Ever thought that you lack a hood that can give you protection from all those evil flashes? Of course, those sparks and spatters will always be there with you. But to save yourself from your enemy, you will literally need the best welding helmet.
Speaking of such gear, the 3M brand has come up with one of the best welding helmets in the form of SpeedGlas 9100xx.
This particular hood is such a savage safety gear that does not only offer impressive performance but also provides you with a perfect ratio of durability to comfort.
But that’s not the end. There is a handful of more reasons why you should have it!
So, in this 3m SpeedGlass 9100xx Welding Helmet review, we’ll be going through the cores and marrows of this safety gear in detail. Stay along.
Key Features and Specifications
- Viewing Area: 4.2 inches wide x 2.8 inches high (107 mm x 72 mm)
- Filter shade variations: 3,5, 8-13
- Arc Welding Shade: 9-13
- Light shade 3, gas welding shade 5, and micro-plasma welding shade of 8
- Visor: Auto-darkening filter
- Arc Sensors: Three
- Approximate ADF size: 11.75-12.25
- 3M patented five shade filter technology
- Heat resistant silver front cover
- Solar panel for additional sun protection
- Suitable sensitivity settings for normal, low, low amp tigs, and tig inverters
- Grind and Torch cutting modes
- Superior coverage for sides, lower neck, and ears
- Power Option: 3V replaceable lithium-powered batteries
- Weight: 2.09 pounds
Thumbs up for!
One of the Best Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets:
Whenever you’re up to buying a new welding helmet, for beginners or professionals, you should always consider if it offers the benefit of the ADF (Auto-darkening Filter) technology.
While welding, you are bound to produce arcs containing ultraviolet and infrared lights that may cause severe damage to your eyes. But with the ADF technology, the true color helmet acts quickly and keeps away those harmful lights from your sight.
The technology not only acts quickly but it’s also pretty simplistic. The hood includes three different sensors in its interior that buckle up altogether to constantly monitor any single sign of flashes or arcs and forcefully darkens the filter in mere 0.1 milliseconds.More surprisingly, it doesn’t even require you to turn your head or anything else to do
Variable shade range:
Moreover, the lens also lets you select correct shade settings coming from a lighter shade of 3 or the darker ones of 5, 8, and 9 to 13. So, basically, you will have seven different settings for the tone.
Plus, you can adjust the six sensitivity levels of the shade right by triggering the welding filter. This helps in controlling the shade on or off button.
If you want to check the current setting, you can tap the ‘shade on’ button. And if you’re going to pick a new shade setting, you will find a series of LED indicators.
Speaking more of the sensitivity levels, you will firstly find neutral light shade as well as a locked position for grind mode.
After that, position 1 refers to the least sensitive, whereas position 2 refers to normal. Position 3 is for stable welding arcs and low current welding.
Then, position 4 involves being ideal for TIG welding whereas position 5 indicates the high sensitivity setting. Lastly, position 6, which is the darkest shade.
Tack Weld mode
The helmet also comes with tack welding mode as well as a delay function for offering you more adjustment options. The tack weld mode indeed is a unique feature of this 3M helmet.
It’s a trait that enables the hood to turn into shade five state that helps reduce the wearer’s eye fatigue to the least when working on a longer tack welding job.
You will have 3-arc sensors that provide you with outstanding detection when you strike an arc.
With this, it starts the light to dark transition quickly while responding in just 0.1 milliseconds. Once the arc has been struck, the hood gets back to shade 3 within 40 to 250 milliseconds, which ensures minimal downtime, letting you check the weld puddle instantly.
Reduced Overheating and Fogginess:
The hood features 3-channel exhaust vents in the mask through which your breathing gets directed outside. This way, it helps reduce the buildup of fogginess, humidity, and overheating that occurs inside the helmet.
You will find the central channel running up the center of the hood to keep the lens free of fog whereas it offers fresh air to your mouth and nose.
The efficient welding helmet boasts an excellent head-suspension scheme with unmatched ergonomics as well as a comfy padded headband. The makers have put all their efforts into both of their designs in such a way that reduces the potential pressures on the vulnerable areas of the user’s head.
Undoubtedly, they have made it with their mind only thinking of the wearer’s comfort. Say how satisfying it will be when the hood adjusts to your face accordingly without sweating out on it a bit?
The unruffled ratchet system makes it possible with its swivel-mounted fitment setting. It also lets you adjust it to your face conveniently with larger sized knobs, which you will find on the outer side of the helmet.
More so, you’ll barely face any trouble when turning the knobs with your gloves on, for it comes with easy-to-grip hold.
Meaning, it will scarcely require you to pause your project even for a second.
The combination of top-notch optics and the massive expanse of the viewing area has been doubled up with the broader side windows having shade five filters. These arrangements make this hood one of the most competent hood for the professional welders.
No wonder why it deserves to be an excellent addition to the toolboxes of any professional welder.
The hood can effectively be used as an all-purpose helmet, which does the job precisely for MIG, TIG, and Stick welding projects, thanks to its superb sensitivity adjustment settings.
Notably, it’s the best welding helmet for Tig welding out there with a tig rating of industry-leading 1 amp.
If you happen to be a professional, you can expect to get your desired service from this helmet regardless of the type of welding job you will use it for.
Safety Above All:
The best thing about the hood is that it provides you with a supreme eye and face protection. It boasts a filter built with a purple-color IR UV filter on its outer side supported by a spate of liquid crystals and polarizers.
The laminated assemblage automatically blocks or passes light as per the welding conditions.
The purple-color IR UV filter actually is coated glass that specializes in blocking harmful infrared and ultra-violet radiation effectively, whether on power or not.
The hood is engineered to provide you with maximum safety. With its ability to block the inevitable flashes, it protects your eyes from excessive brightness.
It ensures your eyes remain free of strains while welding and also makes sure the precision of welds improves with every term.
Plus, it will also keep you from heat, spatter, and sparks that can cause harm to you. The helmet has been compliant with NZ and AU standard for high-impact protection so that it ensues, ensuring more extended durability.
Durability and Reliability:
Speaking about its durability, there hardly arises a question when the reliability lies within the famous brand name. The standards of 3M are so uncompromising with lasting issues. There had been numerous researches on the design and the elements of 3M’s 9100xx series.
Besides, when considering the pragmatics, the users have admitted its top-notch durability after years of usage. So its strength is quite undeniable.
Thumbs down for!
Cheap Headgear Straps:
The hood comes with two adjustable crown straps so it can offer added stability.
Although the straps function the way you expect it to, its quality seemed to disappoint most of you. There are many users who complained regarding its cheap quality.
So, it can be a little con for you, which may lead you to spend some extra bucks for the best welding helmet headgear straps.
Although there are head straps to keep the helmet in place, many users griped how it slides down with just a slight movement.
So, you may want to tighten the straps down so that the helmet stays put.
The hood weighs around 2.09 pounds. And we have found many users complaining about it feeling heavy on their head.
However, if you work for a more extended period, you may feel the same at some point.
The price tag might be a deterring factor for a few of the potential buyers of this helmet. The fact that it’s built for professional-grade welding projects, and because of the abundance of features like quality optics and auto-filtering lens, the hood doesn’t come cheap at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the helmet come with grind mode?
A: Yes, the helmet comes with grind mode.
Q: Can you use the helmet for welding outside?
A: Yes, it’s an excellent pick for welding outside. However, it is still a challenge to use any helmet that has an auto-darkening filter in direct sunlight.
Hence, it is recommended that you shield your job site with a welding curtain.
If you think it’s not possible, then it will be better if you get yourself new passive lenses that the brand offers for the hood.
Q: What else comes within the box?
A: The box includes a helmet, 3 extra lenses, bag, welder’s cap, starter kit containing 2 inside cover plates and 5 outside cover plates, an informational DVD, and side window covers.
Q: Does it have room to wear the 3m welding mask?
A: Yes, you can wear this 3m mask with the helmet, and it will fit perfectly.
Since it features notches on the side pieces, you’ll be able to move back and forth from your face easily.
Q: Does it run on solar-powered or battery?
A: 3m SpeedGlas 9100 runs on battery.
Q: How long can it function with a 3-volt lithium battery?
A: The auto-darkening function of this helmet can run up to 2000 hours with a 3v battery before you need to replace it.
Q: Can I fit a gasmask underneath the hood?
A: Yes, there is adequate room for a gas mask to fit in. The company has even manufactured a range of suitable respiratory masks for this particular model (e.g., #8212, #8214, or the 6500 series of welding respirators).
Q: Do the lenses fog up?
A: Not in general. The build materials used in the protective layer effectively resist fog. It may fog up in a few rare situations, though; it actually depends on the weather condition or surroundings. But even if it does fog up, the fogginess hardly stays more than a few seconds.
Q: Does the lens take a greenish tint effect from the inside?
A: No, it’s very unlikely for you to encounter any greenish tint as the high-grade lens material efficiently withstands unusual light circumstances.
Q: Can I wear my prescription glasses underneath it?
A: Mostly, you can, unless your spectacles have overly wider rims.
Q: Does the package include a carry bag?
A: Yes, it does. But it’s sort of cheaply made. Since its weight in on the heavier side, I’d like to recommend you invest in something more protective and durable for transporting purposes to ensure additional caring for the helmet.
Bonus: Maintenance of the SpeedGlass 9100xx Welding Helmet
No matter how advanced a piece of welding helmet you purchase, you’ll always need to take the proper care of it to get the best services for the longer term and to cut down the repairing expenses.
Let’s show you how you can take care of this 3M Speedglas headgear.
You should start with the Speedglas 9100xx lens. The lenses are always easier to get clogged with dust and specks. Brush off those particles with a soft-bristled brush, first thing. Then mix a lens cleaning solution with water and wipe the surface. Remember to be extra careful when cleaning the UV IR protective layers as they are extremely delicate.After you’ve cleaned it up, use a soft piece of tissue paper to dry it off.After the lenses, you’ll now need to take a look at the rest of the welding headgear. Try to figure out any possible defects and the parts that might have stopped working.
Check for the cracks and dent that you might have caused unintentionally. Such a crack inside the hood may hurt your face badly and may even split up the hood all the more. Try to heal it with a mechanical-grade glue or tape. Also, take a look if there are any missing or loose screws. If the side knobs are missing their screws, immediately find replacements before the next use.
Always store your helmet in the best storage possible to expand its lifespan.
Since the hood surface is very much scratch-prone, you may want to store it inside a solid, stable, and covered storage to fend of those scratches, bruises, cracks, or dents.
Also, it’s essential that you avoid keeping it in a humid temperature, for this may cause the growth of bacteria and also harm the protective lenses for permanent damage.
Let’s watch the Video: 3m Speedglas 9100xx Welding Helmet Review