The best budget welding helmet prevents arc eye and other retinal problems due to infrared and ultraviolet rays exposure. It also empowers people of various welding skills to work safely and efficiently without spending a fortune on a welder’s helmet. Although these welding helmets are inexpensive, there is nothing cheap about their design, functionality, and performance.
However, one must choose wisely to get the best deal for the money. Our research showed us three crucial factors impacting a welder’s helmet perfect for budget-conscious folks. Understanding these parameters will help buyers choose the right product for their welding activities.
- Lens Type: Welding headgear features one of two lens types: auto-darkening and passive. Auto-darkening welding helmets have liquid crystal displays that instantly dim as the welding arc strikes to protect the eyes. They are the top-rated helmets because they offer a variable shade range for different applications. Passive welding hoods have fixed, non-dimmable lenses.
- Optical Quality: Welding helmet lenses have optical ratings describing their clarity across four parameters. A perfect lens has a score of 1/1/1/1, while a 1/1/1/2 glass will have slight image distortions, stretching, or blurring when looking through the viewing space at an angle. One should steer clear of welding headgears with a 3/3/3/3 value.
- Safety Requirements: Most people believe that cheap products have questionable safety and quality. However, many welding headgear manufacturers adhere to international safety standards such as ANSI Z87.1 and EN379. Unfortunately, not all brands include this information in their marketing materials, requiring buyers to research elsewhere.
The above-mentioned factors are not the only parameters worth considering. Other attributes can impact one’s decision to pick an inexpensive welding headgear over another. We will present these crucial points in our top-rated budget welding helmets review and buying guide.
- Top 8 Budget Welding Helmet Reviews
- 1. YESWELDER LYG-L500A-B Welding Helmet
- 2. DEKOPRO XG9 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
- 3. Antra AH6-260-000 Series Welding Helmet
- 4. YESWELDER LYG-M800H Welding Helmet
- 5. DEKOPRO XG105 Auto Darkening Welding Hood
- 6. TOOLIOM TL-M800D True Color Welding Helmet
- 7. Tsinglax True Color Solar Powered Welding Helmet
- 8. TEKWARE X2 Anti Fog Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
- What to Look for When Buying Budget Welding Helmets
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 8 Budget Welding Helmet Reviews
1. YESWELDER LYG-L500A-B Welding Helmet
The YESWELDER LYG-L500A-B is a good cheap welding helmet for light-duty welding and non-industrial-grade projects. Although it cannot compete with high-end and heavy-duty welding headgear, it sits right at home with novices, hobbyists, and DIYers.
This cheap auto darkening welding helmet has an optical rating that’s almost similar to high-end welding headgear with a 1/1/1/2 score. Light transmission and image clarity are impeccable, except for slight blurring around the edges at an angle. It remains surprisingly excellent, considering its price.
The system of arc sensors automatically adjusts lens darkness from 9.0 to 13.0, depending on flash intensity. It also comes with sensitivity controls for optimal performance.
I like its True Color technology, improving weld area visibility. The system also makes it straightforward to discern changes in the weld pool, allowing welders to take the necessary corrective steps. Some higher-priced welding products do not have this innovation, especially if they already have a UV/IR filter and LCD.
I am also glad this helmet complies with the safety standards set by ANSI, EN, and CSA. People will feel more confident about this welding helmet’s ability to protect their eyes and face against welding-related injuries.
The solar power and battery power combination is also noteworthy. Completing welding jobs is more efficient with this setup. Its compatibility with a magnifying lens or cheater glass attachment is also welcome news.
- Perfect for light duty, novices, hobbyists, and DIYers
- High optical rating with TrueColor technology for excellent vision
- CSA, EN, and ANSI-compliant design with UV/IR filter and LCD
- Two arc sensors with 9-13 shade levels and sensitivity controls
- Solar power and battery power for extended performance
- Compatible with cheater/magnifying lens attachments
- Response time might be slow for some
- Six-square-inch viewing space
2. DEKOPRO XG9 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Many people view cheap welding hoods as unworthy of attention. However, the DEKOPRO XG9’s eye-catching design is something to behold. Once worn over the head and on the face, its performance can sway any doubter into its fold.
Beyond this helmet’s cool looks is an auto-darkening lens technology that can rival higher-priced units. It also comes with a passive IR/UV filter, perfect for protecting the eyes in various applications. Looking at the weld and weld pool is a breeze with this protective gear, allowing users to complete their projects faster.
Adjusting the sensitivity and time delay functions is also a cinch because of the neatly-placed controls. One can set the switching speed from 0.1 to 1.0 seconds, although its automatic dimming capabilities are an astonishing 1/25,000 seconds.
Its eye-protective capabilities adhere to ANSI Z87.1 and EN379 guidelines, giving welders peace of mind. Although most people consider this product an excellent welding helmet for beginners, real-world usage shows an industrial-grade core.
One can set this helmet to protect the eyes against harm when doing TIG, MMA, MIG, MAG, and plasma welding. The grind mode lets people cut, grind, and gouge.
My favorite is this welding helmet’s lightweight design. Weighing only 1.21 pounds, it is more comfortable than other brands. Its weight complements the helmet’s multiple headband adjustments for the best possible fit.
- Auto-darkening feature with 1/25,000-second response time
- Complies with EN379 and ANSI Z87.1 safety standards for industrial use
- Sensitivity and delay control (0.1 to 1.0 second)
- Multiple operating modes for improved versatility
- Eye-catching lightweight design and several adjustments for optimum comfort
- 1/2/1/2 optical clarity
- Smallish viewing area
3. Antra AH6-260-000 Series Welding Helmet
People looking for an auto darkening welding helmet under 100 dollars should consider the Antra AH6-260-000 Series welding headgear. Its performance and construction are exceptional, making it impossible to believe this welding headgear is this inexpensive.
Affordability is not this welding helmet’s only strong point. Its design is also worth admiring. I love its dual LCD panels underneath Number 13 passive UV and IR lenses. These glasses feature four arc sensors that automatically dim the lens across a shade range of 5.0 to 13.0 within 1/25,000 seconds.
Moreover, this affordable welding helmet has an optical rating of 1/1/1/2. The lens ensures maximum visibility of the weld area and empowers people to finish the welding job faster.
I admire its multiple controls, allowing users to dial their preferred sensitivity and time delay settings. One can use this helmet in almost any application, including MIG/MAG, TIG, stick, and MMA. People can also switch on the Grind Mode to perform other tasks.
The Antra AH6 260 only weighs 16.5 ounces and features multiple adjustment points for the perfect fit without neck discomfort. Featuring solar and battery power, this option also complies with ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and EN379 standards for peace of mind.
- Auto-darkening helmet with IR and UV lenses and LCD
- 1/1/1/2 optical clarity with 5-13 shade levels and 1/25,000-second reaction time
- Meets ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and EN379 safety standards
- Multiple digital controls for versatility
- Adjustable fit and lightweight design for maximum comfort
- Dual solar-battery power
- Only 3.86 x 1.73 inches of viewing space
4. YESWELDER LYG-M800H Welding Helmet
The YESWELDER LYG-M800H is a step above the LYG-L500A-B with an additional pair of arc sensors and more expansive viewing space. It is one of the most reliable welding hoods for professionals on a tight budget.
While the L500A only featured a six-square-inch viewer, this product has an impressive 14.38 square inches of viewing space. That is more than twice the L500A’s window. I can see more of my weld area with this helmet over my head.
I love the four premium arc sensors which help protect the eyes. The controls are a breeze to manipulate, from the sensitivity, mode, to the delay functions. Although it has the same True Color technology as the L500A, I found a more subtle lime green hue. It also has the 1/1/1/2 optical rating I have come to love in welding helmets.
I am also glad this helmet complies with ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and EN379 safety standards. My friend can attest to its performance, as this design saved him from numerous accidents.
Another advantage of this welding helmet over the L500A is its replaceable battery for cost efficiency. The capacity for solar power doesn’t hurt, either.
With a 5-9-13 shade range, this helmet gives people another reason to buy it. They can use it for different applications, including grinding, cutting, and welding.
- 1/1/1/2-rated auto-darkening helmet with advanced True Color technology
- Four premium-quality arc sensors with 5-13 shade levels
- Effective delay, mode, and sensitivity controls
- Large viewing space at a low budget
- ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and EN379-compliant with solar and battery power
- Replaceable battery for cost efficiency
- Not the best regarding switching speed
5. DEKOPRO XG105 Auto Darkening Welding Hood
Here is another budget auto darkening welding helmet worth considering. The DEKOPRO XG105 features a comfortable design to improve overall welding performance. It does not matter if one is a beginner or a seasoned pro. This solar-powered welding helmet delivers at a cost that will make people smile.
One can look at this welding headgear as the XG9’s younger sibling, with the same response time of 1/25,000 seconds across DIN levels of 9 to 13. People will feel safer with this helmet over their eyes.
Professionals can also rely on the DIN 16 filter to safeguard their eyes against IR and UV radiation. They can grind metal and other materials without harming their faces and necks. Harmful rays will never penetrate the barrier, ensuring protection against burns. If one is doubtful about this welding helmet’s capabilities, one should know it is EN379 and ANSI Z87.1 compliant.
The oversized knobs on the helmet’s exterior shell are easy to manipulate, while the control dials inside are a breeze to set. I find choosing the delay and sensitivity sweet spots a cinch because of the thoughtful layout.
The headgear sits comfortably over the head. I did not feel any neck strain, and I can imagine completing a welding job for hours without discomfort.
- Complies with EN379, ANSI Z87.1 technical and safety standards
- Auto-dims within 1/25,000 seconds across DIN 9-13 shade levels
- DIN 16 UV/IR filter for maximum eye and neck protection
- Fully adjustable sensitivity and delay modes
- Comfortable and secure fit without breaking the bank
- Smallish viewing space
- 1/2/1/2 optical rating
6. TOOLIOM TL-M800D True Color Welding Helmet
It is easy to see why many budget-conscious welders love the TOOLIOM TL-M800D Auto-darkening welding helmet. Not only does it have an industrial-grade design, but it also comes with many useful accessories.
This TOOLIOM welding helmet is perfect for welders who want an impressive view of the weld, weld pool, and surrounding areas. Unlike other welding headgear with only two arc sensors, this product features four. The system ensures instantaneous lens dimming, protecting the eyes against arc burns and other injuries.
I also like this helmet’s accessible controls. Setting the delay timer, sensitivity level, and work mode is a breeze. Novices will be able to use this option without much difficulty. Even if there’s a problem, TOOLIOM provided customers with a user manual, along with other accessories like replacement lenses and battery.
People will also feel confident about this welding helmet. It complies with leading technical and safety standards for auto-darkening helmets, giving modern welders peace of mind.
- Industrial-grade, low-cost design
- Four arc sensors for instantaneous auto-darkening and injury prevention
- 1/1/1/2 optical clarity with True Color technology
- Easy to use, even for novices
- Has useful accessories like user manual and replacement lenses
- Complies with leading technical standards
- 1/10,000-second response time
- A bit hefty (2.12 pounds)
7. Tsinglax True Color Solar Powered Welding Helmet
People looking for a welding helmet under $100 should consider the Tsinglax True Color Solar-powered Auto-darkening hood. It is a Chinese brand, which might put off some people. However, its performance and function are almost similar to the western brands. Dare I say it might even be better than many?
I love this budget welding helmet’s expansive viewing window, featuring nearly 14.5 square inches of premium-quality lenses. With its auto-darkening system, this welding headgear can protect the eyes against different forms of extreme light rays. It is perfect for many fields, from food and beverage to mining and metal production.
I also admire the lens quality. This helmet’s glass has an optical clarity of 1/1/1/2, ensuring welders will have an excellent view of the weld and weld pool. I also would like to point out that its UV/IR filter has a DIN rating of 16, making it one of the safest barriers for the eyes.
Notably, this welding helmet comes with True Color technology. I can imagine its implications in the workplace, especially considering its expansive viewer and optical quality.
I adore the thick cushion on the forehead band, preventing skin irritation and minimizing discomfort. I also appreciate the multiple adjustment points, ensuring a comfortable fit over my head.
Manipulating the shade, delay, and sensitivity control knobs is also a breeze because they form a perfect cluster. The arrangement allows ease of access, ideal for weary welders.
- 14-inch viewing area with True Color lens technology
- 1/1/1/2 lens rating for better clarity
- DIN 16 UV/IR protection, perfect for mining, metal production, and more
- Multiple headband adjustments with thick cushion for optimum comfort
- Effortless to manipulate control settings
- 1/10,000-second auto-dim response time
- No information about safety compliance
8. TEKWARE X2 Anti Fog Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The TEKWARE X2 is a cool-looking welding helmet under $150. It is easy to see why many welders love this welding headgear. It has a unique design, exceptional visibility, an anti-fog lens, and safe and comfortable shell construction.
One look at this welding helmet, and it is easy to mistake it for a motorcycle helmet. The lens wraps around the hood’s sides, offering a 180-degree view of one’s work area. Welders no longer need to turn their heads to see what is on the periphery. The panoramic glass already offers exceptional visibility. It also has an anti-fog treatment, ensuring maximum clarity in extreme temperatures.
The lens is also expansive, measuring 4.33 by 2.37 inches. Factoring in its True Color technology, it is almost unbelievable that this is an inexpensive welding helmet. Welders will never worry about missing the mark or creating an untidy weld.
I am also impressed with this helmet’s 1/1/1/2 optical clarity and DIN 9-13 variable shade. The system’s two arc sensors automatically dim the lens in a fraction of a second, saving the eyes from arc-related injuries and other health problems.
It also complies with ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and EN379 safety and technical standards. I wouldn’t be surprised if workplaces started using this helmet as safety equipment.
- Expansive 4.33 x 2.37-inch viewer with two quick-reacting arc sensors
- True Color technology with DIN 9-13 shade levels
- 1/1/1/2 optical clarity rating for optimal visibility
- Motorcycle helmet-style with 180-degree panoramic lens and anti-fog treatment
- Tested and certified by three organizations (ANSI, CSA, EN)
- Heavier than other brands
Antra AH7-860-001X Welding Helmet (Outdated)
One of my coworkers recommended the Antra AH7-860-001X Solar-powered Auto-darkening Welding Headgear, and it did not disappoint. This welding helmet under $200 is perfect for seasoned welders who want to increase the visibility of the weld and weld pool.
I adore this welding helmet’s impressive viewing space measuring 3.86 inches by 3.5 inches, a far cry from other brands’ six-square-inch viewers. Keeping an eye on the weld and weld pool is a cinch, allowing people to improve safety and efficiency.
The lens comes with a 1/1/1/2 optical clarity rating, giving welders an almost distortion-free image. I am also glad the glass’s auto-dimming response time is 1/25,000 seconds, giving me the confidence I need when welding. The shade range is also exceptional, from DIN 5.0 to 13.0.
I like the solar power-battery power combination. What differentiates this budget welding helmet from others is its two lithium batteries. Most brands only have one lithium or CR2032 power cell. People can expect a longer-lasting battery life with this helmet.
Perfect for laborers and constructors, this welding helmet has attachment points for securing hard hats. One can also connect a cheater lens or a magnifying lens to work on tiny welds. I commend the company for this helmet’s thoughtful design, including its comfortable fit.
- Auto-darkening helmet with DIN 5-13 and 1/25,000-second response time
- Expansive 13.5-square-inch viewing space with 1/1/1/2 optical clarity
- Lithium-solar dual power for longevity
- Exceptional fit and comfort over the head
- Compatible with a cheater or magnifying lens and hard hats
- No True Color technology
Neiko 53847A Industrial Grade Welding Helmet (Outdated)
The Neiko 53847A is the cheapest welding helmet on this list. Although it is inexpensive, it would be unwise to denigrate this helmet. It can outclass other passive welding headgear pieces on the market, allowing welders to perform efficiently, optimally, and safely.
Most passive welding hoods feature an IR/UV filter with a standard No. 10 shade. This product has a No. 11 polypropylene lens, ensuring optimum protection during work. People will never worry about shards, sparks, splatters, and other debris hurting their faces and eyes because this helmet offers sufficient safeguards.
I love its flip-up lens design, allowing welders to improve weld pool visibility without raising the helmet over their heads. One flips the lens when not welding or exposing himself to intense UV or IR light. After a break, the shade goes down, and the wearer has excellent protection for the eyes.
This helmet complies with EN175 and ANSI Z87.1 standards, so it’s been tested by reputable third parties.
The headband has two adjustment points, ensuring a perfect fit on one’s head. I also find its overall headgear construction well-balanced. It sits comfortably over the crown, never pulling the head to one side, backward, or forward.
- Passive welding helmet with flip-up lens design for optimum visibility
- 11 fixed shade for optimum eye protection across welding applications
- IR/UV filter, with ANSI Z87.1 and EN175 safety standards
- Two-point headband adjustment for optimum fit
- Affordable, well-balanced construction for comfort
- Loose knobs
What to Look for When Buying Budget Welding Helmets
Buying the top-tier budget welding helmet is an uncomplicated process if the buyer knows what to look for. The following attributes are crucial to picking a good welding helmet at an affordable price.
All the welding helmets on the market come in two lens types: passive or auto-darkening lenses. Some people call these products fixed-shade or variable-shade protective lenses, respectively.
As the name implies, a passive lens has a fixed darkness level to protect the eyes. Most products have a No. 10 lens shade level, although some filters feature a No. 11 or No. 12. It would be wise for buyers to consider their welding processes to determine the correct lens darkness.
In addition, buyers should watch out for budget helmets with a thin plastic lens. They might be cheap but will not provide adequate eye protection. A thick yet lightweight polycarbonate lens material is ideal.
The cheap welding helmets have an auto-darkening feature, ensuring seamless movement across the different lens shade ranges. The auto-darkening filter automatically changes from a light shade to a dark shade without requiring additional user input.
The budget helmet with an auto-darkening lens features an advanced Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), giving professional welders an impressive view of the weld and weld pool. Not only does it make the welding process more efficient, but the auto-darkening feature also makes the task safer.
It would be best for buyers to understand the essential features of an auto-darkening budget helmet to acquire the best value welding helmet.]
It is easy to discern a multipurpose cheap welding helmet. One only needs to look at the shade levels. The budget helmet has DIN 5-13, complete with a cut, weld, and grind mode. The grind mode dims the lens between DIN 4.0 and 8.0, while the welding mode starts at DIN 9.0 and ends with a maximum dark shade of 13.0.
The cheap welding helmet with auto-dimming technology must switch the lens from light to dark in a fraction of a second. A conventional welding process creates an intense arc light that can damage the eyes. Unfortunately, no one can guess how bright the light rays are or when they strike.
That is why the welding helmet should have an auto-dimming response time of at least 1/10,000 seconds. However, a 1/25,000-second switching speed is better.
A light-duty welder’s helmet features two arc sensors that automatically switch the lens from light to dark. On the other hand, industrial-grade helmets have four arc sensors to ensure more efficient lens darkening.
One issue with auto-dimming helmets is that they can darken with ordinary light sources. That is why it is crucial to have sensitivity settings, allowing the user to adjust the lens’ reactivity to intensely bright light.
The welding helmet has an optical rating of at least 1/1/1/2, while some products might offer a 1/1/1/1 value. The numbers in the series reflect a lens’ accuracy, light diffusion, consistency, and angle clarity.
In general, a score of ‘1’ in all four parameters makes the glass excellent. On the other hand, a score of ‘3’ denotes poor quality. Most budget welding helmets featured here have a 1/1/1/2 rating.
Many budget welding helmet reviews consider compliance with international technical and safety standards a must for any welding headgear. Ideally, the helmet should adhere to the CSA Z94.3, EN379, and ANSI Z87.1 guidelines. Having these certifications on a helmet guarantees maximum protection for welders. An excellent welding helmet for the money also provides adequate neck protection.
Nobody wants a heavy and uncomfortable helmet. It would be best to check the helmet’s physical dimensions and weight, including adjustment points and headband materials. Buyers should opt for headgear with soft cushion bands to prevent skin irritation. Some people might also want a narrow-profile helmet to use in tight spaces.
Another feature buyers must look for when buying the right welding helmets is the product’s viewing space. Most products have a six-square-inch viewer, ideal for focused welding activities. On the other hand, heavy-duty helmets often have at least nine-square-inch viewing spaces.
Some brands outdo the competition by introducing innovative technologies in their helmets, such as True Color technology, Blue Light Suppression system, and a combination of solar and battery power.
They also design their products with optimum versatility. Wearing gloves, hard hats, and magnifying lenses is a breeze with these designs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are cheap welding helmets safe?
The term ‘cheap’ is relative. People perceive prices differently. For example, some people might consider a $100 welding helmet expensive. Others would think it is a steal.
When it comes to helmet safety, one should always check a product’s compliance with industry standards set by reputable organizations, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Europaische Norm or European Norm (EN).
For instance, safe welding helmets always comply with either the ANSI Z87.1 or the EN379 standard, or both. Some helmet manufacturers also adhere to other safety standards requirements, such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z94.3.
Hence, cheap welding helmets with verifiable certifications to these industry standards are safe to use.
How often should you replace a welding helmet?
A newbie welder posted this question on Reddit, asking full-time welders how often they change their welding helmets. Their answers are as varied as one can imagine.
A professional welder said he replaces his helmet after every year. Another welder said he ditched his welding hood after 15 years. Other full-time welders had helmets lasting between four and nine years. Generally, seasoned welders say budget welding helmets will not last as long as high-end ones.
Welding experts say people can replace helmet components more frequently. For example, users can switch their helmets’ outer cover lenses with new ones as often as twice a week. The inner cover lens might also require replacement every month and the grinding visor plate every two weeks. People can also replace the sweatband every month and the face seal every two months.
Where is the best place to buy a budget welding helmet?
Amazon remains the best place to buy a budget welding helmet. People can get a discount welding helmet here, complete with freebies unavailable in authorized dealers, retailers, and other e-commerce platforms.
Other popular options include Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and eBay. If one wants welding-specific e-commerce platforms, he can check YesWelder, Harbor Freight Tools, Welders Supply, Welding Mart, CyberWeld, American Welding Supply, and Weldfabulous.
The best budget welding helmet offers exceptional protection against arc and other intense light rays-related retinal injuries. These products have excellent lens clarity and optimum viewing space to improve welding efficiency and overall work performance.
The most trusted budget welding helmets also comply with international technical and safety standards without straining buyers financially.
Our guide provides buyers with a comprehensive look at crucial welding helmet attributes. People who prefer to shop right away can consider the ten budget welding helmets we reviewed.
Our content editor is Joshua Clark. His writing and editing skills are such that he can simplify even the most intricate concept for the benefit of the reader. It’s excellent to have him on board since he can help us develop a comprehensive database on PPE matters impacting all construction workers, from amateurs to veterans.