So you’ve finally found a workaround for that broken rear hanger.
You’re under the chassis now about to strike the first arc. Then gloom… your solar auto-darkening helmet’s screen blacks out you can hardly make out a faint glow of the MIG arc.
You turn the tint control, check the potentiometer, recharge the solar panel, then put black tape on the sensor, but it won’t just go bright.
You don’t want to go back to that standard hood stored away. It’s incredibly dense on the neck and totally frustrating having to lift it up and down under a car chassis all the time.
How about another hood? One you can proudly tag the best welding helmet even after years of consistent usage.
Below is given a detailed guideline on a list of best welding helmet under $100 & $200.
Overall Best Pick
- Great For TIG MIG MMA, Plasma Applications with Grinding Feature
- Super Large Viewing Size 3.93"X3.66" with 4 Premium Sensors
- Better clarity, True color view - 1/1/1/2 Optical Clarity
- Increased battery life
- Superior comfort with the pivot style headgear
The Budget Pick
- DURABLE DESIGN: This Jackson Safety Welding Helmet features a durable design with added lip for slag, and other hazards....
- ADAPTABLE & UPGRADABLE: This shield is hart hat adaptable and can be easily upgraded for use with Jackson Safety...
- DIGITAL CONTROL: With variable shades from 9 to 13, this helmet has user-friendly digital controls for sensitivity and...
- MULTI-USE WELDING: This protective face mask allows you to use it for MIG, TIG, STICK, and ARC welding processes. It...
- SAFETY CERTIFICATIONS: The welding mask has an extended front, which increases throat protection from sparks, slag,...
1. Antra AH6-260-0000:
Best Antra Welding Helmet
The Antra welding helmet AH6-250-0000 is a double light lens (interior and exterior) fronted with a passive ADF (auto-darkening filter). All built into a super lightweight 455g comfy hood for eyes protection against Infrared and Ultraviolet rays.
Whether working with a MIG gun, stick-welding or probably working around a lap with your 200A air-cooled TIG torch, you’ve got it. The side sensors instantly trigger a sunglass shade of 3 – 4 once you strike an arc then brighten when you stop welding. Nevertheless, you may switch between 16 tones based on preference using the side sensitivity control knob.
The whole system is powered by two replaceable lithium-ion CR2032 batteries charged with a rock-solid solar cell. So it gives you more than 6 hours of comfortable welding time.
- Sensitivity adjustment knobs and delay time control
- Six inners and one outer lens with cover plates
- Automatic ON-OFF system
- 2.50 MG cheater lens
- The reaction time of shade to arch; 0.00004 seconds
- The Reaction temperature of darkness to arch; 10° – 55°
- Overall weight; 455g
- The material of the Helmet; High Impact Polyamide-Nylon
- Direct current for TIG; 2 amps
- Power system; 2× CR2032 batteries with solar cell
- Battery level indicator and testing
- Control knob to switch between grinding and welding mode
- Comfy Lightweight intuitive design
- Highly dynamic for TIG, MAG, plasma cutting, MMA, MIG, and even for grinding and cutting
- Output beats the price
- Long lifespan battery
- The front lens is easily replaceable with a 1.25 standard power lens
- Hard hat adapter and magnifying lens are sold separately
- Design is small and may not be ideal when working down a bend
2. YESWELDER Large: Best Welding Helmet Under $100
Boomers first. Is your budget pretty slim? And you don’t want it to get in the way of acquiring ownership of a sturdy solar-powered hard hat? YESWELDER has you covered. With the 3.94”×3.66” true color/traditional lens technology super large screen welder for ARC/TIG/MIG welding and plasma cutting you can beat down on the hassle of frequent bending and head-turning.
It is literally your way to better visibility of job and a near to perfection breakthrough from the usual annoying lime green tint. More so, you will be able to save energy, work more comfortably, cut back on the time needed to work, and escalate welding efficiency/accuracy. How does it feel in it? Thanks to the new upgrade, the new pivot style headgear is far from criticism with the more comfy cushion stuffed in it. You can simply adjust the setting of the headgear to suit your need for more comfort and fitness if you want.
To top it off, this welder comes right out of the box with two extra lenses, strong strapping, and an extra battery. And should I forget to mention each of the replaceable batteries has an extended battery life? All of this with a grind and weld mode for just $55.61 buckaroos on Amazon is a good deal in my opinion. Specifications below in detail.
- System; auto-darkening
- Lens technology; true/traditional color
- Optical class rating; 1/1/1/2
- Delay time/response time to darkness and light; 1/10000 seconds
- UV/IR protection; DIN 16
- Shade range; 5-9 and 9-13
- 4 premium sensors
- Application; MIG/TIG/ARC welding and plasma cutting
- Total weight of hood; 2.2 pounds
- Power Source; Dual power (battery and solar)
- Battery type; replaceable lithium ion batteries
- Battery life; an average of 3000 hours
- Viewing lens dimension; 3.94”×3.66”
- Viewing style; LYG-M800H extra-large viewing
- Frame color; black
- Adjustable headgear
- Material; polyamide/polypropylene
- Sturdy design
- Comfy headgear
- Extended battery life
- 2 extra lenses and 1 extra battery included per package
- Free included durable storage bag
- The slashed price is an icing on the cake
- Quite a large view through the lens
- Ready to use right out of the box and includes a user’s manual
- Super lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Overall best welder under $100
- You may despise the varying shade color across the lens
3. Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series
It is arguable that clarity of view over a work puddle is important for productivity and quality. Therefore whether as a hobbyist or an enthusiast, your attention should never be taken off the lens quality not even by the aesthetes of the helmet design. And in that direction, if you are looking for one of Lincoln’s top-of-the-line 3350 series members, here’s a recommended model.
Just like for their 2450, 1840, and 1740 series, every design in Lincoln’s 3350 series has its previous 1/1/1/1 optical clarity screens exchanged for the new 4C™ 1/1/1/1 clarity. The 4C™ technology is a combo of real color view, 1/1/1/1 optical clarity, and the ability to shade from any angle on a super-lightweight ADF.
Simply put, the 4C™ technology takes clarity, eye comfort and protection, and wide visibility range to a new level with a cut back on the traditional lime green coloring of the helmet screen view.
What more does this electrically powered hood offer? Once you stick your head inside, adjust the ergonomic pivot headgear, and strike that first arc, the 4 arc sensors take an insignificant 1/25,000 seconds time to bring the screen to darken. And that means no onset or future eye strain nor do you have a thing with eye irritation. Also, the entire system is powered with a 1 CR 2450 battery and a 114×133 cartridge. Less I forget, before a full list of the features, if you have to talk about this helmet, call it the black K3034-3-CE.
- System type; auto-darkening system
- Power source; solar
- Screen/lens view size; 95”×85”
- Shade range; 5-13 internal
- Magnifying capable lens (cheater)
- Light sensitive control; continuous
- Delay time/lens switch speed; 0.1/1 sec and 1/25,000 sec respectively
- Grind mode shade/welding; DIN3.5
- Arc sensors; 4
- Weight; 595 gram
- Headgear; pivot
- Battery type; 1 CR 2450
- TIG rating; 2A upward AC/DC
- Application; TIG/ARC/MIG welding and plasma cutting
- Optical clarity; 1/1/1/1
- Cartridge size; 114×133 mm
- Color; black
- ADF control knobs; 4
- Design material; nylon polycarbonate
- Price; $247
- Incredible clarity both in inactive and active state
- Light grind mode is rare
- Weight is incredibly low
- Smooth and responsive control
- Weld beyond 10 hours at a go
- Low delay time
- Wide view area
- Durable design material
- Ergonomic and ventilation-wise
- Best welding helmet under $200
- Hood meager size may be daunting
4. Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet with...
If you’ve been following Miller up for a while on their products, Miller focuses more on quality than price. Miller doesn’t care about the other guys’ price and that’s where they get beaten. But since there are still people out there ready to pay as much as possible for quality, Miller still retains their strongholds in the industry.
Therefore, if you are one of those with the belief that a quality digital elite is worth $238 buckaroos, you are in for a good deal. Remember having to shut down your chop shop windows because of the interference of sunlight? It is so sad the sensors of most auto-darkening helmets react not just to arc but just any bright light.
Well, you don’t have to get yourself sweaty anymore. With Miller 281000 digital elite black welding helmet, the shade comes on and off only at the strike of an arc so much you can weld even out-of-position. So open those windows and let in the fresh air, you need it even when you have a respirator plugged on.
However, this is only possible by switching to the X-mode. And that takes us back to my buying guide above if you’ve forgotten what the x-mode is about. In addition to the x-mode, Miller 281000 includes a weld mode of 8-13 shade. Also, there’s the grind mode with shade 3. And finally for plasma cutting you have the cut mode of 5-8 shade.
Versatile, I hear you say. But if you could ask a current user about what the Miller 281000 stands for, they’d talk extensively about the new Clearlight lens technology employed. The overall design is also portable, comfy, durable, and doesn’t strain the neck as much as the price. See the features below.
- 3 year warranty
- 4 shade modes; x-mode, grind mode, cut mode, and weld mode
- Lens shade range; 3-13
- Lens; 2 inside and 5outside lens
- Clearlight technology lens
- System; auto-darkening
- 4 arc sensors
- A standard shock absorbing gasket for lens
- Delay control knobs
- Lens shade range; 5-9 and 9-13
- Sensitivity control for sensors
- viewing field; 9.22 square inches
- delay time/reaction time of lens to sensors; 1/20,000 seconds
- Upgraded headgear
- TIG rating; 5 amps and below
- 2 lights mountable to the two sides of the helmet
- Helmet bag
- Helmet material; nylon
- Weight; 1.13lbs
- Low battery and low amp indicator
- Helmet battery; CR2450 lithium ion battery
- High durability
- Intuitive design
- Goes along with any magnifying lens from 1.00 to 2.50
- Headgear can be used under other miller elite members
- Allows you to use a hat adapter and headgear suspension pad
- Performance is high
- Low delay time
- X-mode makes it useable anywhere and anytime without faulting out
- Smooth controls
- Ergonomic design with high comfortability
- You may not like the headgear if you have a small size head
- May be pricey
5. Jackson Safety Welding Helmet, 14975 - Comfortable, Durable...
Now if you are looking for an entry-level design with a fixed shading tone of shade 10, the Jackson HSL 100 welding helmet may bring you a terrific offer. Except that you aren’t left with more than a single shade option and you are missing out on the hi-tech ADF feature.
Consider the design a deal; the narrow shell frame that allows working in even the tightest space, and the extended front that covers down the neck so you don’t have sparks and fumes crawling up your throat.
As an emphasis, Jackson has built this helmet ground-up with the cost-wise hobbyist, students, and professionals in mind, while they also make sure the HSL 100 welding hood has the lightest weight ever. So what does the helmet look like when you open the box? Check it out below.
- Lens shade type; fixed
- Lens shading filter range; 10
- Helmet material; polycarbonate
- Color; black
- Weight; 2 pounds
- Headgear type; 370
- 4 units/case
- Cost effective
- Durable design and heavy duty material
- Low maintenance cost
- No setup needed
- Doesn’t fault out
- Super light and comfy
- Full protection
- Easy to put on
- Best Jackson manual welding helmet for the money
- It may just be an upgrade on the manual helmet
6. Lincoln Electric Viking 1840 Black Welding Helmet - Auto...
Here’s yet one more best Lincoln welding helmet but this time from the 1840 series. The black K3023-3 VIKING with a long smooth shiny face is a versatile hood for your weekend welds, your day job welds, and your supervision work.
If getting under a responsive auto-darkening hard hat that doesn’t have its pad falling on your neck or its darkening feature faulting out, the black K3023-3 may surprise you. Comparing its 3.74”×1.38” viewing area to that of any 28100 series member, you’d find it almost exactly the same size as them. So, it’s a better PPE for the money and you may want to consider it over your favorite 28100 heroes.
Another reason I would go for it in the stead of any Lincoln’s 28100 is that this heavy-duty guy here has the same 4C™ lens technology with them and the price is almost half theirs. And oh, when you open the box, K3023-3 comes with a bandana, a helmet bag, and a decal sheet to stamp a little design on the hat without spending money on that. Most importantly, extra lenses are included. Here’s what the helmet stands for below.
- System; auto-darkening helmet
- Lens/screen viewing dimension; 3.74”×1.38”
- Lens shading range; 9-13
- Design material; nylon, polycarbonate
- Color; black
- Power source; solar
- Switching speed/sensor delay time; 1/25,000 seconds
- Modes; grind mode and weld mode
- Sensors; grind sensor and arc sensor
- Number of sensors; 2
- Optical clarity lens
- Weight; 3.0 pounds
- Battery type; solar cells
- Helmet bag
- Extra lens
- Headgear type; ratchet
- A good deal for the money
- Sturdy design
- Dynamic high duty helmet
- Easy to use and store away
- Full coverage
- Highly responsive to controls
- May not be as light weighted
- No x-mode
7. ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet, Black...
We’ve all had one thing or the other to do with the mortal combat series. It is either you’ve seen the movie or played the game on a PlayStation. So I guess you won’t have a problem recognizing the ESAB A50 SENTINEL helmet that is designed exactly to remind you of what Cyrax looks like.
What do you do when you have your helmet on and it’s about that time to grind? Most kelps have you reaching for a control knob to switch mode and they are either far-fetched or not so responsive. To help you get around that, the ESAB A50 SENTINEL spots a high responsive button switch coupled with a screen touch control.
The button is a tread distance from the ember face lens cover and the screen touch control responds even when you have your gloves on when you tap on it. You may replace the front cover however, maybe the ember-colored view is not your thing, and fix just any covering of your preferred color but a fitting size to the revolutionary shell design. But hold on, how do the screen touch features work? Honestly, I don’t know other than it uses 8 separate memory settings to get the lens to stick to your preferred shade grade. See the complete specs below.
- System; Auto-darkening hood
- Lens/view size; 3.93×2.36 inches
- Mode; 2 modes (grind and weld mode)
- Backlit control panel
- Color touch screen
- Optical lens rating; 1/1/1/2
- Shade range; 5-13
- Button control to switch grind mode
- TIG amp rating; 2amps and below
- 2 lithium metal batteries
- Color; black
- Material; plastic
- Weight; 1.4 pounds
- Light weight
- Unique design
- Highly dynamic
- Lens cover can be changed in 10 seconds
- User manual is easy to follow
- May be pricey considering the series
8. Optrel Crystal 2.0 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet 1006.900
For all the time you never liked having your head in its entirety covered. For all the time you wish your welding mask could have the auto darkening ability of an ADF helmet so you don’t have to lift it up and down. For all the time you wanted all the features of an auto darkening helmet in a simple mask, Optrel finally has what you’ve been looking for.
A simple and insanely light-weighted model 07-0012-31BL from the 100 series. Call it the hawkeye 3M Speedglass black welding helmet because that is exactly what it is. A hard hat covering from where the occipital bone of the head begins to a certain level of the chest so you don’t have sparks around the neck region. The open rear neck region creates enough room for ventilation even when you don’t have a respirator on and that gives it the manual welding mask outlook. Let’s get around with the main feature, the view area.
There’s an auto-darkening filter in the lens with a shade range of 8-12. That makes the helmet most suitable for high amps welding except you’re working with the grind mode of shade 3 of course. What’s fascinating about the super clear lens is that no 100 series model has ever had a 6.05 square view lens with none of the 3 welding modes (grind, weld, and grind) missing out.
And like the ESAB A50 SENTINEL above, you’re in control of all the settings including the delay time and the sensor sensitivity. Once right out of the box, you can’t start welding your ways without having to go through the trouble of assembling anything. Full details below.
- System; auto darkening/manual
- Filter type; 100v ADF
- Lens shading range; 8-12
- Light state; shade 3
- Sensitivity control of sensors; 3 levels (TIG, MIG, and STICK)
- Application; TIG, ARC, and MIG welding plus Plasma cutting
- Viewing area; 6.05 square inches
- Screen dimension; 1.73×3.66 inches
- Control; knobs
- Filter modes; welding, grinding, and cutting
- Weight; 1.0 pound (440gram)
- Battery life; 1500 hours
- Battery type; lithium CR2032
- UV/IR protection
- Shield material; PPA
- Headband material; PA, PE, TPE, PP
- Factory setting switch time from light to dark; 0.1ms
- Excellent quality of optics
- Versatile helmet for welding and cutting
- Classic design
- High comfort
- Insanely light weight
- Good ventilation
- May absorb heat indoors
9. Jackson Safety Welding Helmet, 46101 - Digital Variable Auto...
Still talking about a hi-tech helmet with a mask shaped shell that doesn’t suffocate you. And that brings us to Jackson safety insight welding helmet T8281-00 that meets ANSI Z871-2010 standard. As one of the newest models, T8281-00 comes with 4 independent hi-tech sensors ready to serve a responsive crystal lens with 9-13 variable shade.
Just as with the Optrel model 07-0012-31BL, as a user, you have full control over delay time adjustment and the sensitivity of 4 high responsive sensors. And you may either make use of the shell side control knobs or make quick setups on the user’s friendly digital control. The digital control system, however, is located right behind the ADF lens that is a breath away from view so it doesn’t get in the way. But is the shell itself comfy?
A grey ratchet headgear is fixed to the lightweight bikers-design shell with two knob-like bolts that are easy to tighten and loosen for headgear replacement and maintenance. What may be the only snag, however, is the small size of the shell, it may not stop all the sparks from crawling up your neck. And that is only when you have a much long or tall neck.
Besides, you may kick that one and only downside off the way by either duct-taping a few inches of leather at the lower region or maybe put on a turtle-neck welding coat. One that is thick enough and as long to cover the entire neck.
I believe the helmet is a good deal for your tight budget as well as the perfect gear for your professional work as it is not different from other hoods. More on the features below.
- System; auto-darkening/manual
- Headgear; ratchet design with grey color
- Lens shading range; 9-13
- Viewing area; 3.93×2.36 inches
- Controls; digital control and control knobs
- Sensors; hi-tech sensors
- Number of sensors; 4
- Delay time control
- Sensors sensitivity control
- Battery; lithium cell
- Application; STICK, MIG AND MAG, ARC welding
- Mode; grind mode, weld mode, and cut mode
- Package weighty; 2.0 pounds
- Shell material; Nylon
- Size; universal average man size
- Shell color; white, red, blue, with star design
- Carriage bag
- Extra lens
- 2 years warranty on lens
- Highly dynamic
- Super light weight
- Wide lens helmet
- High durability with low maintenance cost
- Ready to use right out the box with no assembling
- High comfort rating
- The best deal for the money
- Most ideally for high amperage welding
- Perfect size window with clear glass even when inactive
- Shell material is of high flexibility
- Shell is heat resistant
- High responsive sensors
- Ergonomic design
- Headgear is easy to replace
- Adaptable to magnifying lens and hardhat clips
- Lens may flicker out on low amperage welding
- Doesn’t have an extended face to cover many parts of the neck region
Welding Helmet; Buying Guide
Let’s face it. Buying value may be faux when your personal interest is paid zero respect. What you really should look out for is that helmet that comes with at least 80% of your personal satisfaction fulfilled. One that serves more than just a welding solution but also as a partner you feel drawn to and that gives you more than the needed drive every time you need to join metals together.
A welding helmet that unlike most other hoods doesn’t become extra work in the long run. And that’s just the same way you want every welding PPEs (personal protective equipment) you put your money on. How about a buyer’s guide to skip the guesswork and exchange your money for what you won’t regret ever? And then a recommendation of some of the best of the best welding kelps alive?
Now you may be intrigued to see this come first but it should always be your top priority when considering a helmet. The truth is nobody deserves a welding safety gadget that falls short of their design interest. In fact, the design of a PPE as basic as a pair of gloves to a pair of welder’s boots has a big impact on how well the job is done and to what extent.
A good rule of thumb is, you are happier working under a hood that has your kind of shape and color than the other way round. And since welding helmet comes in varying designs, you might as well just take your time looking around for that design that sparks the first arc of intimacy at first sight
We get to the more important part here. To group head protectors for welding based on the included shade, one would come up with two groups. The first group would include welding hats with a fixed shading tone. While on the other hand, the last group may cover those hard hats with varying shading tones.
With all other things equal, these two groups of welding helmets often than not come with a grinding mode, an X-mode, a weld mode, and a cut mode. More on those later. Whether it’s an ADF (auto-darkening filter) helmet or a manually controlled one, you need to pick that lens shading type that goes with the job on the ground. The good rule of thumb here is, the brighter the arc, the darker a lens shading should be.
So if you are looking forward to working on low amps, a low amperage shading of say 5 will do. And if by contrast, the work demands high arc then by implication a helmet with 9-12 lens shading amperage comes to play. However, in my opinion, a dynamic helmet that comes with all the modes and has a shading amperage of 5-13 is the best.
No matter how good-looking a welding hood is to you, a shadow of regret is cast upon your experience with it as long as the lens dimension has a snag. So you would want to check out what the size of a hood’s lens looks like on the specification list first. The dimension is mostly written this way; 3.7 × 2.5 inches. While the 3.7 inches is a representation of how wide the lens is, the 2.5 inches value measures the height of the lens. But how would you come to conclude a dimension is right for you?
Here’s what professional welder operators and seasoned engineers recommend. A lens should be wide enough to give room for a full right and left view of your work without you having to turn your head. In the same way, the height must have a high value so no one needs to bend or bow now and then in your hood. Overall, a good helmet must have a seamless lens view.
If you haven’t considered spending money on a poor size helmet a waste of money just yet, then you should be careful not to. That hood your metal-joiner buddy praised so high to the point of making you want to buy the same may turn out rubbish in the end simply because you went for the same size as your friend.
I am not talking you out of that hood but what I mean is, you should pay attention to the size. If a welding helmet is small, you may end up having sparks passing from under it unto your face. So what’s the point when it’s just like having no helmet on?
In fact, when a welding hood is under-size you may end up having to stop it from falling off now and then. And it gets more frustrating when it’s impossible to use a respirator under a helmet. How about an oversized hat? No, you don’t want to have the lens shifting left and right uncontrollably. Nor do you want the shade far from your eyes. An oversized hat does that. Therefore you must take your time around a helmet size.
Here I should make up for what I missed out when talking about the lens shading four bulletins back. The auto-darkening delay time of a head protector for a welder should be considerably short.
Because no matter how powerful the UV protection of a lens is, if it is not sensitive enough to react to arc immediately you strike, your eyes are under threat. It is more or less using a manually-operated darkening helmet. Hence, experts recommend a delay time of 0.30-0.1 seconds for a lens shade to darken after arc and to brighten at rest.
As promised five bulletins back, I’m explaining the X-mode, grind mode, cut mode, and weld mode here. The x-mode is a mode whereby the lens darkening feature operates on a specified set of sensors. These sensors work on the electromagnetic field, so they stimulate the lens to darken only when you strike an arc.
The weld mode, on the other hand, makes the lens shade react to light and darkness whether from the arc or not. The cut mode is for plasma cutting. And the grind mode for preparing to weld. The recommendation is, go for kelp that has all of these modes or does not include just the cut mode.
Lastly, so you get to make a refund or exchange of delivery, ensure a helmet has at least a year warranty and if possible a money-back provision.
Sean Coby is a welder par excellence and well respected among the welding community in Woodbridge, VA. He prides himself to be the fabricator and mechanic in the automotive/ diesel industry for the past more than eight years now. As the chief editor of his https://weldinginfocenter.com, he shares his experience to be safe during welding and to take proactive steps for becoming a successful welder like him.