What do you need in a Welding Helmet?
We all love new tech toys and love to run right out and buy them. However, in the case of welding helmets, spontaneous purchasing is a mistake that could damage your eyes and skin. Here's how.

You need to purchase a welding helmet if you are going to weld professionally or as an amateur for projects around the home or perhaps for creative reasons. You may not yet realize the variety of models and functionalities available - it is remarkable how extensive the variety is.

Sure, you can purchase the same model as the person who works next to you or that your pal in the supplies store recommends. However, the best way to decide which helmet to purchase is to analyse your needs and the conditions under which you work. The answers to these to inquiries identify the qualities and functions you need in your helmet.

Speedglas HelmetsViewing AreaWarrantyPriceBuy Now
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 91002.8 in x 4.2 in 1 Year$$$Check Prices
Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 FX with SideWindows2.8 in x 4.2 in 1 Year$$$Check Prices
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet SL5.25 in x 6.0 in 1 Year$$Check Prices
3M Speedglas Black Welding Helmet 1001.73in x 3.66in 1 Year$Check Prices

No Cheating: Saving the Eyes and Neck
Some of us love a bargain and can never believe that the more expensive model is better. In the case of welding helmets, it's time to retire bargain hunting for a while. It may be possible to find an excellent helmet at a minuscule price but since it is unlikely, follow your needs rather than the price tag and see where it leads you. You may be surprised at the features you can afford.

To preserve your eyes for the rest of your life, closely examine the shield features of any helmet you are considering. You want the best resolution and largest range of vision you can afford.

Your neck takes a beating when welding, but you can minimize it by your helmet selection. Try to find a helmet that enables you to see from all angles and is as light as your functionalities can support.

The following reviews a few fine helmet offerings from 3M Speedglas - a fine name in welding safety products.

Best Speedglas Welding Helmet

Editor's Rating:

  • 2.8 in x 4.2 in Viewing Area
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • $$$

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 Quick Review

The 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 with Extra-Large Size Auto-Darkening Filter 9100- Shades 5, 8-13, Model 06-0100-30SW has a large 12.11 square inch viewing area with a magnifying lens holder on the inside of the mask for easy installation and adjustment. This helmet was ergonomically designed for comfortable protection and minimizes neck fatigue and eye strain.

Some of the features included with this model are a variety of filter options including a grinding shade 3, a gas welding shade 5, a micro-plasma welding shade 8 and arc welding shades 9-13. It has sensitivity settings for normal to low amp welding which you can lower when other welders are working in the area.

The heat reflecting silver front adds another level of protection to the already substantial protection of the viewing area by removing some of the heat so your face and head don't heat up so fast.

The delay function puts you in control of the dark-to-light switching. You can also adjust the arc detection sensitivity for a divergent range of arc welding processes, amperages and circumstances. You can lock-in any shade so it can function as a passive welding filter.

This helmet comes with a storage bag and a Speedglas welding beanie.

2. Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 FX with SideWindows

Best Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 FX with SideWindows

 

Editor's Rating:

  • 2.8 in x 4.2 in Viewing Area
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • $$$

Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 FX with SideWindows Quick Review

The 3M™ Speedglas™ Welding Helmet 9100 FX with SideWindows and Large Size Auto-Darkening Filter 9100X- Shades 5, 8-13, Model 06-0600-20SW has an awesome feature in the side windows. These provide remarkably clear, wide vision which improves the safety of the environment and lessens eye fatigue caused by the unnatural restriction of the standard visor.

Three sensors activate the auto-darkening filter which operates 0.1 milliseconds after the arc striking to preserve vision and enable the welder an excellent view of the weld puddle. When the weld is complete, the filter delays about 40-250 milliseconds before returning to shade 3. This supports almost immediate weld inspection and an quick, smooth transition to the next weld.

The ergonomic helmet design includes features for comfort as well as safety. The exhaust vents readily out of the hood to reduce heat, humidity and fogging within the helmet. Speedglas designed the crown to avoid placing pressure on the nerves, arteries and acupuncture points to limit discomfort and thereby improve applied work time and reduce fatigue.

3. 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet SL

3M Best Speedglas Welding Helmet SL

Editor's Rating:

  • 5.25 in x 6.0 in Viewing Area
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • $$

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet SL Quick Review

This 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet SL with Auto-Darkening Filter, 05-0013-41 tips the scale at 12.6 oz., a remarkably light helmet that packs a heavyweight punch. 3M found a way to reduce weight by reducing the weight of the auto-darkening filter. Additionally, this helmet stays light by being non-absorbent so it does not gain weight as you work. The helmet's motion sensor activates the welding filter when you pick it up.

Not skimping on features, the SL (super light) has 4 sensitivity levels and ADF shades 8-12. 3M placed 2 arc detectors in the lens to start the auto-darkening filter when the arc is struck that switches almost instantaneously (0.1) milliseconds. When you complete the weld, the filter automatically returns to light shade 3 in 60-120 milliseconds for quick inspection of the weld pool and smooth transition to the next weld.

The Auto-darkening Lens streamlines your work activities and serves to preserve your neck and head. Auto-darkening reduces the need for "helmet nodding", which causes neck strain and interrupts torch placement. You select your shades from 8-12, adding an element of customization to the SL. You can also set the closed position so when you drop the shield, it locks into the position you defined, saving annoying and wasteful adjustment time.

This lightweight delivers and with the 3M name behind it you can depend on its construction quality.

4. 3M Speedglas Black Welding Helmet 100

3M Best Speedglas Black Welding Helmet 100

Editor's Rating:

  • 1.73in x 3.66in Viewing Area
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • $

3M Speedglas Black Welding Helmet 100 Quick Review

This 3M Speedglas Black Welding Helmet 100 with Auto-Darkening Filter 100V- Shades 8-12, Model 07-0012-31 arrives fully assembled and ready to protect your eyes and face from the heat, sparks and debris of welding. This helmet has three sensitivity settings: normal for most welding needs, a multi-welder setting for use when you are working near other welders and a low current or stable arc welding setting.

You have five shade settings to choose (8-12) and a light shade of 3. The auto darkening filter has sensitivity adaptations for Stick, MIG and TIG welding and has a 1.73 x 3.66 viewing area with high optical quality.

Though perhaps the least technical of the helmets reviewed here, this black welding helmet is a fine, reliable, utility tool that provides excellent eye and face protection.

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