A welding helmet is a type of headgear used to protect yourself from harmful radiations, sparks, high heat and molten particles you can get injured of while doing a welding job. It specifically protects your head, your face and eyes from the flame and any other bright lights generated during this process.
Without protection, continuous exposure can lead to developing the welder’s eye. Welders eye is a degenerative disease caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet and infrared light emitted by the arc.
A good welding helmet is necessary to protect yourself from the injuries mentioned above. An auto-darkening welding helmet is a popular option among welders because of the useful features it offers as well as the convenience of using the helmet during a welding job.
This more advanced type of helmet features a special liquid crystal display (LCD) lens equipped with sensors which are extremely sensitive to changes in light conditions. This sensitivity allows the lens to darken its shade in a fraction of a second upon initiation of an arc and then automatically lighten thereafter to let you examine the area without having to remove the helmet.
To assist you in finding the best one for you, we carefully summed up a list of the best auto darkening welding helmets based on popularity and positive reviews received from people:
Jackson Safety W70 BH3
This is a great all-around welding helmet that boasts of comfort and high quality. It features the Balder technology which provides the highest rated optical quality in the world allowing you to have the clearest possible view from any angle.
It has 2 arc sensors. The auto-darkening option of this helmet allows the user to tweak the sensitivity, shade and delay settings for a more personalized feel.
It is extremely light at only 20 oz. and allows a more custom fit using 3 different headgear adjustments so you can perform efficiently without feeling any discomfort.
It has a high-density plastic shell to protect you from flame, sparks and other welding spatters. It also features an aerodynamically curved front to reduce heat build-up and fogging.
This design also avoids spattering better compared to the standard flat lens. You can also adjust the distance of the lens from your eyes or adjust it higher or lower depending on your need. The helmet operates on solar power and conforms to all safety standards.
3M Speedglas 9100
The Speedglas 9100 has the largest viewing screen in 3M’s line of welding helmet products. This top-of the-line helmet has a large screen that measures 2.8 × 4.2 inches.
It has 3 arc sensors to monitor when the arc is initiated, once detected, the screen instantaneously changes to a darker shade in just a matter of 0.1ms. The screen will then quickly transition back to a shade #3 in about 40-250ms so you can inspect the weld puddle immediately.
You can also tweak some of the settings, like the shade, to reduce eye straining. What’s great about the Speedglas is it’s unique ability to protect the wearer from all types of harmful rays regardless if it’s switched on or off.
This is possible due to a superficial crystal panel that allows the lens to diffuse the arc rays thru the glass covering.
Heat build-up, fogging and humidity are all common problems inside the helmet. With the 3-channel exhaust vent, these disturbances are greatly reduced. The vent will direct exhaled air out of the mask, while 2 side channels will provide fresh air.
It also offers a comfortable and customizable fit using two adjustable crown straps to help the helmet’s overall stability and a uniform weight distribution around your head to reduce neck strains or fatigue. The headband is also padded for added comfort.
Lincoln Electric Viking 3350
The Viking 3350 is among Lincoln’s premium range of welding helmets. It has a massive viewing panel, the largest in its class, equipped with a top quality lens.
With a viewing area of 3.74 x 3.34 inches, you can easily weld in awkward spots where looking straight is difficult. The lens has 4 arc sensors making the helmet very responsive to extreme light changes even when you are working on low amperage projects.
When it comes to optical clarity, the Viking 3350 uses the 4C technology to provide a clean and crisp image of the weld puddle. There is also no haziness when you are welding, and you can rely on the lens to maintain its shade even if you are working on an angle.
It also improves visibility by minimizing the bright green glow to reduce eye strain. Its auto-darkening feature can be adjusted from shades 6 to 13. The Light to dark shade changes begin as soon as the welding arc is initiated.
The welding helmet also offers adjustments option in its components to better suit one’s requirements. It allows fore and aft adjustments where you can tweak the distance between the lens and your face in order to improve your vision.
It also has a ventilation system to keep optimal air circulation, all while keeping out harmful fumes and gasses.