Best Welding Helmet For Beginners – Buyer’s Guide
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Welding is a complex and potentially dangerous task. It involves a bright arc that could easily cause serious harm, which is why welders always wear helmets.
So, what is the best welding helmet for beginners? Use the following buyer’s guide to discover the top recommendations and what features to look for when comparing options.
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Best Overall – TOOLIOM Welding Helmet
Table of Contents
Overview: Our Favorite Welding Helmets
The Best Welding Helmet For Beginners
Here are the main features to consider when comparing welding helmets:
- Auto-darkening filters
- Shade range
- Lens switching speed
- Viewing size
- Optical clarity
- Battery life
Along with these details, you may be concerned about the cost. Luckily, the welding helmets recommended above are all affordable options. You do not need to spend a fortune on your first welding helmet.
The best welding helmets for beginners include variable shade designs. A variable shade helmet has an auto-darkening filter (ADF) and an electronic filter lens.
The auto-darkening filter is an LCD with light sensors that detect the bright welding arc. When the torch is off, the lens becomes inactive and offers shade comparable to wearing sunglasses.
Standard welding helmets have passive designs. They feature fixed lenses.
The lenses are shaded to protect the eyes while you work but are difficult to see through when you stop welding. You need to flip the helmet up to see and flip it down when you start to work.
Variable shade helmets automatically darken once you start a welding arc. You can keep your helmet in place without lowering or lifting.
Along with auto-darkening filters, you should pay attention to the features discussed below.
The shade provided by a lens is measured using a DIN rating. A higher DIN number means that the lens is darker and blocks more sunlight.
A typical pair of sunglasses has a DIN rating of 3 or 4. The recommended DIN rating for welding helmets depends on the power of the arc. Arcs with 160 to 200 amps require protection with a DIN rating of 12.
Variable shade helmets typically have DIN ratings of 3 or 4 when inactive and 9 to 13 when active.
Lens Switching Speed
The lens switching speed refers to how quickly the lens darkens when the sensor detects the welding arc. Some of the first variable shade helmets had speeds of 1/3,600 seconds.
Modern helmets should have speeds of 1/10,000 seconds or 1/30,000 seconds. The filter switches from light to dark in a fraction of a second.
The viewing size is the size of the opening in the helmet. Most welding helmets have a viewing area measuring at least 3.75-inches wide and 1.73-inches tall.
A larger viewing size provides a wider view of your surroundings. A smaller viewing area allows you to focus on your work but limits your peripheral vision.
Welding helmets should provide a clear view of your work area. Helmets with inferior optical clarity may create a distorted image.
The best options include True Color Technology, which helps eliminate the green tint that appears in inferior helmets. The clarity is rated in four categories:
- Optical class
- Diffusion of light class
- Variations in luminous transmittance class
- Angle dependence on luminous transmittance class
The categories are rated on a scale of 1 to 3. One is the best score while 3 is the worst.
The top recommendations have a rating of 1/1/1/2. However, if you are willing to spend an extra couple hundred dollars, you can find options with a rating of 1/1/1/1.
The highest-end helmets offer a more consistent shade when viewed from an angle. Yet, the budget helmets still provide a clear view of the work area directly in front of you.
Comfort is important when choosing a welding helmet. The weight of the helmet influences its comfort.
A heavier helmet may become uncomfortable when spending hours in a workshop. Look for helmets that weigh three pounds or less to avoid placing unnecessary stress on your neck.
Passive helmets do not require batteries, but variable shade helmets need power for the auto-darkening filters.
The helmets typically include a solar assist panel that charges an internal battery. However, some designs include replaceable batteries and a solar assist panel for extending the life of the batteries.
Replaceable batteries are convenient, as you do not need to charge the helmet before use. You can replace the batteries as needed.
Rechargeable batteries tend to offer less battery life, but do not need replacing. This allows you to save a few dollars on batteries.
Best Welding Helmet For Beginners
There are plenty of great options out there for beginners to get started in the welding profession at an affordable cost. If you have never bought a welding helmet before, this can be a positive.
Being overwhelmed with different options can create an issue if you are unsure of which welding helmet to choose. We have put together a brief list of options that are all a great starting point for you and your career choices.
YESWELDER True Color Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The YESWELDER True Color Welding Helmet is an affordable welding helmet with auto-darkening filters. The filter automatically darkens when you start the welding arc.
It provides a DIN rating of 4 when the filter is inactive and DIN ratings of 9 to 13 when active. This is the standard amount of shade provided by variable shade welding helmets and meets industry standards.
The optical class of the lens also complies with industry standards. It has an optical class rating of 1/1/1/2, which is close to the best rating possible.
The helmet weighs 1.9 pounds. It is lightweight and comfortable to wear but offers a limited viewing area. The viewing area measures 3.64 x 1.67 inches, which is shorter compared to the next recommendations.
TOOLIOM Welding Helmet
The TOOLIUM welding helmet is another affordable choice with auto-darkening filters and a comfortable design. It includes four arc sensors and a fast switch speed, allowing it to quickly darken when you start the welding arc.
The helmet weighs just over two pounds. It also has a cushion in the sweat-absorbing headband to increase the comfort of the helmet.
The TOOLIUM welding helmet uses replaceable batteries. Instead of needing to charge the helmet, you can simply replace the batteries. However, the best feature of the helmet is the large viewing area.
The helmet has a viewing area that measures 3.94 x 3.27 inches. It is taller compared to most options and over twice the height of the previous helmet.
TEKWARE Ultra Large Viewing Screen Welding Helmet
The TEKWARE welding helmet has a 3.94 x 3.27-inch viewing area, as with the previous recommendation. It also has auto-darkening filters with a switching speed of 1/10,000 seconds. The optical class rating is also the same as the previous option.
The TEKWARE helmet stands out for its large, rounded viewing area. It blocks less of your peripheral vision.
The helmet also includes superior battery life, with up to eight hours of use on a single charge. It is battery-powered with a solar assist panel for extended battery life.
The TEKWARE helmet is one of the more expensive options but features premium sensors and a large solar cell for faster charging. It also weighs just over one pound, making it one of the lightest choices.
The top welding helmets for beginners include options from YESWELDER, TOOLIOM, and TEKWARE. All three options feature auto-darkening filters with a shade range of #4/#5 to #9/#13.
The YESWELDER and TEKWARE helmets are solar powered. However, the TOOLIUM helmet uses replaceable batteries, which some people may find more convenient. In the end, all three choices provide protection and a clear view of your work area without needing to flip your helmet up or down.