It is always the first priority that you have the most advantageous safety precautions when you are dealing with high voltage, burning heat, and madly bright sparks. It will the priority to take care of your eyes so that they are safe from bright sparks that might be a reason for getting blind.
In this case, you should use a darkening welding helmet that will dim off the light that comes through the visor. The visor usually has black and tinted glass that dims out the light. The helmet has to be designed well thought and the most convenient helmet will both give you safety. Here, we will be taking a look at some of the bests in the market.
Check out the comparison table of the auto-darkening welding helmets to choose the perfect match.
Reviews of the Top 10 Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
We have selected the best popular welding helmets in the market to test them first hand. We have also researched for different reviews to see how they performed for welding in different circumstances.
Here are the top 10 welding helmet reviews with our observations for you to choose the right one.
1. Best Overall – ESAB Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet
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For valuing your money on the style and looks, ESAB is the welding helmet for stick welding so far. This might cost a bit much than the average ones but you will get extra features like a front cover lens and touchscreen controller.
The design of the Esab sentinel a50 helmet does have the advantage of compensating the size of the whole helmet. You will be able to wear this helmet on your face with shallow space in front. This helps you get your small and precise works done easily.
The low-profile design exposes most when you have positioned the face shield on the up position. The electronics on this helmet is incredibly advanced. With touch control, you can set up eight separate settings that match your ways of tig welding.
Extra cover in front of the front screen will save the LCD panel from getting damaged by extreme heat or splinters from grinding.
The color and quality of the headgear and other materials are unmatchable to most of the options in the market.
- Super high-quality materials have been used
- Very safe for the professional welder
- Esab sentinel a50 welding helmets comes with better clarity rating
- Gears to adjust the headband is incredibly precise and smooth
- Electronics are super-advanced (Touchscreen color view control panel)
- Solidly made compact helmet that covers an adequate amount of area around your face
- Due to heavyweight, some users might feel uncomfortable on long sessions
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2. Best Under $150 – Forney 55703 Premier Series Edge
With a flaming hot design and amazing built quality, Forney 55703 has the ability to beat the first place for the best auto-darkening welding helmet under $150. It features the most sensitive arc sensing sensors that can outperform most of the auto-darkening welding helmets in the market.
While making this welding helmet reviews, we have focused on the usability, viewing area and arc sensors for the beginner welder. And all of the considerations were pretty fulfilled with this lens.
The viewing area of this helmet is 5.9 square inch which is not much and gets the job done easily. Internal switch control can regulate how fast your shutter is going to react and the default value is incredibly high for a helmet at this price range.
You can select the shade level from 9 to 13 which will be good enough to cover you up to the brightest TIG and MIG welding. The electronic does show how much battery is left in this electronic device. The helmet does get on and off automatically when you are not working.
The graphics on the helmet does make it more intensive in your welding zone. The flame design pops up to anyone to show your passion.
- The very good-looking aggressive design
- The clearer viewing area for better works condition
- A very good deal for the money
- Better arc sensors with this lense
- Automatic battery indicator and solar-powered LCD screen
- Decent battery life with this budget helmet
- A lightweight unit for long working hours
- The headband is a bit uncomfortable
3. Best Welding Helmet Under 50 – Antra AH6-260 series
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The most industrial-grade technology has been integrated with the antra welding helmet. Antra AH6-660-0000 does not only have a high-grade darkening visor on the front, the whole helmet does have a wide area to cover most of the facial area.
The unit has been made lightweight to handle for the beginners and even the professionals. It will reduce the stress of carrying a heavy shield on the front. This also has the option to adjust your fitting. You can rotate a knob on the front and adjust where you want to retain your up position of the hood.
Inside of this helmet, you will get a twisting knob along with the grind mode button that will adjust the size of your helmet to fit on your head. With depth adjustment slots, you can adjust the main helmet position easily.
The glasses that have been used in this unit are super powerful against heavy light. It can filter out any kind of bright light that is created from Magma, MIG, TIG, or plasma grinding. It became possible for using a UV/IR filter combined with two LCD control unit.
- Very lightweight unit and does not give neck pain after a long time of usage
- All types of helmet adjustment are available in this helmet
- The shell design prevents retina burns
- Comes with grind mode and an excellent auto-darkening filter
- 2 Amps battery life is decent for home and shop works
- Comes with a high-quality filter and extra lens cover
- Easier to handle tig welding
- The fiber helmet does not have very good protection against the heat
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4. Best Quality Auto Darkening – Lincoln Electric Store 3350 Series
3350 Series auto-darkening helmet is the best budget welding helmet when it comes to the quality and service. It does not only give you adequate protection but it also gives you a lot of options for customization.
Why Lincoln electric helmets are considered into this welding helmet reviews list?
Lincoln electric helmet comes with a perfect auto-darkening filter, battery indicator, grinding mode, wide shade range, and arc sensors. These features make better viewing areas and the lens makes welding safer.
The fast shutter LCD controls and combined with the solar panel on the front make sure that you might not need an alternative option for a very long time.
Inside of the Lincoln electric Viking 3350 has a thicker belt that keeps it tight around your head. It does also have adjustable settings so that anyone can wear it. The polycarbonate shield can easily surpass the rough and tough tig welding effortlessly. The LCD panel has adjustable ADF settings that allow how delicate you want your LCD shield to be.
All the services do not even need to change batteries because the solar panel charges up the inside that keeps it running for a very long time. The visor is as wide as possible so that it acts as a versatile tool for your safety.
- The electronic unit is powered by the solar panel on the top of the panel
- The wide panel has a wide coverage
- Better viewing size with good clarity
- Better reaction size with sensitivity and delay
- Lincoln electric Viking 3350 makes tig welding easy and simple
- Lens provides better clarity for easy work welding
- Headbands are wide and comfortable for long time welding
- The helmet is comparatively heavy
5. Best Solar Powered Helmet – Tanox ADF-206S Auto Darkening
If you are a DIY engineer and you want to get the best cheap auto darkening welding helmet under 100, ADF 206S is the one to go for.
The price range makes it a must-buy for beginners who haven’t tried the auto-darkening helmets. At this cheap price, you will not find another auto-darkening helmet that has the ergonomics and versatility of parameters.
The headband is fully customizable using three separate adjusting knobs. Though the viewing area is small and shallow, you will get the highest level of protection from this. With knob twists, you can adjust the sensitivity and delay of the automatic function.
It does not take any other batteries than the internal Solar charged batteries. A shade adjusting knob and an angle adjusting knob have been added on the outside to adjust it when welding.
The area coverage of this helmet is incredibly wide. This helmet covers your head along your shoulder and throat area. You will get an extra pair of lens covers and a pair of welding gloves. This might keep you a step forward.
- An incredibly valuable piece of a helmet for the price
- Solar power is the main power source of the electric unit
- Comes with better lens shed for beginner
- One of the best welding helmets with customization
- Adjustable headband fits most of the head
- The polycarbonate body is not very durable to drops of shocks
6. Best for Beginners – Antra AH6-260-0000 Welding Helmet
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Antra AH6 can easily beat the market of the best welding helmet for beginners. The price has been set in a way that any beginner can buy and try out the auto-darkening technology by themselves.
Though the price has been set as low as possible, The antra ah6 260 has not compromised the quality of the helmet. It runs without a battery and using the solar panel, it can run for a very long time. Like the Instapark ADF welding helmets, this one comes with excellent optical clarity.
The arc sensors on the front trigger two LCD layers according to the setting on the control panel.
If you want, you can use the provided magnification lens inside part of the electronic unit so that the precision is maintained well for better tig welding. The electronic unit has been well optimized to clear out false triggering.
As an overall statement, it can be said that this is the best versatile equipment for both the beginners and the professional. The filter can easily filter out unnecessary UV rays that genuinely hurts. Regardless of the field of your work, garage, or shipyards, this can be an ideal solution.
- The headband hugs the head and provides maximum grip
- Very lightweight design
- Comes with perfect clarity with an excellent lens
- Comes with arc sensors with better lens shade
- Covers most of your facial area
- A great deal at a very cheap price
- Versatile protecting tool for everyone
- The shell is not built very well and robust
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7. Best Welding Helmet for Stick Welding – 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
The most premium package of our list is the 3M Speedglass welding helmet. This is the best welding helmet for stick welding if you want to spend a lot of money and want the best output for the money. 3M is one of those companies that make most of the important safety equipment.
The wide and spread front has the ability to keep your face and neck saved from melting heat and also hot splinters from the fire. The headgear on this unit has a superior level of comfort and all the gears are super smooth for great adjustment.
How similar is this to the Instapark adf welding helmets?
The headband has front padding that comforts you even if you are on long sessions. The ratchet mechanism of the welding hood works flawlessly. Like the Instapark ADF welding helmets, these darkening welding helmets
The front not only has an extra shield on the visor, but it also has side windows that you might need in shipyards. You can also block the light coming from the sides with provided shields. All the adjusting parameters in the electronic section makes it a very user-friendly device for advanced professionals.
- High-quality materials have been used
- Side windows for wider visibility
- Super comfortable headbands for long sessions
- Have different modes for different kinds of welding
- This cost a lot of money which might not be a good option for the beginners
8. Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
If you want to consider the sensors and the electrical components on an auto-darkening helmet, Jackson Safety BH3 is the best budget auto darkening welding helmet. The optical components have been considered as the best in the market and it has also been rewarded for the optical production.
It has reduced the total weight by eliminating unnecessary parts like thick headbands and extra parts that might not be necessary for safety. Headbands are thin and light and have all the adjusting knobs for best fitting. You can change the lens shade from 9 to 13 which is super high.
The delay of the effect can also be changed. It also has a fairly wide solar panel. This keeps it charged within a very short time period. The shell has been made by high-density plastic which might sound flimsy and non-robust, but they are not. It makes it light yet protects you from splinters.
Where the premium and more expensive auto-darkening welding helmets have the issue of fogging and reflection issues, this cheap alternative does not have that problem.
- Lightweight dense plastic shield
- Has diverse options for different kinds of welding
- A smooth matte-finished body enhances safety
- Three headgear adjustment for tightest fits
- The helmet is not comfortable because of the thin headbands
9. Hobart 770756 Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet
With very wide support against the hot sparks, this helmet can give you the experience of professional works. The outer shell offers good protection and the super-fast response time makes it the best cheap auto darkening welding helmet under 100.
The unit has been equipped with a lot of sensors which makes them more sensitive to the high bright light, This can shut the LCD panel off within 1/25,000 of a second. The visor may come out small and compact but it gets the job done easily.
With perfect sensitivity and delay this best welding helmet provides variable shade and perfect optical clarity.
It also has controls for the users who want to customize the settings for their ease of use. This unit also comes with an extra bunch of lenses that expand your capability of working on many types of welding. The headband is also very well thought and made in a way that prevents it from falling when looking up.
The face shield covers up to the viewing area of your neck which is a lot. and the outer sides of the shell also has extended parts that allow the particles to fall off from the helmet of any got caught on.
- Very good value for the money
- Comes with an auto-darkening filter and arc sensors
- Adjustable controls and sensors
- Better field of view for beginner welders
- Wider viewing area with clear lense
- Wide protecting headshell
- The headband adjustment is not straightforward
10. Best Jackson Safety HSL100
Safety HSL100 is an absolutely solid helmet from Jackson which is known as the best darkening welding helmet for the money. It’s because of the built quality of this helmet. By looking at the body design, you can easily identify this as a rough and tough helmet for hot welding.
It has been designed as milk tin can. The pointy edges give it more space to breathe. Sides are well wide enough to cover your face along with your jacket. The inside of this gem has all the secrets of electronics.
You can easily observe at what sensitivity it has been set in. A black and white display has been installed inside for that. You can set the auto-darkening mode according to what are you doing (ARC welding, Grinding). Shade, delay, and sensitivity are also variable. There are four independent sensors on this to trigger the shade on the LED display.
All around headband adjustment makes it more fun to use for all types of operation. The style also does not stand out that much from the professional to fashionable helmets.
- Nice viewing display inside to see the sensor setting
- Four sensors have more light to capture and efficient triggers
- Mode selections are available inside
- Has arc sensors and grind mode button for welder
- Excellent value for the money
- The headband is of low quality and does not have a lot of comforts
How to Choose the Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet? Buying Guide
A welding helmet’s price can regulate from $50 to up to 1000 dollars but there are some of the factors and specifications that must be considered when buying a helmet for your welding jobs. Today, we will be going through some of the specifications in specialties that will be must consider getting the best darkening welding helmet for the money.
Why do you need an auto-darkening welding helmet?
You have to ask yourself if you really need one or not. Not all kinds of welding create sparks and super bright. If you are working with TIG or MIG welding that might become an issue for eye damage.
If you already have one and you are an experience working with a helmet, you must not think about the budget and go for the premium one.
Inspect the helmet
The first step would be to see how the helmet looks like. If you are going to use your helmet in a car workshop, you will want something that has graphical themes going on. If you want to rock a casual helmet for all-rounder jobs, you must look out for flat colors or go for a matte black one. All the helmets we have shown in this review have a modern outlook and they are all able to work on any condition.
Helmet quality and weight
Back in the days, people used to use helmets made of metal because they had more protective properties like having great durability and protection from harmful splinters. They were considered good quality but due to having bulky weight, they have become out of the popular market.
Noe more polycarbonate helmets are getting popular among all the upcoming and enthusiast people because people can wear them for a very long time. You should also check out the plastic quality, it’s density and thickness to justify the quality.
You have to make sure that the weight does not go up more than two or three pounds. Keep in mind that a lightweight welding helmet can be used for a very long time.
Headbands and adjustments
Headbands are the part of the helmet that is going to be in contact with you. Most of the companies use three headbands to wrap around your head. This keeps everything close and snug.
They can also have adjusting knobs that expands and squeezes the bands to keep the helmet snug and fitted. If you can spend a bit of money, you will get helmets that have padded headbands. Padded headbands reduce fatigue and discomfort of wearing the helmet for a long time.
How much can you see from inside
This is the main feature and character that most of the professional’s care about. The budget series helmets do not have a lot of viewing areas. You will be able to see everything but the area of vision is low.
If you have spent enough on an expensive antra welding helmet, you might get something that has side windows and wide viewing glasses.
How many sensors do they have and how sensitive are they?
Most of the auto-darkening helmets have two sensors to turn the LCD panel on and off. Some of the helmets have four sensors that get four directional light information and darkens automatically.
The sensitivity of these sensors differs from brands to brands. You will see that they are measured by the subdivision of a second. The time varies from 100000th of a second to 600000th of a second. The higher the number. The more sensitive that mechanism is.
Lens Elements for Tig Welding
There are lens elements that can vary from brands to brands. We also know a standard that is two LCD controlled panels and a passive UV/IR filter that will be eliminating all the lights that are to be blocked.
If you want to go fancy, you can order more or you might also get extra lens covers to reinforce the protection.
Most of the automatic darkening helmets now come with a solar panel on the front. These panels keep your helmets charged. You will not have to insert batteries. But every time you are going to use this, you will have to check if the batteries are dead or not. This has become a very good alternative to the battery-powered ones.
Controlling and regulating the parameters
Almost every auto-darkening helmet have the capability to change the parameters of the darkening effects. Most commonly, you will see two controls of changing the effect intensity and a delay option.
If you have invested a good amount of money, you might as well get an attack control and also modes that would be helpful for you to use on different modes.
What Are the Options Available for Auto Darkening Welding Helmet?
If you are going for the auto-darkening helmets, there are categories of products where the quality and small details that vary from products to products. You must keep in mind that variations are the area of considerations because it has to fit your working strategies.
As there is a working trigger for automatic darkening helmets. The triggering process works within a very small fraction of time. The time starts from 1/3000 second to 1/25000second of time. According to our eye capturing time, this is super-fast.
You will be using the helmets for MIG, TIG welding, and also for cutting and grinding. Make sure that the response time is as fast as possible. That will be the safest option for reducing eye strains. A fast-reactive helmet will be much expensive than the ones with less sensitivity.
LCD Panel size and quality
The LCD panel on the front of different helmets will be different from each other. The bigger the LCD panels are the more you will be able to see enough of what you are doing. The LCD panel starts from one inch to nine inches. The bigger screen ones will be costlier than the small ones.
The viewing color also varies screens to screens. Initially, they are of different colors but when they are darkened the color view intensifies and creates the darkness that will save your eyes.
For better visibility, some of the auto-darkening helmets have side windows. In some of the helmets, you can also close the window and shut off extra lighting.
The only sensors that are used are light sensors. These sensors are getting more efficient and less power hungry. The number of sensors can vary from products to products. Most of the helmets have two sensors to make it work.
In the premium helmets, companies use three to four sensors. This makes it better at sensing and stopping the light quicker.
Back in the days. it was necessary to use battery to use the sensor and replace the battery meanwhile. But now we have solar power to use as a power source that will turn the LED on and off.
Helmet size and style
Helmet size differs from models to models and also brands to brands. The shape that has been by most of the helmet companies are boxy. You will also get round helmets. But if the air circulations of these helmets might not be good if the design has not been optimized much.
Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Vs Passive
Two types of these helmets are from different centuries. The working process of the passive darkening helmets that they do not change the color of the screen and does not rely on any power source.
When you will be closing the hinge and watch through a passive darkening helmet, the light will be dim all the time. It will be harder to place your welding stick on the contact points.
The auto darkening welding helmets will always have a sensor that will trigger the LCD panel to turn darker in color so that the light emitted by the welding gets blocked. It goes back to highest transparent mode when the spark is off.
The display is the only element that is different in these two types of helmets. A passive welding helmet will have a display of different sizes ranging up to ten inch and the price will be as affordable as possible.
the display element of the auto-darkening helmet is made of LED panel. Displays that are used on the passive helmets are colored and the brightness gets filtered out by the colored glasses.
Auto darkening effect
Passive helmets might be the best welding helmet for beginners but if you have mastered the technique of welding and got used to the passive helmets, you should upgrade to an auto darkening welding helmet.
Weight and built quality
As we already know that active auto-darkening helmets are not very cheap. No they are not, but they do have the advantages like providing a good built quality and better materials.
Because of having a lot of electronic materials and sensors, the auto-darkening helmets become a bit heavier than regular.
Advantages and Disadvantages
It is obvious that auto-darkening welding helmets are more user-friendly and moreover a good choice for professionals and also for beginners.
The most advantageous feature of the auto darkening welding helmet is that you will not have to hold the hood high when you will be fixing the starting position of welding.
One feature that might through it back that the automatic darkening helmets are bit heavy due to the materials and electronics. You might have to take rests in between welding. It might not be easy to keep the heavy helmet on the whole time.
The price range used to differ a lot when the production was low and very few people chose the auto-darkening welding helmets. Now the price of these automatic helmets is becoming so cheap and almost close to the passive ones.
The price of the auto-darkening helmets ranges from 40 dollars to 600 dollars. This variation of peice will serve you more features that will be helpful for you.
Advantages of an Auto-darkening helmet
If we consider reasonably, the auto-darkening helmet will be clean winner. But it will be fare if we see what advantages overcomes the drawbacks of auto-darkening helmet.
Calibrating an auto-darkening welding helmet is fairly easy and straightforward. Here you will see the option of starting from a very dark point and gradually lowering down the sensitivity you will have to adjust the darkness by observing.
It is safer this way and not taking a random guess. You have the versatility of adopting the brightness every time you are going for a welding job.
Almost all of the auto-darkening welding helmets have a light indicator that blinks if the LED does not have battery power.
Fast working progress
The working process of an auto-darkening helmet is fairly faster that the passive ones. The main reason is that you will not have to lift the front panel to place your stick for welding. You can get twice welding jobs done on a session.
As the display turns transparent as soon as the welding spark disappears. You will be able to see everything cleanly. You might also change your welding position without holding the hood up.
Not having to raising the hood again and again.
When you are using an auto-darkening helmet, you will not have to raise the helmet hood to proceed on next position. This will create less hassles between line welding. This does not give you extra hand muscle fatigue.
If you have never tried an auto-darkening welding helmet, you should try them for a session. You will be amazed to see the work progress in a specific time.
An auto-welding helmet will enhance your precision in welding up a notch. It is because the level of darkness lowers down to zero as the spark stops. While welding, tit becomes important to place the welding stick on the right place to get the job done right and accurate. It becomes possible with the best budget welding helmet.
Built quality of a helmet
As the technology of auto-darkening is the latest, companies do show their effort in making their products better.
They through better plastics to use on the helmet chassis. They might also add some other filtered glasses to filter out UV rays.
Some Other Considerations
You should also check if the helmet comes with better optical clarity, variable shade, grinding mode, solar power with battery options, and fixed shade when choosing a welding helmet.
Also, there sh
Your helmet doesn’t need to be very expensive to work properly. If you have bought the best budget auto darkening welding helmet with adequate features, it will get you job done. As the operations on different helmets are common, you might not have to worry about getting something that might not work for you.
As the price range of the automatic darkening helmets is super wide, you have to completely go through your priority list where you might prefer comfortable headbands or better electronics and other stuff. And then you can choose the best auto-darkening welding helmet for your need. Keep yourself safe and protected while working with fire.