Welding is a fantastic hobby, which boasts several applications—from repairing everyday items to making art. But, the occupation comes with hazards you wouldn't dare dream of. Every decent welding helmet on the market is designed to afford you a measure of protection. If you want top-notch stuff, we suggest that you go with the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 welding helmet.
Not only is the Lincoln brand a renowned name in the industry, but its products have also proven to protect a welder’s head and shoulders from burning sparks and screen harmful radiation that could potentially ruin one of your most precious assets, your vision. While the protection is incredible, other factors go into choosing a welding helmet, such as the design features that enable higher productivity, convenience, and quality that, overall, make you a better welder.
Welding work has penetrated far beyond the industrial setting and into the comforts of individual garage workshops. Hobbyists now comprise a large share of the market, with repair work, metal sculptures, and other fun stuff on the agenda, which is why the 3350 is an excellent helmet designed not only for professional use but also for leisure.
The Lincoln Electric 3350 Welding Helmet
This review will talk about Lincoln's top-of-the-line welding protective equipment. If you're looking to weld for only a short time or as a weekend hobby, it's okay to use a fixed welding helmet or shades, but when your workload is significantly growing, you'll want to invest in gear that doesn't get in the way. The 3350 Series seems to have been designed specifically for that purpose.
Compared to other helmets, the VIKING 3350 and its 3lbs weight feel considerably heavy in your hands, and you'll feel that on your head and shoulder muscles after a day's hard work. However, the pivot design helps to equally spread the weight across your shoulders, promoting all-day convenience. With an extra swivel on the back, this headgear is easy to put on with one hand.
- True Color Technology (4C lens)
- Perfect optical clarity
- Enormous viewport
- Various styles/themes to choose from
- Improved battery life
- This helmet is a bit face-heavy due to the larger viewport.
- The glossy finish makes scratches stand out.
Who should get the Lincoln 3350?
The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 welding helmet is noteworthy for three reasons:
- It supports flicker-free welding even when doing low-amp TIG operations.
- It has a large, robust viewing area equipped with a 4C True Color lens.
- It has one of the highest switching speeds so far, giving you the least visual fatigue.
These factors alone make the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 an excellent choice for your welding needs. If you feel like going professional in the future, you won't ever need to replace the 3350 since it is capable of handling industrial workloads. MIG, TIG, and stick? No problem.
Here's a Quick Look Into Its Features:
- 4C lens technology
- Variable shade lens from number 5 to 13 (with grind mode)
- Analog control interface
- 1/25,000s reaction time
- Applications: TIG, Pulsed TIG, MIG, Pulsed MIG, Stick, Flux-cored, gouging, grinding
- Four independent arc sensors
- 1/1/1/1 optical clarity rating
- Weighs 20 oz. (567 g)
- ANSI Z87.1 and CSA Z94.3 certified
- Replaceable lithium battery
- Three years service warranty
- Hardhat adapter and cheater lens compatible
Main Features and Benefits of the Lincoln 3350
1. True Color Lens and Perfect Optical Clarity
One definite selling point of the Lincoln 3350 is Lincoln's latest 4C lens technology which takes the optical clarity of the user's viewing area to a whole different level. Think crisper, cleaner, and clearer that'll give you an accurate or real-time view of the welding arc. The difference becomes more apparent when you compare it to the lime colour of the traditional helmet. While the lime-green setting may have worked for other welders in the past, it distorts the user's view, compromising quality and safety.
The Lincoln 3350's optical clarity is the highest rating there is. With a 1/1/1/1 optical clarity, this welding helmet has the least distortion and blurriness. A perfect optical clarity also entails an excellent uniform shade and a greater shade consistency at an angle. This is a fantastic feat of engineering, considering the number of filters installed in every helmet lens. Every filter is designed to screen out hazards like ultraviolet rays and infrared radiation, leading to possible retinal burning.
Optical features are critical elements for any welder who will operate for more than an hour. Not only does this protect your eyes from harmful elements, but it'll also help you leave the workshop with minimal fatigue and headaches.
2. Lightning-fast Switching Speed
The Lincoln 3350's 1/25,000s switching speed is a sizable one when you consider that some helmets, mostly entry-level ones, come with a 1/5000s switching speed. This feature may not be immediately apparent, but you'll be thankful for it when you're welding Monday to Friday on a 9 to 5. Eye strain is a severe issue further aggravated when the welder is consistently exposed to the bright welding arc. When you have a faster switching speed, the auto-darkening can activate much quicker, protecting your eyes from sudden arc flashes or flares that'll leave you seeing colours.
The four independent arc sensors also support auto-darkening. They can activate the auto-darkening without a signal from the other sensors, which is why they're strategically placed in different locations on the helmet. This protects your vision from all sides.
3. Engineered Comfort
Neck strain is a prevalent issue in the welding industry, next to vision problems. Lincoln's engineering has designed the 3350 with its trademarked X6 headgear. The X6 is a pretty new technology that aims to target all the pain points of wearing a helmet all day long. Here is a summary of all the X6 functions:
- Easy to adjust
- Innovative form fit
- Flexible and cushioned back pad
- Rotatable and padded headband
- Adjustable resting position
- Vertical position clear line of sight
Comfort goes a long way beyond just being fit and snug. You'll also have to consider the degree of adjustability and how the comfort settings affect your line of sight. With the X6 headgear, you can experience extreme comfort to support your extreme welding.
4. Viewing Area and Battery Life
With a total viewing area of 12.5 sq. in., the Viking 3350 offers the user a wide range of vision, making this helmet a good choice even for tight welding spots, where vision is precluded. The Viking 3350's battery source is powered by CR-2450 solar batteries, something you won't have a headache looking for after your battery depletes. It's also reasonably inexpensive. Lincoln has upgraded its ADF circuits, which improve battery life and performance considerably. You can expect to use the Lincoln 3350 continuously for six months before you have to buy new batteries.
5. Highly Versatile
The Lincoln 3350 is a variable shade helmet with shade numbers that can support MIG or TIG welding. It even has a grind mode, so you don't need to worry about taking off your helmet every time you're grinding.
You can easily switch from weld to grind mode by pressing an external low-profile button for 3 seconds. There is no need to remove your welding helmet and gloves, ensuring constant protection while you're in the workplace.
If you're doing any overhead MIG welding, the helmet's low profile is superb and won't get in the line of sight.
Other things to consider:
How your helmet will end up looking is hugely a matter of your taste and personality. Some welders prefer a helmet with a clean, traditional look that exudes pure functionality without all the frills. Meanwhile, others would love to incorporate their personality in the workplace by expressing their creativity through their welding helmets. Lincoln recognizes this need which is why the Lincoln 3350 comes in dozens of different styles. You might want the classic stars n' stripe design or the skulls-and-crossbones with the American flag in the background.
The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 welding helmet comes complete with a helmet bag, bandana, lenses, helmet stickers, and an instruction manual. Make sure to use certified stickers as over-the-counter stickers might melt off during welding.
1. How do I change the Lincoln Viking 3350's battery?
You can find the battery at the bottom corner of the AutoDarkening filter cartridge. Remember to replace the batteries only when the low battery light is lit. First, remove the ADF lens assembly and then slide out the battery tray. Remove the old batteries and place the new CR2450 batteries in the tray before pushing them back in.
2. How do I clean and store this welding helmet?
You can easily clean the helmet by wiping it with a soft cloth. Avoid using strong cleaning solutions. Clean the cartridge surfaces regularly. The sensors and solar cells should be cleaned with soapy water solution and a clean cloth, then wiped dry with a lint-free cloth. Never submerge the shade cartridge in water or other liquid solutions. When not in use, store the welding helmet in a clean, dry location.
3. How does the Lincoln 3350 compare with the Miller Digital Elite?
If you're worried about sudden arc flashes because of obstructed sensors, the Miller Digital Elite's X-mode is the best choice. It darkens as it detects the magnetic field produced by striking an arc. Also, the Miller helmet is more lightweight, and the digital interface is easier to read.
If you weld and often grind throughout a day's operation, the Lincoln Viking 3350 has an external grind mode switch, which is excellent for this purpose. There will be no searching for goggles or changing headgear. Furthermore, if you want a large lens with more natural colours, the Lincoln Viking 3350 is on higher ground.
4. Should I go with a fixed or variable shade welding helmet?
A fixed shade is appropriate if you still use the same arc welding method on the same material. However, suppose you, like most welders, use various materials and are welding a variety of different applications. In that case, a variable shade is your best option since it can adapt to the right amount of darkness for your specific operation. When GTAW welding at lower amperages, for example, you will need to lighten up the lens to see what you're doing—a variable shade would allow this, while a fixed shade would not.
5. Should I go with a solar or battery-powered welding helmet?
Much of the time, it is just a matter of personal interest and most suitable for the operator. However, one thing to avoid is being "flashed" with a battery-powered helmet. These helmets have a feature that will automatically switch off the battery after the helmet has been inactive for some time. If the welder isn't attentive, he could get an arc flash while assuming his helmet is still dark. Solar electricity also eliminates the need to think about battery replacement.
A Quick Guide to Purchasing Your First Welding Helmet
How long will you be using the helmet?
It would be best if you considered the fatigue on the welder's neck and eyes, depending on how long they will be using a welding helmet. A helmet's ergonomics are elements that reduce the discomfort of wearing a helmet for extended working periods. The weight of the helmet and how evenly it weighs around the user's head are essential factors that significantly impact comfort. The centre of gravity is also a significant influence on how long you can wear the helmet without spraining a muscle. For example, a front-heavy helmet will increase pressure on the neck. Eye strain is another buzzkill you should look out for. True Color technology is the solution that can resolve this. True Color or natural colour technology improves vision by offering adequate colour contrast and reducing the overall green hue seen in most lenses. Looking at a blurry image for more than a few hours will aggravate headaches and other health problems.
What type of work will you be doing?
A great helmet protects the user and supports the overall efficiency of work. ADF (auto-darkening filter) is often the right option if you're looking to work with a wide range of processes. Instead of continuously tossing up the helmet and possibly triggering neck strain, ADF helmets encourage you to leave the helmet on and see the weld until it's done. Some helmets have ADF sensors that sense electromagnetism from welding arcs. ADF sensors are helpful for consumers who are working indoors, in direct sunlight, or who are welding in a less than ideal position.
How important is visual clarity in your work?
The less experienced you are, the more critical it is for you to have a good view of both the weld pool and its surroundings. When you opt for a wider viewing area, the helmet usually becomes bulkier and heavier or much, much pricier if it stays lightweight. As previously mentioned, True Color technology tends to improve colour contrast. Still, it can be challenging to differentiate between red and orange, contributing to a minute to macro errors. Having a good vision allows the welder to reliably manoeuvre the weld, increasing efficiency and reducing the learning curve for novice welders.
Final Say on the Lincoln Electric 3350 Welding Helmet
If you want a convenient, multi-featured welding helmet with a wide viewport, outstanding auto-darkening capabilities, and a solid and accurate visual field, the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 welding helmet is a great choice. The Lincoln Electric brand is also highly reputable in the welding world. This helmet is ideal for any welding work, as it has four sensors and a flexible range of shade capabilities. Not only will you get a stellar welding helmet, but you’ll also be getting quality customer service and an opportunity to be a part of established welding communities that are fans of excellent welding products.