Do you want to buy a welding mask but are not sure which model to choose? Do not worry. In our guide, you will find all the useful information to select the cover that best suits your needs. If, on the other hand, you do not have time to read the insights, you can skip directly to the section with the reviews of the seven welding masks most appreciated by buyers, professional and otherwise.
The models of the best welding helmet for most successful beginners are the Deko Deep Sea IDL02, a mask for hobby use with excellent value for money, and the Telwin Vantage Red, produced by the well-known Italian company and appreciated for its versatility.
7 best welding helmet for beginners- Reviews In 2021
Following, in order of importance, here are the seven welding masks currently most in demand on the market. As usual, the best-sellers are the hobby ones, but there are also professional models.
Rank #1: Deko Deep Sea IDL02 professional solar powered helmet
According to the opinions of the numerous satisfied buyers, the Deko Deep Sea is one of the best welding helmet for beginners of 2020, among those available in the medium-low price range. It is, in fact, an integral model similar to the high-end professional helmets, far more expensive.
We are talking about a self-darkening welding mask, which is powered by a small photovoltaic solar panel placed immediately below the projection screen so that the light produced by the welding arc can be converted into energy. The adjustment takes place automatically, thanks to four integrated sensors, and the passage of the screen from light to dark takes just 1/25000 of a second.
The Deep Sea is also quite light despite its size, just under 500 grams, and is adjustable to adapt to the operator’s measurements; the only flaw is that in TIG welding, the screen darkens more slowly.
- Automatic: The screen is darkened automatically, thanks to the four sensors integrated in the mask. The screen darkening time is speedy, but the type of welding could affect its reactivity.
- Convenient: Apart from the low weight, which is slightly less than 500 grams, it can also be adjusted to perfectly adapt to the operator’s head measurements; as a result, it also offers high user comfort.
- Solar energy: The screen is powered by a 3V CR2450 lithium battery, which has a duration of 5,000 hours, but is also supported by a photovoltaic panel for solar energy supply.
- TIG: The screen darkens very quickly if MIG welding is performed, but with TIG welding, its reactivity is lower, and the darkening occurs more slowly and gradually.
Rank #2: Telwin Vantage Red XL 802936 automatic welding screen
The Telwin Vantage Red XL welding mask is another enormously appreciated model thanks to the performance offered and the quality possessed; it is slightly more expensive than Deko, but the fact of being produced by an Italian company expert in the sector of welding systems and related accessories, places it among the best-selling models.
In comparison to Deko, moreover, the Telwin Vantage Red XL is also much more beautiful from an aesthetic point of view, better cared for in detail, and finishes. It is suitable as a shield for MMA, MIG, MAG, TIG welding, and grinding works, like the Deko. Moreover, it is equipped with sensors, photovoltaic, and obscurely electric solar panel adjustable according to the type of welding to be shielded from.
The only flaw is the cost, which is advantageous only for welders who have to make frequent and intensive use.
- Telwin Brand: The Citadel of Welding, as the Telwin complex is known, is known and appreciated all over the world. The Vantage Red XL is, therefore, an excellent quality welding mask.
- Versatile: The screen of the Vantage Red XL is suitable for shielding from different types of welds; therefore, it is ideal for both MMA electrode welders and for those who work more with MIG-MAG and TIG welding.
- Automatic: The darkening occurs automatically as soon as the bow strikes, so there is no need to raise and lower the mask every time. It is also equipped with sensors and solar panels.
- Price: Considering that it is a Telwin welding mask, the price is well proportioned to the quality, but it is already less accessible for a beginner welder.
Rank #3: GYS Spaceview LCD welding helmet 040717 size XXL
Among the various professional welding helmets sold online in the medium-low range of the market, the GYS Spaceview is also among the most requested thanks to its visibility qualities. It is a welding mask equipped with an LCD screen, like those examined previously, but the latter is characterized above all by huge dimensions, precisely XXL size.
The Spaceview helmet is adjustable both as regards head measurements and for darkening, to optimize the shielding according to the type of work to be performed. It is also equipped with four light sensor sensors and is powered in combination by a CR2032 battery and two small solar panels located above and below the protective screen.
The GYS Spaceview is suitable for shielding from TIG, MIG, MAG, and MMA welding, as well as from grinding or cutting operations performed with tungsten discs.
- Visibility: The XXL size screen ensures excellent visibility; the field of view offered by the box measures 100 x 93 millimeters. Therefore it has an amplitude higher than even the Telwin mask.
- Adjustable: The GYS Spaceview mask can be adjusted both as regards sensitivity and time and for the type of welding to be performed. The darkening speed is just a thousandth of a second.
- Versatile: This mask can also be used to shield the view from different types of welding, TIG, MIG-MAG, and MMA, and grinding operations performed with flex or other tools equipped with tungsten discs.
- Price: According to some, it is a little too expensive because, despite the functional characteristics, the manufacturing materials are not very good, and the mask is made of 90% plastic.
Rank #4: 3M Speedglas series 100 mask for high amperage welding
If you are looking for where to buy a new welding helmet for hobby use, but don’t trust the models sold at low prices, then you would do well to take a look at the 3M Speedglas 100 series welding mask.
It is a mask with a protective shield for those who perform high amperage welding, therefore apart from the MMA electrode welds, it is also suitable for TIG, MIG, and MAG welding. Being a 3M product is of superior quality compared to the welding masks examined previously, and the cost also proves it; the darkening filters are variable from 8 to 12, and the darkening speed is just a thousandth of a second.
The mask is certified according to the European standard EN 175: B. Also, it is also prepared for the mounting of magnifying glasses, using a support integrated into the welding screen.
- Superior quality: The Speedglas 100 series is a product of the American multinational 3M; as such, it is characterized by a higher quality and performance than the average.
- Versatile: It can be safely used for both grinding and welding, the latter both at low and high amperage, therefore MMA, MIG, MAG and TIG electrode welds.
- Screen: Aside from the cutting-edge features relating to blackout filters, the screen is also designed for mounting magnifying glasses with factors from x1.0 to x3.0; the lenses are to be purchased separately, though.
- Price: Unfortunately, the cost makes it not very accessible for hobbyists, but its performance is superior to that of cheap welding masks.
Rank #5: Spargo self-darkening protection mask for TIG cutting and welding
The most economical model, among all those examined in our guide, is this TIG welding mask produced by the Spargo company and is mainly recommended for hobby and DIY use.
Apart from the reduced price, its dimensions are also extremely compact, and in fact, it has the typical design of the “goggles,” that is, the classic protective goggles.
The screen has a field of view of 92 x 42 millimeters and offers protection from UV and IR rays; also, it also has an additional lens to shield the eyes during grinding operations. The filter is automatically adjusted from 9 to 13 DIN, depending on the intensity of the arc, and is powered by a small solar panel.
Spargo is appreciated above all by hobbyist and novice welders, not only for its low cost but also for its compact size and lightweight, which make it very comfortable to use.
- Price: The cost of the Spargo welding mask is negligible, but despite everything, it is the right quality product suitable for those who have no particular needs and prefer to save.
- Filter: Apart from shielding from intense light, the Spargo filter also offers protection against the extreme radiation of the spectrum, therefore against infrared and ultraviolet rays, to provide complete protection to the eyes.
- Compact and light: The “goggles” design makes it very light and extremely comfortable to use since it leaves the head uncovered and shields only the eyes.
- Just for DIY: The characteristics of the Spargo mask are excellent, but it is still an economical product. It is recommended only for occasional use and do it yourself.
Rank #6: 3M Speedglas 9100 MP with XXI filter and Versa Flo V500E
The Speedglas 9100 MP is the best welding helmet for beginners among all those we have examined, but it ranks only in sixth place as it is a niche product with a very high cost.
The 9100 MP is a welding mask with an integrated Versa Flo V500E respirator, and like the Speedglas 100 series seen previously, it is produced by the well-known American multinational 3M. It is at the top of the range in all respects, starting with the screen equipped with the XXI protection filter, which in addition to being auto-darkening is also distinguished by the extra-large field of view, the improved optical properties, and a sharper vision and detailed, even in the color rendering.
It is intended for welders who work at high altitudes or where the environmental conditions are extreme. It is also equipped with a particulate filter and designed to mount the gas filter.
- 3M: The products of the American multinational 3M are all characterized by a high level of quality and performance, and the Speedglas 9100 MP is no exception to the rule. It is at the top of the range among welding masks.
- Improved vision: The visual field of the mask is enlarged on the sides, to increase and improve peripheral vision during work; the screen also offers a sharper rendering of details and colors.
- Respirator: In addition to the projection screen, the Speedglas 9100 MP is also designed for connection to respirators, both electrically ventilated and powered by compressed air.
- Price: The cost of this mask may seem stratospheric, but it is a top of the range product, intended exclusively for professionals in the field of welding, accustomed to working in extreme environments and conditions.
Rank #7: Lincoln Electric K-3282-CE Viking 1740 series welding mask
The last mask examined is also a professional model. Still, unlike the 3M studied previously, the Viking welding mask stands out for a far more accessible price, although in any case proportionate to the quality of the product.
Produced by Lincoln Electric, an American multinational company specialized in the production of welding systems and related accessories, and it is equipped with an auto-darkening screen, internal control variable from 9 to 13 DIN, dimming, sensitivity, and delay adjustment, as well as the function grinding.
It is equipped with sensors and photovoltaic solar cells, which, together with two replaceable AAA alkaline batteries, supply it. The package also includes two internal and five external spare lenses, plus a series of stickers to customize the mask to your liking. As an option to be purchased separately, however, magnifying glasses are also available.
- Professional: The Viking mask is also a product intended for professional welders, with an ideal level of shielding for those who spend at least five days a week welding.
- Light: It weighs just under 500 grams and can be adjusted to the size of the wearer’s head; its comfort of use is decidedly high therefore and does not cause excessive nuisances even when wearing it for hours.
- Customizable: Apart from the spare glasses for the screen, the package also contains a series of stickers that allow you to customize the mask according to your tastes, or to make it easily distinguishable.
- Field of view: Despite the helmet design and the high price, the field of view of the screen is smaller than that of the masks of similar design and size.
How to use a welding helmet
How the welding mask works
Welding masks can be of different types: from simple protective goggles to full-face helmet models, including those prepared or directly equipped with an integrated respirator. The most critical component of the mask, however, remains the special filter placed to protect the eyes, which can be of two types: passive and active.
The old mask models, for example, are those equipped with a passive filter, that is a pure smoked glass like those used to observe solar eclipses, and therefore perpetually obscured; in passive filters, consequently, the darkening level is also fixed. Professional welders, therefore, who work with different amperages starting from the lowest to the highest, should necessarily have a set of different masks to use according to the needs.
For this reason, especially in the professional sector, masks with passive filter have not been used for almost 15-20 years now, and have been replaced by new models of masks with active filter, sensors and LCD screens, also known as self-masks. Blackout. On the other hand, in domestic and amateur settings, especially where the use of the welding machine is occasional and not intensive, protective masks can still be found with the passive filter, especially in the form of welding goggles.
The differences in typology
The operating principle of a new welding mask varies depending on the model, the auto-darkening masks can be such as they use special polarizing filters indicated with the acronym ADF, or Auto Darkening Filter (or automatic darkening filter), or an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display).
The ADF filter is nothing more than a printed circuit connected to a small electronic board and sensors; these capture the intensity of the light generated by the electric arc during welding to activate the sudden reaction of the filter, which darkens exceptionally quickly.
The LCD is even more efficient, however, as it is usually added to the ADF filter, and allows the operator to be able to see through the latter both before and during welding.
Quality isn’t free
The number of sensors and the reaction time of the filter depend a lot on the type of mask chosen and the price; the more performing models, from this point of view, tend to be even more expensive. One aspect in particular, however, substantially affects the price and quality of the mask, and it is the level of darkening of the filter, which is usually measured in DIN.
The DIN value can be fixed or adjustable according to the mask, in fact, and affects the type of welding that the latter makes possible. The higher the amperage used for welding, in fact, the higher the DIN value must be (which therefore corresponds to a more significant darkening).
Masks with fixed DIN are usually adjusted to a value of 11, while those with variable DIN can be adjusted from DIN 5 to DIN 13; the latter value, for example, allows welding with a current of up to 300 Ampere.
How to choose the best welding helmet for beginners
Pay attention to the requirements of the mask.
To understand how to choose a good welding mask, you must first have bright ideas about the type of welds you want to perform, and this clarification is especially beneficial for hobbyists and beginner welders.
The masks, in fact, in addition to acting as protective devices also allow you to maintain visual contact with the pieces to be welded, so as not to make mistakes and affect the work; in this case, therefore, the price is not the only factor to determine which welding mask to buy, but it is necessary to pay particular attention to the DIN values, which indicate the darkening capacity of the filter, and then to the structural characteristics of the mask, which can be integral or reduced only to the shape of goggles.
The degree of darkening
As for prices, these can vary from a minimum of 20-25 up to a maximum of 1,300 euros and beyond, depending on the model chosen. The price is indicative not only of the quality but also of the characteristics of the mask, even if, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, only in a relative way.
The type of filter mounted on the mask, and the technology used, are the most critical factors in determining the kind of usability of the same; the darkening can be more or less intense, fixed or adjustable. For the degree of darkening, it is necessary to refer to the DIN value possessed by the filter mounted on the mask, which can be fixed or variable depending on the case.
The value expressed, and therefore the intensity of the darkening, is closely linked to the type of welding; the more significant the amperage of the welding current, the more intense the light produced by the arc will be. To give a practical example, therefore, a filter with a DIN 8 value is limited to low amperage welding, not more than 70 A, while a screen with a DIN 11 value allows us to perform welding with an output current up to 200 Ampere.
In the most economical range, therefore, there are both glasses and full-face masks for welding with fixed DIN 11 and those with DIN variable from 5 to 12. Thus both types ensure an absolute versatility of use and the possibility of performing welding with an output current not exceeding 300 Ampere (DIN 12); in the medium-high range, on the other hand, there are welding masks equipped with filters with variable DIN up to the value 13, which allows welding with an output current greater than 300 Ampere.
Professional welding masks
The price of a suitable welding mask intended for hobby and craft use, therefore, rarely exceeds 130-150 dollars. At the top of this price range, you can also find excellent masks designed for professional use, even if with essential performance.
High-performance professional welding masks, on the other hand, have a price that varies from at least 150 to 300 dollars, except for the specific models which are also equipped with a respirator.
The latter can easily exceed $ 1,000, as mentioned above. Still, these are precisely specific masks intended for particular professional areas; they are therefore niche products and, as such, not much in demand by the wider range of users, made up of hobbyists and professionals who have no needs of this kind.
What is the welding mask for?
Welding masks are protective devices that serve precisely to protect the operator’s eyes during work. The filter of the mask shields the eyes both from the light intensity generated by the arc, which varies according to the amperage used and from the ultraviolet and infrared radiation of the spectrum.
The eyes are the essential part of the body to protect during welding, but depending on the type of mask used, the protection is also extended to the skin of the face and the respiratory tract. During welding, in fact, in addition to the generation of intense light by the voltaic arc, occasional splashes of molten metal can be produced which are expelled from the welding bath; Furthermore, the melting of the metal also produces fumes which, depending on the welded alloy, can be more or less harmful to the human organism.
The use of the mask is therefore essential, both for health reasons and for the correct execution of the welds, as the intense light produced by the arc would dazzle the operator and prevent him from maintaining the view of the parts to be welded.
What is the difference between a mask and welding glasses?
On the market, you can find both masks and welding goggles. The difference between the two protective devices, apart from the purely structural aspect, is given by the fact that the glasses are limited exclusively to the protection of the eyes.
It is, therefore, a type of mask suitable only for hobbyists, especially those who use the welding system for small and occasional jobs and consequently do not need to purchase a more performing but also a more expensive mask.