3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 Review


The 9100 welding helmet from 3M is a high end auto-darkening welding helmet. On a welding helmet, the auto-darkening feature is a very useful feature as it automates the shade change. Otherwise, as is the case with conventional helmets, the welder needs to lower and lift the helmet according to the stage in the process. These actions divert the welder’s attention away from the actual welding process and makes welding more challenging especially to a new starter.

Presenting the product

The 9100 welding helmet from 3M is a high end and versatile auto-darkening helmet and is suitable for most of the conventional welding processes and grinding. It have a very large viewing area and complies with the American standards. The welding helmet is supplied complete with welding cap, carry bag and starter kit.

This welding helmet is aimed at the tradesperson and is an expensive choice for DIY applications.


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    Very large viewing area
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    Comes with numerous features
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    Compliant to industry standard
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    Suitable for use with most common processes


  • High price
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    No choice of colors or patterns
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    Compliance with international standards not stated

Features & Benefits ​

The 9100 welding helmet from 3M comes with the following features:

  1. On-off switch: To extend the life of the battery a fully automatic “grab and go” power ON/OFF is provided. This feature enables welders to work quickly.

  2. Compliance with industry standards: ​Compliance with the local and domestic industry standards is mandatory. This helmet conforms to American standards: ANSI Z87.1-2010 impact standard.

  3. Suitability with processes: ​This helmet which can be used for grinding, cutting and welding applications because of its fast response to arc from these processes. This unit has an external grinding mode activation. The 9100XXi silver front panel houses external controls, enabling fast and easy access to the grinding and memory modes.

  4. Optical class: ​A realistic appearance of the weld puddle assists the welder with having better control of the weld puddle. This unit has an improved optics to allow welders to see more realistic and vivid details of the colors, tones, contrasts (dark and light). This feature ensures that the welder focuses on welding set-up, welding technique, grinding, and weld inspections.

  5. Light State lens: ​This helmet has a DIN 3 light state shade which is applied in all states. This universal shade is important as it provides protection to the welder in the light state.

  6. Variable dark shades: •The shades of the lens on this helmet can be varied from DIN 5 to 13.

  7. Size of viewing lens: ​This unit has a very large viewing area of 2.8 inches high x 4.2 inches wide (72 mm x 107 mm) which helps ease welding by providing a very large view for the welder.

  8. Sensitivity and delay adjustment: ​This helmet features good sensitivity and fast reaction time. Reaction time: approximately 0.1 milliseconds (1/10,000 of a second), Dark to Light: 40-250 milliseconds adjustable to suit the process and personal preference. This unit has two memory modes that allow welders to set individual settings for dark shade, light-to-dark switching sensitivity, and dark-to-light delay. These features ensure that the welder is protected at all times in the process.

  9. Battery only or battery/solar cell: This unit has 2X CR2030 batteries installed which are replaceable. These batteries have a long battery life of up to 1800 hours.

  10. The rigidness of the helmet: The helmet is made out of polycarbonate for welder safety.

Other features:

  • This unit is supplied with a welding cap, carry bag, and starter kit.
  • An improved user interface is provided that is easy to understand.
  • Exhaust vents provided to direct the exhaled air out of the helmet. This helps to reduce heat, humidity and fogging of the welding filter.
  • Large knobs for adjustment of while wearing gloves


There are many other popular auto-darkening welding helmets of which three are listed below: 

1. Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet:

This helmet is a lot cheaper than the 9100 welding helmet from 3M, but has a lot smaller viewing glass and less advanced features. This welding helmet meets European, American and Canadian.

2. Rhino Large View + Grind Auto Darkening Welding Helmet ​

This helmet is a lot cheaper than the 9100 welding helmet from 3M, but has a smaller viewing glass and less features. This welding helmet also meets European and other international standards in addition to American and Canadian.

3. Welding Helmet, Black, 3350 Series by Lincoln Electric

This is a mid-range auto-darkening welding helmet and has a smaller viewing glass than the 9100 welding helmet from 3M. It has 4 sensors, advanced lens technology, and a widescreen view.


The 9100 welding helmet from 3M is a high end and versatile auto-darkening welding helmet targeted for tradespersons use. It caters to many welding processes and is handy with numerous features. The auto darkening feature ensures that the welder’s eyes are protected as the arc ignites and makes welding easier. This helmet is good value for a tradesperson considering the enhanced and extensive features included.

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David Brain

I am Welding engineering.My skill: Mechanical Design - Machine, materials handling, product, process, plant, equipment, piping, guarding and platform. I like to share my experience to other welders.

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