10 Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Reviews – Our Expert Choice for 2019

If you know anything about welding, then you understand that safety is always a priority.

Welding helmets are necessary to protect you from the harmful radiations, flames, and flashes generated during welding.

After thorough research and testing, we have compiled a list of 10 best auto darkening welding helmets in the industry.

Our Top Pick

Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

The Miller Electric Helmet is from the infamous Miller Electric.


True to any Miller Electric product, this welding helmet comes with rugged durability, and has plenty of desirable features.


In particular, we were impressed by the comfort features that deliver a pleasurable welding experience.


Though Miller Electric is not the lightest on our list, the 2.8 pound weight is decent for comfortable use.

With a shade setting rage of 4-13, this helmet will allow you to tackle virtually all welding processes with ease and without compromising on the safety of your eyes.

Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

In the comparison table below, we shall provide you with a snippet of the top 10 auto darkening welding helmets in the market.

From here, you can quickly skim and compare the various options. Also, the table compares the features as well as the prices.

Im​age

Product Name

Features

Price

Availability

Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Esab SENTINEL A50

Shade Range: 5-13
Viewing Area: 3.93 x 2.36 in
Weight: 1.4 pounds

$$$

Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Shade Range: 3, 5 to 8 / 8 to 13
Viewing Area: 9 x 9 in
Weight: 2.8 pounds

$$$

Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Darkening Helmet

Hobart 770756 Impact

Shade Range: 8-13
Viewing Area: 7.05 square Inch
Weight: 2.5 pounds

$$

Lincoln Electric Auto-Dark Welding Helmet

Lincoln Electric Viking 3350

Shade Range: 5-13
Viewing Area: 3.74 x 3.34 in
Weight: 3.2 pounds

$$$

Jackson Safety HSL100 Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Jackson Safety Insight HSL100

Shade Range: 9-13
Viewing Area: 3.8 x 2.35 in
Weight: 1.5 pounds

$$

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet

Shade Range: 5-13
Viewing Area: 1.8 x 3.7 in.
Weight: 1.37

$$$

Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet

Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black

Shade Range: 5-13
Viewing Area: 3.85 X 2.38 sq. in
Weight: 3.0 pounds

$$$

Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet

Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet 

Shade Range: 4-13
Viewing Area: 3.86 x 1.73in

Weight: 1.6 pounds

$$

Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening

Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000

Shade Range: 5-13
Viewing Area: 1.78 x 3.86 in
Weight: 1.0 Pound

$$

DEKOPRO Solar Power Welding Helmet Auto Darkening

dekopro welding helmet

Shade Range: 4-13
Viewing Area: 3.9’’×3.2’’
Weight: 2.08 pounds

$$

Top 10: Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

Welding helmets were first introduced in the market in 1937.

Initially, the helmets came with a window covered with a filter, which was quite limiting in the sense that the lenses didn’t provide sufficient filter for UV radiations.

To overcome the radiation issues, a Swedish manufacturer came up with the idea of auto darkening helmets in 1981.

Unlike the previous models, the windows were replaced by electronic LCD that came with sensors, which optimized the shielding effect by offering an auto darkening effect based on the intensity of the light.

Fast forward, auto darkening helmets have gradually improved on several fronts, and a plethora of features have been introduced.

The modern-day auto darkening helmets are not only safe to use, by they offer unmatched comfort.

However, not all auto darkening helmets will address your welding needs.

Choosing the right welding helmet is challenging, especially for beginners. Similarly, seasoned welders still it a tad difficult to choose the right model.

But don’t fret.

In this comprehensive review, we scoured through the internet and collected the top 10 welding helmets in the industry.

We shall provide you with a review of each model, and hopefully, by the end of the article, you should have an idea of what model will address your welding needs.

1. Esab SENTINEL A50

Esab SENTINEL A50 is a top of the line welding helmet that is tailored for the clients who are serious about the safety and utility of the helmets.

Typical of the 3350 lens series helmets, this unit offers better clarity, and it comes with an awesome design.

Quick Summary

  • Shade Range- 5-13
  • Viewing Area-3.93 x 2.36 in
  • Weight-1.4 pounds
Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Sporting a wide viewing port, premium lenses, and incredible comfort, Esab SENTINEL A50, will provide you with pleasurable welding experience.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Design

Comfort is always paramount in a welding helmet, and the Esab A50 is designed with comfort and ergonomics in mind.

A lightweight and flexible unit, Esab A50, comes with several comfort-enhancing features that will provide you with plenty of benefits, including prevention of fatigue during welding.

In particular, it will provide better relaxation to the head and better workflow.

Wide Lens

Sporting a wide viewing area of 3.93 x 2.36, this helmet gives a clear and bigger view.

The extensive lens area frees up your movement without strain and will let you get cognizant of your environment.

Optical Clarity

Seasoned welders understand that visual capacity and clarity greatly affect their overall performance.

The Esab has an incredible optical rating of 1/1/1/2 and will provide you with consistent clarity regardless of the task at hand.

According to users, the wet puddles are clear, and users have a great time using the helmet.

Shade Settings

Generally, a majority of the welders have a shade setting rage of 9 to 13, which is acceptable for most of the welding tasks.

However, it's not sufficient for the lower TIG tasks, and this is where Esab A50 comes in.

With a LED shade setting of 5-13, this unit will let you work on a variety of tasks without compromising on the safety integrity for your eyes.

Better yet, switching in between the grind mode and external grind mode is a cinch and will only require the flip of a button.

Settings Memory

An ideal option for beginners, the settings options, lets the helmet automatically "remember" the previous settings.

This makes Esab A5 use a lot easier and beginner-friendly as you don’t have to keep on adjusting or even remembering the settings.

It’s also a superb feature for users who need to perform the same task repeatedly.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Comfortable and ergonomic
  • A wide range of shade settings
  • A wide viewing area
  • Incredible optical clarity

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • High price tag

2. Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Miller's rise from a locally based company to a multi-billion enterprise shows the commitment of this brand to satisfy users' needs.

And today, we shall look at one of their popular offerings, the Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet.

A deluxe and highly pragmatic product, the Miller Electric is an excellent investment as you get a durable and reliable auto-darkening helmet.

Quick Summary

  • Shade Range-3, 5 to 8 / 8 to 13
  • Viewing Area- 9 x 9 in
  • Weight- 2.8 pounds
Miller Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Like a majority of the helmet on our list, this unit is flush with desirable features for optimal functionality.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Design and Comfort

Despite the durability on this Miller product, it’s extremely lightweight, and this makes the helmet perfectly suitable for a variety of tasks and in just about any working conditions.

Boasting a major upgrade to the adjustability settings, which includes an extra strap; this unit is extremely comfortable and will not bog you down when in use.

4 Operating Modes

With a total of 4 operating modes-weld, cut, grind, and X-mode, this helmet from Miller will cover a wide spectrum to cater for all your needs.

The operating modes, alongside the four fast arc sensors (1/20,000 sec.), make this unit an all-purpose and will darken when you need it to.

The sensors are extremely integral, especially regarding the safety of this unit, and they will auto-darken the helmet when you need to and ensure that you don't flash when you least expect.

Wide Viewing Area

With a wide viewing area of 9.22 sq. in., you won’t feel boxed in.

Instead, the wide viewing area allows you to be aware of the surroundings every time, and this includes your co-workers, too.

Auto-On/Off

The auto-darkening lens on this helmet is triggered by the strike the arc, and this goes a long way to preserve the longevity of the batter, and ensure you’re always protected when working.

Easy to Use

A beginner-friendly unit, the Miller Electric welder, features improved digital controls that allow you to operate the welder without needing to remove the gloves in between operating modes.

The controls are also easy to learn, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate the simple and intuitive layout.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Shade settings
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Four operating modes

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Hood sometimes comes down unexpectedly

3. Hobart 770756

Hobart 770756 Impact is an auto-darkening helmet that packs more desirable features than you would expect at that price point.

Somehow, the brand has managed to solve several of the issues that we are typical of the Hobart models.

Quick Summary

  • Shade Range- 8-13
  • Viewing Area- 7.05 square Inch
  • Weight- 2.5 pounds
Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Darkening Helmet

An incredible welding option, this unit has safety as one of its key features and will protect you against UV rays exposure.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Eye Protection

Eye safety is of the essence during the welding process because the light emitted from the weld can be harmful to the eyes.

Contrary to other welders, this unit is specifically designed with the latest LCD lens technology that helps in protecting your eyes by absorbing light effectively and limiting the blind flashes of discomfort during welding.

Excellent Visibility

The optimal clarity on this unit is excellent, and it will make it easier for you to see your welding puddle.

Additionally, the lens does not get foggy, meaning you’ll not have to struggle when using the helmet.

Visibility on this helmet is further bolstered by the large 7.05 square Inch viewing area.

Auto Darkening Lens

The auto darkening lens, with a shade setting of between 8-13, is effective at protecting your eyes against instant flashes.

With a change rate of 1/25,000 seconds, this helmet will provide you with fast reaction time for the ultimate safety.

The performance of the lens is further reinforced by the three arc sensors that will let you adjust the sensitivity whenever you want.

The sensors will give you the freedom to make limitless adjustments, unlit you achieve your desired preference.

Shielding the Face

As we had mentioned earlier, Hobart is geared towards providing safety and ease of use.

Now, if you have used helmets before, you know that one of the issues with the helmets is they're continuously falling.

To avoid this issue, the manufacturer has incorporated hinges that will allow you to tighten or loosen the helmet to allow you to position the face shield whichever way you want.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Top class eye protection
  • Comfortable
  • Face shield stays up

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Extremely sensitive

4. Lincoln Electric Viking 3350

Welding is generally gruesome, which is why the Lincoln Viking is designed for comfort, safety, and optimal fit.

Offering fantastic value, this helmet comes at a great cost and packs premium features, some of which are featured in the high-end models.

Quick Summary

  • Shade Range-5-13
  • Viewing Area-3.74 x 3.34 in
  • Weight-3.2 pounds
Lincoln Electric Auto-Dark Welding Helmet

Besides the standard auto-darkening feature, this unit boasts of incredible cutting optical quality and a large viewing area that gives the host freedom of head movement.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Auto-Darkening Lens

Though auto-darkening lenses are the de-facto standard in a majority of the welding helmets, the Viking screen has an extensive range of sensitivity.

With a sensitivity range of 5-13, the Viking ties with the Esab A50, we had reviewed earlier, and it will let you work on a variety of applications, including the lower TIG welding applications.

The change of rate on this helmet is incredible and will ensure that you don’t get flashed when working.

Optical Clarity

The auto-darkening cartridges on this unit are classified into our optical classes: Optical class, diffusion of Light Class, Angle Dependence of Luminous Transmittance Class, Variations in Luminous Transmittance.

 Combined, the variations will provide you with the ultimate flexibility and clear views.

Better yet, the lens boasts of the latest 4C technology that makes the view cleaner, crisper ad clearer.

Different Styles

A highly aesthetic piece, this welding helmet comes in a variety of styles and hues.

From the standard helmet to the zombie-themed helmet, you'll be spoilt of choice on the models to choose from.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Incredible optical clarity
  • Lightweight
  • Aesthetic
  • Safe

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • The glossy black coating is easily scratched

5. Jackson Safety Insight HSL100

Jackson Safety is a basic yet utilitarian model.

A budget option, this welding helmet is suitable for those on a budget.

Quick Summary

  • Shade Range-9-13
  • Viewing Area-3.8 x 2.35 in
  • Weight- 1.5 pounds
Jackson Safety HSL100 Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

But let the cost trick you into thinking it’s a flimsy product.  The Insight is a highly pragmatic and reliable welding helmet that packs a punch and comes with plenty of performance features.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Design and Material Construction

Sporting a narrow design, the Jackson Insight is ideally suited for working in the tight spaces.

The extended collar section of this unit will help in preventing any harm, especially your throat and larger parts of the neck form sparks, slag, and fumes.

We love how the collar tucks into your jacket nicely and keeps you in safety.

Like a majority of the auto-darkening helmets in our review, the Jackson Insight is among the comfy gears on our list.

The sturdy structure is durable and will protect your head form any safety threat.

3-in-1

Insight HS100 is a 3-in-1 helmet that combines weld, torch, and grinds under a single unit.

Further, it offers a generous welding view area of 3.80 x 2.35 inches, which is standard at the price range.

A fully digitized welder, the Insight will not cause any trouble in operation.

Optical Clarity

The optical clarity on the Jackson is simply incredible and will let you see your weld with a clear and crisper view.

Like a majority of auto darkening helmets on our list, the Insight has a shade setting of between 9-13, which is sufficient to work on most of the welding processes.

This welding unit comes with four arc sensors that are conveniently placed to keep the auto-darkening function working optimally even when there’s an obstruction in the field of view.

Magnification Lens Holder

The magnification holder is probably one of the selling points of this unit.

Normally, a few modes have this feature, and it's a handy one, especially when welding in a small area.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Wide, clear lens
  • Mid-priced
  • Narrow, firm shell

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • A tad heavier

6. 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet

Generally, the 3M Speedglas line of welding helmets features and an impressive set of specs.

Quick Summary

  • Shade Range-5-13
  • Viewing Area-3.85 X 2.38 sq. in
  • Weight-3.0 pounds
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100

Regardless of whether you’re in search of a comfortable gear, fast reaction time, or a large viewing window, the 3M Speedglas is an all-rounder that will address all your welding needs.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Design and Ergonomics

The reliability of the 3M Speedglas is not to be put into question.

Typical of 3M products, this unit boasts of rugged sturdiness, and a lot went into designing this unit.

Besides longevity, the 3M is welding helmet practical, at the very least, and will ensure that you have pleasurable welding experience.

In particular, we were interested in the incredible ergonomic design of the helmet.

This unit features adjustable crown straps that help in boosting the stability as well as weight distribution.

The padded front of the headband goes a long way in avoiding the nerves in your head, and this ensures that you're not left fatigued after the welding experience.

The snap adjustment, swivel-mounted ratchet system, and large adjustment knob are some of the features that will help in precise tightening and ergonomic fit.

Combined, the multiple adjustments and combinations let the users tailor the helmet to fit personal preferences and comfort settings.

Optical Clarity and Viewing Area

The superior optics alongside the large viewing area makes the 3m Speedglas a superior option for welders of all levels.

 This helmet comes with a generous viewing area of 3.85 X 2.38 sq. In. While it’s not the highest in the 9100 series, it's a decent one and will give you a cleaner, crisper, and clearer view.

An auto-darkening unit, the lens on this helmet, will adjust to the light levels, and this reduces the possibility of eye strain.

The three arc sensors on this unit help in activating the auto-darkening function.

The auto-darkening unction is swift and will respond in 0.1 milliseconds, wherever the welding arc is detected.

The auto-darkening lens will give the user with added protection, and the instant adjustment form light to dark shade will protect you from the welding arc without delay.

Shade Settings

The sensitivity levels of the shade are set to correspond to the lighting environment and welding method, and this helps to optimize your welding experience.

The 3M Speedglas comes with seven different shade settings from 5-13.

So, whether you’re looking for Stick, MIG, and TIG welding processes, the sensitivity adjustment, and grind modes will let you handle any process with ease and efficiency.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Lightweight
  • Incredible optical clarity
  • Ergonomic

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Not for industrial use

7. Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black 

Sporting the latest technology in the helmet domain, the Miller 281000 is a versatile unit, ideal for use in a variety of welding processes.

A highly flexible helmet, this unit will utilize several operating settings, including welds, shades, cuts, and grinds.

Quick Summary

  • Quick Shade Range-5-13
  • Viewing Area-3.85 X 2.38 sq. in
  • Weight-3.0 pounds
Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet

The superior lens technology on the Miller 281000 makes your welding task easier, and at the same time, reduces the strain on the eyes.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Material and Design

Weighing at a mere 25.7 ounces, the Miller Electric is lightweight and compact too.

Designed with comfort in mind, this helmet will snugly fit into your head and will not bog you down.

The helmet sits in your head in a stationary position, locking in place and offers extra comfort for the head as well as the neck area.

Optical Clarity and Viewing Area

With an extensive viewing area of 9.22 sq. In, the Miller Electric will let you see from multiple angles for the ultimate welding efficiency.

The operating mode settings on the Miller offer incredible clarity and will give you a visible and clear view of the weld puddle.

Shade Setting

The auto switch that provides lens control will provide you with the safety you need against the instant welding arc.

Sporting four different shade settings, Miller Electric will cater to Cut mode, X-mode, weld mode, and Grind Mode.

The senor lens on this unit has an incredible rate of 1/20,000 per second, and this is quite essential in ensuring the auto-darkening mode is triggered instantly, once you change the welding mode or arc.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Lightweight design
  • Improved digital controls
  • Comes with a helmet bag

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Repositioning the shield after lifting tends to be problematic

8. Tanox Auto ADF-206S

If you are in search of an auto darkening welding helmet that will protect your retina from the harmful UV rays for your welder, the Tanox ADF-206S is a perfect choice.

This welding helmet comes with a ton of amazing features and world-class technology that will guarantee safety.

Quick Summary

  • Shade Range-4-13
  • Viewing Area-3.86 x 1.73in
  • Weight-1.6 pounds
Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet

Besides safety, the build on this helmet is satisfying and will provide you with extended durability.

A decent unit, Tanox, will provide you with a host of features and qualities that you can only find in the premium high-end models.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Eye Protection

As we had mentioned earlier in the introduction, a key feature of this unit is the safety of the eyes.

For starters, it boasts of both EN376 along with its ANSIZ87.1 safety standards, which promote safety during the welding process.

Further, it has an auto darkening system with various shade settings, and this lets the helmet change in the sensitivity to protect you against the harmful rays.

According to the manufacturer, this helmet will protect you against an array of safety welding threats including IR radiation, and UV radiation.

Comfortable Use

Tanox does not betray quality, even after extended use.

This helmet is sturdily built and comes with premium components for safety and functionality.

Despite the pragmatism, this protector is lightweight, and it makes it easier for users to keep it in their heads without having to deal with bulkiness.

The headband, for instance, is a comforting feature that offers stability on the helmet. It will let the helmet sit nicely without any hesitation.

Visibility

The large viewing area on this helmet makes it easy for users to see their working space from many angles.

The viewing area of 3.86 by 1.73 inches will give you a perfect picture of the entire working space, including that of your co-workers too.

With an auto darkening function, the Tanox easily switches from light to dark in 1/250000 second, thanks to the 1/1/1/2 Optical Class Rating.

Besides giving you a superior view, even of the welding puddles, the lens quality on this unit will provide you with a safety solution against the arc weld light.

Battery

The Tanox is powered by solar, and it can't get as convenient as this.

The lithium battery on this unit has a generous run time and can last for up to 2-years.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Eye protection
  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Battery alarm

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Quite thin

9. Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000

Few of the premium welders will combine an absurdly low price and reliability.

The Antra, however, is one of them.

A budget option, the Antra is a superb option for those who are in search of a premium product but are on a tight budget.

Quick Summary

  • Shade Range-4-13
  • Viewing Area-3.94 x 3.66 in
  • Weight- 1.0 pound
Antra Welding Helmet AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening

Sure, there are several premium models with better features than the Antra, but you’re likely to find as much satisfaction with this unit.

From safety, reliability, usage to comfort, the Antra has catered for every critical component that a welder might desire.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Design

Weighing at one pound, the Antra is lightweight and compact. So, whether you’re working for a short time or throughout the day, this unit is comfortable to use and will not weigh you down.

The exterior of this unit is constructed from High Impact Polyimide Nylon, which makes it robust and ideal for working in a rough environment.

Auto Darkening Feature

Like all the welding helmets on our list, Antra helmet comes with an auto-darkening feature, and this will keep your eyes always protected from the glare of the welding arc.

To avoid instances of getting flashed, this helmet quickly switches from one shade to the other upon the detection of the welding arc.

With an impressive speed rate of 0.00004 seconds and a fast delay at 0.1 to 1s, this welding helmet will guarantee that your eyes remain protected at all times.

Magnifying Lens Compatibility

If you’re handling a task that requires attention to detail, you’ll love the magnifying lens on this unit.

The magnifying lens is particularly handy if you’re welding on the tight and small spaces.

Though this helmet does not have an extremely large viewing space, the 3.78" x 1.78" dimensions are still pretty impressive and let you get a clear and crisp view.

Versatile

A highly flexible unit, this welding helmet is ideal for a variety of welding processes such as MIG, MAG, TIG, and SMAW.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Lightweight (1 pound)
  • Superior eye protection
  • Comfortable to use

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • The view area is a bit limiting

10. Dekopro Solar Powered Auto Darkening Hood

Deko Pro is increasingly becoming a household name in the welding domain.

One of the unique benefits of helmets from this brand is they’re both lightweight and functional.

Quick Summary

  • Shade Range-4-13
  • Viewing Area-3.9’’×3.2’’
  • Weight- 2.08 pounds
DEKOPRO Solar Power Welding Helmet Auto Darkening

The Dekopro Solar Powered Hood, or instance, comes with superior optical clarity and will, at the same time, protect your eyes from the welding glare.

A comfortable unit, the Deko Pro, gives clean and comfortable views, making your welding experience more pleasurable.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Auto-darkening

Though a standard option on all the helmets in our review, it still worth mentioning that this unit is capable of switching the light shading when working from different situations.

Solar Powered

As its name suggests, the Deko Pro Solar Hood comes with a solar-powered technology.

A convenient feature, this helmet will save you the hassles of plugging cords or batteries to power your helmet.

Adjustable Shade Range

The adjustable shade range on this unit will allow you to tailor your lighting according to the working conditions.

In credible, despite being a budget option, the Deko Pro Solar has the highest range, with settings from 4-13.

This will even allow you to work on some of the unique applications such as low-level TIG, which many auto-darkening helmets cannot support.

Versatile

A highly flexible unit, the Deko Pro is suited for handling a variety of welding applications, including MI and TIG.

Whatever application you choose, the superior build and lens construction will guarantee your eye safety.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Superior build
  • A wide range of shade settings
  • Lightweight

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Features are quite limited

How to Choose the Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

As you’ve already seen, there are plenty of options to consider when choosing the best welding helmet.

Some of them are quite similar, but their specifications might be different.

For this reason, choosing a welding helmet can be quite a challenge.

Fortunately, we’ve outlined some of the critical factors that you should consider in your next purchase.

Weight and Comfort

Weight and comfort are critical features, especially if you’ll be wearing your helmet for extended periods.

Having a heavy helmet will strain your neck and will weigh you down. At times, it might also cause pain.

A lightweight, ergonomic, and padded helmet, on the other hand, will safely secure your head and let you achieve a snug fit for a pleasurable welding experience.

Viewing Area

A large welding area is critical, especially if you’ll be regularly welding out of position

For instance, if you’re working in a restricted area, you want a helmet with a large viewing area because it’s always a challenge to keep on adjusting your head.

Ideally, four by 4 inches is considered large, while anything lower than 3.5 by 1.75 inches is considered smaller.

Optical Clarity

While a majority of the auto darkening helmets have their lenses tested and rated for their optical clarity, there still exists a difference in quality.

In most cases, the optical clarity is categorized into four numbers graded 1,2, and 4, with one being the best.

Hence, a lens with an optical clarity of 1/1/1/1 has the highest and best clarity rating.

Nonetheless, the differences between class 1 and 2 are negligible and would be challenging unless you are a seasoned welder to notice the difference.

Arc Sensors

Sensors are responsible for detecting the flashes when working and will darken or brighten the lens of your sensors in seconds to avoid the flash of the arc weld.

Generally, more sensors a helmet has, the better the helmet will adjust to the lighting conditions.

Ideally, two sensors will work fine, but if you get more, the better.

Sensitivity Control

A helmet should allow you to set the minimum brightness value for triggering darkening.

It’s handy when welding at extremely low amperage and you required high sensitivity.

It's also an ideal option if you're working in a location where there are other welders, and you don't want your lens to get affected by other welding arc options.

Lens Sade Options

The more shades your helmet has, the more flexibility if offers, especially with the number of welding applications.

Shade options from 9-13 are usually standard and ideal for the normal welding appliances.

However, if you’re working on extremely low amperages where it’s a challenge to see the arc, such as TIG welding, then you might need a shade range of 4-13.

Lens Reaction Time

This is the speed at which a lens will change to dark after an arc is initiated.

In most cases, the lens changes within the fraction of a second, and the professional helmets will change in 1/20,000 seconds.

Conclusion

That’s it; you have a list of the top `10 auto darkening helmets in the market.

Go through the list again, and see what model fits your needs.

While at it, ensure you make a purchasing decision based on our buying guide.

David Hughes
 

Hey, I’m David Hughes - a free spirit with a passion for power tools blogging. With more than a decade in the construction field, my mission is to help the everyday workers realize their dream by sharing on creative ideas, tips, and reviewing products.

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