Top 8 Best Welding Helmets
By | Last updated: August 26, 2021
best welding helmets

Given the general propensity for most of our readership (and authors) to drive horrible but charming rotboxes, there’s an excellent chance that at least some of you have welded together a piece of metal or two in order to keep your heap on the road.

Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you’ve picked up a welder to help with the restoration of the tattered but rare (yet, not valuable) Buick Reatta or Volvo 242 you hauled out of saved from a junkyard.

Whatever the situation, you’ll need a welding helmet to save your peepers. No, simply looking away or closing your eyes to complete the weld by feel is acceptable any more, even if that’s what Pop used to do while fixing the floors on his old GMC. Take a look at these welding helmets we’ve selected so you’ll be able to keep on taking a look at other stuff instead of being blinded by welding flare.

1. Editor's Choice: Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Welding Helmet

This welding helmet leads the list for a brace of reasons. First, it is manufactured by a company that’s been in the welding business for ages. Second, this is the same brand of lid your author puts on his head every time he attempts to stick two pieces of metal together. Humans only have one set of eyes and a Lincoln welding helmet (bought with my own money many years ago) has shielded mine with no issues.

Yes, it’s expensive. The 3350 Series features the brand’s 4C lens technology which creates a clear, true-color view of the arc and puddle. This enhances control and increases weld quality while reducing eye strain. The lens on this lid is 12.5 inches square and is auto-darkening.

Pros/Excellent brand, true fit, great viewing area
Cons/Expensive
Bottom Line/Spend the extra money (and get the red one, too)

2. Miller Electric 282000 Digital Performance Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

We’re following the Lincoln Electric lid with one from Miller Electric, another well-known and knowledgeable brand in the welding industry. Their ClearLight Lens Technology is said to provide extra clarity and contrast compared to some of their older helmets.

New adjustability settings and enhanced support should provide good fit and comfort, important when you’ve been on the job for a few hours. Three independent arc sensors provide consistent lens response for obstructed or low amp welding.

Pros/Great name, top notch reviews
Cons/Smallish viewing lens
Bottom Line/A good alternative to top-flight helmets

3. Antra AH6-260-0000 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Are the helmets listed above simply out of the ballpark of what you’re able or willing to pay for an auto-darkening lid? This never-heard-of-em brand is priced well south of fifty bucks yet purports to include most of the features that appear on much more expensive options.

The seller says there is a passive filter on the lens, with a permanent shade 13 (that’s the level of darkness when not welding) combined with a double-layered auto-dimming LCD shutter. Nearly 2,500 real-world reviews have given this thing a solid 4.6 out of 5 rating, suggesting a performance far outstripping its price. This lid is available in a variety of colors and styles.

Pros/Very affordable, big boy features, very good reviews
Cons/Completely unknown brand
Bottom Line/You've only got one set of eyes

4. Jackson Safety Fixed Shade Welding Helmet

This durable shield is hard hat adaptable, comfortable & offers a large field of view for a clear view of the weld puddle. It features a narrow shell design that’s good for working in tight spaces. A standard shade 10 filter plate and cover plates are factory installed.

The company describes this helmet as an economical way for students, welding hobbyists, professionals, and inspectors to get what they need to stay safe. It does have an extended front, not unlike a goalie mask, to protect one’s throat area from hot splatter.

Pros/Very affordable, replaceable face plate
Cons/Not auto-darkening
Bottom Line/Best for the occasional welder

5. YESWELDER Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

The boldly capitalized YESWELDER brand offers this helmet in the budget price range, complete with an auto-darkening lens and in a variety of colors – or at least a variety of stickerbombs such as the so-called Cyberpunk design that actually looks kinda cool. The viewing size is not huge, it must be said, at just 3.64 inches by 1.67 inches. That’s the trade-off for such an affordable auto-darkener.

An ‘oversized comfort cushion’ refers to either your ever-expanding waistline or the extra bit of padding on this lid’s headband. The whole thing weighs less than two pounds. The 7000+ reviews from real-world customers generally consist of “better than expected for the price” which counts for something. As of this writing, it is actually the #1 best-seller on Amazon in its category.

Pros/Not expensive, surprising count of positive reviews
Cons/Miniscule viewing window
Bottom Line/Difficult to beat on price for a popular auto-darkener

6. Fibre-Metal Pipeliner Fiberglass Welding Helmet

This is the style of the one you’d see in use ages ago at the corner garage where everything seemed to be in perpetual disarray but the mechanics knew what they were doing and could weld the arse on a cat. Note that it is specifically designed as a pipe welding helmet, explaining its size.

It features a 2″ x 4″ shade 10 lens for clear viewing of the weld puddle and is said to filter out 100% of UV and IR wavelengths for maximum eye protection. The easy-to-set, ratcheting headgear makes for a comfortable and secure fit.

Pros/You'll look like something from Fallout 4
Cons/Mail-slot viewing lens
Bottom Line/Retro look ftw

7. Tekware Ultra Large Viewing Screen Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

A world away from the retro lid above is this helmet from a company called Tekware. If that pipe welding helmet makes you look like a Fallout character, this one makes you appear like a person from Skyrim thanks to a bulbous shield measuring nearly four inches tall.

To be clear, the entire shield is not a welding lens, as the auto-darkening portion of the shield is a rectangle right in front of your eyes. It performs the darkening trick thanks to a combination of batteries and solar power, the latter of which is generally juiced by the light given off from your welding job.

Pros/Spaceman looks
Cons/Not all of that shield goes dark
Bottom Line/Interesting design language

8. Miller Electric Ratcheting Welding Helmet

If you’re an off-road gearhead who frequently takes to the trails on a dirt bike or side-by-side, this style of helmet might be appealing. The seller boasts this is a lightweight and well-balanced design that reduces neck torque, a measure your author had never previously considered. The four-point flexible headgear helps reduce operator fatigue – no small consideration when you’re sticking bits of metal together in a garage.

Visibility is said to be good out of this lid, permitting better sightlines to the item on which the user is working. There is a flip-up shield which allows for non-darkened viewing when grinding metal, maximizing the amount of ‘helmet on’ time which will surely please the nerds at OSHA. Practically, this means the wearer doesn’t have to waste time going through modes on a hood in order to see what’s in front of them.

Pros/No one will confuse you for anyone else on the job site
Cons/Too narrow to fit over a hard hat
Bottom Line/Too-cool new take on welding helmets

Welding Helmet FAQ:

What do you need to consider when choosing a welding helmet?

Make sure you’re buying a lid that fits comfortably and is easy to use. One of the biggest barriers to safety is convenience; if the wearer has to constantly switch lenses or cycle through a million settings, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll skip a step or two in the name of simplicity. That’s when incidents can happen. Make sure the lens is dark enough for the type of work you’re carrying out, too.

What does each feature of a welding helmet indicate?

There is a myriad of features on these types of lids, especially high-buck models, so be sure to read the instructions that come with the unit very carefully. In other words, the days of simply donning the thing and firing up the stick welder are largely gone – save for number six on this list. Some helmets will have settings for grinding (mostly clear) all the way up to super dark for intense welding sessions.

Changes:

  • Added FAQ
  • Updated #3 to include current product info
  • Updated #5 with new customer reviews
  • Replaced #8 due to availability

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: Josef Reiter / Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

11 Comments on “Best Welding Helmets: Agents of Shield...”


  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    As one that owns a welding machine (note I claimed to be a welder in no capacity whatsoever) I like the auto darkening helmets. However unless you really plan on learning how to weld, put your money into a decent grinder lol.

    I think I have number 3. I don’t damage my eyes welding. Other than that, it may be crap but I’ve used it without issue.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Once again, good old Art Vandelay straddles every issue: ‘I own a welder, but I’m not a welder.’

      But seriously, you’re the only person I know who owns a welder and uses PVC as structural material.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Speaking of grinders [since I better add some value here and not just be a detractor], my favorite is the Makita 9557PB – I have five of them. (Five grinders? No, five 9557PB’s – I have a lot more grinders than that. Hey, I don’t like to change wheels during a job.)

        Walter Surface Technologies makes some *outstanding* flap discs. [Not every industry proceeds at the glacial technological pace of automotive OEM’s – lol.]

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Ohhh…you must mean my old sim racing rig. I think there was a discussion on here long ago about those and that’s all I can think of that PVC would have come up. Weird that I’m kind of rent free in your head like that…thats pretty obscure but whatever.

          yeah I built that before I got the welder…I’ve since built a new one from metal (and upgraded the wheel and pedals). Spent all of a weekend building it. It’s a fun hobby.

          and I know, crazy to comment on that helment I own and use, perhaps as a professional you could render your more useful opinion (I mean that by the way, no snark unlike the rest of this) but that really isn’t why you are here now is it.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          For the hobbyist, Harbor Freight is plenty good enough for grinders, auto darkening helmets, welding paraphernalia, even the welders.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        So I’m not sure what you are referring to with the PVC. It must suck that your career is something I do as a hobby though.

        It may shock you that most people reading this aren’t welders.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    The only welding helmet I ever really liked was the Huntsman leather hood. Downside is, it has the old-school narrow window. There may have been a large-glass version at one time, but I’ve never found one for sale anywhere.

  • avatar
    VWGTI

    I have the Antra- it’s a terrific helmet. Fast and comfortable. Unlike the Harbor Freight helmets, the batteries for the Antra are replaceable, which is handy when they die on a Sunday evening.

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    I’m very surprised you include the Lincoln 3350, but didn’t include the similar-stat-wise-but-more-comfortable Miller Digital Infinity.

    As an owner of both (the GF and I like to make things out of metal), i’ll give a big nod to the Miller for comfort and better weight distribution (especially if you have a huge nose like me and need the screen in it’s furthest setting), but I like the analog gauges of the Lincoln more as they are easy to adjust with welding gloves on. Both screens are amazingly impressive and clear compared to the Harbor Freight shields i’ve used prior. Worth every penny.

    Welding skill level: Amateur hobbist who is making floor-to-ceiling garage shelving, work benches, welding tables, once lit a dolphin on fire because paper mache and flux core don’t mix, and made the very painful mistake of welding the pedals on a bicycle while wearing only gloves, helmet and flowy yoga pants. That nut-scar was hard earned.

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