Speedglas 3M 9100X Welding Helmet – Auto Darkening
The 3M Speedglas 9100X Welding Helmet is the coveted face protection shield for welders and fabricators across the industry. This Auto Darkening helmet is part of 3M’s universally recognised and acclaimed range of welding vision protection face shields. As well as the main ADF filter, this helmet is fitted with side windows for a greater viewing range. The main filter has a variable dark shade of between 5, 8, and 9-13, which protects against most types of arc light produced when welding. Grinding / light state holds at shade 3. At 180g, this helmet is ultralight, which means you can work at your leisure with a reduced risk of neck and head strain or injury.
- Near-perfect optical clarity 1/1/1/2
- Shade 5 side panels for peripheral vision during welding
- Dark/Light state constant lock.
- 3 point sensors
- 54 x 107 mm viewing area
- Tack weld mode for reduced eyestrain during long tack welding runs
- 6 point adjustable head band for premium comfort
HIghest Optical Class
The 9100 series of 3M Speedglas helmets, including the 9100X, are equipped with an excellent performance true colour Auto Darkening welding filter. In addition, it has shade 5 side panels on both sides which gives your helmet a more open feel. Easy use cutting, welding and grinding modes, with a memory function for storing your favourite settings. Standardized to an optical class of 1/1/1/2; No distortion, no double vision, no darkening variation, and almost consistent shade from any angle. Fully adjustable shade settings on the main lens, ranging from shade 5 to shade 13, suitable for detailed TIG and heavy stick welding alike.
|ADF Model||9100X ADF | Part of the 9100 series|
|Optical Class||1 / 1 / 1 / 2|
|Viewing Area||107 X 73 mm|
|Switching time||0.1ms (+23°C)|
|UV / IR protection||According to shade number 13 (permanent)|
|Light state||Shade 3|
|Dark state||Shade 5, 8, 9-13|
|Fail /Safe state||Shade 5|
|Battery type||2 x CR2032 (Lithium 3 volt)|
|Battery lifetime||2500 hours|
|Operating temperature||-5ºC to +55ºC|
|Approvals||CE EN 379, EN 166|
Why choose 3M?
3M have been the trusted brand of engineers internationally for decades. A universally revered name among welder fabricators, 3M came from humble origins and grew to become one of the best on the market for quality assurance, longevity, and efficiency. Since their founding in 1902, innovation has been 3M’s purpose, making grand strides in the worlds of science, technology, and engineering. 3M have corporate operations across 70 countries and sell to over 200, so they really are the very definition of an international company.
Of all the equipment 3M manufactures, their PPE and Air Fed PAPR systems are among the most coveted in the industry. Their Speedglas range of helmets and air fed systems have become universally recognised across the industry, known for their quality, technology, and ease of use. These helmets are highly desirable.
TBWS also do Helmet Spare Parts (Ring for availability)
What to look out for when buying a welding helmet:
- Weight – added weight in a helmet can cause neck fatigue, particularly when used for long periods of time
- Welding lense size – A larger filter area allows for extra peripheral vision
- Number of arc sensors – Cheaper helmets tend to have less arc sensors. These are the sensors which detect the arc and switch from light to dark mode. Fewer sensors mean if for whatever reason, they are covered, the helmet wont switch as quickly, exposing your eyes to the hazardous UV light.
- Switching speed – This is the time it takes for the helmet to detect the arc and switch to the darker light state to protect your eyes. The quicker the switch, the more protection the helmet offers.
- True colour or not? Many newer helmets are equipped with true or natural colour technology. This is a nice feature to have as it provides the welder with a “truer” to life view of the weld puddle even in the darker shade. Gone are the blue or green tints and this true colour can help the view of the weld puddle considerably.
- Headgear – Cheaper helmets tend to come with basic headgear which adjusts around the circumference of the head only. Often, the better helmets have multi point adjustment for added comfort during welding.
- Optical clarity – This is a big one… filters are rated by their optical clarity. The lower the number, the better the clarity. For example, a rating of 1/1/1/1 is a filter with the best rating possible. Cheaper shields
- Grinding modes – Many welding visors have a grinding mode. At the touch of the button, the auto darkening filter will switch to its lightest shade so the user can see whilst grinding and still have face and eye protection. On the flip side, if you forget to switch from grinding mode, you can wind up getting flashed when starting a weld.
- Price – Price really varies depending on brand and quality. At TBWS, we would recommend going for a good quality helmet and avoiding the cheap ones that are out there. Your eyes are valuable so its worth protecting them!
- Size – HSE now require anyone undertaking welding to have extraction and respiratory protection. We have touched on this elsewhere on the site so wont go through it again. However, it is a consideration when buying welding helmet…. Is there room to fit a face fit mask underneath, or should you invest and get an air fed helmet?
- Process – Are you using very low amp TIG welding or high amperage MIG welding? Low amp work will need a lighter shade, where as higher amperage welding will require a darker shade.
- ADF or fixed shade – Very cheap fixed shade handheld masks are available and often supplied as a freebie with cheaper welders. Some people prefer to use a fixed shade screen with a flip front. Auto darkening filters (ADF) changed the market some time back and have become the most popular. Strike an arc with an ADF filter and the lens does the work – no need to remember to flip your hood down.