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If you are a welder like me, who prefers to look rather cool than odd, investing in a custom and cool welding helmet or mask is one of the considerations you should make.
However, many custom or cool looking welding helmets don’t have the features that you need (such as auto-darkening, solar powered, big display, …).
So, if you want to look cool and make an excellent welding job at the same time, it’s essential to have a welding helmet that is designed for the job.
How to choose a cool welding helmet that suits your needs?
Generally speaking, a welding helmet should not only look good but also provide the required safety. Of course, there are some basic functionalities your welding helmet should have.
Your welding helmet should not only look good but also provide the required safety!
As you certainly know, weld spatter, weld sparks, IR and UV rays, as well as dangerous fumes can damage your eyes (cornea inflammation), your skin (welding sunburn) and your lung. Some injuries can be short-term and some may stay forever.
Thus, welding is very dangerous for your health, if you do not use proper safety equipment like a professional welding helmet. Read on to find out more about basic requirements of welding helmets:
A) Check the helmets shade level
Since the welding arc is very bright, one of the most important functionalities is the shade level.
Your shade level should fit to your work process. If you do arc welding, plasma cutting, plasma welding, MIG welding or TIG welding you will require a shade level up to shade #13. If you do grinding, a shade level of #5-#8 is usually sufficient. How high the shade level needs to be, also depends on the amperage rating of your weld process.
Lincoln Electric provides a good overview here to figure it out which shade level you require for each process.
B) Welding masks with advanced functionality
Cool and custom welding helmets can have additional functionalities like
- Auto-darkening mode (also called ADF-mode)
- Multiple shade darkening levels (one for grinding, one for welding…)
- Helmets can be solar powered (powered by welding arc light)
- Respirator ready to avoid breathing weld-fumes
C) Find a design that fits to you
Poorly designed helmets weigh way too much. The overload on your head can cause neck pain and headaches in short-term. In long-term, it can also cause back pain and serious health problems.
Last but not least, you need a cool design that states who you are. Some popular designs include flames, skulls & bones, the American flag or wild animals. Furthermore, with a custom designed welding mask, you can even express more who you are and what you stand for. Of course, the additional customization leads to a higher price that you must be willing to pay for.
But for now, let’s stop the theory. Please take a look at the top-list of custom and cool welding helmets below:
Top custom and cool welding helmets
All helmets in our list are limited to known and professional brands. We do this, because we only can recommend helmets that meet our high comfort and safety requirements e.g. the fulfillment of ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3 and CE EN379 standards.
Thus, you will find cheaper helmets for sale somewhere else. BUT do you even consider to buy a cheap product at the cost of your health?
Lincoln Electric K3087-1: Skull design
This is a real badass welding hood. The first item in our list is Lincoln’s auto-darkening welding helmet with a frightening skull design for all evil welders out there.
This skull helmet’s lens shade ranges from DIN9 to DIN13. Of course, you can control the shade with an external knob. Moreover, this helmet meets ANSI Z87.1 standards.
As an extra, this protection mask is fully solar powered and needs no batteries. Thanks to the 2 integrated arc sensors it provides a comfortable switching time of 1/25000 s.
The viewing area with 3.81″ x 1.75″ is around 6.67 square inches large.
Forney 55704 (Premier Series): Patriot design
Designed for real patriots, this lightweight auto-darkening welding helmet has only a weight of 15.34 oz.
Moreover, it comes with an external shade selector (5-13) and has a switching speed of 1/16000 per second. 2 Arc sensors make sure the arc is detected and the viewing area of 5.97 square inch is large enough to craft real weld seams.
According to Forney, the “Premier Series” is ideal for beginners in welding.
Forney 55703 (Premier Series): Flame design
This fiery auto-darkening helmet with its cool flame-design shows everybody, that you are the master of fire.
Same as with all helmets from Forney’s Premier Series, it is lightweight, comes with a switching speed of 1/16000 per second.
Moreover, it has an external shade selector to switch between modes.
Lincoln Electric 600S K3190-1: Red/tan design
Wearing this cool K3190-1 auto-darkening helmet from the 600S series you really get your job done at a good price.
It looks great, has a replaceable protective lens and is solar-powered. Regulate your shade level from 9-13 with the external knob. 2 independent arc sensors will safely detect the welding arc from 2 different angles. The switching time is 1/25000 s. With a weight of 17 oz it is one of the lightest items on our list.
On the downside, the 600s does not come with a grinding mode as the more expensive helmets do. Of course, this safety helmet is ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3 and CE EN379 certified.
Forney 55707 (Advantage Series): Edge design
A dangerous dragon is painted on this awesome looking auto-darkening helmet.
According to Forney, the Advantage Series is ideal for intermediate and advanced professional welders. 4 Arc sensors, large viewing area of 7.70 square inch and 4 arc sensors make this a safe product for every welder.
Forney 55708 (Advantage Series): Patriot design
Technically the same helmet as the Forney 55707 above (4 arc sensors, 7.70 square inch viewing area), this cool welding helmet comes with the famous patriot design which is popular on all welding sites.
ArcOne 5000V-1171: Python Fighting Tiger design
Since 1992, Arcone is a reliable manufacturer of industrial safety products that headquarters in Taunton, MA, USA.
This solar-powered ArcOne Fighting Tiger comes the digital 5000V filter. Thus it has 2 arc sensors, a grinding mode and shade levels from #9 to #13. Moreover you can change the switching delays (8 settings available). Its viewing area has a size of 7.25 square inches. Although it completely covers your head, neck and also your ears it provides enough room for an additional respirator. It is made of flame retardant nylon and can withstand very cold and hot temperatures.
Jackson Safety 46101 welding helmet: Stars & Scars graphic
Comfortable and cool welding hood with 4 independent sensors made by Jackson Safty. This auto-darkening helmet has easy controls and a variable shade ranging from 9-13. Moreover it is possible to control sensitivity and delay on this helmet. A grinding mode is included.
A plus on this helmet is the very large viewing area of 9,27 square inches.
Forney 55710 (Master Series): Camouflage design
Forneys Master Series is the-upper class auto-darkening helmet for every professional welder who loves a good camouflage pattern.
It comes with a very large viewing are of 9,144 square inches. The high clarity lens (1/1/1/1) has adjustable shades ranging from shade #5 to #8 and from shade #9 to #13. Thanks to 4 arc sensors and a switching time of 1/20000 second this is a reliable safety product. Because it is made of fire resistant nylon, it is very lightweight at the same time (18.51 oz).
This welding helmet comes with replaceable 2450 lithium cells and auto on/off technology.
Forney 55712 (Master Series): welding helmet for patriots
Basically the same helmet as above but custom painted with stars & stripes graphic for patriots.
Lincoln Electric Viking 1840: All American
Auto-darkening headgear with stars and stripes design.
Lincoln Electrics 4C lens technology offers a superior vision for the welder. Better clarity, less eye strain, a wide-screen view and increased battery life helps you to master your welding task.
Furthermore, variable shade control (#9-#13), lens switching speed 1/25000 s and additional grind mode are some of its highlights. Moreover, you can adjust sensitivity and delay. This helmet has 2 arc sensors. Weight: 18.8 oz. This helmet is capable of a cheater lens.
3M Speedglas 100V: Razor Dragon style
This customized auto-darkening 3M Speedglas Razor Dragon presents a metallic fire-breathing dragon.
The Speedglas 100V lens lets you select from shades #8 to #12. This helmet works perfectly with 3M respirator products. Switching time from light to dark is around 0,1 ms (=1/10000 s). The battery lifetime is approximately 1500 hours.
Miller 281006 (Digital Elite): CAT design
A must for caterpillar fans is this Miller helmet with CAT design.
Four arc sensors and four working modes provide a lot of flexibility. Weld (shade level #8-#13), cut (#5-#8), grind (#3) with this versatile and lightweight (18 oz) safety helmet. Of course, the helmet meets ANSI Z87.1+, CSA (CatCE, AS NZ) standards.
Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350: Jessi vs the Robot
Auto-darkening welding headpiece with modern art design.
Lincolns advanced 4C lens technology provides superior vision (1/1/1/1 optical clarity). Moreover, the Viking 3350 provides the largest viewing are in the Viking line (12,49 square inch).
Additionally, variable shade control allows adjustment between shades #5 up to #13. Even more, switching time of the lens is 1/25000. It runs with a CR2450 replaceable battery. Furthermore, the included grind mode assists you when grinding. This helmet has 4 arc sensors. Cheater lens capable. Weight: 21 oz.
Lincoln Electric VIKING 2450: Jessi the Welder
Another Lincoln Electric ADF helmet with 4C lens technology. Design comes this time with white dots on red ground.
This safety cover features an optical clarity of 1/1/1/1, 4 arc sensors, a lens switching speed of 1/25000 and a variable shade control from #5-#13. It requires 2 CR2450 replaceable batteries. Viewing area size is 9,3 square inch. Grind mode is included. Delay time (dark to light) can be adjusted (0.1 – 1.0 sec.). Cheater lens capable. Weight: 21 oz.
Maybe a top welding helmet for women?
Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350: Polar Arc
Ice cold polar bear design.
Auto-darkening helmet with Lincolns advanced 4C lens technology provides superior vision (1/1/1/1 optical clarity). Moreover, the Viking 3350 provides the largest viewing are in the Viking line (12,49 square inch).
Additionally, variable shade control allows adjustment between shades #5 up to #13. Even more, switching time of the lens is 1/25000. Due to the fact the energy consumption was optimized, it runs with only 1 CR2450 replaceable battery. Furthermore, the included grind mode assists you when grinding. This helmet has 4 arc sensors. Cheater lens capable. Weight: 21 oz.
Esab SENTINEL A50: Sentinel design
Now this is a really cool welding helmet. When you wear the Esab Sentinal A50, you will look like somebody from outer space because of the fancy futuristic design.
Technically, the Sentinal A50 ADF helmet has shades levels between #5 and #13. Another highlight is the external grind button for easy switching over to shade 4 grind mode. Thanks to a memory option you can store 8 different settings. Moreover, a hard hat adapter option is available. This helmet features a solar cell + 2 replaceable batteries. To switch from light to dark the 4 arc sensors detect the weld arc and the switching time is around 0.075 ms (~ 1/13333 s)
This headgear has a viewing are of 9,27 square inch. The weight is 22.4 oz.
Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Steampunk
Show what you are with this cool design for all steampunks.
Auto-darkening helmet with Lincolns advanced 4C lens technology provides superior vision (1/1/1/1 optical clarity). Moreover, the Viking 3350 offers the largest viewing are in the Viking line (12,49 square inch).
Additionally, variable shade control allows adjustment between shades #5 up to #13. Even more, switching time of the lens is 1/25000. Due to the fact the energy consumption was optimized, it runs with only 1 CR2450 replaceable battery. Additionally, the included grind mode assists you when grinding. This helmet has 4 arc sensors. Cheater lens capable. Weight: 21 oz.
Miller Digital Performance ’64 Custom
Clear blue design for minimalists.
The Miller helmet has auto-darkening mode with lens shade ranging from #5 to #13 when welding. Cut mode has shades ranging from #5-#8. The viewing area is 7,0 square inch. The switching speed is 1/20000. The weight of this helmet is 17 oz.
Check out this review video of a Miller digital performance helmet.
Old school welding helmets
Also check out this cool old school welding helmet from Hobart. Flip the front to see trhough. Approved by ANSI. Affordable price. What else could you need at an old school welding helmet?
Of course you want to avoid welding sunburn and don’t want any eye damage. So better look for a cool but also safe welding helmet. My favorite helmet is Lincolns skull design. No matter what choice you make, I recommend you to avoid very cheap products made in low-cost countries. Because this is a safety product.
If you didn’t like the designs here, you could also consider customizing your helmet with some bad-ass stickers. Another idea is to custom paint your helmet yourself or even hire a designer to do it.
To transport your helmet you could check out some of the welding bags and backpacks we show right here.
Please share your experience with me and leave you comment below any time.