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Old 01-20-2011, 01:27 AM
cutthroatkid's Avatar
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Auto darkening helmets vs standard

Hey guys I wanted some advice Im starting to get into welding&I have a few older helmets that were my old mans&my grandpas but there pretty beat up,so tonight I started looking into getting a new one&the auto darkening ones seem ok but don't seem to be necessary.I found an older style I believe its a Jackson@my local dickey bubs&there about to go on sale so I thought about picking two of em up any thoughts?Thanks!

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Old 01-20-2011, 05:15 AM
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no they are not a nessaty just real nice. I do production welding for a living and it helps me get more done a little quicker. however it could all be don with a plan Jane hood. there biggest benefit for me comes in with a lot of tacking.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:29 AM
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I'm a newbie welder, and just recently took a continuing education welding class at the local Agricultural college. They had the old-school flip-up kind of helmets.

I went out and bought a Hobart auto-darkening helmet for about $160, and you couldn't pay me to trade back.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:59 AM
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I myself own 2 Jackson (EQC) ADfs, fine lid and you can't beat the variable shade feature. One fell three storys still worked.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:53 AM
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ok this is where you local Harbor Freight store, actually is the place to go.

go get one of their 39 or 49 dollar auto darken helmets

do quick coupon search and go man go

i have a fairly expensive Speedgass helmet that i traded for a dead toyota 4x4

i have a really inexpensive HF Blueflame helmet I bought on sale for $39.oo

i dont care which one i use, they are both great.

if you are just learning how to weld, they (auto helmets) are great.

it takes messing with the helmet, out of the list of stuff you have to worry about.


i wont tell you to go to HF very often, but nows the time
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:03 AM
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helmet

i have 2 auto units.. the first one is a brand name who i can't think of now.. the second is a flamed harbor freight.. i don't see a differance. i've had the flip up and i would not go back to that one..
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matts37chev
ok this is where you local Harbor Freight store, actually is the place to go.

go get one of their 39 or 49 dollar auto darken helmets

do quick coupon search and go man go

i wont tell you to go to HF very often, but nows the time
Absolutely!

I have two of their $39 auto darkening helmets. Bought two just to have a spare about 5 years ago. I have yet to even open the box on the second as the first is still going strong. Also they're solar powered so no batteries. I'll never go back to a flip up mask.... NEVER!

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Old 01-20-2011, 08:29 AM
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I also agree. I was skeptical about the Harbor Freight units. Till I borrowed one from a friend. Never went back to the old flipper.. I'm getting older and the adjustable feature with the lessened chance of flash helps the vision...
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:09 AM
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i agree with the $39 hf helmets, i've had mine for 10 yrs, still works well.
really nice for sheetmetal where it's tack, move, tack, move, etc...
one time i hadn't used my helmet for a yr, it refused to dim,
i placed it outside on a sunnu day, face up, to recharge it.
it has worked perfect since
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:55 AM
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HF for that Auto Dark! You can't beat the HF helmet for the price and the only reason I can see for going to one of the more expensive rigs is if you plan to work as a professional welder and have to depend on it every day to make a living with, in that case get a pro model for it's extra bells and whistles and better head gear. Another thing to consider is several years ago (I think they are different now) is that the $39 HF helmet had the SAME EXACT electrics as the $200 (at the time) Hobart/Miller Auto Dark helmet. When I say the same it was just that, both brands used an identical "Chameleon" brand lens just with a different shell and head gear, the Hobart was better in this respect but not that much better!



Also on another note, Don't let anybody tell you the cheap Auto Dark helmets are dangerous to your eyes because they "don't darken fast enough". That is total BS and how fast, or even IF, they darken has nothing to do with protection and you will not burn your eyes even if the thing fails to go dark. The reaction time given for some helmets is mostly just a sales gimmick and no one can tell the difference because they all darken fast enough to be comfortable and that is what the darken feature is all about, the UV/IR protection is there all the time dark or not and you will not receive a small "flash" in the time it takes for the lens to go dark in spite of the BS "urban legends" about these things.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:57 AM
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Every time auto darks get mentioned I bring this up so sorry if you have seen it before. I personally have done this stuff for a living for 30 years and have tried many different autodark helmets, I don't like them. ME, personally I don't like them. That doesn't mean they aren't a good way to go because many people love them. But my helmets are the "Cherokee" helmets with a chin opperated flip up lense. http://www.accustrike.com/


They are right around $100, I won't use anything else anymore.

Brian
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Every time auto darks get mentioned I bring this up so sorry if you have seen it before. I personally have done this stuff for a living for 30 years and have tried many different autodark helmets, I don't like them. ME, personally I don't like them. That doesn't mean they aren't a good way to go because many people love them. But my helmets are the "Cherokee" helmets with a chin opperated flip up lense. http://www.accustrike.com/


They are right around $100, I won't use anything else anymore.

Brian
i'm sorry, but i can't weld and chew gum at the same time
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matts37chev
i'm sorry, but i can't weld and chew gum at the same time

It is VERY easy to get used to and in just minutes it is second nature.
Brian
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:01 PM
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Im biding on an auto darkening hood now on ebay&if I don't win Im gonna go to hf&I think Ill buy the standard Jackson helmet since the price is so good&that way I have back up&if I ever need a helper they wont have to use one of the older ones.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:05 PM
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Unless you plan on using that Jackson with a hardhat they are a PITA in my opinion because of the location of the lens, when you drop the helmet and look straight ahead the lens is down below eye level. They are designed to be used with a hardhat even if they do come with a headgear in them. Try the Jackson and look straight ahead then try another brand and you will see what I am talking about, the Jackson is the only one I know off that does this and is the reason I would never own one way back when. Looking at the short Jackson the lens is dead center of the shell while every other brand, that I have seen anyway, has the lens a full inch nearer the top in front of your eyes where the dang thing is supposed to be! Are you looking at the long type or the short one?



For those who might be skeptical of that helmet MartinSr is talking about all I can say is try one before knocking it! He had mentioned those things a bunch of times before and when I finally got a chance to try one I was surprised at how well they work and if I were not retired now I definitely would buy one, they are without question the BEST choice for MIG welding! They have the advantage of not having to "Nod-and-drop" while also offering the same superior view of the weld puddle as the conventional lens. I quit using the Auto Dark a long time ago when using small MIG wire because of the viewing problems of the Auto Dark helmet and this was with a Jackson First Gen helmet, cheap or not every Auto Dark I have ever tried is so dark at the weld puddle it makes the seam hard to see and to follow. It's just the nature of the way the things work and has nothing to do with shade adjustment or sensitivity, the way they operate just makes the lens the darkest at the brightest point which is of course the weld puddle. The conventional helmet has a visibility advantage but the Auto Dark is just so handy it negates this better view in most cases but that Acustrike has the best of both.
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