Best Jackson Welding Helmets in 2020 with Reviews

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You probably recognize the Jackson Safety name whether you’re a welding student, a professional or just a weekend warrior.

Jackson offers a wide range of welding helmets, from inexpensive passive hoods to high-priced, premium models at the top end of the market.

Jackson welding helmets are known for great optics, high quality advanced technology and market-leading comfort.

They also have a reputation for durability, famously lasting for years and even decades in demanding professional environments.

Welders using other helmet brands often recommend retrofitting with Jackson headgear, a testimonial to its legendary all-day comfort.

If you insist on a reliable, comfortable helmet that’s not going to fail or leave you regretting the money you spent, check out our five best Jackson welding helmets.

In a Rush?

Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...

Best Pick
Jackson BH3
The Jackson Safety BH3 is a professional auto-darkening helmet that features Balder truecolor technology, 1/1/1/1 optics, light weight, great comfort and tops it all off with a 5-year warranty.
Best Value
Jackson SmarTIGer
The SmarTIGer offers some of the same features, great headgear and Balder Technology as the BH3 at a value price. Superior optical clarity, all-day comfort and a 5-year warranty are impossible to ignore.
Best Budget
Jackson Insight
Jackson Insight helmets are a common sight on every welding site and fab shop. They offer great durability, fantastic optical quality, light weight and industry-leading headgear. What's not to like?

Best Jackson Welding Helmets with Reviews

Here's our five best choices to find the one that's right for you.

1. Jackson BH3 Welding Helmet

Jackson BH3 Welding Helmet
  • 1/1/1/1 optics are the best you can buy
  • ADF with variable shade range from 9 to 13
  • Lightweight, high-density polymer hood
  • Aerodynamic curved front cover plate
  • Headgear adjusts for mask height and eye distance

Pros

  • Inside infinite dial adjusters
  • Hard hat compatible
  • Light weight and great headgear
  • Outstanding coverage of neck and face

Cons

  • Glare on curved cover bothers some users

Overview

The BH3 is one of Jackson’s top-of-the line professional helmets, engineered for light weight and impact resistance. Jackson gave this helmet a curved front plate to reflect heat away and reduce fogging. The tapering shape and the outward-curving base make it easier to use the helmet when you need to tilt your chin down to see. The BH3’s rounded corners make it easier to fit into tight spaces and improve impact resistance.

Reflections from the curved cover bother some users. The filter has dial-type inside adjusters for shade level, sensitivity and delay time. Solar power extends the life of readily available AAA sized batteries. Light weight with Jackson 370 headgear make it comfortable.

The BH3 has Jackson’s Balder Technology, giving a better view than a typical green ADF. The optical clarity rating of 1/1/1/1 is the best you can buy. That last number is for angularity, meaning you have a great view even when you’re watching at an angle.

Jackson Safety stands behind the BH3’s quality with a 5-year warranty, pushing this helmet into our top spot.


2. Jackson SmarTIGer

Jackson SmarTIGer
  • Balder Technology for better vision
  • Torch Dancer graphics
  • Variable shade range from 9 to 13
  • Headgear adjusts for eye distance and mask height
  • Solar power for longer battery life

Pros

  • Two-piece shell for easier cleaning
  • Jackson 370 headgear is super comfortable
  • Light weight eases neck strain
  • Great coverage over the neck area
  • Digital controls are inside so they don’t get damaged

Cons

  • Batteries are non-replaceable
  • No grind mode
  • Light can get in from behind

Overview

The SmarTIGer is a professional welding helmet featuring Balder Technology and a 1/1/1/1 optical rating. It also has a smooth, rounded design with a curved front cover. If you like these features on the BH3 but can’t justify its price, the SmarTIGer delivers a better value. The tradeoffs are a smaller viewport, no grind mode and a non-replaceable battery. On the plus side, the SmarTIGer also comes with the same 5-year warranty as the BH3.

Like most helmets with a curved cover, some users are bothered by glare or reflections. Some don’t like the non-replaceable battery, while others reported that the battery lasted the life of their helmets. The SmarTIGer is a very light helmet and users rave about its all-day comfort.

The Jackson 370 headgear is fully adjustable for height, head size and eye distance from the viewport. It’s hard hat compatible and has a solar panel to keep the battery topped off. The ADF filter is infinitely adjustable from shade levels 9-13 using inside buttons. Sensitivity level and reaction time are also fully adjustable.


3. Jackson Insight Welding Helmet

Jackson Insight Welding Helmet
  • Variable shade range from 9 to 13
  • Weld and Grind modes
  • Solar powered lithium batteries
  • Ultra light shell

Pros

  • Big viewport
  • ADF filter fits HLX100 and HSL100 shells
  • Digital button controls
  • Four-position height adjustment
  • Rechargeable batteries

Cons

  • Too slim to fit a respirator
  • Some users feel neck coverage is lacking

Overview

The Jackson Insight offers top-quality optics with digital shade, sensitivity and reaction time buttons and a solar-rechargeable lithium-ion battery, all at a great price.

The Insight ADF filter setup is able to interchange between the HLX100 and HSL100 series shells. The HSL series curves outward at the skirt. If you find, like some users do, that the neck coverage is too skimpy you can buy the HSL series shell and move over to that design without laying out a lot of cash.

Users love the big viewport on this helmet and the digital display that indicates the shade level at a glance. Shade level is fully adjustable between levels 9-13. Jackson gave this welding helmet a swivel adjustment that sets the angle of the hood to suit your preference. The comfortable headgear features four height adjustments.

Some users report that this shell is too narrow to fit a respirator. If you need a respirator and want the Insight lens you might prefer the larger HSL shell. On top of everything else going for the Insight HLX, Jackson backs this helmet with a two-year warranty.


4. Jackson NexGen

Jackson NexGen
  • NexGen 3-in-1 Digital Auto Darkening
  • Variable shade from 9 - 13
  • Auto-off function
  • Low battery alert
  • Meets ANSI Z87.1 safety standard

Pros

  • Amber lens for enhanced view of the weld puddle
  • Digital sensitivity and delay adjustments
  • Big viewing field
  • Solar rechargeable lithium batteries

Cons

  • Some reports of light from behind reflecting on viewport

Overview

The NexGen filter on this helmet is the real star of the show. The amber-colored lens is one of the most coveted options by professional welders on any helmet. This one feature can make a huge difference in the quality of your welding because it gives you a great view of the weld puddle that green filters just can’t match.

Typical Jackson comfort and durability please a legion of loyal users. The NexGen features rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and solar power. The Grind, Weld and Torch modes give the NexGen filter its 3-in-1 label. One potential issue is that some users reported a lot of light coming in from behind.

Digital controls for shade level, delay time and sensitivity are located inside the hood for protection. Shade level is fully adjustable between 9-13 and the shell is lightweight, flexible and durable.

The NexGen is equipped with an automatic shutoff feature and a low battery indicator. Sensitivity down to 5 amps is sensitive enough for TIG and sheet metal work. Jackson tops all this off with a 2-year warranty on the NexGen helmet.


5. Jackson Truesight II Welding Helmet

Jackson Truesight II Welding Helmet
  • Optical clarity 1/1/1/1 is best-in-class
  • Variable shade from 5-8 and 9-13
  • Balder True Color Technology for clearer view
  • Weld, Grind and Torch modes
  • Uses standard AAA battery size

Pros

  • Huge 13-square-inch viewing area
  • Well balanced and lightweight
  • True color view of the weld puddle
  • Automatic shutoff and auto-on

Cons

  • Cover lenses are $4-5 each

Overview

The TrueSight II is Jackson’s top of the line premium auto-darkening helmet. Balder True Color Technology combines with Jackson’s largest viewport, maybe the biggest on the market at 13 square inches, to bring you an unmatched view of your welding. The 1/1/1/1 optical clarity is as good as it gets.

The HLX series shell weighs only six ounces, although the huge viewport and two AAA batteries instead of a watch battery get this helmet over a pound. That’s still very light and when it’s suspended on Jackson 370 headgear with four-position adjustment, you can wear this one all day without fatigue. The TrueSight II features Weld, Grind and Torch modes and the AAA batteries are solar-rechargeable.

Some users report light coming in from behind and inadequate neck coverage with HLX shells. Another issue for some is the high cost of lens covers, nearly 5 bucks apiece. This helmet has a digital keypad for variable shade from 5-8 and 9-13. It’s an expensive helmet, but with the largest viewport Jackson offers, Balder Technology, industry-leading comfort and a 5-year warranty, it’s probably justified.


Jackson Welding Helmet Buying Guide

Jackson Safety welding helmets are well known for great headgear, great optics, lightweight and industrial-grade durability.

How to Choose Your Jackson Welding Helmet

Jackson Safety organizes their helmets into four tiers. Except for the Classic series, the top levels in each tier feature Balder Technology.

Classic: These are passive helmets and specialty models. Everything else are auto-darkening helmets.
Performance: These are ADF helmets with digital controls and the HSL100 shell. The Insight and SmarTIGer are in this group.
High Performance: These helmets feature analog controls and the HLX100 shell. The NexGen and BH3 are in this series.
State-Of-The-Art: The TrueSight II is the only helmet in this tier at present.

Mix and Match

In addition to the tiers mentioned above, Jackson also makes its filters interchangeable between series to some degree. This can be confusing, as it means there’s an Insight model in both the HSL (Performance) and the HLX (High Performance).

The SmarTIGer and BH3 have a similar shape and feature set, but the SmarTIGer is in the Performance tier because it has digital controls and the BH3 is in High Performance because it has analog setting dials.

Your Jackson Awaits

Jackson has earned a well-deserved spot in every welding shop through decades of consistent performance. You can’t go wrong with any of these helmets, but the Jackson BH3 is our top pick..

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About Jeff Grill

Jeff Grill hails from Long Island, a 118 mile stretch of land that starts just off the coast of Manhattan and stretches deep into the Atlantic ocean. He has always been interested in welding from an early age and has the cuts and bruises to prove it as he set out to work with a variety of metals.

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