Best Welding Helmets Reviews & Price Comparison in 2018

Welding helmets are essential protective gear used in welding workshops to protect the face, neck, and head from welding UV and infrared rays as well as heat and flash burns. The rays form a welding torch can cause significant damage to various parts of the body including skin and retina of the eyes, which may cause blindness and other eye complications. Welding helmets usually feature window spaces that users see through during work.

Our Top 3 Picks

Lincoln
  • Lincoln
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfortable
  • Price: See Here
3M
  • 3M
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Versatile
  • Price: See Here
Miller
  • Miller
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Auto
  • Price: See Here

The window spaces may include tinted glass, tinted plastic or even polarized lenses. All these materials are designed to protect welders.

10 Best Welding Helmets

 

1. Lincoln 3350 Series

1. Lincoln 3350 Series
This is one of the best helmets of the Lincoln Electric. It is a superior product that comes with high quality features designed to enhance comfort and provide greater fit. One of the prime considerations in the manufacturing sector is the safety and productivity of the operators. Many companies are now looking for safety gear, including welding helmets that will increase productivity of their operators without risking their lives.

This option is in great condition and offers excellent protection against harmful radiations. In addition, it has clean filter lens and a darkening filter to protect the retina from damage. It provides optimal clarity and covers a wide area in the line.

Superior Features

It features an adjustable head size that allows users to adjust the headgear depending on their head sizes. It can easily be tightened or loosened by simply turning the adjustment knob. In addition, you can easily adjust the distance between the lens of the helmet and your face to improve vision. The helmet features a battery that is solar powered. This battery can easily be fitted and removed. The fact that the helmet uses lithium instead of lead batteries means that it is considerably lightweight. In addition, the battery is replaceable.

Many welders are not into large helmets because they tend to feel heavy with time. To lighten the load on your neck and shoulders, the Lincoln 3350 features its own suspension system. It provides a wide field of vision, which can be immensely helpful when you have to weld at awkward angles or when you are unable to look straight.

Excellent Protection

It has an auto-darkening feature that changes shade from light state to dark state as soon as you start welding and returns to the original state the moment you stop welding. This feature works perfectly with various types of welding including GTAW, GMAW, arc welding, plasma, and MWAW. In addition, you can easily adjust the shade of the helmet to suit your angle and type of welding.

It allows you to easily adjust its light sensitivity to suit your surroundings. It provides excellent protection from radiation even after the welding has stopped. Four arc sensors on the helmet provide excellent protection against arc sparks and allows accurate auto darkening of the filter. In addition, the helmet has great ventilation system that keeps fumes and gases away from the breathing zone.
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Features and Specifications

Zero distortions or light and dark spots
Rugged but lightweight
Can be used in temperatures ranging between 14 and 131 degrees Fahrenheit
Optimal clarity of 1/1/1/1
Magnified cheater lenses
Sleek, colored, and shiny black

Cost and Value

Despite the cost of the helmet, it is quite popular because it provides great value for money. In addition, it will serve you for longer.

Verdict

For people looking for an upgrade from cheaper, low quality welding helmets, this is quality product that is worth your money.
Pros
  • Comfortable to wear thanks to the helmet’s suspension system
  • No loss in vision even when working at awkward angles
  • Quality auto darkening feature
  • No loss of vision even when used with bifocal glasses
  • Portable and energy efficient thanks to solar powered batteries
  • Sensors allow you to make light sensitivity adjustments
  • Excellent protection against UV and infrared rays
  • Signals help you to know when the battery is low or full
Cons
  • Most parts of the helmet are metallic, which requires proper care and maintenance to prevent rusting
  • You may have to replace the lenses if they come in contact with dirt or splatter

2. 3M Speedglas 9100

2. 3M Speedglas 9100
One of the best features is its purple colored UV IR filters on the outside. In addition, the helmet features liquid crystal cells and polarizers laminated together to suit your welding conditions. The purple UV IR filter on the outside features a specially coated glass to block harmful UV and IR radiation. It also comes with an auto-darkening filter that allows you to easily switch from dark to light shades.

Provide Protection

It is engineered to provide maximum protection against UV and IR radiation. It is also designed to block flashes and block excessive amounts of light from reaching the eyes, which helps to minimize strain and improve precision when welding. In addition, it features side window shade filters that provide clear and wide views. This welding helmet is designed to remove fog, keep the glass clean, and vent exhaled air out provide great respiration.

You will be able to comfortably perform different types of welding without feeling the strain on your eyes thanks to its auto-darkening feature. In addition, it features speedglasg headbands that avoid pressure points to prevent fatigue and ensure that you weld for longer, which increases your productivity. Two adjustable crown caps help to distribute weight and ensure stability.

Important Tools

It comes with important features including side window shades, exhaust vents, welding filters, comfortable headband and optical performance. These features add to the overall quality of the helmet. In addition, it weighs just 2.09 lbs, which is quite light and allows you to work without any difficulties. One of the unique features is its tackweld mold designed for tack welding applications. This feature allows the helmet to automatically switch to light shades to minimize eye fatigue during long tack welding sessions.
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Features and Specifications

Excellent view
Comfortable headband
Tackweld mold to improve comfort

Cost and Value

Although it is quite pricey, it is durable and comes with many 3M Technologies features that will take your welding technique to a whole new level.

Verdict

This helmet is ideal for people who understand all the technicalities involved in their work and can use it the way it is required. Nevertheless, beginners can also benefit from using this helmet.
Pros
  • Comfortable and provides excellent support to the head and minimizes pressure
  • Swivel mounted system provides excellent support
  • Auto-darkening feature reduces eye and neck strain. It also eliminates the need for tossing the helmet up and down when working
  • User-friendly and provides quick access
  • Versatile and can be used with different types of welding
Cons
  • Quite large
  • Lens prone to scratching

3. Miller 251292

3. Miller 251292
Miller Welding helmets are known for their design innovation and quality. With fast lens speeds of 1/10,000 per second, this helmet is suitable for unhindered work areas. It is equipped with quality light sensitivity features as well as programmable sensitivity delay features. You can easily adjust the sensitivity delay to be fast or slow depending on your work requirements. Large helmets can cause significant strain on the neck. This item makes welding safer, easier and comfortable. It has a small and lightweight frame to minimize strain on the neck. This helmet comes with auto darkening variable shade that ranges between #8 and #12 with a light shade of #3. This feature allows you to achieve optimum comfort when working with different welding equipment including TIG, MIG, and stick welding.

Arc sensitivity

You can easily change the arch sensitivity of the hood to minimize darkening and triggering when other welders strike their arc. In addition, you can adjust the helmet’s arc sensor to suit your needs. It also comes with solar panels to recharge the cells that power its auto-darkening feature. This means that the feature is not just dependent on battery power but it also has solar panels to extend the life of the batteries. On to the bargain is the ergonomic design of the helmet. It features easy to use knobs that control its slide, resistance, and proximity to the eyes.

Maintenance

It comes with built-in exterior and interior lens covers. In addition, you can use five spare front covers and two inner covers that come with the product in the future. The helmet requires minimal maintenance including cleaning the lens regularly to ensure complete protection.
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Features and Specifications

Wide viewing area
Variable shade
Two arc sensors with 1/10,000 per second lens speed speeds
Auto on/off power controls
Rechargeable solar cells

Cost and Value

Affordable and yet effective and dependable, this option is perfect for the hobbyist as well as professional welder.

Verdict

This welding helmet has a wide range of quality features that makes it the perfect helmet for welders.
Pros
  • Wide viewing area
  • User-friendly delay controls
  • Comes with clear instructions and manuals
  • Auto on and off helps to extend battery life
Cons
  • Not suitable for industrial applications

4. Rhino RH01

4. Rhino RH01
This helmet provides a wide viewing, which translates to clearer looks at the piece of item you are welding. This helps you to save significant amounts of time because the more you see, the higher your productivity. Its large view is its most distinct feature since it’s twice as large as conventional welding helmets. However, the helmet has several other notable features including its auto-darkening mode that can be set according to your desire. You can easily darken the lens for heavy welding or set it to a lighter mode for light work. The dark shade of the helmet varies between #9 and #13. On to the bargain is the helmet’s 1/25,000 second reaction time.

Convenient Functions

The external knob is conveniently located for easy adjustment. In addition, the helmet features a battery indicator to provide signals for low battery. Its replaceable coin type batteries are recharged by the front solar panels. The helmet is suitable for different types of welding including MIG, TIG and air carbons.

Safety

It features a nylon shell to provide maximum safety, which is the main reason for purchasing a helmet. The helmet’s design complies with various safety standards including CE, ANSI Z87.1 and ISO9001-2008.
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Features and Specifications

Wide viewing angle
Lightweight
Auto darkening panel
1/25000 per second response time

Cost and Value

This is an affordable welding helmet with great functions including comfortable and aerodynamic design that actually compel you to buy it. The combination of its price and quality features makes it a favorite of many people.

Verdict

This product is suitable for people who are looking for an auto-darkening helmet with outstanding features and engineered to provide maximum safety.
Pros
  • Lightweight and flexible thanks to its nylon make-up. This means that you can easily wear the helmet all day without feeling tired or uncomfortable
  • Supports various welding works including TIG, MIG, and torch welding
  • Conveniently placed external knob allows you to change the mode without having to take the helmet off
  • Affordable and requires minimal maintenance
  • Durable
  • Roomy and can be used with a bifocal lens
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Not suitable for overhead laser cutting
  • Made of nylon, which can be damaged by molten metal

5. ArcPro 20704

5. ArcPro 20704
This helmet features two modes: welding and grinding modes. The good thing about this is that you can easily shift from welding to grinding mode and vice versa. In addition, it adjusts depending on your needs. ArcPro solar powered helmet is glove-friendly and can help you adjust the shade easily. Its large viewing field allows you to work to the best of your ability.

Fast Auto Darkening

Adjusting the helmet manually to match your environment can be quite difficult, which is why the helmet has an auto-darkening feature that automatically adjusts to match your environment. This feature helps to protect your face and neck from harmful UV and IR rays produced from your work. The best thing about this feature is that it stops working as soon as you finish welding allowing the helmet to clear out.

Automatic On/Off Switch

This switch is battery-powered, which can improve your overall efficiency. In addition, if you have tried out other helmets that are too big or too small for you, this helmet is guaranteed to make you feel comfortable thanks to its adjustable headband.
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Features and Specifications

Extra large viewing field
Adjustable shade
Adjustable controls
1/25,000 per second reaction time
Auto on/off power switch
Lithium batteries
Permanent shade DIN

Cost and Value

The features and benefits that you can get with this welding helmet make it a bargain. It is a promising product that can give you the comfort you need when working.

Verdict

ArcPro solar is ideal for that person shopping for a welding helmet that looks modern, attractive, and just stands out from the other welding helmets available.

Pros
  • Large views
  • Auto-darkening feature can be turned on and off at will
  • Quite affordable
  • Four arc sensors helped to protect the retina from damage by arc light
  • Solar-powered batteries eliminate the need for buying replacement batteries
Cons
  • Large size may seem a bit awkward on the head
  • Lens is prone to scratching

6. Licota Welding

6. Licota Welding
This item is known for its beautiful design and colorful patterns. Licota welding helmets are available in a wide range of colors making it the perfect blend of protection and excellent design. In addition, this helmet comes with auto-darkening lenses that adjust to light conditions in the environment.

Solar Powered

This auto-darkening feature does not solely rely on battery power; solar panels on the surface of the helmet help to power the auto-darkening feature in case battery power runs out. In addition, it features user-friendly controls that are extremely easy to locate. Two knobs on the side of the helmet facilitate easy functioning and make it easy for users to control various aspects of the helmet. The knob located on the right side of the helmet controls light levels while the one located on the left side of the helmet controls the shade.

User Friendly

It comes with adjustable and user-friendly interior controls. Some of the interior controls of the helmet include a DIP switch for changing welding modes and adjusting the magnifying lens. This switch also controls the helmet’s auto lighting delay time. The helmet also features a switch for changing the grinding mode. In addition, the helmet does not require cheaters thanks to its magnifying lens.
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Features and Specifications

Full range UV and IR protection
Auto-darkening
Adjustable grinding mode
1/25000 per second reaction time
Long life batteries
Adjustable sensitivity and delay settings

Cost and Value

This product has an appealing look but it also packs a whole range of features. It is affordable and can be used by both beginner and experienced welders.

Verdict

Apart from the colorful design, the welding helmet does a good job of providing optimum protection to the neck and other sensitive parts of the neck.
Pros
  • Magnifying lenses provide large views
  • Sensors can detect arc strike quickly and reliably
  • Excellent functionality eliminates the need for lifting the helmet up to check whether the welding is being done correctly
Cons
  • The headband may hurt when used for prolonged
  • May experience some flicker

7. Neiko 53847a

7. Neiko 53847a
The NEIKO comes with plain and simple colors. Its designers focused more on the technicalities rather than the look of the helmet. Unlike other helmets, it is quite large and features a round build to prevent users from fuming sparks. In addition, it has a comfortable fit especially on the neck, which helps to prevent welding fumes from entering the helmet. The viewing area is quite large compared to other welding helmets.

Adjustable Controls

It features an adjustable front rear that can be lifted to view the welding area without removing the helmet altogether. In addition, it exceeds safety levels and protects users against harmful UV and IR rays. The helmet’s headband is quite flexible for a comfortable fit. The lightweight nature of the helmet does not cause strain on the neck or head.

Sturdy and Durable

This helmet is quiet strong and will not break easily even from a huge fall. It’s an industrial grade product that meets ANSI Z87 standards. This is an international certification that guarantees safety.
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Features and Specifications

Flip-up shade lens
Adjustable headband
Wide viewing area
Lightweight and balanced

Cost and Value

This product is on the same level as other premium welding helmets. For all its features, it is significantly affordable.

Verdict

This is quality, industrial grade welding helmet with a simple design and remarkable features. It is perfect for the individual looking for a helmet with lots of useful functionalities.
Pros
  • Glass shield provides excellent protection against UV and IR rays
  • Flexible headband keeps the helmet in its rightful place and prevents it from falling off and posing a safety risk to the user
  • Adjustable magnifying glass allows you to set it to fit your eyesight
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Plain and simple

8. Hobart 770753

8. Hobart 770753
This helmet is made of quality polyamide material, which makes it sturdy and durable. It also ensures that the helmet can easily withstand the elements. Although many people recommend it to beginners, it can do a trick or two that match the requirements of professional welders. It provides a large viewing area that facilitates welding.

Safety and Protection

This welding helmet does an excellent job of covering the face and neck providing superior protection against UV and IR rays. In addition, it comes with sensitive four arc sensors that do a remarkable job of arc detection without posing a problem. It's extremely sensitive to light and will automatically darken once it detects an intense flash of light.

Lightweight

Although the helmet looks bulky and heavy, it is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable. It meets the standards of all its certifications including CSA/CD and ANSI Z87.1-2010, which speaks to the quality of the product.
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Features and Specifications

Adjustable headband
Lightweight and comfortable
1/30000 reaction time
Four independent arc sensors
Two replaceable lithium batteries
Variable shade

Cost and Value

This helmet is quite affordable considering the fact that it packs a whole host of useful and protective features, and will last much longer than cheaper alternatives.

Verdict

Depending on lithium batteries for its operation, this welding helmet is powerful, dependable and durable.
Pros
  • Fast auto-darkening helps to protect the eyes from intense light flashes
  • Versatile welding mode that can be switched from normal to grinding or cutting modes according to users’ requirements
  • Comfortable and lightweight minimizing strain on the head and neck
Cons
  • Headband requires repeated adjusting to secure the helmet in position

9. Antra AH7-360-0000

9. Antra AH7-360-0000
This is one of the most affordable welding helmets on the market. It features a large viewing area to make it easier for you to see your welding. In addition, the helmet’s headband is pliable and flexible, which provides excellent support and prevents it from tipping over. The headband also helps to prevent head and neck strains.

Excellent Controls

You do not have to lift the helmet up and down every time you want to see what you are welding. In addition, its auto power on and off feature means that the helmet goes on and off automatically.

Lightweight and Comfortable

Despite its size, this helmet is quiet light and comfortable. You can easily wear it the entire day. Incredibly, this welding helmet weighs less than a pound. The helmet’s headband may seem a bit fragile, but it operates as required and effectively holds the helmet in place.
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Features and Specifications

Great for a wide range of welding applications including TIG, MIG, and stick welding
Four premium sensors
Variable shade
Adjustable delay and sensitivity knobs
Wide viewing area
1/25000 reaction time
High impact polyamide nylon material
Exterior lens covers

Cost and Value

Antra welding helmet has gained a reputation for providing high levels of protection against UV and IR rays. This helmet is definitely worth every penny.

Verdict

In general, this helmet comes with a whole host of quality features and is suitable for both experienced welders as well as beginners.
Pros
  • Automatic on and off power switch
  • Large viewing area
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Inexpensive
  • Comes with replacement lenses
Cons
  • Not suitable for industrial applications

10. Forney 55701

10. Forney 55701
This helmet provides a wide viewing area to allow you to easily see what you are working on. In addition, it is lightweight and will not strain the head or the neck. It actually weighs less than one and half pounds. You will not feel uncomfortable wearing it all day long.

Adjustable

One of the best safety feature is its adjustable headband that helps to secure the helmet in place. You can easily adjust the headband to be as tight or as loose as you like.

User Friendly

It detects intense flashes of light and automatically darkens to protect your eyes from harmful UV and IR rays. This feature allows you to work for longer without feeling the strain on your eyes or neck.
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Features and Specifications

Lightweight
Impact resistant
1/16000 reaction time
Adjustable headband
Black matte

Cost and Value

This is a user-friendly, comfortable, and functional welding helmet that is cost effective for a wide range of welding applications.

Verdict

This is a great welding helmet for beginners thanks to its user-friendly features and comfortable feel and fit.
Pros
  • Sensitive optical sensors protect the eyes from hazardous arc flashes
  • Fast switching speed of 1/16000 per second
Cons

Issues with strap

Factors to Consider When Shopping for Welding Helmets

Variable Shade vs. Fixed Shade

The shade number of a welding lens determines its ability to filter light. Professional welders choose shade levels that match their welding processes. In addition, it is important to choose a shade level that matches your visual acuity.

Fixed shade helmets are usually cheaper than other types of helmets. However, their affordability oftentimes compromises convenience. Fixed shade welding helmets require you to constantly remove the helmet to check the quality of your weld. In addition, you will have to put the torch in the welding position prior to wearing the helmet.

Variable shade helmets are often more costly because of their auto darkening feature, which improves comfort levels and convenience. This eliminates the need for buying a new helmet for each application; you simply need to adjust the lens inside the welding helmet to adjust the helmet to your requirements.

Auto Darkening Lenses vs. Passive Darkening Lenses

Auto darkening lenses are designed to become black as soon as they detect a bright spark of light and then automatically become clear when the bright light is off. Welding helmets with this feature are considered more convenient for beginners because they do not experience distortion in visibility. These welding helmets are also more convenient because you do not have to take them off to see your work.

Passive colored lenses do not change colors to arc sparks. This means that you will have to remove the helmet every time you want to see your work. These lenses usually feature UV and IR protection. Passive darkening lenses are more difficult to use because they often create distortion of torches.

Non-Replaceable Batteries vs. Replaceable Batteries

Replaceable batteries are made of lithium and are much lighter than other types of batteries. Consequently, welding helmets with lithium batteries are lighter than other helmets. One of the advantages of lithium batteries is that they can conveniently be changed at any place or time without compromising the quality of your work. In addition, you do not need to replace the entire helmet once the battery drains off. Helmets with replaceable batteries are often more cost effective, light and efficient.

Non-replaceable batteries are usually made of lead, which increases helmet weight. The bad thing about helmets with lead batteries is that the batteries are rechargeable. This means that you either have to buy new batteries or a new helmet once the batteries drain off. Helmets with lead batteries are heavier and usually more expensive than those with replaceable batteries.

Solar powered vs. Battery Powered Helmets

Once the battery of your welding helmet is used up, you need to find a replacement. Solar helps to extend the life of your batteries and the life of your helmet. The good thing about solar powered helmets is that they automatically turn off saving your batteries for longer operations. In addition, most solar powered batteries are lighter than battery powered helmets.

You need to look for replacement batteries once the batteries of your battery-powered helmets run dry. Battery powered helmets do not support longer operations like solar powered helmets. In addition, the helmet has to be turned on and off manually to save battery power. One of the things that makes battery powered helmets unpopular among some welders is their heavy weight.

External knobs vs. Internal knobs

External knobs allow you to control various aspects of your welding helmet without having to remove them. One of the drawbacks of external knobs is that they can accidentally be turned on or off when working in confined spaces such as under cars.

Internal knobs are located inside the helmet, which means that you have to remove the helmet to adjust it. One of the advantages of internal knobs is that they are not likely to accidentally turn on or off when working in confined spaces.

Criteria for Evaluation

Respirator Equipped

Fine particles, gases, and smoke are usually released during the welding process. These factors may cause certain health complications if ignored.

Helmets with blower or respirator filters can minimize risk of experiencing respiratory problems during or after welding. The helmets in this list have respiratory filters.

Safety Standards

It is important to choose helmets that meet the American National Standards Institute and Society of safety Engineers for welding Helmets safety standards. Such helmets have been tested and passed rigorous tests to guarantee quality and safety. The helmets in this list meet required safety standards.

Light Weight

Lighter helmets with comfortable headgears help to minimize stress injuries on the head or neck. In addition, they make it easy for you to move your head easily. This list contains helmets that weigh between 500 and 800 grams.

Viewing Area

Your viewing area is determined by your welding position. Choose welding helmets that provide wide viewing areas for your position. The helmets in this list have wide viewing areas.

Reaction Time

This refers to the amount of time taken by lenses to switch from dark states to normal state and vice versa. Extremely fast and slow reaction times can lead to fatigue. Choose welding helmets with adjustable reaction time to prevent fatigue. The helmets in this list have adjustable reaction times.

Tips for Choosing the Best Welding Helmets

Avoid buying unusually cheap products. There are many cheap helmets on the market. However, avoid going for helmets with the least price because cheap does not always translate to quality.

Do not go too expensive for a welding helmet. There are pricey industrial grade welding helmets on the market. However, you do not need to buy an expensive helmet for normal welding applications. If you are a beginner, hold off on buying expensive welding helmets until you want to upgrade in the future.

Determine your needs and shop for a welding helmet that meets those needs. Make a list of the features you want and the features you do not want in a welding helmet. This will help you determine the right type of welding helmet for you.

Determine how much you intend to spend on a welding helmet. This is an important consideration to make while choosing a welding helmet. The more advanced the specifications of a welding helmet, the more likely it is to be expensive.

FAQ

Q: What is the best helmet for an apprentice or inexperienced welder?

A: If you have been hired an apprentice welder, it is important to consult your boss or supervisor before investing in a welding helmet. Some companies require their welders to have welding helmets with certain specifications. Bottom line, the welding helmet you choose for your work should meet ANSI safety standards.

Q: What is the importance of lens reaction speed?

A: The reaction time of the most basic welding helmet is faster than a blink. What is most important is the length of time it takes for helmet to detect the first sparks of light and the darkening of the lens. Experienced professional welders may work for hours and each instance of unprotected flash may have significant effects on their eyes in the long run.

Q: Why is it important for welding helmets to be lightweight?

A: Unlike other types of safety gear including steel toe boots and hard hats, welding helmets should be as light as possible to enhance comfort and protection of the wearer. Heavy welding helmets can cause significant strain on the head and neck, which may lower user’s productivity. Consider buying welding helmets whose heaviest component is the visor with auto-darkening and light sensitivity controls.

Q: Why do some welders consider the design of a welding helmet? Isn’t eye protection the most important consideration?

A: Modern welding helmet have an auto-darkening feature with fast reaction time, which is a great improvement over older and heavier helmets with fixed lenses. However, there are various additional factors to consider when choosing welding helmets. One of the most important considerations is the design of the visor. Some visors are difficult to tip and may result in repositioning of the welding tool, which may result in poorer weld. It may also be difficult to perform short tack welding jobs if you need to raise and lower the visor constantly for repositioning. This is one of the reasons why the design of a welding helmet is important.