The Best Welding Helmets from My Point of View

If you enjoy welding as a hobby or side job, or if you’re considering becoming a welder, you probably know that you’ll need a good helmet.  At first glance, finding a welding helmet might sound easy enough.  In reality, there are so many different models available and so many things to consider that you might end up feeling overwhelmed.  Understanding all of the different components that go into a good welding helmet will help you feel more at ease making the decision that’s best for you.


The primary function of any welding helmet is to protect your eyes from the light and sparks that welding generates.  Some masks come with an eye shield that is a fixed darkness, though most masks accommodate, and might even come with, multiple lenses that are reasonably easy to swap.  If your welding is limited to the same type of job over and over, you might be okay with this type of lens.  If you do many types of welding resulting in a wide range of brightness levels, you would probably be better off choosing a helmet that has an auto-darkening lens.  These lenses will darken or lighten based on the work being done, helping to keep the level of eye protection steady.  

There are other features to consider when choosing a lens type, like how well the lens adapts to ambient light and how much clarity it offers.  Some models are definitely designed for indoor applications and can make it difficult to do any work in bright sunlight.  A lens’s clarity dictates how well you can see your field.  A lens with less clarity might mean a lot more stops and starts as you remove and replace your helmet to inspect your work.  Lenses also come in different sizes, so be sure to look for one that offers the best field of vision for your intended jobs.  If your work includes frequent stops for grinding, there are models that offer a grinding mode, which will allow you switch the lens from dark to light without removing the helmet.

Most helmets allow you to manually adjust some settings, including sensitivity, darkness level, and delay time.  Controls mounted on the outside of the helmet are easier to adjust on the go than models with these controls inside the helmet.  You can also choose from models with knob-type controls or digital controls and readouts.

When it comes to protecting more than just your eyes, you’ll find that some helmets offer more overall face and head coverage than others, so you’ll need to be aware of how much extra protection you need or want.  If your job also includes wearing a hard hat, make sure any model you choose will readily accommodate or comes with an adaptor for your hard hat.  

A helmet’s weight and the distribution of that weight are also critical factors.  Two pounds might not sound like much, but wearing a heavier helmet for long periods of time or even for shorter periods of time with great frequency can result in neck strain.  Look for the lightest weight models that distribute the weight evenly enough to make the helmet feel even lighter than it is.  Look for models with plenty of padding inside and adjustable straps to help ensure a snug fit.

There are a couple of other convenience features you might consider.  Some helmets are designed to lock in the flipped-up/standby mode, making it easier to either give your work a closer inspection or just take a breather.  Other models don’t lock or don’t flip up.  This can add extra time to your project.  Having a helmet with an auto-shutoff feature is a great way to make sure your next project doesn’t start with a dead battery because you forgot to power down after the last job.

With prices ranging from around $50 to over $500, you’re sure to find the right fit based on your needs and usage.

A visit to best welding helmets for beginners gives you a comparison, including pros and cons, of several top models for beginners and pros alike.

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Thinking of Becoming an Underwater Welder?

Underwater welding can be an exciting and lucrative career.  It is difficult work (hence the bigger paycheck) and it can be dangerous.  Making the move from traditional surface welding to underwater welding is not as easy as many think.  Breaking into this field can be difficult, as it requires years of experience.  While it may be true that a high school diploma or GED and passing a driving exam are the only official (backed by paper) requirements needed to become an underwater diver, that’s the equivalent of saying all you have to do to become an architect is build a nice tower out of wooden blocks on the living room floor.  Being trusted to do such a difficult job entails mountains of practical experience in addition to formal training.  Below, you’ll find the keys you need to understand and possess if you want a chance to become a successful underwater welder.



While there are no universally standard certifications for welders, getting as many certifications as you can will help your cause.  Do everything you can to show your competency as a surface welder, underwater welder, and commercial diver.  When it comes to surface welder certifications, the more disciplines represented, the better.  If there’s an arc welding certification to be gotten, get it.  Showing your experience and abilities in all three areas and multiple surface disciplines is the only way to ensure that you even make it past a prospective employer’s first glance.  Even with enough certifications to sink a ship, prospective employers will want to see a good amount of practical experience, too.  Do everything you can to build your resumé to reflect a diverse career with a focus to going underwater.



As with other professions, networking can be key to getting hired as an underwater welder.  Building contacts in the industry can help you stand out among lesser-known candidates for the same job.  Local and internet-based groups can be a great way to get your name “out there.”


diver welding underwater

Given the difficult and often time-sensitive nature of dive welding, you have to expect working conditions that are less than grand.  Dangerous jobs often have very little room for error.  Most employers demand near-perfect work without fail.  Don’t expect too many second chances, especially when there are so many trying to break into the field.  You also could face crazy schedules and long hours.  Time-sensitive jobs (like repairing an oil rig) don’t offer the luxury of short days and coffee breaks.  Some underwater welding jobs don’t actually involve welding underwater every day.  It’s normal to expect some downtime or some surface welding between dives.  This is another reason to keep your surface skills sharp at all times.  As with other jobs, the more you know about all the different aspects of your field, the more valuable you are to an employer.

Many are drawn to underwater welding because they’ve heard how profitable it can be.  There’s a reason for that profitability, though.  The job is difficult and dangerous and requires a great deal of knowledge, practical experience, and fortitude.  But, if you have what it takes, you can enjoy a job that allows you the ability to travel to and explore depths most of us will never know.