5 Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmets Buying Guide for 2020

Welding is a dangerous profession. You have to deal with sparks, infrared and ultraviolet rays. These lights can cause severe damage to your eyes. Therefore, you have to protect your eyes adequately with a welding helmet. Therefore, to keep your eyes safe, we have compiled a list of the best auto-darkening welding helmets.

Arc flash is a burning, blinding light that causes deep pain in your sockets. You feel like clawing bot of your eyes out. It is a deep and intense pain. If you haven’t across arc flash, then it is a piece of great news. But, we do not want you to suffer from arc flash in the future as well. Therefore, we have jotted down reviews of the best welding helmets in the market.

We have listed auto-darkening helmets. These helmets are our favorites. Auto-darkening means that it does not have a typical shade. Therefore, you can keep the helmet on for different welding purposes. Depending on the process, the sensor on the helmet will change the helmet’s shade.

Therefore, it is recommended that you use auto-darkening helmets while welding. They are secure and reliable. They protect your eyes, unlike any other welding helmets. Hence, go through the reviews and select your perfect work companion.

Best Selling Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

1. ESAB Sentinel A50

ESAB Sentinel A50 gives you excellent real color clarity. It has completely redefined the traditional welding helmets. The help has a “space warrior” look. The helmet serves its purpose effectively.

The design is ergonomic and pretty much great to wear. It feels good when strapped on. It is light-weighted and does not put much weight and pressure on the neck. Therefore, you won’t be feeling a heaviness around your neck and work for a longer time.

The helmet works exceptionally. With the True Color senses, it feels as if you are wearing nothing on your eyes. The searing brightness is also filtered out. The helmet has an Optical glass rating of 1/1/1/2. The visibility through this helmet is genuinely exceptional.

The level of distortion is almost negligible in this helmet. The helmet puts the luminous transmission variation appropriately. The angle dependence of the helmet is excellent as well. Therefore, you face no issue with the helmet on.

The helmet has a good screen size. It is 3.93” x 2.36”, or 9.27 square inches. Therefore, you can view a larger area. It enables the auto-darkening function with a speed of 1/25,000 seconds.

It can quickly swap from shade 5 to 13 easily. The helmet has an LCD screen. The screen is entirely adjustable and is adjusted quickly. The screen stays crystal clean, be it in light or dark condition.

The machine comes with an eight memory presets. If you prefer some other settings, then you can change it accordingly.

Other Features

You will find the shade four grinding selectors on the exterior of the helmet. You do not have to remove the helmet to change the shade. It is accessible and can be easily reached. Therefore, convenience is a great feature of this helmet.

The power supply is a solar cell. It comes with a 3-year warranty.

Accessories

It comes with a sturdy hat adaptor. The helmet comes with magnification lenses. It also comes with replacement cover lenses.

Price

ESAB Sentinel A50 costs $299. Therefore, you get a great welding helmet for under 300 dollars. Hence, if you want a light-weighted and convenient helmet, then you must go for this helmet.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • The helmet is exceptionally comfortable.
  • The LCD screen of the tool is easy to read.
  • It has eight presets. Hence, it can quickly change shades and settings.
  • This is a super-fast auto-darkening helmet.
  • It is compatible with any and every welding process.
Cons
  • Some users may not like using an LCD screen with gloves on.

2. 3M Speedglas 9100

3M Speedglass 9100 is listed as one of the favorite welding helmets. The helmet comes with a unique feature. It reduces the green appearance when viewed from the helmet’s glass. Hence, we have featured his helmet as one of the best auto-darkening welding helmets.

The helmet uses ADF technology. When you are welding, you are subjected to infrared and ultraviolet rays that are harmful to your eyes. The ADF technology responds quickly to these lights and protects your eyes from significant damage. Therefore, this helmet cares for your eyes, unlike anything.

You will find three sensors on the helmet’s interior. These sensors work together and monitor the signs of any arc flash. If there is an exposure to harmful rays, the ADF technology is activated in 0.1 milliseconds. Therefore, you do not have to turn your head or anything to protect your eyes.

The ADF technology runs on two batteries. These batteries do not need any charge. The Technology uses lithium-ion batteries that last for 2,000 working hours. Therefore, you do not have to charge frequently. When the batteries wear out, you have to remove the helmet and replace them with new ones.

The helmet comes with extra windows. The extra window at the front holds the auto-darkening feature in place.  There are two windows on the sides as well.

The side windows help you to expand your vision. Therefore, you will be able to see your surroundings easily. From your tools to the metal you are welding, you will be able to see everything. Hence, you get to have a broader vision.

Other Features

With the locked-in feature of the helmet, you can easily lock the shade that you prefer. You can even select the appropriate shade on 9100. If you are grinding, then level 5 is suitable for you. You can choose from 8 to 13 shades and lock the preferred shade with the lock-in feature. Hence, the helmet prefers your choices for anything.

Comfort

This helmet keeps your comfort at top priority. The comfort and filter mode on the helmet work jointly to reduce the eye strain. It makes sure that your eyes do not feel tired by the end of the day.

The machine also comes with crown straps and padded headbands. The crown straps easily adjust the helmet’s fit. Overall, it has an ergonomic design. Therefore, the helmet is designed to provide you great comfort while you weld.

Price

3M Speedglass 9100 is on the pricier side. It costs $484.72. It is costly. But, it does have some great and notable features.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • The helmet is intuitively designed to protect your eyes from UV and IR radiation.
  • The helmet has a wide view screen.
  • It uses ADF technology.
  • It is perfectly suitable for different kinds of welding.
Cons
  • The helmet is a bit expensive compared to other helmets.

3. Lincoln Viking 3350

Lincoln Viking 3350 comes in the third position of our pick. It comes with 4C Technology that makes it our favorite. It is quite a popular helmet in the welding industry and has some great features as well.

The helmet fits comfortably. All credits to the lightweight of the helmet. It weighs just 3.2 pounds and is very easy to handle. This equipment effectively reduces the pressure on your shoulders as well as the head. Hence, it is perfectly designed, keeping in mind your comfort.

This helmet also features ADF technology. It also comes with knobs on the exterior. The helmet is of polycarbonate and nylon. The knobs on the exterior are easily reachable and can be managed even with gloves on. Therefore, you do not have to take off your gloves to work with knobs.

The helmet even allows you to take it off for some time and rest it on the crown. Once you are done inspecting and checking everything, you can put it back. Therefore, there is no need to put your helmet somewhere else.

When you work on different welding processes, you must consider the lens. The lens is an essential aspect of welding helmets. This helmet has a rating from 5 to 13. You can easily pick your preferable shade.

It comes with four arc sensors. These sensors monitor the areas in and around your face and head. If there is a spark, it immediately turns on the filter. The filter gets started in 1/25,000 seconds.

Other Features

This is a solar helmet. Therefore, you do not have to worry about charging the helmet. When you are working out in the sun, it stays ultimately charged up.

The helmet stays ideal for you in almost every condition. It has a 2A TIG amp rating. Therefore, it remains strong in every situation. It also features a grind mode when you have to do some other job.

4C lens technology helps your eyes staying protected. It works on 1/1/1/1 optical clarity. Therefore, you will be able to see each and everything around you.

Price

Lincoln Viking 3350 costs $378. This also falls on the expensive side. But, this welding machine is a great one to work with.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • The helmet comes with a 4C lens technology.
  • It has a large viewing window.
  • The helmet gives you great comfort.
  • It has adjustable sensitivity settings.
Cons
  • This is a moderately expensive helmet.

4. Antra AH6-260-0000

There is only a countable number of helmets that cost low but has excellent features. Well, Antra AH6-260-0000 is one of them. It is the cheapest welding helmet on the list. Therefore, it is undoubtedly a favorite among workers who want affordable but best.

Antra AH6-260-0000 is of Polyimide nylon. This material has a high impact. Therefore, this helmet is ideal for even rough areas.

It is also the lightest helmet. It weighs less than a pound. Therefore, you won’t feel any heaviness when you put it. The helmet guarantees comfort. It is light weighted yet durable. Consequently, you can work all day long without any hindrance.

The helmet indeed features auto-darkening Technology. The auto-darkening protects you from welding glare. You do not even have to open your helmet each time you are done welding a metal. Therefore, it is efficient and takes a little time. This feature is enabled in four integrated sensors.

One of the unique features of this helmet is its compatibility with a magnifying glass. If you are working on a detailed metal, then a magnifying glass comes in handy. Therefore, this helmet is best suitable and has excellent compatibility with the magnifying glass.

The machine has solar power features. You can work under the sun, and your helmet does not work stopping. If your helmet stops working unexpectedly, then it has replaceable batteries. Therefore, in no way, your work gets halted.

It has a quick switching speed—the helmet switches within 0.00004 seconds. Therefore, your remains are protected and secured while working.

Other Features

The helmet is ideal for active metal gas or MAG welding, shielded metal arc welding or SMAW, inert metal gas or MIG welding, and inert tungsten gas or TIG welding.

You will get a reasonably good view of your surroundings with the helmet. It has a viewing area of 3.78”x1.78”.

Price

This is the cheapest welding helmet on this list. It costs just $39.11. Yes, it is this cheap and flaunts such unique features. We are so impressed by the features at this price range that had to feature it as one of the best auto-darkening welding helmets.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • You get a great helmet at a low price.
  • It has an auto-darkening feature. The helmet can switch speed quickly.
  • It is incredibly lightweight.
  • The helmet is magnifying glass compatible.
  • The machine has solar charging and also comes with replaceable batteries.
Cons
  • It has a comparatively smaller viewing area compared to other helmets.

5. Jackson Safety HSL100

The last welding helmet to feature is the Jackson Safety HSL100. It is the second most cheap welding helmet on this list. It is an excellent helmet with unique features at such a price range. Therefore, people looking for narrow helmets must go for HSL100.

If you are working in a small and narrow place, then the Jackson Safety HSL100 is designed compactly. It fits you smoothly. Therefore, you will not face any issue while welding.

It has a viewing area of 3.93″ x 2.36″. It has an extended size that you from sparks, slags, physical hazards, and fumes. Therefore, your eyes stay secure no matter what.

The helmet comes with ten lens protection from lights. It has an optical class of 1/1/1/1. Hence, it protects your eyes adequately.

The helmet comes with a sturdy and durable shield. The shield provides a clear view, hard hat adaptable, and comfortable. You can efficiently perform MIG welding, TIG, and arc welding. Therefore, you face no issue while working with this model.

The model is highly trustworthy. It is ANSIZ87.1 authorized.

The helmet is designed in such a manner that you do not feel any weight on your shoulders. It also comes with a padded head strap. Moreover, your eyes stay protected, and you get a clear view with a complete view screen.

Hence, if you are looking for a cheap yet good welding helmet, this helmet will satisfy your needs.

Price

Jackson Safety HSL100 costs $120.95. Thus, you get a durable and great helmet for under 200 dollars.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • The machine is cheap and highly affordable.
  • It gives you excellent safety.
  • The helmet is light-weighted and comfortable to work with.
  • The machine has ten layers of varied shades.
Cons
  • It does not have an automatic on and off.

How to Choose the Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet?

As said earlier, welding is a dangerous profession. You must a proper and protective welding helmet to save you from sparks, harmful rays, etc. When you are looking for an ideal welding helmet, you must consider the following points.

Comfort and Weight

If you are working in a condition where you have to wear the helmet for a longer duration, you must look for light-weighted helmets. Lightweight helmets can be worn for a more extended period and are easily handled. Moreover, lighter helmets reduce your chance of getting a stress injury.

Comfort needs to be considered, as well. Padded and lightweight helmets give your fantastic comfort. You will enjoy welding a metal because of the convenience. A helmet that does not fit appropriately will bother you. Therefore, you won’t be able to focus on your work. Hence, you must go for light-weighted and comfortable helmets.

Viewing Area

The viewing area is an essential point when you are often welding out of the normal position. Then, you need a greater viewing area to see and operate around the nearby surroundings. 4”x3” is a great viewing area. Anything above 2 inches is considered a great viewing area. Moreover, it is your personal preference as to how much viewing area you require. Therefore, when you go looking for a welding helmet, always choose the ideal viewing area.

Power Source

Welding helmets are either powered by lithium batteries, solar power, or both jointly. A combination of both is the best option. Hence, this allows extending the battery life of the welding helmet. Moreover, if one battery dies, then you can work with the other one quickly.

Another thing to consider is whether the source is replaceable or not. Some of the helmets provide a replaceable power source. You must have an extra pair of replacement batteries. There is no harm in staying prepared and cautious. Hence, this also ensures that your work does not stop at any given condition.

Arc Sensors

Considering arc sensors is very crucial. The sensors on the helmet detect flashes and, within seconds, darken the helmet to protect your eyes. The more the sensors, the more the protection and security your eyes get. Having at least two sensors is essential. Some helmets even have four sensors, which are just perfect.

Other points to consider while buying a welding machine are:

  • Price
  • Optical class
  • Lens reaction time
  • Lens shade options
  • Safety options
  • Personalization
  • Sensitivity Control

To Sum Up!

Welding is a cumbersome task and also stressful for your eyes. But, you have to be very careful about your eyes and not put stress on it. This list of the best auto darkening welding helmets featured only the best. I hope this helped you to decide on the best one. So, get going and buy your protective gear, asap.

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