Speedglas 9100xx Welding Helmet Reviews

By Joe Stephens •  Updated: 08/14/17 •  6 min read

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 reviewThe 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100X with Extra-Large Size Auto-Darkening Filter 9100XXX was created after considerable research and consultation with experts in the fields of Western and Chinese medicine and ergonomic innovation. The result is a lightweight “ergonomically optimized” helmet with the perfect ratio of comfort, durability and practicality.

The award winning design prevents leverage strain and tension damage on acupoints, and delicate nerves and arteries during welding. Because there’s a built in suspension system, which consists of a series of dual pads at the front and two straps at the crown; this alleviates pressure on the neck and keeps the head stable. The pads can be adjusted to precisely fit unique head shapes and the forehead size of the welder. The 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 offers both infrared radiation protection and ultraviolet sun screen protection. And it meets the requirements of mechanical strength standard ANSI Z87.1-2003.


  • Large viewing area, 11.75 square inches
  • Arc welding shade 9-13
  • Grinding shade 3, micro-plasma welding shade 8 and gas welding shade 5
  • Sensitivity settings for low, normal, and low amp tig and tig inverters
  • Heat protecting silver front cover
  • Expanded coverage for lower neck and sides, and ears
  • 3M patented technology five shade filters
  • Increased side vision
  • Solar panel for sun protection


Viewing area clarity is crucial to the welder’s level of personal safety and comfort. This is also referred to as the helmet’s optical clarity. The 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 is auto-darkening with enhanced viewing area clarity for accuracy of vision. “Accuracy of vision” means that lens adjusts to the light levels, which reduces the possibility of eye strain. Because it is automatic, the welder can concentrate on the project, without worrying about self-adjusting. Clarity of the viewing area is one of the advanced features of this 3M design welding helmet. The Speedglas lens allows the user to select the correct shade setting, from a light shade of 3, or the darker shades of 5, 8 and 9-13.

The specs of the viewing area is, 2.8” high and 4.2” wide. This is the largest viewing area in the 3M 9100 series. The auto-darkening lens responds in 0.1 milliseconds whenever a welding arc is detected, then three photo sensors are automatically activated. This gives the welder added protection with the instant adjustment from light shade to dark shade. When the weld is finished, the lens return to light shade three without delay. The magnification mode makes it easy to perform detailed welding work.

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100xx review



While you can’t use the term, sleek with a welding helmet, this one is just about as close as it gets. It weighs just 2.1 pounds, making extremely lightweight and portable.


The comfort level of the ergonomically designed head suspension is second to none, thanks to 3M innovation. As far as welding helmets go, nothing was left to chance with the 9100X. Beginning with the smooth ratchet of the adjustable shield; there isn’t a need for guessing, because the fit can be tailored. The user can pick the suspension and find the perfect size while controlling the distance of shield and filter from the face. This increases the level of comfort because the headband can’t be over tightened. The ergonomic design means that chronic pressure on neck muscles, nerves and arteries is lessened. Because there’s less impact on these delicate tissue structures, the welder can use the helmet for longer periods without discomfort. Additionally, the level of breathability has been improved. Exhaust vents contribute to the breathability factor; this improves air quality and reduces fogging due to moisture and heat retention.

3M Speedglas 9100xxi Welding Helmet review


One of the most important features of a welding helmet is the shade settings. The sensitivity levels of shades can be adjusted by activating the welding filter. This controls the shade on/off button. There are seven different shade settings, 5,8 and 9-13. To view the current setting, press the “shade on” button. To select a new shade setting, the user will see a series of LED indicators. While flashing, simply select the desired shade level and hold the button for two seconds.

The six sensitivity levels can be set to correspond to the work environment and the welding method. First there’s the neutral light shade and locked position for grinding, then position one, the least sensitive, two is normal, three is for low current welding and stable welding arcs and four is also suitable for low current welding and also TIG welding. Position five is the high sensitive setting and position six is the darkest shade, the passive welding filter. The 9100X series shade settings also has a delay function and tack welding mode (comfort).


When it comes to 3M products in general there isn’t a question about the highest standards of reliability. Because a lot of research went into the design elements of the 9100X series, buyers can expect a long lasting helmet. Besides being practical, the Speedglas Welding Helmet is durable.


The basic function of a welding helmet is user protection. The 3M 9100X series goes beyond the ordinary level of protection with a modern, updated look. In 2009, this Speedglas Welding Helmet won the “Best of the Best” designation in the wielding shield category, for its advanced ergonomic design. The ergonomic features add a high level of comfort by reducing pressure on vital nerves and arteries and acupoints. And the lens mean that eyes are fully protected from harmful ultraviolet rays. The sun panel has “liquid crystal cells and laminated polarizers.” Polarity means that the helmet lens offers the most protection from harmful UV rays.

The advanced head suspension system provides equal distribution of weight for head stability and neck comfort. The most important features are the exhaust vents, the three sized welding filters, the optical clarity and the adjustable headband. The 3M technological advances are evident with the tack weld mode. It automatically adjusts the shade level to five, to provide the ultimate protection against eye fatigue and strain.

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Joe Stephens

Joey has over 20 years of experience working in the welding industry and now works with providing readers with intensive reviews. Joey has also self-published an e-book and has written countless articles regarding welding information and safety.