There is increasing recognition among welders about the auto-darkening helmets because of their benefits for eyes and overall productivity.
Accordingly, these gears are supposed to automatically adjust the brightness and lens quality to the surrounding environment. As a result, your eyes will stay comfortable even when you work for a long time.
How can they?
If you still don’t have a clear idea about the auto-darkening helmet, keep scrolling down to get:
- An introduction to the auto-darkening gear
- A complete buying guide explained
- 10 best auto darkening welding helmet reviews UK
Table of Contents
- What Is Auto Darkening Welding Helmet?
- How To Choose The Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet?
- Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Reviews UK 2020
- Best Welding Helmet Under £50
- Best Welding Helmet Under £100
- Best Welding Helmet Under £200
- Best Welding Helmet Under £300
What Is Auto Darkening Welding Helmet?
An auto-darkening welding helmet is a traditional headgear plus the Auto-Darkening Filter (ADF) lens. Such an ADF often features liquid crystal displays (LCDs), an ultraviolet (UV)/ infrared (IR) filter, sensors, electronic components, as well as a power of batteries or solar cells.
When being activated, the arc sensors in the helmet will detect the stuck welding arc. Then, they connect with the electronic components to turn on the LCDs that include darkening visible lights. In turn, the lights will automatically adjust its brightness between 1 and 13 shade levels to protect your eyes. At the same time, the UV/IR filter is active to shield away harmful radioactive emissions.
Hilariously enough, you do not bother flipping the lens up and down like when using the traditional welding helmets.
How To Choose The Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet?
Although all auto-darkening welding helmets are crafted with primary components above, they are not entirely the same. Thus, you might be extremely confused at first and do not know what to choose. Fortunately, we reveal a comprehensive buying guide as follows.
The very first information to look for is safety certificates. They are a shortcut to indicate the quality of the helmets.
For headgears, the ANSI Z87.1- 2003 regulation is the most common and reliable. It confirms the reaction time, lens shades, switching speeds, UV/IR filtering ability, and the sustained temperatures of the helmets. Or, you can refer to the EN 175 to check welding helmet standards in the British.
Material & Weight
Now that you already rest assured about the quality, it is time to consider the material.
Please ensure that the helmets are durable enough to handle extreme temperatures and sparks during the welding process. Moreover, the material must also be resistant to potential UV/IR rays.
However, durable material is not necessarily heavy. Otherwise, you will have to suffer from shoulder stain or neck fatigue after a long work shift. The acceptable weight ranges from 15 to 35 ounces.
As far as we know, polyamide-nylon or polymer meets the two requirements above. They are both durable against chemicals, heat, and abrasion. Meanwhile, the materials are not too heavy. Fiberglass and leather are even better, yet very expensive.
Next, figure out how responsive the helmets are when adjusting the viewing area and brightness. To know, you must consider the number of sensors and lenses available.
Most low- or medium-priced auto-darkening helmets feature one or two sensors. At this rate, the sensors still possible catch a flash in typical working environments. However, under dim or unfavorable conditions, they sometimes fail to detect stuck arc.
It is better to have three or four sensors so that the LCDs can change according to the environment more precisely and quickly.
Lenses and Adjusting features
Even the most active sensors fail to work without adjustable shade lenses. Thus, choose the lenses carefully: the more shades, the merrier. The standard shades for almost all welding tasks are 9 to 13.
Moreover, the lenses should also be smartly adjustable with as few interactions as possible in order that you can focus on your work.
Accordingly, you should be able to control the sensitivity by using the knob. Moreover, it is recommended to set up how long the lense will start adjusting to the bright conditions. This not only gives your eyes time to get used to the brightness, but it also saves batteries used.
Most auto-darkening welding headgears run on solar cells or batteries.
The earlier source is user-friendly, but it is only useful in a favorable outdoor environment. Whereas, the latter power source is cheaper and more flexible. Some batteries are replaceable, so you can change the batteries when power runs low.
Interestingly enough, some helmets even support the two sources. Thus, the solar system kicks in upon the case of flat batteries.
Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Reviews UK 2020
Best Welding Helmet Under £50
1 – Silverline 934295 Auto Darkening DIN 3/11EW
|Safety certification||EN379 & EN175|
|Material||Polycarbonate & polypropylene|
|Dimensions||24 x 24 x 33 cm|
|Sensors||Dual light sensors|
|Lenses||3-16 DIN shade|
|Power||Corded electric 240V and Solar-powered|
|Good for||MIG/TIG/Arc welding|
The very first best budget welding helmet UK we want to introduce is the Silverline 934295 DIN 3/11EW. This is a simple-to-use auto gear for those who change from the hand-held welding to the auto-darkening helmet for the first time.
Made of polycarbonate & polypropylene, the Silverline 934295 DIN 3/11EW is very lightweight and comfortable to wear for a long time. There is even a padded headband that is adjustable in 4 ways to fit your head size the most.
In terms of the auto-detection, the helmet performs well. The mask responses to the ark striking thanks to the dual-light sensors available quickly. The manufacturer claims that it takes only 1/5000 second for the sensors to change from light to dark.
With Silverline 934295 DIN 3/11EW, you will have a clear vision to control over the grinding process. Moreover, the grind mode available will stop the sparks from activating the auto-darkening ability.
Another worth mentioning is this helmet features two power sources: the corded electric power and solar power.
The downside is that the helmet is too sensitive. If you place an inspection lamp within your working space, the mask can also turn dark. Moreover, there are almost no advanced features.
- Lightweight and easily adjustable
- Dual light sensors
- Various light filtering levels
- No adds-on
In sum, this Silverline 934295 DIN 3/11EW is a cheap basic helmet for beginners that features auto-light detection to help your work much more comfortable.
2 – Leopard DIN9~13 Shade Welding Helmet
|Safety certification||EN379 & EN175, ANSI Z87.1-2010, and CE approval|
|Dimensions||25.4 x 25.9 x 34.3 cm|
|Sensors||Two Arc sensors|
|Power||Battery-powered, plus solar panel|
Coming at a meager price, the Leopard DIN9~13 Shade Welding Helmet still covers all basic features you desire to work with the welding machine in a hassle-free way.
For instance, this helmet is designed to cover your full face from dangerous metal particles, harmful radioactive rays, and heat exposure. Two sensors are fast responsive to light changes, and the filter will switch to dark mode in a matter of 0.5milliseconds. Moreover, the lens of DIN 9-13 is enough to withstand all general welding projects.
The helmet features nice bonuses such as removable sweatband, interchangeable lenses, and storage bags.
In drawback, the Leopard DIN9~13 is more cumbersome than average, which might lead to neck strains if you wear it for a long hour. In return, the large size often comes with a full viewing area.
- Very pocket friendly
- Large viewing area
- Full Face coverage
- Automatic variable shade
- No adds-on
All in all, the Leopard DIN9~13 is such a bargain because you will have a full package of the best auto darkening welding helmet under £50, storage bag, and 5 spare lenses.
3 – FIXKIT Solar Powered Welding Helmet
|Safety certification||CE and RoHS.|
|Dimensions||25.2.x 29.2 x 30 cm|
|Sensors||2pcs arc sensors|
|Lenses||4-16 DIN shade|
|Power||a solar cell or 1x Li-battery|
|Good for||MIG/MAG/TIG/Co2 welding and plasma cutting|
At a glance, many people are impressed by the FIXKIT Solar Powered Welding Helmet’s eagle design. It seems lively and adds some fun to your welding projects.
When looking closer to the helmet, we find that this helmet is built with comfort and safety.
Accordingly, it features a wide field of vision of 96mm x 48mm. This is a big plus to enhance comfort and safety for your work. In addition, you can even adjust the wearing height and visor angle to your preference. Remember to lock at the end so that the helmet sits firmly and relaxingly.
Also, the construction of entire shields will thoroughly protect your head and neck from sparks.
Now speaking of performance, this helmet is advertised to be lightning-fast in switching from light to dark – only 1/30000s. However, we do not think an auto-darkening should be that sensitive. Not only does it eat up battery quickly, but your eyes might get strained because the brightness changes quickly, especially under an unstable working environment.
Fortunately, there is a delay control between 0.15 to 0.8s so that you can determine how long the lens stays dark after the arc stops. This way, your eyes can relax before you start the next weld.
- The cheapest in the list
- Cool eagle design
- Safe construction
- Wide vision area
- Delay control included
- Too sensitive sensor
- Cheap and non-durable material
Despite its low price, the manufacturer tries to add many fantastic features to FIXKIT Solar Powered Welding Helmet, making it the best welding helmet for beginners.
Best Welding Helmet Under £100
1 – Tacklife PAH04D with 4 Shade Filter Sensors
|Safety certification||EN 379/EN 175/ANSI / ISEA Z87.1-2015/CE /RoHS, etc.|
|Dimensions||23.2 x 23.4 x 29.4 cm|
|Sensors||4 shade-filter sensors|
|Good for||Almost all welding tasks|
Tacklife PAH04D is the best auto darkening welding helmet under £100 that provides a package of features that you will hardly find at this price category.
First off, you can rely on the helmet in terms of quality and safe build. This helmet meets many industry certifications, such as DIN EN 379/175, ANSI/ISEA, CSA, CE, RoHS, etc.
Secondly, the helmet supports a full shade range from #3; 4-8; and 9-13 shades, along with adjustable delay and sensitivity control so that you can use the Tacklife PAH04D for almost all welding projects. There are four shade-filtering sensors available to ensure flexibility to protect your eyes at a rapid rate of 1/25000s.
What we both like and dislike about this auto-darkening welding helmet is its construction. Features to praise are the durable material, large field of view, and adjustable headgear. However, the Tacklife PAH04D is a bit heavy and possibly causes neck strain. Also, all control knobs are located outsides that you can accidentally mess the settings and even damage them.
- Quality build
- Full range of lens shade
- Independent shade-filtering sensors
- Adjustable delay and sensitivity
- Heavy material
- Sometimes flimsy
- Accidental damages to control knobs
If you want a versatile and built-to-last welding helmet, go for Tacklife PAH04D.
2 – TOOL IT 37229 True Colour Alien LCD Helmet
|Safety certification||EN 175 and EN 379|
|Dimensions||26.5 x 26.5 x 27 cm|
|Power||Solar and batteries|
|Good for||MMA (ARC) / MIG|
The next on the list is TOOL IT 37229 True Colour Alien LCD Helmet.
As its name suggests, the helmet comes with the latest Trucolor technology to create perfect visibility to everything you are welding with. Accordingly, the lens features high contrast and clarity, through which colors become more natural and vivid without the green tint. In addition, the helmet has an XXL viewing area to protect your eye from stains and help improve the precision of all welding tasks.
Besides, you can still find standard features of an auto-darkening welding helmet such as the variable filtering shades, external adjustment of grinding and shades, as well as the internal adjustment of delay and sensitivity.
- XXL field of view
- Dual shade selector
- TrueColor technology
- User-friendly settings
- Heavy headgear
- Not for TIG welding
TOOL IT 37229 True Colour Alien LCD Helmet is for those who are serious about keeping every welding task clearly precious.
3 – DEKO Solar Powered Welding
|Safety certification||ANSI Z87.1-2010 & EN379|
|Dimensions||19.8 x 23.6 x 32 cm|
|Power||Battery-powered, plus solar panel|
|Good for||MIG/TIG/Arc Weld Grinding|
Our first impression on the DEKO Solar Powered Welding is its unique design. To be specific, it features a smooth rounded field of view and oversized lenses. Even better, there is a variation of luminous in the LCDs. This supports the diffusion of light and a clear view from different angles.
Now mentioning our true experience with the DEKO Solar Powered Welding, this headgear maintains the right balance of adjustable and fatigue-free feel despite the weight. This is thanks to the adjustable headband to ensure that the helmet fits your personal preferences.
The adjustable arc sensors of the DEKO Solar Powered Welding also performs well. The filter will quickly adjust from light to dark within 1/25000s. You can manually set up the filtering levels, sensitivity, and delay control to meet your demands.
Just for your note, some consumers reported that the helmet might suddenly lighten in the middle of the TIG weld. Thus, you need to check all settings and batteries carefully in advance.
- User-friendly design
- Large field of view
- Adjustable sensitivity and delay
- Various variable shades
- Solar panel supported
- A little heavy
- Problems reported about TIG welding
All in all, DEKO Solar Powered Welding provides you with comfortable welding experience.
4 – Tanox Digital Control ADF-210S Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
|Safety certification||EN379 & ANSI Z87.1|
|Dimensions||20.3 x 22.9 x 30.5 cm|
|Sensors||4 arc sensors|
|Power||Battery-powered, plus solar panel|
If you look for a versatile helmet for different welding tasks such as MIG, TIG, Welding, or Grinding, you should consider the Tanox Digital Control ADF-210S.
This auto-darkening welding helmet comes with three selectors of lens shades (4/9-13/16) rather than one or two levels like other budget headgears.
How can these shades help?
The light shade of 4 is visible enough for most MIG projects without requiring you to lift the mask. This level also saves batteries. The shades from 9 to 13 help block the brighter-than-sun welding arc. Meanwhile, the DIN 16 shade will protect eyes against harmful UV/IR rays.
Along with various shades is 4 arc auto-darkening sensors, quick at detecting arc start in a fraction of seconds.
The performance is excellent, however, the helmet is not comfortable to wear for hours. This is due to heavy construction.
- Affordable choice
- Four arc sensors
- Various shades levels
- Additional accessories
- Weight construction
Tanox Digital Control ADF-210S is a highly functional helmet for intensive welding applications, including grind, cut, and weld.
Best Welding Helmet Under £200
1 – Jackson Safety Ultra-Lightweight
|Safety certification||ANSI Z87.1 and CSA|
|Material||PC + ABS|
|Power||Lithium batteries and solar assistant|
|Good for||Weld and Grind|
Jackson Safety Ultra-Lightweight is the best auto darkening welding helmet under £200.
In general, the functionalities of this helmet are not very different from those of other auto-darkening helmets. For example, there are 4 independent arc sensors and variable shade 9-13. Thus, you can wear this Jackson Safety Ultra-Lightweight in almost all welding and grinding tasks.
Moreover, the headgear possibly runs on both batteries and solar assistant, so you hardly worry about flat batteries in the middle of the work.
The difference that makes the helmet more expensive is its design.
As you can see, this headgear is made of ABS plastic rather than the standard PP plastic. This material is well-known for its hardness. That is why the shell of this helmet is thinner to keep the weight down and fit into narrow working spaces; meanwhile, it is still durable over time.
Furthermore, the viewing area is extensive to provide unobstructed vision at all stages of the welding process.
- Narrow shell for tight working spaces
- Quick auto-darkening sensors
- Extended front to protect the whole face
- Unobstructed vision
- Lower heat resistance compared to PP helmets
- Replacements not widely available
Jackson Safety Ultra-Lightweight is a Chinese product that makes it hard to find some replacement parts. However, all in all, this medium-priced helmet is still worth buying because of its performance.
Best Welding Helmet Under £300
1 – 3M Speedglas 401385 9002 NC Welding Helmet
|Dimensions||23 x 25 x 27 cm|
|Good for||MMAW/MIG/MAG & low amp TIG welding|
Know it or not, Speedglas was the pioneer in introducing the ideas of auto-darkening welding helmet to the market. Thus, they know this technology very much, and the product quality is no brainer.
Take 3M Speedglas 401385 9002, for example.
At a low price, the helmet looks extraordinarily sleek and ergonomic, along with a ratchet system. The cover is smooth and sturdy. There are crown straps and a padded headband to customize the fit at ease. Only when you feel comfortable and secure can you work productively.
Most importantly, an extra window is found in the front, keening the auto-darkening filter in a proper place, and two additional windows on the sides will expand your view.
Apart from that, you can choose from a wide range of shades, including 3; 8-12; and 12 levels to satisfy your requirement. Even better, you can lock the shades in to ensure a stable brightness quality.
The only disadvantage is that the 3M Speedglas 401385 9002 runs on batteries rather than support extra solar panel as other models.
- Smooth and ergonomic design
- Quality material
- Comfortably fit heads
- Extra-large windows in the front and on sides
- Various shade lense
- No solar power
All features of 3M Speedglas 9100 Welding Helmet are useful, except for the lack of solar panel. Fortunately, the batteries can last for long – about 2,000 hours under proper settings.
2 – Esab 0700000800 Sentinel A50 Welding Screen
|Safety certification||CE, EN 175/379/166, ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, DIN Plus, etc.|
|Dimensions||35 x 35 x 55cm|
|Power||Lithium batteries and solar cell|
|Good for||MIG/ TIG/STICK & low amp TIG welding|
At the similar pricing category with the 3M Speedglas, this Esab 0700000800 Sentinel A50 is the best auto darkening welding helmet under £300 for your reference.
For your information, this helmet is both comprehensive and lightweight. Accordingly, its dimensions are 35 x 35 x 55cm; meanwhile, the headgear is just 0.65 kg – not as heavy as you might think of such a large helmet. Besides, the viewing area is both broad and clear to help weld tight spots.
Most consumers also like the Esab 0700000800’s ease of use. The helmet features 5 contacting points so that you can use adjustable it all the ways you need. The external-grinding mode button is especially right on the side where you easily reach and change the settings.
Speaking of the darkening ability, the Esab 0700000800 supports 4 responsive sensors and shades of DIN 5-8/9-13 to ultimately protect your eyes against arc flashes or harmful UV/IR rays.
- An extremely spacious viewing area
- Durable and lightweight build
- Ease of use
- Powered by batteries and solar cell
- Responsive sensors and DIN 5-8/9-13 lens
- Expensive tag
The Esab 0700000800 Sentinel A50 is well-worth for welders who pay great attention to extreme comfort, quality lens, and vast field of view.
Once you put on an auto-darkening welding helmet, you will not want to get back to the traditional flimsy ones. We promise! Thus, pick up one among the best auto darkening welding helmet reviews UK today and give it a try.
If you still can not choose because all seem too good, we recommend Esab 0700000800 Sentinel A50. This headgear is a bit expensive but safe and effective to protect your eyes and to improve the welding productivity.