Best Passive Welding Lens – 2021 Buying Guide and Reviews


Best Passive Welding Lens

If you are well versed in the art of welding, you must be aware of the hazards that may happen from various welding processes. Armoring yourself with different gears is mandatory. A key part of that is the welding lenses.

Welding lenses can be divided into two variations depending on whether it has a light-state or not. A welding lens that doesn’t have a light state and always stays in a darkened shade is a passive welding lens. These lenses are basically colored and coated glass or plastic filters that block bright light and radiation emitted from a weld puddle and arc.

If you understand how much importance do they hold for the protection of your eyes and health, you should also get that you need the perfect lens. We want to do you a favor by introducing seven of the best passive welding lenses in this article.


Understanding the Different Shades and Radiation


At first, let’s talk about how radiation can affect your eyes during a welding project. As you start an arc, it starts to emit bright light to the surrounding area. However, the spectrum of the light doesn’t stay within the visible range. Some non-visible rays also come out of the weld area. These rays are what we know as radiation.

There are two types of radiation that usually come out of welding arcs. Firstly, the UV Rays have three levels- UV-A, B, and C. UV-A may not be that dangerous as it goes through your cornea. But UV-B and C have lower wavelengths and get blocked by the cornea. So, they cause arc eye.

Another radiation is the IR. Even though it is tested to be harmful, there is no scientific proof of IR rays doing irreversible damage to human eyes yet. But you should still wear protection against them.

Higher amp welding creates more rays and brighter light. So, manufacturers create welding lenses with different shades ranging from shade-4 to 14. The higher the shade number is, the darker the lens gets and the more rays it can block. For a passive shade lens, you should choose your shade carefully as their shades are unchangeable.


Best Passive Welding Lens Reviews 2021


1. Forney 57061 Lens Replacement Gold Welding Filter

Specifications

  • Weight: 1.41 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 0.13 x 4.25 x 2 inches
  • Meets ANSI Z87.1 safety standards
  • Replacement gold coated
  • Provides 99.9-Percent UV/IR protection
Forney 57061 Lens Replacement Gold Welding Filter

Forney is a premium pick for most welding professionals as the brand provides top-of-the-line welding equipment and products. If you own Forney 55666, 55663, and 55680 helmets, do not go for anything other than this lens.

The lens provides shade level-10, a bit darker than shade-9 lenses, and won’t damage your eyes after long hours of welding. The lens achieves this due to the gold coating which prevents heat greatly.

You may ask why we pick this gold-coated plastic lens over the TW glass lens that also has a gold coating. Well, alongside the trust in the brand Forney, we preferred Forney’s lens because of how long one is able to use it. Also, glass is likely to break if you drop it, so Forney becomes a better option. If you own a Forney helmet of the mentioned models, go for this!

Pros


  • Gold-coated plastic – meant to last a long time.
  • Shows true color and is great for long welding tasks.
  • Gold coating prevents most of the heat, makes it easy to work with the lens.
  • Provides both UV and IR protection, making welding a safer task.

Cons


  • Has small manufacturing defects on the side of the lens that only affects its aesthetics, not the quality.

2. TW SUPPLY 2 EACH Shade 10 Glass Welding Lens

Specifications

  • Weight: 12.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.06 x 11.18 x 6.46
  • Portable Design
  • Leading Control Mode
  • Energy Efficient
TW SUPPLY Shade 10 Welding Hood Lens Helmet Filter

These TW lenses are almost the same as the 57061 shade from Forney. The primary difference is that the TW lenses are made of glass while Forney is plastic. Although we prefer Forney’s lens, if you think the glass is better for you and easier to maintain, going for these is highly recommended.

You can use these on any helmet that accepts 2”x 4.25” lenses. The best thing about these lenses is that they are very clear without any color shades, making them great for seeing colors properly. Moreover, it is also a comfortable pick if you want to save money and also get multiple lenses.

These are also great for Pipeliner hoods. It is easier to clean these properly because of the glass construction and the gold plating prevents heat, makes the lenses wearable for a longer period of time.

Pros


  • Glass with gold plated; does not get scratched easily.
  • Suitable for a range of welding helmets that accept 2”x 4.25” lenses.
  • Works great with Pipeliner hoods.
  • The lenses are clear and do not have any color.

Cons


  • A bit brighter for shade level 10.

3. 3M Speedglas Welding Lens 9100

Specifications

  • Weight: 7.37 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.5 x 0.22 inches
  • Size: Universal Fit
  • Passive shade 13 
  • Replacement lens only
3M Speedglas Welding Lens 9100

This shade-10 lens comes from the brand called Philips, which produces some of the most well-known welding accessories. The gold coating for this lens is very prominent and thus provides better results. The best part of this item, according to our professionals, is how clear the view is.

The Philips lens can be compared to the Forney 57061 in terms and both have almost the same specification except the Philips lens provides a clearer view due to its better gold coating. However, there are some imperfections on the side of the Philips lens that stops us from putting it on the top of our list.

If you are looking for a fairly premium option when it comes to gold-coated glass lenses, this could be the go-to. Make sure to compare its price with the Forney lenses on our list and figure out which would be better for you.

Pros


  • Suitable for a range of TIG and stick welding.
  • Does not contain any sort of imperfections or scratches.
  • One of the clearer lenses you can find right now.
  • Cheap for a properly gold-coated filter.

Cons


  • A slight bluish tint is visible.

4. Save Phace 3010233 EFP Passive Lens

Specifications

  • Weight: 4 Oz
  • Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 5 inches
  • Will not fog up
  • ANSI Z87.1, CE and ASTM approved 
  • Anti-scratch and UV coating 
Save Phace 3010233 EFP Passive Lens

If you own Save Phace auto-darkening welding helmets or similar types of filter devices, this works as an excellent replacement for the passive lens. These kinds of lenses are the exterior part of some auto-darkening helmets that help you to grind or see properly without the ADF lens.

The excellent anti-fog coating makes sure the lens does not fog up and creates nuisance while you weld. This allows longer periods of welding without worrying about your breath lowering the visibility of the lens. As you can guess, this is just an exterior lens for certain welding helmets and is most likely to be used for grinding, unlike the Philipps or Forney lenses.

If you use Save Phace ADF helmets or similar helmets, getting these shades for replacement is a good choice overall. They are as good, if not better, as the OEM passive lens.

Pros


  • The anti-fog coating makes working for long hours more comfortable.
  • Does not get scratches and provides clear vision.
  • Fits Save Phace helmets and snap-on helmets.
  • Quality level-3 shade ensures good performance while grinding.

Cons


  • Only suitable for replacements for specific helmets.

5. Forney 57053 Lens Replacement Hardened Glass

Specifications

  • Weight: 4 Oz
  • Dimensions: 1 x 4 x 5 inches
  • Color: Green
  • Material: Glass
  • Provides 99.9-Percent UV-AB protection from the sun
Forney 57053 Lens Replacement Hardened Glass

Another Forney lens takes place on our list as the brand never fails to produce quality welding gears. This one has a dimension of 5.25” x 4.5” and will fit any helmet that accepts such kinds of lenses. If you own any Forney helmets of the model 55684, 55647, 55672, 55686, 55673, and 55669, then always go for this lens for flawless performance.

The differences between this and the first lens on our list (also from Forney) are construction material, dimensions, shade level, and quality. The 57061 is superior in terms of visibility but it isn’t made of hardened glass. This lens has shade level 10, meaning it is more suitable for flux-core MIG welding tasks.

If you think that level 10 shade wouldn’t be enough for your work and you may need a little more darkened lens, this one is the go-to. Make sure your helmet can fit the lens properly before making your purchase.

Pros


  • 99.9% UV protection makes it safer for welding tasks.
  • Suitable for helmets of all brands that accept 5.25” x 4.5” lenses.
  • Made of hardened glass, as durable as the plastic lenses from Forney.
  • Best for flux-core MIG welding.

Cons


  • Careful handling is required because of its glass construction.

6. ArcOne 03IP-1 (SSIP-1) Passive Shade 1

Specifications

  • Weight: 0.81 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 9 inches
  • Style: Shade 1
  • For 2 x 4-inch helmets 
  • Formerly SSIP-1 
ArcOne 03IP-1 (SSIP-1) Passive Shade 1

If your ADF lens isn’t dark enough and you are getting flashed during every welding session, you may need to make it a bit darker. This passive shade does the job by increasing the shade level by 1 and making sure you get the proper view.

This is a great choice if you have a shade level 10 lens and you want a darker shade for arc welding that requires level 11 shade.

The lens has its pros and cons. It makes the vision a bit grainy but does not cause too much alteration to the color. You can use it on any helmet that accepts the dimension of the lens.

Pros


  • Suitable for adjusting the shade level of the existing lens.
  • Fits most of the typical welding helmets.
  • Excellent if your ADF lenses need more darkening.
  • Does not cause too big of an issue while viewing through dual lenses.

Cons


  • A bit expensive for a shade 1 lens.
  • Grainy view.

Buyer’s Guide


One good thing about passive welding lenses is that they have lesser factors to look into when buying them comparing to auto-darkening ones. But still, we are talking about your safety. Arc eye can be painful, and you can still get it by using the wrong welding lens. To avoid that, you can follow these steps while buying a passive shade lens-

Welding Type You Will Perform Using the Passive Shade Lens

Since you can’t change the shade of a passive shade lens, you have to pick the accurate shade very carefully. It depends on what welding technique you will perform with the lens and with how much amp.

For instance, MIG welding may require a shade level between 10 to 13, based on its amp need. Arc welding needs shade-7 to shade-11. Tig welding needs shade-8 for 50-amp, shade-10 for 100 to 150 amp. For Tig welding with an amp higher than 150, you will require at least shade-12.

It is the most crucial part of a passive shade lens, as not having enough shade for your welding setup can be too risky and cause eye fatigue.

Size of the Passive Welding Lens

Actually, the size of the welding lens should be based on your preference. It will not affect your welding outcome at any level. Some people like to see the surrounding along with the welding spot.

It just feels more comfortable to them. Others want a lens that narrows your vision down to just the weld area. As I said, none of them has any advantages and should only depend on your comfort.

If you already have an existing helmet, you may consider taking a lens that fits that one. In that way, you can use the lens as a replacement for that welding helmet.

Tints and Coats

Passive welding lenses may have tints of different colors. They can also be gold-coated. Like the previous point about size, this one also falls on your choice. Some people may get bugged by amber tint while liking blue ones.

Try out different lenses and find out which one you are most comfortable using. Keep in mind that you may need to keep wearing it for a long-time during work.

Lens Cover

Manufacturers use covers on their lenses as a means of protection. Without them, the lens stays vulnerable to damages. But you got to make sure that the cover is a thick layer that can handle collisions.


Frequently Asked Questions


What Shades Are Available in Passive Welding Lenses?

You can find passive shade lenses with shade levels from 9 to 14. Manufacturers generally release a series of passive shade lenses where there is a lens for each shade level. You can also find lower shade ones, but they are a bit rare.

What Is the Darkest Shade Possible for A Passive Shade Lens?

The darkest any lens can get is shade 14. There are passive shade lenses with a shade-14 suitable for carbon arc welding or looking at the sun.

Is Passive Shade Lenses Necessary for Plasma Cutting?

Well, you do need welding lenses during a plasma cutting process. Passive shade lenses are usually available with shade from 9-14. You don’t need that much darkening for plasma cutting. But you may still need shade-5 to 8 for this work, depending on the amp.

What Advantage Do I Get from a Passive Shade Lens Over an Auto-Darkening One?

Passive shade lenses almost always have a more clear view than compared to an auto-darkening one. On top of that, they are also cheaper. Another good thing is that you won’t need to worry about the reaction time while using a passive shade lens.


Final Note


Passive welding lenses are available in lots of different sizes, shapes, and advantages. So, it is too easy to get confused about what product to get. Don’t go for attractive-looking ones, and don’t fall for the hypes by others. Try checking the negative reviews too. Take them with a grain of salt, as almost everything will have some criticisms.

After getting your passive shade lens, remember that it may flash you during the first usage. So, stay careful. It should stop this problem after some use. While observing the weld, make sure there is no bright arc around when you take out your welding lens.

Last Updated on 2 weeks by Richard Boyer

  • October 1, 2021
Richard Boyer
 

Richard Boyer has been a professional welder for over 27 years of his life, and now he is a trainer and blogger providing critical information to anyone interested in welding. He is helping out both hobbyists, novice and professional welders to learn newer and better techniques. Read more about me

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