Speedglas Welding Helmets Reviews

Equipping yourself with welding accessories is not a piece of cake due to the variety of existing brands, materials involved, and prices. Nowadays, welding helmets are heavily marketed, where the 3M Speedglas brand ranks as one of the most high-quality and reliable manufacturers.

Let’s cover the product line of welding helmets offered by Speedglas and evaluate their efficacy in terms of features and protection. The review will involve their key characteristics, users’ feedback, as well as pros and cons. It may then help you choose the helmet that meets all your requirements.

The Profile of 3M Speedglas Brand

3M is an American-based company that focuses on producing equipment for industry, healthcare, and work safety fields. The whole assortment consists of over 60K products, including Speedglas welding safety equipment with their helmets and respiratory systems for the utmost protection of head, eyes, ears, etc.

Today, the Speedglas line of welding helmets includes 6 key models, with which each welder may access both safety and comfort together. Their helmets are known to protect one against heat, spatter, radiation, while their headbands are designed in a way, sensitive areas of the face are avoided, and the shield naturally shapes the head.

What makes them so popular? Their welding helmets come with auto-darkening filters (ADF), which reduce the number of shield lifts, hence, promote productivity. 

In the market of welding equipment, Speedglas has proven itself as a professional product-brand. Speedglas offers 3M’s first-ever Variable Color Technology alongside adjustable airflow, optional 1000 APF (automatic pressure filter), ADF, task light accessories, Bluetooth, among others.

The color technology helps see welding and/or grinding works in detail. A wide viewing area, light shield material, fast switching time, and tons of positive feedback from welders across the world are what make their welding helmets worth trying.

Finally, 3M is the company that boasts a variety of awards, including for their innovation impact, employment possibilities, as well as ethical and community-minded approaches. All in all, this company is more than just a manufacturer of industrial products, but a party with a responsible attitude toward the comfort and safety of works of those people who are involved in welding daily.

Note, some of the below-mentioned welding helmets also have sub-models or else called a series, which you may find on the official brand website. For instance, 9100 welding helmets involve 9100 FX, 9100 V, 9100 QR, 9100 MP, 9100-Air, and 9100 FX-Air models. The same concerns 9002NC.

From our side, we carried the mission to present the key models from each series for your general introduction of the product line.

Speedglas Welding Helmets Comparison Chart

ImageProductPrice
3M Speedglas 91003M Speedglas 9100

Viewing area: 1.8 x 3.7 in. (45 x 93 mm)
Battery life: 2800 hours
Shades: 5, 8-13
Switching speed: 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)
3M Speedglas 10 (2)3M Speedglas 10

Viewing area: 3.66 x 1.73 in. (93 x 44 mm)
Battery life: 1500 hours
Shades: 3, 10, 12
Switching speed: 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)
3M Speedglas 9002 NC (3)3M Speedglas 9002 NC

Viewing area: 4.21 x 2.17 in. (107 x 55 mm)
Battery life: 2000 hours
Shades: 8 -12
Switching speed: 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)
3M Speedglas SL (4)3M Speedglas SL

Viewing area: 3. 57 x 1.68 in. (91 x 43mm)
Battery life: 1500 hours
Shades: 8 -12
Switching speed: less than 0.15 ms (23°C/73° F)
3M Speedglas 100 (5)3M Speedglas 100

Viewing area: 3.66 x 1.73 in. (93 x 44 mm)
Battery life: 1500 hours
Shades: 8 - 12
Switching speed: 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)
3M Speedglas G5-013M Speedglas G5-01

Viewing area: 2.9 x 4.3 in. (73 x 109 mm
Battery life: 1500 hours
Shades: 5, 8-13
Switching speed: 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)

6 Speedglas Welding Helmets (as of April, 2021)

1. 3M Speedglas 9100 Welding Helmet Review

3M Speedglas 9100 Review, Pros and Cons

Speedglas 9100 V is the basic model that comes with a small viewport area, though it’s solar-assist, which potentially extends the battery life.

It’s compatible with shades 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 designated to help protect welder’s eyes from radiation, UV (ultraviolet)/IR (infrared) resulting from plasma, gas, and arc processes. The switching speed of this model is equal to 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F). 

This might be a fit-choice for those welders who want to reduce the time of lifts of the shield. The helmet also allows seeing every detail in realistic colors, though it lacks a button for freezing filter during the grinding. 

As for materials involved, there are nylon, polypropylene, polythene, thermoplastic for the headband, polycarbonate for side windows and protection plates, as well as 75% cotton and 25% Kevlar for tecaweld fabric.

According to users’ feedback, 9100 V has an excellent side view, which deprives welders of tunnel vision and fogging. It fits Stick, MIG, and TIG welding. 

Pros:

  • 1.8 x 3.7 in. (45 x 93 mm) of a viewing area
  • 2,800 hours of a battery life
  • Solar-assist
  • Shades 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
  • Switching speed of 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)

Cons:

  • The area of the viewport is located on the small side
  • Lacks a button for freezing filter on grind mode

2. 3M Speedglas 10 Welding Helmet Review

3M Speedglas 10 Review, Pros and Cons

The 10 model might be an excellent choice for basic Stick, MIG, and TIG welding processes, though it does not provide much in terms of shades and lacks many innovative features, unlike its Speedglas brother-helmets.

This model is not a solar-assist, but the expected battery life is 1,500 hours, which is quite standard for productivity if going only with one charge. The helmet comes only with 2 sensitivity levels, while the viewing area is large enough to see the details and welders who work nearby. It has a comfortable headband and shield, which is easily-adjusted.

The materials used are polypropylene for a shield, polyamide for ADF housings, polyethylene for a headband, as well as polycarbonate for protection plates. It protects against the most potential risks when welding, including UV/IR radiation. 

The model is quite out-of-date; however, it anyway allows welders to perform manual arc welding quicker and more accurately if compared with traditional passive welding filter plates.

Still, finding any users’ feedback was quite complicated, as users mostly went for other products of this brand. Thus, speaking of only our experience with the helmet, it was decent.

Pros:

  • 3.66 x 1.73 in. (93 x 44 mm) of a viewing area
  • 1,500 hours of a battery life
  • Two CR-2032 lithium 3V batteries
  • Shades 3, 10, 12
  • Switching speed of 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)

Cons:

  • It does not fit gas and laser welding, as well as welding where shade 13 or above is needed

3. 3M Speedglas 9002 NC Welding Helmet Review

3M Speedglas 9002 NC Review, Pros and Cons

The 9002 NC is a light-weight model that minimizes constrictions in tight spaces; hence, it promotes longer wear time. It’s a perfect protection against UV/IR radiation. Two sensors provide an instant reaction in terms of filter darkening at the same moment when the welding arc is struck.

Then, ADF switches back to shade 3 when the welding arc is stopped. In case of any electronic failure, which is a rare event, the helmet still remains under protection against radiation. The switching speed is 0.1 ms.

The material of the shield, front cover, and headband is polyamide, while protection plates are made of polycarbonate.

It’s not solar-assist; however, 2,000 hours of battery life is enough for basic and continuous welding works.

As per users’ feedback, this helmet is not a good fit for cutting and grinding modes, though the experience when using it is great. Beyond that, 3M informs that 9002 NC is not suitable for gas, laser welding as well as welding processes that need shade 13 or higher filters. 

Pros:

  • 4.21 x 2.17 in. (107 x 55 mm) of a viewing area
  • 2,000 hours of a battery life
  • Two CR-2032 lithium 3V batteries
  • Shades 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Switching speed of 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)

Cons:

  • Lacks cutting or grinding modes
  • It does not fit gas and laser welding, as well as welding where shade 13 or above is needed

4. 3M Speedglas SL Review

3M Speedglas SL Review, Pros and Cons

The SL model comes with an adjustable headband, which may be customized per each welder, and a tiltable helmet. Beyond that, it’s designated with a head suspension, and ADF ranges with 8, 12, and 4 sensitivity shade levels.

It’s not a solar-assist, but two lithium batteries are expected to serve an average of 1,500 hours.

Materials involved are polyphthalamide for the screen, nylon polyamide for the lens filter and headband, as well as polycarbonate for protection plates.

It flawlessly works with MIG, TIG welding, though users’ feedback deals with some problems when wearing it. It concerns sensors that are badly placed, and one may occasionally spoil the sight during the welding works in tight spaces.

Nevertheless, 3M ensures it protects a welder against UV/IR radiation. The helmet is again not compatible with gas, laser welding tasks, and welding, which requires shade 13 or above.

Pros:

  • 3. 57 x 1.68 in. (91 x 43mm) of a viewing area
  • 1,500 hours of a battery life
  • Two CR-2032 lithium 3V batteries
  • Shades 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12
  • Switching speed of less than 0.15 ms

Cons:

  • It does not fit gas welding, laser welding, or welding processes where shade 13 or above is needed
  • Sensors are placed badly for your sight

5. 3M Speedglas 100 Review

3M Speedglas 100 Review, Pros and Cons

The 100 Model is quite older when speaking of the features Speedglas offers today, especially it concerns clarity of vision during some welding processes. Still, the helmet is the go-choice if you do not look for something extra.

The helmet perfectly fits Stick, MIG, and TIG welding and has a huge viewing area. When proceeding with grinding tasks, the helmet is compatible with a lock-in position; otherwise, the shield is fully adjustable.

Materials used are polyamide nylon for a shield, ADF housings, headband, and, as usual with Speedglas, polycarbonate for protection plates. The switching speed is 0.1 ms, and the expected battery life is 1,500 hours.

There are 3 sensitivity levels, including one for the majority of welding indoor and outdoor works, a second one for welding works alongside other welders, and the third one for both low-current or stable arc welding.

It’s not a suitable helmet for gas, laser welding processes, and tasks that need shade 13 or above. The overall users’ experience is great but expected as for a basic with no extra features welding helmet.

Pros:

  • 3.66 x 1.73 in. (93 x 44 mm) of a viewing area
  • 1,500 hours of a battery life
  • Two CR-2032 lithium 3V batteries
  • Shades 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12
  • Switching speed of 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)

Cons:

  • It lags behind other models in terms of clear vision
  • It does not fit gas welding, laser welding, or welding processes where shade 13 or above is needed

6. 3M Speedglas G5-01 Review

3M Speedglas G5-01 Review, Pros and Cons

The G5-01 model comes with a 3M natural color technology, which makes colors more realistic, and your welding processes more detailed. It works with an auto ON/OFF.

It fits the majority of arc welding, except for works that need shade 14 or above. The viewing area is quite curved, which provides clarity of up and down views peripherally.

Beyond that, a helmet is designed with an airflow system that allows one to get the airflow directly to the face.

The helmet is not a solar-assist, but the battery life is expected to serve you for 1,500 hours without a charge. The switching speed is standard to other models.

As for materials, they are polyphthalamide for a task light reflector, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene for a headband, polyaramid, polypropylene, polyethylene for a visor, and polycarbonate for protection plates. It lacks the comfort of nylon, though it is quite good in terms of wearing.

Regarding users’ feedback, it mostly deals with its large grinding visor and large welding lens, which both promote productivity and visibility of all the details. Our experience was great, as it reduces the time needed for lifts of the shield and boosts the actual productivity.

Pros:

  • 2.9 x 4.3 in. (73 x 109 mm) of a viewing area
  • 1,500 hours of a battery life
  • Shades 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
  • Switching speed of 0.1 ms (23°C/73° F)
  • 3M natural color technology

Cons:

  • It does not fit laser welding or welding processes that need shade 14 or above

The Bottom Line

The mentioned welding helmets fit most of the welding processes, including Stick, MIG, TIG; however, depending on the shade range available, only the first 9100 V helmet may be safely used for gas and laser welding.

Based on our overall experience when wearing them, it’s worth saying that they are light-weight, have a large viewing area, decent switching speed, and most importantly, sufficient battery life with one charge only. The 9100 models are solar-assist as well if you look for such an ADF helmet.

Beyond that, the materials used for the shield and headband are comfortable and of high-quality. We recommend choosing this brand only because of one thing – their care of safety and protection during the welding operations. 

All in all, if you want to avoid all possible eye and face injuries, Speedglas products are definitely a go-choice for both newcomers and pro welders. If specifying one product, it’s any helmet from the 9100 series, as it combines many cool features for clarity of vision, Nylon material, comfort for your neck and head, and a wide range of shades suitable for most arc welding operations.

Speedglas Welding Helmets Reviews

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