If you’re set on being the best welder, you should seriously consider using the best welding helmet.
Whether you’re a pro or a weekend DIY welder, there’s a lot of PPE that is essential for metalwork safety. To perform at your best, comfort is essential. Take it from one who knows – an uncomfortable welding helmet can really mess up your day and affect your productivity.
Then there’s the ever-pesky consideration of budget. I’m sure we would all love to own the very best, top-of-the-line welding helmet. Not everyone has over $400 to spend on a welding mask, especially if welding is an occasional hobby activity.
For this review of the best welding helmets, I’ve taken all of this into consideration. To make your life easier, I’ve researched hundreds of products out there and condensed them into a list of the top 5 welding helmets.
In doing this, I’ve included two of the very best from two of the top welding equipment brands – Miller and Lincoln electric. While anyone will absolutely love to own either of these magnificent hoods, they are not within all of our budgets.
To keep things equal, I’ve also included more affordable, good quality options, and a really good budget welding helmet for DIYers.
Miller 289715 Digital Infinity Welding Helmet
Arguably the ultimate welding helmet for professionals, the Miller Digital Infinity is nothing short of truly awesome. Albeit quite expensive. I guess it’s just another example of you get what you pay for.
Comfort is off the charts, with sumptuous padding and precise adjustments for a perfect fit. The Miller welding hood also has wonderful support.
Optics are about the best. It offers true color and high-definition optics. Miller 2.0 ClearLight lens technology is quite simply amazing. The lens is also incredibly large at 13.4 square inches. With four independent arc sensors, the response is virtually instant, even for low-amp welding.
It has high-end electronic functions, with a menu and four modes that allow to quickly select the best view for the job at hand: shades 8 – 13 for welding; 5 – 8 for cutting; 3 for grinding, and X-Mode which automatically senses the required shade level and adjusts it for you.
If superior quality and features are more important than the price, the Miller 289715 Infinity Welding Helmet should be your number one choice. It is, in my opinion, about the very best you can get.
Lincoln Electric Viking 3350
In second place, the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 is another magnificent welding hood. I believe the Lincoln brand can easily compete with Miller any day of the week. While this is a high-quality item, it lacks some of the more advanced features offered by the Miller model and the lens is slightly smaller.
Essentially, the top model Lincoln welding helmet offers everything that a pro welder is looking for. It is sublimely comfortable and weighs a mere 22 Oz.
Four sensors ensure instantaneous auto-darkening, within 0.00004 seconds. The lens, while not as large as the gargantuan Miller, is still one of the largest at 12.5 sq. in.
The lens technology is up there with the best of them, offering remarkable color clarity as well as weld, cut, and grind modes at the touch of a button. Shade ratings range from 5 to 13.
Falling slightly short of the Miller Infinity hood, the Lincoln Viking is a serious competitor. With a 5-year warranty, quality should not be scoffed at. Definitely one of the top contenders.
ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50
The ESAB Sentinel A50 looks fantastic. You can’t help feeling like a NASA astronaut heading out to conduct crucial repairs to the international space station. Although a welding hood is not exactly a fashion item, this is more of a cool factor as opposed to any type of necessity.
Putting its stunning good looks aside, this is a highly advanced welding helmet at a pretty reasonable price. The 5-point headgear is beautifully balanced and wonderfully comfortable.
While you can’t expect the same tech spec as the more expensive high-end hoods, the Sentinel is quite accomplished. It has a touch screen with 8 programmable settings and an externally activated grind mode.
The screen size isn’t enormous but more than adequate at 9.27 sq. in. and is incredibly sensitive, with a low amperage setting as low as 2 amps. Though I’m not sure anyone really needs to go so low.
A really great welding helmet that can be considered an entry-level pro product that is much more affordable than the big boys.
ESAB 0700000480 Savage A40
I guess the ESAB Savage A40 welding helmet can be viewed either as an economy professional or a high-end amateur welding hood. Quality and comfort are quite reasonable, while not in the high-end class.
The lens size is okay (7.7 sq. in.) and has really impressive clarity and visibility for a welding helmet in this price range. It has 9 – 13 welding shades and a quick access grind setting of 4.
Fairly basic but not cheap junk, the ESAB Savage A40 offers a nice middle ground between affordability and convenient features with viewing quality that I feel is amazing for the price.
Even the occasional hobbyist welder should not have to compromise too much on comfort, quality, and features. At under $100, the YesWelder LYG-M800H should come as a pleasant surprise for those on a tight budget.
The YesWelder brand is aimed primarily at the DIY market, offering great technology and a quality standard that cannot be considered heavy-duty but really good for the occasional user.
There’s no shortage of tech in this hood. It has a surprisingly large view area of 14.38 sq. inches, with four sensors and clarity that is unbelievably good for such a cheap welding helmet.
Comfort can also compare favorably to welding hoods that cost considerably more. You have quick, external access to the grind mode and UV protection up to shade 16.
I consider the YesWelder LYG-M800H to be the best DIY welding helmet under $100. Sure, it’s not quite as tough as the really expensive offerings. It certainly isn’t cheap and nasty. It offers fantastic technology, incredible comfort, and is certainly durable enough for a guy who does occasional metalwork projects on the weekends.