Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet – Reviews & Buying Guide 2022

Whether you are a professional welder or a part-time welder, your safety comes first. In welding, you have to protect your eyes, neck, and face. You can protect them by using either a passive welding helmet or an auto-darkening welding helmet. As welders, you have to know which welding helmet protects your face without hindering your work performance. 

After researching and testing many of the top-rated welding helmets, we have given you a list of the best auto-darkening welding helmets. The reason we prefer auto-darkening welding helmets is because of their different lens shades and their easier maneuverability. We have also provided you with information on what to take into consideration when looking for an auto-darkening welding helmet. Before choosing one of these helmets, keeping important considerations in your mind can save your time and narrow down your research. So without further delay, let’s get into the details of welding helmet reviews.

TOP PICKS

Lincoln Viking 3350

Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350

  • Viewing Area: 3.74″ x 3.34″ (12.5″²)
  • Weight of helmet: 1.25 pounds
  • Shade range: 5-13

 

ESAB Sentinel Welding Helmet

ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50

  • Viewing Area: 3.93″ x 2.36″ (9.27″²)
  • Weight of helmet: 1.4 pounds
  • Shade range: 5-13

 

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet
3M Speedglas 9100

  • Viewing Area: 4.2″ x 2.8″ (11.5″²)
  • Weight of helmet: 1 pounds
  • Shade range: 5,8-13

 

Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

IMAGE
PRODUCT
DETAILS
PRICE

Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350

Lincoln Viking 3350
  • Viewing Area: 3.74″ x 3.34″ (12.5″²)
  • Weight of helmet: 1.25 pounds 
  • Shade range: 5-13

ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50

ESAB Sentinel Welding Helmet
  • Viewing area: 3.93″ x 2.36″ (9.27″²)
  • Shade range: 5-13
  • Weight of helmet: 1.4 pounds

Antra Wide Shade Range Auto Darkening AH6 260 0000

Antra Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
  • Viewing area: 3.86″ x 1.73″
  • Weight of helmet: 1 pound 
  • Shade range: 5-13

Yeswelder Panoramic

Yeswelder Panromiac Welding Helmet
 
  • Viewing area: Front: 3.94″ x 2.64″ (10.4″²)
  • Weight of item: 2.2 pounds 
  • Shade range: 5-13

Optrel VegaView Welding Helmet

Optrel VegaView Welding Helmet
  • Viewing Area: 3.94″ x1.97″
  • Weight of item: 2 pounds  
  • Shade range: 8-12

3M Speedglas 9100

3M Speedglas Welding Helmet
  • Viewing area: 4.2″ x 2.8″ (11.5″²)
  • Weight of helmet: 1 pound
  • Shade range: 5,8-13

1. Lincoln Viking 3350

Best Rated Welding Helmet

★★★★★

Lincoln Electric K3034-4 VIKING 3350

Specifications:

  • Viewing Area: 3.74″ x 3.34″ (12.5″²)
  • Shade range: 5-13
  • Arc sensor: 4
  • Weight of helmet: 1.25 pounds

Featuring 4C lens technology, Lincoln Viking 3350 gives true color optical experience. The auto-darkening helmet allows you to work efficiently without restraining your eyes. Welders can weld without having to deal with blurriness, as Liclon Viking 3350 has a 1/1/1/1 optical clarity lens. According to research, this lens is one of the best quality lenses that gives a clear, vivid view. Furthermore, the safety precautions are taken more seriously, and you get a wide 12.5 square inches display view of the lens. Getting a wide view while welding will help you progress at more speed. You may also check: Best Welding Helmets for Beginners

In addition to all that, for comfort, the symmetry of the helmet is made to be lightweight. Moreover, you will not feel much pressure due to the equal distribution of helmet weight over six contact points. Also, this helps in easy working as you can change from weld to grind mode simply by pressing the Low-grind button. Not to mention that this welding helmet works well in both outdoor and indoor settings due to its long range of 5 to 13 shades. As an auto-darkening welding helmet, it comes with four arc sensors that sense the light coming from the arc at a speed of 1/25,000 max. Lastly, you get a three years warranty as well to claim any damages.

PROS:

  • True color optical clarity
  • Easy to switch modes
  • Highly adjustable
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

CONS:

  • Not much border view
  • Complicated harness
Final Verdict: To sum it up, Lincoln Viking 3350 is a perfect welding helmet that keeps your vital face areas safe during long hours of work. This gives you a wide front viewing area; however, you do not get much peripheral vision. Also, the welding helmet makes sure to get perfect control and high productivity by offering you a high-quality lens. Aside from that, you can keep your fashion sense intact as this best welding helmet comes in various patterns and colors. 

2. ESAB Sentinel Welding Helmet

Best Value Auto-darkening helmet

★★★★★

ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50

Specifications:

  • Viewing Area: 3.93″ x 2.36″ (9.27″²)
  • Shade range: 5-13
  • Arc sensor: 4
  • Weight of helmet: 1.4 pounds

ESAB Sentinel A50 comes with a modernistic design and has a blue arc color lens. The fitting of the helmet on the head is made more adjustable by 5 point harness head gear positions. Talking about adjustments, you can also adjust the lens inside the helmet to have a better view. Considering your safety, ESAB has made this welding helmet by using high resistance nylon material. Moving on to the design, the ESAB A50 welding helmet has a streamlined shell design with a central pivot point. This provides you with a true color experience in all directions while welding. 

The most attractive and modern feature of this is the touchscreen control panel within the helmet. You can easily change the settings by using this if your hands are small enough to go inside the helmet. No worries for welders with big hands, as you get an external grind button fitted on top of the lens to change mode while working. Lastly, it has standard four arc sensors and gives three years warranty.

PROS:

  • External Grind mode access
  • 5 point headgear
  • Space-warrior design
  • Internal LCD control panel
  • Central pivot points for maximum visibility

CONS:

  • Not for TIG welding
  • Quite heavy
Final Verdict: Overall, ESAB Sentinel 450 offers advanced technology that can help weld all types of welding, excluding TIG welding. For TIG welding, it does come with a hard hat adaptor option, so TIG welders can use it with a hard hat adapter. The hard hat adaptor will make sure that the lens does not warp and gives a long-time performance during welding. We highly approve of using this helmet when welding cars. Also, for welders who want a peripheral view, the 3.93″ x 2.36″ (9.27″²) viewing area of this welding helmet serves well for that. 

3. Antra Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

Best Budget-Friendly auto-darkening helmet

★★★★★

Antra Wide Shade Range Auto Darkening AH6 260 0000

Specifications:

  • Viewing Area: 3.86″ x 1.73″
  • Shade range: 5-13
  • Arc sensor: 4
  • Weight of helmet: 1 pounds

Antra Auto-darkening welding helmet has an affordable price that any welder can get without spending much. Do not think that it gives less due to the price, but quite contrary to that. Antra AH6-260-0000 is well suited for all types of welding like TIG, MIG/MAG, as well as MMA plasma grinding. This one is lightweight and provides full neck and face coverage for maximum safety. By using the auto-darkening lens of three covers, i.e., the first is a Passive UV/IR filter with two layers of LCD shutters, Antra provides maximum safety to your eyes. This one provides a green-colored view while welding. Also, the optical class is 1/1/1/2. This may not be as good as 1/1/1/1 but is close to perfect as it minimizes strain on your body. 

Just like the above welding helmets, you can externally change mode by clicking on the grind button access on the side. Moreover, you can easily lift the helmet as it can stay in an up position when not welding. Also, you can save the battery by putting it on automatic mode. This helmet shuts itself down when not sensing light. As soon as it senses lights, even in small quantities, it automatically turns on. Furthermore, you get consistent performance even in low 2 Amps on DC welding arcs.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Quick sensing of different light shades
  • Comfortable
  • Has upward position adjustable design

CONS:

  • Limited viewing area
  • Not for industrial use
Final Verdict: To conclude, Antra AH6 gives an amazing performance, plus it increases your productivity due to being lightweight. You will not feel shoulder cramps as the welding helmet fits on your head without making you fatigued. However, we do not recommend using this for heavy-duty industrial weldings like welding trucks or telescopic handlers. Aside from that, you get adjustable sensitivity and various other setting options that increase your work progress at an affordable price.

4. Yeswelder Panromiac Welding Helmet

Best for Battery

★★★★★

Yeswelder Panoramic

Specifications:

  • Viewing Area: Front: 3.94″ x 2.64″ (10.4″²)
  • Shade range: 5-13
  • Arc sensor: 6
  • Weight of helmet: 2.2 pounds

Yeswleder EH-302C is a unique auto-darkening welding helmet as it comes with a panoramic view. The front and side lenses screen both get dark immediately when displayed in light. To top the viewing areas, you also get better clarity without affecting your eyes by 1/1/1/1 perfect optical class. The lens view is blue. Another distinctive feature of this welding helmet is that there are six arc sensors, four in front and one on each side. You also get cheating lenses that you can replace whenever needed. 

The headgear is cushioned in a balanced way to perfectly fit any head size while giving maximum comfort. Along with comfortable headgear, you get a wide range of shades that change automatically. Furthermore, the operation is made easier due to the 3 inches LCD control panel display. The control setting works on its own accurately according to sensors. However, keep in mind that this does not feature an external grind mode. It changes automatically, so you have to concentrate while welding. Lastly, it’s one of the cost-effective and energy-effective welding helmets on the list. Yeswelder 302C is powered by using solar power instead of electricity.

Pros 

PROS:

  • 180-degree view
  • Six arc sensors
  • Independent setting
  • 1/1/1/1 high optical class
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • No access to grind mode externally
  • Not light
Final Verdict: All in all, for welders who can concentrate and want a wide panoramic view, this welding helmet is for you. Being powered by solar energy shows that it’s low maintenance. Moreover, the company features a 30-day exchange policy if you have an issue with the helmet. But remember, this auto-darkening welding helmet changes to grind mode independently, and you can not change the grind mode by pressing any button. The good news about this is when working independently, you can get more work done without any worries about changing settings! 

5. Optrel VegaView Welding Helmet

Best Professional Welding Helmet

★★★★★

Optrel VegaView Welding Helmet

Specifications:

  • Viewing Area: 3.94″ x1.97″
  • Weight of item: 2 pounds
  • Shade range: 8-12
  • Arc sensors: 3

This world record ADF welding helmet is designed to give convenience to welders by being automatic. Optrel VegaView 2.5 welding helmet features a perfect view for grind mode. This is highly sensitive and can be adjusted to grind mode externally. The design is comfortable and does not cause any neck pain. By using its 2.5 shade level, you get high visibility while welding different materials. The auto-darkening lens has a special UV/IR filter that shows a true-color view without harming the eyes. 

The control settings are inside the helmet. However, important settings like shade adjustment, grind mode, and sensitivity controls are on the external side of the helmet. This makes operating the helmet while welding extremely easy. For showing durability and gaining your trust, this helmet has a 2-year warranty.

PROS:

  • High sensitivity adjustment
  • External setting options
  • Heavy-duty
  • World record ADF
  • Cristal clear view

CONS:

  • No cheating lens
  • Quite flimsy
Final Verdict: In short, Optrel Vegaview 2.5 gives amazing vivid views and can change to grind mode easily. The view while welding is exceptionally clear and protects your eyes, face, and head as well. It may not be as durable as others due to its lightweight. However, its lightweight is the reason it can work for heavy-duty welding without harming your neck. So the cons are a small price to pay for its amazing overall performance in welding. It proves itself quite a good welding helmet in terms of giving you protection. 

6. 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet

Best Durable auto-darkening helmet

★★★★★

3M Speedglas 9100

Specifications:

  • Viewing Area: 4.2″ x 2.8″ (11.5″²)
  • Weight of item: 1 pounds
  • Shade range: 5,8-13
  • Arc sensors: 3

One of the largest viewing areas in welding helmets is given to you by this 3M Speedglas welding helmet. Ensuring that you get a front view and peripheral window view. Here’s a piece of good news for welders who feel suffocated when wearing a helmet, this auto-darkening helmet comes with an exhaust vent. You do not have to operate it with your hands as it automatically turns on when picked up. Moreover, you can access grind mode without taking your gloves off as well. This helmet can change color with great speed, allowing you to have a better view while welding. The optical class used by this helmet to give you a clear view is 1/1/1/2. 

The auto-darkening 9100XXi filter gives a natural viewing lens. Furthermore, you don’t have to tighten the harness as the helmet fits automatically to any type of head size. For extra comfort, it has “twin pads” that self-adjust to the front of your head hence saving you from pressure. To have better control, you get new memory modes that provide access to preset welding modes! Lastly, you get different shades, i.e., dark shade 5,8 and 9-13 and light shade 3.

PROS:

  • Peripheral view
  • Shade 5 side filters
  • Vivid view
  • Side vent
  • Comfortable

CONS:

  • Expensive
Final Verdict: All in all, 3M Speedglas gives a true natural color instead of a colored blue or green view like other auto-darkening welding helmets. Aside from being costly, it has no drawbacks. However, the only problem is the helmet is hard to clean. But not that the lens is quite easy to clean. The high visibility and exhaust vent make this the most durable auto-darkening welding helmet.  

Buying guide for the Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

Auto-darkening welding helmets last for an average of 8 to 10 years. These long-term partners should be bought with some considerations. You can not buy them again and again; therefore, we have provided you with information on Auto-darkening welding helmets that will help you select the best one! All the under-mentioned features are the things that are important to note before getting a welding helmet. 

Safety and standards:

The first and foremost important thing while welding is your safety. The welding helmet should meet the safety standards of ANSI Z87.1 -2003. While welding, you should be protected from visible light, infrared rays (IR), and ultraviolet rays (UV). Most auto-darkening welding helmets feature a lens that provides shields to your eyes from various harmful rays. Make sure that the material of the helmet does not bend or damage while welding. Taking note of these will help in your overall safety. 

Weight:

Here’s the deal, to work for long hours, you need to feel light. Similarly, you need to have light workwear to achieve that. Make sure you see the weight of the helmet and also how much weight you can handle. By comparing both, you can get a perfect fit for your head size. Next, you need to see if the helmet covers all vital parts of your head like the face, eyes, and neck. Also, make sure that the helmet is comfortable and cushioned safely. 

Viewing area:

Welders who like small viewing areas can go for 3.5″ x 1.75″ areas. And for welders who prefer large areas, we recommend opting for a welding helmet of viewing area around 4″ x 3″. 

Optical class:

Mostly, auto-darkening welding helmets are given optical class to show the quality of the view. 1/1/1/1 is the best optical, and although 1/1/1/2 is not that different, it still cannot compete with the perfect one. 

Arc sensors and reactions: 

The main difference between regular and auto-darkening helmets is the arc sensors and how the lens changes color. Sensors work in a way to change the color of the helmet lens by using the needed filters. Aside from that, the speed of the color-changing is also important. Standard auto-darkening has 3 to 4 arc sensors. There might be more or less varying in the price of the helmet. Having fast speed after sensing light difference is also important. The standard speed required while welding is up to 1/20,000 per second.

Shade range:

Another thing that districts auto-darkening welding helmets is the range of shades. Passive welding helmets come in the single-lens shade. The standard auto-darkening welding helmets come with a shade range of 5-13, for welders who work on low amperes can opt for this. While for high amperages, we recommend a 9-13 shade range. 

Power:

Some auto-darkening welding helmets run on solar power, and some work with lithium batteries. There are also few on the market that comes with both power options. Moreover, many welding helmets come with replaceable batteries while others do not. Changing batteries might be a hassle for a while, but it all comes down to your preference. 

Replaceable batteries work best with auto-darkening. Also, having a welding helmet that automatically turns off is a good way to save battery and power. Get the welding helmet that you think is the best source of power according to your preference. 

Other important factors:

Aside from the main ones, here are a few other things you can prefer to look for in welding helmets: 

  • You can get a helmet that comes in different colors to meet your fashion sense. Although it’s not necessary, there are no rules that you have to go out of fashion while welding.
  • You need to take note of the budget and how much the welding helmet is offering. Make sure not to waste money on an undesirable welding helmet. 
  • The last thing is a warranty, and some people want a welding helmet that runs for a long time. So make sure to get a one that has a 2 to 3 years warranty at least. People who prefer change can get a less warranty welding helmet and save money for the next!

Final words

To sum it all up, we hope you got to select the best auto-darkening welding helmet. Make sure to buy the one that meets all your safety precautions. There will be no more welding if you harm your vision, so make sure to put money in the right welding helmet. If you are still unable to narrow down your research, here are our top three picks that meet most of your buying guide needs:

  •       Best rated welding helmet-Lincoln Viking 3350: Meeting all of the safety measures, this helmet takes first place. You get a wide shade of 5-13 range along with a perfect optical class. Plus, the four arc sensors give an overall amazing performance. 
  •       Best for value-ESAB Sentinel Welding Helmet: With its futuristic design. Esab is in second place. It also gives perfect head safety by providing 5 point harness positions. The internal LCD adds to its value. 
  •       Best for durability-3M Speedglas Welding helmet: Last is 3M Speedglas Welding helmet. The exhaust vent is perfect for welders who work for a long period. Moreover, it fits perfectly to different head sizes as well. 

Faqs

  1. Are auto-darkening welding helmets good?

Auto-darkening helmets are safe if used properly as welders don’t have to take them off and on, letting welders focus on their work. It reduces the risk of injury and damage while welding.

  1. How long do auto-darkening helmets last?

 When properly cared for, an auto-darkening helmet can last up to 10 years, and normally an auto-darkening helmet lasts from 7 to 10 years. It includes the longevity of sensors, lenses, batteries, and helmets.

  1. Which Auto-darkening helmet has the largest view?

The Speedglas 9100XXi welding helmet has the largest viewing area on the market.