Best Passive Welding Helmets 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Last Updated: August 4, 2020
It’s not only old-school welders rocking passive helmets. There’s also a new generation rising up to embrace these timeless lenses, and for a good reason. Check out our buyer’s guide to find out why.
We’ve taken all the hard work out of buying online by reviewing the top passive helmets available. Our top five reviews display the good, the bad, and the ugly about these helmets. Check them out.
A Comparison of the Winners
|Best Overall||Jackson Safety W10||
|ArcOne Black Hawk||
|Sellstrom S28301 Nylon||
The 5 Best Passive Welding Helmets
1. Jackson Safety W10 Passive Welding Helmet – Best Overall
The 14975 W10 HSL 100 Passive Welding Helmet from Jackson Safety is our top pick for several reasons. We like the large viewing area it provides. Often passive helmets skimp on the size of their lenses to keep the price down, but Jackson Safety has included a significant viewing area while keeping the price lower than most other helmets.
The helmet also provides ample shielding coverage around the face, with well-designed reflection to stop spatter from going over it and onto your head. It has a narrow shape suitable to fit into thin spaces. There’s also an extended neck protection feature which stops spatter from hitting your neck or going down your overalls or shirt.
We don’t like how reflective the inner lens is if you’re outside. If the sun is shining behind you, it can bring unexpected glare into your eyes. This is unfortunate, but overall, we were impressed with Jackson Safety’s design. This helmet is even adaptable for hard hats to suit onsite work, which is handy.
2. Miller MP10 Passive Welding Helmet
The Miller MP10 Black Passive Welding Helmet is also a very nice helmet. It has a similar viewing area at just under 16″, with a shade 10 lens that can easily be swapped for the Digital Elite auto-darkening lens.
The durable nylon injection molded shell displays Miller’s quality. It’s not only the best-looking helmet on this list, but it can withstand a hammering of spatter with little effect. It’s also comfortable in how it flexes out of the way when you bump or catch it on something.
The headgear feels better than most of the other hoods do, but it’s not Miller’s best headgear. If the headgear held its ground against Jackson Safety’s W10 HSL 100 passive welding helmet, it would be sitting in our top spot.
3. Honeywell Fibre-Metal Passive Welder’s Helmet
One of our favorite aspects of the Honeywell Fibre-Metal Pipeliner helmet is that it comes with a clean canvas-like slate to add your own creative touch to it. For a fiber-metal helmet, it’s surprisingly light, weighing only 1.6 pounds. It fits nicely around your face.
The headgear is surprisingly comfortable, but it lacks the quality needed for a welding helmet. It’s supported around your head by an elastic band that doesn’t last very long. You can’t wear a hard hat with it unless you modify the helmet.
It’s a solid helmet for onsite work where face protection, more substantial than plastic, is necessary. It’s not a perfect helmet, but we like it and have ranked it our number three choice.
4. ArcOne Black Hawk Passive Welding Helmet
For an almost unknown brand, the ArcOne H-0300 Black Hawk helmet is a good choice for a wide range of welders. It provides excellent shield coverage due to the unique shape, although it doesn’t give the neck coverage of the Jackson Safety W10 HSL 100.
We didn’t like the small lens, and the headgear lacks comfort and is low in quality. We also don’t like the look of it. It’s narrower than it appears, being only less than an inch wider than the narrow Jackson Safety W10 HSL 100 helmet.
We still recommend this helmet; however, getting spare headgear won’t hurt in case you need to replace it.
5. Sellstrom S28301 Nylon Welding Helmet
Our least favorite of the lot is the Sellstrom S28301 Nylon passive welding helmet. It’s not the most attractive-looking helmet, and it has an unusually round shape for welding in, unlike the Jackson Safety and Miller helmets, which have a long thin shape.
Nylon is usually a tough material, but this grade seems lower quality than the nylon Miller uses, because it will crack with too much force.
What we like about this helmet, and why it’s made our top five list, is the quick flip lens. This is a useful feature for passive welding helmets, and if other aspects of the helmet were better, it would rank higher than where it sits now.
The passive welding helmet has been thought of as the welder’s least favorite option, but it’s becoming more popular. It’s an economical choice for someone just starting out, and can be a better option than auto-darkening lenses in many respects.
Some welders prefer the passive lens. It gives people the confidence to weld without worrying about batteries, getting arc flashed, or bumping the shade settings, which can damage your eyes from over-exposure to brighter light than they can handle.
Other welders have spent their whole work lives in a passive helmet and don’t want to try anything different, because it works perfectly for them. Whatever brings you to consider a passive helmet, this is a buying guide explaining what to look for if you’re considering buying one.
Like all helmets, comfort makes a huge difference in the welding experience. Unfortunately, because passive helmets sit on the lower end of the price scale, the comfort factor is often compromised to keep the weight down.
There is a difference in each helmet’s feel, however. We found the Jackson Safety 14975 W10 HSL 100 Black Passive Welding Helmet particularly comfortable to wear, and there are others that also feel better to wear.
The headgear generally determines how comfy it is, what its pads are like, and how the device grips onto your head. The weight of the hood and how balanced it is on your head can also make a difference.
No helmet will feel perfect, but choosing a helmet that feels better to wear will improve your welding experience, especially if you’re wearing the helmet for a significant portion of the day.
Passive lenses are much easier to differentiate from helmet to helmet. There are generally only two differences, size and shade. Almost all passive lenses come with a shade 10 factory lens, but there are different lenses you can swap them for.
The Miller MP10 Black Passive Welding Helmet lens can be swapped for Miller’s best auto-darkening lens, which is a useful option. Most helmets have a range of shaded lenses you can buy to swap between, and some have auto-darkening lenses that fit them, like the Miller MP10 Black helmet.
The size is the main difference between passive lenses. With all welding helmets, the bigger the lens is, the better. This is particularly true with passive helmets, as there is little else to improve upon with a lens. Our top two choices in these passive helmet reviews are in the top spot largely because of their lens size.
Passive welding helmets come in a range of different sizes, which can be chosen because of their look or the practicality of their purpose.
We quite like the shape of the Honeywell Fibre-Metal Pipeliner helmet. It looks good and fits around your face well. However, it’s not suitable for welding in spaces with obstacles around your head, as the helmet’s hard shell gives your head a painful knock when you hit it. This is an example where the flexibility of a softer plastic helmet would be a better option, even if it doesn’t look as good.
Other helmets have been designed with a good shielding range, but are much thinner so that you can get your head in tighter spaces. These are great for confined space purposes, but often you can’t fit respirators or hard hats under them.
Whatever you need for your helmet, there’s a wide range of passive helmets for the different needs of welders: smaller ones for getting into tight spots, or larger and uniquely designed ones to fit with respirators and hard hats.
Our top pick is the Jackson Safety 14975 W10 HSL 100 Black Passive Welding Helmet. It has a thin shape while still giving more coverage than most helmets, along with room for a hard hat, a lens size that offers more than enough vision, and comfy headgear.
The helmet we thought was the best for your money is the It’s very affordable, has high-quality material, and can easily be adapted into Miller’s best auto-darkening helmet, the Digital Elite, with a switch of a lens.
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- A Comparison of the Winners
- The 5 Best Passive Welding Helmets
- Buyer’s Guide