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
Why do I recommend it to you? – Personal review: All the other hoods I’ve tried, including those from Harbor Freight, Speedglas, & Miller, come close to this model. Plus, this should feel that you’ve been welding blind until this moment when you switch from practically any of the various popular brand helmets to this particular one. Any soapstone lines are simpler to recognize, and your puddle’s boundary is ten times easier to perceive.

This Best Rated Auto Darkening Welding Helmet excels in every way. In fact, it will lengthen the time I have to weld while still being pleasant and simple to use. Bravo, Lincoln! It’s good. After the day, you’ll feel that there is still some weight.


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
Why do I recommend it to you? – Personal review: Any form of impact will cause the hard hat adapter to crack. However, I wouldn’t recommend dumping it 30 feet, either. I consequently purchased another. I work in a steel plant, and even after 12 hours of welding in heavy snow, it gets up without any issues. No issues with fog. Additionally, the helmet is quite cosy. The whole thing is incredible.

In addition, it is an excellent helmet, Much superior to my expensive snap-on helmet. Very crisp and bright screen. Perfect helmet, Much superior to my expensive snap-on helmet. Very bright and crystal-clear screen. There is a significant disparity between quality and function. Thus, my welding team appreciated the performance of this Best Rated Auto Darkening Welding Helmet.


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
Why do I recommend it to you? – Personal review:  I’ve been utilising it for a while. I tested my abilities by watching him solder without getting eye pain. He can squeeze into it easily. The helmet was ready to use when it was opened. The welders at my workplace were quite pleased with this helmet, considering the price, and I’m also a fitter. I am quite happy with this for the money I spent on it.

It fits well, is simple to use, and delivers on its promises. Moreover, and can squeeze into it easily. This hood is excellent value for the money; it’s inexpensive but has served me well in recent months. The only thing I have to complain about is the tight headband, which performs its job but isn’t particularly form-fitting.  It is a reliable welding helmet that effectively protects your eyes while welding.


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
Why do I recommend it to you? – Personal review: It works perfectly with my welder at home and comes with spare lenses throughout the case the old ones become scratched. The fan operates effectively, and the difference is noticeable. It is understandably a little bulky, but again not overly so. It also appears to run a little dark, but it’s still a good hood overall.

The grinding mode’s ability to see properly while the filters are turned off is a significant benefit. It is incredibly mobile and only locks into place while in grind mode. The auto-darkening functionality is the finest value for the price and includes extra clear lenses. Moreover, I admire the auto feature of this welder and rate it as the Best Rated Auto Darkening Welding Helmet.


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
Why do I recommend it to you? – Personal review: The good news is that I’m new to tig welding & believed I had bought an excellent helmet, but wow, was I mistaken? The lens’s vision is impressive, and this device is extremely lightweight and flexible. Due to the price, I really wasn’t planning to get this helmet, but I’ve determined that my eyesight is much more than the price. The best investment, I’d say, in an extremely long time.

I’ve had this welder hood for around two years, updated the battery once, and replaced the lenses every two months. I weld continuously for five days a week throughout an eight-hour shift. I occasionally forget that I’m using this hood because it is lightweight. Thus, i would recommend this to newbie welders.


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
Why do I recommend it to you? – Personal review: With the Speedglas 9100xxi, I upgraded. I’ve owned many 3M pipeliners, a Miller Digital Elite, a Lincoln Electric Viking 3350, and a Lincoln FGS Series. The Speedglas, however, stands out. The side view panels are really ideal regarding safety and understanding where you’ve been going, and the helmet is lightweight and comfy.

The colours are vivid and accurate. When it relates to clarity, visibility whenever the arc is struck is on another level. The venting, though, is the most understated aspect that I never anticipated appreciating so much. I know that welding hoods, if not equipped with respirators, are open from the back.


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.