Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmets- Guide & Reviews

​As a welder, I need to make sure that I have the right gear to do my job.

If I am using sub-par equipment while I work, then I not only risk messing up my welds, but I can also put my safety in jeopardy.

While there are several pieces of gear that I need to protect myself while welding, one of the most important is my helmet.

Since I need to be able to see what I’m doing as I work, a proper welding helmet can mean all the difference both in regards to the result as well as how healthy my eyes will be afterward.

To that end, one of the best kinds of helmets you can get is an auto-darkening model.

While manual adjustment helmets may be a little cheaper, they require you to take off your helmet and adjust the shade setting while you work, which can lead to lost productivity and potentially damage your eyes if you don’t do it correctly.

Thus, I always make sure to use an auto darkening welding helmet in the workshop. If you’re interested in how these devices work and want to get one of your own, then keep reading.

Best Corded Angle Grinder

Recommended Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

1.Jackson Safety W40 Insight Variable Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

DEWALT DWE402 4-1 2-Inch 11-Amp Paddle Switch Angle Grinder

As far as welding helmets go, I have to say that Jackson Safety makes some of the best helmets on the market today.

I’ve mostly used Jackson Safety helmets on the job, and I’ve always been satisfied with the level of performance and safety features included.

The W40 Insight Variable Helmet is a perfect example of Jackson Safety’s commitment to excellence.

To help with the auto-dimming feature, this helmet is equipped with four arc sensors.

The result is that you get advanced dimming in a fraction of a second with better optics and clarity. The shade adjustment is between numbers nine and thirteen, and you can also adjust the shade manually with the control knob on the outside of the helmet.

For your convenience, you can configure the sensitivity and delay settings to meet your needs.

To further help you see, this helmet is equipped with an extra-large viewing area, measuring 3.93x2.63 inches.

This size is one of the biggest available, and it is the largest viewing area of any helmets on this list. Additionally, you can set this helmet for two different modes with the digital control panel on the inside.

The two modes are grinding and welding, making this helmet ideally suited for almost any job.

Finally, this helmet is compatible with both HLX and HSL 100 shell models.

Highlighted Features

  • Sleek all-black design
  • Lightweight and durable shell
  • Comfortable fit
  • Four arc sensors for better dimming performance
  • Shade adjustment between #9 and #13
  • External shade controls for manual override
  • Two shade modes: grinding and welding
  • Digital control panel on the inside
  • Adjust sensitivity and delay options
  • Large viewing area
  • 3.93” by 2.36” screen
  • Meets all federal safety standards
  • Ideal for MIG and TIG welding Compatible with HLX100 and HSL 100 shells

2.Wakrays Professional Arc Tig Mig Auto-Darkening Welding Solar Helmet

DEWALT DWE402 4-1 2-Inch 11-Amp Paddle Switch Angle Grinder

Next, we have the Professional Auto-Darkening Solar Helmet from Wakrays. This is another high-quality model that has everything you need to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Also, this helmet has one of the fastest auto-darkening systems out there, so if you require the best, this is a prime choice.

The shell of this helmet comes in a remarkable glossy blue coloring, and it’s made of highly durable composite materials that make it both lightweight and fire retardant. The automatic shade adjustment works blazingly fast, turning from light to dark in a fraction of a second.

The helmet has a resting shade of #4, but it will adjust all the way to #13 when in use. For your convenience, you can adjust the sensitivity and delay time to your preferred settings, or you can customize the shade with an external knob.

To help you see, this helmet comes with a viewing screen that measures 3.74x1.87 inches.

There is also a high-definition filter to help you see everything with stunning clarity.

The screen also has sixteen layers of UV protection to help reduce eye fatigue and strain.This helmet is powered by a lithium battery and has a solar-powered backup for charging.

It is highly rated for almost all welding jobs except laser welding, and it has an expected life of up to ten years.

Highlighted Features

  • Stunning blue design
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Fire retardant
  • Auto-darkening in 1/30000th of a second
  • Variable shade adjustment between #9 and #13
  • Resting shade of #4
  • Adjust sensitivity and delay time
  • Manual adjustment control on exterior
  • Choose between welding and grinding modes
  • Large viewing window
  • 3.74” by 1.87” screen
  • High-definition protective filter
  • Sixteen levels of UV protection
  • Lithium battery
  • Solar-power backup
  • Ideal for all welding (except laser)
  • Life expectancy of ten years

3.Instapark ADF Series GX-350S Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

DEWALT DWE402 4-1 2-Inch 11-Amp Paddle Switch Angle Grinder

Another high-quality brand in the Welding Helmet Industry is InstaPark. I’ve used the GX-350S model before, and it has a remarkable performance for its price. Overall, if you need something light, durable, and cost-effective, the GX-350S is the way to go.

First off, this helmet is solar powered only, so if you work indoors or in low-light conditions, you will have to recharge it from time to time. Nonetheless, the performance and added features are enough to make this helmet worthwhile.

The auto-darkening feature works amazingly fast, going from light to dark in a fraction of a second. It’s not quite as fast as the Wakrays model, but you won’t be able to tell the difference.

To help you see what you’re doing, this helmet has advanced optics that reduce eye fatigue and improve overall clarity. The visual rating for this model is 1/2/1/3, which is ideal for most jobs.

The automatic shade adjustment goes from #9 to #13, with a resting shade of #4. For your convenience, there is an external adjustment knob so you can tweak as needed.

Finally, this helmet comes with a large 3.5x1.375 inch viewing screen, making it ideal for most stick, MIG, and TIG welding. 

Highlighted Features

  • Sleek all-black design
  • Lightweight and durable
  •  Solar powered only
  • Auto-darkening in 1/15000th of a second
  •  Improved optics for better clarity
  • 1/2/1/3 optical level reduces eye fatigue
  • Automatic shade adjustment between #9 and #13
  • Resting shade of #4
  • Manual shade adjustment on exterior
  • Large viewing window
  • 3.5” by 1.375” screen
  • Meets all safety standards
  • Ideal for stick, MIG, and TIG welding

4.Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

DEWALT DWE402 4-1 2-Inch 11-Amp Paddle Switch Angle Grinder

Next, we have the Antra AH6-260-0000 Welding Helmet.

This is another solar powered helmet, but if you had to compare this with the InstaPark, I would prefer the Antra Model due to its higher performance and extra features.

The auto-darkening system on this helmet is high-quality, which is due in part to the four separate arc sensors that adjust the shade between #5 and #13 within a fraction of a second.

Sixteen levels of UV protection stay active even if the helmet shuts off for any reason. To help you see even better, you can pick between grinding and welding modes for optimal clarity.

Also, there is an external control knob just in case you need to make any manual adjustments on the fly.The viewing screen on this helmet is fairly standard, measuring 3.78x1.78 inches.

What sets this helmet apart, however, is that you can attach a cheater lens or magnifying lens on the inside.

Both of these lenses are sold separately, but it’s nice to be able to use them if need be. Overall, this helmet is ideal for all types of welding (except laser). 

Highlighted Features

  • Comes in a variety of styles and colors
  • Lightweight and durable high-impact polyamide nylon
  • Auto-darkening with four arc sensors
  • Choose between welding and grinding modes
  • Variable shade adjustment between #5 to #13
  • Sixteen levels of UV protection
  • UV protective layer stays active if helmet turns off
  • Large viewing area
  • 3.78” by 1.78” screen
  • Compatible with cheater or magnifying lenses
  • Manual shade adjustment on exterior
  • Ideal for MIG/TIG/Stick/Plasma welding
  • Automatic on/off

5.AUDEW Solar Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

DEWALT DWE402 4-1 2-Inch 11-Amp Paddle Switch Angle Grinder

Finally, we come to the AUDEW Welding Helmet. This helmet not only has the top-quality performance and features you deserve, but it also comes in a badass skull design to set you apart from the crowd (also to help you distinguish your helmet from any others).

The auto-darkening feature on this helmet is remarkably fast, clocking in at 1/30000th of second between light and dark.

This is as fast as the Wakrays model, and it’s about as fast as you can get with any helmet on the market. The AUDEW is powered by a lithium battery but also has a solar-powered backup for charging.

The automatic shade adjustment goes from #9 to #13, with a resting shade of #4. For your convenience, you can configure the sensitivity levels beforehand, and you can make manual adjustments as needed with the exterior control knob.

Finally, this helmet has a view screen measuring 3.62x1.66 inches and comes with an automatic on/off feature, so you don’t have to worry about draining the battery.

Highlighted Features

  • Badass skull design
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Auto-darkening in 1/30000th of a second
  • Lithium battery
  • Solar-power backup
  • Automatic shade adjustment between #9 and #13
  • Resting shade #4
  • Manual shade controls on exterior
  • Set sensitivity level
  • Large viewing area
  • 3.62” by 1.66” screen
  • Automatic on/off function

Final Verdict

When trying to pick out the best welding helmet, I would base my choices on experience over specs. Working in a shop you may try out a variety of helmets over time, and each one will have a different feel to it that you’ll either like or dislike.

That being said, my top choice would be the Jackson Safety Helmet since I have a fondness for that brand, but other quality helmets would either be the InstaPark GX-350S or the Wakrays model.

Each of these units are top-rated and will provide exceptional performance on the job, so you’re sure to be satisfied no matter which one you pick.

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