Cheap Auto Darkening Welding Helmets For Under $100
|Full review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
|Amazon rank||4.4 from 550 reviews||4.5 from 57 reviews||4.7 from 40 reviews||4.2 from 177 reviews|
|Value for money||4.8||4.5||4.5||3.8|
|Shade range||DIN 5-9, 9-13||DIN 8-12||DIN 9-13||DIN 9-13|
|Viewing width||3.78" (96mm)||3.75" (95mm)||3.93" (99.8mm)||4" (101.6mm)|
|Viewing height||2.5" (63.5mm)||1.38" (34mm)||2.36" (59.9mm)||2.6" (66mm)|
|Cheater lens compatible|
|Grind mode shade||4||4||4|
|Light/dark switch time||0.00004 sec. (1/25000 sec.)||0.0001 (1/10,000 sec.)||0.00015 sec. (1/6667 sec.)||0.00004 sec. (1/25000 sec.)|
|Battery||Solar cell||AAA Battery with Solar Assist||2 Lithium Batteries||2 Lithium Batteries + Solar Panel|
|Control settings location||External Knob||Analog||Digital||Knob, External|
|Welding processes||Mig, Tig, Arc, Plasma||Mig, Tig, Arc||Mig, Tig, Arc||Mig, Tig, Arc|
|Weight||15 oz. (435g)||16 oz. (453g)||20 oz. (567g)||19.2oz. (544g)|
|Headgear style||Ratchet, headband||Ratchet, headband||Ratchet, headband||Ratchet, headband|
|Warranty||2 Years On Filter Only||2 Years||Unknown||2 Years|
|Welder level||professional, beginner, hobby||beginner, hobby||beginner, hobby||beginner, hobby|
Most cheap ADF helmets leave something to be desired when it comes to their quality or functionality, but after extensively reviewing many of these cheaper helmets we’ve come to the conclusion that the Antra is not only very cheap (it comes in a bit under $100), but also has excellent functionality usually only found in much more expensive helmets.
#1 Best Overall – Antra AH6 HelmetSurprisingly, the Antra has quite a large viewing size (3.86″x2.50″), sports 4 arc sensors (most of the cheaper helmets only have 2) and has a grinding mode with a shade 4 lens. That’s a lot of functionality wrapped into an affordable package. The helmet itself comes in a variety of awesome designs (the plain black is a little cheaper, but only slightly), and supports MIG,MAG,TIG,SMAW and Plasma Arc welding. This helmet surprised the hell out of us, and we’ve found that it can not only be used by beginner and hobby welders, but by professionals and daily welders as well.
#2 Best Quality – Miller 251292 HelmetAnother great option is the Miller 251292 which is only slightly more expensive than the Antra. Although the viewing size is not as large (3.75″x1.375″), and it only sports 2 arc sensors, and also lacks a grind mode, the lens optics are top-notch and will give you an excellent view of the weld puddle. The helmet itself is made of a thicker plastic than most of the cheaper welding helmets, and definitely feels safer to use. This is a great helmet for beginners and hobby welders.
#3 – Jackson Safety W40 HelmetClocking in at only slightly over $100, the Jackson Safety W40 comes with a fantastic viewing area (3.93″ x 2.36″), 4 arc sensors, and easy to use external digital controls, making it another great, cheap option (although not as cheap as some of the other options we’ve mentioned.) The good news is that the helmet does support a grind mode, but unfortunately only on shade 4. In addition the helmet is made of a rather thin plastic which, although perfectly safe for any type of welding, just doesn’t feel as safe as it should. With the constant spatter and sparks flying around, we’d feel more comfortable with something a little more solid. Otherwise, this is a great helmet with a quality ADF lens.
When looking for a cheap auto darkening welding helmet, we recommend going with a known brand that will ensure the safety of the helmet and the ADF lens. Viewing area and number of arc sensors are the usual compromise when choosing a cheaper version, but as you can see above there are some excellent helmets with a large viewing size and 4 arc sensors. While most of these helmets should not be used in a professional setting, they’re all great for beginner and hobby welders, with the exception of the Antra, which can be used by professionals as well.