If you’re looking for a welding helmet, you might wonder which one is best. Some may think all welding helmets are created equal, but that’s not the case. An ESAB Sentinel A50 review will show you whether or not this particular product is right for you.
If you do a lot of welding, you need a welding helmet. It’s crucial for you to keep your face and head protected from possible damage.
Want the best welding helmet available? First, you need to know more about the ESAB Sentinel A50 before you make any decisions.
ESAB Sentinel A50 Review: What to Look for in a Welding Helmet
While looking cool is a bonus, there are a few key things every welding helmet needs regardless of price.
Welding is a dangerous and hazardous activity, so it’s essential to take all of the necessary precautions. Industry standards have changed over the years so as of 2003, your helmet must be ANSI Z87+ or ANSI Z87.1-2003.
These lenses survive grueling tests like impact tests at high velocity, ability to switch speed in extreme temperatures, and they must provide 100 percent infrared and ultraviolet filtering on every shade setting.
Most, if not all, helmets made after 2003 meet the latest safety guidelines (including the A50) but check by the American Society of Safety Engineers and the American National Standards Institue to make sure.
The lens (fixed)
The ability to see well is vital for welding. The type of lens and its features are something to consider when looking for a helmet. You can get a single fixed or variable shade lens.
The only fixed lenses are typically less expensive and have an infrared and UV coat for a shade rating of number 10. While useful, it could hinder productivity as you’ll have to manually lower and lift the helmet when needed.
The lens (variable)
The variable shade helmet possesses an electronic filter lens and auto-darkening filters. When not activated, it uses a number 3 or number 4 shade, and once it is on, it’ll darken to a shade between number 9 and number 13. It stays in position throughout the welding process with no need to lift or lower.
With the variable shade lens, you’ll want to make sure it has at a 1/3,600 of a second reaction time, and have a power type that works for you and your budget (whether that’s solar assist panels, lithium batteries, or AAA batteries).
You’ll also want to know if it can adjust the level of brightness to trigger the darkening of the lens, the viewing size and how many sensors it has (two being good with four being the best).
Weight and comfort
Last but not least, you’ll want to know how the helmet feels on your head. You’ll most likely be wearing it for hours on end, so how it weighs and the comfort level is paramount.
Make sure the helmet is as light as possible, as you can decrease the amount of fatigue you feel over time and is easier on your neck. Comfort-wise, you’ll want one that is made of a thin-walled plastic and distributes the weight evenly.
Having more than one band and padding on your touchpoints is critical to an easy-to-wear welding helmet.
The History of ESAB
A few brands come to mind when you think of welding, and ESAB is historically one of them. Founded at the turn of the century in 1904, Oscar Kjellberg created the first coated welding electrode, and the ESAB company was born.
Elektriska Svetsnings-Aktiebolaget (ESAB) started in Sweden and was the first to understand the possibilities of heavy flux coating for stopping atmospheric contamination.
In 1989, they joined up with Alloy Rods Corporation, L-TEC Welding & Cutting Systems, and All-State Welding Products to create the ESAB Automation and ESAB Welding Products.
Altogether there are over 300 years of welding and equipment manufacturing represented, and they continue to grow.
In 2012, ESAB sold to Colfax Corporation, a leader in industrial production, who has helped them to expand their reach all across the world. Their story shows that when a company puts customer needs and satisfaction first, it can thrive for years to come.
And that begs the question, what is one of their latest products on the market?
What Is the ESAB Sentinel A50?
A welding helmet at the top of its class with the latest technology is what you will get from the Sentinel A50. Having the Halo™ headgear with a comfortable fit and colored touch screen are only a few reasons why this helmet is a good buy.
With a wide eyepiece for accurate color and clarity, this headpiece serves a wide variety of welding uses. The adjustable five-point headgear allows for a custom fit and balance that is difficult to achieve with other brands.
And the A50 allows for ease of use to switch from weld to grind mode with an externally activated shade four Grind Button.
Including an anti-scratch coating and a quick-release cover lens, you can stay safe from spatter and sparks and change out lenses with ease. This futuristic headgear, made with nylon, delivers high resistance and also has up to eight individual memory settings.
The helmet is black, with dimensions of 21.65 inches long, 13.78 inches wide, and 13.78 inches tall. With a lens size of 3.93 inches by 2.36 inches, the auto-darkening capabilities are easy to use, and it’s wide enough for anyone to see.
It has a 1/1/1/2 optical class rating, and the shade range is 5 feet to 13 feet. Plus, it comes with 4 sensors and weighs 4.25 pounds.
The power source for this product is lithium batteries with solar power back up. And it comes with a three-year warranty.
This helmet also has unique features. These include Halo™ shaped headgear, an adjustable lens shade range from 3 to 13, LCD screen, easily seen blue weld color, and grind mode button placed on the side.
When it comes to helmets, it’s all about personal preference, so having all of the information lets you decide what works and what doesn’t work for you.
Price range and where to buy
The price range for the ESAB Sentinel A50 welding helmet is high.
You can pick up this welding helmet on Amazon, eBay, Baker’s Gas & Welding Supplies, and many more. However, you can’t buy it on the ESAB website, but you can use their distributor locator to find a seller near you.
ESAB Sentinel A50 Review: How We Did It
For our ESAB Sentinel A50 review, we chose several models in the upper price range to help you understand where your hard earned money can go. We also included customer feedback, both positive and negative.
Finally, we checked with other professional reviewers to see what they think about the Sentinel A50.
ESAB Sentinel A50 Review: Pros and Cons
There were several positives and negatives that we found in different instances of an ESAB Sentinel A50 review. With an Amazon rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars, you see how highly customers view this product.
By and large, customers were pleased with their purchases. In particular, they praised the settings system and the conditions upon delivery, which were two areas that other brands can have issues. They also liked the easy setup, the cover lens, and the fit of their headgear.
While the screen can be hard to touch consistently and is pricey, the LCD and the weld/grind button may make this an excellent choice for someone just starting or a professional at work.
Any ESAB Sentinel A50 review will show you that there are plenty of positives that come with purchasing this product. It’s worth considering before you consider all of the competitors out there.
- Adjustable five-point headgear
- Easy to replace the front cover lens
- Full LCD touchscreen with color backlit display
- External grind mode button on the side
- Eight separate memory settings
While there are many positive aspects of this product, no ESAB Sentinel A50 review would be complete without mentioning the drawbacks as well.
- Touch screen might not work well with gloves
The ESAB Sentinel A50 Review and Its Competitors
Significant competitors like Lincoln Electric and Miller Electric, have comparable products with some significant differences. All of the models have warranties, auto-darkening, durable nylon, and a wide viewing area.
There are, however, some significant differences in each brand. No ESAB Sentinel A50 review would be complete without looking at what all the other brands have to offer.
Lincoln Electric Welding Helmet
This product is in the high price range for welding helmets. It weighs 3.2 pounds and has the dimensions of 13 inches long, 10.5 inches wide, and 10 inches tall.
Similar to the Sentinal, the lens shade range is 5 to 13, and it has 4 sensors. And the power source is rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
The Lincoln Electric model comes with a three-year warranty. While it too has a 4.7 out of 5.0 stars rating, the design isn’t as sleek and modern as the A50.
Some customers stated that the hood is also lightweight and comfortable while others say that size is small, replacing the front lens is difficult, and the grinding mode dial is in an inconvenient place.
Miller Electric Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet
This item is in the high price range for welding helmets. It weighs 2.8 pounds with dimensions of 10.5 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 9.8 inches tall. The lens shade range is less broad, from 8 to 13, and it has 4 sensors. The power source is lithium batteries with solar power back up.
The Miller helmet’s Amazon rating is a 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Those who purchase the Miller Electric also receive a three-year warranty.
Some customers have stated that it’s long-lasting with minimal replacements, but it also doesn’t stay tight on your head over time, the clarity is lacking, and feels heavy to wear.
Jackson Safety TrueSight II Digital Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
This helmet is in the high price range for similar products. It has dimensions of 11 inches long, 10.5 inches wide, and 9.5 inches tall. Also, it’s pretty light at 2 pounds.
The lens shade range matches the Sentinal and the Lincoln at 5 to 13, and it has 4 sensors. The power source is AAA batteries with solar assist.
The Jackson Safety TrueSight II model comes with a five-year warranty.
Some customers stated that it fits well and adjusts easily, but the lens can have glare and is expensive to replace, giving it a 4.1 out of a 5.0 stars rating on Amazon.
ESAB Sentinel A50 Review: Will You Be Welding as Master Chief?
Professionals to serious DIY’ers can enjoy this high-quality product. Although the price tag is steep, it’s worth the money for the number of features and comfort. Given the average Amazon Star Rating of this helmet, it’s a popular product worth a try.
You won’t have to stress about interference from sunlight or any other equipment as the helmet is dark when you need it to be. And the A50 has two lithium batteries and solar power so you can have a steady stream of battery life while minimizing the drain.
While it is more substantial than many of the competitors, its design makes it easy to wear, and the shade range allows for a variety of uses. It is a device that while comparable to other helmets on the market, it stands out from the rest.
Plus, it looks cool.
Overall, an ESAB Sentinel A50 review shows you that the product is a well-made, unique yet functional helmet designed for your welding needs.
Do you have a favorite welding helmet that we haven’t addressed? Let us know in the comments!