A few guys who read my blog post about assembling my SWAG press brake asked about my helmet. It’s an Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet that I bought in October 2014 according to my records. My old helmet died and would no longer automatically switch on and off so I did some digging. These days I pay a lot of attention to reviews on Amazon and this helmet got great reviews.
At this time, October 3, 2017, the helmet has an amazing 761 reviews with a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. That score speaks volumes right there. I’m very happy with mine and have never had a problem – I use it with my Millermatic 211 MIG. It’s sensitive enough and switches very fast – I don’t see any flash at all plus it turns off fast which is a plus when I am doing lots of small quick welds on sheet metal.
The viewing port is good sized at 3.86 x 1.73″ and the shade can vary from 4/5-9 and 9-13. On the low end it could work with plasma if you really wanted it to and the upper end of the scale makes it suitable for TIG and MIG welding certainly.
I’d also tell you that it is very comfortable. It’s fairly light and the headgear does its job plus has a generous sized sweat band.
Now there are two real important things for me with a helmet and this has both – it must have a solar cell and battery backup plus the lens must change fast. The reaction time is a very important safety matter that a lot of guys do not realize. If a helmet changes slowly then damage to the eye due to arc flash accumulates. The Antra is rated to change in 1/25,000th of a second. That is pretty darned fast and like I said, I have never seen a flash. I trigger my MIG, the arc starts and bang – the lens is dark.
My last comment is that you can get spare parts for it too. A lot of helmets do not have anything and you are more or less buying a disposable unit at that point. Here are the spare parts and links to them:
– Exterior lens covers:
– Inner lens covers:
– Head Gear:
– Hard hat adapter:
– Sweat Band:
– Auto Darkening Lens:
– Cheater Lens:
So, if you are looking for a welding helmet, I sure recommend this one after using it for three years with my MIG.
By the way, to protect it, I bought a Raider BCS-88 helmet bag as my shop is dusty. I still store it in my welding cabinet but it stays a lot cleaner now.
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