What Is A Welding Helmet Cheater Lens?

Here is what you should know about a welding helmet cheater lens, including how to find the right lens for your welding helmet.

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What Is a Welding Helmet Cheater Lens?

What Is a Welding Helmet Cheater Lens Pin

If you struggle to see your work when welding, you may need a cheater lens. The loss of eyesight is a natural part of life. Over time, you may find it more difficult to see small details, which may impact the quality of your welds.

Using a welding helmet cheater lens helps correct your vision loss and enhance your view. Here is what you should know about cheater lenses, including how to find the right lens for your welding helmet.

What Is A Cheater Lens?

A cheater lens is essentially a set of reading glasses for your welding helmet. Most cheater lenses are rectangular lenses designed to increase clarity or magnification. They fit inside the welding helmet behind the lens on the hood.

You can find cheater lenses to fit any modern welding helmet. Some helmets even include clips to support the extra lens.

Why Use a Welding Helmet Cheater Lens?

People often wear cheater lenses when they need help seeing the details in their work. As you age, your eyesight naturally begins to deteriorate. Small details become harder to make out, especially when welding.

Unfortunately, many welding helmets do not accommodate glasses. Cheater lenses were created as a solution for those who need to see better.

As with reading glasses, cheater lenses provide magnification. They help bring distant objects closer, making it easier to view your work.

Enhancing your view of the work area helps improve the quality of your welding. You are less likely to make mistakes, which also allows you to work more efficiently.

Inserting a cheater lens in your helmet may also increase the clarity of your vision. The lens can help keep your work in focus, increasing your welding accuracy.

Pay Attention to the Size and Compatibility of Cheater Lenses

The first considerations include the size and compatibility of the lens. Luckily, most cheater lenses offer a universal fit. They typically measure 2×4.25 inches. However, the thickness varies.

The thickness varies between two and four millimeters. A thicker cheater lens may not fit all helmets.

Before buying a cheater lens, check the specifications of your welding helmet. Some manufacturers list the recommended thickness and size for internal lenses, such as cheater lenses.

What Is the Best Magnification for Welding Cheater Lenses?

Magnification is the most important feature when shopping for a welding cheater lens. The magnification power determines your ability to focus on objects.

The magnification of the lens is listed in diopters, which is a unit of refractive power. The power of a healthy human eye is about 40 diopters.

By the age of 25, most people experience a loss of vision of about 10 diopters. The optical power of your eyes continues to decrease as you age.

The strength of prescription glasses, reading glasses, contact lenses, and welding cheater lenses are all measured in diopters. With welding cheater lenses, the diopter may range from 0.75 to 4.

The diopter strength increases in increments of 0.25. A 0.75-diopter lens offers 18.75% magnification while a 4-diopter lens offers 100% magnification.

If you wear reading glasses, try using the same magnification when you select welding cheating lenses.

If you do not wear reading glasses, start with a 0.75-diopter lens. Increase the strength by 0.25 diopter until you achieve the right magnification level. You could also try on reading glasses at a convenience store to find the ideal optical power.

What Are the Best Cheater Lenses for Astigmatism?

Unfortunately, cheater lenses are not available for people who suffer from astigmatism or presbyopia which affects each eye differently. As your eyesight loses the ability to focus on nearby objects, one eye may lose vision faster compared to the other.

If one of your eyes suffers from more vision loss compared to the other, you may try wearing prescription safety glasses under your hood and a cheater lens. The safety glasses can compensate for the difference in vision while the cheater lens helps bring objects into focus.

Best Welding Helmets for Those Who Need Cheater Lenses

Wearing a high-quality welding helmet with superior clarity may eliminate the need for a separate cheater lens. The clarity of a helmet lens is measured using four criteria:

● Accuracy of vision
● Diffusion of light
● Variations in light transmission
● Angle dependence

Budget welding helmets typically have a rating of 1/1/1/2. Wearing a helmet with a rating of 1/1/1/1 provides a clearer view of your work. The colors are less likely to take on a green hue, making it easier to see what you are working on.

A welding helmet lens with a 1/1/1/1 rating also contains no distortion or blurring as the angle of the lens changes. Items remain in focus as you move your head.

The following two helmets include lenses with 1/1/1/1 optical ratings and advanced lens technology to provide comparable functionality to a cheater lens.

Miller Electric 282000 Digital Performance Welding Helmet

Miller electric Welding Helmet

The Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet offers 1/1/1/1 optical clarity and includes three arc sensors for increased response time. The lens changes from light to dark instantly. It also has three operating modes and adjustable headgear for increased versatility.

The controls and digital display allow you to easily adjust the settings, including manually adjusting the shade to suit your preferences. However, it stands out for its clarity and contrast.

The Miller Electric welding helmet uses ClearLight lens technology to provide a fuller spectrum of colors. Less effective welding helmets often cast everything in a green tint. The crystal-clear lens combined with the latest lens technology reduces the greenish color to help improve the visibility of objects.

The helmet also includes enough interior space to accommodate eyeglasses. You can wear prescription or reading glasses instead of a separate welding cheater lens.

Lincoln Electric Viking 1840 Black Welding Helmet

Lincoln Electric Viking Welding Helmet

The Lincoln Electric Viking Welding Helmet also offers 1/1/1/1 optical clarity, which means that you do not experience blurring or distortion. It is another auto-darkening helmet with optional manual controls for switching between welding shades 9 to 13.

As with the Miller Electric welding helmet, the Lincoln Electric helmet uses proprietary lens technology. The original 4C lens technology improves the color range and visibility of different hues. You can see the true colors of objects in both light and dark states.

The 4C technology eliminates color saturation, which often results in the dark green tint associated with welding helmets.

Increasing the visibility of objects may also keep you from needing a magnifier lens. However, Lincoln Electric sells a variety of cheater lenses that are compatible with all helmets produced by the company. Lincoln Electric also produces optional lens covers and accessories to suit your preferences.


Welding helmet cheater lenses are often used by welders who need to see better. Improving your vision helps you weld better and increases your safety. However, a cheater lens is not always necessary.

Choosing the right welding helmet may keep you from needing a cheater lens. The Miller Electric Welding Helmet and the Lincoln Electric Viking Welding Helmet both offer 1/1/1/1 clarity.

Helmets with superior clarity provide a better view of your work. You gain the functionality of a cheater lens without needing a separate lens inside your hood. Of course, both helmets still include brackets for adding a cheater lens if necessary.

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