Welding has given us the ability to create things that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. In fact, you can probably look around your house for a few minutes and find a piece of furniture that uses welding.

Welding has become a part of nearly every industry you can imagine, from cars and buildings all the way up to the rockets we use to explore space.

The problem with welding is that it’s also a fairly dangerous practice

Depending on the type of welding you’re doing, there are a number of potential health risks you need to be aware of, including electric shock, inhalation of dangerous fumes and gases, fire and explosion damage and eye damage from the bright rays.

The good news is that you can weld without having to worry about these health risks as long as you take the proper safety precautions, which includes outfitting yourself with the right gear to keep you safe.

Welding helmets are arguably the most important part of welding safety. 

Your head, face and neck are some of the most sensitive areas on your body, so protecting them is of the utmost importance.

A good auto darkening welding helmet helps protect your head and neck from burns and heat while the lens allows you to look at what you’re welding without the bright flashes damaging your eyes.

The welding helmet you choose plays a big role in how protected you are. So, it’s important to choose a helmet that fits your needs.

Here are some tips for selecting a good auto darkening welding helmet, as well as some of our top picks for auto-darkening welding helmets.

Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet On The Market Comparison Table

Product

Image

Rating

Price

Jackson Safety W70 BH3

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Jackson_Safety_W70_BH3

Rhino RH01 Large View

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Rhino_RH01_Large_View

3M Speedglas 9100XXi

auto darkening welding helmet product image: 3M_Speedglas_9100XXi

Hobart 770756

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Hobart_770756

Lincoln Electric Viking 3350

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Lincoln_Electric_Viking_3350

Miller 251292 Classic

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Miller_251292_Classic

ArcPro 20704

auto darkening welding helmet product image: ArcPro_20704

Antra AH5-350-001X

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Antra_AH5-350-001X

ArcOne 4000V-1171 Shade Master Fighting Tiger

auto darkening welding helmet product image: ArcOne_4000V-1171_Shade_Master_Fighting_Tiger

Jackson Safety W40 Insight HaloX

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Jackson_Safety_W40_Insight_HaloX

Instapark ADF GX-350S

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Instapark_ADF_GX-350S

11 Best Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets on the Market

Jackson Safety W70 BH3

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Jackson_Safety_W70_BH3

The Jackson Safety W70 BH3 is often considered to be one of the best auto-darkening welding helmets that money can buy, and there are many good reasons for that.

While some welding helmets can make it a bit hard to see what you’re working on, the Jackson Safety WH70 BH3 features a blue-tinted lens that provides greater visibility and color recognition.

It also features very high-quality sensors which allow you to keep the helmet on more often since the lens won’t adjust when you look at other sources of light such as the sun or a light bulb.

You can also adjust the Jackson Safety WH70 BH3 to make it suit any wearer, so it’s a good choice if you’re going to share your helmet with a few welders.

As if this auto-darkening welding helmet needed any more selling points, Jackson Safety also provides an industry-leading five-year warranty on the W70 BH3.

Pros

  • Auto-darkening
  • Large viewing field
  • Highest possible optical rating
  • Fume deflection design
  • Lightweight design.

Cons

  • No grind mode
  • No test button

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

Rhino RH01 Large View

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Rhino_RH01_Large_View

Everybody has different gripes when it comes to welding helmets. For some people, nothing is more annoying than the limited field of view you have while wearing a welding helmet.

The Rhino RH01 Large View welding helmet was designed specifically to solve this problem, with an extra-large 4-inch x 2.6 inch lens that allows you to see more while you weld.

External knobs let you adjust the darkness of the lens when you’re doing work that isn’t quite as heavy, with shades of 4, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 offered.

Plus this helmet looks great which is always a bonus, and the aerodynamic design ensures you get fresh air while you weld.

If that still isn’t enough to convince you, Rhino provides a two-year warranty on this welding helmet to make sure there are no problems.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Auto darkening
  • Variable shade levels
  • Solar panel and battery indicator
  • Check CircleLight weight

Cons

  • Analogue controls
  • Cant be used for overhead or laser welding

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$

3M Speedglas 9100XXi

auto darkening welding helmet product image: 3M_Speedglas_9100XXi

3M has been known to make a wide range of quality products, from tapes and adhesives to mousepads and monitor stands.

It turns out 3M is pretty good at making welding helmets, too. The 3M Speedglas 9100XXi is designed to be lightweight while still providing all of the features and protection you need from an auto-darkening welding helmet.

The 12.08-square-inch viewing area slightly beats the 10.4 square-inches offered by the Rhino RH01, and the increase in coverage for the ears and neck make sure you don’t have any unexpected injuries. The 9100XXi lens technology is designed to give you a lens that’s easier to look through; when you’re on light or grind mode, you can expect great color clarity from this helmet. Unfortunately, 3M doesn’t provide any information about the warranty that comes with this helmet, so you’ll have to inquire directly.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Auto darkening
  • Fast Switching time
  • Use for Arc, MIG, and TIG

Cons

  • Weighs 2.09 pounds

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

Hobart 770756

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Hobart_770756

If you’re looking for a helmet that’s lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time while also offering great features, the Hobart 770756 is an excellent choice.

This isn’t the fanciest auto-darkening welding helmet you’ll find, but it definitely gets the job done. Its 1/25,000 of a second reaction time is right up there with the best helmets on the market, and it offers a wide range of shades with 3 and 8-13.

There are some drawbacks to going with the simpler welding helmet in the Hobart 770756, though.

For one, this helmet only has a 7.05-square-inch viewing area, which is significantly smaller than other models. 

It also automatically turns on when exposed to light. However, with a price of less than $150 at most retailers, it’s still a great value.

Pros

  • Adjustable shade
  • Autolens works pretty good

Cons

  • Sometimes it would auto darken
  • Helmet would not stay tight

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

Lincoln Electric Viking 3350

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Lincoln_Electric_Viking_3350

Many welding projects require you to wear a helmet for a long time, sitting right near a source of heat in heavy protective gear.

To make this a little bit more bearable for you, Lincoln Electric designed the Viking 3350 helmet to be extremely comfortable for continuous use.

4C lens technology means you get top-of-the-line clarity while 10 available styles allow you to wear a welding helmet that really shows your character.

The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 has a huge shade selection, ranging from 6 all the way up to 13.

You also get a nearly 12.5-square-inch viewing area, which is right up there with the best in the industry, plus Lincoln Electric provides a great three-year warranty.

Pros

  • Auto-Darkening with adjustable sensitivity and wide shade selection
  • Perfect 1/1/1/1 Optical Clarity
  • Massive View Window Size

Cons

  • Heavy, especially after a full day of welding
  • Glossy black coating easily scratched

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

Miller 251292 Classic

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Miller_251292_Classic

There are plenty of manufacturers who try to sell their welding helmets based on style as much as features, but Miller knows that isn’t the way to make a quality auto-darkening welding helmet.

That’s why Miller made the Miller 251292 Classic, a simple welding helmet that’s packed full of quality features.

This helmet is designed to be lightweight and easily adjustable for comfort, and the great build quality and additional lens covers mean you can use it for years to come.

However, the Miller 251292 Classic does lack some of what you’d find in more expensive welding helmets, including a grind mode with a lower shade.

Fortunately, Miller provides a three-year warranty to protect you.

Pros

  • Auto Darkening
  • Fast switching from light to dark
  • Clear glass layer

Cons

  • Small Viewing Window

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

ArcPro 20704

auto darkening welding helmet product image: ArcPro_20704

There are some welding helmets that are designed as top-of-the-line models with seemingly every feature available on the market today.

Then there are those that are simply a great value. The ArcPro 20704 falls more into the second category as a great starter welding helmet.

The viewing area is completely identical to the Antra AH5-350-001X which is unfortunate, but the 1/25,000 second reaction time and the 9-13 shade range make it more than capable.

There is even a grind setting with a shade of 4. This helmet does run on rechargeable batteries, though, so it may be a bit of a pain if you’re using it for many hours every day.

Pros

  • Large viewing field
  • Great for grinding
  • Great for oxy fuel burning

Cons

  • Difficulty in finding fitting lenses
  • May not be good for TIG welding

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

Antra AH5-350-001X

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Antra_AH5-350-001X

Antra may not be the biggest name in welding helmets, but they certainly make a quality product. The Antra AH5-350-001X is a great welding helmet whether you’re dealing with arc, MIG, TIG or plasma welding.

The knob on the helmet allows you to easily adjust the shade of your helmet manually, and the 9-13 shade selection means you can tackle various different materials and projects without worry.

The viewing area of the Antra AH5-350-001X is a little bit small at just under 8 square-inches, but it’s still large enough to get the job done.

One downside to this helmet is that it may be a bit difficult to find a store that sells it and its replacement lenses.

Pros

  • Without hassles.
  • Adjustable lens darkness 

Cons

  • Headband that just decided to pull out at the pivot point
  • Flipping the helmet up along with removing it

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

ArcOne 4000V-1171 Shade Master Fighting Tiger

auto darkening welding helmet product image: ArcOne_4000V-1171_Shade_Master_Fighting_Tiger

Style should never be your primary focus when shopping for a welding helmet, but there’s no reason you can’t get a welding helmet that looks and works great.

If style is important to you, the ArcOne 4000V-1171 Shade Master Fighting Tiger is an excellent choice for an auto-darkening welding helmet.

It may have an awesome Fighting Tiger design, but it’s also packed with some features that make it one of the better welding helmets.

The ArcOne 4000V-1171 Shade Master Fighting Tiger features an ultra-lightweight design so you can wear it for hours on end and convenient ventilation that allows you to breathe better and stay cool while you weld.

The biggest downside to this helmet is the fact that it has a puny 5.2-square-inch viewing area, which may make it difficult for you to work.

Pros

  • Variable shade
  • Lightweight
  • Safe- full head and neck cover
  • Very Comfortable
  • Replaceable Lens

Cons

  • Small Viewing Area
  • Lens may need to be replace often

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

Jackson Safety W40 Insight HaloX

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Jackson_Safety_W40_Insight_HaloX

Jackson Safety has been long established as an industry leader in welding helmets, and the Jackson Safety W40 Insight HaloX is just another in a long line of successes.

If you like having a large viewing area so you can see everything you’re working on, the 9.2-square-inch viewing area of the W40 Insight HaloX should be enough to get the job done.

Lightweight construction means you can weld for hours without wearing your neck out, and four arc sensors ensure your helmet always darkens on time, even if there’s something obstructing one of the sensors.

There is also a grind mode, which means you can do just about anything with this helmet.

Still, you get the benefits you’d expect with Jackson Safety: style, safety and a five-year warranty that rivals any auto-darkening welding helmet warranty.

Pros

  • Trustworthy Jackson Product
  • Affordable Price
  • Extreme Durability
  • Simple Operation Controls

Cons

  • Size Can Make Helmet Uncomfortable at Times

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

Instapark ADF GX-350S

auto darkening welding helmet product image: Instapark_ADF_GX-350S

With the number of technological advances we’ve made since the introduction of welding helmets, it only makes sense that some of that technology would find its way into welding helmets.

The Instapark ADF GX-350S welding helmet is a solid choice if you’re looking for a budget welding helmet that still provides the protection you need.

This welding helmet is solar powered, which means you don’t have to worry about charging or changing batteries in the middle of a project.

Dual arc sensors mean the lens is always appropriately dark and support for shade ratings of 4 and 9-13 allow you to tackle a range of projects.

If there is one big downside to the Instapark ADF GX-350S, it’s the fact that the viewing area is only 3.5-inches by 1.375-inches, which makes for a grand total of 4.8 square inches of viewing area.

Nevertheless, this is a great option if you want something cheap and effective, and it comes with a two-year warranty.

Pros

  • Adjustable auto-darkening sensitivity
  • Perfect vision clarity
  • Large viewing area

Cons

  • Heavy

Quality

​Price

​Rating

$$

How to Choose

Choosing a welding helmet isn’t the most complicated task in the world, but there are some things you should know before buying.

Different welding helmets are made of different materials and have different features, plus the build quality varies quite a bit from brand to brand and model to model.

Auto-darkening welding helmets vary from welding helmets with passive lenses mainly because they’re able to switch between different shades automatically to ensure proper protection.

This is important because it allows you to weld with various materials without having to worry about changing from one welding helmet to another.

Look for a welding helmet that meets the national safety standards for an auto-darkening lens, which means that your helmet must be able to properly sense when it’s time to switch modes. It also needs to be able to change modes quickly to prevent eye damage.

The last factors you should look at in an auto-darkening welding helmet are the little features. You want a helmet that offers good eye, head and neck protection, but you also want a helmet that’s light enough that you can work for a significant period of time.

If comfort is generally a problem for you when it comes to welding helmets, you should try some on before you buy them to make sure you’re buying something you can comfortably wear for hours.

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Featured image: CC BY-SA 4.0, Prowelder87 via Wikimedia Commons