Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 27

Thread: Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Salado, TX
    Posts
    1,573

    Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

    I know you guys have lots of experience with other tools -- I'm looking for a good welding helmet. I know some of the cheap ones react too slowly or have other issues. Anyone have a recommendation for a good helmet in the <$200 range?
    Dennis

  2. #2
    You might have better results if this was in the metal working forum. I've owned both Northern's and HF's cheapies for years. They have served my needs well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
    Posts
    1,029
    I have and use a Lincoln helmet in my work. I have had it for at least 10 years. It has a large viewing window and works well. It's adjustable for grinding and or normal(welding). Their is a delay for how quickly it lightens after the welding stops. It's adjustable for darkness from 9-14 shade. I went with it because often times I'm in tight places where head movement is limited and a small viewing window would be a challenge. I can't speak to any other helmets but some of my coworkers like and use the 3M Speedglas. I think that's correct.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,083
    I have a good one, and one of the 50 buck ones from Northern Tool. The cheap one works fine, but does have a smaller window, which doesn't often matter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
    Posts
    400
    Unless you weld on a regular basis, recommend a decent quality one the does NOT have an internal battery to go dead. The one I use most uses light for its power source.
    If a battery goes dead, you do not realize it until you strike an arc, then it is too late..
    The ones I use were priced in the $80-100 range & work fine...for my uses...

    When I was 22yrs old, had a job with Fruehauf trailer welding, but was not co-ordinated enough to get the hang of flipping my head to drop the helmet... If they would of had the auto-darkening ones then (1968) I probably would have stayed a welder !!! Thank goodness they did not !!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,282
    Two of the best auto-darkening hoods available right now are the Lincoln Viking 3350 and the Optrel E684. Both utilize the new 4C technology, and are very clear.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    8,392
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis McDonaugh View Post
    I know you guys have lots of experience with other tools -- I'm looking for a good welding helmet. I know some of the cheap ones react too slowly or have other issues. Anyone have a recommendation for a good helmet in the <$200 range?
    I have several, from a $50 helmet to one that had a list price of about $500. (I keep spares for teaching.) My cheapest helmet went bad and quit switching. I love using the best one. I can't make specific brand/model recommendations since I'm not home now.

    Besides the screen size (and the switching speed as you mentioned) maybe check on how much light it lets through before switching on.

    Also, if you plan to weld for long periods a lighter-weight helmet is nice. Fortunately, most I've looked at recently seem lighter than my oldest one. You might check at a local welding supply place. The one I use keeps several high quality helmets on hand that you can compare side by side. I got an excellent helmet a few months ago for within your budget. If you are still looking I can check the models when I get back.

    JKJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    San Diego, Ca
    Posts
    1,236
    I had a Harbor Fright auto darkening welding helmet. The non-replaceable lithium battery crapped out and that resulted in the helmet being very slow to turn on.

    So, I bought another one and took it apart. I soldered on a pair of wires to where the non-replaceable lithium batter was, I cut the lithium battery out and tossed it, I attached a 4 AA-cell battery pack and a switch. So now, I have a $40 helmet that has replaceable batteries. Because there is no residual current drain the AA cells are lasting a long time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,090
    The HF one is good enough for hobby welders but more expensive ones switch faster and thus protect better. Be aware that some welding operations are not going to work well with a auto helmet. Some mig and tig and just too small a visible arc to switch the lens consistently so they can flicker which is not protecting your eyes.
    The advantage of an automatic helmet is you can set the shade darker.
    Bill D.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,109
    John I am interested.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    692
    I have used a solar powered helmet, from I think Harbor Freight, and it has worked well for my uses. It has the delay settings and a high low setting. about 45-50.00.
    Have used it quite a bit.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,090
    I do not do much welding so I keep my helmet in a 5 gallon bucket with the lid on. It keeps out dust and spiders.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Salado, TX
    Posts
    1,573
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I have several, from a $50 helmet to one that had a list price of about $500. (I keep spares for teaching.) My cheapest helmet went bad and quit switching. I love using the best one. I can't make specific brand/model recommendations since I'm not home now.

    Besides the screen size (and the switching speed as you mentioned) maybe check on how much light it lets through before switching on.

    Also, if you plan to weld for long periods a lighter-weight helmet is nice. Fortunately, most I've looked at recently seem lighter than my oldest one. You might check at a local welding supply place. The one I use keeps several high quality helmets on hand that you can compare side by side. I got an excellent helmet a few months ago for within your budget. If you are still looking I can check the models when I get back.

    JKJ
    Yes, I'd be interested in the brand. I've done a lot of research an all it seems to have done is confuse me!
    Dennis

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Salado, TX
    Posts
    1,573
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I do not do much welding so I keep my helmet in a 5 gallon bucket with the lid on. It keeps out dust and spiders.
    That's a good idea. I don't weld much either.
    Dennis

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    8,392
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis McDonaugh View Post
    That's a good idea. I don't weld much either.
    Two of my helmets came with instructions to keep the helmet in the dark when not in use. I keep them in welding cabinet drawers.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •