Originally Posted by oldred
Most of the quality difference is in the shell and headband and the HF helmet has the same "Chameleon" lens found in some "brand name" helmets. Although I think the Hobart/Miller helmet, the one called "the hood" by Hobart, has a different lens than they had about 10 years ago, they did at that time share the EXACT same lens as the HF helmet. I have seen and used the HF model and it definitely is a good one for the money but the headgear is a bit flimsy although the lens is about as good as any I have tried. I had the older Hobart outfit and I now use a $400 Jackson which is top quality and has a few extra features but the HF helmet functions just as good as for lens function. If safety is the main concern then don't worry about the HF outfit because all of these auto dark helmets have to meet the same government mandated safety standards. Also you can ignore those goofy urban legend sob stories about some poor worker who went blind because he was forced by his employer to use a faulty auto dark helmet that failed to darken fast enough.
There are any number of variations to that story but none are true because an auto dark helmet will provide the same UV protection in the lightened state as it will when dark. It can be a bit un-nerving when the darn things fail to go dark but it is not harmful and you will not burn your eyes if it happens, and it will all too often! There was a lot of concern about this when those things first came out and as the field rep for Jackson pointed out if there was any way you could cause harm by the helmet failing in any way, especially by failing to darken, then the product liability and workers comp lawyers would put the manufacturers out of business PDQ! I read an article about welding in a magazine not long ago and it was mentioned that UV damage is cumulative (that part is true) and because an auto dark takes a fraction of a second to go dark that it was not recommended to use one for extended periods because the time adds up but THAT IS TOTAL Bull$^##! An auto dark helmet provides the same protection before it goes dark as it does when darkened and is as safe or safer than a conventional helmet because unlike a conventional type the auto dark provides protection light or dark!
listen to oldred when it comes to anything concerning welding. i bought an auto darkening welding helment off fleabay, but i could have bought the same helment from HF a few months later. they are regulated by our guberment, oldred is the guy who knows when it comes to welding...