Wondering what kind of welding eye protection to get?
Auto Darkening Vs Passive
What is the difference between auto darkening and passive welding lenses?
The obvious difference is that auto-darkening welding lenses get dark as soon as you start your torch and turn clearer when the torch isn’t in use, while passive lenses are made of a colored glass and don’t change colors.
There are positives and negatives to both types of eyewear. Auto-darkening lenses are obviously more convenient than standard passive glass welding lenses. While wearing auto darkening lenses, you do not need to take your helmet off to see your work.
Passive welding lenses, on the other hand, are generally more optically clear (giving you better vision while torching) and much cheaper than auto-darkening lenses. Glass welding lenses are easily replaced and discarded because they’re cheap, and you still get better vision with them.
If you’re having trouble deciding between auto darkening vs passive welding lenses, here’s what you should know:
- Experienced welders should have no problem with passive lenses, but new welders may find that they have bad starts with their welds because they cannot see the electrode / tip of the torch when they’re starting the weld.
- Auto darkening welding helmets are generally slightly less optically sound compared to some of the German glass passive welding lenses on the market today.
- Unless you invest in an adjustable shade auto darkening helmet, you are typically stuck with a shade 10 darkness while welding and a shade 3 or 4 darkness when not welding. Passive welding lenses can be swapped out, so you can have as many shades as you need right at your fingertips.
- Many lead welding companies do not use passive welding helmets because they commonly cause repetitive stress injuries. These come from the motion of snapping the helmet down, which requires a flick or nod of the head.
- Passive welding lenses have withstood the test of time and are still widely used in all welding and manufacturing industries.
- Passive welding lenses are cheap and easy to replace, whereas auto darkening helmets are expensive to replace if damaged.
If you are a welder and debating the decision of auto darkening vs passive welding lenses, you’re not alone. Countless people research this topic online every day.
Hopefully this guide helps you decide which welding lens type to purchase for the type of welding you do. It is always important to consider safety, working environment, and cost factors when deciding between auto darkening vs passive welding lenses.
If you have any questions about welding helmets, welding lenses, or what type of helmet is right for you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or leave a comment below. As always, thanks for reading, and stay safe!