If you are a professional welder, you know that buying the best welding lens is probably the most important investment you can make in your line of work, of course, in addition to your welding machine. This is because a welding lens protects your eyes, face, and neck against fiery particles, radiation, and sparks.
However, it is always challenging to know the right lens for your needs as the market is flooded with multiple brands that make plenty of welding lenses.
We understand the struggle of choosing the best lens for welding, which is why we created this guide. Here, we have reviewed the top 5 best welding lens for clarity and also provided crucial information that will help you narrow down your choice.
The Best Welding Lens Comparison Chart
2 x 4"
3.63" x 1.38"
4.25" x 2.00" x 0.32"
3.63" x 1.38"
4.25" x 2.00" x 0.32"
2 x 4.25 x 0.2"
3.86" x 3.50"
5.24" x 4.5" x 0.35"
Top 5 Best Welding Lens Reviews in 2021
Here are the top 5 welding lenses that made it to our list;
1. ArcOne S240-10 Welding Lens
7.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
Are you looking for the best welding lens for clarity? Then ArcOne S240-10 is one of the best lenses for welding, thanks to its superior clarity. It is equipped with High Definition Clear View Tech. Further, it has a 2.5 light state. The clarity is so good that the view is similar to as if you had no lens on.
The lens has an impressive 0.5 msec switching speed. This means that you can change from light to dark state in a blink. Ultimately, you save time, and your work never gets delayed. The batteries of the lens are solar-powered.
Further, the lens is water and dust resistant. This is a crucial element as your welding performance will not be interfered with even when working in humid, rainy, or dusty environments. It is also resistant to scratching, making it long-lasting. This welding lens has a decent viewing area of 5.25 square inches.
At 2.6 ounces, this unit is relatively lightweight. If you weld for extended hours, then this is a very crucial feature. With an amperage between 50 and 300, ArcOne S240-10 is ideal for a wide range of welding tasks. It comes in a standard 2” x 4” size, which is compatible with most helmets.
It also comes with two independent sensors. Besides, it has a shade range of up to 16. This provides ideal UV/IR protection. ArcOne S240-10 is definitely one to consider for MIG, TIG, and Stick welding tasks with all these superior features.
2. Lincoln KP3775-1 Electric Welding Lens
7.09 x 6.18 x 0.67 inches
The auto-darkening lens comes in an impressive variable shade range of 8 -13. This means that the light state produced by Lincoln KP3775-1 is rated at 8, while that produced in the dark state is rated at 13. This gives you better dark and light conditions than most lenses do. The variability also allows you the flexibility to work with different amperages.
This welding lens by Lincoln Viking offers superior performance. It comes with a liquid crystal lens. The lens widens the variety of color tones. You can see broader color tones in both dark and light states. Thus, you get more exact images without straining. Besides, it improves precision in your task and saves you time.
Equipped with 4C Lens Tech, this lens gives you an enhanced view of the puddle, bottom material, and arc. The technology further reduces eye strain by eliminating discoloration. This makes it ideal for use in industries that use different welding processes.
In addition to this, the Lincoln KP3775-1 is equipped with adjustable sensitivity settings. Sensitivity refers to the required level of the arc’s brightness to activate the lens’s auto-darkening. This feature comes in handy if you need to weld in low amperage conditions. Thus, it facilitates optimal performance.
KP3775-1 has a welding light state of 3, meaning that the welding filter is lighter. This lighter filter enables you to view your workpiece and area better. It weighs 3.84 ounces.
3. Lincoln Viking KP3778-1 Welding Lens
7.09 x 6.14 x 0.35 inches
Next is this KP3778-1 Lincoln Viking welding lens. Just like the KP3775-1, KP3778-1 is equipped with 4C lens technology, which creates a clear view. The technology also minimizes eye strain by reducing the green coloring in the view. This makes it comfortable for extended hours of welding.
It has a fixed shade 10 for the dark state. This is a suitable choice for those whose welding tasks require low to medium amperage. The light state is at 3, which comes in handy when setting up or inspecting the workplace and workpiece. It weighs 3.2 ounces, which reduces neck straining.
Lincoln Viking KP3778-1 is compatible with most helmets, which ideally fit 2 inches by 4.24 inches’ cartridges. Its batteries are solar-powered. It is equipped with shade control for easy tasks and seamless amperage changes. Also, it has a sensitivity control feature to facilitate superior performance.
Besides, it comes with two arc sensors. These sensors facilitate consistent switching of the arc. It is relatively easy to use, and the delay dial allows you to customize the switching. The unit's ABS lens protects the lens from being deformed under high temperatures. This makes this unit ideal for those welding or storing the lens in high-temperature conditions.
With such superior features, the ability to withstand high heat, and reasonable pricing, Lincoln Viking is one of the best fixed shade welding lenses on the market.
4. ArcOne T240-10 Horizontal Welding Lens
8.5 x 5.7 x 0.2 inches
Yet another high-quality lens by ArcOne is this T240-10 horizontal welding lens. Then it would be best if you considered the high-quality ArcOne T240-10. ArcOne understands that the clarity of the lens directly affects your performance and the quality of work. This unit provides ultimate clarity to help you achieve the much desired superior results.
This welding lens is equipped with two independent sensors making it an ideal choice for DIY enthusiasts. The auto-darkening horizontal welding lens measures 2" x 4". This ideal size fits into most face shields and welding helmets. Further, it is dust and moisture resistant. Therefore, working in humid or sweaty conditions don’t interfere with the performance.
ArcOne T240-10 is a solar-powered lens that only requires about 30 minutes to charge fully. The batteries can be replaced. The viewing area measures 5.25”. This size is ideal for those whose field of view is simple. At 2.4 ounces, this unit is exceptionally lightweight. Its light state is rated at 3. Besides, it has a single shade of 10.5. This makes it the right choice for those who work on projects with a short-range in amperage.
If you are a hobbyist welder looking for the best welding lens, this is a perfect choice for your needs. Although this unit is a bit pricey, the superior clarity performance it delivers makes it worth every penny.
5. Antra AntFi X60-8 Welding Lens
5.24 x 4.5 x 0.35 inches
Antra AntFi X60-8 Welding Lens is the ultimate choice if you are looking for a premium welding lens. With a 3.86” x 3.5” viewing area, this unit provides the most extensive view in this review. As such, this unit is ideal for odd angle welding.
The four premium sensors of this lens are yet another top-notch feature. Sensors determine the amount of light that gets to your eyes. The four sensors facilitate maximum sensitivity. Its batteries are solar-powered, and it further has a battery charge indicator. The batteries are also replaceable.
Designed for an Antra Helmet, Antra AntFi X60-8 is also compatible with other brands. However, doing so would nullify the one-year warranty. When it comes to shade, the unit provides 5-9 and 9-13 variable shades. Its light state is a 4. It weighs 6.4 ounces, making it heavier than the other lens in this review.
Further, the unit’s power on/off is fully automatic. The lens stays on for 10 minutes in dark scenes before it turns to sleep mode. Antra AntFi has a 0.04 millisecond reaction time. The storage and operating temperatures range from 10 to 55 degrees Celsius. This temperature range is ideal for most welding environments.
Other premium features include delay setting knobs for controlling light to dark mode and the step-less sensitivity feature. If you are looking for the best auto darkening welding lens that can be used for TIG, MIG, and even Stick welding, then the Antra AntFi X60-8 is your ideal choice.
How to Choose the Best Welding Lens for Your Needs
If you are still not sure as to what is the best welding helmet 2021 to protect your vision, this section is for you. Here are the basic guidelines that will help you pick the right helmet;
1. Type of helmet
There are two types of welding lenses- passive welding lenses and auto-darkening welding lenses.
Let’s briefly discuss these two types;
- Passive welding helmet- Also known as standard or traditional welding lenses, these are the most popular and widely used helmets. The dark-tinted lenses have a shade of #10. You only get to see through the lens when the helmet is in a down position. These welding lenses do not switch from light to dark state (they remain dark). This means you will need to remove the helmet whenever you want to inspect the weld. Although the best passive welding lens are lightweight, these helmets are quite restricting when it comes to viewing your work area after welding and their inability to change shade level.
- Auto-darkening helmets- These have variable shade and thus can help you choose a shade preference based on welding applications. Typically, you can choose shades ranging from #8 to #13. These are the modern types and are preferred by many welders but are quite expensive and use battery-power for them to be able to change the shades.
2. Viewing size
Another important consideration when purchasing the best auto darkening welding lens is the viewing area. The best welding lenses should have a viewing size of between 6 square inches for light-duty welding and 9 square inches for industrial-grade welding. For general welders, the view size depends on your preference and comfort, but it is also great to go for a sizeable view size.
3. Lens reaction time
This is the time it takes for a lens to switch from the normal shade of #3 or #4 to an active shade of more than #8. The faster it takes for the lens to switch the shade, the better since your eyes will be protected from the intense light.
Normally, good welding helmet lenses have a rating of 1/3600 of one second. However, industrial welding lenses have a rating of 1/20000 of one second. If you are welding intensively, having welding helmets with lenses that have a 1/20000 reaction time is recommended.
4. Solar-powered or battery-powered?
In the past, auto-darkening helmets were only battery-powered. The downside to battery-powered welding helmets is that they need to be changed frequently, which means they can add up to your power bills. However, these days, solar-powered helmets come with inbuilt solar panels and are fitted with a non-disposable li-um battery. Although they can be a nuisance when the battery is low, they have a low maintenance cost.
5. Number of sensors
In most cases, entry-level welding helmets have two sensors, but industrial-grade welding lenses can have up to four sensors. More sensors mean better coverage, especially for people who weld out of positions where the main sensor might be obstructed. If you engage in industrial welds, it is important you go for a lens with four sensors.
When buying a welding helmet, consider weight as heavy-weight welding lenses can strain your neck and shoulders. Go for lightweight welding lenses that have multiple bands to help distribute weight.
With these features in mind, you will find it easy to select the best welding lens.
Frequently Asked Questions about Best Welding Lens
Q. Can my damaged lens be repaired?
A. Most lenses cannot be repaired and thus should be replaced if damaged. With some manufacturers, you can easily find replacements if defects occur. Make sure to confirm that replacement lenses are available before purchasing a helmet.
Q. Does a large viewing area matter when it comes to welding helmet?
A. Yes. View area is an important consideration as it is through it that you get to see what you are welding. For instance, if you are welding in a crowded place such as under a car, a lens with a large viewing area will help ensure you don't strain your neck.
Q. What shade of lens should be worn when arc welding?
A. It can be hard to tell the best lens shade for arc welding, but shade #11 is great for welding at 60-160 amps, while shade 12 can be ideal for 160-250 amps. Shade #14 is for 250-500 amps.
Q. What is the best brand of welding helmet?
A. There are several recognized brands in the market, including;
- Hobart- Hobart began making welding products in 1917 and is known for designing high-quality products. They have helmets designed for beginner welders and professional welders. Hobart is known to offer great customer support and provide affordable, unique products. You can rarely go wrong by choosing products made by Hobart.
- 3M Speedglas- This is the first brand that made auto-darkening lens helmets and has been making welding products since the 1900s. Their auto-darkening welding helmets offer great comfort, optics, and weight.
- Lincoln Electric- This is another leader in the welding industry, having been making welding products for over a century. They employ the latest technology in all their products, with the latest ones using 4C technology for better optical clarity.
- ArcOne- If there is a brand known to make welding lenses with perfect optical ratings and massive viewing areas, it is ArcOne. This brand is known to stand out when it comes to auto-darkening lenses. Their lengthy warranty on welding helmets is also another commendable feature that makes them stand out.
- Optrel- This is a Swiss company known to manufacture high-end welding helmets. Although most of their products are pricey, they are high-quality.
- Miller- This brand is known to provide affordable yet functional welding products. They provide both entry-level helmets as well as industrial-grade helmets.
Q. Why can't I see through my welding helmet?
A. If you have set an optimal visible shade and can’t see through it, your helmet may just be foggy or dirty. You can correct this by cleaning your lens as per the manufacturer’s instructions. In the user manual, you will find instructions on the cleaning products to use as well as cleaning methods to use.
If you like to start welding or welding is your career, it is important that you find a helmet that suits not only your work but also one that will serve you for many years. While it might be tempting to go for the cheapest helmet just because it has a dark lens, it is important that you explore different options that can make your welding tasks more enjoyable.
We have reviewed different welding helmets you can consider. You can rarely go wrong with any of the above best welding lens brands as they stood out from our analysis.
We do hope that our reviews have been helpful and our buyer’s guide has enabled you to find the right welding helmet for your needs.
Keep in mind that there is no one-best-welding-helmet-for-all in the market, which is why you should analyze different products to ensure that you pick one that will fit your needs.