Best Welding Helmet
My best pick welding helmet on the market in the UK (September 2020).
#1 Choice: My Score = 89%
#2: Top Quality Runner-Up
#3: Top User Ratings
Welding Helmets: A Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to welding, or any kind of heavy work, protection is key. There are plenty of obvious reasons why you should protect your face and vision while welding, however, knowing how to pick the best helmet or mask is a different matter. In fact, it’s probably easy to assume that all welding helmets do the same thing, and that you should only really differentiate in terms of size and fit.
However, the right welding helmet for you can differ depending on the jobs you want to do, how you do them. If you’re new to welding, or if you simply want to make sure you have access to the best equipment around, it makes sense to compare and contrast accessories online. In this buying guide, we will introduce you to a variety of different helmets and masks. We’ll also help you consider what’s best for you, your safety and your budget.
Stick around for the end of the guide, too, as we’ll help to break things down for you in terms of frequently asked questions. Always be ready to shop around and to ask plenty of questions!
Why Wear a Welding Helmet?
The reasons for investing in a good quality welding helmet will likely be fairly obvious! However, it’s important to remember that you are buying a helmet to not only protect your eyes, but the whole of your face. When welding, your arc is going to emit all manner of rays, which means if you look directly into them, your sight could face irreparable damage. That kind of damage will not only end your career as a welder but will also change your life for the worse.
Welding helmets will arrive in different fits, sizes and builds. Therefore, you should think carefully about buying a helmet or mask that’s comfortable and practical for you to use on a regular basis. This should be fairly easy for you to compare and analyse simply by looking online at product descriptions. However, there are always going to be a few more factors that you will need to compare and contrast before you can safely put money behind a mask or helmet.
You should always wear a helmet while welding, without question. The potential damage you could cause simply isn’t worth the risk! If you are qualified or trained in welding and construction, you will already know the right steps to take, and that you shouldn’t do so lightly.
Things You Need to Consider
When buying a welding helmet, you’re going to need to narrow down your options. There is a clear reason why some helmets cost more than others, and that’s mainly down to features. All welding helmets will protect you against harmful rays and sparks, however, the functionality of each mask may vary down to the minute level. You should always be ready to read up on what verified users have to say, too!
Here are the main factors and features you should be looking for in the perfect welding helmet. Don’t go buying until you’ve read what we have to say!
Casual or Passive Helmet Systems
The most basic helmets on the market are sometimes known as passive helmets. These are traditional masks. This means that they have glass visors and shades fixed in place, and they should offer you plenty of protection against the everyday dangers of welding. However, these masks remain darkened at all times, which some welders may not prefer. This means that they will need to try and remove or lift their helmet to inspect their work in detail.
Passive helmets are fantastic if you are looking for an affordable solution, however, they might be awkward for some people to use regularly. Therefore, you might need to look at a smarter or more practical option.
Known as auto-darkening masks on the market, these helmets differ from passive helmets in that the built-in shades will adjust in brightness. This means they will grow darker if you are using your arc. This means you are not only getting great protection against harmful light and rays but can also check and inspect your work as you go without having to list your helmet or mask up every five seconds. This can save a lot of time and hassle.
However, these systems can vary in terms of price and functionality. Generally, you can expect to pay more for helmets which darken on their own. However, many welders will tell you that it is a price worth paying. This is especially the case when you consider your own health, safety and productivity are at stake.
The size of your view in an auto-darkening helmet is going to be a big point to consider. After all, if you are going to want extra vision on your work, you are likely going to want as wide a lens or window as possible. However, this may differ from user to user, particularly as comfort levels may come into play. This is something you should be able to compare and contrast fairly easily.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of your welding helmet are important because you’re going to wear it a lot during your work! The heavier the helmet, the more strain it is likely to put on your head and neck. Therefore, consider a lightweight option, where possible. Do be careful, however, is this can mean you lose out on some functionality and durability in rare cases. Once again, buyer reviews, and even video reviews, are your friends.
Automatic darkening helmets often arrive with a variety of controls which you can use to tweak your experience. These controls are fantastic if you want to adjust when your visor or window goes dark, or how bright you want your field of vision to be. As welding is something that really can vary from job to job, flexibility is a must. If you are looking at an auto-darkening helmet, you should be ready to consider the various flexibility controls which may come attached.
Sensors are crucial in auto-darkening helmets as, naturally, they will help your mask to ascertain when to go dark and when to lighten up. However, some helmets have more sensors than others. As you might expect, more sensors will likely cost more money. However, it will also mean more accuracy, on the whole. Therefore, if you are a professional welder, it may be worth looking for as many as four sensors on your helmet for the most accurate experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s likely that a welding helmet isn’t always going to be something you buy regularly. Therefore, you probably have plenty of questions to ask while shopping. Here are a few of the more common concerns people are posting online while looking for the best helmets.
What Makes a Good Welding Helmet?
There are various factors which make up a good welding helmet. You should look for high-quality builds, precision engineering and a variety of adjustable features. You should also look for helmets that aren’t uncomfortable or unwieldy to use. Auto-darkening helmets tend to be the best option, even for novice welders, as they can automate a lot of your experience. They can save time, effort, and may even ease off specific aches and strains.
Is It Worth Buying a Cheap Welding Helmet?
As welding helmets are essential pieces of safety equipment, we would advise against buying ‘cheap’ masks outright. When it comes to protecting your own health and safety, we generally recommend you invest more money where possible. For example, cheaper helmets tend to be those which have no auto-darkening built in. This means you will need to keep lifting it up and peering out to check your work. That’s not only going to slow you down, but it could cause all manner of repetitive strain issues.
How Are Auto-Darkening Helmets Powered?
Auto-darkening helmets, of course, will need some kind of power source to function. This means that most helmets work on an internal battery which you can charge up. Look around for helmets with variable battery life, as you’ll need to make sure you get plenty of coverage for long shifts.
How Much Do Welding Helmets Cost?
That depends on the type of tech you want to use! If you want to buy a basic helmet, you can pay as little as £20 to £30. However, for the best technology, you may need to invest as much as £100 or more. Therefore, think about stretching your budget as far as you can!
Buying the right welding helmet isn’t as simple as it might seem. There are plenty of points you have to consider! When it comes to health and safety, you should always look carefully at the various options open to you. Don’t be willing to compromise quality for the sake of a cheap price! Take a look at what professionals and verified buyers have to say, too – as they will help you narrow things down.