The Best Welding Helmet

Antra AH7-860-0000
Welding Helmet

You’ve purchased all of your welding gear except one essential component – the welding helmet. Without a welding helmet, you could risk burning your eyes from sparks and going blind, along with a variety of other problems that occur when you’re exposed to the elements of welding without protection. Because of this, you may be curious about investing in the best welding helmet. Thanks to our research, we’re able to provide you with the benefits of buying the best welding helmet, factors you should consider before you purchase a welding helmet, along with tips you should consider before purchasing the best welding helmet.

The Benefits of Buying the Best Welding Helmet

It’s no secret that the best welding helmet is designed to deliver a full cover, safe welding experience. Without protection around your ears, eyes, nose, and general hair area, you run the risk of harming your retinas, hair damage, and even damage against your skin. Welders that don’t use protection have been known to have shards of materials in their skin from not using protection against this sort of industry, and some have even gone blind! Not only will a welding helmet also protect you from electricity, and damaging your eyes, but if you’re working outside, you don’t have to worry about the sun, either! There are also helmets that are auto darkening and should be considered if the suitable use is what you’re primarily into.

Buying the best welding helmet has to take the features into account. Beyond auto darkening, there are helmets that will have light sensors, and a wider area of view to ensure that the visibility isn’t bleak as you use your welding equipment. Typically, higher end helmets that are created efficiently will ensure that your switching times are much faster, and you’ll have a lighter helmet on your head.

If you’re wondering, eye damage to your retinas can cause something called “floaters” which will make your eyes seem like they have those little floating pieces in your eye, and you won’t be able to get them out, as it’s damage that your eye is projecting because of the exposure and damage done. When you use the best welding helmet, you’re able to prevent this from happening and your vision can remain clear.

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Welding Helmet

The most common area in which a welding helmet is used is when someone is accomplishing an arc. Some of the aforementioned arc activities include gas metal, and secure metal during welding of an arc. It’s also worth mentioning that the best types of welding helmets will be much better ergonomically, and will weigh less than your inexpensive helmet that you picked up down the street. The transitions will be much faster, and the toggling of the sensors for grinding will be much better. You’ll also have better vision in general and an area of view that isn’t as distorted or interrupted as those that are more inexpensive and have a cheaper architecture. Other things you should know before you purchase include the following:

Standard glass or auto darkening? As we mentioned, there are helmets that are auto darkening, and you can choose this over a standard glass lens if it suits your needs. Standard helmets are still as common, despite the addition of the auto darkening glass, and they’re being used just as much as when they were first invented on the scene. There are a number of disadvantages though, including being unable to keep the torch in the proper position after lowering the helmet you’re wearing – this is mostly for newbies, but veterans of welding have had this issue too. Beyond this, there are spaces in which you are restricted when wearing this type of helmet, because you’re unable to move and flip the helmet down and up. There are also a number of disadvantages beyond these, but the use of an auto darkening helmet ensures that you can resolve all of these problems.

Also known as an ADF, the auto darkening lens is also seen as a filter lens that uses a special type of LCD – yes, the same kind of screen on your alarm clock. Because of this, it’s typically powered by solar power or a combination of solar and a typical battery. When using this type of helmet, there are light sensors that utilize detection methods when detecting the welding arc. When the activation for the helmet is not there, the lens moves up to a shade that’s either a #3 or a #4 so that you can see properly. Because of this, when it comes to big or tig, you can see positioning much better.

There are also fixed or variable shades that depend on the applications you’re currently working on. If you’re doing the same application over and over again at the same thickness of steel, the same process of welding, and more, you won’t have to change the shade much and can work with something like a #10 consistently using a fixed shade. Those that have a variety of applications and materials will want to use a variable shade to ensure that they can be provided with flexibility as they work.

Switching speeds – The reaction times of the lens refer to the switching speed for those that are choosing the auto darkening route. When you’re looking for an auto darkening helmet, you’ll see the speeds of switching for the lens reaction time, and you won’t have to worry about digging for this feature. A faster lens is not only better generally, but it’ll provide the user more comfort throughout the day. When you don’t use a helmet with a fast enough lens reaction time, and you consistently spend all day welding, you run the risk of dry and fatigued eyes, which mock the symptoms of floaters and retina damage – even though you’ve been protected. The aforementioned mock feeling is almost as bad as the real thing – despite not having any long term floaters in your eyes.

Tips to Consider Before Buying the Best Welding Helmet

Before we head off into the reviews, there are a few things you should consider before purchasing. Define what you do daily, and if you repeat the same task over and over again. If so, you’ll want to purchase something that a fixed speed; however, if you have a variety of projects, you’ll obviously want to go for something that’s variable. Beyond this, you’ll want to define if you want something that’s natural or something that’s auto darkening. Lastly, make sure you’ve set a clear budget in mind, and you generally know what the cost of your desires are. Some people expect the world for virtually nothing, and when it comes to safety, budget should rarely be an issue.

Best Welding Helmet Reviews

Antra Ah7-860-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Helmet for Welding

Antra AH7-860-0000

First on our list is a welding helmet manufactured by Antra. Providing a ton of features, this Antra helmet is giving their competitors a run for their money. Features of the aforementioned include the forthcoming:

  • Fantastic for TIG, MMA plasma applications, MIG welding
  • Large viewing, sensors that are premium
  • Cheater and magnifying lens, compatible design
  • Sensitivity knob adjustable, delay that’s step-less
  • Shade is variable, not fixed

The Breakdown of the Features

For the price point, the response time of this auto darkening helmet is fantastic for all applications. Beyond this, the performance is going to give you superior viewing without harming your eyes, skin, or hair. The window allows for a large window of viewing for better vision and comfort while welding. Inclusive of the aforementioned is a feature that allows versatility in applications, allowing the user to cut, weld, and grind with this helmet. Boasting features like a fully automatic on and off power, an adapter option for a hard hat (although sold separately), power off delay before the helmet goes to sleep mode, IR/UV protection, battery testing and indicator are also implemented within this design. For those who have never worn a helmet before, this is an optimal option for you to upgrade your glasses and fixed helmet, as you’ll be able to use it on a variety of applications with the variable shade factor.

The Advantages of the Product

One of the many advantages of this helmet is that it does react so quick. In fact, the reaction time is noted at 0.00003, which is 1/30,000 of a second. Having this, along with the dark to light reaction of 0.1-1 seconds ensures that you can use this comfortably without waiting a long time for your helmet to darken. Efficiency and comfortability are key with this affordable Antra helmet. For those wondering, another advantage of this helmet is that it’s powered by a solar cell and is replaceable; specifically, the 2X CR2032.

The Disadvantages of the Product

While the performance is fantastic, a disadvantage of using this helmet (when you first purchase) is that you’ll have purchase the hard hat adapter separately, as it doesn’t come with the initial product purchase. Even though this may not be a negative aspect of the actual product performance, those who are interested in all of the accessories should put this on their list before making the final decision.

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Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Welding Helmet, Auto Darkening

Antra AH6-260-0000

Another helmet created by Antar, the aforementioned is yet another auto darkening help that’s available at a much more suitable price. Features of the previously mentioned product include the upcoming specifications:

  • Fantastic for all types of welding – inclusive of Mig, Tig, and MMA plasma applications
  • Large viewing size with premium sensors
  • Magnifying lens compatible and a cheater lens included
  • A step-less delay, knob sensitivity is adjustable
  • Shade variable helmet

The Breakdown of the Features

You may have noticed that this helmet seems similar to the AH7 model created by Antra as well. While there is a better version of this from Antra, not everyone needs the biggest and best helmet for their current applications. Features of this helmet include a stepless delay, and even a knob sensitivity adjustment like the AH7 model. The AH6 is also known as a shade variable helmet, and for those that have a variety of different applications and settings that they use frequently, you’ll enjoy being able to use this helmet for said uses. The reaction time on this helmet is fantastic, coming in at 0.00004 seconds, also known as 1/25,000. While the reaction time is a little slower than the AH6, it’s not by much, and still provides a quality experience.

The Advantages of the Product

The inclusion of premium sensors within the helmet allows your helmet to met the quickest reaction and make the most out of the features that are implemented within the helmet. Because of the versatility of this helmet, you’re able to use it for cutting, grinding, welding, and more. Those that were previously using goggles or some sort will love this simple and comfortable upgrade.

The Disadvantages of the Product

If you’re someone who doesn’t work on a variety of projects, and does the same thing day in and day out on the same settings, you may not need a shade variable helmet, and should go for something that’s fixed, as you won’t need something like the aforementioned. While the previously stated isn’t a true disadvantage, it’s something to think about that entirely depends on your welding style and current projects.

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Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350, Black Welding Helmet

Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350

Next on our list is a fantastic product from Lincoln Electric. With a sleek aesthetic and a price set for the pros, seasoned veterans and serious welders will enjoy the forthcoming specifications:

  • Extra accessories come included
  • Optimal optical clarity (try saying that five times fast)
  • Pivot style headgear
  • Designed for greater comfort
  • Large viewing window

The Breakdown of the Features

If you wanted something that’s going to provide you the most comfort and a large viewing window for you to see your projects, you’re going to love the VIKING 3350 model from Lincoln Electric. With a sleek design that has a responsive viewing window, this pivot piece of headgear was created with comfort in mind and the fit of the user. For those curious, this helmet also utilizes 4C technology, and is great for those experienced. It’s also worth noting that the sensitivity is very fast, providing a great reaction time, but for those that are interested, you’ll have to put on the lowest setting to ensure you’re not going to be blinded. Messing around with this in your workshop will allow you to personalize your helmet with ease.

The Advantages of the Product

As stated above, the reaction time is very fast, which is great for those that are active in their welding and want the helmet to be just as responsive as their work. Beyond this, the inclusion of the 4C technology is an upgrade in comparison with other models on the market. For the price, you definitely get what you pay for (in the best way possible!)

The Disadvantages of the Product

While the actual helmet is comfortable, those who aren’t a fan of a type of rubbery plastic may not enjoy the composition of this helmet. While it’s great in terms of comfort, personal preference will ultimately be the downfall of this welding helmet from Lincoln Electric. Another disadvantage of this product is that it’s slightly front heavy, depending on your preference. While not a true disadvantage and still performing as advertised, we think that you should define your desires when it comes to the fit of a helmet.

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Instapark ADF Series GX-350S Solar Powered Helmet, Auto Darkening

Instapark ADF Series GX-350S

Another auto darkening helmet on this list, the stunning design of this Instapark helmet will have people turning their heads. Kick out the old and come in with the bold. Features of the aforementioned include the following:

  • Solar powered welding helmet
  • Auto darkening filter (1/15000sec)
  • Improved optics for optimal clarity
  • Reduced eye fatigue
  • Suitable for stick, mig, and tig welding

The Breakdown of the Features

A helmet that’s designed for those with a knack for aesthetics, the aforementioned welding helmet is perfect for a variety of welding applications, including tig, mid, and stick. With better optics implemented within this helmet, there’s optimal clarity – and for the price, you’re going to be amazed at the quality! One of the only products that promises reduced eye fatigue due to the architecture of the helmet, you won’t have to worry about straining your eyes throughout your work day.

The Advantages of the Product

One of the better advantages of the Instapark helmet is that you’re able to use it for a variety of applications like stick welding (arc), mig welding (metal inert gas), and tig welding (tungsten inert gas). Having the option to choose allows you to stick with one reliable helmet throughout your work day or project. Beyond this for the price, the reaction time is well done, providing light to dark auto darkening in 1/15000 seconds. The large viewing area ensures that you’re going to be able to see with ease while reducing eye fatigue.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The only thing we can thin that’s a disadvantage is that you may not like the design of the American Eagle on it; however, that’s one of the selling features for those that are interested in a bold design that doesn’t incorporate only one color.

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Forney 55707 Advantage Series Edge, Auto Darkening Helmet for Welding

Forney 55707 Advantage Series Edge

Last on our list is a helmet that provides a number of versatile designs from the manufacturer Forney. The Edge helmet allows you to select from a variety of designs including a green smoke design, camouflage, fire, and even designs that represent America! Other features include the following:

  • Viewing area that’s 7.70 square inches
  • Four arc sensors within
  • Low tig amps rated, 8 amps
  • Appropriate for all types of welding

The Breakdown of the Features

Whether you’re a pro or a rookie, you’re going to want to try out this auto darkening helmet from Forney. Featuring four arc sensors within for a fast reaction time from your welding application, you’re going to be able to use this with a variety of welding types, including tig, stick, and mig. You won’t have to swap out this helmet for a different one when you switch welding techniques, and you’ll enjoy the view of your project in the 7.70 square inch viewing area. With the low tig amps rating of 8 amps, you can enjoy the auto darkening feature that provides added comfort during welding processes. No longer do you have to reject certain projects because of lack of accessibility, as this helmet allows you to get into the nooks and crannies with your welding.

The Advantages of the Product

While we’ve dipped our toes in products that show a different design than the standard monotone color, we have to give it up to Forney for providing an array of designs to choose from. Beyond this, the performance is great and it doesn’t scratch easily. The lightweight helmet provides optimal protection and shielding against all types of welding, including mig, tig, and stick.

The Disadvantages of the Product

Unfortunately, some have reported the helmet not being that comfortable, but this may be due to head size and personal preference, of course. The performance is still ideal for the price, and you won’t be spending an arm and a leg for poor quality!

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The Final Verdict

If you’ve never welded before, and are looking for a reliable helmet that’s going to allow you to work with versatility and comfort at hand, you may want to look into the Antra AH7 helmet. Great for most types of welding, including TIG and MIG, you’re going to be able to enjoy a large viewing size, and premium seniors (four total) – whether a magnifying lens and a cheater lens equipped, the features boasted on the aforementioned are perfect for those who are just dipping their toes into welding or for those that are more seasoned in the industry.

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