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ESAB is a Swedish acronym for Elektrisk Svetsnings-Aktiebolaget, which means Electric Welding Limited Company. It’s one of the oldest welding supply brands that began when Engineer Oscar Kjellberg made the first coated stick welding rod in 1904. Today, the company is known for its state-of-the-art welding equipment, and the ESAB Sentinel A50 is no exception.
The Sentinel A50 is an advanced welding helmet that is topnotch in both form and function. It is ESAB’s flagship helmet made for welders who take safety seriously without wanting to sacrifice productivity. It has a wide viewing port and a quality lens. It’s as comfortable as a welding helmet can get and provides you more than the needed protection.
Is the ESAB Sentinel A50 right for you?
Most welders skimp on welding helmets for a number of reasons and just buy any helmet that works. But if you’re someone who wants to invest in high quality and durable helmets, the A50 is something to seriously consider.
Once you’ve used it, you’ll realize this is not an ordinary welding helmet. This is a tool whose design and function is well thought out. It’s made to last for a long time and withstand tough use.
Hence, it’s perfect for professionals, especially those working in industrial settings. Serious DIYers and hobbyists will also find this helmet excitingly perfect.
How does the Sentinel A50 perform?
Welding lenses are rated based on optical class, light diffusion, luminous transmittance variation, and angle dependence. The optical class simply determines that accuracy of vision. The better the optical class, the less the distortion. Glass impurities cause light diffusion, something you don’t want when you’re viewing your weld area.
Bad light diffusion causes a hazy field of vision. Then you have luminous transmittance variation, which is just a fancy way of describing the shading consistency of the lens from the center to the corners.
Poor quality welding lenses have the right lens shade at the center but less shade at the corners. Finally, the angle dependence determines whether the helmet keeps its shade regardless of your viewing angle.
The lens performance of the Sentinel A50 is 1/1/1/2 on the four parameters. It’s excellent on three factors, but the angle dependence could be better. It’s not a deal breaker, though.
ESAB Sentinel A50 Welding Helmet
Wide Shade Range
The 3.93”x2.36” screen offers a good viewing space, but that’s just a minor convenience compared to its lightning speed auto-darkening (1/25,000 of a second).
Most auto-darkening helmets have a shade range of 9-13. That’s okay for most welding and metal cutting jobs. But sometimes you need better clarity for certain operations. That being said, the Sentinel A50 has a shade range of 5-13. You can see your weld area more clearly when you’re not striking an arc or running a bead.
Also, the shade 4 grinding selector deserves mentioning because it’s a handy feature. Located on the exterior of the helmet, it’s easy to find. You don’t need to remove the helmet to switch to a shade 4. When you’re done grinding and you’re ready to weld, you can press it again to set your helmet back to its previous shade.
You can store 8 presets, any of which you can go back to conveniently when the need arises. Many welders find this seemingly minor feature quite useful. The days of getting frustrated with old welding helmets that can’t save your favorite settings are gone. There’s no need to set your helmet over and over.
The ESAB Sentinel A50 comes with a carrying bag, a hard hat adapter, a cheater lens, and replacement cover lenses. The carrying bag is handy when you have to go somewhere with your welding gear and equipment. If you go to sites where minimum PPE is required, a hard hat adapter is useful.
Once the cover lens is worn, it can be easily removed and then replaced with one of the replacement lenses. Replacing it shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds. Notice how nicely curved the cover lens is. It’s designed to shed overhead debris, which can be a problem when doing overhead welding. It’s generally a great cover lens, save for some reports of premature warping when brought too close to an arc.
The Sentinel A50 is only 1.4 pounds, very lightweight. It doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything over your head. It also feels very comfortable. But don’t mistake its lightness for being delicate. The shell is durable. It can withstand the tough conditions in your welding area. Thanks to its ergonomic Halo design, you won’t suffer from neck fatigue after wearing it for hours.
The ESAB Sentinel A50 is not perfect, but it’s definitely one of the best welding helmets we’ve seen and used. It’s quite expensive, though. That’s a common complaint, but you get what you pay for. The features of this protective headgear is beyond compare.
It gives a clear and excellent viewing area. It has state-of-the-art features that make it as user-friendly as a welding helmet possibly can. It’s comfortable. You can make fine-tuned adjustments with its touch screen display.
All these things make your welding job much easier, and you can work more efficiently when you’re not weighed down by your welding helmet. Lastly, the Sentinel A50 is made to be compatible with respirators, and that’s a huge plus, especially when you’re working in shops where fumes are a problem.
Esab Welder Review
If you like the Esab A50 you will love the outstanding range of Esab welders. Read our honest and in-depth Esab Welder Reviews to find the perfect machine for you.