Weld Helmet Recommendation

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mcman56
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Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by mcman56 » Mon Oct 03, 2022 9:45 pm

I’m in need of a new welding helmet but am an occasional welder so it is hard to justify a top end helmet. I have two references the first of which is a 20+ year old standard miller helmet with small lens and magnifying lens. I can see pretty well but would like to see better. The second reference is an old version of the cheapest harbor freight self darkening helmet. I liked the self darkening feature for preparation but could never really see what was going on when welding. So, I would like a reasonably priced self darkening helmet that will accept a magnifying lens and provides good visibility..Looking on line, there are an overwhelming number of choices. Are there any recommendations?

STRR
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by STRR » Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:41 pm

mcman,

I started with an old flip up single shade lens. I went to a HF auto dark, same as you. I had trouble seeing and it didn't last long. I purchased a better HF auto dark. I think it lasted 6-8 welds and broke. Like you, I am a seldom welder with some vision problems.

Following the "Buy Once, Cry Once" purchasing plan, I went Optrel. Yes, this is a higher end hood but I have found it to be worth every penny. It will go down to shades 4 or 5 for TIG and up to so dark I an unable to see through it with a hot arc. It has an easy to use button to turn off the auto dark feature when you're grinding. There is much more but you'll have to check the web site for the current features as I got mine several years ago. I just used it this last weekend. Still liking it a lot.

I know that wasn't what you wanted to hear but keep in mind, your helmet is a front line safety device protecting your vision. Each of us has to be comfortable with the level of safety we choose to have. Each of us should NOT cry or bitch when that level of safety is NOT good enough and we get hurt, lose hearing, or lose vision.

Good Luck,
Terry

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liveaboard
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by liveaboard » Wed Oct 05, 2022 6:57 am

I find everyone expresses a lot of opinions about the glass; just don't forget to pay attention to the hinges too.
I've had quite a few welding helmets (working above the water in wind, they sometimes get wet, permanently).

It's the hinge that I was most often uttering profanities about.

At the moment I have a Lincoln helmet with a cheapo Chinese auto-dark glass.

Because; the Lincoln has built in batteries not changeable (it can be done if you're persistent but it's a pain).
The cheapo had terrible hinges that were always loosening up.

Since creating this hybrid I've been quite satisfied. Replicable batteries and good hinges that stay where I set them.

At this moment I'm working away from home and I have an old type helmet without autodark. I've gotten out of practice at hitting the spot in the dark.
My opinion; autodark= yes.

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Wed Oct 05, 2022 10:16 am

I’ve been welding for 63 years and continue to use a conventional, flip-down helmet. I’ve never felt any compulsion to use an auto-dark unit and, in fact, do not trust them.
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NP317
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by NP317 » Wed Oct 05, 2022 12:06 pm

BDD:
Luddite Welding.
I understand. :lol:
RussN

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Thu Oct 06, 2022 4:07 am

NP317 wrote:
Wed Oct 05, 2022 12:06 pm
BDD:
Luddite Welding.
I understand. :lol:
RussN

Guilty as charged. :D
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liveaboard
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by liveaboard » Thu Oct 06, 2022 1:08 pm

Probably still uses stick.

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Thu Oct 06, 2022 4:48 pm

liveaboard wrote:
Thu Oct 06, 2022 1:08 pm
Probably still uses stick.

Yep! :D I still have my old Lincoln AC225 buzz box I bought in the early 1970s. It works as good as it did when it was new, although the spiders that live inside it shake their fists at me when I turn it on and that fan starts blowing things around.

These days, I do little stick welding and mostly rely on my MIG setup. MIG isn't as flexible, but it’s not as messy—no slag to chip and clean up, and is a faster process. Given my age and physical condition, time is of the essence. :shock:
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Bill Shields
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by Bill Shields » Thu Oct 06, 2022 8:48 pm

Isn't a Luddite welder a -> blacksmith?

Welding things together by heating and beating

That's me...leave the welding to my neighbor who teaches welding and has all the toys and good hands/eyes (neither of which I have anymore).

His helmet is also a hybrid -> I am sure he told me what parts but do not remember
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

mcman56
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by mcman56 » Thu Oct 20, 2022 11:05 am

I ended up with a Lincoln 1850. It has the 1/1/1/1 rating for vision and I can really see.

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liveaboard
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by liveaboard » Sat Oct 22, 2022 2:52 am

The trouble I had with my Lincoln helmet was that the battery couldn't be replaced; but my workshop has no windows. when I close the door, it's dark inside.
Keep your helmet where daylight will keep the battery charged through the PV cell, and it will last a long time.

mcman56
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Re: Weld Helmet Recommendation

Post by mcman56 » Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:24 am

This one has a replaceable battery but if it also self charges leaving in the light is a very good idea.

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