Best Optrel Welding Helmet Reviews – Extensive Guide, Specifications and Pros & Cons 2021

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Best Optrel Welding Helmet

Optrel, a brand from Switzerland whose welding helmets might not be as popular as Miller and Lincoln here in the US, (at least from what you can read from forums and reviews) is a brand with a wide variety and history of good welding helmets that are tested in field conditions daily. I personally did not have any problems with my VegaView 2.5 and used it for at least 2 years. Also, I had a chance to use other Optrel hoods since then and have only the word of praise for these lightweight durable but a bit expensive helmets.

On the other side across the ocean, for the European welders, the Optrel brand seems to be the most popular. In fact, they are considered by many as being the leading creator of safety equipment in the welding trade, especially when it comes to innovations.

I have made here a list and comparison table for Optrel’s best welding helmets that have innovative auto-darkening technologies and improve working conditions comfort and productivity, I also mention some of their flaws and cons that could be improved upon. So if you are serious about buying a good professional welding hood and you picked Optrel, you should take your time to go through is article and inform yourself thoroughly before buying this important piece of equipment that should protect your eyes in the years to come.

Best Optrel Welding Helmet Comparison Table

Image Optrel Crystal 2.0 Auto-Darkening... Optrel Panoramaxx Auto Darkening Welding... Optrel VegaView 2.5 Welding Helmet... Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, Silver Optrel Liteflip Autopilot Auto-Darkening...
Name Optrel Crystal 2.0 Welding Helmet Optrel Panoramaxx Welding Helmet Optrel Vega View 2.5 Welding Helmet Optrel E684 Welding Helmet Optrel Liteflip Autopilot Welding Helmet
Rating
Specials
Clarity 1/1/1/2 1/1/1/2 1/1/1/1 1/1/1/1 1/1/1/2
Shade Selection Inactive 2
Auto 4-12
Inactive 2.5
Auto 4-13
Manual 7-12
Inactive 2.5
Active 8-12
Inactive 4
Active 5-13
Opened 1
Inactive 4
Active 5-14
Magnifying Lens Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Optical Sensors 3 5 3 3 3
Switching Speed 0.1 ms 0.07-0.09 ms 0.07-0.1 ms 0.17-0.11 ms 0.1 ms
Battery 2 CR2032 batteries, Solar cell Solar cells, Li-polymer battery pack,
chargeable via Micro-USB
2 pcs batteries 3V exchangeable (CR2032) Solar cells and 2 CR2032 batteries Solar cells and 2 CR2032 batteries
Weight 18.07 oz. 17.002 oz 20.3oz 17.6 oz 18.7 oz
Where to Buy it Check Current Price Check Current Price Check Current Price Check Current Price Check Current Price

Best Optrel Welding Helmet Review

The culture around their company and products was shaped by them being founded as a family business way back in 1986 in Switzerland. What characterizes them is going with the times and adopting all of the contemporary innovations for their products, which is the fact that I personally like about them.

Here is a list of my picks as well as some helpful advice on how to choose one and an explanation about specific features and series. And if you are at the wrong place and wish to see my list of the best welding helmets that you can find right now in the US and their budget and hobby alternatives, check this article

1. Optrel Crystal 2.0 Welding Helmet

The Optrel Crystal 2.0 helmet has to be the most lightweight out of all welding helmets that I have ever tried, minus the hard heat of course. With the off shade, it is like not wearing a helmet at all. In fact, the off-state allows you to easily grind with the helmet on while the auto-darkening filter is good enough so you can see the weld puddle as clear as day. The 2.5 cheater lens is a perfect fit and may improve the clarity a bit further.

Actually, the light mode is a bit darker than the surrounding area but does not have that pesky green tint that I have experienced on ESAB or Lincoln helmets in the same range. Actually, the weld area with an Optrel helmet on is blue and very clear which is not the case with a Miler helmet. The auto function works perfectly so it goes from grinding mode to a different welding mode quite seamlessly.

The external controls are easy to reach and the only thing I have a quarrel with is that it has only three arc sensors, so you might get flashed by unwanted arc light when stick welding. Luckily, the arc brightness is not a problem with TIG welding, and I do recommend using it for TIG rather than Stick.

Another problem that I noticed is the position of the light sensors, which can get blocked when working in tight places. This auto-darkening welding helmet is on the expensive side, so if you don’t have to use it for stick welding, it will be a good purchase.

Optrel Crystal 2.0 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet 1006.900
  • Crystal lens technology with shade 2. 0 light state - see clearly what happens before, during and after the welding process.

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

Optical Clarity Crystal Lens 1/1/1/2 rating
Shade Selection 2, 4-12 shade
Controls Delay, Sensitivity and Grind Mode
Sensors 3 sensors
Sensor Slide 60 Degrees
Compatibility Cheater Lens Compatible
Power Source 2 CR2032 batteries, Solar cell
Light to Dark Switching Time 0.1 ms
Weight 18.07 oz.
Pros:
  • Great optical clarity and shade 2 grind mode
  • Light states offers superior surrounding view
  • Fast ADF feature and infinite sensitivity settings
  • Sensors detect low amp arcs, which makes it perfect for GTAW welding
  • Optrel magnifying lenses fit great and offer nice view
  • True color feature with blue view
  • 2 + 1 years warranty, high-end helmet

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Arc sensor placement can cause problems in cramped spaces

2. Optrel Panoramaxx Welding Helmet

I am truly impressed by the optical clarity of the Optrel Panoramaxx welding helmet. But besides the crystal clear clarity, it also has unparalleled peripheral vision allowing you to clearly see what is going on in front and around you. Perfect for bench welding, and yes also suitable for GTAW welding. There is even enough room to squeeze in a half-mask respirator in there.

The sensitivity settings are also good and the big external grinding mode button is easy to reach. The blue blinking button is a nice touch and shows you that the grind mode is on. The only thing I was not impressed with about the Optrel Panoramaxx auto-darkening helmet is that it looks very fragile. Be careful not to drop it as I do get a feeling that it might break.

Even though it is lightweight and seems comfortable, the headband feels cheap and the whole mask is supported by your nose. You basically have to keep the lid perfectly straight or it will not sit well and perhaps completely close your nostrils.

But the biggest issue with this automatic welding helmet that I have is that it is clearly not meant for outside work due to how fragile it is. The Speedglas 9100 x will work better if you want to weld outside. Also, when compared to the Optrel E684, which comes with shade 4 in light state, the Panoramaxx only has 2.5.

All in all, I would recommend this helmet for shop work as it has a decent price and a solid battery life which can even be charged using USB.

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

Optical Clarity Crystal Lens 1/1/1/2 rating
Shade Selection Inactive 2.5 shade,

Auto 4-13 shade

Manual 7-12 shade

Operating Controls Delay, Sensitivity, Grind
Sensors 5 sensors
Field of View 2-6 times bigger

than standard ADF Helmets

Compatibility Cheater Lens Compatible
Power Source Solar cells, Li-polymer battery pack,

chargeable via Micro-USB

Switching Speed 0.07-0.09 ms
Weight  17.002 oz
Pros:
  • Superior crystal clear optical clarity
  • Field of view is significantly greater than other ADF Helmets
  • Fine sensitivity settings and large external grind button
  • Great for indoor bench and GTAW welding
  • Five arc sensors work great in cramped area
  • USB battery charge
  • 2 + 1 years warranty

Cons:

  • Seems a bit fragile
  • Headband feels cheap
  • Not suitable for working outside

3. Optrel VegaView 2.5 Welding Helmet

The Optrel VegaView 2.5 auto-darkening welding helmet is a far superior helmet compared to Speedglass 9000V. Since I had the pleasure of using both, I think that this auto-darkening welding helmet has more useful properties to offer. First of all, it is very light, has a quality build, and crystal clear optical clarity. It may be a smaller helmet but the 3M respirator fits in very well with the cartridge filter. The only drawback is that there is no room to fit a cheater lens.

Go ahead and use this one for a variety of welding tasks like a “stick”, TIG, and MIG welding. You don’t have to use an automatic adjustment or remote control as the shade levels settings are easy to reach. I like the in-between setting on the 8-12 lens shade setting. The grind mode is easy to use and the interior blinking button tells you when it’s on. The time delay setting knob is inside so you got to take your gloves off to adjust it.

The lens shades go up to 12 so things can get really bright, but I am more concerned with the curved outer lens which can sometimes give off a glare that seems a bit distracting. Some other things that can put welders off are the very small viewing window and the absence of high-frequency detection, even though it has three sensors. This makes the auto-darkening helmet a bit pointless without the fast response timing.

Nevertheless, I would give an advantage to this hood compared to the Miller or 3M Speedglas from the same range. The price is decent, although not spectacular, the round shape of the hood makes it a joy for overhead welding.

Optrel VegaView 2.5 Welding Helmet 1006.600
  • The automatic welding helmet with world record ADF.

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

Optical Clarity Crystal Lens 1/1/1/2 rating
Shade Selection Inactive 2.5 shade,

Active 8-12  shade

Operating Controls External Delay, Sensitivity and Grind
Sensors 3 sensors
Battery Lifespan Approx. 3000 hours
Compatibility Cheater Lens Compatible
Power 2 pcs batteries 3V exchangeable (CR2032)
Switching Speed 0.07-0.1 ms
Weight 20.3oz
Pros:
  • Lightweight, high-quality build
  • Easy to use machine controls
  • Grind mode with an internal indicator that is on
  • Great for overhead welding
  • Crystal clear optical clarity  offers great view of puddle
  • Improved battery lifespan
  • Great compared to a high-end helmets

Cons:

  • Magnifying lens are hard to fit in
  • Curved outer lens can can cause glare
  • Slightly smaller viewing area

4. Optrel e684 Welding Helmet

Overall, the Optrel e684 auto-darkening welding helmet is a great purchase. First of all the ergonomics fit well and the helmet has probably the best hard hat adapter in the welding world. The true color lens may be a bit small, but not a problem. It is crisp and gives a very nice view of the work area. I have to say that I was surprised by the battery life for a helmet with 1/1/1/1 optics but it also comes with solar power support. However, the same optics are not as good as the ones seen on the Jackson and Lincoln hoods.

The remote control can automatically adjust but the external controls can come in the way if you are working in tight spots. It can really be annoying when striking the grind mode button on the ground when working. But it is a bit bulky in size, probably to allow fitting in a respirator, so you can’t hope to squeeze it in tight places either way. But the most disappointing part is the headgear which is not as near as what it needs to be for the price you pay for it.

Nevertheless, I would give an advantage to the Optrel e684 helmet compared to the Miller Digital Elite one. Also, compared to other Optrel helmets, particularly the Panoramaxx, this one does not have a green tint and instead has a bluish one, which is far better to work with. If you are planning to do some TIG welding, I would also recommend using this one instead of the VegaView 2.5. The auto shade 5-13 adjustable features are perfect for it as well as the twilight feature.

Auto Darkening Welding Helmet, Silver
  • Price For: Each Grind Mode: Yes Lens Shade: 5 to 13 Viewing Area: 3.94" x 1.97" Series: e684 Electromagnetic Sensor: No Switching Speed: 1/10, 000 sec. Number of Arc Sensors: 3 Welding Helmet Light...

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

Optical Clarity Crystal Lens 1/1/1/1 rating
Shade Selection Inactive 4 shade,

Active 5-13  shade

Operating Controls External Delay, Sensitivity and Grind
Sensors 3 sensors
Battery Life Approx. 3000 hours
Field of View 1.97 x 3.94″
Power Both battery and Solar cells
Switching Speed 0.17-0.11 ms
Weight 17.6 oz
Pros:
  • Offers great value of money spent
  • Ergonomic design and great hard hat adapter
  • Great battery life and an improved clarity rating
  • External controls are easy to use
  • Blue color seems so much better than green tint
  • Helm will darken automatically even at low amp amperage

Cons:

  • Large external knobs can get in the way in cramped spaces
  • Headgear is terrible

5. Optrel Liteflip Autopilot Welding Helmet

The Liteflip Autopilot welding helmet from the Optrel company has to be one of the lightest flip-up helmets that I have had the pleasure of wearing. Sometimes you forget that you even have it on. But the headgear could be improved a bit. It does provide excellent protection against ultraviolet and infrared rays and adds all the high-tech remote control features and accessories that you would expect from an Optrel welding helmet.

I found that the auto shade works really well in conjunction with the twilight mode and for me, it lessens the strain on my eyes, but I leave using it based on personal needs. The old-school flip front is a fabulous addition but unfortunately is not sealed well. This might force you to take the auto-darkening lens out every now and then to clean out the fog, which is really what you do not want to do when being immersed in your work.

Also, the price is good, especially for a hobby welder. However, I am of the opinion that for the money you pay for this welding helmet they should’ve thrown in a few extra lenses for the front cover and the grind area. Nevertheless, it still has three instead of two light sensors and the autopilot features which helps a ton.

Optrel Liteflip Autopilot Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet 1006.700
  • The fully automated welding mask: automatically darkens as soon as the welding Arc ignites.

Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

Clarity Crystal Lens 1/1/1/2 rating
Shade Selection Opened 1 shade

Inactive 4 shade,

Active 5-14  shade

Operating Controls Delay, Sensitivity, Grind
Sensors 3 sensors
Battery Life Approx. 3000 hours
Field of View Closed 1.9 x 3.93″

Opened 3.22 x 4.01″

Power Solar cells and 2 CR2032 batteries
Switching Speed 0.1 ms
Weight 18.7 oz
Pros:
  • One of the lightest  flip-up helmets
  • Provides superior IR light and ultraviolet rays protection
  • Advanced features and  fine controls
  • The twilight feature reduces eye fatigue
  • Three sensors and autopilot feature are great
  • Great price for a hobby welder

Cons:

  • Headgear can be better
  • The flip-up feature is not sealed well
  • Accessories can be a bit expensive

Choosing the Best Optrel Welding Helmet – Buyers Guide

To have a better understanding of which are the best Optrel welding helmets, you have to know more about the specific features each series comes with. There are five different series of helmets on tap, with three of them being aimed at professional welders.

Optrel is known for being a leader in the development of ADFs for the welding industry specifically, but other optoelectronic protection systems as well.

Optrel Panoramaxx Series Features

The Optrel Panoramaxx auto-darkening Series is easily recognized for its patented filter with a nose cutout. The Panoramaxx CLT combines a panoramic field of view and Crystal Lens Technology. This allows for a brightness level of 2.0 and true color, resulting in a clearer view of the weld.

The Panoramaxx 2.5 also has an enormous field of view but includes the world-renowned Optrel’s 2.5 technology. It allows for excellent visibility with any welding process and working situation. Finally, the Panoramaxx Quattro is a heavy-duty welding helmet specifically created for extreme use. It adds a panoramic field of view and has outstanding protection, even at some strange viewing angles.

Optrel Sphere Series Features

optrel crystal 2.0 The Sphere series comes with a few interesting models. The Optrel Crystal 2.0 has a 31% light transmission in light conditions, allowing welders a clear view of their environment. The color spectrum of CLT2.0 allows welders to really see the condition of the weld pool and the overall surrounding.

The Optrel e684 does not have CLT but does include a shade level 4-13, 1/1/1/1 optics, and some exciting features like Twilight, Autopilot, FadeTronic, and ShadeTronic. All with the aim of preventing incidents that could occur with flawed welding.

The Optrel Vegaview 2.5 combined with a shade level 2.5 / 8–12 offers as bright a view as the welder’s desire. They say that the view is improved by 400% making it an unrivaled auto-darkening welding helmet on the market. Plus it only weighs 482 g (17 oz).

Optrel Liteflip Series Features

The Optrel Liteflip Autopilot is a feature that allows for fully automated welding with no manual shade level adjustments needed. It even comes with a flip-up function for a clearer view. The helmet also includes a true color view shade level range 4/5-14, and +/- 2 individual shade level correction. The sensitivity adjustment and the delay function with the twilight function also deserve a mention.

Optrel Y- Series Features

In this case, the Optrel Neo p550 combines the known features of the p550 helmet with the entirely new auto-darkening technology coming from Optrel. The best part is that you can get a true color vision for a mid-level price. Its efficient energy concept keeps the helmet alive for 3,000 hours and comes with a reaction time of 0.1 ms after the arc is struck.

Conclusion

Thank you for sticking on a journey of the best Optrel welding helmets in my opinion. My idea was to provide all my fellow welders with some excellent protection options and with a reliable helmet market. I truly believe that protection should be your number one concern before starting, so never take welding too lightly and buy yourself an excellent hood, hopefully with my help, so you don’t have to worry about your eyes and face when working.

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