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Welding Helmets

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by 73 cj5, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. Jul 28, 2020
    73 cj5

    73 cj5 Not ready for the junkyard yet 2020 Sponsor

    Mississippi
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
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    1,278
    I've been using a $40 ebay welding hood for a few years and it was just ok for occasional welding. It's useless for anything but welding since the "grinder mode" is the same shade as the welding one. Usually after welding for any decent amount of time my eyes were somewhat sore the next day and I've been flashed a few times. The headgear broke a few weeks ago and I decided that was the last straw.

    Anyhow, after shopping around and doing some research, reading reviews, and comparing prices I decided to give the Esab sentinel A50 a try. It was on the lower end of the price spectrum of the hoods I was comparing, I got a decent discount, and free shipping.
     
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  2. Jul 28, 2020
    PeteL

    PeteL Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    Aug 3, 2003
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    Can the experts here help explain the pratical differences between a $40 helmet and a $200 helmet?
     
  3. Jul 28, 2020
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2020 Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    Oct 25, 2006
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    Im not an expert, but as far as auto darkening hoods, the 40 buck harbor freight one seemed to work ok, but as was stated my eyes would get tired or sore the next day and getting flashed was always an issue. Its not really perceptible in use, but the next day your eyes don't feel good.

    When I went with a 3m/Hornell auto darkening, this all went away. I spent 350 bucks or so on my hood. My eyes are worth considerably more than that.
     
    ITLKSEZ and 73 cj5 like this.
  4. Jul 28, 2020
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
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    Sep 23, 2002
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    11,683
    What was said above. Dependability of the autodarkening feature and accurate and dependable shade. Length of service, availability and quality of the clear protective shields, headgear comfort and quality, battery dependability, list goes on. Well worth the extra money.
     
  5. Jul 28, 2020
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    4,434
    I was an auto-darkening holdout for way too long. I’m a big fan of Jackson helmets, and when I saw this one for just over $100, it was a no-brainer. I’ve had zero issues with it, and replacement parts are super common.

    https://store.cyberweld.com/jaweheb...MIn4rH2piT3QIVE5V-Ch1waw5-EAkYASABEgIWo_D_BwE


    I will admit for outdoor bright-sun welding, I still prefer a standard non-auto-darkening hood. When I can see what I’m doing through the dark lens, one that switches back and forth unprompted is annoying.
     
  6. Jul 28, 2020
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    Jul 18, 2013
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    The HF budget ones have (at least used to a few years ago) a 2 position switch for the sensitivity (low-high) and for the delay time (slow-fast)....if you want more control on the sensitivity (especially helpful for outdoor use) or want dial control on how dark it goes (again good for when used both indoor and outdoor), then you have to step up to the more expensive ones.
     
  7. Jul 28, 2020
    Ohiowrangler

    Ohiowrangler Member 2020 Sponsor

    Newark
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    May 29, 2019
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    61
    I can't weld with my glasses(bi-focals), I went with auto-darkening and variable lens settings. I won't go back. Ron
     
  8. Jul 29, 2020
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
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    4,703
    Some of the better ones have larger vision areas, and you can put a bifocal lens in the bottom if needed. They can also have a solar type panel to recharge the bat (mine does). I think I've gone through 2 batteries in over 10 years with my hood. It's a Miller.
     
  9. Aug 1, 2020
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    I embraced the auto-darkening mid-priced helmet many years ago; so early that the batteries were not replaceable and the "solar" recharge feature didn't keep it working. About 10 years ago, I bought a cheaper Hobart helmet with an "off- variable shade". This one also takes 2 coin batteries. It does everything its supposed to do, except I need to remember to turn it off (or replace batteries again).
    -Donny
     
  10. Aug 1, 2020
    Dne007

    Dne007 Member 2020 Sponsor

    Cypress, Tx
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    Sep 2, 2019
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    562
    I had a miller auto darkening and it worked great, but was destroyed in Harvey flood waters. I bought a 80.oo auto from my local steel supplier and I just kept getting blasted by bright light. I just went back to a standard non-darkening helmet. I've been blasted too many times and worried about my eye sight. I don't mind flipping my hood up and down.
     
    Twin2 likes this.
  11. Aug 1, 2020
    Dave B

    Dave B Frankenjeep '67

    Northern Minnesota
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    Nov 10, 2009
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  12. Aug 3, 2020
    73 cj5

    73 cj5 Not ready for the junkyard yet 2020 Sponsor

    Mississippi
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
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    1,278
    I’ve got some use under the hood now (mig). I can SEE the workpiece and my weld now. The headgear is comfortable and there’s plenty of adjustment. Grind mode is really nice. Time will tell how durable it is.
     

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