Chris is a teacher of Literature at a school in New Berlin, Wisconsin. He is also our favorite irreplaceable freelance writer who can turn such a boring topic into something that people read with interest and pleasure.
Thomas is a professional welder who gained his certification several decades ago and learned all the nuances of this job since then. When not at work, Thomas loves fishing in a lake near his summer house.
Last updated: July 23, 2022
Weld Zone is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Every welder out there needs a helmet that can shield their eyes and face from harmful rays, gases, arc flash, sparks, flying particles, and so forth. However, finding one that protects you from the mentioned hazards without complicated settings and delays isn’t a walk in the park. Many of the helmets in the current market are made of electronic parts. The odd of them stopping working or their auto-darkening malfunctioning is high. This is where the best passive welding helmet around comes in. With such kind of equipment, you can rest assured that your eyes will be safe at all times.
If you are looking for the best passive helmets on the market, then this article has got you covered. Here, we have reviewed the top helmets and ranked them based on their performance and features. We have considered size, weight, material, warranty, and other essential helmet factors more in our ranking.
More features: made in China, economical protection, all-purpose shade 11 lens
First, our list of the best passive welding helmets is Viking Industrial Passive Black Welding Helmet. This helmet is manufactured by Lincoln Electric, a brand known for quality and comfortable designs. It weighs just 1.3 pounds and comes with a 2-year warranty. The fact that the manufacturer offers such an extensive warranty shows how confident they are about its durability.
We ranked this helmet top on our list because it is straightforward to use, durable and lightweight. Once you have bought the equipment, you do not need to do any assembly or calibration. You only need to unbox it and start using it right away. The helmet also doesn’t have any complex settings and adjustments. It comes with one shade that cannot be changed or adjusted. Its 11 shade lens is suitable for all purposes. Be it stick welding or grinding, and the lens will protect you from sparks, UV/IR radiation, dust, fumes, and other hazards effectively.
The Lincoln Electric company also has another model in this listing far more advanced than this Viking helmet. This helmet, the Lincoln Electric K2800-1, uses electricity for its auto-darkening feature. It takes 0.0008 seconds for the lens to darken. On the contrary, the Viking lens always stays dark and doesn’t need electricity for operation.
What makes it special?
Easy to use as it requires no settings.
What cons did we find?
This helmet could be better if it had a thicker shell to protect welders from high-impact objects.
More features: lightweight, flexible, fixed shade, durable design, reduced tension
Jackson Safety is a household name when it comes to welding helmets. The brand is known for quality and comfortable USA-made equipment. For this passive helmet, the manufacturer didn’t disappoint either. It is explicitly designed to be durable, lightweight, and flexible. This welding equipment is made up of metal and polycarbonate materials. Both these materials are strong enough to withstand shocks and impacts.
What fascinates us the most about this helmet is that it is certified frustration-free. It also meets all the ANSI Z87.1 safety standards. It protects your face and eyes effectively while welding. The helmet’s lenses are equipped with Auto-Darkening and Professional Variable filters that keep your eyes always protected. This passive helmet is also highly adaptable. It is equipped with features of a Hydra flex shell that provides ultimate flexibility. The tool also comes as a complete package. Once you purchase it, you get a cover plate and a shade ten polycarbonate window. You do not need to buy anything else. This tool’s other notable features include an intelligent protection system and a reduced tension design.
Compared to our first choice, this helmet is lighter and more comfortable to wear for those projects that require long working hours. It also provides the best protection from impacts, UV rays, and sparks. Jackson Safety has been in the industry for close to a century in terms of reputation. Their reputation for building quality helmets is a no match to Lincoln Electric company.
Why did it make our list?
Easy to use.
No settings required.
Durable and lightweight design.
What is not ideal about it?
You have to adjust the head strap every time you put this helmet on.
More features: flip-up movable lens, adjustable headband for a perfect fit, 4-1/2 by the 2-inch standard viewing area
This welding helmet is manufactured by Bruffner, a safety equipment manufacturer based in the US. Hence, you can be sure that it meets all the American safety standards. This equipment will protect your eyes, head, and neck effectively as it is made up of high-quality material. The helmet is slightly above 1 pound, making it ideal for projects that need continuous work hours.
This helmet is designed with high-impact plastic material; hence it is suitable for use in areas with many flying debris and objects. The equipment also provides the best protection against sparks generated when welding. The helmet is also designed to protect the wearer’s face and eyes from harmful UV rays. It is also equipped with a clear lens that allows the welder to see clearly. The lens is scratch-resistant and can be flipped up if you need clear visibility. Another fascinating feature about this helmet is that it only covers your face and neck. Since most of your head is uncovered, you can use the equipment for hours sweating or feeling fatigued.
While this helmet is a bit inferior to the Jackson Safety model covered above, it offers the best value for your money. It is easy to install and remove. The helmet also features a flip-up design that allows you to see your workstation clearly when not welding. However, it has a smaller viewing area of 4.5 x 2 inches than Jackson Safety’s 4.5 x 5.25 inches. It also lacks intelligent protection technology, a frustration-free certification, and auto-darkening filters. To weld using the BRUFER model, you have to pull the lens down for the dark shade manually. When using the Jackson Safety helmet, you do not need to worry about anything as the shade automatically darkens. If you want to know how this technology functions, check out our guide on how auto-darkening helmets work.
What are its best features?
Good value for money.
Comfortable to wear for an extended period.
Has a thin shell that can fit in the tightest workspaces around.
The extended front protects your neck.
What could be improved?
This helmet is highly fragile. If it falls on the ground, its lens might break into pieces.
More features: flip front, traditional style, ratcheting type headgear, more viewing room, ten shade lens, clear glass protective lens
Next up on our list of the best welding helmets is the Forney 55672 Welding Helmet. This tool is manufactured by Forney Industries. The brand is one of America’s longest operating family-owned metal works companies. Forney has over 5,000 products in automotive, hardware, DIY, farm, and ranch markets. This helmet falls under their DIY category. It is made of plastic, a traditional design, and comes in black.
If you are looking for a good welding helmet at an affordable price, then the Forney 55672 welding helmet is what you want. It is one of the cheapest models available today. The equipment comes with a large viewing window that makes it easier to view your workstation. It is also equipped to protect your eyes, head, and neck from harmful UV rays and sparks. Forney 55672 is a durable helmet that can withstand heavy impacts without breaking. The equipment weighs just 1.5 pounds and hence is perfect for use during long periods of welding. You can easily carry the equipment anywhere since it does not require any tools to attach or detach. The helmet is also very comfortable to wear. It fits snugly on your head and does not move even after prolonged use.
However, the Forney 55672 is not as effective as other helmets. It lacks advanced features found in more expensive models, such as the Jackson Safety helmet. For example, it does not come with an intelligent filter that automatically adjusts to the brightness level of the surrounding environment. Also, it does not offer the same comfort level as other types of helmets have. Check out our guide on types of welding helmets for more insights on the various models available on the market.
What makes it stand out?
Has a large viewing area.
Easy to install and remove.
Can be used for long periods.
Has heat-treated lens.
Suitable for both beginners and experienced welders.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Lacks advanced features like intelligent protection technology.
Does not stay in place effectively. Its top is heavy; hence the helmet is not balanced.
More features: 8 to 12 lens shade, ratchet headgear
The next item on our list of the top welding helmets is the Miller Electric Passive Welding helmet. This product was designed by Miller Electric Company, one of the world’s most extensive cutting and arc welding tools manufacturers. It weighs 1.75 pounds and comes in black color.
This helmet is ideal for people who prefer advanced designs and functionality. It is also suitable for you if you want a passive helmet with a wide range of shades. This Miller creation has shades 8 to 12, making it ideal for all types of welding and grinding. Its lens offers the best protection from all the hazards associated with welding. Be it sparks, arc flames, and so on, this model has got you covered. This tool allows you to use magnifying lenses for those of you with eye defects. It has five lens holders outside and two cover lenses inside. Despite having many impressive features, the Miller helmet does not provide much protection against extreme temperatures. If you need a reliable welding helmet that offers maximum protection, this model might not suit you.
This model is heavier compared to other helmets in the listing, such as the Forney 55672. It is, therefore, great for occasional welders who do not spend too much time working on the job site. Due to its higher weight, welders might suffer from neck tension and fatigue when used for an extended period. The helmet also lacks advanced features such as auto-darkening and intelligent filters. However, it is more developed than standard welding glasses and makes an excellent choice for beginners and experts looking for a spartan helmet with a large viewing area.
Why did it make our list?
Simple traditional design.
Easy to clean and maintain.
Suitable for occasional users
Large viewing area.
What is not ideal about it?
Does not come with a carry bag to prevent its lenses from getting scratched.
Does not provide adequate protection against extreme temperatures.
More features: ANSI certified, durable clamshell design, lightweight, large viewing area, five-position tilt adjustment
Lincoln Electric K2800-1 is also among the best passive welding helmets you should consider purchasing. This model is made using high-quality materials which are lightweight and durable. As such, it can withstand some of the most severe conditions without any damage or malfunction. The helmet design and components meet all the ANSI standards; hence you can be sure that it is one of the most reliable welding tools on the market.
If you are looking for a good quality welding helmet that offers the best headgear comfort, then the Lincoln Electric K 2800-1 is what you should buy. Its head rack is easy to operate and adjust. It can be tightened from 5 positions around your head to fit your face perfectly. The helmet is also very comfortable due to its soft padding and sweatband. You will never feel uncomfortable wearing this helmet. Its protective lenses offer 100% UV/IR radiation protection when it comes to eye safety. They are also anti-reflective, anti-scratch, and have an anti-fog coating. Other notable features about this helmet include a rugged and durable clamshell design, auto-darkening, switching time of 0.0008 seconds, TIG rating of 35 amperes, and a viewing size of 4.5 x 5.25 inches.
The Lincoln Electric helmet compares well to other models on the list. This helmet is even better than the Forney 55672 covered above. It has more advanced features such as Cheater Lens capability and auto-darkening. The Cheater Lens feature makes it possible for people with eye defects to use helmets. The auto-darkening feature lets you see your working area clearly and only darkens when the arc is activated. No batteries or solar energy is required for this feature to work efficiently.
What makes it special?
People with eye defects can use it.
Sturdy and lightweight.
What cons did we find?
This model is made of a thin shell prone to high impacts.
More features: IR 10 plate, high safety standard, comfortable, optimum balance
Pyramex Leadhead is another top-rated welding helmet that is worth considering buying. It is a product of Pyramex, a brand dedicated to creating safe yet stylish protective gears. Before coming up with any product, this company conducts research, listens to the needs of end-users and distributors, and performs intensive tests. This way, they can create safety equipment that is not only loved by many but also meet the highest industry standards.
The Pyramex Leadhead passive model is designed to offer the best protection to your eyes from harmful rays emitted during welding. For this, it uses state-of-the-art technology and is equipped with various valuable features. Some of these features include automatic darkening, anti-fog coating, and an entire face protection shell that even covers your neck. In addition to these features, it also consists of a wide viewing angle of 4.25 x 2 inches and ample space for breathing. This space ensures that carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide don’t build up inside the helmet.
The Pyramex Leadhead welding helmet compares pretty with the Lincoln Electric model. Both models are equipped with state-of-the-art safety technologies. However, Lincoln has more advanced features such as cheater lens compatibility and so forth. Both models have a rugged and durable clamshell design. They all passively protect your eyes, face, and neck without the need for adjusting any settings, batteries, and solar power.
Why are we impressed?
Large viewing window.
Ample breathing space.
Full face and eye protection.
Rugged, comfortable design.
What negatives must you be aware of?
You can't change shades on this model. Once you buy it, you will be stuck with its unchangeable dark level.
Things to Consider
When choosing a welding helmet, there are several things you should consider first before making a purchase. There are so many products on the market, and knowing the best isn’t a walk in the park. Below we will discuss these aspects and help you make the right choice based on your preferences.
What Is a Passive Welding Helmet?
A passive welding helmet does not require any adjustments. You don’t need to adjust the brightness, tint, or light levels because they are already set at their optimal levels. A passive helmet works automatically and provides complete coverage of your face, eyes, and neck. These helmets are great for welders who want to save time and effort.
There is another type known as an active helmet. This variation requires an external battery pack to work. The battery pack usually sits on the back of the helmet and powers the lights and other functions. Some active welding helmet is powered by sunlight. When there’s no sun, the helmet won’t function.
Advantages of passive welding helmets
Once you purchase the equipment, you do not need additional accessories such as batteries.
Here are some advantages of using passive helmets for welding:
They are easy to use
Unlike active helmets, passive welding helmets are very simple to operate. All you need to do is put them on and go straight into the welding process. The only thing you need to worry about is keeping your eyes protected.
Since they do not require any external power source, you don’t need to carry around extra batteries.
They provide a better vision
With passive welding helmets, you get a clearer view of what’s happening around you while working. This advantage makes it easier to see where you’re placing your hands and feet, your workstation, weld, and so on. All you need to do is flip their dark lens up.
They are less expensive
Compared to active helmets, passive welding helmets are much cheaper. If you are on a budget, getting a passive helmet will be much better.
They are safer
While active helmets require external batteries, passive helmets do not. Since they don’t need any external power source to run, they are safer than active ones. If you use the electrical type and the battery runs out while welding, you risk being blinded.
They are more reliable
Passive helmets are built to last longer. Unlike active helmets, which require constant maintenance
Trusted SourceWelding safety | ISHNNo single task touches on so many facets of safety as welding. Among the issues are fire safety, electric shock, compressed gases, toxic fumes, and personal protection for the eyes, hands, feet, and body. Above all else, caution is crucial when it comes to welding because the risks of personal injury from any mistake are high.
, battery charging, and so on, passive ones are designed to withstand heavy usage. They are also more resistant to damage from impacts. Auto-darkening passive helmets do not need a battery or solar to operate. They use passive electro-optical technology lenses, which do not need any power to function effectively.
They are more versatile
Passive welding helmets are compatible with most types of welding machines. However, if you have a specific model, you can always check its compatibility list online.
They are lighter
Active helmets weigh more than passive ones because they contain batteries, circuits, and other electrical components. While this may seem like a disadvantage, it means you can wear them for long periods without feeling tired. It is recommended to take breaks every hour when wearing active helmets.
They are more durable
Passive welding helmets are made of more robust materials
Trusted SourceWelding Safety Tips and Guidelines for 2020When necessary, welders should wear a respirator to protect themselves from breathing in harmful substances. If you ever feel as though your breathing is inhibited, express your concerns to a supervisor immediately.
. They are also more resilient to shocks and impact. They can withstand high temperatures and extreme weather conditions. They do not have any electrical components which can break down quickly.
They are more comfortable
If you have been using active helmets for years, you’ll know how uncomfortable they feel. Passive welding helmets are much more comfortable because they are smaller in size and weight.
They are easier to clean
When it comes to cleaning, passive helmets are easier to maintain. You just need to wipe off dirt and grime with a wet cloth. You can even dip them in water. Active helmets contain electrical parts and should not be submerged in water. They are cleaned using special alcohol wipes or a damp cloth.
They are more portable and easier to store
Unlike active helmets, passive welding goggles are compact and lightweight. This advantage makes them easy to carry around. When you want to use one, you need to remove the protective cover and attach it to your head.
Disadvantages of passive welding helmets
Despite all these benefits, there are still disadvantages associated with using passive welding helmets. Here are some of the drawbacks:
They are less effective
Passive welding helmets have fewer features compared to active ones. They are, hence, not as effective in today’s welding tasks as their counterparts.
They are not suitable for all purposes
While passive welding helmets are suitable for specific applications, they are not ideal for others. For example, if your job requires you to perform different types of welding, you will need to use active helmets instead. You only need to adjust the shade level with an electrical model, and you’re good to go.
As mentioned earlier, you do not just purchase a welding helmet based on its looks. You will still be stuck between choosing which model has the best shape and color even if you consider that. To make sure you get the best passive welding helmet, here are some essential features to look out for.
Before purchasing a passive helmet, the first thing you should consider is its style. There are two main styles of passive welding helmets – full-face and half-face. The former provides complete protection, while the latter offers partial coverage.
If you plan to work from home, you might prefer the half-face design. However, if you plan to weld outdoors, the full-face design is better suited for you.
Another essential feature to consider when buying a passive welding helmet is its size. It should be big enough to provide adequate protection without being too bulky. The helmet should also be able to fit your head size perfectly.
With a fitting helmet, you can weld for hours without getting tired. Such equipment will also prevent carbon monoxide from getting into the helmet as it will have fitted in without leaving spaces.
If you plan to wear your helmet for long periods, you should check how heavy it is. A lightweight helmet will allow you to move freely and avoid fatigue. On the other hand, a heavy helmet will restrict your movements. With a heavy model, you won’t be able to nod your head correctly when speaking to co-workers.
The most lightweight helmet on our list is the Jackson Safety Welding Helmet. This model weighs just 6oz. You can wear it for an extended period without much hassle and struggle. You can also easily carry it around without getting tired.
It would be best always to choose a helmet made of high-quality materials.
Materials include but are not limited to steel, aluminum, or plastic. Materials such as steel and aluminum are more resistant to heat and corrosion than plastic ones. Also, consider the material used to make the lens. It should be heat-treated to effectively protect you from UV rays and high temperatures.
The viewing area is another crucial factor to consider when buying a welding helmet. When working with a helmet, you want to see what’s happening around you. In this regard, the viewing angle is very crucial.
For instance, if you plan to work indoors, you should opt for a helmet with a broader view. Conversely, if you plan to perform outdoor welding, you should opt for one with a narrower field of vision. If you need a helmet with a large viewing area, we recommend purchasing the Forney 55672 Welding Helmet reviewed above.
Warranty is another aspect to consider when buying a helmet. You get free replacement parts and services with a warranty if something goes wrong. Also, you don’t have to worry about paying extra fees for repairs.
No, they aren’t. The protection you get against arc flash and radiation depends on the shade of your lens. Some welding jobs produce a lot of arc flash, meaning they need much darker lenses. Others have less light and will be ok with lighter lenses.
Most passive welding helmets come with a single shade. They are hence not suitable for every kind of welding. To make them convenient, you need extra lenses for each type of welding. It would be best if you also had the necessary expertise to change lenses from these helmets.
An excellent passive welding helmet can last for over five years, depending on its use and condition. For your equipment to last longer, you need to take care of it. Regularly clean it, maintain it and store it correctly. If you have any defective parts on your helmet, replace them before it’s too late. You can get spare parts from the store you purchased the equipment.
Do not forget to cover your lenses after use to prevent them from scratching by metals in your workstation. A scratched lens may cause glare and reduce visibility.
You do not need to wear goggles while using a passive welding helmet. Passive helmets filter out most of the harmful ultraviolet rays emitted during welding. On top of that, they also prevent flying particles and sparks from reaching your eyes.
You only need to wear goggles when performing tasks such as grinding. And if you have chosen to use goggles, you do not need to top them with a passive helmet unless you do not trust their safety capabilities.
The passive helmets covered in this guide are designed to protect welders from various hazards associated with welding. They are easy to use and affordable. Our Editor’s Choice, the Viking Industrial Passive Black Welding Helmet, offers the best economical protection. With this equipment, you rest assured that UV/IR radiation, sparks, dust particles, and other hazards won’t affect you when welding. The helmet is also equipped with a shade 11 lens suitable for all types of welding and grinding.
Our Premium Pick, the Jackson Safety Welding Helmet, is arguably the best passive welding helmet on the market. It is made of a durable yet lightweight design and has many safety features. You can weld for hours without experiencing neck tension and fatigue with this equipment.
The helmet that offers you the Best Value for your money is the BRUFER 216041 Welding Helmet. This equipment is made of high-impact plastic that protects you from sparks and other stray particles. It also features a flip-up lens that makes it easy to switch between different tasks.
Welding safety | ISHN
No single task touches on so many facets of safety as welding. Among the issues are fire safety, electric shock, compressed gases, toxic fumes, and personal protection for the eyes, hands, feet, and body. Above all else, caution is crucial when it comes to welding because the risks of personal injury from any mistake are high.
When necessary, welders should wear a respirator to protect themselves from breathing in harmful substances. If you ever feel as though your breathing is inhibited, express your concerns to a supervisor immediately.