
You need to find out the switching speed of your helmet, which states how quickly the auto-adjusting lens can happen. It would be beneficial for you to pick a helmet with a good switching speed based on your needs.
Welding helmets may use a different power source. Be aware that some helmets come with an irreplaceable power source, making it difficult for you to use the helmet for long hours.
Some common power sources for welding helmets include batteries, solar panels, or a combination of both batteries and solar panels. A helmet that uses solar panels can usually extend the battery life when you use both energy sources in combination.
If you choose a helmet that is only powered by batteries, you may have to replace the batteries often. In order to save power, you may want to check whether the helmet has an auto-off setting.
Different standards exist for various functions of a helmet, including lens darkening and switching speed. Make sure that the standard of your helmet is compliant with the industry standard.
5 Cheapest Welding Helmets
- 1 Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Wide Shade Range
- 2 Solar Powered Welding Helmet Auto Darkening Hood with Adjustable Shade Range
- 3 Neiko 53847A Industrial Grade Welding Helmet with Flip Lens, Shade 11
- 4 Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
- 5 Hobart 770286 Flip Front Welding Helmet
Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with Wide Shade Range
- Great For TIG MIG MMA, Plasma Applications with Grinding Feature
- Large Viewing Size 3.86"X1.73" with 4 Premium Sensors
- Cheater Lens / Magnifying Lens Compatible Design
- Step-less Delay and Sensitivity Knob Adjustable
- Shade Variable 4/5-9/9-13 Covering Most Common Welding / Plasma Cutting Processes
This helmet from the Antra AH6-260 series is very responsive to an electric arc. It is made from high impact polyamide nylon, so it is very lightweight. This makes it perfect for you to do any cutting, welding and grinding.
The viewing size for this helmet is large, which is 3.86” x 1.73” and there are 4 premium sensors. In terms of lens, both cheater lens or magnifying lens is available. A series of shades can be varied as well: 4/5-9/9-13.
• Comes with comfortable bands
• Possible to turn off darkening
• Provides 6 extra lenses for replacement
• Fast consumption of batteries
Solar Powered Welding Helmet Auto Darkening Hood with Adjustable Shade Range
- ULTIMATE EYE PROTECTION:Auto-darkening filter switches from light to dark in 1/25000 sec, in event of electric failure, the welder remains protecting against UV and IR radiation according to shade 16.1/2/1/2 rating meets ANSIZ87.1-2010 and EN3794/9-13 standards. A smart choice for safety.
- MANUAL ADJUSTMENT MEETS DIFFERENT DEMANDS: Equipped with sensitivity and delay settings for adaptability for different environments and task durations; Enjoy enhanced visibility and color recognition.Light level of filter is DIN4 and the time from dark to bright state within 0.1s to 1.0s.
- CLEAN COMFORTABLE VIEW: Equipped with standard 3.62'' x 1.65'' clear visor viewing area; Diffusion of light, variation of luminous transmittance and angular dependence allowing the welder to see clearly at different angles; Light weight (1 LB) suitable for long time working; Balanced with an adjustable and fatigue-free comfortable headgear.
- INTELLIGENT, PRACTICAL AND COST-EFFECTIVE: The Auto Darkening Filter (ADF DX-500S) enables welders to adapt to various working environments by controlling the shade of the lens; Sensitivity adjustments from ambient lighting sources; Battery powered with solar panel technology for longer life (up to 5000 hrs).
- GOOD FOR VARIOUS WORKING ENVIRONMENTS: Recommended to automotive, construction, and food & beverage manufacturing, metal production and fabrication, military maintenance, repair and operation (MRO), mining, oil and gas, transportation, etc.
This welding helmet has a smooth perimeter that provides you with a lot of comfort. It comes with 7 square inches of viewing area, allowing you to have good protection while you grind and weld.
The auto-darkening filter in this helmet allows you to adapt to different working environments. Also, this helmet comes with a solar panel technology, so it can work for up to 5,000 hours.
It is perfect for those who are in the automotive, mining, metal production and manufacturing industry.
• Sensitivity can be adjusted
• Low battery indicator available
• Comfortable to wear
• Good full-face protection
• Size of the helmet might be small
Neiko 53847A Industrial Grade Welding Helmet with Flip Lens, Shade 11
- Industrial-grade welding helmet with flip-up lens designed for maximum safety and comfort against UV and IR light
- Compliant with ANSI Z87.1-2010 and CE EN175 requirements for RX safety eyewear; made from impact resistant polypropylene
- Includes handy flip-up #11 shade lens for easier viewing of welded objects or to use the helmet as a face shield
- An excellent basic welder's helmet, includes a two-way adjustable headband for just the right fit
- Lightweight and well-balanced, wears comfortably for long hours or in restricted spaces
This welding helmet is made from impact resistant polypropylene. It is an industrial-grade protective tool, which prevents you from getting injured due to UV and/or IR light exposure. It is in compliant with multiple safety standards, including the ANSI Z87.1-2010 and CE EN175.
A flip-up and a #11 shade lens are included in this helmet, allowing you to have a clear view during welding. You may also want to use this helmet as a face shield sometimes.
This helmet also comes with a two-way adjustable headband, so that you can make an adjustment and wear this comfortably at work.
• Clear lens
• Gives high definition views
• Shade holder might be flimsy
Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
- Price For: Each Battery Type: Solar Cells Lens Shade: 5 to 13 Viewing Area: 3.74" x 3.34" Graphics: None Welding Helmet Light State: Not Rated Headgear: Ratchet Welding Helmet Color: Black Welding Helmet Type: Auto-Darkening Series: 741 Electromagnetic Sensor: No Power Source: Solar Switching Speed: 1/25, 000 sec. Item: Welding Helmet TIG AMP Rating: 2A
- ADF Controls: Knobs Number of Arc Sensors: 4 Color: Black Grind Mode: Yes Country of Origin (subject to change): China
This lightweight welding helmet is produced by Lincoln Electric and it is made from plastic. The lenses are in shades 5 to 13, while the viewing area is 3.74” x 3.34”. 4 sensors are installed in this helmet as well.
This helmet is not only affordable, but is also very fast acting. Its switching speed is 1/25,000 seconds. It also comes with some extra lenses for replacement as well as a bag and a bandana for you to keep your helmet.
• Wide field of view
• Easy to control
• Hood might be too small for men
Hobart 770286 Flip Front Welding Helmet
- Ideal for a variety of welding jobs
- Handy flip front makes it easy to remove
- Standard 4-1/2- by 2-inch view area
- Conveniently adjustable fit
- Approved by ANSI, safe for the site
This affordable helmet has a flip front – both the eye shield and the face shield. As a result, it allows you to adjust the helmet in different positions for your needs. The viewing area of this helmet is 4.5” x 2” and it is approved by ANSI in terms of safety standards.
It’s one of our top choices as it is suitable for all kinds of welding work.
• Not bulky
• Does not hold in the position well
A welding helmet is a necessary protective tool that all welders should have. The helmets are helpful in protecting you from hazards caused by the heat, burns and radiation from welding. Pick the one that matches your needs and your budget and start protecting yourself today.