Carpentry

Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

If you’re a welder then you know one of the most important pieces of equipment you have is your helmet. An auto-darkening welding helmet protects your skin and eyes while you are welding. It’s important to have a quality helmet that you can trust your eyes with.  

Without an auto-darkening welding helmet, you put yourself at risk for some pretty serious injuries. Welding without the proper eye protection from the infrared and ultraviolet rays emitted can lead to arc eye or retina burns. Arc eye is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the cornea and retina burns can lead to vision loss. 

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Comparison Table

PRODUCT FEATURES LATEST PRICE
1. Miller Digital Elite Vintage Roadster Auto Darkening Welding Helmet w/ ClearLight Lens Technology
  • X-mode eliminates sun interference for outdoor welding
  • Features large push buttons for ease of use
  • The headgear is adjustable for maximum comfort
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2. Lincoln Electric K4034-4 VIKING 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology, Code Red
  • 4C lens technology for crystal clear view
  • X6 Headgear for extra comfort
  • External grind button for easy view switch
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3. ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet, Black, 3.93 x 2.36 in. 100 x 60 mm Viewing Area
  • Color touchscreen with 8 memory settings
  • Five-point contact halo headgear
  • External grind button to switch modes
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4. YESWELDER True Color Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, Wide Shade 4/9-13 for TIG MIG ARC Weld Hood Helmet
  • True color viewing
  • 2 premium sensors
  • The headgear has a pivot for easy adjustment
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5. Hobart 770890 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
  • A large viewing window.
  • It’s lightweight.
  • Has 4 arc sensors for quick adjustment.
  • Optional sweatbands to help you keep working in the heat.
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Find the right gear to protect your eyes using these auto-darkening welding helmet reviews. 

Our Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Reviews and Comparisons

1. Lincoln Electric K4034-4 VIKING 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology, Code Red 

Product Highlights

The Lincoln Electric Auto Darkening Welding Helmet offers premium optics with 4C lens technology for a crystal clear, true-color view of the arc and puddle. The extra-large lens makes it easy to see what you’re working on without distortion. You can get perfect welds while reducing eye-strain. 

In addition to safety, this helmet offers comfort and ease of use, too.  The one of a kind X6 Headgear with six-point contact evenly distributes the weight and the external grind button makes it easy to switch to grind mode without removing the helmet or gloves. 

To keep your mind at ease, the Lincoln Electric Auto-Darkening welding helmet comes with a 3-year warranty. 

Features 

  • 4C lens technology for crystal clear view
  • X6 Headgear for extra comfort
  • External grind button for easy view switch

What We Like About Lincoln Electric K4034-4 VIKING 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology, Code Red

The Lincoln Electric welding helmet offers a wide field of vision and as well as a full-color view of the arc and puddle, which means no more green glow around the puddle. The lens also offers great visibility in low light.

The external grind button makes it easy to switch modes and improves productivity.  

A light indicator reminds you that you’re in grind mode. This can help you avoid starting a weld without switching back to weld mode. 

What We Don’t Like About Lincoln Electric K4034-4 VIKING 3350 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet with 4C Lens Technology, Code Red

The Headgear is a little complicated and takes a bit to get used to, but it’s pretty comfortable once you do. The knob to tighten the headgear pops loose occasionally, which can cause the helmet to slide off if you’re working at an angle.  

If you swap out the Headgear for a hard hat adapter, the helmet may not go all the way up depending on the hard hat you use. 

PROS

  • Large lens for a wide field of vision
  • 4C lens for a clear view
  • External switch and a light indicator for grind mode
  • Comfortable headgear

CONS

  • Headgear is hard to adjust
  • May not lift all the way when using with hard hat adapter

2. ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet, Black, 3.93 x 2.36 in. 100 x 60 mm Viewing Area

Product Highlights

This auto-darkening welding helmet is made of high impact resistant nylon and has a five-point design halo headgear for added comfort. 

It’s fully customizable with a color touchscreen panel that lets you choose from 8 separate memory settings, and with the external grind switch, it’s easy to change modes on the fly. 

It’s lightweight and gives you and has great head clearance when in the upright position. 

Features 

  • Color touchscreen with 8 memory settings
  • Five-point contact halo headgear
  • External grind button to switch modes

What We Like About ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet, Black, 3.93 2.6 in. Viewing Area

The ESAB Sentinal A50 is lightweight and comfortable to wear. It’s easy to change out the lens without taking the helmet apart.  

The lens and customizable settings allow you to get a really clear and bright view of your work. 

This helmet has a low profile design, so it sits close to your head even when it’s in the up position.  

What We Don’t Like About ESAB 0700000800 Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet, Black, 3.93 x 2.36 in. (100 x 60 mm) Viewing Area.

When welding 12-18 inches away, the front lens warps. When you’re not looking directly at the arc, the curved lens causes a glare.  

The outer lens is flush with the helmet, so if you set it down face first it’s easy to scratch and the touchscreen is a little difficult to use with gloves on. 

PROS

  • 8 memory settings
  • External grind button for easy mode change
  • Low profile
  • Durable nylon construction
  • Bright and clear view

CONS

  • The cover lens is easily scratched
  • A little on the heavier side
  • Touchscreen hard to use with gloves

3. Miller Digital Elite Vintage Roadster Auto Darkening Welding Helmet w/ ClearLight Lens Technology

Product Highlights

The Miller Digital Elite Vintage Roadster Auto Darkening Welding helmet is composed of plastic and weighs in at 2.64 pounds. The Miller Digital Elite is powered by a lithium battery with solar assist. 

It has 4 arc sensors and 4 operating modes. The 4 sensors respond to obstructed views or allow clear viewing during low amp welding. 

The wide lens offers Clearlight lens technology for true color viewing. 

Features 

  • X-mode eliminates sun interference for outdoor welding
  • Features large push buttons for ease of use
  • The headgear is adjustable for maximum comfort

What We Like About Miller Digital Elite Vintage Roadster Auto Darkening Welding Helmet w/ ClearLight Lens Technology

The four modes offer optimum performance for welding, cutting, and grinding. The X-mode is great for welding outside. 

The comfort strap holds the helmet in place perfectly and the large viewing window gives the user a clear view, and the Clearlight technology lets you see in the perfect color. 

What We Don’t Like About Miller Digital Elite Vintage Roadster Auto Darkening Welding Helmet w/ ClearLight Lens Technology

When it’s functioning, the comfort strap is comfortable to wear for long periods. Sometimes the tension knobs used to adjust the strap are a pain to adjust and come loose, causing the helmet to slip. 

PROS

  • The x-mode is perfect for use in the sun
  • The colorful viewing makes it easy to see
  • The head strap is comfortable
  • The Clearlight technology makes it easy to weld in low light

CONS

  • The battery life is a little short
  • The headgear knobs are a hassle to tighten

4. YESWELDER True Color Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, Wide Shade 4/9-13 for TIG MIG ARC Weld Hood Helmet 

Product Highlights

The YESWELDER True Color Autodarkening helmet can be used for different types of welding, including TIG, MMA, and MIG welding. It weighs in at just 1.9 pounds and is powered by a lithium battery with solar assist. 

This helmet has two built-in sensors that easily adjust to light and dark environments.  The lens offers true color viewing. 

The pivot style headgear is easy to adjust this helmet is cheater lens compatible. 

Features 

  • True color viewing
  • 2 premium sensors
  • The headgear has a pivot for easy adjustment

What We Like About the YESWELDER

The two sensors give this helmet great response time and the true color viewing makes it easy to see what you’re working on. This helmet comes with replacement lenses. 

The YESWELDER True Color Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet is comfortable to wear, lightweight,  and easily adjustable. 

What We Don’t Like About the YESWELDER Hood Helmet

While the sensors worked well while DC tig welding, they were not as quick to respond with AC tig welding. This led to some flashes. 

There are also some notable flashes until you get an arc started, but once you get an arc started it’s fine. 

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • True color viewing
  • Comfortable headgear
  • Compatible with a cheater lens

CONS

  • Arc flash
  • Not the most durable
  • Does not fit over a hard hat

5. Hobart 770890 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

Product Highlights

The Hobart 770890 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet is made of polyamide nylon. It has arc sensors and a grind mode to keep lenses from darkening. It weighs in at 1.25 pounds and includes a protective lens kit. 

Features 

  • A large viewing window. 
  • It’s lightweight. 
  • Has 4 arc sensors for quick adjustment. 
  • Optional sweatbands to help you keep working in the heat. 

What We Like About Hobart 770890 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

This helmet has an auto-off and on. The four arc sensors offer great sensitivity and quick response time. The helmet is comfortable to wear and the large viewing area is clear. 

What We Don’t Like About Hobart 770890 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

The biggest disappointment with the Hobart 770890 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet is the location of the grind mode button. It’s located on the inside of the helmet. It’s hard to switch modes and keep working.  

The Hobart 770890 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet doesn’t have an indicator light, so it’s hard to tell if it’s ready to start welding. 

PROS

  • The headband is comfortable to wear
  • It’s lightweight
  • Great sensitivity and quick auto-darkening

CONS

  • The grind mode button is hard to reach
  • There is no indicator light

FINAL VERDICT 

While all of these auto-darkening welding helmets are meant to make welding safe, comfortable, and hassle-free, one of them comes out on top. I recommend the Miller Digital Elite Vintage Roadster Auto Darkening Welding Helmet w/ ClearLight Lens Technology. 

The four modes offered by the Miller Digital Elite make this welding helmet multi-functional. It’s perfect for welding, cutting, and grinding. The X-mode setting is ideal for working outside. The wide lens offers a clear view of the weld, and the sensors adjust to obstructions and respond well to low amp welding. 

FAQ Section  

Q. What is the recommended UV/IR protection rating I need to look for when purchasing an Auto Darkening Welding Helmet?

A. Look for an auto-darkening welding helmet that meets all ANSI and ISEA standards. This means you should be looking for 7.3.2 UV/IR Transmittance.  

Q. I do a lot of overhead welding. What material should my auto-darkening welding helmet be made of?

A. For overhead welding, you’ll need a fiberglass helmet.

Q. Do all welding helmets fit over hard hats?

A. No, not all welding helmets fit over a hard hat. Most of them require an adapter to fit over a hard hat. If you have a preferred hard hat, you’ll need to make sure that the welding helmet you purchase has an adapter that is compatible with your hard hat. You’ll also want to find out if the welding helmet can go all the way up while wearing a hard hat.  

Q. How do I replace the batteries in my welding helmet? 

A. This is something else you’ll want to consider when purchasing your helmet. Some helmets have batteries that are soldered on, making them more difficult to change. Others can be changed as easily as the batteries in a remote control.

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Author

Timberland Enthusiast Jan 1977 – Present Columbia, South Carolina Since graduating from law school I have worked in various capacities within the real estate, timber management, lumber production and pine straw harvesting markets in South Carolina. Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler May 2016 – Dec 2020 Columbia, South Carolina Det Bowers joined Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler in May of 2016. Prior to joining Wilson Kibler, Mr. Bowers served as a licensed attorney practicing in Federal, State and Municipal Courts. Other business involvements have included real estate development, retail development and operations, agribusiness, forestry products, outdoor advertising and insurance.

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