As a professional welder with over a decade of experience, I’ve tried out numerous welding helmets. Still, the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Series has surpassed my expectations regarding quality and performance.
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The 4C Lens Technology in the Viking 3350 Series provides unparalleled optical clarity, with a 1/1/1/1 rating that minimizes imperfections and distortion. The true-color view significantly improves my welding accuracy and reduces eye strain, allowing me to work for extended periods without discomfort.
A 1/1/1/1 rating refers to the optical clarity rating of an auto-darkening welding helmet lens. This rating system is based on the EN379 standard, a European standard for evaluating the quality of auto-darkening welding filters. The rating consists of four separate categories, each scored on a scale from 1 to 3, with 1 being the best and 3 being the least desirable.
The four categories are:
- Optical Class: This category evaluates the lens’s overall optical clarity and the accuracy of the light transmission. A score of 1 in this category indicates minimal distortion and the best possible clarity.
- Light Diffusion: This category measures the scattered light that passes through the lens. A score of 1 means the lens has minimal light scattering, providing a clearer and sharper view of the welding area.
- Variations in Luminous Transmittance: This category assesses the consistency of the shade across the lens. A score of 1 indicates that the lens has a uniform shade, ensuring consistent eye protection and a better view of the workpiece.
- Angle Dependence of Luminous Transmittance: This category measures how the shade changes when viewed from different angles. A score of 1 means the lens maintains a consistent shade when viewed from various angles, providing consistent protection and visibility.
With a generous 3.74″ x 3.34″ viewing area, the Viking 3350 Series allows me to easily see my workpiece, improving my welding precision and overall workflow. The auto-darkening feature is responsive and reliable, darkening the lens in a fraction of a second when an arc is struck.
The helmet’s lightweight construction and well-designed headgear system make it comfortable for long periods. The adjustable fit is secure, and I don’t experience unnecessary pressure points or slippage while working.
This photo shows the adjustable fit on the inside of the helmet:
Durability and Build Quality
The Viking 3350 Series is made with high-quality materials, ensuring it withstands the demands of a professional welding environment. I’ve been using this helmet daily for several months, and it shows no wear and tear.
Lincoln Electric is renowned for producing some of the highest quality welding products available, and this helmet is no exception.
The solar-powered battery has a long life and requires minimal maintenance. It charges while I work, so I never have to worry about the battery dying on me in the middle of a project.
The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Series welding helmet features a solar-powered battery with an assisted replaceable lithium battery (typically a CR2450 battery). The solar panel charges the battery while you work, ensuring continuous power for the auto-darkening filter.
Although the exact battery life varies depending on usage, ambient light conditions, and the quality of the replaceable lithium battery, assisted solar power can provide a considerably long battery life. In many cases, users can expect the replaceable lithium battery to last between 1-3 years, depending on the frequency of use and the environment in which it is used.
While the Viking 3350 Series may be considered a premium-priced helmet, I believe its exceptional optical clarity, comfort, and durability make it well worth the investment.
The Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Series welding helmet has features that make it an outstanding choice for professional and hobbyist welders. Here is a summary of the key features that set this helmet apart from its competitors:
- 4C Lens Technology: The 4C Lens Technology provides a 1/1/1/1 optical clarity rating, reducing distortion and ensuring a true-color view. This technology minimizes eye strain and improves welding accuracy.
- Large Viewing Area: With a 3.74″ x 3.34″ viewing area, the Viking 3350 Series offers excellent visibility, allowing greater precision and control during welding tasks.
- Auto-Darkening: The helmet’s auto-darkening feature is responsive and reliable, darkening the lens in a fraction of a second when an arc is struck. This protects the welder’s eyes from harmful UV and IR rays.
- Grind Mode: The grind mode allows welders to switch between welding and grinding tasks without removing the helmet, increasing productivity and safety.
- Sensitivity and Delay Settings: The helmet’s sensitivity and delay settings are easily adjustable, allowing welders to find the perfect balance for each type of welding process.
As part of my evaluation of the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Series welding helmet, I conducted field testing in various real-world welding environments. The testing included MIG, TIG, stick welding, and plasma cutting and grinding tasks. This comprehensive assessment allowed me to determine the helmet’s performance in different situations and its ability to adapt to various applications.
During MIG and TIG welding, the Viking 3350’s optical clarity and true-color view made it easy to see the weld pool and maintain consistent welds. The auto-darkening feature performed flawlessly, protecting my eyes from harmful UV and IR rays.
While stick welding, the helmet’s large viewing area provided excellent visibility, allowing me to maintain a proper arc length and avoid defects in my welds. Additionally, the helmet’s sensitivity and delay settings were easily adjustable, enabling me to find the perfect balance for each type of welding process.
During plasma cutting and grinding tasks, the grind mode was invaluable. With a quick switch, I could transition seamlessly between welding and grinding without removing the helmet or changing equipment, greatly improving my efficiency and safety.
The helmet’s comfort and secure fit remained consistent throughout the field testing, even during long work sessions. The lightweight design and adjustable headgear system helped to minimize fatigue and allowed me to focus on my work without distraction.
Things I Didn’t Like
While I do like this helmet, there are some key disadvantages I need to point out.
The Viking 3350 Series is considered a premium welding helmet, and its price may be higher than other options available. The cost might be a significant concern for those on a tight budget.
With multiple adjustable settings and features, some users may find the helmet more complex than simpler welding helmets—those who prefer a more straightforward, basic helmet might not appreciate the additional settings and options.
In some cases, the auto-darkening feature may be sensitive to ambient light, causing it to darken unintentionally. This could potentially disrupt workflow or require adjustments to the sensitivity settings.
In conclusion, the Lincoln Electric Viking 3350 Series welding helmet is an outstanding choice for professional and hobbyist welders. The top-notch optical clarity, large viewing area, and comfortable fit make it a pleasure to use, while the durable construction ensures it will last for years. I highly recommend the Viking 3350 Series to anyone needing a reliable, high-quality welding helmet.