If you are a welder, your welding helmet is the protective shield that separates you from the welding debris and sparks. But what do you think will work better to protect you? The best auto darkening helmet, of course. Regular welding helmets may protect your eyes from certain direct injuries. But did you know that your eyes and body are also indirectly related to these occupational health hazards? An auto darkening helmet can reduce much of that risk.
And to inform you more about these, we have prepared the best auto darkening welding helmet reviews with the top best auto darkening helmets. So, let’s move forward without wasting any more time.
10 Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmets For The Money
Let’s talk about something else first. Are you a starter welder or an expert? Just kidding! It does not matter. Everyone must use a helmet while welding. You can wear the best welding goggles. But a helmet is always a better option.
The reason we have been experimenting with auto darkening helmets is that they are different from the standard or passive welding helmets. These helmets have been manufactured using high technology.
But which one should you get? For now, stop biting your nails and do read the reviews of our top picks from the best rated auto darkening welding helmets.
1. Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350- Best Rated Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Our first welding helmet for the money is the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 welding helmet. This helmet is one of the most reliable ones for any kind of welding. And if you are after the top rated auto darkening welding helmet TIG welding, this will have you covered.
2. Hobart – Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Under 150
Last but not least, don’t underestimate this one just because I have listed it at #10. The helmet packs some decent specs and useful features to make your welding convenient and safe.
3. Antra – Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Under 100
It was quite difficult to find a true versatile welding helmet at an affordable price. Although you can use any conventional helmet for different purposes, you will surely miss the convenience.
Then I came across this helmet from Antra.It got a huge sized viewing window with lots of features that you would need for different welding applications and types.
4. 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
3M Speedglas helmets are popular for their style, construction versatility, comfort, and all. This is always among a professional’s first choices. It comes with some unique features that you may not get to find in a cheap welding helmet.
5. Jackson Safety Insight 46131- Best Auto Darkening Welding Lens
Jackson Safety helmets are also a professional’s choice and Jackson has the best welding helmet under 200. And we recommend the Jackson Safety 46131 Welding Helmet for your better welding experience.
6. ESAB Sentinel A50- Best Value Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The first thing that attracts the users about the ESAB Sentinel A50 auto dark welding helmet is its look. You cannot deny the fact that it looks so less stylish than a modern, high-tech helmet. It comes with multiple from-the-future types features and you will just love getting your hands on it.
7. Miller 280045 Black Digital Infinity Series- Best Affordable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Miller welding helmets are not cheap. But it is one of the trendiest brands that produce quality helmets for the competitive markets.
8. Optrel Crystal 2.0- Best Self Darkening Welding Helmet
Here comes the most expensive welding helmet on our list. But it is our top pick from the auto darkening helmet forum. If you have a higher budget, you can grab this cool helmet.
9. TACKLIFE Face Shield- Best Cheap Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The best welding mask auto darkening technology keeps getting better. TACKLIFE helmets are more for practical use rather than for starters. From optical clarity to fast reaction, it comes with all good features.
10. YESWELDER Large Viewing Area- Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Under 200
Our last welding helmet is from the best welding helmet under 150. No matter who you talk to about welding helmets, you will always hear about YesWelder. It comes with better quality, the largest viewing area, and all other working benefits.
How To Choose The Best Welding Helmets Auto Darkening
There are so many welding helmets out there. But how are you going to know if you need the finest auto darkening welding helmet or how are you going to pick one? So here is a buying guide with necessary answers to the frequently asked questions.
Auto Darkening Welding Helmets: Grind Modes & Why You May Want One
Grinding is a crucial part of the welding job. Not only is it time-consuming, but it is also responsible for creating high-quality welding touch.
All the auto darkening helmets come with a grinding mode. But why would you want this? An auto darkening welding helmet turns dark during welding. But you don’t want a dark lens to block your view when grinding. That’s why you need this mode.
When you are not welding you can turn on the grinding mode and adjust shade according to your welding material and light. This prevents the lens from going to ADF mode and allows you to grind comfortably.
Types of Welding Helmets
Of all types of helmets, the two major types of helmets are- auto darkening welding helmet and standard or passive helmet. Though auto darkening helmets are more preferred these days, each of these helmets has advantages and disadvantages of its own.
These helmets are the ones that darken automatically once you start welding. It has a liquid-crystal display and runs on battery or solar power or both.
Unlike regular standard welding helmets, automatic darkening helmets come with some user-friendly features. The design of these helmets is versatile and comes with an ergonomic design.
You can flip the helmet hood when necessary. And as for the automatic darkening part, it will darken and lighten based on your work. Once you are done welding, the lens will automatically go into the light mode. However, these welding helmets are not easy to handle. They require extra careful handling. And the parts can be expensive to replace.
Standard helmets are the ones that do not come with a flipping hood or multiple shaded lenses. These helmets come with a fixed design with not many variable options. Yet, they are one of the popular ones. The standard helmets come with one shade of lens. These lenses are clearer than the automatic darkening helmets. As a result, you get to see it more clearly.
Compared to auto darkening helmets, the standard helmets are cheaper. They don’t need any battery or solar power.
However, if you need a break or need to change any setting, you will have to take off the entire helmet. This is something you are not required to do when using an auto darkening helmet.
What Else Should You Look For In A Welding Helmet
Your headgear is your protective equipment. Along with working comfort, it is meant to protect you from working hazards. So when you are buying a welding helmet, you need to look for a few things.
Your helmet’s features matter! There are several things to look for, such as auto-darkening mode to protect your eyes, anti-fog feature to help you see clearly. Also, the updated feature like touchscreen has changed the way these helmets once used to be. Features like proper ventilation and memory systems are also getting popular on welding helmets.
Auto-Darkening Mode And Delay:
There used to be a time when welding sparks would often cause serious eye injury. That problem has decreased over the years, thanks to the auto-darkening mode. Once you start welding process, this feature protects your eyes by darkening the viewing area. So look for a helmet with an auto-darkening feature with adjustable delay time.
What do the arc sensors do? The job of the arc sensors is to detect light exposure and turn on the auto-darkening mode immediately. Depending on price range and quality, welding helmets come with two to four sensors. The more sensor it has, the better viewing coverage you will get.
The finest welding helmet with respirator allows you to breathe with ease as you work for a long time. That’s why you need to keep an eye open for the PAPR system on your welding helmet.
Everyone has different budgets. Depending on your type, you can find the best respirator welding helmet under 200, even under 100. So the helmet price range is the last thing you need to worry about.
What Lens Size Is Ideal On A Helmet
Welding expose you to harmful light like UV rays and IR radiation. They do not just cause harm to your eyes but also your skin. These radiations cannot be seen. So the workers barely know what they are experiencing.
The lens on your welding helmet works as a shield to protect you from such harm. So, the wider the lens is, the better you will see. The ideal lens size depends on your flexibility. However, a lens size between 7-9 is recommended for everyone.
Fixed Shade vs Variable Shade
The welding helmets come in both fixed and variable lens shades. Before you go for a random pick, ask yourself, what type of welding you’re going to do?
If you are welding one type of material, such as steel, a fixed shade lens can do the job smoothly. On the other hand, if you are doing various types of materials, such as iron, aluminum, and steel, etc., you will need a variable lens shade helmet.
When you are using a fixed shade lens, you will need to use a torch too. It will help you see the welding area properly. And you have to take off the helmet to check on the work progress.
But when you are using a variable shade lens, the darkness and light will adjust automatically. So, you don’t have to take off your helmet to check work progress. However, fixed shade lenses are cheaper than variable shade ones. Variable shade helmets are expensive to buy and replace.
Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Shade Guide
The automatic darkening shade allows you to see through the lens, only enough to weld. This shade feature protects your eyes from welding fumes. The lens is made with DIN shade levels. This shade level varies from helmets to helmets. But usually, this helmet shades range from 9-13. The more or higher shade level you have, the better it is for you.
How Does An Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Work
An auto darkening helmet works through the arc sensors. Depending on the price and structure, these helmets come with two to four arc sensors. These sensors activate as soon as you turn on the helmet settings. And once exposed to the light or weld, the arc sensors turn the lenses into self darkening mode. The auto darken filter lenses are much like TV screens. They are built of liquid crystals. These lenses react to exposure.
Using the LCD touch screen, you can control and change the helmet settings. And based on your work type and the light of your working area, you can change the shades.
How Does A Welding Helmet Protect You
A welding helmet protects you with each one of its features. The first thing it does is protect you by creating a shield between you and your working area. The mask shields your face and neck, protecting them from burns.
The arc sensors detect exposure and turn the lens automatically dark to protect your eyes. A lightweight and comfortable headgear protect you from eye fatigue and neck pain and also protect against the dangers of arc flash. Besides, a good, upgraded helmet saves both your time and energy.
Why Is A Welding Helmet Necessary
When your profession comes with hazard risks, using safety gear or protective equipment becomes mandatory. This equipment often ends up becoming life-saving. Welding means you are to deal with harmful rays, flying debris, and all. To protect yourself from these hazardous things, you need to use a welding helmet. If not, one can end up with temporary to permanent disability.
What Are The Advantages Of An Auto Darkening Helmet
The advantages of these darkening helmets are many. Besides being a high-tech headgear, it is highly suitable for any stage of welders.
Welding requires all your eye focus. That means your eyes go through lots of straining. So, if you are deciding to get something to give you some ease at work, an auto darken welding helmet is your best option. So, let’s have a look at the advantages of this helmet.
Protects Your Eyes:
When welding, your eyes are in a vulnerable position. And that’s where the self darkening helmets step in, to protect your eyes. The self darkening mode makes the lenses go dark once you start welding. This system is a life-saving feature.
A notable advantage of these helmets is the viewing area. There are variable viewing areas ranging from 6 inches to 13 inches. Some of them come with 360° views. You can pick welding helmets with your desired viewing area to feel comfortable as you weld.
Different Price Range:
Now here comes the most attractive advantage of all. Many newbies would think that a welding helmet costs more than a standard one. But that’s not true. The advantage of a welding helmet is that it comes in different price ranges.
To know more: Advantages
What Are The Options Available For Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Welders of different levels look for different options in welding helmets. But, no matter what, there are some common options you need to look for in your auto darkening welding helmet.
The sensor triggers the automatic darkening filter and makes them go dark. These helmets come with two to four sensors.
Darkening And Light Time:
The time of darkening and then going to the light mode should be fast. Otherwise, your work will be delayed.
The size of the viewing area is important. A standard viewing area ranges from 7-9 square inches.
How Long Do Auto Darkening Helmets Last
The durability of welding helmets depends on a few factors. It depends mostly on the quality of the materials, features, frequency of use, etc. Sometimes cheap prices are responsible for shorter durability. Expensive best welding helmets come with better quality and long-lasting material.
Welding helmets are of various types when it comes to whether or not it runs on power. The types are:
- Solar-powered helmets
- Battery-powered helmets
- Solar and battery-powered helmets
- No power required helmets
Solar power helmets have good durability as they do not depend on battery power and have no issue with running out of power. Battery-powered helmets tend to have shorter durability.
On the other hand, helmets with both solar and battery power last longer. As the helmet can be solar-powered, it puts less pressure on the batter, increasing both the battery and the helmet’s durability.
Welders also believe that helmets with no power system also last a very long time. As they don’t come with solar or battery power systems, you can wear them as you want.
But no matter what, welding helmets do not last long without proper maintenance. If you get yourself a good quality helmet and take good care of it, it is likely to last 3 to 5 years or more.
Why Do Pro Welders Choose Auto Darkening Welding Helmets
Pro welders are the most experienced people in welding. And they know a high performing welding helmet when they see one.
When someone chooses an auto dark welding helmet, it’s because of their features and quality. And here is why pro welders choose these best welding helmets:
By now you are probably tired of seeing this point. But this is the first thing about automatic darkening helmets that attracts the users. Having protective gear that will ensure eye protection and eye fatigue at the same time is always the first choice.
Traditional or standard welding helmets do not come with a flipping hood. So, you need to take off the entire helmet to change settings or when you are not welding.
Comfortable To Wear:
Hours of work can be stressful and can strip you of energy. On top of that, heavy and uncomfortable headgear puts more pressure on your head. These helmets are not heavy and ensure comfort as you work.
Standard welding helmet comes in a fixed lens shade. It is mostly a shade 10, which is not suitable for all types of welding. But the auto darkening helmets come with adjustable shades that allow you to change them according to your welding type.