When it comes to protective equipment for welding, welding helmets are essential, as they protect both the skin on the face and the eyes of the welder.
When you’re welding, sparks, hazardous ultraviolet and infrared rays emerge as byproducts. So, the welding helmet will not only help you cover your face, but it will also protect your vision.
Now, there are lots of helmets on the market, which makes finding one that’s best suited for you a challenging task. And, if you’re looking for something on a limited budget, it’s even more difficult to find a helmet that is comfortable, durable, and designed according to safety standards.
Luckily, we’re here to help you find the best welding helmet under $200. Although it may seem like trying to find a cheaper welding helmet limits your options for finding the right gear, our favorite welding helmets under $200 reviews will show you that great brands offer models within the price range that come with excellent features to give you the best welding experience.
So, read over our top picks to find a welding helmet under $200 that’s best suited to your needs and preferences. Make sure to check out our buying guide at the end of the article, so you’ll know which factors to consider when making a decision.
Top Welding Helmets Under $200: Reviews
Best Overall: Jackson Safety Insight Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The Jackson Safety Insight is our favorite welding helmet under $200. It has it all – comfort, ease of use, an auto-darkening filter, an intuitive settings display, and modes that make it suitable for different types of welding. The Jackson Safety is a good choice for both experienced welders and newbies, as it will keep your eyes safe and give you clarity in the welding process.
So, comfort is a must-have for you in a welding helmet, and you can count on the Jackson Safety. This welding helmet is an excellent choice for long hours of ache-free welding work. The nylon shell is super lightweight, so you won’t feel burdened by the headgear.
The Jackson Safety is popular due to its high-quality viewing area and the variable auto-darkening feature. The variable shades range from to 13, which makes it suitable for welders using different machines.
In fact, this welding helmet features settings such as weld and grind mode, which you can use for any sort of welding, including MIG, arc, and TIG welding.
What’s more, you can adjust the controls and get digital readings that inform you about shade level, sensitivity, and delay on a display positioned on the inside of the helmet. Plus, you don’t have to lift the hood to get an unobstructed view of your work.
Another advantage of the Jackson helmet is its interchangeable outer shell. This means that you can easily switch to other Jackson helmets in case you need to do a more difficult task.
The lightweight HLX100 shell of this model is not an ideal option for overhead welding. For overhead welding, users recommend swapping it with the HSL100 shell.
One drawback of this helmet is that it’s too short at the bottom and therefore doesn’t cover your neck sufficiently.
- Very comfortable
- Lightweight nylon shell
- Interchangeable shell
- Auto-darkening filter
- Not suitable for overhead welding
- Too short at the bottom, resulting in insufficient neck coverage
Most Comfortable Welding Helmet: Miller Electric Digital Performance Auto Darkening Helmet
The Miller Electric auto-darkening helmet proves that you can find a feature-packed welding helmet that’s just under $200. It’s a super comfortable helmet with a highly developed control system that makes welding work easier thanks to its auto lens control function. Overall, the premium headgear elements offer great bang for your buck.
I like how the Miller Electric welding helmet gives you a clear view of your work. It features ClearLight lens technology that reduces eye stress and increases contrast for better visibility.
When it comes to welding, convenience and comfort are essential. This welding helmet can be easily adjusted to any head shape. The ergonomic design will allow you to work for hours without discomfort.
The Miller Electric is quite energy-efficient, which makes it sort of eco-friendly and definitely cheaper to operate. It has an auto on-and-off feature, so it becomes active when you pick it up and shuts down when at rest. Also, its lithium batteries recharge with solar energy.
This welding helmet features digital controls with big buttons that are easy to use. Plus, the settings are quite versatile – you can choose between the weld, cut, and grind mode.
The Miller Electric features three independent arc sensors that improve the auto lens adjustability and make it suitable for any welding applications.
On the downside, some users have found that this welding helmet is inconvenient for overhead welding.
You can boost this helmet with a hard hat adapter that is available for purchase separately.
- Versatile operation modes
- Simple controls
- Comfortable and adjustable
- Clear light lens technology for a better view
- In accordance with industry standards
- Requires additional headgear
- Inconvenient for overhead welding
Best Value-for-Money: Hobart Inventor Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
The Hobart Inventor auto-darkening welding helmet is a super affordable under $200 welding helmet, but it still has a lot to offer. It offers a solid viewing area, a couple of modes, and it’s extra comfortable. This welding helmet is light as a feather thanks to its polyamide-nylon shell – in fact, it’s the lightest recommendation on our list!
The Hobart Inventor decent-sized viewing area of 9.3 square inches. Although it’s not the broadest you’ll find, it’s still good for any sort of welding work. Plus, the sensitivity and delay settings are excellent, striking the right balance between visibility and safety.
I especially like this welding helmet for arc welding. It has 4 arc sensors that provide excellent arc detection, so you can be sure it won’t flash your eyes.
The Hobart comes with two modes: weld mode and grind mode. One drawback of this welding helmet is that the digital controls are on the inside, so it’s a bit of a hassle when you want to change between the modes.
Hobart Inventor Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet is quite durable. The lens comes with a 2-year warranty, though the other parts (headgear, shell, etc.) have warranties between 1 and 3 months.
- Features a grind mode
- Great TIG sensitivity
- Comfortable and lightweight nylon shell
- Affordable yet durable
- Controls are on the inside of the helmet
Best Welding Helmet in True Color: ESAB Savage A40 Black Welding Helmet
The ESAB Savage A40 is another helmet in the under-$200 ranks that is popular among welders. Apart from its affordable price, this helmet has a lightweight, high-tech shell and true color technology, which will give you real colors while welding.
Using the ESAB Savage A40 is quite dependable. For instance, when it comes to sensitivity, the auto-darkening feature will drop to 5 amps for DC TIG welding. And don’t worry – it does react consistently at this low amperage.
You’ll feel safe using this welding helmet. The ESAB comes with 4 arc sensors, so you won’t have to worry about bright lights damaging your eyesight.
This welding helmet is quite versatile, featuring optical clarity of 1/1/1/2 and a 0.07 millisecond reaction time. The true color viewport is 7.7 square inches, so you get a sharp and clear view that will enhance your visibility, and therefore, the quality of your work.
This helmet features a variable delay adjustment so after you finish welding, you can choose how long you’ll keep the viewport darkened.
One of the disadvantages of ESAB Savage, according to some welders, is the lower auto-darkening in the case of bright LED light. Also, unlike several others in this price category, it has no solar cells and uses only lithium batteries.
- Excellent sensitivity for amp TIG welding
- Wide and clear view
- Features a grind mode
- 9 to 13 lens shade range
- 4 independent arc sensors provide great auto darkening
- User-friendly interior with response and delay controls
- The lithium-ion batteries aren’t rechargeable
- Too sensitive to LED lightning
Best Welding Helmet In 4C Lens Technology: Lincoln Electric VIKING 1840 Welding Helmet
The Lincoln Electric welding helmet is made according to the latest technology that offers clear visibility, rapid external shade controls, and comfortable headgear. Although it’s costlier than some other options on this list, I’d say that what it offers justifies the price.
I love the featured 4C lens technology that gives you a clear view of your work by reducing light contrast. The result? Less fatigue, less eye strain, and a high-quality weld.
Convenient work requires visibility, and the Lincoln Electric certainly delivers with a 3.74 x 1.38-inch viewing area. It also features wide screen view ADF controls that are easily adjustable via knobs. Plus, its auto-darkening lens expands the large viewing area by an additional 16%.
Although this welding helmet has only 2 arc sensors, welders are protected from external shade through the lens shades ranging from 9 to 13. Still, I would expect 4 arc sensors for the price.
Overall, the interface is quite easy to use. The strong delay controlling system allows you to adjust the sensitivity and magnification by operating two sensors.
Lastly, the Lincoln Electric Viking is energy-efficient. It comes with a solar-powered replaceable battery.
- Good battery timing
- Improved, clear view
- Large viewing area
- Decreased eye stress
- Only has 2 arc sensors
Best Design: TGR Panoramic 180 View Welding Helmet
The TGR Panoramic 180 View has an authentic design that you’ll love: as you can guess from the name, its wide lens provides a panoramic, 180 view in true color. Just put on your helmet and see how you can rotate your gaze and look in different directions with no difficulties.
The reaction time of the helmet is quite rapid and reaches up to 1/10000th of a second. It also features 4 independent arc sensors that have a variety of settings, including configurations of sensitivity and delay mode.
The TGR Panoramic will make sure you’re safe during the welding process. If those flying particles worry you, you’ll be happy to know that this helmet features protection for grinding as well. It’s also CE/ANSI AS/NZS certified, which means it gets a check in customer safety according to EU, North America, New Zealand, and Australian standards.
Although this welding helmet is a bit heavier than other helmets in its class, it’s still quite comfortable and ergonomic. Welders find it suitable for long hours of work. Its design will fit your neck without any additional pressure and provide a smooth welding process. Plus, the adjustable headband will fit the shape of your head, and the sweatband will keep your forehead dry during intense tasks.
- Adjustable, ergonomic design
- Optical clarity rating of 1/1/1/2
- Large viewing area
- 180 view
- Heavier than other helmets
Best For Plasma Cutting: Antra AH7-X90-001X Welding Helmet
The Antra AH7 is a practical and affordable welding helmet that’s suitable for TIG, MMA, and MIG welding.
This user-friendly welding helmet provides great optical clarity. The ADF of the Antra AH7 also serves to clear out the blurred view and obscurity through the dimming light LCD shutter.
The Antra offers versatile controls. You can adjust sensitivity and shade through three different control keys. The three working modes included in this helmet are grind, weld, and cut. So, I’d especially recommend it for plasma cutting.
You set levels of sensitivity by using the “sense” key control, then you select shade level and control the delay of your active work through the “shade” and “delay” control keys. Plus, you get four separate sensors that provide an extremely rapid reaction time of 25000th of a second.
This helmet will optimize your view as its lens has a minimum response to LED lights and minimal false triggering in sunlight and strong metal lights.
The design of the Antra AH7 is made to protect both your face and neck and keep off debris and spatter which can be quite uncomfortable to deal with.
This option is one of the lightest helmets on the list, so it will make your work convenient and less fatiguing.
Now, onto the bad. The deal-breaker with this helmet are its low-quality lithium-ion batteries that do not last long and need to be frequently recharged, which may hinder effectiveness while working.
Another issue is that this helmet works great… at first. In a few cases, things begin to malfunction within several months. For instance, there have been some concerns about delays with the auto-darkening feature – it activates too soon or too late, so I’m not sure that this is a good choice for sensitive eyes.
- 4 responsive arc sensors
- Great reaction time
- Can handle bright colors
- 3 different control keys and working moods
- High optical clarity
- Compatible with cheater lens and a hard hat
- Low-quality batteries
- Welding mask may malfunction (delay problems)
Best UV Protection: Weldocte Metals Ultraview Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The Weldocte is another ADF (auto-darkening filter) welding helmet under $200 that offers convenient protection from harmful UV/IV radiation. The Weldcote Metals Ultra features masks that protect the neck and ears. It’s also the best welding helmet in terms of durability, as in addition to a sturdy build, it features a 3-year warranty.
As a welder, it’s essential to protect your eyesight during welding work due to the harmful UV/IV rays. This helmet is an excellent choice as it’s supported by True Color Technology and produces light rays of different colors that will clear out your view. It provides a large viewing area of 4.5 X 5.24, which will make it easier for you to follow your work.
A rapid reaction time to the changes of light will keep you away from making mistakes. The four arc sensors perform a fast transition time of around 0.8ms. Plus, they have shade ranges ideal for both welding applications (9-13) and non-welding use (5-9).
What I love about this helmet is that the buttons for settings are quite large, so you can adjust them without taking off your MIG welding gloves, or any other type of thick glove you may use for protection.
Another advantage is that the Weldocte features solar-powered batteries, which will increase the battery life.
On the downside, adjusting the crown piece and face shield tension is a bit tricky. Unfortunately, this can make it sort of uncomfortable for long hours of work.
- Fast transition time of 0.8ms
- Clear, wide view
- Protected eyesight
- Solar-powered supply
- UV protection
- Difficult to adjust
Most Budget-Friendly: Jackson Safety W10 HSL 100 Passive Helmet
The Jackson Safety HSL 100 is a great choice in the category of passive helmets for beginners who don’t need an advanced auto-darkening helmet. What especially makes the HSL the best welding helmet for newbies are the simple, straightforward settings that will save you time. Plus, it’s way cheaper than our other recommendations.
I’d say that this helmet is an excellent choice for beginners in welding or for welders who prefer simplicity when it comes to headgear. It doesn’t have any advanced, complex settings, which makes it quite easy to use.
The W10 HSL is a good option if your welding workshop (or whatever doubles as your welding workshop) is small and cramped. It allows you to work in narrow spaces, as the design of the shell is compact and responsive to light, but it offers a broad view at the same time.
This helmet will keep you safe during any welding job. The HSL meets the ANSI Z87.1. safety standards, so it’s built to protect your neck from harmful radiations and spatter.
The W10 HSL is durable and comfortable at the same time. It’s made from a sturdy thermoplastic that is suitable for longer hours of working. The helmet will be resilient to wear and tear, and you’ll be resilient to fatigue.
This welding helmet is convenient for different types of work as it contains four different arc sensors and the standard shade-10 lens.
The main downside of the HSL 100 is the fact that it is a passive helmet with constant shade. This means that, unlike auto-darkening helmets, this helmet is always dark. Unfortunately, this helmet is inappropriate for professional work.
Still, this helmet model is adaptable with other Jackson Safety ADF options like the Insight.
- Protects from harmful radiations
- Perfect fit for narrow places
- Ensures safe use (meets the ANSI Z87.1. standard)
- Advanced shade-10 lens
- Good choice for newbie welders
- Not suitable for professional work
- A passive helmet with a constant shade (no auto-darkening features)
Now that you’ve read the reviews of my favorite welding helmets for under $200, it’s time to figure out which one is the best welding helmet for you. To help decide which one is the right fit, here is a short overview of the factors you will need to consider.
Optimized vision and protected eyesight are priorities in welding work. When you are buying your helmet, make sure to check the clarity as well as the height and width of the lens (viewing area). You should also check the clarity rating of the helmet that’s caught your eye.
Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
When it comes to delay and sensitivity controls, my advice is to check the options available for setting the correct lens shade on your ADF welding helmet. After all, a welding mask without an auto-darkening feature will limit your activities during the welding process.
When you light the arc, it takes about .35 to 1 sec for the lens shading of the helmet to get darkened. Therefore, you ought to choose the faster in this range of speed.
The shading of lenses is one of the most crucial features in welding helmets. Different types of helmets have a different shade, meaning, some are light, others are dark, and others yet are with transparent shading.
The most important factor in lens shading is UV protection, so make sure you choose a model that will protect your eyes from harmful radiation.
Regardless of what type of welding helmet you will choose, it’s important to buy one that is light enough and will fit your head comfortably, making it suitable for long hours of welding.
The Number of Arc Sensors
So, the arc sensors in ADF helmets serve to trigger auto-darkening when they recognize intense lights and flashes. Arc sensors pick up on the light and the welding mask becomes darker to protect your eyesight.
Now, as you can guess, the number of arc sensors has an impact on the sensitivity of the helmet. The more sensors, the better the sensitivity. Overall, I’d recommend choosing a helmet with at least three or four arc sensors.
The Right Model for the Right Type of Work
Various types of welding helmets are best suited to different types of welding jobs. However, if your job is niche-specific, you may want to consider a model with specialized, professional features. Overall, auto-darkening welding helmets are safer and better than passive helmets, unless you’re just dealing with safer, lighter applications.
If you work underwater pipework, you will need rather advanced, digital features, whereas if you pursue welding as a hobby, you can be more flexible when choosing.
In some of the reviews, I tried to give you a general idea about the type of welding a helmet is best suited for, but you should still follow the links to the product pages to read more information about each option and their current price.
A welding helmet is a really smart investment as it will protect your eyes, face, and neck from heat, lightning particles, flash burn, harmful radiation, and ultraviolet light. In the reviews, I mostly focused on auto-darkening welding helmets as they really do increase the range of applications you can use them for.
So, when you have a budget of $200 and you need to buy a helmet, you can still find some good quality models that are well-balanced. This list will help you choose a helmet that will provide you comfort during long hours of welding. Some of my recommended helmets are among the best offered in this niche on the market.
My overall favorite is the Jackson Safety Insight welding helmet which has a wide viewing area, an auto-darkening filter, and modes for grinding and welding. It’s also super comfortable, and you can use it for any sort of welding.
Now, when it comes to comfort, the Miller Digital Performance Auto Darkening Helmet is one of my favorites. It’s easy to adjust and easy to operate, and I personally love the true color technology.
If you want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth, try the Hobart Inventor auto-darkening welding helmet. You get a decent viewing area, a few modes for different welding work, and comfort thanks to its lightweight shell.
Now, when it comes to fancy optics, you could opt for the ESAB Savage A40 for real-world colors, as it features True Color Technology. It’s also quite lightweight and suitable for long hours of work.
If you prefer 4C lens technology, you should try the Lincoln Electric. Not only do you get clear visibility and reduced eye strain, but you also get responsive shade/delay and comfort.
I’d recommend the Antra AH7 for plasma cutting, as it combines optical clarity with fast dimming response. To be honest, though, I’m still on the fence with this one, as the quality doesn’t seem to always hold up long enough.
And if anything, I want durability in my welding gear. That’s why the Weldocte is one of my favorite auto-darkening welding helmets. Not only does it protect from harmful radiation and sparks, but it’s also super durable.
The best-designed welding helmet is the TGR Panoramic 180 View Welding Helmet. Its panoramic, wide viewing area will give you a clear view of both your work and your surroundings.
Lastly, the most affordable welding helmet – which is also good for beginners – is the W10 HSL 100 Jackson Passive Helmet thanks to its simple and straightforward design. It’s also a great choice for work in narrow spaces. On the downside, it’s not an auto-darkening welding helmet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are cheap welding helmets any good?
Usually, what you pay is what you get. However, I’d say that helmets between $100 and $200 aren’t necessarily cheap, they’re reasonably priced. That being said, you can still find affordable welding helmets that are solid, durable, and versatile. Our top picks fit these criteria.
If you go for something under $100, durability may come up as a common disadvantage. The Jackson Safety HSL 100 is an exception here, but it’s a passive helmet so no cool auto-darkening filters.
What is the best welding helmet under $200?
As I already said in the buying guide, the best welding helmet under $200 depends on what you need as a welder. What type of machine do you work with? What challenges are you faced with on a daily basis? What level of protection do you want? Do you have a preferred viewing area size?
For some, the best welding helmets are those with TGR panoramic 180 views. These models have four separate ARC sensors and provide the largest viewing area that exceeds the expectations according to the price. Also, they feature sensitivity and delay controls.
Others will settle for a more narrow viewing area, but won’t compromise on the number of arc and light sensors. Some want solar power, but others will settle for lithium batteries. It’s all about you.
How dark should welding glasses be?
The intensity of the shade of the glasses depends on the type of welding work you’re engaged in. The typical shade range is between 8 and 13. When the helmet is in the down position, a light lens will allow clear visibility so you can evaluate your surroundings. For welding at 60-160 amps, the recommended shade is 11, while for welding at a higher amperage, the suggested shades are 12 or 13.
How can I know if the auto-darkening feature on the helmet is working?
In order to know whether an auto-darkening helmet is working, you can simply test it out in the sun. This is one of the best ways to test the quality of an auto-darkening helmet. Just lay out the helmet under sunlight and watch the adjusting pace of your lens to the light intensity.
Can you weld with shade-5 glasses?
A Helmet with shade-5 glasses is a convenient choice for light welding work that involves limited sparks, but this type of glasses is not dark enough for most welding tasks that include flashes and lots of light.