Best Welding Helmet in 2018 – Our Favourite Auto Darkening Models

Welding helmets are absolutely necessary in a welding environment. You should have a very reliable welding helmet that will do its job well every time. We will look at some of the most popular welding helmets on the market today and analyze their positive and negative traits. At the end of our review, we will declare the flat out best welding helmet in 2018.

A quality welding helmet should be made of tough rugged materials that will last for years and not cave into the pressures of high temperature situations.

It must be a helmet that can adjust to the size of your head and be very comfortable to wear. You should experience minimal amounts of sweat after extended periods of time under the helmet.

It also needs to have a wide range of visibility and clarity. You should be able to see out of the lens very well and have setting that can adjust brightness or darkness so that you can recognize objects in front of you.

Without a welding helmet that can do all these things, you are sure to feel rather uneasy while doing tough welding and grinding jobs.

Here are the ten welding helmets that we will review for you. 

Best Welding Helmet - Comparisons 

10 Best Welding Helmet - Reviews

1. Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Series

Lincoln Electric’s welding helmet is a black, plastic helmet that weighs over three pounds.

The Viking features a patented “4C lens” technology. Similar to the “4 C’s of diamonds”: Clarity, color, cut and carat.

The lends on this helmet is rated a perfect 1/1/1/1 optical clarity ratings, so that you can see clearly through the lens and have a wide range of view (3.7 x 3.3 inches). While many lenses have you seeing green, the lenses included with the Viking allow you to see more clearly.

This is also a solar powered helmet that is powered by rechargeable batteries. You are sure to get quite a long battery life from these helmets, so give it exposure to the sun when not in use.

The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 comes in 14 different designs. You can stick with a classic black or choose a more unique design like camouflage or checkered flags. Consider another design you like in case that you work with other people that have black helmets.

Plastic is not very breathable at all. You are sure to sweat profusely under the helmet, especially in rooms that get very hot. Durability does not always mean comfort, so steer away from this helmet if you want to more pleasant experience when it comes to welding safely.

Another caveat to plastic is that is can scratch easily. If you like your helmet looking flawless, you will be disappointed to hear that this helmet can easily get scuffed up with sparks and cuts that it experiences when you are welding.

Finally, this is known as a premium welding helmet, so price will also be an obstacle. Lincoln Electric is known for quality products, but the price of this welder’s helmet may be steep for many.

What we liked

  • Comes with very clear lenses.
  • Has plenty of durability.
  • Is made in many different designs.
  • Long battery life.

What we didn't like

  • May be very uncomfortable to wear.
  • Easily gets scratch marks.
  • Is very expensive.

2. Jackson Safety 46131 Insight Variable

This next helmet from Jackson Safety is made of nylon, making it more breathable and more resistant to scratching than the Lincoln Electric Viking. It has a sleek, timeless and classic look to it. This helmet is also in a price range that may be more tolerable for you.

This helmet is also a pound lighter than the Viking, so all the negative aspects that come with the helmet from Lincoln Electric have been addressed with the Jackson Safety Insight.

The lens on this helmet is pretty short. It is 3.9 by 2.3 inches. While looking left to right is not an issue, looking up or down could very well be. The brightness of the lens is adjustable, and this can be done with a digital control panel from inside of the helmet. The lenses can also darken automatically to adapt to your surroundings.

The batteries that power this helmet are made of lithium, and are easily replaceable. If battery life every gets low, the helmet will let you know. Batteries are not included, but can buy them in either disposable or rechargeable lithium.

A beautifully designed helmet, it is built by professional engineers with an up-to-date control panel.

What we liked

  • Made of comfortable, breathable nylon.
  • Comes with a control panel from inside the helmet.
  • Lens is adjustable in darkness.
  • Is very lightweight.
  • Looks very sleek and appealing.

What we didn't like

  • Lens is not wide enough.

3. Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

This welding helmet from Esab is more like a mask; while it doesn’t have as much protection like a hooded design, it allows you to move your head around better, opening up your viewing area. It weighs just 1.4 pounds. The Sentinel is more on the expensive side.

This helmet is designed to resemble that of a space bounty hunter’s from popular video games. It certainly is a break from your traditional welding helmet, but it is still an acceptable design nonetheless. It is made of durable nylon, and is very sleek too hold and feel.

The Sentinel helmet comes with “halo headgear”. You fasten the helmet to your head with comfortable, plastic straps, so that the helmet never feels loose or has a chance to fall off during welding.

You can adjust clarity on the lens with an LCD screen from inside the helmet, just like the previous helmet from Jackson Safety. Do not let the space-themed visor fool you. While it may appear to be very wide, the the lens itself 3.9 by 2.3 inches.

While this may be an issue with hooded helmets, you can simply turn your head to better look at objects inside of a room. It comes with several spare lenses which are easy to replace.

Also like the Jackson Safety helmet, this one runs on two lithium batteries.

This is a quality welder’s helmet that is trying to appeal to younger welders with its spacey look. It definitely is cutting edge in some areas, but it may not be worth spending hundreds of dollars on.

What we liked

  • Easy to move your head.
  • Made of comfortable, breathable nylon.
  • Comes with a control panel from inside the helmet.
  • Lens is adjustable in darkness.
  • Can fit any sized head.
  • Has an attractive shape.

What we didn't like

  • Is very expensive.

4. Antra AH6-660-001X Welding Helmet

The Antra AH6 is a carbon fiber helmet that comes in six designs: black, carbon fiber, skulls, a mechanized skull, a flaming tiger and an american eagle. While the designs may be cool, the shape of the helmet is nothing really to write home about. This helmet is made of high impact nylon. It is a very affordable helmet that weighs only one pound.

Like the Lincoln Electric Viking, this helmet runs on solar power. Give it sunlight to charge its battery up, and no need to buy any yourself time after time. This sounds like a very amazing value given the price tag.

This helmet is compatible with what are called “cheater lenses”. Cheater lenses can be added to your existing lense to help magnify objects in your view. You can see small are far-away objects better thanks to cheater lenses.

While this helmet does not have its own control panel, it will adjust lens brightness on its own. It has a very large range of brightnesses with four sensors.

The problem with this helmet is that it doesn’t feel professionally made. You will soon notice how loose the screws that hold it together will become after every use.

While there are great intentions to be had with this helmet, and there are some great features, we wish that this was a more professionally made helmet. If this is the helmet you end up buying, pray that it does not fall apart during an intense job.

What we liked

  • Lens is adjustable in darkness.
  • Is very lightweight.
  • Made of comfortable, breathable nylon.
  • Is made in many different designs.
  • Does not cost much.

What we didn't like

  • Made of questionable quality.

5. Deep Sea Solar Powered Welding Helmet

This next helmet is brought to you by Dekopro. It has a nice royal/electric blue and black two-tone, but no other color and design options are known to exist. This is a very inexpensive welding helmet to buy and weighs only a pound.

This helmet is made of polypropylene plastic. This plastic is resistant to chemicals, resistant to electricity, is flexible, breathable and durable.

The problem with polypropylene is that it is highly flammable. You could be working with a blowtorch one day and you might not even know at the right moment when your helmet might catch on fire.

The lens is shaped like the Lincoln Electric Viking’s lens, and it measures at 3.8 x 3.1 inches.

There is a control panel from inside this helmet, but it uses buttons instead of digital technology. You can adjust the brightness manually or allow it to brighten on its own. 

Like the Sentinel, this helmet has a plastic head strap, so you can adjust any sized head to fit.

What is special about this helmet is that you can either use solar power or lithium batteries. If you choose to use batteries, a pack of them is included.

It has a unique 80s look to it, but the achilles heel with this product is that it lacks a material that will withstand the hottest of flames. This is for welding, afterall, so you need to buy the most fireproof of equipment for the job.

What we liked

  • Accepts both solar power and lithium batteries.
  • Comes with a control panel from inside the helmet.
  • Lens is adjustable in darkness.
  • Is very lightweight.
  • Does not cost much.
  • Can fit any sized head.

What we didn't like

  • Uses a flammable material.

6. Rhino Welding Helmets RHINO LARGE VIEW

Rhino’s welding helmet has a nice, black design that is made of hard nylon. The color options available for this helmet include black, red and carbon fiber. This helmet weighs 1.2 pounds. It is also on the affordable side of the helmet spectrum.

Rhino touts their helmets to have the widest viewable lenses on the market at 4 by 2.6 inches. This allows you to see more without feeling too claustrophobic inside of your headgear.

Two lithium batteries are both requires and included for this helmet to run. It will also let you know when the batteries inside are running low.

While wearing this helmet, you have plenty of room for your head, thanks to the special knob on the side of the helmet. If you wear glasses or use a respirator, there is plenty of room for either inside. With its head strap, you can also comfortably fasten the helmet to your head.

The problem with this helmet is that when you put it on, the knob will loosen, and this can be very bothersome if you prefer to wear the helmet firm and tight.

Another sleekly designed helmet, the Rhino helmet has a decent amount of lens visibility as well as enough room to spare inside the head space. Like the Antra helmet, however, the grip may loosen, and when something goes wrong, it could be serious.

What we liked

  • Has a very wide lens.
  • Does not cost much.
  • Lens is adjustable in darkness.
  • Can fit any sized head.
  • Battery life is long.

What we didn't like

  • Helmet becomes loose over time.

7. ArcPro 20704 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

The designs from the ArcPro helmet are the same exact ones as the Antra helmet. The shape of the helmet is very similar as well. This helmet is within most welders’ budgets and weighs 1.1 pounds.

This helmet runs on 3-volt lithium batteries, but that third battery definitely helps matters, as it has lasted longer than helmets that only require two lithium batteries.

The ArcPro helmet has a lens that is 3.7 by 2.07 inches. It’s a wide screen, but is not very tall by any means. It will be as if you were welding with a pair of binoculars.

This helmet has “auto-darkening filters”, which are in the form of turnable knobs. This adjusts the light sensitivity; it can be as strict or as lenient in detecting light as possible.

This helmet also has a head strap so that anyone can wear this helmet with comfort.
The lenses that are for these helmets are not easy to replace. If you are looking for new lenses, there are not many stores that carry ones of this size.

Lenses tend to get scratched up from the sparks that fly into your helmet, so it is very important to have replacement lenses ready. If you know of a home improvement store that might sell the same lenses as this helmet has, you should be alright. Otherwise, you should by a protecting bag or case and use it often to protect the lens as much as possible.

What we liked

  • Lens is adjustable in darkness.
  • Is very lightweight.
  • Does not cost much.
  • Can fit any sized head.

What we didn't like

  • Unique lens size makes it hard to replace.
  • Lens is not very wide.

8. Instapark ADF Series GX990T Darkening Welding

Instapark’s helmets come with lenses that are very wall and very wide: 3.9 by 3.8 inches. You will be able to see much around you as well as above you. The clarity of this lens is impeccable, rated 1/1/1/2.

There are only two designs for this helmet: An American eagle design and blue flames. For welders that want simple helmets with solid colors, this might disappoint you.

Like ArcPro’s helmet, there are dials on the side that allows you to adjust the brightness sensitivity. It also has its own adjustable head strap.

This is made of a composite material, however, the two or more materials that make up this composite are not known at this time. This helmet weighs 1.5 pounds.

This helmet runs on solar power, so you can recharge its batteries in the sun.

With a great lens clarity and solar power options, this is a serious contender for the most recommended welding helmet to buy.

What we liked

  • Comes with very clear lenses.
  • Lens is adjustable in darkness.
  • Has a very wide lens.
  • Does not cost much.

What we didn't like

  • No solid black color.

9. Metal Man ATEC8735SGC 9-13

The Metal Man helmet weighs 1.5 pounds. Like InstaPark’s helmet, there is no option for a classic black design. The options to pick from are an industrial skull design, silver flames on blue, and black tribal designs in front of blue flames.

This helmet has an auto-darkening feature. It will adjust itself depending on light sources surrounding it.

There is a head strap that allows welders of any head size to use. Not only that, but the helmet from metal Man also comes with a sweatband insert that lines along the headband, so that you can wear the helmet comfortably and not allow it to irritate you.

This helmet can either run on solar power or on one lithium battery. The battery is included.

The features on this helmet are well thought out and useful, and a few of the design choices look very cool as well. While it is not dirt cheap, it does not cost a fortune either.

What we liked

  • Comes with sweatband.
  • Lens is adjustable in darkness.
  • Accepts both solar power and lithium batteries.
  • Can fit any sized head.

What we didn't like

  • No solid black color.

10. Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet

Hobart’s welding helmet has a nice, sleek design. It is made of polyamide which is durable and long lasting. This helmet weights 2.1 pounds, which is more on the heavier side when it comes to welding helmets.

The lens is nothing to rave about, as it is 3.8 inches long by 1.7 inches wide. You will end up moving your head frequently to see various objects better in the room.

This welding helmet will adjust darkness automatically with three arc sensors. It contains sensitivity levels that are adjustable.

A head strap is included with this helmet, which is fitted with a comfortable gel pad. The gel pad feels great and allows you to wear the helmet comfortably.

One lithium battery is included with the helmet, and it is all you need to have it up and running. It does not take long until you need it to be replaced, though. It would have been better if they allowed two or more batteries.

While there is some potential to be had with this welder’s helmet, it just has too many limits to be considered as the best of the best. It needs more battery power so that it can run a significant amount of time, and the lens can be more bigger so that you are able to see more.

What we liked

  • Comes with gel pad for head strap.
  • Lens is adjustable in darkness.
  • Can fit any sized head.
  • Has an attractive shape.

What we didn't like

  • Battery does not last long.
  • Lens is not very wide.

How To Use Your Welding Helmet, This Great video created by - ChuckE2009

Final Verdict: 

The Esab Sentinel is our most recommended choice for a welding helmet. Here are our reasons why.

This helmet is made of great quality. It does not burn or scratch easily, and you can move your head with freedom. The nylon on this mask is sleek, strong and breathable. Many welders will enjoy using this helmet.

The LCD screen makes this helmet a future-proof piece of equipment, along with a lens that while not of the best clarity, is very close to it.

Its unique design makes it easily stand out from other helmets, so there is no way that co-workers could not tell your helmet apart from others, that is unless they buy one too. While this is an expensive welding helmet to buy, it is well worth the investment.

Sean J. Stone
 

Sean has been a woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools.

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