Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet
Light, feature-laden and big on vision
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 4-9-2011
I’ve heard people say that all auto-shade helmets are essentially the same regardless of cost. Of course I would’t trust a person with that kind of reasoning to weld my shovel so I did some comparing and asking on my own. It quickly became obvious that essentially the rest of the world had a more “you get what you pay for” attitude and among them a bunch liked the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet. The version featured in this review has the Patriot graphics but this same helmet is available in several styles including just black for the more somber among us.
The Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet is surprisingly light at just 21 oz. (602 g). That low weight is even more remarkable when you consider the full load of features. That list includes a large 2.4 in. viewing area height in a U.S. standard 4.5 in. x 5.25 in. sized lens cartridge and a quality suspension system that holds adjustments well. And the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet meets NSI Z87.1, CAN/CSA Z94.3 and CE Certifications. Lincoln says that this helmet can use “cheater” (magnifying) lenses should you need them. There is also a hard-hat adapter.
The Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet is good for all common welding processes and has low TIG amp ratings of three amps DC and five amps AC. Four arc sensors make sure that the auto-shade circuitry sees the arc before you do. The Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet comes with extra inside and outside protective lenses, a Lincoln Electric/Chip Foose Design branded bandana and a nice helmet bag.
The Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet is equipped with state of the art lens technology from its continuously variable 9-13 shade control, variable sensitivity and variable delay that lets you tweak the performance to fit your situation and preferences. The lens is solar powered with a battery backup/assist using a pair of CR2450 Lithium cells that are installed at the factory. The Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet does not have an ON/OFF switch but rather relies on the four arc sensors to engage the shade when you strike an arc. A small light on the inside of the lens cartridge warns of low battery power.
The Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet has a grind mode built in. Turn the sensitivity control all the way to the left and you will feel it click into the Grind Mode. Grind Mode holds the lens at a consistent 3.5 shade so you can use the welding helmet for grinding to prepare for welding or to clean up a weld you just made. The grinding mode just lets you skip dragging a separate helmet or face shield along wherever you go. You do have to remember to turn the sensitivity back up to your normal setting before going back to welding.
The Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet has a nice head-grabbing suspension that is fully adjustable. The knob on the back that sizes the main band to fit your head has a push-in to adjust knob that helps keep the band from changing just because you bumped the knob on something when you set it down. A small bit of security to be sure but it is one less frustration during the day.
The band that goes over the top is also adjustable so you can tune how low the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet sits on your head. There is also a wrap-around sweatband secured with hook and loop strips so that it can be cleaned or replaced. The outer tension knobs for controlling the up and down movement are also easy to use and seem to hold their adjustment well.
In the Shop
The large viewing area on the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet is really noticeable if you are coming from one of the smaller windows found on many lesser-priced helmets. I did some MIG welding and alternated between my old smaller window helmet and the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet and the difference is readily seen. I could see more of the area surrounding the weld before the arc is struck as well as during the weld with the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet even when it’s shade was set on the same number as my old helmet.
The sensitivity and shade selectors make a noticeable difference when they are adjusted. The consistency of the controls makes finding the settings that you are most comfortable with a simple chore. Even when I went from my Lincoln PRO MIG 180 to using my Lincoln AC-225 Welder (6013, 5/32”-rods at 150-amps) I didn’t have to change the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet settings to see clearly or control the glare.
The Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet felt a little “close in” when down over my face the first few times but despite using it for hours during the first couple days I did not have fogging or any other issues related to air movement within the helmet. I do like that close in fit because of how that limits ambient light from getting in from the sides. I have become more and more aware of how extra light coming inside my helmet from behind can make seeing the area around the arc more difficult. The fit of the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet seems to reduce that extra light which makes putting beads where I want them easier.
The Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet is well made and has all of the functions I and many of you want and need. The grinding mode is probably more for industrial environments but will come in handy for those of us that won’t take the walk to get the grinding shield. The performance of the auto-shade lens cartridge is first rate and let me see more around where I am welding than my old helmet did and that is always a good thing.
I have to say that I was not expecting there to be this much difference between my old auto-shade helmet and the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet but there is and it is dramatic. I can see far better all around the arc than I ever did before and that is having a welcomed influence on the quality of my welds. You just cannot understand the impact additional vision has on your welding until you experience it. I have now experienced it and suffice it to say that nobody is getting my Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet from me!
Despite its quality and features the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet has a street price of just $180.00. (4-8-2011) It is apparent that you can spend a bunch more without getting any more. And, the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet comes from Lincoln Electric so replacement parts down the road should be no problem, if you need them at all.
If you want to move up to an auto-shade helmet or need to replace the one you have, check out the Lincoln 2450 VIKING™ Auto-Darkening Helmet. It is a quality piece that is likely to make your welding a little better and a lot more comfortable.
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