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Best Welding Helmet | Best Auto Darkening Helmet

best welding helmet

WeldingWelding could be considered to be one of the more dangerous professions, considering the exposure to heat and UV rays. However starting with the best welding helmet you can afford, plus taking other welding safety precautions will make welding as safe as many other professions that require manual skills.

Having been in the welding and fabrication industry for over 25 years, I’ve seen my fair share of accidents. In many cases, eye injuries were high on the list. Many due to inadequate or poor quality welding helmets, those allowing sparks to easily enter or from arc flash.

With welding, the combination of metal and fire can have consequences if the operator isn’t careful and safety-minded. Having good quality safety gear is the first line of defence against any personal injury and your welding helmet is top of the list when exposed to harmful rays, heat and emissions.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires all such workers and DIY welders to wear protective gear for safety at work and at home. It is essential to take the matter very seriously.

You Only Have One Pair Of Eyes – Protect Them!

With years of advancement in technology, it is no wonder that the welding helmet market has dozens of options for you. These welding helmets vary in many ways and in various levels of quality. Their headgear and padding system, ADF technology, viewing capacity and much more make choosing the best welding helmet for you an important decision. It is very important to choose wisely and make your best decision not only according to your pocket but for your eyes and safety sake.

What Is ADF Technology

ADF stands for Auto-Darkening Function. Also referred by some manufacturers as ADL or Auto Darkening Lens. This function relies upon three different types of lens filters, all sandwiched into one compact lens. The first filter is a UV type filter that removes the high levels of UV radiation the welding emits. The second filters are polarizing filters that naturally darken the light, this is why the lens is dark before being turned on. The final lens is where the magic happens. This lens is the LCC lens or Liquid Crystal Cells, similar to your everyday LCD display. This lens is activated to darken by photosensors in the lens when the arc is struck. The best welding helmets will have an adjustable shade level of between shade 9 and 13

Without much ado, let’s have a look at the 5 best welding helmets for you:

Comparison Chart

Welding Helmet Weight Dimensions Price Viewing Area Material
#1 Save Phace Gen-Y Welding Helmet Weighs less than 24 oz 10 x 10 x 11 inches Check Latest Price 23 square inches ABS
# 2. Miller welding helmet 2.8 pounds 10.5 x 12 x 9.8 inches Check Latest Price 9 square inches Nylon
3. Hobart Impact Variable Auto-Dark Helmet 2.3 pounds 9 x 9 x 13 inches Check Latest Price 3.81 x 1.85 in Polyamide
4.Speedglas Welding Helmet 2.09 pounds 12 x 11 x 11 inches Check Latest Price 9 x 9 Inches Nylon
Jackson Safety Insight Auto Darkening 2 pounds 1 x 1 x 1 inches Check Latest Price 3.93 x 2.36 inches Nylon
Esab SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening 1.4 pounds 21.6 x 13.8 x 13.8 inches Check Latest Price 3.93 x 2.36 in. Plastic

1.  Save Phace Gen-Y Welding Helmet

Save Phace brings you an amazing lightweight welding helmet with incredible features that no one else can offer. It’s super light in weight and doesn’t cause any kind of strain in the neck even if worn for extended hours.

Features

Adjustable ADF: Save Phace’s Gen Y Helmet is credited as the world’s first-ever welding helmet with an adjustable ADF(auto-darkening filter). Whenever your helmet is struck with a welding arc, the part of helmet automatically darkens itself. The ADF feature is meshed with the 180 lens design.

Light Weight: The helmet is crafted very skillfully. The heat resistant and high impact nylon increase its durability and the comfort level, when in use. It weighs as low as just 24 oz and feels easy on your head.

Viewing Area: Save Phace G- Y welding helmet is acknowledged as the helmet with the second-largest viewing area. The viewing area is wide up to 23 square inches. This eases the difficulty of looking at a greater range of area without moving your head.

Grinding Mode: This ADF helmet can also be used in grind mode. The knobs are situated outside the helmet, to easily access the settings during welding. With a push of a button, the grinding mode can be activated.

This helps in increasing the productivity of work and ensures safety to the user. Moreover, it eradicates the need for taking the helmet off and saves you time.

The lens is adjusted automatically to make the grinding mode more fruitful.

Face Forming Profile: Save Phace helmets are designed in such a way that they provide maximum protection to the operator. It has a profile that forms on the faces and permits you to fit into tight spaces easily. Moreover, it is equipped with a halo headgear which allows you to adjust the distance of helmet from your face according to your need.

Pros

  • 1st ever welding helmet with an adjustable ADF.
  • 180-degree viewing lens to see vertically and horizontally with ease.
  • World’s second-largest viewing range of the lens. (up to 23 square inches).
  • Lightweight, making it easy to carry and handle.
  • Ear to ear vision.
  • Heat resistant and high impact nylon for durability.
  • Face forming profile to squeeze in tight spaces.
  • Halo headgear allows moving helmet near or far away from your face.
  • Comes with a helmet bag and parts can be interchanged with Save Phace other series.

Cons

  • The extended peripheral lens is too dark.
  • Freight headgear does not like to stay tight and can fall.
  1. Miller Welding Helmet

Miller Electric has maintained a standard for itself by providing outstanding welding gears in a very pocket-friendly price.

Features

Lens Shade: The Miller Welding Helmet, allows you to adjust the shade of your lens according to your working mode. For welding purposes, you can choose between the shade -8 to shade -13. While, for the grinding mode, you have an option to choose between shade -3 to shade -5.

Adjusting the shade helps you to reduce the pressure on your eyes when focusing on your work.

Viewing Angle: It has a large viewing angle, in comparison to most of the welding helmets available in the market. The viewing area is almost 9 square inches wide that offer clarity and ease in looking sideways.

X-Mode: The helmets are equipped with special sensors that detect the welding arcs. The helmets electromagnetically detect a weld and, hence decrease the sunlight interference. The X-mode allows the helmet to detect the arcs even if the sensors are get blocked for some reason.

Working Modes: The Miller Welding helmet has different working modes for the operator’s ease. Apart from the X- mode, the operator can adjust between the grinding mode, weld operating mode, and a cutting mode without taking off the helmet. These options display how versatile the miller auto welding helmet is.

Pros

  • Adjustable lens shade for welding mode and grinding mode.
  • Large viewing angle ( up to 9 square inches), for a better view
  • Different working modes that include: welding, grinding and cutting mode.
  • Four arc sensing system, to enhance the lens response and increase productivity.
  • Large lens plate height( 2 -2.5 inches) and width (3- 4 inches) so, peripheral view supports your work.

Cons

  •  A bit heavier than 43 ounces.
  • Helmet exerts a little pressure on your neck, using it for a prolonged period can result in neck strains.
  1. Hobart Welding Helmet

Hobart has been using technology to create exceptionally good Welding helmets for years. The engineers at Hobart try to facilitate their customers with the maximum features a good welding helmet needs, all that in a very minimal cost.

Features

Lightweight: Hobart Welding helmet is crafted from polyamide which enhances the toughness of the helmet. The helmet is lightweight and is easy on your neck and back. This super cool ADF helmet only weighs up to 20.3 ounces.

Viewing Area: The view is enhanced with a sufficiently large view area of 7.1 square inches. Thanks to it, the operator can easily look horizontally and vertically.

Sensitivity: Hobart Impact Series Welding Helmet is equipped with sensors that boost the overall sensitivity of the shell. It aids in retaining the adjustments made. Moreover, these sensors serve the purpose of quick reaction time.

The ADF system only requires 1/25000 second reaction time. They serve as a controller for the light. The sensors can be used to vary the amount of light that enters the lens.

Comfortable: This industrial grade helmet takes special considerations about your comfort level. The forehead area is padded and the knobs are located at the exterior of this helmet. This provides stability and a secure comfortable fit. You can easily weld in an area of 5 – 10 range with Hobart Impact Variable Helmet.

Lens Shade: The lens can be shaded according to the ease of operator and his working mode. It gives the operator an option to decide between shades 8 and 13. In light mode, the shade is automatically adjusted to shade 3.

Pros

  • Good Viewing Area, for a clear view during welding.
  • Crafted out of Polyamide, to boost the toughness of the helmet.
  • Wide range of sensors that enhance the ADF feature of the helmet.
  • Quick response time of about 1/25000 seconds.
  • Padded forehead for stability and security.
  • Variable Shade between 8 and 13.

Cons

  • Not suitable for long spells of welding, can cause neck  and shoulder strains.
  1. SpeedGlass Welding Helmet

Speed Glass, along with creating marvels, keeps the protection of their customers in mind. The helmets manufactured by the company are equipped with different phases of protection while offering almost the same features as all other helmets available.

Features

Auto Darkening Filter: The incredible Speed Glass Helmet is armed with the ADF feature. It helps to adjust the shade with a slight detection of a welding arc. The feature is very efficient and takes up to 0.1 milliseconds approximately to change the transition from light to dark shade.

Side Windows: The side panels increase the field of view. It aids you in keeping a check on your environment while you work. The side windows are designed to be dark to increase the peripheral view.

Protection: The helmet helps protect your face and eyes. For a starter, the material of the helmet doesn’t let the radioactive emissions and ultraviolet rays penetrate through the helmet. The lens also helps in protecting eyes from the excessive bright light that can cause damage to the eyes.

Comfortable: The 3D SpeedGlass Welding helmet features an ergonomically designed head that provides utmost support and comfort. Apart from that, there are two crown straps boost stability and distribute the weight of helmet evenly across your head.

Pros

  • Super Quick ADF transitions.
  • Good Optical quality for a better, clear view.
  • The incredible head suspension that offers comfort, stability and security.
  • Dark Shade 5 filters enhance the peripheral view.
  • Protects from harmful emissions emitted during welding.
  • Different working modes available( grinding mode, cutting mode).

Cons

  • Not economical for money-strapped people.
  1. Jackson Welding Helmet

If you are looking for a cost-effective helmet that can aid you with your tough profession, then this is the right option. Jackson’s welding helmet has got a range of features with its versatile nature as the highlight.

Features

Auto Darkening Filter: The ADF feature controls the shade of lens by controlling the amount of light entering. It helps in getting used to the environment by controlling the shading.

Viewing Area: Jackson Safety Welding Helmet is acknowledged as the world’s largest viewing range. The screen is wide enough for the clear, high-quality view. The viewing area is around 3.93 x 2.36 inches wide.

Versatile: The helmet is extremely versatile with different working modes options on the go. You can choose between the grind mode and the welding modes. The operator has further options to decide from such as MIG welding, tig welding and arc welding.

Design: The shell is designed with such dexterity that it can easily be used in narrow spaces. The extended collar provides protection to your neck from any smoke and fumes. While you weld and grind, the collar provides you security.

Variable Shade:  The option between shades of the lens is vacillating. You can choose between shade 9 and 13. Moreover, the helmet is equipped with 4  sensors that dim the lens automatically. The sensitivity of the helmet is high, that makes it very effective.

Pros

  • Auto Darkening Filter controls the shading of your lens
  • World’s largest viewing capability, with an enormous viewing area.
  • Narrow shell to easily fit in spaces
  • Different work mode options are available.
  • Shade ranges available between 9 and 13
  • 4 sensors available that automatically dims the lens according to the environment.

Cons

  • Plastic is flimsy and very small to act as a respirator.
  • Headgear can easily slip off.
  1. Esab Welding Helmet

Esab, no doubt puts a lot of effort in creating their unique helmets. They have made full use of the technology available and have created wonders like this one, who even have a coloured display that will amaze you to the core.

Features

Optical Rating: In occupations like welding, clarity is a very significant subject and engineers at ESAB know it well. This is why this helmet offers an optical class rating of the lens that makes everything vivid and clear. The operator is allowed full control over the range of shades available (shade 5 till 13).

Viewing Area: The welding helmet has a considerably large viewing area, that maximises clarity and vision. You can look sideways super easily with the large viewing area of 3.93 X 2.36 inches.

Display: The helmet has a control panel with a backlit display that aids you in reading even in low dim light. The screen is coloured and comes along with 8 different memory settings. The helmet is relatively easy to use and can be easily operated even without a user manual.

Build up: The manufacturers have crafted the helmet from high impact nylon, which improves the stability and makes it tough. The Grind Button is positioned outside the helmet, so the operator doesn’t have to lift his helmet to switch to grinding mode. The Halo Headgear addition allows you to move the helmet near or away from your face.

Pros

  • Optical Class Rating for exceptional clarity.
  • Colour touch screen with a backlit display for better viewing options.
  • Easy to use, even without a user manual.
  • The grind mode button is positioned on the exterior, to avoid any trouble caused by removing the helmet for changing the mode type.
  • Large Viewing Area for a clear horizontal and vertical view.
  • 8 externally managed memory settings.

Cons

  • Economically unsuitable for a large class of welders.
  • The front Cover lens gets scratched easily.

Conclusion

These are some of the best welding helmets that you can go for. Make sure to pick the one that suits your needs and falls in your budget.

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