Rhino Large View Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet Review
Extra large viewing window
The size of the viewing window on this helmet is seriously impressive. It measures 4” wide and 2.6” high, resulting in over 10 in² of viewing space in total. This is virtually twice as big as most other standard viewing windows, which should make it easier for you to visualize in terms of size. As you can imagine, having a viewing window this big makes it so easy to see what you’re working on; anything that makes welding clearer is worth its weight in gold.
The auto-darkening feature that comes built into this helmet is great for protecting your eyes from being blinded. It has a fast reaction time, so you can get to work immediately, without needing to wait a few seconds for your eyes to adjust – which would potentially spoil your weld. The lens is made with dark shades 9-13, which is more than adequate for most welding applications. However, if it still doesn’t feel quite right for you, it is possible to adjust the sensitivity and delay settings to suit your preferences.
Quick and easy adjustment
There’s no more fiddly fine-tuning with this helmet: you don’t even have to remove your gloves to adjust the settings. Knobs positioned on the outside of the helmet make adjusting the sensitivity and delay on the auto-darkening lens a breeze, which will save you time and energy!
For an auto-darkening helmet, it’s surprisingly lightweight. It weighs in at under 2 lbs, which is even lighter than some fixed shade helmets on the market. Being so light, this welding helmet is very comfortable to wear for long periods at a time – at the end of the day you’ll notice less neck strain and fatigue than you’d have experienced with a heavier helmet. As if that wasn’t enough, this helmet is made even more comfortable thanks to a sweat absorbing head band.
Welding equipment can be prone to breaking, due to being thrown around the workshop on a daily basis. That said, numerous wearers have reported that this helmet is extremely durable – it’s able to withstand impacts and being dropped without the danger of cracking. The lens won’t shatter either, which means that you’ll be able to use this helmet for years to come.
Wear with safety glasses
Rhino have designed this helmet to feature a nifty ratchet design which allows you to wear the face shield in one of three different positions. Depending on what you choose, this means you can wear the helmet and still have plenty of space underneath it to wear safety glasses for extra protection.
Price-wise, this helmet is on the lower end of the spectrum compared to many others that are available on the market. As it’s inexpensive, it brings welding helmets into the realm of the affordable for the masses, which is a huge bonus for thousands of welders, whether they’re professionals or beginners!
Awkwardly placed sensors
This helmet has only been made with two arc sensors, and both are located at the top of the lens. This seems a little illogical, because if the view is blocked from above – even by only a little – then blinding flashes are a very real possibility. Blocking the sensors in this way could be very dangerous, so try to be very careful if you wear this helmet with a limited view of your work.
Easy to bump the settings
The fact that the lens adjustment knobs are located on the exterior of the helmet makes life a lot easier in that they’re very easy to adjust, but this also means that it’s very easy to adjust the settings by accident, even when you don’t mean to do so. When the knobs are bumped or knocked by the slightest amount they are prone to moving out of position, which could potentially be very dangerous. Any risk of being blinded is something that you should take very seriously, but if you’re careful not to bump the settings then this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Suitable for limited uses
This helmet is fairly limited in the number of uses for which it’s suitable. It hasn’t been designed with overhead welding, laser welding or laser cutting applications in mind; if you want to try these out then you should consider buying separate helmets to ensure you’re protected properly. That said, you won’t be out of pocket too much, due to the fact that this helmet is inexpensive to start with!
Not real carbon fiber
The carbon fiber content is an attractive feature, but to say that is slightly deceptive. In fact, it’s not technically real carbon fiber – it’s more like an overlay made from a carbon fiber effect material. This might seem disappointing, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that it still results in an extra durable, lightweight helmet.
Light welding only
You’ll be disappointed if you expect to be able to use this helmet for heavy-duty welding. If you do, don’t be surprized if smoke and sparks make their way under the lenses – even melting the lenses in very high temperatures. Nevertheless, it’s more than suitable for light welding applications.
No grinding mode
Annoyingly, this welding helmet does not feature a dedicated grinding mode. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be used for grinding. To do so, instead of changing a setting, you just have to turn the sensitivity switch right down to its lowest setting. This might be mildly annoying, but it’s something that you can work around fairly easily.
There is a glossy finish covering the inside of this helmet. This might sound and look pretty cool, but it isn’t very helpful when it comes to actually using the helmet. Having this glossy finish can cause bad glare – especially if you work with fluorescent lights shining behind you – which makes it very difficult to see your weld pool clearly.
As mentioned previously, it’s relatively easy for smoke and particles to get underneath the hood of the helmet, so keeping the lenses clean can be a challenge. Changing them regularly is one possible solution, but doing so can be quite fiddly. Not impossible, but a hassle that makes life that little bit more difficult!
Replacement lenses are not widely available
If you need a replacement lens, you probably won’t be able to buy them through your regular retailer. They’re pretty difficult to come by, which means you will usually need to buy them through Amazon. On the upside, at least Amazon is a reputable, reliable site that you can usually rely on to offer good prices and quick delivery!
- Weight: 1.2 lbs (544 g) including headgear
- Dimensions: 13.2 x 9.2 x 7.8 in (33.5 x 23.4 x 19.8 cm)
- Arc sensors: 2
- Switching time: 1/25,000 second
- Shades: grind mode (light shade 4) and dark shades 9-13
- Power source: solar panel with two replacable batteries
- Low battery indicator
- Headgear: ratchet style with headband
- 2 year warranty – covers defects/flaws in manufacturing and workmanship for all components
- Made in China
Comes installed with interior and exterior lens covers, and it’s supplied with an extra outer clear lens
When combined, features such as the large viewing window, the lightweight shell and the auto-darkening lens make this one of the most appealing welding helmets on the market. As it offers so much for such a low price, there’s no doubting that it’s excellent value for money.
However, it isn’t perfect; it does have its downsides. These are mainly the fact that the arc sensors are placed really inconveniently, the knobs which can be bumped and changed too easily, and the fact that it’s only really suitable for light welding rather than heavy duty operations.
With this in mind, we can draw the conclusion that this helmet is a great buy which won’t break the bank, but it’s definitely better suited to beginners and casual welders rather than professional or heavy-duty welders.