Auto-Darkening Hoods: Is It Worth It?
We’re constantly looking for the Holy Grail of welding helmets. Because good helmets aren’t just protection, they’re beyond that. When you’re welding with a good helmet, it doesn’t get in the way, it becomes an extension of you.
So, how do Auto-Darkening Helmets rate on our quest for the perfect hood?
First, what’s “Auto-Darkening” mean. It’s as simple as it sounds. Auto-darkening helmets have an adjustable lens that automatically darkens or lightens depending on the light around it.
So what’s the benefit of an auto-darkening hood? You don’t have to keep lifting your helmet up to see what you’re doing. Sure, but is that worth the extra money for a 3 second task? Yes, because here’s what’s really going on. With a normal helmet, you line yourself up perfectly on the joint. You flip your helmet down, causing you to lose your place by just ¼ of an inch. Now you’re staring into darkness, hoping you’re still lined up right. Your welder flashes into life and you realize you’re off from your spot. You try to shift your welding gun back in line, leaving a drunken-looking, zig-zag pattern. Time to get out the grinder.
Let’s take that whole scenario over again with an auto-darkening helmet. The helmet’s sensors let it know exactly how much light you need to see while not being blinded. This means you can line up perfectly without lifting the helmet up or down in the first place. You position yourself in the right spot and start welding. Bam! Within 1/20,000th of a second the helmet adjusts to the light. Let’s put that into perspective. The fastest you can blink your eyes is 400 milliseconds. That means an auto-darkening helmet is 8,000 times faster than the blink of an eye. You know what that means? It means your welding gun stays where it needs to. It means less time grinding. It means straight lines and good-looking welds you can be proud of.
So, is an auto-darkening helmet worth it? Yes. There’s no reason you should still be using an antique welding helmet. No matter what you’re doing, an auto-darkening helmet will make your welds better and your life much more easier.
The real question is, what helmet should I get? Auto-darkening helmets used to cost a small fortune. Fortunately, their prices are much more affordable now and vary depending on your needs.
For instance, if you’re a medium-level welder, there’s the Miller Digital Performance Helmet with Auto-Darkening. The Digital Performance has 3 sensors that collect information about how much light you need so you can see. If you’re more than an occasional welder, 4 sensors is what you want. Right now you can get most of our Miller Auto-Darkening Helmets for at least 20% off plus no tax and free shipping.
If you need a helmet that can handle any situation, you’ll want the Optrel E684. Its Twilight Technology creates the smoothest transitions possible when going from light to dark, reducing eye fatigue and making sure your welds stay nice and clean. The best part is, right now you can get it for $120 off with Welding Supplies From IOC.
So, is there any reason to have an auto-darkening hood? There’s no reason to NOT have an auto-darkening hood. It’s safer, it’ll improve your weld quality, and you can get them for a great price. Go ahead, check out our collection of auto-darkening hood and see for yourself.