Are you indeed in search for the best auto darkening welding helmet for the money and you are yet still confused on what to do? You are at the right place. Auto-darkening welding helmet isn’t just an essential but an indispensable gear for anyone that has welding work to do.
The normal helmet can serve its purpose to protect you from spatter and heat but can’t prevent the direct impact of the ultraviolet ray to your eyes due to the absence of shades and arc sensor. That shows how important it is to get the right helmet that has all it takes to stand the nature of welding works.
The auto darkening welding helmet has impressive features that help you deal with the heat, spatter, rays, thereby keeping you safe from their effect on your face.
There are numerous types of auto-darkening welding helmet in the market. And here we have for you the list of the best you should consider in the market.
1. Antra AH6-260-0000
Ease of Use
The Antra AH6-260-0000 welder helmet is a wonderful protective gear anyone involved in welding must have. It is a versatile helmet that is ideal for MIG, TIG and arc welding purposes. One of the reasons you should consider the helmet as your choice is that it is certified by CSA and ANSI which is to ensure you are safe.
The primary assignment of the Antra AH6-260-0000 helmet is to protect you from UV rays and heat emission, and it does that effectively. Some other welder helmet you will find in the market only offers one protection against few shades, but that is different with the Antra AH6-260-0000.
The Antra AH6-260-0000 has the capacity to protect and prevent you from having direct contact with radiation or heat with the help of the 16 shades. The capacity to do this makes it a perfect welder helmet for all kind of welding projects.
The operation of the helmet is straightforward as it boasts of a quick switching time of 0.00004 seconds. The helmet integrates a view area with the dimension of 3.86 X 1.78 inch. The view area is enough for anyone to have a more unobstructed view of whatever they are doing quickly. Also, it helps welder to eliminate the chance of inhaling fumes and gas from the welding areas.
On the control of the helmet, it is effortless to operate as you can easily adjust the auto darkening and other sensors. It has easy to understand settings for anyone to be in full control of the helmet.
Also, the helmet has ten minutes power off the display, and it just takes 0.1 to 1 seconds reaction time. It can operate optimally under 14°F – 131°F operating temperature and it has a battery testing indicator to give you full awareness of the helmet.
2. 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet
Ease of Use
The 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet is the latest version of the 3m suite of welding helmets. It is the best to consider for any welding enthusiasts who is indeed in search for comfort, maximum protection, and high-quality auto darkening helmet.
The 3M Speedglas has all it takes to win your heart as it is dedicated to ensuring you are safe from dangerous IR and UV rays without sacrificing clarity over welding areas. It commands lots of features that make it an exclusive helmet not to about its aesthetic design.
The 3M Speedglas integrates three channel exhaust vents which you will not find in some other helmet. The vent is to help you lower the chances of overheating when you are using the helmet. Your exhaled air easily finds its way out of the helmet through the vent to reduce the buildup of heat and fogginess in the helmet which could affect your vision.
The protection and safety you get from using the helmet are second to none. It effectively protects you from spatter, radiation, heat and Ultraviolet rays. The design of the helmet incorporates an adjustable system which helps you to adjust to give you a perfect fit and the boogey pads also help to keep you comfortable for a more extended period of use.
This welding helmet comes with the viewing area of 2.8” high and 4.2” wide which is the largest view area among the 3M series. It has an auto-darkening lens which responds in 0.1 milliseconds whenever it detects a welding arc which will automatically activate photosensors. Once the welding comes to a stop, the lens will return to its original light shade without further delay.
The shade of the lens has six sensitivity levels but can be adjusted to suit the exact welding process you are working on. The helmet weighs 2.9 lbs, and with the light-weighted material it is made from, it is easier to use and doesn’t affect your performance negatively but helps to boost your productivity.
3. Jackson Safety BH3
Ease of Use
The Jackson Safety BH3 is the best choice for anyone in the hunt for the best auto darkening welding helmet. The helmet comes relatively expensive but it worth every value for its money. It is designed with high-quality materials and also with the interest of users at heart to ensure they are safe when using the helmet.
The welder helmet from Jackson comes with amazing features, and one of them which is very prominent is the massive viewing area. It has the view area with the size of 3.8″ x 2.7″. The viewing areas ensure that you don’t miss out on any action while working because it is big enough to allow you to see things clearly which makes work more comfortable for you in all condition.
One of the reasons you should consider the helmet above others is that the Jackson Safety BH3 Auto darkening has filter lens with the best rating for optical clarity, a variation of luminous transmittance, diffusion of light and angular dependence which enhances your visibility whenever you are working.
The Jackson helmet boasts of a high-quality filter which offers shades from the range of 9 to 13, and they are adjustable which helps you to control and set the sensitivity based on the nature of the welding work. The helmet has a quick response time of 0.00015 seconds which means it is useful in initiating its protective measure once it detects an arc.
Furthermore, the helmet commands three headgear adjustments to give user maximum safety and comfort. It is very versatile and as well provides room for those who use glasses and want to have the helmet on their head. It is lightweight as it only weighs 20 ounces which makes it quite easier to use for anyone. If you will be welding for a more extended period, it is best to consider.
4. Antra AH6-660-0000
Ease of Use
The Antra AH6-660-0000 is ever reliable for those in need of a lightweight helmet with an auto-darkening system in place. The welder helmet is lightweight and can be used anywhere. It doesn’t add weight to your head, but you can barely feel you have headgear on you.
It helps in ensuring you have a smooth experience or work experience with welding without the need to feel discouraged due to spatter, gouts of fire, heat, and radiation. The helmet is ideal for all kind of welding processes such as MIG, TIG and plasma cutting welding.
The Antra AH6-660-0000 with solar option is made from high impact polyamide nylon and can only work optimally under 10°C- 55°C (14°F-131°F) operating temperature. It meets with the standard of ANSI, CSA and you are advised to read the mode of operation before you dare to use the helmet.
It has a vast viewing area for you to see things clearly without you having to guess. The size is about 3.78"X2.50 in dimension. It has all that is required to ensure you see clearly and stay safe such as the integration of the four premium sensors. It has shade variables of 5-9/9-13 which is capable of covering most welding areas.
The welder helmet comes with adjustable settings to help you get the desired fit. You don’t have to keep adjusting the helmet while working. Once you’ve done it once, it will remain in place for as long you are working. It is lightweight, and that makes it easier to use without worries.
5. Coocheer Solar Arc
Ease of Use
The blue color of the Coocheer Solar Arc Tig Mig Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet makes it attractive and appealing to the eyes. The welder is great for all kind of welding such as MIG, TIG and plasma cutting process. Its primary function is to keep you safe and secured when welding at it does that optimally.
The helmet has auto-darkening filters which is dedicated to giving you a smooth experience with the helmet. The darkening filter easily switches from light to dark to initiate its operation. It prevents you from direct contact with UV and IR radiation. The operation of the helmet is straightforward as beginners or novice can comfortably wear it and operate it without any problem.
It is comfortable to use all because it is lightweight and doesn’t weigh too much. The design integrates large clear visor viewing area, adjustable head hood which makes it comfortable to use for a more extended period.
It is a utility helmet with step-less delay and sensitivity knob which makes it easier for you to adjust to any task you have at hand. Coocheer ensures that the helmet meets with the standard before it was sent to the market.
The viewing area is about 3.74 x 1.87 x 0.23 inch in dimension with an arc sensor of dual response time. The response time is very quick, and that makes the helmet an ideal option for Arc welding, electro-welding, and gas shielded welding.
It can only work optimally under the temperature of -5 °C to 55 °C, and it runs powerfully on Lithium battery with solar cells. The sensitivity of the lens is high as it helps to switch from light to dark and it is adjustable to give users maximum control over the helmet.
6. Forney 55703 Premier Series
Ease of Use
One of the things you should have noticed about Forney is that she is dedicated to producing quality products that have to do with welding. One of the reasons you will always find their product among the best selling in the market is that it gives ample opportunity for beginners to develop their skills.
Welding all kind of materials is excellent to do using the welder helmet from Forney. The helmet eliminates chances of reflection, and the auto darkening filters are good enough to keep your eyes safe from radiation and heat. You have the clearer visibility of all welded area with the help in boosting your productivity.
The helmet has an external shade selector, and it switches easily with the speed of 1/16000 per second. Users have a full range shade selection option from 5 to 13. Forney ensures the welder helmet comes with the features and all it takes to meet the need of all welders.
It is useful in keeping you safe for as long you want to depend on it for your safety. It is ideal for all kind of welding such as plasma cutting, grinding, MIG, and TIG. Its operation doesn’t call for the assistance of an expert.
It is versatile and easy to use, but it is advisable that you read all the instruction given about the welder helmet before you start using it. The design is appealing, and it is adjustable to ensure you get your desired fit whenever you want to use the helmet for any welding work. It is lightweight, portable and that makes it a perfect choice for long-term welding works.
7. Instapark ADF Series GX-500S
Ease of Use
The Instapark ADF Series GX-500S Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet is another protective headgear you should consider if all that has been mentioned earlier are of no interest to you. The welder helmet meets with all demands to keep you safe and secure whenever you are welding.
The welder helmet is a great headgear that is powered by solar energy with rechargeable batteries. The battery is included in the package, and you don’t have to worry about buying. It has low voltage indicator and can easily switch from dark to light with the use of the 0.1~1.0S by the dial control knob.
It has a switching time of 1/25000s with variable shades of 9 to 13. It is globally recognized for its optical rating which makes it easier for you to see every bit of your action while welding. It is highly sensitive in such a way that once it detects any arc, it switches on the protective mode to keep you safe and once the arc is off, it goes back to normal state.
You can barely miss out on any action with the use of the wide viewing area of 3.63” X 1.65 inch in size. It is wide enough for you to see things from a different angle without any form of discomfort.
Users have never complained of eyes fatigue while using the helmet because it has improved optics which helps to deliver optical clarity. It is ideal for all kind of welding application or process such as metal inert gas, Tungsten inert gas, and sticks welding. It is simple to use, and lightweight so can be considered for a long-term welding project.
8. Antra AH7-360-0000
Ease of Use
Another product from Antra is the next on our list, and it is the Antra AH7-360-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet. The helmet weighs about 15 ounces which makes it lightweight and more comfortable to use for anyone. Even if it is your first time of using a helmet, you can find it straightforward to use.
The helmet comes with automatic operation option with on and off power button for you. The manufacturer has the interest of users at heart, and so it comes with quality features to give smooth operation.
It has a knob which helps to adjust the sensitivity of the helmet and as well delays its impact. The primary function is to prevent UV and IR ray from having a direct effect on your face. It has a permanent shade DIN13, so you don’t have options to choose from.
It has a battery indicator to give you full awareness of the helmet whenever you are using it. The helmet is outstanding in performance as all it is designed to do is to protect you, and it does that without fault.
It is ideal for TIG MIG MMA, plasma application and also for grinding. The helmet commands large viewing area size of 3.86 x 2.09 inch with 4 Premium Sensors. The viewing area has an auto-darkening lens that helps you to view what you are doing without the risk of damaging your eyes.
The helmet is made from high impact poly amide nylon, and it will only work well under -10°C- 55°C operating temperature. You should read the instructional manual on how to use the helmet before you decide to use. Read to understand how it works to get the best out of the helmet.
9. Neiko 53932A
Ease of Use
The Neiko 53932A Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet is the second to the last we have on our list. It is the best option for those in search for a battery operated and solar assisted welder helmet that is lightweight and easy to use for anyone. The design of the welder comes with skull shape and holes in the nostril region to makes it easier for you to inhale and exhale.
The holes in the nostril region eliminate any chance of suffocation whenever you have the helmet on your head. It is built well, and it is comfortable to use for all kind of welders. It will be of great interest to youths that welds all because of the cartoon design.
The helmet has two independent arc sensors which help to keep the lens in the dark mode once it detects an arc. It is ideal for protecting you from IV and UV with the use of the lens darkening reaction of 1/25000s.
The helmet can only work under the temperature condition of -5C - 55 C. the design and the features of the helmet makes it a perfect choice for all kind of welding work. It is perfect for MIG, TIG, plasma cutting, plasma welding, and arc gouging. It is versatile with its adjustable shade state, and it is highly sensitive.
The lens of the helmet is very big to ensure you have a more unobstructed view of the working areas. It has enhanced optic for optical clarity, it has a cover lens and spare inner lens to ensure you don’t make guesswork. It has lens darkening reaction time of 1/25000s, and it is reliable for all kind of welding
10. ArcPro 20704
Ease of Use
The last on the list is the ArcPro 20704. The welder is versatile and reliable to keep you safe whenever you are welding. With the use of the welder helmet from ArcPro, you can protect your eyes from heat, spatter, spouts of fire and ultraviolet light during welding. It has fast auto darkening features which help to darken the shade of the lens in 1/25,000th, and once the intense light evades, the shade will go back to its original state.
The welding helmet has two mode operations which mean it can be used for welding and grinding and it has to switch to different share range to suit the exact operation. Which means it can adjust from the shade DIN from 9 to 13 for the two modes.
It commands a large viewing area of 3.78 by 2.07 inch. It gives users a wide range view of their working area to ensure you have a smooth operation. The design of the helmet incorporates adjustable and padded headband which makes it comfortable to use.
The construction incorporates all that is needed to keep it comfortable for anyone. You have the option to adjust the helmet to fit you, and it meets with American National Standards Institute safety standards. The operation is more comfortable with the help of the automatic on and off switch with three replaceable lithium batteries.
The helmet is smooth to use for anyone. It is lightweight as it is made from light-weighted materials. If you have a large welding project at hand and you want a helmet that will keep you comfortable for a more extended period, it is the best for you to consider.
How To Choose Auto Darkening Welding Helmet (Buying Guide)
Do you want to buy a welding helmet with auto darkening option but you don’t know what to do? There are some things you need to put into consideration to help you make the right decision.
Fixed / Variable shade lenses
You have to consider choosing between a fixed or variable shade lenses. A fixed one means it can only darken to a single shade with the variable means it can darken to different numbers of shade and that depends on the welding process and the materials you will be working on.
The choice is yours to make, but with the look of things, it is advisable that you consider the one with variable shades. You don’t have to keep changing helmet whenever you want to work on different materials. So it will be of advantage to you to have a helmet that can work universally without any delay at work.
Lens reaction time
Lens reaction time is the time taken for the lens to darken or switch from light shade to dark shade. The lens changes the very moment the weld sparks as a measure to keep the eyes safe and protected. It helps to keep the eyes safe from radiation, heat, and fumes.
Under normal condition, a welder helmet should be able to switch or react within 1/3600 to 1/20000 seconds to keep the eye-safe.
A normal helmet doesn’t come with this features which is why they are not perfect for all welding work. The welder helmets are integrated with numbers of sensors that help in detecting sparks whenever you start to weld which then initiates the darkening process. The arc sensor is of different grade, and you need to check that out whenever you want to make your purchase.
Considering the fact you will have to weld for a more extended period, you sure need a helmet that won’t add extra weight to you. That means you should consider going for a lightweight helmet.
Fortunately, most of the welder helmet isn’t made with heavy duty materials, so you don’t have to worry about the weight. Mind you; you still need to check the weight before you decide to purchase any helmet.
The price of the helmet is another factor you should consider. From the list of the products above, all come cheap and affordable so you don’t have to spend a fortune before you could buy a welding helmet.
An essential factor to look out for is the warranty. It gives you the awareness of the quality and lifespan of the helmet. The only thing you need to do is to check whenever you intend to buy because the warranty is subject to change.
Tips on How to Clean A Welding Helmet
When it comes to protective gear for welding, there's no doubt the welding helmet with an auto-darkening feature will top the list. The welding helmet comes in handy in protecting welders breathing, eyes, and face from IR, UV, extreme heat, and harmful debris during the welding jobs.
Nonetheless, due to extensive use and challenging conditions, the welding helmet gets dirty too quickly. It will then reduce visibility and increase risks. Hence, you must clean the helmet periodically.
Things you will need:
- Air cleaner
- Cleaning brush
- Cleaning wipes
- Baby wipes
- Disinfectant and deodorizer
The steps include the following:
Place the helmet on a flat surface before you start the cleaning. Use the lens cleaning wipes to remove the debris and grime from the helmet surface.
If you use wet paper for the cleaning, we recommend using a soft towel after the cleaning. It will absorb the excess moisture.
While cleaning the hard to reach areas, cleverly use the cleaning brush. It will remove the loose dirt from the helmet interior too.
When it comes to cleaning the auto-darkening lens, you need to be extra careful about it. You must ensure that the lens cleaner is of high-quality when you use it to remove the lens's dirt. Also, use the lens cleaner with care and be gentle while cleaning.
Sometimes you may find additional moisture on the helmet lens after cleaning. We recommend you use dry paper to remove the moisture for optimal clarity.
Since the helmet interior comes in constant contact with your hair and eyes, disinfecting the interior is necessary for health safety. Use a professional disinfectant that is healthy safe to wipe the helmet inside. Finally, use a dry towel to give a final rinsing of the helmet surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which helmet is the best for MIG and TIG welding jobs?
If the electrode isn't consumable, you have to use the TIG or Tungsten Inert Gas for the welding job. On the contrary, you will prefer using MIG (Metal Inert Gas) for working with aluminum or steel metals. The welding helmet selection will depend on its size, speed of the welding jobs, and process to accomplish the welding job.
What is the ideal shade value for arc welding in a welding helmet?
OSHA refers that from 60 to 500 amperages during the Flux-cored (FCAW) or MIG welding should support a minimum DIN number of 10 for the optimal shade value. It is crucial since, without the proper shade value, the helmet won't protect you from IR, UV, and welding particles.
Are auto-darkening welding helmets indeed safe?
Well, it will depend on the construction quality of the helmet. If the welding helmet is designed and constructed with the proper guidance and maintains the ANSI standard, it is 100% safe for use during the designated welding jobs.
What is the actual meaning of the shade number?
Well, explaining the actual meaning of the shade number or DIN is quite complicated. However, remember that shade number 3 is suitable for pounding, plasma cutting needs a shade number between 5-8, and finally, for welding, it might be from 5 to 14.
Also, a higher shade number means the screen will be darker too.
Is welding really bad for the eyes?
Yes, welding is incredibly threatening and harmful to the eyes. If you don't use the right welding helmet to protect eyes during the welding jobs, you will see reduced eyesight over time. Welding jobs often contain high IR and UV radiation and heat, causing the loss of vision at the worst. So, always wear a protective welding helmet to safeguard your eyesight.
Welding isn’t an easy work to do considering the risk involved. It is the reason for the use of some essential protective gears. There are many of them such as the jacket, welding shirt, and the most important which is our focus in this post is the helmet.
The best auto darkening welding helmet helps to prevent radiation and heat from having direct contact with your head and the eyes. It protects the eyes from being exposed to spatter, spouts of fire and flames emission from all welding work.