Choosing the best auto darkening welding helmet at this price is not really hard to find, in fact, they may still have the quality you are looking for in a high-end welding helmet. But, safety-wise, the price may come only as a second fiddle when it comes to more advanced features and more functionality that is needed in your job.
We will give you here some unsolicited advice in choosing the best helmet brands for welding (MIG or TIG welding) and at the same time, you both got the quality you are looking for and the price that will suit your budget. So, here goes!
Best Self Darkening Welding Helmet: Quick Picks
- Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Welding Helmet
- Miller Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet
- 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
- Jackson Safety BH3
Note: There’s a lot more information below but clicking the above links will take you to current prices, further information and customer reviews on Amazon.
Why Do You Need to Buy a Welding Helmet?
If you are a welder, there are certain dangers or health issues associated with just using an ordinary welding lenses to do the job. For one, a welding helmet protects you from the harmful radiation being emitted by the process (welding arcs), heat, dust, smoke, and other debris from the welding fluxes. These unwanted elements may damage your respiratory system and your eyes when you are exposed to this type of environment for a long time.
To minimize, if not totally eliminate these harmful effects, a high quality welding helmet is the best solution. However, not all welding helmets are built the same. There are those that are made offering the finest optical clarity and more conveniences like the auto darkening welding helmets, the new generation of welding helmets to hit the marketplace.
Some of the Best Auto Darkening Helmets on the Planet
Jackson and the Lincoln are some of the leading brands when it comes to welding helmets with auto darkening technology. Unlike conventional welding helmets, when using the auto darkening helmet (introduced in 1981), there is no need to remove your helmet to see what you have welded.
Also, some helmet brands have an LCD shutter (also known as ADF or the Auto Darkening Filter) with light sensors that detect the intensity of light coming from the weld which provides an automatic darkening of the lens that relies on that intensity. There is no possibility of “blinding” for the welder and other inconveniences during the welding process brought about by using an ordinary welding helmet. This makes getting a helmet with auto darkening feature a no-brainer.
4 Top Rated Self Darkening Welding Helmet Reviews 2022
1. Lincoln Electric VIKING 3350 Welding Helmet
The Viking 3350 weighs 3.2lbs so it is not so heavy while you are doing the job while you are fully protected from the smoke and fluxes. The helmet comes with style and smooth finish that does not fade even with prolong use while it fits several head sizes. The Viking 3350 Series come also with 4C innovative lens technology used by Lincoln Electric which is suitable for any type of welding processes such as a stick, TIG, and even MIG welding. The clear optical clarity in welding is enhanced using this technology.
Furthermore, the Viking 3350 is capable of viewing larger area while you are wearing this protective gear. On this instance, you can also see what’s beside you and not only focused on the welding lights in front of you. The helmet has also a pivot type headgear giving you more convenience and comfort. Your job will not be so boring anymore!
- The package comes with free helmet bag, a bandana, and lenses
- No batteries required in utilization
- 4C technology also provides filtering lens giving the clearest and optimal view
- Minimizes the incidence of temporary blindness, unlike other welding lenses
- No need to set or reset the lens clarity
- Also, protects the head from falling debris on the workplace
- Does not come with welding apron
2. Miller Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet
Want to finish the job early and you are fully energized? Well, you just have to replace your welding helmet to increase your output for the day while also making your breathing more refreshing.
To attain these developments on the workplace, try the Miller Electric’s Digital Elite Helmet. This digital wonder of engineering revolutionizes what was perceived to be unattainable in the welding industry decades ago.
This helmet could also be used with a hard hat inside for a much safer working condition when welding in a dangerous environment.
- Improves visibility and eliminates eye strain
- Has a variety of lens shades to operate into (8 to 13 shades)
- Has ideal viewing area of 9 sq. inch
- Headgear is ratchet-type to give you more comfort
- Lightweight at 2.8lbs
- Comes in smooth black with stylish design
- Made from nylon which does not guarantee effectiveness from falling debris. However, as stated above, you can wear a hard hat underneath
3. 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
Compared to other brands on our list, the 3M Speedglas 9100 has a bigger ADF and it functions just like the way you would want it to be. The switching speed from light to dark is incredibly fast at just 1/10,000 of a second. Its head suspension is designed for more comfort and a light feel to the user. It has 3 sensors that control the ADF when in operation.
This welding helmet is versatile, which could also be used in grinding. Its various applications include several industries, such as for aircraft maintenance, ships, construction, food industry, and other industries needing sophisticated welding applications.
- More advanced in design and functions compared to other brands
- Has ADF that converts light to dark shade faster than the blink of an eye
- An ideal protection from unhealthy radiation (ultra-violet and infra-red), smoke, and welding fluxes
- Larger viewing area at 12.11 sq. inch
- Could be used for a stick, MIG, and TIG welding
- Has side windows that eliminate “tunnel vision” for the welder
- One of the more expensive helmets in our list. But its functions and quality speak for itself.
4. Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
At only 2.75lbs net weight, the Jackson Safety BH3 Helmet is thus far the lightest of its class in the industry. Its ADF filter lens has also the best EN ratings among the current breed of welding masks with an self-darkening feature on the market today. The lens have the best diffusion of light, have optical clarity unlike any other, and the variation of luminous transmittance is unequaled, you name it, the Jackson Safety BH3 has it.
Additionally, this helmet carries quite a high price tag. But don’t be intimated by its price, if you want really the best welding helmets and long-lasting service, the Jackson Safety BH3 probably has it all! You may want to look at its other qualities.
- It has angular dependence enabling welders to have good optical quality at any angle
- Covers the entire head, including the neck, for protection against smoke, heat, welding, fluxes, and sparks.
- Aerodynamically designed, prevents heat build-up on the face
- A hard hat can fit inside for added safety
- Meets ANSI /ISEA Z87.1+2010 safety standards
- Suitable for MIG, TIG, and ARC welding
- Variable shade enhancements
- With more advanced features
- With solar power source
- Might not suit your tight budget
- Advisable for critical workplaces
An auto darkening welding helmet is a great investment for welders. It can help to improve productivity and weld quality. It is also a safety essential, protecting welders from potential injuries. If you haven’t yet used a welding mask with an auto darkening lens then give it a go, it won’t disappoint.