Welding helmets are headgears used in a welding operation. The idea is to keep you – the welder saves and comfortable while performing your task. Hence, an auto-darkening welding helmet keeps fumes, flames, and various types of rays generated away during the welding operation.
As a result, an auto-darkening helmet not only protects your eyes but the neck, face, and your nose. It makes your breathing safe by keeping off harmful fumes generated during the welding process. It reduces the intensity of flashes generated via various welding processes, thereby protecting the eyes.
Improvement in technology has brought about quite a lot of welding helmet for use today. Auto-darkening helmets are one of the blessings of the auto-darkening helmets. They are helmets that offer a high level of protection and comfort. They come with various features—all aim at keeping the welders safe during the welding operation.
Having introduced the auto-darkening helmets and what it has to offer, join me as I take you through the review of the best ten auto-darkening helmets.
Review of the Best 10 Auto Darkening Welding Helmets
Antra AH6 260 – 0000 Solar Power Helmet
Antra is has grown to a brand name in the auto-darkening helmet manufacturing industry. The Antra AH6 260 -0000 auto darkening is a versatile helmet, long-lasting with protections for sturdy enough to let workers work safely during extreme temperatures.
The Antra AH6 260 -0000 auto darkening helmet is a very light helmet, weighing just 435 grams, and is made from high impact polyamide nylon which makes it durable. The helmet is recommended for newbies and people who weld as a hobby. It has a large viewing area of 1.7 inches by 3.86 inches.
- Weighing just 435 grams, it is a very light helmet.
- It comes with a Lithium battery, which is replaceable and can be powered by solar.
- Made from the highly durable material – high impact polyamide-nylon
- It is very affordable.
- It comes with a high magnifying lens, making it easier to view the intricate details involved in the job.
- It has a high-speed switching mode (0.00004sec). hence, the eyes are always protected during the welding process
- It comes with 13 shades of an auto-darkening filter, which makes the welding process safe for users
- The viewing area of this auto-darkening helmet is rather small.
Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Welding Helmet Quick Review
Lincoln Electric is one of the best brand names in the welding helmet market. The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Welding helmet finds application in various industries that use various welding processes like the MIG, TIG, and Stick welding.
It has a full optical rating of 1/1/1/1, with the largest viewing scope. It comes with a 4C lens, which improves visibility while welding, prevents strain, and reduces green coloring on the screen.
- Extremely fast switching speed guarding against bright rays
- It has 4C lens technology, which protects the eyes from straining
- Huge viewing area that gives access to various working angles
- Weighing just 3.4 pounds, it is pretty light in weight
- It is made from durable materials that last very long
- It also comes with a full three years warranty. Hence, users are very much protected
- The design of the helmet meets the ergonomic needs of the user, reducing fatigue and strain
- The price is a little bit on the high side
3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 with Extra – large Size Review
Speedglas is one of the best-known figures in the welding helmet series. The 3M Speedglas 9100 comes with varieties of features that make it one of the best markets. It has a huge viewing area – 12.11sq inch with a response rate of 0.1 milliseconds.
It is suitable for all types of welding operations, both local fabrication and industrial use. It finds applications in the military, construction, and automotive sector. It comes with more than one welding filter, which gives optimum protection. It is light in weight hence can be used for a long period of time without fatigue.
The helmet is packed with a helmet storage bag, a 9100X auto-darkening lens and Speedgals welding beanie.
- A very large viewing area
- Side window to increase viewing coverage
- Presence of side exhaust vents to channel out exhaled air
- Light in weight hence, less fatigue
- A very long lasting battery that can go up to 2000 hours
- The adjustable fits gives a perfect fit for any head size
- It is quite expensive
- Should the lens be damaged, replacing them is quite costly.
Miller Electric Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
Seeking a comfortable auto-darkening helmet with plenty of amazing features, the Miller Electric auto-darkening welding helmet is a good choice. It is light in weight, ideal for long hours of operations, and gives top-notch security.
It is pretty suitable for both beginners and professionals with tons of features to make the welding experience a seamless one. There are four operating modes – the Weld mode, the X – model, the Cut mode, and the grind mode. As a result, it applies to various types of welding operations.
It has a very fast reaction time of 1/20000 and a pretty large viewing area. Inside the helmet are two cover lens (inside cover) and five cover lens (outside.)
- Two strong Lithium batteries that can last up to 3000 hours
- Can be charged via solar power
- The helmet meets the required safety standards – ANSI Z87 – 2003
- It comes with a three-year warranty
- Light in weight hence, suitable for long hours of operation
- It is suitable for various forms of welding process or operation
- It comes with extra inside and outside cover lens for replacement purpose
- It has a pretty large viewing area
- The helmets straps should be made pretty stronger
Forney 55701 Premier Series Black Mute Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
One of the things that stands the Forney 55701 auto-darkening helmet out is the extra-large viewing area. It is a high-quality welding helmet at a pretty affordable price. It is well suited for the first time and welders as it is high in qualities, beautiful design, and very light in weight.
It comes with an optical viewing area of 1/1/1/2 and a pretty large viewing area.
- It can be adjusted to various mode – grind and weld mode
- It offers superb quality at a reasonable price tag
- Weighing just a single pound, it is very light
- It comes with IR and UV coating which guards against discoloration and scratch of the lens
- A large viewing area which gives optimum access to the task at hand
- User can adjust the sensitivity with a single move of the knob
- The lens of the helmet is prone to scratching
Hobart 770756 impact Variable Auto-Darkening Helmet
With a viewing area of 7 square inches, the Hobart 770756 is a great and powerful helmet. A mighty helmet with three sensors that have been accepted by many welders. Made from polyamide, it is might in weight and beautiful in design. It is recommended for both professional and newbie welders as it has essential features of a standard helmet.
One of the strong points of the Hobart 770756 is that it cools off the users head while welding. This gives a very comfortable time for the welder. Everything about this helmet is automated hence, it can adjust the shade balance without wasting time. The product gives users peace of mind with the warranty period.
- A very light helmet doesn’t cause undue fatigue
- It is very cheap in price
- Users are comfortable in the helmet due to the heat-resistant feature.
- It conforms to the required safety standard
- We love the extra-large viewing area
- It is a long-lasting helmet made from polyamide material
- It comes with a warranty, making it safe for use
- It is a little expensive
Arcpro 20704 auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet with Grind Mode.
One of the best manufacturers of the welding helmet is the Arcopro, according to many customers who have used the product. It is the first-grade auto-darkening helmet with optimum features to ensure the user’s protection. It comes with a fairly big viewing area with the capacity to adjust itself to give optimum protection to the user
The Arcopro is a very responsive helmet and is applicable for various welding operations like grinding and welding. It is equipped with a three volts replaceable battery. It applies to both professional and individual welders who value safety, professionalism, and high-quality work.
- It gives optimum protection from infrared and ultraviolet rays
- It is swift and responsive
- It is completely automated, offering the right protection to users
- It meets the American Safety Standard – the ANSI standards
- It has a large viewing area
- It applies to various welding operations
- Very responsive to arc rays, hence no risk of arc eyes
- It has no warranty information
Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Jackson Safety is one of the top-rated producers of auto-darkening welding helmet available in the market. It has the best EN379 ratings and an optical rating of 1/1/1/1, which translates to angular dependence, luminous transmittance, and optical clarity, making the welder see various angles.
It comes with a variable shade setting range of 9 to 13 which offers high-class protection. It can be applied to mig, tig and arc welding. There are features that make it applicable to various welding task and environment. Jackson safety is the best brand to consider if safety, comfort, and convenience is a priority. It is made from a high-density plastic material which is strong enough to guard against radiation and light enough to give the best comfort.
- The Jackson safety meets the ANSI/ISEA Z87.1+2010 standards.
- It meets the production quality standard.
- It comes with three various adjustments giving a perfect fit for any head size.
- There are features (the aerodynamic curved front end) to reduce the buildup of heat hence, maximum comfort while working.
- A strong and trusted optical rating 1/1/1/1
- Weighing 2.1 pounds, it is light in weight.
- There is a reduced tendency for the lens to be cloudy from fog build up.
- It has an extra fast reaction time, meaning your eyes is protected from all sort of spark
- It is not the cheapest helmet in the market
3M Speedglas 100 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Seeking an auto-darkening helmet suitable for TIG, Stick, and MIG welding, the 3M speedglas is the best choice. It is a lightweight helmet that offers optimum protection to all dangers that arise during welding. It has an approximate viewing area of 93 mm by 44 mm and a battery life of approximately 1500 hours.
It can withstand more than 20 amps of TIG welding and has a switching time of less than 20 ms. The light state stays at shade three while the dark state is variable with shade settings between 8 and 12.
- A variety of shade that swings to action on detecting an arc.
- A wide viewing area of 6.05 square inches
- It has a long battery life of about 1500 hours.
- It can be used for various welding processes – the TIG, MIG, and Stick welding.
- It is light in weight.
- It doesn’t support solar technology
Hobart 770753 Pro Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
The last on our list of top auto-darkening welding helmet is the Hobart 770753 Pro. It is a high-quality auto-darkening helmet that has all the essential features of a standard automatic welding helmet.
The Hobart 770753 Pro comes with the latest LCD lens technology with three separate arc sensors. It has dark shade ranging from 8 to 13 which gives users much flexibility to work in even low light conditions. It can comfortably be used for TIG. MIG and Stick welding.
- The Hobart 770753 Pro has 2 years warranty
- It has a large viewing area
- It is suitable for working in a low light situation
- It comes with a reasonable price
- With a weight of 2.2 pounds, it is light and comfortable
- The shell is made from polyamide, a very durable material
- The helmet comes with a headband which is gel – padded making it comfortable and versatile
- No warranty information
Professional Buying Guide for the Best Welding Helmet
On getting an auto-darkening helmet, it is critical to ensure that the battery is properly fitted.
You are also required to adjust the shield delay time – the time interval that the helmet will take to go from a light to a dark state. The varieties of auto-darkening helmets allow users to adjust the delay time. Usually, this is a function of the brand of the helmet. The range could be between 0.6 and 0.8 seconds in a slower setting, while a fast setting could be between 0.25 to 0.35 seconds.
There is also the adjustment knob by the side of the helmet with which users can adjust the shade to the preferred setting. This lets you decide how dark you want the helmet to get.
After all these settings have been properly done, you can wear the helmet and tweak the headband until it gives a perfect fit.
Before welding, you should give the best setting to the auto-darkening shield as well. A way to know you have a properly set auto-darkening lens that it will darken even if you are not facing the arc. It would help if you did not use a lens that will not darken.
INTRODUCING PASSIVE AND AUTOMATIC WELDING HELMET
With the many brands of automatic helmets, it might not be easy getting the perfect one for your job. However, you can get the perfect one after examining a lot of factors. The main aim of using a welding helmet is to give protection. We have two main categories of welding helmets: the passive helmets called the traditional welding helmets and the automatic welding helmets.
Way before introducing automatic helmets, man has been using the passive helmet for protection while welding. There are many clear differences between an automatic welding helmet and a passive helmet.
The passive helmet comes with a normal glass lens and a fixed shade. This keeps the shade dark, whether the helmet is in use or not. With a traditional helmet, users get solid and constant protection during the welding operation.
While we love that the passive helmet gives constant protection, the fixed shade is a disadvantage. This is because having to lift the helmet every time you want to do something other than welding is cumbersome.
Not only is it stressful, but it also decreases your productivity. Users might even experience fatigue with the constant up and down movement. It will be tedious if you are working in a restricted place!
These and many more are the cons of the passive helmet, making people switch their allegiance to the automatic welding helmet.
An automatic helmet also called an auto-darkening helmet, gives users a wide variety of options. It is automated with quite a lot of options at the user’s fingertip.
These kinds of helmets give a high level of protection, especially from dangerous IR emissions and UV rays during the welding process. The quick-changing LCD technology also makes the helmet adjust itself in a millisecond, offering optimum protection.
One of the strong points of the automatic welding helmet is that you do not need to remove it while attending other tasks. This is one of the main selling points of the automatic welding helmets. Even with the hood on, you get to inspect your work and do other things. This reduces the need to keep flipping the helmet.
Automatic helmets have many advantages, as indicated above. However, how do you select the automatic welding helmet perfect for you?
Fixed Vs. Variable Shade
Generally, automatic helmets either come with a fixed or an adjustable lens. The fixed lens is the best if you will be handling the same type of material all through your welding career. In this regard, if you will be welding copper metal, you will have to weld the same type of copper iron – the same type and thickness.
This might not apply to most welders as the welding process has to be the same as well. The variable lens system is recommended for all. This is because you might have to weld materials of various sizes, thickness, and type. This is essential to keep your eyes protected from the various brightness levels from the welding arc.
The lens Delay time (Reaction)
This simply is how long it takes your lens to switch from a light to a dark state. The best automatic lens will have the shortest time possible – undetectable by the naked eye. This is important for the optimum protection of your eyes.
Most automatic helmets have this value in the range of milliseconds, which is instant. This is one factor you should check before choosing a helmet. The value of your helmet’s reaction time directly affects your comfort while working. If it delays too much as well, you could be flashed!
Adjustable Sensitivity Control
Ideally, an automatic helmet will go dark on sensing an arc. There, however, have to be a level of brightness that can bring about this darkness.
All brands and make of the automatic helmet do have this feature. It is particularly important for the TIG welding process.
Number of Sensors
A 2-sensor helmet is appropriate if you will be welding just as a hobby. However, if welding is your occupation, we recommend you go after the automatic helmet with four sensors.
The higher the sensor, the more the view of the helmet. Asides, if you will be welding in awkward positions, you will need a helmet with more sensors.
Production jobs are best done with a four-sensor automatic helmet, while fabrication and other heavy industrial jobs are best done with a four-sensor helmet.
Adjustable Delay Control
With this, you can control how long you want the helmet to remain dark even after the welding operation. There are short and long delays which have their respective application, depending on the job type.
Tack welding job, for instance, is best done with a short delay system. It ensures effectiveness on the job.
A long delay is, however, important for very high-temperature welding. With this, the metal cools, and the toxic emissions would have diffused.