How to Properly Set an Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

MIL231408A welding helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment that a welder uses.  An auto-darkening welding helmet features a lens that instantly darkens to protect the welder’s eyes from the harmful UV light that is created during the welding process.  Many auto-darkening welding helmets feature settings that can be used to compensate for the different types of welding and the different levels of light created by the welding arc.  Here are some tips on how to properly set an auto-darkening welding helmet to ensure that you receive the highest level of protection available.

The first thing you should do is set the helmet on a clean, clear surface.  Lift the front of the welding helmet up, swinging it over the headband and make sure that your battery is properly in place.  The next thing that you should do is adjust the shield delay time.  This refers to the amount of time that the shield takes to change from a darkened state to a lighter state.  On many of the most popular auto-darkening welding helmets the delay can be adjusted by moving a switch located on the inside of the shield.  Depending on the type of helmet that you have, delay times can be adjusted from .25 to .35 second on a fast setting, and .6 to .8 on a slower setting.  The delay used is more of a personal preference, you should adjust the amount of delay that you feel comfortable with.

You can adjust the shade setting by using the adjustment knob.  On many auto-darkening helmets this knob can be located on the left side of the welding helmet. It allows the welder to adjust the intensity of darkness depending on the type of welding they are performing.  Welders should always use the darkest shade recommended for the particular type of welding being done.  Once you feel that you have adjusted the welding helmet to your liking, you should put the helmet on and adjust the headband to ensure that the welding helmet still fits properly.  You should also lower the helmet and adjust the angle until you can see through the shield without any obstructions.  Before starting to weld you should test the helmet’s auto-darkening shield to ensure that it is properly set.  If your welding helmet has been properly set the lens will darken even though your head is not facing the arc.  If for any reason your lens doesn’t completely darken you should not use that welding helmet.

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14 thoughts on “How to Properly Set an Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet”

  1. Anthony says:

    I always set my welding helmet to the fasted setting and as dark as possible.

  2. Darrell Duke says:

    Can’t see when welding through my auto darkening helmet

    1. Kerry Walper says:

      Turn it down a bit until you can see the weld puddle. I sometimes use 12 instead of 14 and can see the weld better during the welding.
      It helps to have clean lenses. Don’t wipe them with your fingers you will micro scratch the lens. Only use a actual Lens cleaning cloth.

    2. Tom Gossard says:

      How old will a prostar auto dark welding helmet before it is no longer useful ? I have a prostar auto dark helmet that once in the darkened state I can’t see the ark position to the metal I’m welding therefor I can’t see the direction to run the bead as related to the work. Sensitivity is set @ medium and the shade is set @ 10…Does the auto dark helmet need to be set in sunlight to recharge? Any help will be appreciated…Tom.

  3. JT says:

    Auto darkening helmet does not stay darkened for more than a second. Any suggestions?

    1. bakersgas says:

      JT, What helmet do you have? It could be a combination of a lot of different things! You may need to turn up your sensitivity. The batteries may be going out and need replaced. If you store it in a bag or locker then it isn’t getting enough light. Let me know the helmet and I’ll try to offer better assistance.



    2. Matt says:

      Turn ur auto timer up

  4. Mark Card says:

    How should I store my auto helmet. In the dark or daylight? Thinking how best to save the battery.

    1. Homes says:

      I thought it would charge the battery leaving it in the sun on the windowsill, but it think it ended up discharging the battery instead because it would turn on the LCD dimming. Better off just keeping it in the grind mode setting to keep the dimming function off.

  5. Martha Edwards says:

    If the cover doesn’t darken for some sudden reason will you still get curve eye or would the lower shad that is provided without settings secure you. Thanks in advance…

    1. Homes says:

      UV protection is supposed to be maintained regardless of the dimmer kicking on or not, don’t know what curve eye is caused by, though.

  6. Marvin Hines says:

    Very interesting comments

  7. Venkat says:

    Hi I am VK , I use truefusion mask I can’t see properly through it , I would like to know how to set shade, sensitivity and delay pls , I can’t afford to fail my next weld test for my job .


  8. Tony arc says:

    Some times I see blue spots after welding and it gets me worried. Any recommendations with my welding helmet ?

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