How to Choose Best Fixed-Shade Welding Helmet

fixed-shade welding hood

Welders have been using passive welding helmets for a long time and only recently that helmets with auto-darkening features were introduced and slowly started to replace fixed-shade welding hoods. But still, best passive welding helmet seems to be the favorite choice among some welders as they come equipped with a fixed shade lens made using high-quality standard glass materials and coated with UV protection and IR materials to give the welders much-needed safety and protection from the harmful rays, fumes, and the flying sparks.

Why Choose a Welding Helmet With Fixed-Shade Lens

Generally, including myself, welders prefer welding hoods with auto-darkening features, and for a very good reason of course. It makes life as a welder much easier. It is easier to strike an arc or position the MIG nozzle exactly where you need to, helping to avoid any errors.

Passive welding hoods actually provide you with a much more clear vision while welding, and they are a lot cheaper. The lenses cost almost nothing and you are able to change the shades with ease.

These might not seem like a strong argument, which brings me to my next point, safety.

Are Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets Safe

In my opinion, of course, they are safe, otherwise, they would not be on the market, but from my own experience, they are not always the way to go although they might be more comfortable. The thing is some people have more sensitive eyes than others, and with an auto-darkening welding helmet, after a long day working at a project you might have a feeling like there’s sand in your eye, might even drop a few tears.

I have experienced the sand in the eye feeling, but not with a fixed-filtered lens welding hood. ( learn more about welding safety here!)

Top 5 Non-Auto Darkening Helmets

Let’s look at the best passive welding helmet in the market, at the end of the day, it is your health, your choice, but I would at least try how it feels to work with one of the best passive welding helmets. With little practice, experienced welders do not have any problem working with one, you will get used to it.

Jackson Safety Fixed Shade W10 HSL 100

When it comes to non-auto darkening helmets, Jackson passive welding helmet is one of the best in the market that allows welders to work freely even in tight spaces. Since comes with a narrow shell, it provides welders with enough room to work along with flexibility and movement.

The Jackson Safety Fixed Shade W10 HSL 100 is specially designed to offer welders to cover their ears fully so that they are protected from all kinds of burns, sparks, etc. It also provides enough protection for the neck area as well and the helmet stars in position even during long hours of welding.

The front portion of this best fixed-shade welding helmet comes with an extended design so that to provide the welders with clear vision along with enough awareness of their environment around them. The extended front portion also gives the welders with added protection for the face and the neck areas from the flying sparks and fumes.

Equipped with a built-in shade 10 filter and cover plates, the best passive welding helmet can be easily customized according to your needs. The welding helmet can be utilized for all kinds of welding operations.

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Miller Electric Classic MP-10

The next one on our list is the Miller Electric Classic MP-10. If you are looking for a passive welding helmet that comes with a simple design, then you better check out this helmet. Yes, the design, as well as the structure, reveal a very simplistic look. People who don’t like fancy helmets or their work requires and prefers a basic helmet design,  here is something for you!

The welding helmet comes in solid black without any kind of bells and whistles added to it. Made using high-quality nylon materials, the helmet offers welders with a large viewing area that gives them excellent visibility. There is also a magnifying lens holder provided with the package.

The Miller Electric Classic MP-10 is widely renowned for its shade 10 lens that is regarded as one of the best fixed shade welding lenses ever made. Overall, the Classic MP-10 provides every set of features that a welder may look for in a helmet.

Since both Miller and Lincoln offer tons of great products, check out my new comparison between Miller 215 and Lincoln 210.

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Jackson Safety W10 HLX Arc Angel

The Jackson Safety W10 HLX Arc Angel is one of the most popular passive welding helmets from Jackson Safety as the company is renowned for providing some of the best welding helmet designs and the W10 HLX is one of them.

The WH10 HLX 100 is a big-size helmet that is perfectly suited for people having large heads or necks. The helmet can be easily adjusted and positioned according to their convenience. Even though it comes with a large size, the helmet doesn’t seem to be very heavy on the head.

The helmet is made using high-quality materials and comes with solid construction. It is specially designed using materials that offer welders with all the needed protection against every kind of danger including fumes, flying sparks, and debris during welding. The viewing area is not big but still offers you with excellent visibility and clarity to carry out your work without any hassles.

Overall, the Jackson Safety WH10 HLX Arc Angel is one of the best passive welding helmets for people with large head and necks.

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ArcOne V-1500 Passive Welding Hood

 If you are looking for a lightweight passive welding helmet, then better check out the ArcOne V-1500 as it weighs less than 14 ounces and also one of the most convenient helmet designs on the market. It is perfectly suited to even for long-hour welding jobs. The helmet provides cover for the whole face along with the neck and ears. It is well renowned for its extended coverage feature and the size is also slightly larger than other conventional passive welding helmets. It can be used for all types of welding works as the extended coverage will help you stay protected from all sparks and fumes during the welding process.

The ArcOne V-1500 is very stable and stays in position even during long welding jobs. Made using absorbent material on the inside, the sweat is quickly absorbed and keeps the helmet cool and dry in the inside. So you don’t need to worry about dripping sweat during your work. The outside plates can be easily replaced too.

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Black Thermoplastic Tigerhood

Next in our list of the best-fixed shade welding helmets is the Black Thermoplastic Tigerhood helmet. It comes with a shade 11- lens and gives the users a clear view of the outside.  The shell weighs less than 6 ounces making one of the most lightweight passive welding helmet in the market. It also offers welders with great convenience and supports even during long hours of work.

It is perfectly suited for both beginner level as well as experienced welders and comes at a very affordable price. When it comes to safety, the Black Thermoplastic Tigerhood offers maximum protection and comfort to welders.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the darkest welding shade?

The darkest welding shade that you can buy easily is shade 12, although there are shades as dark as 14, they are not very common because they are too dark for everyday use.

What shade is safe for welding?

It depends on the amperage and the material that you are welding. For example for mild steel at 80-100 amps, it is safe to use shade 10. From 100-175 shade 11 is recommended.

What is the minimum shade for MIG welding?

I would not go below shade 8 by any means. Some “gurus” say that you can weld with shade 5, which is total nonsense unless you want to go blind.

What is a passive welding helmet?

A passive welding hood is a part of the personal protective equipment for welders. What differs it from most helmets is the fact that it is usually cheaper and it has a fixed shade lens that does not darken automatically.

How long do welding helmets last?

They can easily last a lifetime or even generations. It depends on how you take care of it, but passive welding helmets usually do not break for no reason. The usual parts that may need replacement are lenses and protective glass covering the filter lens, which you can buy just for few bucks.


Even though Passive welding helmets are considered as classic and traditional models, still many welders do prefer only these helmets for the kind of comfort it offers. If you are just a beginner level welder and don’t want to spend too much on a welding helmet and still require that added protection, then you can easily go for these best passive welding helmets.