The Esab Sentinel A50 is by far one of the best looking helmets to date. This helmet has been made popular because of its performance and reliability, Esab is a brand trusted by welders.
With clear arc shots, you can see how the hood performs before you hand over your hard-earned cash. This unbiased hands-on Esab Sentinel A50 review welding helmet review will give you all the information to make an educated buying decision.
Esab Sentinel A50 Cover Lens
One of the biggest differences to all the other helmets on the market is the revolutionary curved cover lens on the Esab Sentinel A50. It is designed to deflect the welding sparks building up in the helmet when doing overhead and vertical positional welding.
One of the ESAB sentinel a50 problems is if you use it for long periods of time with high amperage or voltage, the cover lens can distort from the extreme heat.
The cover lens’s change out is easy with a press semi-circle of the button on the grind mode side of the helmet and the cover pulls away.
External Grind Button On The Esab Sentinel A50
One of the standout features of the Sentinel A50 is the External grind button. Press the low profile button down for 3 seconds to engage the shade 4 grind mode.
A green/yellow indicator light flashes every 3 seconds to show it is still in grind mode in case you forget to turn it off before welding again.
The button needs a firm press, which is good for preventing accidentally engaging it while welding. The slightly raised button allows you to feel it through heavy welding gloves.
Esab Sentinel A50 Review Of The Headgear
The ergonomic headgear is an awesome feature of the A50 helmet. Esab market it as the 5 point halo harness. That is marketing speak for it’s really comfortable. The pad on the rear ratcheting system pivots to fit your head really well.
There are 3 bands across the top of the harness instead of the old single one in the cheaper designs. This is designed to share the load when the hood is in the upright position.
When the hood is up, it has a low pivot point keeping the hood close to your head and minimizing the risk of it catching on something you didn’t see above you. This will save your neck and your new helmet falling to the ground if it gets knocked off.
To bring the helmet forwards or further away from your face there are two yellow tabs you depress. The harness moves so easily. This is a great feature if you use a half-mask respirator like me.
ESAB Sentinel a50 Review Of The Auto-Darkening Filter
Under the streamlined amber cover lens, it is actually quite hard to see how big the filter is. Coming in at 3.93 x 2.36 inches or 100 x 60 mm viewing area, it’s not as big of an area as other premium hoods but I believe it is well-positioned. Being slightly wider than the Lincoln 3350, the lens is lower in the hood giving you more viewing area you can actually use if you are doing a lot of bench work or on trestles. I never felt like the lens was too small when doing any welding or grinding.
A50 Infinitely Adjustable Color Touch Screen
The space-age design of the helmet is helped by the high-end touch display panel. It is nice and clear with easily understandable readouts. One minor point of frustration is that you can’t adjust the controls with your gloves on.
Fig 1: Battery indication Has 4 levels of charge 3 bars/2bars/1bar /0 bars
Fig 2: Press the grind button on-screen to engage grind mode or hold external for 3 seconds.
Delay or sensitivity can not be adjusted in this mode.
Fig 3: Variable Shade control to toggle between 5-9 and 9-13 press the shade. Use the up and down arrows to adjust the shade of each range.
This range of shades in a helmet is all you will ever need. I found DIN 9 for stainless steel tig welding light tube at 35 amps. Cranking the works Kemppi at 33 volts doing flux core I was using DIN 12 – 13 depending on the time of day.
Fig 4: Sensitivity Control Press the Sensi the up and down arrows to adjust to suit your welding processor surroundings. If you are in a dark shop and the doors are open sometimes looking up the sunlight can switch the helmet. Simply go into the settings and get it dialed in to what the environment or process requires.
Fig 5: Delay Control Press the Delay and the up and down arrows to go from 0.01 of a second to 1.0 second in increments of .01 from dark to light
Esab Sentenel Shade Range
The Esab Sentinel A50 light state is DIN 4, not the lightest in the premium sector of helmets. The true color does seem to make everything more visible than the old green type auto-darkening welding filter.
- Light State DIN 4
- Grind mode is also DIN 4
- Cutting shades range from 5 to 9
- Welding range shades from 9 -13
Esab Sentinal A50 Batteries
The A50 hood requires 2 CR2450 lithium batteries. The batteries supplement the solar cell.
Esab Sentinel A50 Battery Replacement
Simply support the outside of the external grind button in your right hand and with your left gently slide the cover of the battery pack away from you. Use a small screwdriver to gently lift out the batteries. Always replace these at the same time with the writing facing up. Then just slide the cover back on making sure it is correctly seated in place.
Esab Sentinel Helmet Weight
The Sentinel weighs in at 1.4 lbs or 640 grams. The helmet doesn’t seem that heavy, even at the end of the day, it just fits so well. The halo headgear is really comfortable. It is the lightest out of the Miller’s Infinity and Lincoln’s 3350.
Esab Sentinel A50 Replacement Parts And Options
- The cover lenses can come in amber or clear in packs of 5.
- The inside lenses are sold in packs of 5.
- There is a large range decals are now available to personalize your hood.
- PAPR option is available for the Esab, but they are mostly in Australia or Europe.
What Is Included With The Esab Sentinel
- Esab Sentinel A50 welding helmet
- 1 front cover amber lens fitted
- 3 clear front cover lenses
- Storage bag
- Cleaning cloth
- 2 x CR2450 batteries
Final Thoughts On The Sentinel Welding Helmet
I have owned the Esab Sentinel A50 for 6 months now and have used it in a professional industrial setting, a heavy fabrication shop in Perth. I have also used it at home filming the Welding Empire YouTube Channel using low voltage MIG and TIG welding. This gave the helmet a range of several different welding processes, allowing a detailed product review of the Esab welding helmet.
I think the Esab is a high-quality item and I enjoy using the hood. I personally will keep this at home now that I have done my review. The DIN 4 is just a bit too dark not to swap to a clear face shield in my workshop situation.
The cost of the lenses will soon hurt my wallet if I have to replace the lenses daily when MIG welding. In TIG focused shops or at home I think it is ideal.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review and hopefully sharing it if you know someone who would enjoy the article. I would also like to hear your thoughts on the hood, so please leave a comment below.