10 Best True Color Welding Helmet Reviews | The Ultimate Buying Guide

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Even with all these brands producing welding helmets, most welders have a hard time finding the best true color welding helmet. But the issue with these helmets is that not all of them feature auto-darkening, or have high optical clarity, or come with a passive filter.

Solving that issue, we have scoured through the internet to find the top 10 true color welding helmets.

3M Speedglas

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100, 06-0100-30iSW, with Auto-Darkening Filter 9100XXi 3 Arc Sensors for MMAW TIG MIG Tack Plasma Arc Welding and Grinding Mask, 1 Each

Premium

  • Side windows
  • Easy to use
  • True color lens
Antra AH6 260

Antra Wide Shade Range 4/5-9/9-13 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 Engineered for TIG MIG/MAG MMA Plasma Grinding, Solar-Lithium Dual Power, 6+1 Extra Lens Covers

Budget Friendly

  • IR/UV protection
  • Versatile
  • Affordable
Lincoln Electric

Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology, Black

Editors Pick

  • 4 arc sensors
  • High quality lens
  • Large viewing space

We have also done some extra research and prepared an extensive write-up to help you make a wise purchase. So be sure to stick around till the end of this write-up to find the perfect welding helmet.

 10 Best True Color Welding Helmet Reviews

Weighing all the pros and cons, we have reviewed 10 of the best welding helmets that also fit your budget. Let’s go over these reviews now!

1. Lincoln Electric – Best Welding Helmet for 4C Lens

Quick Summary
  • 4 arc sensors
  • Shade range: DIN 5-13
  • Viewing Size  3.74″ x 3.34″
  • Solar power auto-darkening feature
  • Auto darkening lens within 1/25,000 seconds
  • 1/1/1/1 optical glass provides a real color view

We are going to be starting off our list with this bad boy from Lincoln Electric. Most of you experienced welders know already how well-reputed the brand is and how high quality their welding products are.

The VIKING 3350 series of true-color welding helmets come with almost everything you could ask for in the best one.

High Quality Lens

You would be surprised to know that this welding helmet features a lens that provides an optical class rating of 1/1/1/1, which is pretty high.

Diminishing, even eliminating all kinds of distortion and blurriness, this lens ensures consistent brightness and lets you weld comfortably.

Large Viewing Space

This lens is rather large in size, coming at about 12.5 square inches. Having this large field of view lets you see everything clearly, resulting in better productivity.

Comfortable Headgear

The helmet of this bad boy has an even weight distribution, which is well-balanced, making it comfortable to wear. Lincoln Electric welding helmet also compatible with hard hats to further protect you from injuries.

Dedicated Grind Button

On top of that, the helmet also features a grind mode button that lets you switch between grind and weld modes instantaneously.

In our opinion, the Lincoln Electric would be a great choice due to its high-tech lens and comfortable helmet.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • Solar Powered helmet
  • Has variable shade range to choose from
  • Top range welding hood for optical class
  • Offers a large field of view, so you can see everything clearly
  • Sturdy and heavy-duty construction makes sure you can use it for years
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • The helmet is flimsy and doesn’t stay on your head properly

2. Antra AH6 260 – Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Quick Summary
  • 4 arc sensors
  • IR/UV protection
  • Viewing size: 3.86″ x 1.73″
  • Lens shade range: DIN 4/5-9/9-13
  • Auto darkening lens within 1/25,000 seconds
  • Powered by a solar cell and lithium batteries

If you thought that was an amazing welding helmet, you are definitely going to love this one by Antra.

If you need a auto darkening welding helmet that can provide permanent shade from 13 to IR/UV with its passive filter, this is your best bet. And, its fast darkening feature makes it the best auto darkening welding helmet.

Ensures Full Safety

As we know, the whole point of a welding helmet is to protect you from any kind of harm while welding or doing any similar type of work. And this baby offers the utmost safety and protection while also sitting comfortably on your head.

IR/UV and Radiation Protection

Rely on the Antra AH6-260 auto darkening helmet to provide you with IR/UV protection. Apart from that, the auto-dimming LCD shutter (with double layers) offers enough shading.

What kind of respiratory protection should you use when welding? Click here to find out!

On top of that, it also ensures full coverage of your face and neck to protect you from welding sparks. It comes with four redundant arc sensors of premium quality that can detect and control with convenience.

Removes Interference

Say goodbye to false triggering, as this bad boy features interference suppression. The 4 arc sensors ensure that there are no interferences from false sources.

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Versatile

Antra Ah6 welding helmet is very versatile and can handle plasma cutting, MMA, Stick or TIG welding, MAG/MIG, or even abrasive wheel grinding or cutting.

You can use this  for welding in your garage or at an auto shop/construction site. Rest assured that the welding helmet with provide the kind of support you require.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • Best budget helmet
  • Solar Powered helmet
  • Detects radiation all by itself and avoids it
  • Adjustable sensitivity and delay setting
  • Makes sure your eyes don’t experience any stress
  • Eliminate the risk of retina burns and allow you to work comfortably
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • Build quality issues
  • The battery is not replaceable

3. Miller Digital Elite – Best Welding Helmet for Quality Lens

Quick Summary
  • 4 arc sensors
  • Clear Light tech
  • Shade adjustments
  • 9.2 square inch lens
  • Shade range: DIN 5-8, 8-13
  • Auto-darkening filter switches from light to dark in 1/25000 sec

If you thought the first product had a large viewing area, boy, are you in for a treat! This one surpasses the lens size of that one and is on par with both the previous entries in terms of most of the features.

High-Quality Lens

The 281000 by Miller is an industrial-grade, high-performance digital elite welding helmet with a 9.2 square inch lens that offers more viewing area to the user.

ADF and Interference Sensors

Apart from its size, the lens features Clear Light tech that ensures HD view and has sensors that auto-detects and diminish any interference from sunlight. Similar to the previous product, this one also comes with the 4-arc sensors for this purpose.

The sensors can electromagnetically detect sunlight and eliminate the interference caused by it during welding, making it easier for you to see during the task.

Comfortable to Wear

Besides all those fancy lens features, this digital elite baby is also comfortable to keep on your head. It provides optimum head and neck protection and has an overall durable construction.

Different Modes

You can weld, cut, and grind however you want. It features weld modes, grind modes, and torch cut modes specifically for this purpose. The bottom line is, it is an incredible auto darkening welding helmet due to its high-performance lens and different modes.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • Makes sure you can see everything clearly
  • Has variable shade range to choose from
  • Ensures better performance and productivity
  • Offers great head and neck protection as you wear it
  • Can get rid of sunlight interference, so you can work with comfort
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • The helmet is a bit flimsy
  • Slightly heavier than other helmets

4. ESAB Sentinel A50 – Most Stylish Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Quick Summary
  • 9.27 square inch lens
  • Optical rating: 1/1/1/2
  • Shade range: DIN 5-8/9-13
  • Touch-screen control system
  • Streamlined nylon shell design
  • Auto darkening lens within 1/25,000 seconds

The previous helmets had a similar design, very similar to the stuff you see typically. However, the ones by ESAB are a little different and slightly futuristic looking.

Not only are they futuristic looking, but they also come with high-tech features that improve your welding experience. So, why do we exactly think this is one of the best welding helmets? Let us explain our reasons.

Impressive Lens

Let’s start with the lens, which has a large viewing area of 3.93 inches x 2.36 inches (9.27 square inches).

The viewing area isn’t the only impressive feat of the lens. It also features a optical rating of 1/1/1/2-5-13, which is one of the highest and clearest you can get in a welding helmet.

Easy Controls

On top of that, Esab sentinel a50 auto darkening welding comes with a touch screen control system, with true color view and eight different memory settings. It also features four dedicated grind buttons, just like the last ones.

Comfortable on the Head

The helmet has a roundish shape, which fits over your head comfortably. It comes with a hard hat adapter that is compatible with the ESAB hard hats.

Overall, with the high-quality and high-tech lens and the comfortable headgear, this auto darkening helmet would be ideal for all welders.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • Fast auto darkening filter (ADF)
  • Sensitivity and delay adjustments
  • Viewing window of 3.93” x 2.36” inches
  • It comes with a dedicated grind mode button
  • Offers amazing clarity and brightness for your eyes
  • You can wear it with all the comfort in the world
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • Lens suffers from glare issues
  • Slightly heavier than other helmets

5. 3M Speedglas – Best Welding Helmet with Side Windows

Quick Summary
  • Side windows
  • Viewing size: 4.2″ x 2.8″
  • Power source: Battery
  • Shade range: DIN 5, 8-13
  • Blocks false triggering and interference
  • Swivel-mounted ratchet system on headgear

And we are back to the previous design of welding helmets, with the Speedglas 9100XXi by 3M. Let us go a bit more in-depth with the features of this incredible welder’s helmet.

Great Lens with Adjustable Shades

The lens of this auto darkening welding helmet is large enough for most users and provides enough viewing area to work with.

It features an auto-darkening filter (ADF) that functions to clear out all kinds of interference and false triggering from other light sources. The lens has a few selectable shades such as 5, 8-13, and the most popular one is the shade three light-state.

Easy to Use

All the controls of this helmet are external and easy to access during welding or grinding. It has these memory modes that make operating it all the more convenient.

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Convenient to Wear

It is swivel-mounted with a pretty smooth ratchet system that helps to wear the helmet. The fit is ergonomic and would be the best for head sizes of about 6.25-8 inches.

True Colors

The colors that the lens provides are much more realistic than most competitions, and that is why we think this baby deserves all the appreciation. We definitely recommend it to all the welders out there.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • Has variable shade range to choose from
  • Makes sure you don’t experience any light interference
  • The lens offers utmost clarity in viewing everything in detail
  • Large viewing area gives you a wide span of area to look at
  • Ensures you can experience true and realistic colors
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • No solar power
  • Very expensive for welder
  • It won’t fit on the head of people with a size above 8 inches

6. YESWELDER – Best Welding Helmet for Clearest Optic

Quick Summary
  • 3 LCD screens
  • True color lens
  • Optical rating: 1/1/1/1
  • Solar power auto-darkening feature
  • Lens shade range: DIN 4/5-9/9-13
  • 180-degree panoramic view

So you don’t mind tacky designs if it means the quality and performance of the welding helmet will be good. If that is the case, this would be the ideal one for you.

Panoramic View

The Panoramic 180 view welding helmet, the EH-302C, is certainly one of the best welding helmets in the market for its lens quality and functionality. Like the very first product we reviewed, this bad boy offers the highest level of clarity.

Crystal Clear Optics

With an optical class rating of 1/1/1/1, this welding helmet uses the best quality lens to provide you with an HD view while welding. What’s more, is that it features 3 different LCD screens that work independently for separate purposes.

True Colors

It offers a panoramic 180-degree view with true colors. The lens works to reduce that lime green tint in most cheap welding helmet lenses. On top of that, it also features 4-arc sensors to eliminate light interference.

Durable and Versatile

Apart from all these, this auto darkening welding helmet has a pretty high battery life, and it is perfect for Plasma cutting, grinding, MIG, TIG, and MMA works. So if the tacky orange colorway doesn’t bother you, we definitely recommend you get this one.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • A welding helmet with smart technology
  • Easily allow welder to adjust shade range
  • Lets you experience high brightness and optical rating
  • Eliminates light interference as you keep up with your welding work
  • It can be used for welding, plasma, grinding, MIG, TIG, and MMA tasks
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • May not fit everyone’s head

7. Hobart – Best Welding Helmet with Smart Feature

Quick Summary
  • Smart feature
  • 9.3 square inch lens
  • Auto-darkening
  • 4 arc sensors

If you didn’t prefer the orange colorway of the previous one, this simple black welding helmet with equally good features should have you sold.

Why do we think it would appeal to you? Well, Hobart is well-known for producing welding gears, so we’re sure this one won’t disappoint either.

Amazing Lens and Viewing Area

To start off with the viewing area of its lens. Guess what? This one has a larger area than all the previous products. With a 9.3 square inches viewing space, welder can see better and be more productive.

Auto-Darkening

The view is pretty HD, and it features an auto-darkening filter (ADF) for when you need to focus on the welding itself and not the light around it.

Interference Detection

It comes with those four arc sensors that we love so much in auto darkening welding helmets. The arc sensors detect interference and perform effectively to get rid of it for you.

Dedicated Grind Mode

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On the other hand, it features a special Grind mode that prevents the lens from getting dark and ensures a much clearer view when you have to do grinding work.

User Convenience

All the buttons and switches are located in an easily accessible place, so it is pretty convenient to use. And not to mention, the helmet is comfortable to wear as well.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • Great choice in the lower price range
  • Large viewing area gives you a wide range to look at
  • Detects light interference all by itself and eliminates it
  • Ensures you don’t experience any stress in your eyes
  • You can even get a clear view while grinding
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • Flickers a bit when placed directly under sunlight

8. Jackson Safety – Best Welding Helmet for TIG Welding

Quick Summary
  • Optical rating: 1/1/1/1
  • Shade range: DIN 9-13
  • Auto-darkening filter (ADF)
  • 3.93” x 2.36” viewing window
  • Ideal versatile welding helmet

If you were looking for another option that provides a 1/1/1/1 rating on clarity of vision, here it is. The HSL-100 by Jackson Safety should impress you with its lens clarity, auto-darkening, and fixed-shade filters.

Brand Reputation

Jackson Safety is well- known for producing some of the best welding equipment as well as personal safety gear for about a century. And this auto darkening welding helmet is proof of that.

Incredible Lens Quality

Featuring a 3.93 x 2.36 square inches large viewing area, this welding helmet has a clear view lens. As we mentioned, it has a clarity rating of 1/1/1/1 and features True Sigh II as well as Nexgen ADFs. It also features shades from 9-13, making it more versatile with the controls.

Easy Controls

The controls are simple and accessible as well, making it more convenient for welders to use them and enjoy enhanced vision. The color recognition is remarkable, as you only see true colors through this helmet’s lens.

High Grip Helmet

This amazing helmet features their in-house 370 Speed Dial head gear system, which is also easy to grip.

Versatile

You can conduct ARC, STICK, MIG and TIG welding tasks using this helmet. So, we deem this helmet worthy of being one of the best for all of the above reasons.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • Viewing window of 3.93” x 2.36” inches
  • Large viewing area with ADF allows you to see everything clearly
  • The controls on this welding helmet are simple to use
  • Easy-grip headgear stays on your face tightly and doesn’t fall off
  • Has four sensors helps to reduce eye strain while welding
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • The pivot pin in the helmet may make wearing it uncomfortable

9. Optrel – Best Welding Helmet for Bright & Color view

Quick Summary
  • Grind mode
  • CLT2.0 color spectrum
  • Bright and clear view
  • Shade range: 4-12
  • Auto-pilot and Twilight for brightness adjustments

If you want to look like an astronaut while doing welding work, you’ve just got to check out the Crystal 2.0 by Optrel. Not only is the design fascinating, but the features and benefits of this welding helmet will impress you as well.

Auto-Brightness Adjustment

The helmet comes with an auto-pilot feature, which can automatically detect the lighting condition of its surroundings and adjust the brightness from 4-12.

Similar to that, it has this thing called the Twilight feature, which essentially lightens the lens while transitioning from light to dark condition. This feature is great because it reduces eye fatigue to quite a large extent.

Dedicated Grind Mode

It also has the grind mode, just like the other welding helmets we reviewed. You can spontaneously switch between weld mode and grind mode without having ever to remove the helmet.

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True Colors

As one of the best true color welding helmets, this one lives up to that expectation. While it is not absolutely perfect, it offers the color spectrum CLT2.0, which allows the welders to see near-perfect colors with a bright and clear view.

Overall Good Quality

Although it is not the best one in the market, we would still recommend this welding helmet because of its good quality lens, auto-pilot, and Twilight features.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • Unique looking helmet
  • The helmet is absolutely lightweight
  • Reduces eye fatigue by gradually adjusting the lighting
  • The helmet also protects you from smoke, dust, and aerosols
  • Durable and sturdy built-quality makes sure you can use the helmet for years
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • The helmet may slip frequently
  • It does not offer UV/IR radiation protection

10. DEKOPRO – Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Brand

And to conclude our top 10 list, we have this amazing welding helmet by DEKOPRO. Don’t be misled by its color like the YESWELDER one we reviewed earlier. Let’s see how this one stands out.

Quick Summary
  • Optical rating: 1/1/1/2
  • Shade range: DIN 4/9-13
  • 5000-hour battery life
  • UV/IR protection: DIN 16
  • 3.85” x 3.15” viewing window
  • Auto darkening lens within 1/25,000 seconds
  • Power supply: solar cell & lithium batteries
Large Lens with High Clarity

With a large viewing area of 3.85” x 3.15” inches, this welding helmet has a optical rating of 1/1/1/2, which is better than most on this list.

Auto-Darkening

It also features ADF, just the way we like it, and it takes 1/25000 seconds to switch from light to dark and vice-versa. The ADF is quite functional, as it allows welders to control the shade of the lens and adapt to different lighting conditions. And, its fast darkening capability makes it the best welding helmet.

IR/UV Protection

What makes this bad boy stand out is that the shade-16 protects you from UV and IR radiation, making this welding helmet more impressive than we expected.

Durable and Comfortable

The battery is pretty decent, too, with a lifespan of 5000 hours, and the helmet isn’t too heavy either. You won’t feel too fatigued keeping the helmet on for long hours on days you have to weld continuously.

Overall, this is easily one of the best true color auto darkening welding helmets that we have reviewed, and we recommend you buy it.

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT IT
  • Solar Powered helmet
  • The helmet is comfortable for you to wear
  • Protects your eyes and face from radiation and ultraviolet light
  • Large viewing area makes sure you don’t miss anything as you try to see
  • Allows you to control the shade of your lens for different lighting conditions
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE
  • The shade power may fluctuate
  • Helmet quality needs improvement

What to Look for Before Buying?

Like most other projects, welding requires high-quality tools and gears as well. The welding helmet is the most crucial item to have in your inventory. Not only will it protect your face but also your neck and shoulders to some extent from sparks.

So, what features make such a helmet so great? By now, you probably know which features a good welding helmet comes with. But just for your sake, let’s take a trip down this buying guide and see what exactly makes those features important.

Note that not every product will come with all the features mentioned below. However, the best one from the lot will consist of the majority of them. As a result, you get to see which product from our list is worth splurging over the most.

Anyway, let’s cut this short and get right into our buying guide. Let’s hope this helps you find what you need!

Material

An obvious no-brainer, the material used for the construction plays a big part in determining the quality of a welding helmet. You will want something flexible but strong and durable at the same time.

  • Polyamide-Nylon

Most color welding helmets are usually constructed with polyamide nylon. This material is known to be very flexible and lightweight. As a result, helmets made of this material tend to be more popular among amateur welders. The lightweight design coupled with the durable structure makes it highly sought after by novices.

But the wow factors of helmets made of this material don’t make them expensive. If anything, polyamide nylon color welding helmets are very affordable. We would suggest you go for a helmet of this structure if you want quality within a tight budget.

  • Thermoplastic

Although not being anyone’s first choice, thermoplastic welding helmets are slowly becoming quite popular among welders. The reason for this is mainly its affordability.

In nature, thermoplastic welding helmets are lightweight, non-toxic, and portable, which makes them an ideal choice for those always on the go.

However, if we had to give our honest advice, we would recommend you refrain from purchasing such material helmets, especially if you have the budget to splurge.

As you might know, plastic can, in fact, emit fumes when coming in contact with heat. Due to direct contact with the heat and other chemicals in the factory, the fumes can become deadly enough to prove fatal to anyone. Invest a tad bit more and simply get a safer metal welding hood.

Reaction Time

The reaction time in a color welding helmet is the time taken for the arcs to change. In short, you will want to invest in a helmet with a fast reaction time. Delay in changing arcs can be harmful to your eyes, as the shades will go through transition slowly.

But on the bright side, many color welding helmets come with adjustable reaction time controls. You can easily tweak the settings according to your preferences and work with an arc that suits you best.

The react speed, in general, ranges from a minimum of 0.1 seconds to 1.0 seconds. Novices and professionals alike usually work well with such transition speeds. However, you can go for even faster speed-changing helmets, but note that those might cost you more in comparison.

This is more important if you tend to work with high amperage all the time. The heat from sudden flashes and the sparks emitted can be quite dangerous to your eyes. Fast-changing arcs will protect welder vision, as they will react quicker in general.

Auto-Darkening

Color-changing welding helmets are all the rage mainly because of their auto-darkening feature. Such a product requires little to no tweaking when working, which ultimately makes it an ideal choice in a factory.

You will want to go for a product with quick darkening lenses when in contact with flashes and sparks. A high-quality welding helmet will be able to darken its lenses the moment your hammer or tool makes contact with the metal or object in question.

We will cover more about the shade value and color for auto-darkening later below in another section.

Viewing Area

Another feature that sets apart a high-quality welding helmet from a lesser quality one is the viewing area. Basically, this is what you will be peering out through, so you want it to be spacious enough to cover a modest surface area.

People generally go for helmets with a larger view area, which can be around 7 inches or even more. However, there is a downside to such a large display. What is that, you ask?

Well, for obvious reasons, the larger the display, the heavier the helmet will be. You will already have a lot of weight on your head and neck; a larger display will only add to that bulk.

Although professionals might not have an issue with this at all, we think beginner welders should always go for a helmet with a smaller display. A size of around 4 inches should be okay enough to handle for a first-timer. Take it as a trial helmet and purchase a bigger and better one if required later on.

Optical Clarity

A good welding helmet will allow welder clear vision with optimal clarity at all times. This feature should be high quality regardless of the lighting conditions, whether it be during the day or night.

As a general rule of thumb, helmets with a rating of EN379 are moderately better than other welding helmets on the market. This rating is a standard one, which typically specifies effectiveness and safety for consumer usage.

However, note that better clarity will not necessarily mean enhanced brightness. In fact, the two fall on different ends of the spectrum. Optical clarity defines the crispness, clearness, color correction, and illumination in a welding helmet.

In short, know that one stands to be the best on the clarity range, whereas three tends to be blurry. The 1/1/1/1 rating is one of the best for optical clarity in a color welding helmet.

What Is Auto Darkening Feature? How It Works

So, we are back with the auto-darkening feature, but this time we’ll cover it in depth. Basically, this feature means your welding helmet will change the shade of its lens to something dimmer the moment it detects light.

Nowadays, many high-quality auto darkening welding helmets come with a transition speed of about 1/25,000 per second. This transition speed is achieved by the sensor on the helmet. Most auto darkening welding helmets come with about 2-4 sensors attached to them, but four are much better in terms of safety and speed.

We suggest you go for a helmet with four sensors compared to only 2 (although being pricier), as the response time will be faster. The number of sensors can vary according to the type of welding helmet you purchase.

For example, a product with only two sensors is ideal for home usage or DIY carpentry/welding. However, 3 or 4 sensors are required for larger, industrial projects with more heat and flashes.

On the other hand, we have the light state, which is represented on a scale of 3-13. A level 3 state is very light, which is ideal for viewing the area you are working with. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the light state is, the darker your vision will be when not welding.

What Is the Clearest Welding Lens?

The quality of a welding lens should be top-tier, as it is the items that lies between the welder and the flashes/sparks on the other side. The international standard for clarity in welding lenses typically follows the EN379 standard. EN here stands for European Norm.

As we mentioned before in another section, a rating of 1/1/1/1 provides the clearest vision, whereas 3/3/3/3 is the blurriest. The tinge on the former rating is very mild, which provides users with a “clear color”.

From our reviews, the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 has one of the clearest welding lenses (1/1/1/1 rating). The product itself is ideal for industrial usage, and the lens on it only makes the welding helmet better in terms of quality and value.

The lens shade range on this helmet can be chosen from a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 13. On top of that, this helmet also has four sensors attached.

What Setting Should You Use for the Lens Shade?

According to typical market ratings, the lens shade falls on a scale of 5-13, where five is the lightest and 13 is the darkest. As a result, the lighter a shade is, the less protection your eyes will receive when coming in contact with flashes and sparks.

In our suggestion, a shade of 9 or 10 is ideal for all kinds of usage. This includes DIY welding and industrial usage. However, note that different kinds of welding will require different lens shades. For example, for plasma cutting in 400 amperes, you should go for a welding helmet with a lens shade of 13 at most.

Plasma can produce bright and dangerous sparks and flashes which only a shade of 13 can tackle the best. On the other hand, gas metal or air carbon cutting welding for amperes 500 or so will require a lens shade of 8 or 9.

What Is the Darkest Welding Shade?

The darkest welding shade is 13, which is ideal for intense welding processes such as plasma arc cutting, ARC air-cutting, etc. Less intense welding, such as for electrodes or MAG, requires lens shades of 8-9, which can sometimes extend to 12 as well.

We suggest going for dark welding shades from the get-go, as they will protect welder eyes the most. You can set your welding helmet to this shade when working with amperes ranging from a minimum of 250 to a maximum of 500. Try not to go any lower than this, or you can cause severe harm to your vision.

Other times, working with a lens shade of 10 is not bad either, as it typically falls in the middle. With this level, your view will not be as dark as a 13, but also not light enough to harm your eyes.

What Is the Minimum Shade Value When Arc Welding?

For metal arc welding or even brazing, the minimum shade value should be around seven only. This is ideal for an arc current of 60 or even less. At the same time, the size of the electrode will be three or less than three. The electrode size for arc welding is more or less always measured in 1/32 inches.

On the other hand, welder can also opt for an increased shade value when arc welding. For this, the typical level chosen is usually 8 or 10. The arc current, in this case, falls between 160 and 250. Electrode size will be around eight only.

Next, we have plasma arc welding, which consists of a shade value of 11 for an arc current of 800. 11 is the highest here. Note that you need to always have goggles or some other kind of protective eye-shield on when arc welding.

 Choose the Right Lens Reaction Time

Did you know that with an increase in working temperature, the reaction time of your helmet can decrease? This is exactly why you need to invest in a welding helmet that comes with a swift reaction time.

High-quality brands will manufacture their products with a transition speed that works within 1/25,000 of a second! This speed is ideal for working in hot temperatures, as even the decreased speed would stand at 1/20,000 per second. That is still pretty quick if you ask us.

If you are short on budget and need an entry-level welding helmet only, then going for something with a reaction time of 1/16,000 or 1/10,000 will not be a bad deal either.

However, make sure to purchase from a trustworthy brand or dealer. Many manufacturers tend to dupe customers by stating a fake reaction time on the product.

In conclusion, the faster you want your color welding helmet to be, the more expensive it will be. But the price range here really makes up for the comfort your eyes will receive by the end of the process.

Sure, cheaper products will save you a ton of cash, but helmets with slower reaction time will leave your eyes dry and scratchy in the long run.

Adjustable Sensitivity and Delay Controls

The sensitivity is the amount of light your helmet will take in when working. As a result, the more light perceived, the darker your viewing area will become. Many high-quality color welding helmets allow adjusting the sensitivity and delay controls to your own requirements now.

This is ideal for those who mainly work outdoors, as the lighting outside can dim and brighten as the day goes. Pair that up with the flashes of the welding process itself, and you will receive a super sensitive welding helmet.

Here, being able to adjust the sensitivity will give you some control over the product and your welding process as well.

On the other hand, we have the delay controls in a welding helmet. This feature will let you adjust the darkening feature or shade level of the lens after you weld. You can delay the controls by a few seconds only, which range from 0.5 to 2 seconds at most.

Users can tweak the controls according to their project size. For example, you can delay the darkening feature by 2 seconds if your project is a large one and you need more time to view it in its clear color. This will also let your eyes adjust to the natural lighting much easily in-between welding.

Why Is Optical Clarity Important While Welding?

The optical clarity is one of the most important features a good color welding helmet can come with. This is what will allow your eyes to maintain clear vision while working while also protecting them from outside flashes.

But how is it any different than the lens then? Well, for starters, optical clarity is simply not just the brightness of the lens. In fact, the optical clarity of a welding helmet combines the illumination and color correction produced.

A lens will simply dim and brighten your view according to the shade level it has and its own darkening features. However, optical clarity is what allows you to see things crystal clearly.

This feature is also what provides your eyes with the most real and true image formed on the other side of the welding helmet. Alongside that, proper color correction will feature a mild yet protective green tinge on the screen whenever light hits the arc.

As we mentioned previously in this article (many times at that!), the standard clarity level should be 1/1/1/1. This level is clear and holds the true color of the welding process. However, a level of 3/3/3/3 will be blurry and have a lot of green tinge to it, which can ultimately distort your view.

 How to Pick a Welding Power Source

Choosing the right power source for your welding process is crucial. In fact, this also plays a great part in determining how thoroughly and smoothly your final welded piece is.

  • For DIY-Welders

You will probably not be using your welding helmet for any over-the-top project in your garage (or backyard). A moderate (DC) power source of 100 amps with FCAW (Flux-cored arc welding) directly provided from the outlet will work best in cutting through the metal of ¼ inches in thickness.

The maximum voltage for this will be approximately 120V only. On the other hand, you can ramp this up to 240V if you wish to try welding thicker metal projects.

  • For Industrial Welders

Those welding in an industrial factory generally works with GMAW (Gas-metal arc welding) or GTAW (Gas-tungsten arc welding). Using a direct current (DC) of 240V (dual-voltage welding machine is ideal) is recommended in this scenario.

This power source will allow welder to easily cut or weld through the metal of ¾ inches in thickness. We recommend you stick to this voltage level, especially if you are working with a plasma cutter. Make sure to opt for a dual-voltage machine instead of a singular one.

Does Welding Ruin Your Eyes?

Unfortunately, welding can be really dangerous for the eyes, regardless of whether you wear a helmet or not. However, a good protective shield can reduce the severity of the damage, which isn’t possible without a welding helmet.

Welding, in general, combines different types of radiation on the spectrum. This usually includes infrared and UV rays as well. The most common eye damage that occurs is something called “Welder’s Flash”.

Symptoms include very painful and dry eyes, bloodshot corneas, as well as blurred and yellowing vision. However, the fortunate thing with this damage is that it is reversible. But it will take a long time to recover, and the yellowing might be persistent even afterward.

This is because the damage is usually done to both your lens and the cornea. Other kinds of eye damage are not due to radiation or light waves but because of flashes and burns. The harsh sparks can easily burn your eyes and blind you permanently if you do not have a shield on.

Unfortunately, unlike Welder’s Flash, injury due to intense sparks and flames is not irreversible in most cases. But you can avoid all of these damages simply by wearing a good-quality welding hood.

 How to Reduce Eye Strain

Getting medical help from professionals can put you on the right path to recovery. Talk to an ophthalmologist and get the proper meds prescribed. On the other hand, you can also fasten the recovery process right from the comfort of your home.

  •  Keep Eyes Covered

Put a bandage or soft clothing over your eyes and let them rest for a day or two straight. The darkness, in contrast to the bright flashes for a change, will relax your eye muscles and let them recover slowly, yet gradually.

  • Don’t Wear Contact Lenses

If you wear contact lenses every day, try to give that some time off as well and stick to spectacles. Remember to go for a check-up every once in a while and keep your doctor well informed about your recovery process.

  • Use Tear Drops

You should also use artificial tear drops every now and then, as that will keep your eyes hydrated throughout the day.

 What Causes Welder’s Flash?

If you weld regularly or even have welded once in your life, you know how the sparks and flashes from welding can be. Sometimes, this becomes a bit too dangerous, and the UV light may reach your eyes.

This causes a flash burn, which is commonly known as ‘Arc Eye’ or ‘Welder’s Flash’. Generally, “Welder’s Flash” may be caused by looking at direct sunlight, or maybe a reflection of the sun on any reflective surface, and from welding torches.

While welding, if you are not careful and don’t use protective gears for that, you may be at risk of getting “Welder’s Flash”.

 UV/IR Protection

Due to this risk, it is quintessential that you opt for a helmet or welding mask that provides the best UV/IR radiation protection.

Not only will getting this kind of welding helmet to protect you from Welder’s Flash, but it also protects your face from the issues these radiations may cause. Lucky for you, most of the products we have chosen for you offer UV and IR radiation protection.

This works because the lens will automatically darken itself so that the luminosity from the welding torch is decreased. This results in a more soothing brightness, allowing you to stay safe from the UV and IR rays of the torch.

Picking the Best True Color Welding Helmet for You

After extensive research and hours of contemplating over which one is the best true color welding helmet, we have come to a conclusion. Although the choice would be yours, our recommendation would be the Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350.

We chose this one to be the very best because of the amount of clarity it provides, along with the auto-darkening filter (ADF) and comfort of wearing. If you think this would be the best choice, we give you the green signal to buy it!

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