Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Reviews For The Money 2019

It is no secret that welding is a grueling task and needs patience and dedication to be carried out efficiently!

Welding requires the right tools and accessories, so that working on projects can be a breeze. Apart from a good welding machine, it is important to use a good welding helmet; capable of providing protection and excellent value for money!

If you happen to be on the lookout for the best auto darkening welding helmet, then you have come to the right place!

We have made all the effort, so you don’t have to tire yourself. So, let’s not waste any more time and help you pick the best one, with certainty!

Why You Need One? 

Before we look at our top picks, let us first understand why you need an auto darkening helmet while welding.

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    Auto darkening helmets are ideal for outdoor use, as they provide better protection compared to conventional helmets. They can be equally useful for indoor welding projects, as the auto darkening feature adjusts itself based on the lighting available.
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    They take away the hassle of flipping the lens up and down, as a knob on the side can be turned to adjust the lighting shades to get a clear vision under all lighting situations.
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    Auto darkening helmets come in a variety of styles, and models, thus giving you plenty of choice. There are helmets specific for TIG, ARC, MIG, and Stick welding.
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    A good welding helmet is not just popular among professional welders but also companies who prefer to use auto darkening helmets in place of conventional ones, as it can increase productivity. Welders can weld faster and remain comfortable through the process.
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    Most auto darkening helmets are solar powered thus saving you money. You do not have to worry about replacing the batteries often. The solar power feature also lights up the helmet as soon as sun falls on the panel, allowing clearer and better vision!

Our Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Reviews

Now that you are convinced about the multiple uses that auto darkening helmets can provide, it is time to look at 10 of our top picks!

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

The Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Helmet is our top pick for auto darkening welding helmets! It is equipped with a smart chip-controlled sensor that automatically darkens the vizor.

This helmet is versatile and can be used during grinding, welding, and cutting. It is a lightweight model and fits comfortably around your head. The knob can be adjusted to delay the sensitivity of the sensors and can be used for MIG, TIG, and arc welding.

It has a solar panel design and an option to insert batteries. The auto darkening lens filters UVB rays. The Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power helmet is lens compatible along with an optional hardhat adapter.

It automatically goes to sleep after 10 minutes of no activity. It turns light to dark in just 1/25,000 seconds. This helmet is quite popular in terms of auto darkening welding helmet review, which showcases its popularity.

Pros

  • Lightweight yet sturdy
  • Large viewing with quality sensors
  • Adjustable sensitivity knob
  • Variable shade covers a range of jobs
  • TIG, MIG and arc compatible

Cons

  • One of the most expensive welding helmets
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Susceptible to scratches

2. Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet

The second-best pick is the Lincoln Electric welding helmet, 3350 series and is one of the best rated auto-darkening welding helmets. It is designed to fit around the head comfortably and allow optimal movement.

Since this is a pivot-based helmet, you can comfortably move your head around without straining your neck muscles. The best part of this unit is that it’s available in 10 different styles including a regular black helmet, a Captain America helmet, a unique zombie helmet and many more!

Made with superior lens, the helmet gives welder a clear and excellent view. Auto darkening feature is quite sensitive to light and goes from shade 6 to 13. Viewing area measures 3.74 inches x 3.34 inches. Knobs on the helmet are easy to adjust making welding a breeze.

The helmet ensures fast light filtration so that your eyes are not exposed to flashes. This helmet’s auto darkening cartridges have a high rating in terms of light class, optical class, variations in the luminous transmittance, and the angle dependence of luminous transmittance. This means you will be capable to see things clearly.

Pros

  • Rated 1/1/1/1 for optical clarity
  • Offers widescreen view
  • Flawless functions
  • Sturdy and great graphics
  • Good quality sensors

Cons

  • One of the most expensive welding helmets in the market 
  • Outer body prone to scratches

3. Pro Welding Helmet with Highest Optical Class

This helmet with the highest optical class welding helmet is the third-best auto darkening helmet in the market and a great choice for professionals. It has a 4C lens and is loaded with features.

This helmet will fit comfortably around your head due to the adjustable headband. It is fairly lightweight at about 4 lbs., and has a comfortable harness to suit a range of heads. The viewing is 3.94 inches x 2.87 inches allowing clear vision and broad view.

The auto darkening lens has a clarity rating of 1/1/1. The Tacklife Pro Welding helmet with highest optical class filters light within 1/25,000 of a second. The battery life of this helmet is around 2,000 hours.

You will find it very quick to respond to lightning flashes and its build materials will ensure you an long lifetime. It comprises of flame retardant and corrosion resilient PA material which is more lightweight yet sturdier than PP. For the price you pay, it’s a diamond in the rough.

Pros

  • Superior lens quality, 6 pieces replacement lenses
  • Wide viewing area
  • Pivot style helmet for superior comfort
  • Supplied with lenses, bag and bandana
  • Easy to control settings

Cons

  • The helmet is a little heavy
  • Outer coating prone to scratches

4. Jackson Safety Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Jackson Safety

When you plan on doing some serious welding stuff, you don’t want any disturbance at all. At number four, Jackson Safety has got you covered! Their insight Auto darkening helmet has a unique narrow design meant to help you access narrow workspaces.

Although the helmet has a narrow design, it sits comfortably around your head. Its outer body is sturdy and can withstand wind, dust, and moisture. This variable auto darkening welding helmet focuses on safety features and includes a broader front, superior lens quality and speedy auto darkening.

A key feature of this model is the extra space on top designed to accommodate a hardhat, usually worn on construction sites. The shade range varies from number 9 to 13. Although expensive, this helmet is ideal for students as they can practice to weld in cramped spaces.

If we are to go by customer and user feedbacks, then it is safe to say this helmet is right at the top! You will have a professional class helmet to stick to your plans regarding welding sessions. Overall, this one is what you need!

Pros

  • Suitable for MIG, TIG and arc welding
  • Lightweight yet sturdy
  • Unique narrow design
  • Various safety features
  • Balder technology
  • Three knobs for shade adjustment

Cons

  • No grind mode
  • No option to insert batteries
  • Expensive compared to other helmets in its range

5. Solar Powered Welding Helmet Auto Darkening Hood

Solar Powered Welding Helmet

If you want a kick-ass helmet packed with stylistic features and abundant utility, then this is the helmet for you! This solar powered auto darkening welding helmet has advanced color recognition, and superior visibility that lets you switch the shade instantly without any hassle!

Since the helmet is solar powered, you do not have to buy batteries. It is quite sensitive to sun and bright light, alike, and will instantly auto darken when hit with extreme light. The window area on this helmet is 3.63 inches x 1.65 inches, and is one of the best auto darkening welding lens, making everything appear clear.

As for the performance out of the box, it stays dark even when used for a long welding session. You will see no pulse issue at all. Furthermore, with the low battery indicator, you will know when you have to replace the batteries, before it goes completely dead in the middle of your work.

This is a lightweight model and weighs just 1 lb., thus suitable for novices. The helmet can be used with TIG, MIG and arc welders. It is a cheap and affordable model, suitable for students, but has superior, high quality features.

Pros

  • Light weight yet sturdy
  • Great value for the money
  • Durable piece
  • Excellent looks
  • Great lens

Cons

  • Small viewing area
  • Needs a darker setting
  • Sensors are over sensitive to light

6. DEKOPRO Welding Helmet Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welder Mask 

DEKOPRO Welding Helmet

This auto darkening solar powered wide viewing professional hood with wide lens has a rather strange design feature with a skull on top and flames all around it. This helmet’s auto darkening feature will filter light out within 1/25,000 of a second so that your eyes remain protected from harmful radiation.

It’s a light weight model with the viewing area limited to 3.62 inches x 1.65 inches which is not great and does not provide a clear view. It is, however, great for beginners. This helmet can be used with TIG, MIG and arc welders as well as plasma and oxy fuel. Since it weighs only 1 lb., it is ideal for students.

The sensors are highly sensitive to light and even ceiling lights can end up dimming it. This helmet will fit comfortably and allow you to move your head freely. 

This is a cost effective and intelligent helmet with ADF DX-500S filters. It helps you weld with precision. Furthermore, the battery on this helmet is amazing and lasts up to 5,000 hours.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy on the head
  • Ideal for students and beginners
  • Cheap, budget friendly model
  • TIG, MIG and arc compatible

Cons

  • Not for professional use
  • Not ideal for outdoors or under bright lights
  • The lens is not great
  • Sensors are too sensitive and need to be adjusted before use

7. Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Instapark ADF Series GX990T

Continuing with the theme of skull and flames, the Instapark ADF Series GX990T is available in both black and blue varieties, and has quite a unique appearance. If you are eyeing for a top rated auto darkening welding helmet then this will make a good choice.

The viewing is 3.94 inches x 3.86 inches with four sensors to filter flashes and bright light. This helmet is solar powered so you need not worry about the batteries. Solar panel is sensitive to sunlight as well as bright light and will auto adjust the darkening to suit the lighting.

It is compatible with MIG, TIG, and arc welders,great for various environments especially manufacturing, construction and metal works. You can also use it for fabricating and carrying out military repair and maintenance. It is a popular helmet among gas, transport and oil companies.

The helmet has an impressive shade range of five to 13. The Instapark ADF Series GX990T Solar Powered helmet filters out bright light in 1/30,000 of a second! The outer surface is durable and resistant to natural weather conditions. This helmet is cheap and will suit a beginner’s budgets.

Pros

  • Good welding helmet
  • Light weight and durable
  • Ideal for beginners and professionals
  • Superfast auto dark feature

Cons

  • Lens not up to the mark
  • Small viewing area

8. RHINO LARGE VIEW + GRIND Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

 Rhino Welding Helmets

If an extra-large viewing area tops your priority list then this helmet is the one for you! As the name of the model suggests, the helmet has a 4 inches x 2.6 inches viewing area, which is fairly large for a welding helmet. The 10 square inches viewing area is nearly twice as much as other average sized helmets.

The auto darkening feature is impressive and has a fast reaction time. Lens is of good quality and ideal for indoor and outdoor welding. A key advantage with this hood is the adjustment knobs are conveniently placed outside the helmet, which means you need not take off your gloves to adjust them!

The helmet weighs in at just 1.2 lbs. making it lightweight and comfortable to wear. The nylon shell coating makes it a sturdy option. A convenient feature of this item is the extra space available under the vizor to fit in safety glasses for extra protection.

Talking of overall performance, the helmet tints pretty fast, is adjustable and fits accurate, won’t fall while flipping, withstands a couple of drops from height. You will find it out of the box as it was in the picture you saw before buying. Plus, it doesn’t scratch easily.

Pros

  • Cheap compared to others in the same range
  • Multiple features
  • Easy to adjust knobs
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Can be used in a variety of settings
  • Extra viewing area for comfort

Cons

  • Badly placed sensors
  • Not for extensive use
  • No carbon fiber and just a mock material
  • No grinding mode

9. Instapark ADF Series GX-500S Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Instapark ADF Series GX-500S

Another solar powered auto darkening helmet, this one ideal for those who wish to do away with the hassle of using batteries. You can use the solar power to power the helmet, and you will find it quite simple to choose the right dark setting.

This model is one of the fastest responding helmets in the market and will filter light in 1/5,000 of a second. This means your eyes can stay well protected from the bright light and not feel stressed or strained.

The helmet will switch over automatically without manual intervention and provide optimal clarity without straining eyes too much. The GX-500S by Instapark has a viewing area of 3.5 inches x 3.75 inches. Plus, it has variable shade adjustment as well as a resting one.

For the versatility it brings, this auto darkening helmet can be used with MIG, TIG, and Stick welders. The helmet meets all safety standards and is extensively used by professional agencies.

It is a great looking model, and will appeal to youngsters, as it features a black base with blue graphics spread all over. Its graphics include blue colored flames and a blue colored skull.

Pros

  • Super-fast auto darkening
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with different welders
  • Eye catching design
  • Solar powered

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy welding
  • Lenses are not up to the mark

Main Factors to Check Before Getting Yours 

There are few important factors to contemplate before getting your auto darkening helmet that can help you choose the best one your money can buy. They are mentioned as follows.

Viewing Area

First and foremost, you must choose helmets with large viewing areas and superior quality optics. These help you clearly see edges and curves while welding. They also let you place the electrodes at the right spot.

It is advisable to find a helmet that has a large viewing area regardless of your budget. Look for the best one in the range and do not settle for anything less.

Performance 

One key aspect to look into while selecting an auto-darkening helmet is how powerful is the lens that has been used.

Although photo sensors do play a big role in determining the quality of the helmet, it is the quality of the lens that matters more. The lens should provide a clear vision for efficient arc detection and electrode placement.

Comfort 

Bear in mind that a welding helmet is a long-term investment and you do not want to be stuck with one that is uncomfortable! Comfort should be a priority as you will be spending quite a lot of time under your helmet!

A good helmet should sit well over and around your head with adjustable harness and multiple adjustment points located all over. There should be enough space to fit within welding ear muffs, in case you wish to use them.

Versatility 

When choosing a welding helmet, make sure to find one that serves multiple purposes. The helmet should be easy to use for different situations and cater to specific needs.

Overhead protection should be a priority as it allows you to move around freely. Your auto-darkening helmet should allow you enough freedom to get into various positions, comfortably.

Price 

Price is an important factor to consider while choosing a helmet. Lower priced models might not be versatile but will provide basic protection. On the other hand, higher priced models will not only be versatile but also provide better protection, clearer viewing, higher quality optics etc.

Set a fixed budget and look for a model that is best in range.

Brand 

As you know, brand matters when it comes to buying consumer goods and will be important to look for a helmet from a trusted brand. Most brands promise a lot of things but fail to deliver on them.

Ensure to read through the reviews to know for sure if a particular helmet comes from a trustworthy brand that places importance on customer satisfaction.

Warranty 

The warranty period for the helmet should be considered to ensure any defective pieces can be replaced or repaired for free. Most helmets come with a warranty period between six months to a year.

In case you end up with a broken or defective piece, it can be exchanged for a brand new one within the warranty period.

Customization Tip

Feel free to customize your auto welding helmet to suit your individual taste. Be it graphics on the outside or sponging on the inside, there are quite a few websites willing to customize a helmet for you.

Make sure you provide them with a sketch so that they can match your idea and make the best welding helmet for you!

How Does It Work? 

auto darkening welding helmet

Isn’t it quite intriguing that a helmet can adjust itself based on the lighting situation? Well, if you want to know exactly how auto darkening helmets work then read on!

UV/IR Filter 

The UV/IR filter consists of several layers made of metal. These layers are typically made of five layers of silver and six layers of aluminum, which combine to give the glass its characteristic purple hue.

The metallic layers are designed to absorb and reflect the InfraRed radiation so that they do not affect the eyes. Polarizing filters help with the absorption of UV radiation.

Auto darkening helmets are also designed to absorb harmful UVB rays but might not be able to filter out UVA rays.

Polarizing Filters

These filters are put in place in order to darken the light that filters through. They are placed strategically on the vizor such that the UV/IR filter sits at a 90-degree angle while the other two sit straight.

The helmet can be moved around or twisted to either darken or lighten the view.

Liquid Crystal Cells 

Liquid crystal cells are used to turn and twist light. The helmet can be turned to manipulate the light that filters in. In fact, it is possible to cut out refraction; thanks to these crystals.

Combining The Three 

The two polarizing filters that are close to the eye are placed in the same direction and when turned off, the liquid crystal cells twist the light. This happens so that the eyes are protected from bright light.

Once the ADL switches on, the liquid crystal cells that lie between the first two polarized filters go back to their regular position and the lens returns back to normal.

The arc is responsible for activating the liquid crystal cells on the front panel that turn away the light to darken the lens.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few basic and most commonly asked queries answered for your reference. For further questions, some searches on Google might help!

1. What are some safety measures to bear in mind? 

Make sure the helmet fits properly and does not move around when you shake your head. The helmet should be of superior quality.

2. How can I care and maintain the helmet? 

Change the filters regularly and clean the interior and exterior surfaces. Replace any faulty and damaged parts.

3. Are photo-sensors important in an auto-darkening helmet? 

Yes. The more the sensors the better, as they detect light caused during the welding process and offset the auto-darkening feature. The sensitivity of the sensors will determine the level of clarity provided by the helmet.

4. How much chin movement will be involved? 

Most auto darkening helmets allow minimal chin movements that will be based on the type of welding you perform. These helmets are designed to reduce jaw fatigue.

5. Will I find replacement parts?

Yes! You can easily find replacement parts for your auto darkening welding helmets.

6. Are there welding guides available? 

Auto darkening helmets will be supplied with an instruction manual to serve as guide and reference. You can consult the same for basic instructions and maintenance tips.

Final Verdict

We have done our bit and hope you enjoyed our auto darkening welding helmet reviews for 2019. It is now up to you to choose the one that suits your needs and buy it right away!

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