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Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets. What's Good?


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  #21  
Old 04-28-2015, 10:05:56 PM
uglyblue66 uglyblue66 is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

I have to confess to using a HF helmet I gave 40 bucks for about 7 years ago.
It was the 1 on sale and it had flame decals on it. Some have other stuff on them. Don't let it scare you away from buying it if you dont like it,it peels right off .
I want to get a new 1 as this 1 is getting such the headgear is worn and it droops while I try to have it in the up position.
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  #22  
Old 09-19-2015, 04:40:10 PM
Nickel City fab Nickel City fab is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

Lincoln Electric Viking 3350. Totally adjustable, totally comfortable, both battery and solar combined. I've been using mine all day every day at work for 2 yrs now. Have to replace the cover lenses and sweat band every now and then. The battery only 1x so far. Its an awesome hood IMHO. My backup hood is the good ol fiber-metal pipeliner with the gold shade 10 lens.
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  #23  
Old 09-19-2015, 06:22:13 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

I know this thread started out trashing the Northern Tool helmet but I've had one for years.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...5271_200485271

As stated, it will protect you even if it fails. It has very high reviews on their site-and they do have items on there that have poor reviews, so it's not just selective editing by NT. IMHO Northern Tool stuff is generally better then Harbor Freight, at least by a little. The dial to adjust shade is awesome to me-you can make it what works for your situation. My old boss had a $400 name brand helmet that crapped out, so even that is no guarantee. If your a pro welder, you probably want something a little better, but even then if I was a pro I'd have a backup helmet or two, even a non-auto one just in case. I'm not a professional welder by any means, to be clear.

I'd be curious how the ones that are supposed to be 'grinder compatible' work. Like I said, I am no pro, so there is often some weld-grind-weld-grind going on when I am welding

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...0403_200480403
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  #24  
Old 09-19-2015, 11:53:43 PM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

I run a HF auto hood as well as the fibre metals jobs with a #9 and #12 lens. the HF one works really well for little mig welder but if I'm running the Miller or Lincoln gas driven machines I'll take the fibre hoods.
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  #25  
Old 09-20-2015, 08:21:05 AM
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FWurth FWurth is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

I have been using them for a while now and like it. But one thing I found was to wear a UV protecting pair of sunglasses under the helmet. Other wise it bothers my eyes later, they protect you from that reflecting from behind and the lag time for the helmet to react.
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  #26  
Old 09-20-2015, 08:32:27 AM
Nickel City fab Nickel City fab is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasuspinto View Post
I'd be curious how the ones that are supposed to be 'grinder compatible' work. Like I said, I am no pro, so there is often some weld-grind-weld-grind going on when I am welding
The grind mode on my Lincoln hood is cool, but frankly I don't use it very often. If you turn the "shade adjust" knob all the way down, it clicks off and goes into grind mode and the lens stays clear. The hood adjusts all the way from shade 5 (oxy-acetylene bburning) to shade 15 For me, its faster to just take the hood off and put on a clear face shield.
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  #27  
Old 09-20-2015, 09:19:14 AM
Jim Parrott Jim Parrott is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

Don't throw away those broken helmets. I have the northern hydraulic helmet that was recommended by welding tip and tricks. The batteries went dead and was able to carefully split the case, remove the batteries, solder in wires, add two CR type battery holders externally and reassemble. Been working like that for a couple years now. See the attached link for a similar fix, but recommend CR battery holders instead.

http://www.pskl.us/wp/?p=648
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  #28  
Old 09-20-2015, 11:24:53 AM
beezerbill beezerbill is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaumaturge View Post
Re: 1 set of eyes... ANY silicon based glass blocks UV, shaded or not.
Doc
Not quite true. Pure silica glass transmits UV just fine - in fact UV optics (lenses and such) are made of silica glass. It is the other trace elements in ordinary glass that make it absorb UV. And the amount of absorption depends on how thick the glass is as well. Window glass absorbs about all the UV in sunlight but I am not sure about the UV intensity in a welding arc.

I can vouch for my NextGen helmet but for all I know, most auto-darkening helmets are probably OK.
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  #29  
Old 06-11-2016, 07:02:04 PM
abrogard abrogard is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtractors View Post
From Lincoln Electric:
A: Many people mistakenly think that the lens shade number corresponds to the amount of protection that is provided to the eyes and hence the higher the number, the better the protection. But in reality, all well-constructed quality welding lenses, have a screen that filters out 100 percent of the harmful ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) wavelengths and provides protection to the eyes.
I am only a hobby welder. No expert. But I think I can vouch for this fact.

Read it on the web from quite authoritative sources and have personal experience of having 'flashed' myself numerous times without any ill effects!

Why? Because I've taken to wearing reading glasses.

Virtually ANY glass will protect against harmful radiation. It's that simple.

My (cheap) auto darkeners have oft times suffered from flat batteries and then they stop auto darkening or get lazy about it. Eye damage? None. Why? The filter glasses (two, the base and the darkener) are still there. And so, too, are my eyeglasses.

There's many a story about blokes in the bush having to weld with nothing more than a pair of sunglasses and suffering no damage.

Anyone in doubt should google UV radiation and glass, etc.

I have a mate, though, that beats that, he reckons he did a job of welding in the bush when he was stuck with nothing but his hand for a shield. Peering through the spaces between his fingers. I don't know about that one.
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  #30  
Old 09-07-2016, 08:53:40 AM
lazer50 lazer50 is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

I researched all options when i purchased mine and i thought of plasma mig stick and tig.i welded 10 to 12 hours daily precision on roots type blowers tig.i used the best equipment at work and bought the best i could for my shop at home. So i have a speed glass.thats been some years ago but recently went to air gas to buy consumables for welder and plasma cutter and inquired about updating my welding helmet.they carry every brand out there and still recommend speed glass as the best.
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  #31  
Old 09-07-2016, 09:03:06 AM
I like oldstuff I like oldstuff is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

I have an expensive Speedglass I bought ~15 years ago. It works well etc.
What I don't like about it is that it's all assembled with latching plastic parts. You have to be sooo careful taking it apart to replace batteries and cover lenses so you don't break things $$

Why can't they just use a simple screw to hold it together. As it's occasional use for me, after a few years of time you forget the super secret way to take it apart. Push this, pull that, squeeze this is required to service it without breaking the delicate plastic tabs etc.
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  #32  
Old 04-08-2018, 04:41:38 PM
DJB6.03CE DJB6.03CE is offline
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Default Re: Auto-darkening welding helmets. What's good?

I bought the cheapest one at tractor supply, I find it bothers my eyes, doesn't shade fast enough, even when adjusted.
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  #33  
Old 04-09-2018, 12:28:15 PM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets. What's Good?

If the glass isn't quick enough to keep your eyes from hurting, it ain't working.

I wear UV sunglasses with most days, because I had problems with sunburned retinas as a child. I wear UV-blocking work sunglasses basically all the time when I'm outdoors. Nowdays, age requires that I wear 1.25 cheaters to read, and my working sunglasses are henceforth equipped with cheaters too.

When doing most of my welding, I typically find myself setting the shield attenuation factor greater than 11... often I'll go 12 or 13, where most would go to 11. I generally wear UV glasses to augment the lense, and if it's a variable, I generally still go 12 anyway, but sometimes I'll go to 11, but in any case, if I run without, and have it at 12, I generally feel tired eyes after an hour or so, so I just don't do that.

The problem I find, is that many helmets don't have enough clearance for glasses underneath, and the other issue, is that A-D lenses are generally heavier, and as a result, the shield becomes troublesome in difficult positions.

While I could crank up the dial and go without glasses, I tend to be very uncomfortable doing so for two reasons- first, is that I prefer having the extra layer of debris protection, and second, it's not unusual for me to flip up the mask, and when I'm welding, there's probably another guy near me that's welding TOO, and I don't like getting flashed by his welding.

So the short story is, try lots of helmets, and find the one that suits how you like to gear up, and once youv'e done that, try different lense systems, and see if the helmet you like the best, will accept that lense system.

Once you've done that, use it, and keep it carefully. Then, keep an inexpensive one on-hand in the event that you can't use your primary one for one reason or another.
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  #34  
Old 04-09-2018, 04:53:00 PM
DJB6.03CE DJB6.03CE is offline
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Default Re: Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets. What's Good?

The Tractor supply one, I don't even think it's usable.
I generally don't take things back but this I will.
I knew better before I bought it.
Back to a mid level helment for me.
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  #35  
Old 04-09-2018, 06:41:32 PM
Charley K Charley K is offline
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Default Re: Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets. What's Good?

I've got Speedglass, Hobart, which is Jackson, I think and a Miller. Two with batteries, 12v that last for years and a solar. No problems with any of them. Just stick to the name brands and you should be ok. Really like the progressive darkening feature of these shields. Back in the day starting @1969 it was a number ten small view. Made life difficult tube welding in a crowded boiler. I can still do you a pretty good job if you can put it on the table with a light shining on it. CK

Last edited by Charley K; 04-09-2018 at 08:37:52 PM.
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