Welcome to Hard Hat Expert where we review the latest hard hats available and advise on the most suitable safety helmet for your industry.
In addition to our reviews on hard hats, we are also eager to talk about the best auto darkening welding helmet that is strongly ruling the work sites and is becoming the preferred Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) of those who are in the welding industry.
6 Top Rated Hard Hats – 2018 Reviews
MSA Tan Skullgard Hard Hat: Staz-On Suspension & Full Brim 454664
First of all, the MSA Tan Skullgard Hard Hat 454664 is compliant to ANSI /CSA (Z89.1-2014) Type I Class G, meaning this safety helmet could be used in an environment where the danger of high voltage up to 2,200 volts is present. Well, this heavy-duty hard hat could also provide you protection not only for falling debris but also in an unexpected electrical bump to the head where high-voltage cables may be lying low or extremely unavoidable at the work site.
• Adjustable suspension size range from 6 1/2 to 8 inches.
• Can withstand high temperatures up to 350F (177C).
• Equipped with Staz-on (with 4-point web) suspension system providing maximum comfort and semi-customized fit.
• Ideal to use in the construction, steel manufacturing, ship building, and welding industries, among other heavy industries.
• 3 suspension systems to choose from (sold separately other than the Staz-on).
• Other available suspension systems include the Fas-Trac III and the Swing-Ratchet suspension systems.
• Available in two different styles: Hat and Cap.
• The hat is terrific for outdoor use while the cap is ideal for welders.
OrbitSun™ 535 Lumen Hardhat Work Light & 360° Safety Beam
If you want a 360-degree visibility during your night work and at the same time, you will be seen as far as 600 feet, use the OrbitSun 535 Lumen Hard Hat Work Light. This ultra bright LED infused helmet light is perfect for pitch black environment, even non-industry workers, bikers, dog-walkers on the highway, and other night activities can be safer for these people. Additionally, using the OrbitSun 535 attached to your hard hat has 100 feet of detailed exposure so you can clearly see what’s ahead of you at this distance.
• Comes complete with lithium-ion battery pack with coiled power cord for easy handling.
• Easy to carry battery pack included in the purchase.
• Last longer than any other headlamps.
• Combination of two LED bands: normal output at 245 lumens, while high output at 535 lumens.
• Operating time exceeds 8 hours with continued use.
• Lightweight at 1.4oz (40 grams).
• Serves also as a reflector, especially when working overtime on highways.
• Might be pricey compared to other hard hat lights, but the price speaks for its multiple functions and added safety features no other brand could match.
HDPE Natural Tan Full Brim Hard Hat with Fas-Trac Suspension
This affordable hard hat is made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene), one of the known materials to exhibit flexibility during impact, and the True Crest HDPE Natural Tan Full Brim Hard Hat is primarily made out of this heavy-duty material. Also known as an advanced engineering resin, the HDPE (also classified as a type of fiberglass) material allows for this safety helmet to have vented holes on both sides to keep you cooler without weakening the integrity of the hat. This hard hat exceeded the requirements set by OSHA and ANSI/ISEA Z289.1-2014 standards and classified this affordable hat as Type I, Class C, which signifies that it can be used in light industries with a minimum of electrical hazards and low-lying work areas.
• In full brim configuration sealing off rain fall on any side of the face.
• Ideal in an extremely hot environment.
• Lightweight at only 1.2 lbs.
• The back has twist-knob to adjust the fit quick and easy.
• With limited use.
Texas America Safety Company Hydro Dipped Full Brim Style Hard Hat Carbon Fiber
The Full Brim Texas America Safety Company Hard Hat is probably one of the leading brands in North America because of its affordable price, full brim style, durable material, and other unique features that can’t be easily found on other safety helmets in the market today. This Hydro Dipped Carbon Fiber Hard Hat has an adjustable ratchet-style suspension system that commonly fits every working man and woman of various industries.
This America Safety Company-produced safety hat is a certified best seller because of its affordability but with superior quality that makes you safer in the workplace.The gloss finish is stylish and won’t easily fade and scratch even in the harshest weather condition. Made primarily from carbon fiber, this safety gear is also using the Pyramex Full Brim technology to protect your face from rain or even from snow and just from flying and falling debris.
• Adjustable ratchet-style suspension for an easy fit.
• Stylish design and geometric patterns available.
• Can fit any kind of accessories, such as light, earmuffs, headlamp, and other functional add-ons without damaging the exterior.
• Carbon fiber material that does not corrode even when soaked in sweat and moisture.
MSA Safety 475408 Skullgard Hard Hat: Fast Track Suspension White
The MSA Safety Skullgard 475408 Hard Hat is one safety helmet that will guard you everywhere you go. Whether you are on the tallest building or the deepest gold mine in the country, this OSHA approved safety gear is one of the most popular brands in the United States. The hat is approved for use (Type I Class G) in a workplace where there is an imminent danger of electrical voltage not exceeding 2,000 volts.
The hat could also be used in outdoor activities, such as wall climbing, zip lining, mountain climbing, and other outdoor adventures because of its lightness (only 1lbs total weight including the suspension). The suspension system is a ratchet-type called the Fast-Trac III, a proprietary suspension system known as its easy and quick adjustment.
• This hat is a standard size that fits 6 1/2 to 8 inches.
• Can withstand the high-temperature of up to 350F.
• Comes in white, with built-in slots for accessories and other attachments.
• Made from phenolic (a type of rigid synthetic resin) material ideal for welding works, ship building, and construction.
• Other applications include agriculture, oil and gas, waste water treatment, sand blasting, paper and pulp, and other similar industries.
Jackson Safety SC-6 Hard Hat (14834), 4-Point Ratchet Suspension
Coming in white color with 4-point ratchet-style suspension system, the Jackson Safety Hard Hat 14834 is built to last and protect your head any time of the day. This safety gear conforms to the ANSI Z89.1-2009 requirements (Type I Class C, G, E) that are made from dielectric HDPE (high-density polyethylene) that is also very light which adds up to its convenience of use.
The Jackson Safety SC-6 is also a product of American technology that is unequaled by any other brand worldwide. Even women working on heavy industries will fit into the adjustable size of the suspension that ranges from 6 1/2 to 8 inches. So, whenever you want protection with style, rely on a Jackson Safety Hard Hat.
• Replaceable suspension.
• Long lasting safety because of innovative design mixed with a durable and flexible material.
• Ideal for women because of its lightness.
• Does not smell even not wash regularly (but it is advisable to clean the hat occasionally to prolong life much longer).
How to Choose & Inspect a Hard Hat?
Choosing ahard hat is not so hard after all! While there are hundreds of types and classes of hard hats available on the online store today, the picking is a lot easier than you thought. The modern safety hard hats that are proliferating in the market nowadays have innovations that are truly functional and have more safety features compared to a decade ago (You also might want to check our article – Choosing the best carbon fiber hard hat).
There are now fiberglass hard hats molded into a light but durable and strong full brim hard hat that is perfect for those who are working in high-rise buildings where wind velocity is stronger and surrounding temperatures may vary any time of the day, even at night when there is an urgency to finish the job. There are also hard hats that come in various colors to give distinction between workers’ individual role in the work place. You can even get a pink hard hat!
Some of the leading brands that manufacture superior quality hard hats along with their accessories are the MSA Hard Hats, Bullard Hard Hats, Texas America Safety Company, OrbitSun, and the Jackson Hard Hats brands. These products are the current leaders in the hard hat category and are one of the best choices in buying hard hats for various industries, such as mining, manufacturing, and construction, among others.
Moreover, inspecting your hard hat is a must for every individual just like you are inspecting your packed lunch before you go to work. Here are some of the best ways to inspect your hard hat:
- Check the shell for cracks, dents, nicks, gouges, abrasions, and other forms of damages that may render the hat useless.
- If your helmet’s shell is made from polycarbonate or thermoplastic and other plastic type materials, check for brittleness, stiffness, dullness of color, fading, and other damages. If these warning signs are present in the shell, it should be replaced immediately.
- The hard hat suspension system must also be inspected for tear and wear, cut on straps, cracks, and other forms of wear. If you noticed any of these signs, it is time to replace your suspension system.
Meanwhile, for company owners who order hard hats in bulk, they must see to it if what they ordered complies to the standards set by OSHA, such as labeling the class (G, E, or C), the type (I or II), the requirements under the ANSI Z89.1-2009 regulation, and other information written inside the hat (see this link for list of other OSHA requirements: F.A.Q).
What Hard Hat Accessories You Need to be Safer?
When you use a hard hat, there are certain accessories that you would like to come with the helmet to make working more efficient, convenient, and as an added safety feature. Such accessories must not interfere with your sight, must protect parts of the face, make the safety hat more comfortable, secure the hat in any position, and other functions that enhance safety in the workplace.
Some of the most useful accessories that work well with safety helmets include face shields, sweatbands, earmuffs, goggles, hard hat liners, and head lights, to name just a few. Some hard hats for sale may or may not include these accessories on your purchase, but manufacturers mostly provide these add-ons separately and can be purchased individually.
Features to Consider When Buying the Best Hard Hat Lights
One of the accessories of a safety helmet is the hard hat with a light. The light is typically used in the mining industry where it is usually installed at the front of the hat or in any part of the helmet where it could not serve as a distraction, so workers may be able to see in the dark without holding a flashlight and do their job easily with their hands free from carrying flashlights. Other industries also use this type of headlamp especially when their people need to work in dark places, at night with low visibility and, as an added safety precautions.
The hard hat lights come in various sizes and illuminations. There are LED hard hat lights, which are one of the most popular types. Here are some of the most sought-after features of a hard hat flashlight that you must also consider before purchasing one:
- Durable and non-slip strap
- Easy to install/operate
- Long lasting power
- Long distance drop protection
- Movable or adjustable
Tips for Choosing the Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
As we go along these welding helmet reviews, you will be surprized that making you safer on the workplace will bring you to some welding helmets for sale that will only cost you under $100. Choosing the best auto darkening welding helmet at this price is not really hard to find, in fact, they may still have the quality you are looking for in a high-end welding helmet. But, safety-wise, the price may come only as a second fiddle when it comes to more advanced features and more functional welding helmet that is needed in your job.
We will give you here some unsolicited advice in choosing the best helmet brands for welding (MIG or TIG welding) and at the same time, you both got the quality you are looking for and the price that will suit your budget. So, here goes!
Why do you need to buy a welding helmet?
If you are a welder, there are certain dangers or health issues associated with just using an ordinary welding lenses to do the job. For one, a welding helmet protects you from the harmful radiation being emitted by the process (welding arcs), heat, dust, smoke, and other debris from the welding fluxes. These unwanted elements may damage your respiratory system and your eyes when you are exposed to this type of environment for a long time.
To minimize, if not totally eliminate these harmful effects, a welding helmet is the best solution. However, not all welding helmets are built the same. There are welding helmets that are made offering the finest optical clarity and more conveniences like the auto darkening welding helmets, the new generation of welding helmets to hit the marketplace.
Some of the best auto darkening helmets in the planet
The Jackson Welding Helmets and the Lincoln Welding Helmets are some of the leading brands when it comes to auto darkening welding helmets. Unlike conventional welding helmets, using the auto darkening helmet (introduced in 1981), there is no need to remove your helmet to see what you have welded.
Also, some auto darkening welding helmet brands have an LCD shutter (also known as ADF or the auto-darkening filter) with sensors that sense the intensity of light coming from the weld which provides an automatic darkening of the lens that relies on that intensity. There is no possibility of “blinding” for the welder and other inconveniences brought about by using an ordinary welding helmet.
4 Top Rated Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Reviews 2018
1. Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Black Welding Helmet: 4C Lens Technology K3034-3
The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Welding Helmet weighs 3.2lbs so it is not so heavy while you are doing the job while you are fully protected from the smoke and fluxes. The helmet comes with style and smooth finish that does not fade even with prolong use while it fits several head sizes. The Viking 3350 Series come also with 4C innovative lens technology used by Lincoln Electric which is suitable for any type of welding processes such as a stick, TIG, and even MIG welding. The clear optical clarity in welding is enhanced using this technology.
Furthermore, the Viking 3350 Welding Helmet is capable of viewing larger area while you are wearing this protective gear. On this instance, you can also see what’s beside you and not only focused on the welding lights in front of you. The helmet has also a pivot type headgear giving you more convenience and comfort. Your job will not be so boring anymore!
• No batteries required in utilization.
• 4C technology also provides filtering lens giving the clearest and optimal view.
• Minimizes the incidence of temporary blindness, unlike other welding lenses.
• No need to set or reset the lens clarity.
• Also, protects the head from falling debris on the workplace.
2. Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, Black, Digital Elite, 3, 5 -> 8 / 8 -> 13 Lens Shade
Want to finish the job early and you are fully energized? Well, you just have to replace your welding helmet to increase you output for the day while also making your breathing more refreshing. To attain these developments on the workplace, try the Miller Electric’s Auto Darkening Welding Helmet. This digital wonder of engineering revolutionizes what was perceived to be unattainable in the welding industry decades ago.
This auto darkening helmet could also be used with a hard hat inside for a much safer working condition when welding in a dangerous environment.
• Has a variety of lens shades to operate into (8 to 13 shades).
• Has ideal viewing area of 9 sq. Inch.
• Headgear is ratchet-type to give you more comfort.
• Lightweight at 2.8lbs.
• Comes in smooth black with stylish design.
3. 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100: Extra-Large Size Auto-Darkening Filter 9100XX- Shades 5, 8-13, Model 06-0100-30SW
Compared to other brands on our list, the 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet has bigger auto darkening filter and it functions just like the way you would want it to be. Its head suspension is designed for more comfort and a light feel to the user. It has 3 sensors that control the ADF when in operation.
This welding helmet is versatile, which could also be used in grinding. Its various applications include several industries, such as for aircraft maintenance, ships, construction, food industry, and other industries needing sophisticated welding applications.
• Has ADF (auto darkening filter) that converts light to dark shade faster than the blink of an eye.
• An ideal protection from unhealthy radiation (ultra-violet and infra-red), smoke, and welding fluxes.
• Larger viewing area at 12.11 sq. inch.
• Could be used for a stick, MIG, and TIG welding.
• Has side windows that eliminate “tunnel vision” for the welder.
4. Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet: Balder Technology (37191), WH70, Black/Orange
At only 2.75lbs net weight, the Jackson Safety Auto Darkening Welding Helmet is thus far the lightest of its class in the industry. Its ADF filter lens has also the best EN ratings among the current breed of auto darkening welding helmets in the market today. The lens have the best diffusion of light, have optical clarity unlike any other, and the variation of luminous transmittance is unequaled, you name it, the Jackson Safety BH3 has it.
Additionally, this welding helmet is the most expensive on our list. But don’t be intimated by its price, if you want really the best and long-lasting service, the Jackson Safety BH3 WH70 welding helmet probably has it all! You may want to look at its other qualities.
• Covers the entire head, including the neck, for protection against smoke, heat, welding, fluxes, and sparks.
• Aerodynamically designed, prevents heat build-up on the face.
• A hard hat can fit inside for added safety.
• Meets ANSI /ISEA Z87.1+2010 standards.
• Suitable for MIG, TIG, and ARC welding.
• Variable shade enhancements.
• With more advanced features.
• With solar power source.
• Advisable for critical workplaces.
These are some of the best welding helmets and hard hats available on the market today, there is nothing you can probably miss about their usefulness and capacity while inside the workplace. Everyone wants safety and convenience while working or are doing something that needs protection from the most important part of the body, there is certainly nothing wrong investing in a tool that will keep you from harm.
Knowing what’s better for us will enlighten us of the necessities that will keep any body from the danger of being out there.
Please send us your comments and questions, if you have any, about this article, and share this with others who you want to be safe anytime from their jobs.