Best auto darkening welding helmets

Welding helmets are headgears that prove to be extremely useful for professionals and amateurs who work with welding equipment and require proper eye and skin protection. When welding, the eyes, face and neck are the main affected parts, which is why a welding helmet is essential and required by law in any workplace where welding equipment is being used. If you were wondering why this is required, you should know that welding is an activity during which the worker is exposed to ultraviolet light, infrared light, extreme heat and sparks.

A welding helmet represents the shield between the entire face of the worker and a dangerous environment that can cause various skin conditions, eye affections and more. Arc eye is one of the most frequently encountered conditions that affect the cornea. Also, retina burns are quite frequent in welding, which is why using a welding helmet should not be ignored by those who perform such activities.

This eye protecting device can be found in numerous shapes and sizes on the market, some of the most efficient being the auto-darkening welding helmets, which are totally effective against ultraviolet and infrared light. There are various models out there that can be bought for the same purpose, but when the time comes to acquire one, you should think about your most important needs. Passive, auto-darkening, with fixed shade, with variable shade, with two, three or four sensors, with a larger or a smaller viewing size; these can all be encountered on the market when looking for a protection helmet.

It is important to take into consideration a variety of factors when choosing the right helmet for your welding needs, as its quality can affect your performance at the job and the quality of your results. For example, there is a huge difference between passive and auto-darkening lens that stands in the helmet’s ability to filter light and rays. It is more than obvious than passive lens will be cheaper than auto-darkening helmets, but there are some shortcomings, too, such as welding defects due to the need of positioning the helmet while working with the electrode, too. While the passive helmet needs to be snapped into place every time a new action is required, the auto-darkening lens allows the worker to see through the inactive lens when sparks, rays or light is not detected and makes it easy to work with the electrode at the same time. When enabled, its shades turn from #3 – #4 to a range between #8 and #13.

If you need a quality welding helmet but you have no idea what the market has to offer, check out our reviews below. We have gathered some of the best welding helmets of 2015, looking at the price, warranty period, materials, properties and much more while reviewing them. This article is meant to give you an idea about the pros and cons of each product, so that when you are undecided, your decision will be taken rationally and smartly. Therefore, whether you heard that famous products such as Miller welding helmets are the best, you might find your ideal helmet elsewhere.

1. Antra AH-6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

 

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This welding helmet is an auto-darkening device that seems to be one of the best-selling on the market right now. It is suitable for ARC, MIC, TIG, Plasma Applications and has a viewing size of 3.86 x 1.78 inch and four sensors that make the auto-darkening process quick and efficient. It is equipped with an adjustable sensitivity knob and a step-less delay knob.

Its design is extremely likeable, due to its light weight. It weighs only 435 g and it can be used in all cutting processes. It has a permanent shade of DIN16 for ultraviolet and infrared protection and a DIN 5-9 and 9-13 shade for its dark state.

What’s to like about Antra AH-6-260-0000 Solar Power Welding Helmet?

  • Is extremely light

  • Has a great design

  • Has 4 Premium Sensors

  • Has included batteries

What’s not to like:

  • It touches one’s nose when working, which can be pretty uncomfortable

2. Jackson Safety H3 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

 

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This is one of the high quality Jackson welding helmets. It comes in black and orange and it brings the Balder technology which has the best auto-darkening filters. It is made of high-density plastic and it protects the face, forehead, ears and neck of the wearer. Its construction is ideal for those who are looking for a welding helmet that helps reduce heat and reflections.

This welding helmet is ideal for MIG, TIG and ARC welding and it is equipped with sensitivity and delay buttons. It is adjustable, having three headgear settings. Its superior view angle enhances visibility and its variable shades, from 9 to 13 are great for efficient welding and color recognition.

What’s to like about Jackson Safety H3 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet?

  • Has large viewing area of 8 x 2.7 inch

  • Has 2 ARC sensors

  • Has an aerodynamic design

  • Low switching speed of 0.15 microseconds

What’s not to like:

  • Is quite heavy comparing to other helmets: 2.1 Ibs

3. Rhino Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

 

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This auto-darkening welding helmet comes with a large view of 4 x 2.6 inch and a grind, a carbon fiber design and a 2-year warranty that covers most flaws and defects for all parts. It is really enjoyable to wear this helmet thanks to its light weight of less than 1.2 Ibs. The great thing about this helmet is the fact that it is equipped with a low battery indicator that lets you know when the batteries should be recharged.

It has 9-13 lens shade and #4 light shade, as well as adjustable sensitivity and delay settings. It’s switching speed is of 1/25000 of a second and it can be used in MIG, Gas Metal Arc, Flux Corded Arc Welding, GMAW or FCAW.

What’s to like about Rhino Auto Darkening Welding Helmet?

  • Has a large viewing area

  • Has a low battery indicator

  • Weighs only 1.2 Ibs

  • Has great design

What’s not to like:

  • Has a carbon fiber layer, but is not entirely made of carbon fiber

4. Wel-Bilt Variable-Shade Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

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This welding helmet comes with a 1 year limited warranty and a solar power supply that will enchant those who are eco-friendly. It is a nylon product that can be used in all welding activities. IT has a 3.86 x 1.73 inch viewing area and a switch time of 1/25000 seconds. It is an adjustable headgear with variable shades starting from 9 to 13.

Unfortunately, this welding helmet does not have a low battery indicator, but it does have once battery included in the package. Even so, the existing one is non-replaceable. It is not equipped with adjustable sensitivity settings or buttons, even though the descriptions says so. It has coated lens that protects against UV and IR and a shader. The great thing about this helmet is the fact that it has one of the lowest prices on the market.

What’s to like about Wel-Bilt Variable Shade Welding Helmet?

  • Is affordable

  • Has great design

  • Is multi-purpose

  • Has comfortable head-band

What’s not to like

  • Does not have sensitivity adjustment

  • Is made of cheap plastic material

  • Lens does not seem sturdy

  • Only 1 Year Warranty

5. Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Black Welding Helmet

 

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This welding helmet comes with an excellent design, an great optical clarity (EN379) and one of the largest viewing areas. It provides superior comfort for the wearer, thanks to its light materials. It weighs 567 g (20 oz ) and its viewing area of 3.74 x 3.34 inch is completely satisfactory. It has 4 sensors and sensitivity control that allows the wearer to control the variable shade, the delay and light sensitivity. It has a 0.00004 seconds switching time, an internal shade control and replaceable lens.

It comes in black and is powered by Lithium CR 2450 batteries. The package includes a Foose bandana that makes it comfortable to use.

What’s to like about Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Black Welding Helmet?

  • Is light

  • Has an excellent design

  • Has great optical clarity

  • Has 4 sensors and a large viewing area

What’s not to like:

  • Battery life might be disappointing

6. Antra AH6-360-6217 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

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This is a colourful welding helmet that is ideal for Arc, MIG, TIG and Plasma applications. It has a large viewing area of 3.86 x 1.78 inch, but not the largest we have seen. It comes with 4 sensors, adjustable delay and sensitivity controls and variable shades of 4, 5-9 and 9-13. Its filter has a 2 year warranty, but there were numerous sensors issues reported from customers.

This welding helmet has a great design, has a solar powering system and a response time of 0.00005 seconds or less. It is equipped with a protection shield against IR and UV. Also, it is easy to work with, as it only weighs 435 g.

What’s to like about Antra AH6-260-6217 Solar Power Welding Helmet?

  • Is made of high impact polyimide nylon

  • Has 4 premium sensors

  • Has a lithium battery

  • Has adjustable sensitivity controls

What’s not to like:

  • Sensors can be ultra-sensitive

7. Licota Welding Helmet Flames / Skull Auto-Darkening Solar C.P.S

 

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This welding helmet is one of the cheapest out there. It is an automatic product with a great design that will enchant rock enthusiasts. It is rather unusual from an aesthetics point of view, but it has a larger viewing area than other, more expensive helmets. It is made of molded heavy-duty nylon, it can be used to ARC, MIG, TIG and STICK welding and it comes with adjustable sensitivity controls.

It has an estimate life expectancy of 5000 hours, it is equipped with 3 protection lenses, a ratchet headband and offers full head cover. Its recovery time is of 5 seconds, and its auto-state-change response is of 0.0001 seconds.

What’s to like about Licota Welding Helmet?

  • Has a large viewing area

  • Is extremely affordable

  • Is automatic

  • Has 3 protection lenses

What’s not to like:

  • Has a small gap in lens

  • Its design is not suitable for all welders

8. Arc-Pro 20702 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

 

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The Arc-Pro Welding Helmet is an automatic headgear that has a compact structure and design, an adjustable knob for sensitivity control and a 3.86 x 1.61 inch viewing area. Its built in lithium battery is rechargeable and makes the helmet lighter than other such models. It has variable shades starting from 9 to 13 and a grinding mode.

This is a budget welding helmet that is suitable for hobby welders. Is lightweight and has an adjustable inner head strap that makes it comfortable to wear. Even though it is not a helmet that you want to wear for a full time job, it has great value, giving the fact that you don’t have to spend money on electricity, either.

What’s to like about Arc-Pro Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet?

  • Has a large viewing area

  • Has an adjustable headband

  • Is automatic

  • Very affordable

What’s not to like:

  • Batteries are not replaceable

  • Does not seem very sturdy

9. 3M Speedglass Welding Helmet 9100

 

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This welding helmet is a beautiful device that has a compact design, a magnifying lens, seven selectable dark shades for various welding activities and various darkening filters that range from regular to extra-large. This helmet is one of the cutting edge devices that the market has to offer, even though its price is quite spicy.

It has a Delay function and a sensitivity detection feature and it has eye protection against bright light and rapid changes of brightness. It has nine different angles for more comfort and an aerodynamic design that allows the wearer to breathe while heat is being reduced.

What’s to like about 3M Speedglass Welding Helmet 9100

  • Includes 3 extra lenses, a welders cap and a carrying bag

  • Has a magnifying lens

  • Great design

  • Has excellent optics

  • Its weight of 1.4 pounds makes it comfortable to wear

  • Has an ergonomic design

What’s not to like:

  • Grind mode can only be turned on from the inner side of the helmet

  • Is pricey

10. Arc-Pro 20704 Auto-Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet

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This alien design welding helmet comes with a 3.78 x 2.07 viewing area and 9-13 variable shades, as well as a grinding mode that makes it a great device for most welding activities. It comes with a permanent DIN 16 shade for protection against ultraviolet and infrared rays. Its extra-large viewing field makes it comfortable to use, as well as its quick response time.

The Arc-Pro 20704 Welding Helmet has an adjustable knob that allows the wearer to control sensitivity and delay. Has replaceable 3V lithium batteries and is solar powered. It is very comfortable to use thanks to its adjustable padded headband and its lightweight of only 1.2 pounds. Even though it offers great value for money, its large lens can be hard to replace as the market generally offers smaller lenses.

What’s to like about Arc-Pro 20704 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet?

  • Weighs only 1.2 Ibs

  • Has a large viewing area

  • Package includes batteries

  • Is solar powered

  • Is affordable

What’s not to like:

  • Has an unusual design

  • Only has 30 days warranty