Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet Under $100

When it comes to safety during welding, one should not make any compromises. Buying an auto darkening helmet is a must for any welder whether you are welding professionally or you are just pursuing welding as a hobby. The most significant benefit of these helmets is that they darken up in the fraction of a second on detection of the arc. This helps in preventing accidental exposure to the arc flash. The helmets are powered by batteries as well as solar power and even if the battery runs out, the default screen of the helmet is dark enough to prevent flashing.

The auto-darkening helmets are lightweight and these can be worn for longer welding sessions as they are easy to fix on the head with the help of headbands and straps. The lesser weight means the wearer is free to move around and work on the welding project as required. If you are looking for best auto darkening helmets under $100, there are many models you can find, and these are equipped with the most modern features you can find in the industry.

In this article, we are going to compare the best auto-darkening welding helmets under $100, and we will also take a look at their features, pros, cons, and frequently asked questions about these helmets.

Comparison Chart of auto-darkening welding helmets Under $100

Product NameWeightDimensionsVIewing AreaSensorsWarrantyEditor's RatingProduct URL
Antra AH6-260-0000 1.0 pounds9 x 9 x 12 inches3.86 x 1.73 inch41 year4.4Check on Amazon
Pro Welding Helmet 14.1 ounces11.8 x 7.9 x 9.4 inches3.94 x 2.87 inch42 years4.2Check on Amazon
Instapark ADF Series GX-500S 1.9 pounds12.8 x 9 x 9 inches3.63 x 1.65 inch21 year4.1Check on Amazon
Antra AH6-660-6217 1 pound12 x 8 x 7 inches3.86 x 2.50 inch41 year4.2Check on Amazon
Tanox Auto Darkening 2 pounds8 x 9 x 12 inches3.86 x 1.73 inch42 years4.4Check on Amazon

Features to Expect in Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets Under $100

If a welding helmet costs less, it doesn’t mean it won’t have modern features that will help you to do your job better. Here are some of the features that you can expect in helmets under $100.

  1. High-Quality Lens – The lens is one of the most important parts of an auto-darkening welding helmet. The lens has multiple layers of screens that also filter out UV/IR rays to prevent the welder’s eyes from the harmful effects of the arc. The default state of the lenses is mostly at shade 10, but the shade increases on the detection of the arc.
  2. Lightweight – Gone are the days of bulky helmets that would tire out the welder even after a short welding session. Modern helmets are made from durable materials that are also lightweight and do not cause any stress on the neck and shoulders of the wearer. As these helmets are lightweight, they are also easy to wear and enable the welder to weld properly in tight or unusual places.  
  3. Modern Design – The modern design of the helmets sits well with welders that are looking for a helmet that will provide all the features they need, and also look good. Many helmets offer unique graphics and features that add to the look of the helmet.
  4. Adjustable – The auto-darkening helmets can be easily adjusted to suit the individual needs of the welder. The headband of the helmet offers varying degrees of adjustment, and it is ideal for all users. 
  5. Sensitivity and Delay Features – No two welding jobs are the same, and the sensitivity and delay features allow you to adjust the helmet according to the needs of your welding task. You can carry out all kinds of welding with ease and ensure complete protection of your eyes. 
  6. Battery and Solar Powered – Most auto-darkening helmets come with dual power sources that are a battery as well as a solar power panel. This prevents the helmet from suddenly going out of power as the unit will alert the user when the battery is low so that it can be replaced. The solar power panel keeps the helmet darkened if there is a malfunction with the battery.

Reviews of Best Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets Under $100

1) Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

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The Antra Ah6-260-0000 is a modern auto-darkening helmet that offers a high degree of protection from the arc flare and covers the most common welding processes. The shade variable on this helmet is in the range of 4/5-9/9-13, and the wearer can also adjust the delay and sensitivity with the adjustable knob. The large viewing window of the helmet ensures you will get ample space to view the area you are working on. This auto-darkening helmet also offers the option of adding a cheater lens or a magnifying lens depending on the need of your welding job. Whether you want a helmet for TIG, MIG, MMA or plasma applications, this is the ideal helmet for all these tasks. You can also use the Antra AH6 helmet for grinding jobs.

Pros

  1. Large, 3.86”X1.73” window
  2. Four premium sensors
  3. Adjustable delay and sensitivity knob
  4. Variable shade for covering common welding plasma cutting processes

Cons

  1. The helmet can get triggered by external lights
  2. The battery check light can develop faults
  3. The screws are not high-quality
  4. The inner lens tends to fog up
  5. The batteries die quickly

2) Pro Welding Helmet with Highest Optical Class

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The Pro Welding Helmet from TACKLIFE offers the best protection for your eyes with 1/1/1/1 optical class. This helmet is designed to be lightweight, and it has a modern design that is easy to keep on the head without causing stress on the neck and shoulders. The PA material of the helmet is durable and flame retardant so that you can wear it while working on all kinds of welding and grinding tasks. The viewing area for this helmet is large so that you can check the welding area with ease. This helmet is ideal for TIG, MIG, MMA applications and you can also use it for grinding tasks. For different kinds of welding tasks, you can adjust the sensitivity knob and also use the step-less delay features. The helmet’s design also supports a magnifying lens.

Pros

  1. Quick darkening feature, less than 1/25000 seconds
  2. Adjustable headband
  3. High impact PA material construction
  4. Comes with six piece cover lens
  5. Made from corrosion resistant and flame retardant material

Cons

  1. The helmet’s design is not comfortable for ears
  2. The helmet is not easy to open while wearing welding gloves
  3. The headband is made from flimsy material
  4. Not ideal for use in outdoor locations

3) Instapark ADF Series GX-500S Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

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The Instaspark ADF Series GX-500S is a solar powered helmet that also works on battery power. The helmet is designed for all kinds of welding jobs and you can use it for TIG, MIG, or stick applications. The auto-darkening welding helmet offers a large viewing area that gives you an ideal look at the area you are welding. The welding window also offers protection from UV/IR rays. As the material of the helmet is lightweight and durable, you can wear it for long welding sessions without feeling tiredness in your neck and shoulders. The dual arc sensors activate in the fraction of a second, and you can easily carry out your welding tasks. The helmet has a resting shade of #4 and the adjustable shade varies from #9 to #13.

Pros

  1. Large viewing area of 3.63” X 1.65”
  2. Adjustable sensitivity
  3. Comes with grinding function
  4. Variable shade #9-#13
  5. Lightweight and durable material

Cons

  1. The helmet is not good for outdoor welding
  2. The headband needs to be adjusted every time on wearing the helmet
  3. The batteries run out quickly and need to be charged
  4. The tension screws for the headbands tend to break
  5. The lens gets triggered by regular lights in the welding area

4) Antra AH6-660-6217 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

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The Antra AH6-660-6217 helmet offers auto-darkening feature that is ideal for all kinds of welding from TIG, MIG, to Stick welding. The view area of the helmet is large, and you can easily check the condition of the weld through the window. The lightweight helmet can be used for long welding sessions as it does not put any stress on the neck or the shoulders of the welder. You can move your head easily while wearing the helmet and there is no blockage of movement because of the size of the helmet. The full face and neck protection mean the welder’s face is protected from the splatters and sparks while welding. As the welder does not need to flip the hood up every time, it helps to reduce the time taken to finish the job as well.

Pros

  1. Permanent shade at #13
  2. Sensitivity and delay adjustment knob
  3. Lightweight and durable helmet
  4. Quick reaction time 1/25000 of a second
  5. Six internal and one external lens cover included

Cons

  1. The battery is difficult to change
  2. The hinge of the helmet is not sturdy
  3. The plastic material feels flimsy
  4. The helmet is not ideal for TIG welding
  5. The lenses are not the standard size

5) Tanox Auto Darkening Solar Powered Welding Helmet

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The Tanox auto-darkening helmet comes with a range of modern features, and it is an easy to use helmet that is perfect for all kind of welding jobs. The helmet has an optical class rating of 1/1/1/2, and it has a large viewing window that gives the welder a wide view of the welding area. If you are looking for a helmet that is functional as well as powerful, this is the unit you should buy. This brand of helmet also comes with a pair of welding gloves and an additional set of lens covers. The fully-covered area of the helmet provides complete protection from flare as well as the sparks and splatter from the welding task at hand.

Pros

  1. Lightweight and durable construction
  2. Lithium battery with a lifespan of two years
  3. A large viewing area for easy welding inspection
  4. Four premium arc sensors
  5. Dark to light, adjustable knob

Cons

  1. The battery is difficult to replace
  2. The hood tightening system is not ideal
  3. The helmet does not work well for heavy use
  4. The battery compartment is hidden and not easily visible

FAQs about Best Auto-Darkening welding helmets Under $100

Buyers often have questions about the products that they are interested in. Here is a quick look at some of the frequently asked questions about auto-darkening welding helmets.

Q1) When should I replace the batteries of my auto-darkening helmet?

Ans. The battery usage depends on how often you use your helmet. If the battery is low, the helmet will alert you to change the battery when needed.

Q2) I want to use a cheater lens with my welding helmet. How can I find out if it is compatible?

Ans. You can look into the manual of the welding for directions to add a cheater lens. You can also contact the manufacturer to ask if the helmet is compatible with a cheater lens.

Q3) Can I use my auto-darkening helmet to view an eclipse?

Ans. For viewing an eclipse, the minimum shade requirement for welding helmets is 13. If your helmet has a shade requirement of 13 or above, you can view the eclipse. That said, it is the best idea to get an expert opinion and exercise caution before using a welding helmet to view an eclipse.

Q4) How can I ensure the helmet stays dark even if the arc is not present?

Ans. You can turn up the sensitivity of the helmet to the highest degree to ensure it stays dark even when you are not using the arc.

Q5) I do most of my welding outside. How do I make sure the helmet gets dark when I use the arc and the lens is clear when I need to view the work I have done?

Ans. You will need to adjust the sensitivity of the lens depending on the kind of welding you plan to do. Please refer to the manual of your welding helmet as different models have unique settings for sensitivity and delay.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an auto-darkening welding helmet, you can easily find one under $100. Keep in mind the kind of welding jobs that you plan to do and buy a helmet that meets those requirements. Also, if possible, wear the helmet and see if you feel comfortable with the dimensions and the fit of the helmet. It is always a good idea to get a helmet with the features that you might think you will need in the future. Also, consider the warranty and the replacement parts for the helmet so that in case something goes wrong with the helmet you can get it repaired or replaced with ease.

We hope this article was helpful in giving you an insight into the features, pros, and cons for a helmet. If you have any queries or doubts, please feel free to discuss in the comment section.