Best Welding Helmets On the Market

Whether you're working on a small project in your garage or you just got a high-paying welding job, having a good welding helmet should be your top priority. Besides helping you see your welds better, they are always protecting you from welding hazards like arc flash. Sadly though, the market's become flooded with cheap products that end up not protecting your eyes whatsoever and have terrible clarity, which results in bad welds. For these reasons and more, we put together a list of the best welding helmets for our fellow welders, so you don't end up with something you'll return later.

Best Helmet for Price
Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
Top Pick
ESAB 0700000800 SENTINEL A50 Welding Helmet
Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet with ClearLight Lens
TGR Panoramic 180 View Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet - True Color (CARBON FIBER)
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 06-0100-30SW, with ADF 9100XX, 1 EA/Case
Name
Viking 3350
Sentinel A50
Digital Elite
TGR Panoramic 180
Speedglas 9100xx
Viewing Area
3.74” x 3.34”
3.93" x 2.36"
9.22 sq. in.
4.53” x 3.35”
2.8” x 4.2”
Arc Sensors
4
4
4
4
3
Variable Shade
#5-13
#5-13
#8-13
#8-12
#8-13
Warranty
3 Years
Yes
3 Years
1 Year
-
Best Helmet for Price
Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
Name
Viking 3350
Price
Viewing Area
3.74” x 3.34”
Arc Sensors
4
Variable Shade
#5-13
Warranty
3 Years
Top Pick
ESAB 0700000800 SENTINEL A50 Welding Helmet
Name
Sentinel A50
Price
Viewing Area
3.93" x 2.36"
Arc Sensors
4
Variable Shade
#5-13
Warranty
Yes
Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet with ClearLight Lens
Name
Digital Elite
Price
Viewing Area
9.22 sq. in.
Arc Sensors
4
Variable Shade
#8-13
Warranty
3 Years
TGR Panoramic 180 View Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet - True Color (CARBON FIBER)
Name
TGR Panoramic 180
Price
Viewing Area
4.53” x 3.35”
Arc Sensors
4
Variable Shade
#8-12
Warranty
1 Year
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 06-0100-30SW, with ADF 9100XX, 1 EA/Case
Name
Speedglas 9100xx
Price
Viewing Area
2.8” x 4.2”
Arc Sensors
3
Variable Shade
#8-13
Warranty
-

Best Welding Helmets

  • Viewing Area: 3.93" x 2.36"
  • Arc Sensors: 4
  • Variable Shade: #5-13
  • Warranty: Yes

Latest Price: $299.00

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When it comes to welding helmets, the ESAB Sentinel A50 reigns supreme. Over the past year, I’ve seen more and more welders in my shop choosing the Sentinel A50 as their new favorite go-to helmet. ...Including Me. After seeing all the features myself, I’m honestly shocked more people aren’t using.

With the Sentinel A50, you get a big viewing area of 3.93” x 2.36” that has a clarity which surpasses most of the welding helmets on the market today. You also get full control of the ADF, which offers a shade range of #5-13. The controls were pretty simple as well, with a control panel that was extremely easy to use and read, thanks to the backlit display. This also brings me to one of my favorite features, the eight different memory settings, which is something I never knew I needed. I loved being able to save different configurations depending on the type of welding I was doing, which also saved me a lot of time and frustration.

Along with a great view, the Sentinel A50 was one of the most comfortable helmets I’ve worn. Besides it already being lightweight, it features the unique HALO Headgear from ESAB. The HALO Headgear is hugely adjustable and made wearing the Sentinel A50 for my longer projects pain-free.

Even with just the few features I’ve talked about, you can see why the Sentinel A50 is becoming so popular. It will cost you a little more than other popular high-end welding helmets; however, it is well worth every penny. The quality of the helmet and the excellent warranty will make sure you get years of use out of it, without needing to find a better one.

  • Viewing Area: 3.74” x 3.34”
  • Arc Sensors: 4
  • Variable Shade: #5-13
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Latest Price: $275.00

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The next welding helmet is one that everyone has tried or at least heard of, the Lincoln Viking 3350. It was my go-to helmet before I found the Sentinel A50, but I still keep it around as a backup. While it may not be as good as the Sentinel A50, it still is one of the best welding helmets you could get. Plus, if you’re on a budget, the Viking 3350 is perfect thanks to the cheap price tag.

So what makes the Viking 3350 so amazing? ...Well, pretty much everything about it. It has a big viewing area of 3.74” x 3.34” and clarity that’s almost on par with the Sentinel A50. You’ll also get a variable shade range from 5-13, 4 arc sensors, and Lincoln’s comfortable X6 Headgear.

One of the most beneficial features is Lincoln’s 4C Lens Technology that they put in most of their Viking series helmets. For those unfamiliar with this, the 4C Lens Technology drastically improves the clarity by eliminating color saturation and broadening the color range/hues.

The Viking 3350 is a welding helmet you wouldn’t want to pass up, whether you’re on a budget or not. You get a high-end welding helmet with a 3-year warranty, all for a cheap price. What’s not to like?

  • True Color View
  • Arc Sensors: 3
  • Variable Shade: #4-12
  • Warranty: 2 Years

Latest Price: $429.00

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It was tough not to choose the Optrel Crystal 2.0 as our top helmet. With all the unique features Optrel put in the Crystal 2.0, it gives all the other welding helmets a run for their money.

One of the unique features I’m talking about is Optrel’s Crystal Lens Technology. You’ll immediately notice the upgraded lens technology the second you start welding. It provides an entirely different and detailed view than other welding helmets with the typical greenish tint. In those handfuls of times I used the Optrel Crystal 2.0, my welds immediately improved.

A crystal clear view isn’t the only thing the Optrel Crystal 2.0 has to offer. You get a manual or autopilot shade range from 4-12 with even more features. Such as Optrel’s Twilight function, which helps to reduce eye fatigue drastically. Also, you’ll get less neck strain due to the helmet being lightweight and having a comfortable headgear.

The main downside to the Optrel Crystal 2.0 was the extremely high price tag. Don’t get me wrong though the helmet is still fantastic. However, for that price, you might be better off going with our top picks.

  • Viewing Area: 3.94” x 2.36”
  • Arc Sensors: 4
  • Variable Shade: #9-13
  • Warranty: 2 Years

Latest Price: $112.50

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Next up on our list is the Jackson Insight Variable welding helmet. This helmet might surprise some people with being on our list due to its not having unique features like other high-end helmets.

Even without those crazy unique features, the Insight Variable has proven to be a pretty popular helmet among welders, meeting all their needs without relying on features boosting clarity and comfort. It also helps that the helmet is priced low for everything you get.

This includes a big view area of 3.94” x 2.36” with four arc sensors, a fast switching speed of 1/10,000s, and a variable shade range from 9-13. You get all that and comfort, too, thanks to the lightweight build and comfortable fit.
If you’re on the market for a standard welding helmet that doesn’t have extra gadgets and features than the Jackson Safety Insight would be perfect for you. For a welding helmet under $200, you couldn’t ask for more.

  • Viewing Area: 9.22 sq. in.
  • Arc Sensors: 4
  • Variable Shade: 5-8/8-13
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Latest Price: $237.96

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Our next pick is another one most welders should be familiar with. The Miller Digital Elite has been around for some time now, but it still manages to stand out above the rest. It has a little higher price tag than most other similar welding helmets on the market, but it still manages to hold its ground.

Miller didn’t hold back when they made the Digital Elite welding helmet. With a big viewing area of 9.22 sq. in., four arc sensors, and a variable shade range from 5-8/8-13. Plus, you get some extra features not found on other helmets.

One of these features includes Miller’s ClearLight Lens Technology. This upgraded lens technology allows for more colors to be visible, allowing for a much more clear and detailed view, giving welders the ability to see their weld puddles a lot better and without any eye strain.

You also get Miller’s unique X-Mode Feature. This feature was pretty cool because it electromagnetically senses the weld so it can eliminate sunlight interference. Even if the sensors are blocked, they will still continuously detect the arc.

All this and a 3-year warranty make the Miller Elite welding helmet pretty hard to pass up. Just keep in mind the higher price tag when trying to decide, you might be better off going with a cheaper option like the Sentinel A50 or the Viking 3350.

  • Viewing Area: 2.8” x 4.2”
  • Arc Sensors: 3
  • Variable Shade: 8-13
  • Side Windows

Latest Price: $483.38

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I just recently got to try the next welding helmet on our list and instantly fell in love with it. The 3M Speedglas 9100xx is the ultimate addition to the Speedglas 9100 series of welding helmets. It comes with a high price tag, but also the features to back that up.

The extra-large lens gives welders a viewing area of 2.8” x 4.2”, which is among one of the biggest viewing areas on a welding helmet I’ve seen. However, the viewing area isn’t the only thing that makes this helmet great.

The Speedglas 9100xx also features side windows, which helps increase the peripheral vision by over 100%. Lately, I have become a big fan of the side windows feature, but it’s hard to find a welding helmet that does it justice. The Speedglas 9100xx is an exception to this, with the side windows providing a very clear viewing area.

My only complaint from my time using this welding helmet was with the weight and size of it. It became awkward at times due to the size and seemed a little heavier than my other helmets. However, the headgear was terrific and made the Speedglas 9100xx fit perfectly without any discomfort.

  • Viewing Area: 4.53” x 3.35”
  • Arc Sensors: 4
  • Variable Shade: 8-12
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Latest Price: $174.99

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The TGR Panoramic 180 is a newer welding helmet on the scene that left a good impression on me. For a low price and features on par with more expensive helmets, I’m honestly surprised more welders aren’t using the Panoramic 180.

As I said before, I’m a massive fan of the side windows feature on welding helmets. It not only helps me see more but also reduces neck strain since I don’t have to turn my head as much as I’m welding. So when I saw a welding helmet for under $200 that features a side window, I had to try it. The side windows ended up being great, and I never got flashed either, which seems to happen a lot with the side windows.

Besides side windows, the TGR Panoramic 180 still has a lot of other features that make it even better. Some of these include a viewing area of 4.53” x 3.35”, four arc sensors, a variable shade range of 8-12, and a switching speed of 1/10,000th of a second.

My only issue with the TGR Panoramic 180 was the placement of the controls. I usually don’t mind controls on the outside, especially if they’re on the side. However, with the Panoramic 180, the controls are on top of the helmet. I'm always bumping the controls anytime I use a helmet with them on top, which ends up messing up my settings, along with damaging the controls.

Even though I wasn’t too happy about the placement of the controls, I still think the Panoramic 180 is a great welding helmet. For a cheap welding helmet, you couldn’t ask for anything better.

  • Viewing Area: 9.02 sq. in.
  • Arc Sensors: 4
  • Variable Shade: 8-13
  • Warranty: 2 Years

Latest Price: $169.99

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The Hobart Pro Variable is another classic favorite among welders. Even though it has been out for some time, it still holds up as one of the best helmets you can get today.

What makes the Hobart Pro Variable so good has to be how versatile and durable it is. You get a viewing area of 9.02 sq. in. with a variable shade range from 8-13. Plus, it has a fast switching speed, four arc sensors, and a weld or grind mode.

For a basic helmet, the helmet was pretty outstanding too. Made from a lightweight polyamide, the shell was very durable and lightweight. Combine that with an excellent adjustable headgear, and you get a strain-free welding helmet.

Now it may not have all the bells and whistles of a more expensive helmet, but it will still get the job done. It’s perfect for any welding application, including low-amperage TIG welding. You get all this for a price cheaper than the Panoramic 180 too.

FAQs

Q: What shade for Stick Welding (SMAW)?
A: According to OSHA, these are the minimum shade levels depending on the amperage.

  • Less than 60 amps - Shade #7
  • Between 60-160 amps - Shade #8
  • Between 160-250 amps - Shade #10
  • Between 250-550 amps - Shade #11

Q: What shade for MIG Welding?
A: According to OSHA, these are the minimum shade levels depending on the amperage.

  • Less than 60 amps - Shade #7
  • Over 60 amps - Shade #10

Q: What shade for TIG Welding?
A: According to OSHA, these are the minimum shade levels depending on the amperage.

  • Less than 50 amps - Shade #8
  • Between 50-150 - Shade #8
  • Between 150-500 - Shade #10

Q: Best welding helmet brand?
A: There will never be a definite answer to who the best welding helmet brand is. However, in my opinion, Lincoln Electric always produces helmets that stand above the rest. They also have been around for a very long time and have a lot of experience when it comes to making great welding products.

Q: Can welding helmets prevent Welder’s Lung?
A: Unless you get a welding helmet with a PAPR system, a welding helmet itself won’t prevent Welder’s Lung.

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