A career in welding is one of the ways to secure a future in a demanding professional trade. The demand for metalwork is on the rise. Metalwork is needed for uses ranging from decor, appliances, furniture, utensils, construction and repair. However, like every occupation, welding has peculiar occupational hazards that you should be aware of. These hazards can include explosions, heatwaves, flashes of light, sparks, burns, and skin irritation.
For beginner welders, certain helmets are extremely crucial as a precaution against bodily injuries and as an adaptation tool. Beginners may not be attuned to the welding environment and are more likely to have a negative experience if they do not properly prepare beforehand.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which often comprises face shields, helmets, respiratory aids, protective overalls/jumpsuits, hand gloves, and spats, is often enough to protect beginners from direct and indirect hazards. The challenge can sometimes be in using improper equipment in a specified welding condition.
In welding, half protection means no protection. The importance of PPE in welding cannot be emphasised enough, which is why great care should be taken to get the right protective tools, starting with welding helmets. Here is a detailed review of the best welding helmets for beginners, along with a description of their features and benefits.
For more on criteria for choosing one, check out our in-depth guide on how to choose a welding helmet.
Different types of welding helmets
Passive Welding Helmets
This helmet is the most popular among beginners who aren’t looking for anything fancy. It has a basic design with layering to protect the wearer from any metal that may come in contact with the head and face otherwise.
One of the greatest advantages of the passive welding cap is its functionality. This helmet would be perfect for any welder on a budget. The lenses also include a few special features to adjust for different conditions, some of which need to be replaced on a more regular basis. They are perfect for light metal work that does not involve a lot of flashes, and can be used when cutting rods or joining small joints. The shade has to be lifted intermittently to view the work.
Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets
When comparing passive vs auto-darkening welding helmets, the benefit of the latter is that the lenses are automated, unlike in passive helmets, where they are temporal and constantly need changing.
The automated system allows the lenses to function according to the intensity of flashes and sparks the welder is subjected to. The protection is ideal, but maintenance might be slightly costly. This helmet is suitable for all welding jobs and is the best welding helmet for flux core. In order to wear this, you must set the right arc before putting it over your head; otherwise, it will not function right.
The Solar-Powered Lens Helmet
This is a great alternative for auto-darkening helmets because instead of being battery-powered, it is solar-powered. It saves on cost and the need for electricity. It works like the auto-darkening helmets, but can be a disadvantage if not placed in view of sunlight. As such, it is not suited for indoor welding instances but will be a huge help for beginner welders.
The Battery-Powered Helmet
This helmet is battery-controlled or powered by a replaceable battery typically made of Lithium. It works like the solar helmets but uses batteries instead of sunlight power. This helmet is a great fit for beginners anywhere.
The Fixed-Shade Lens Welding Helmet
Fixed-shade helmets usually go with a standard shade level of 10. These helmets don’t adapt to various round fragment brightness. The fixed-shade lenses are great if you don’t weld multiple kinds of materials or projects. It is perfect for individuals with little to no experience.. For experienced welders, it poses the problem of constantly changing lenses and for that reason this helmet is not a popular choice among them..
The Variable-Shade Lens Welding Helmet
This helmet has a component that helps the lens to conform to many lights and sparks emitted during welding. The Variable-shade lens is preferred by welders who work with multiple materials and a wide array of projects. It is great for beginners who train in an unspecialized field. It provides a clear view of the working field and is very secure, but it is the most expensive type of helmet.
Calfskin Welding Mask
A calfskin hood completely covers your face, neck, head, and shoulders with cowhide. It is the best helmet for outside welding and provides sans glare vision. It goes with a flip-competent shade lip, so you don’t need to take out the hood every time to inspect the welded joint.
You can fit both a legitimate shade channel and an auto-faint direct in the flippable cover. The helmet is made of solid calfskin to give comfort and strength, and it covers your entire head and eyes to protect you against blazes or burns. A calfskin welding mask is the best welding helmet for tight spaces and cold/windy situations, but cannot be worn for too long due to the heat generated inside the hood.
Beginners generally use solar-powered helmets, auto-darkening helmets, passive helmets, fixed/variable shade helmets and battery-powered helmets for work, and among these, the best to use are:
4 Best Welding Helmets for Beginners
This futuristic helmet has a protective visor that allows for clarity and protects the user from sparks and UV/Infrared rays. It is also easy to wear and optimal for welding in tight spaces. It has an APF of 25 on its own and protects you with the right filters against vapours and particles. It also comes with a lithium-ion battery, breathing tube, filter parts, arrestor and belt. The helmet is great for beginners and has optimal features that help beginners stay protected at all times.
This welding helmet with cool auto-darkening features is easy to operate and maintain, comfortable, and can be used in tight or enclosed spaces. With improved optics, this helmet gives a view that is clearer and brighter. When fully charged, the battery life lasts for 2000 hours. It has no special lens but an ADF viewing area of 2.13×4.09 inches. The shades also come in variables of 8-12. This simple helmet is very beginner-friendly.
This particular helmet has an auto-darkening filter, adjustable head suspension, arc-detention sensitivity, and side windows to improve vision. This model is particularly designed for comfort, and beginner welders would appreciate how easy to use it is. With an ADF and battery life of 1800 hours and an auto-darkening lens, the helmet 9100 is perfect for flex cores.
This welding helmet comes with the largest filter field in the series (150mm) and is perfect for beginners whose vision isn’t quite adjusted for tight space welding. It also has adjustable lenses to help vision and, for most welding processes, MMA(stick), MIG/MAG, TIG, and Low-amp TIG that improve welding.
The lightweight helmet has four arc sensors, curved glass windows that can be adjusted, improved clarity and colour sight, and Bluetooth functionality. There is no doubt about this model’s efficiency, durability and ease of use. It is a must-have for those looking to invest in a high-quality welding helmet.