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Hi guys I was spot welding on the scout today and was turning my head and closing my eyes instead of wearing a mask so I could go quicker but now my face is burned and my neck is soar so its time to buy a automatic welding helmet. I am talking about the ones that go dark on there own as soon as you start to weld.

-I am only a hobbyist so I don't want to spend a fortune but the lens has to dark quickly or my eyes will be the next thing to go. So were can one get a good deal on one? I don't want a piece of junk or the top of the line either. What should I look for? I thought about a harbor freight one but I don't want a piece of junk......

Ideas thanks.........
 

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brandonA. said:
Hi guys I was spot welding on the scout today and was turning my head and closing my eyes instead of wearing a mask so I could go quicker but now my face is burned and my neck is soar so its time to buy a automatic welding helmet. I am talking about the ones that go dark on there own as soon as you start to weld.

You will be lucky, If that's all you burnt.. :pain: And not your eyes.. :pain: The shield's from harbor freight, do work very good. I'm on my second one in five years. I use mine ''everyday''.. :thumbup:
 

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something I learned in the same search you are on

Q: What is the correct lens shade to use in my welding helmet to properly protect my eyes?



A: Many people mistakenly think that the lens shade number corresponds to the amount of protection that is provided to the eyes and hence the higher the number, the better the protection. But in reality, all well-constructed quality welding lenses, have a screen that filters out 100 percent of the harmful ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) wavelengths and provides protection to the eyes. The number just denotes the amount of darkness provided by that particular lens and should be used by operators as a guide to select the one that is most comfortable and yet provides good visibility for the particular application.

Of course, there are some suggested lens shade numbers that you can use as a guide if you are unsure what to select for your application. These correspond with the amperage being welded.

Always select a shade that allows you to see the weld puddle clearest and that most aids your welding ability.


Click on the image to view the chart


Q: Auto-darkening helmets don't darken until the welding arc is struck - will this "split second" damage my eyes?

A. Welding arcs emit both IR and UV wavelengths of light. Unprotected from this light, both eye damage and discomfort can occur. Since high-quality auto-darkening helmets provide UV and IR protection even when the helmet is not activated, you are always protected. However, for maximum comfort, look for a high quality helmet that has a response darkening time of 4/10ths of a millisecond. Less than a millisecond is not perceivable by the human eye and will provide the most comfort.
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This is taken from the Airgas website. I did not realize the darkening had nothing to do with the IR or UV protection but was only for viewing comfort.
I was worried going to a lighter shade for mig welding would harm my eyes. I just can't see the weld pool well enough with a # 10.

edit... had to point out it says "well constructed quality welding lenses"
 

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We have covered this many times in the past and it is a fact that an auto dark helmet offers protection even in the lightened stage so you will not burn your eyes during the time it takes to go from light to dark, that is simply a comfort issue not a safety concern. "Urban legend" type sob stories abound about some poor worker who was forced to use a malfunctioning helmet that darkened too slow or had a job just tacking parts that required the helmet to darken hundreds or thousands of times a day which burned his eyes because of the multiple flashes. These stories are simply not true and the time it takes a helmet to go dark will not expose the user to harmful amounts of UV/IR in spite of what some will say.

BTW, those HF helmets are darn good ones! The headgear and the shell are not the best and for that reason I would recommend a better helmet for a pro welder working with it everyday but the electrics are up to the job and many pros do use these things. For a hobbyist or the home shop they work great and for the cost are hard to beat!
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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I have tried a number of autodarkening helmets, I just don't like them. I don't like the lack of control in how they "fade" in and out.
I have been using a Cherokee for well over 10 years now and have one both home and work.

You have complete control and it even doubles as a grinding helmet by flipping the lense all the way up.



They are about $90 bucks I believe off the website. http://www.accustrike.com/

Brian
 

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I have been meaning to get one of those things for a while now but I just never get around to it (round tuits are hard to get you know, :mwink: ). I don't care for the auto dark for MIG welding which is the very thing most people do like them for but, to me, the darn things just darken the view of the arc too much right at the weld puddle making a small seam very hard to see. This effect has nothing to do with the shade setting since the way the things work makes them darkest at the brightest point. I am not alone in this gripe as a couple of other guys here have complained of it too, one even started a thread about it a couple of years ago unless I am mistaken. My point is if MIG welding body panels is to be the major use then try both types of helmet and see if the better view of the conventional fixed type is worth the trade off, that Cherokee however should have the best features of both types of helmet.
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Another thing about MIG welding is you are often in a dark place inside a car or something and with the auto darkening helmet you need a lot of light on the weld area to see being it STARTS out as something like a number 4 shade. Where as the Cherokee starts out perfectly clear.

I have preached and preached these helmets since the day I bought mine. I think they are the cats meow and MUCH better than an autodarkening for the bodyshop/garage.

And again, I am always looking for a BETTER way to do things and have given some real nice autodarkening helmets a good try, not just one weld but using them for a day to get the hang of it. I just can't get into them, don't like them at all.

Brian
 

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MARTINSR said:
Another thing about MIG welding is you are often in a dark place inside a car or something and with the auto darkening helmet you need a lot of light on the weld area to see being it STARTS out as something like a number 4 shade. Where as the Cherokee starts out perfectly clear.

I have preached and preached these helmets since the day I bought mine. I think they are the cats meow and MUCH better than an autodarkening for the bodyshop/garage.

And again, I am always looking for a BETTER way to do things and have given some real nice autodarkening helmets a good try, not just one weld but using them for a day to get the hang of it. I just can't get into them, don't like them at all.

Brian

No problem's with mine.. :thumbup: That helmet you posted,,Your jaw muscles must be sore after welding all day... :pain:
 

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I'm presently attending a (continuing education) welding class at the local agricultural college.

They supply the "old-school" welding helmet with a #12 shade and the little "flip-up" window. I couldn't see a darn thing ... striking arcs in the middle of the plate ... or even on the goldarn table! LOL

I noticed that a couple of students had brought there own auto-dark helmets, and that the instructor had his very own $400.00 Miller ... complete with the "flame-job"

So, OK ... I went shopping around for a less expensive version.
Canadian Tire (also known as "Crappy Tire") had a Lincoln Helmet / Welding Glove combo for $199 CAD. I probably would have bought that one except that I already had the gloves.

Peavey Mart had a couple of Hobart "The Hood" (XVS) models available. One with the flame job for $209, and a plain black one for $169. I bought the black one. (#770424)



Hobart XVS

The shade is adjustable from 9-12, and it has another knob to adjust sensitivity. It apparently has a #4 shade setting in the brightened state.

I like it. It's a heckuva lot better (and lighter) than the "old-school" helmet, that's for sure. Plenty good enough for a hobbyist like me.

Tuesday was my first experience with MIG welding, and I'll be going again tonight. It sure was nice to be able to position that stinger right where you wanted it to be, and just pull the trigger. :thumbup:
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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NEW INTERIORS said:
No problem's with mine.. :thumbup: That helmet you posted,,Your jaw muscles must be sore after welding all day... :pain:

If you haven't tried it, don't knock it. You may be surprised to find it is much better for you. But as we all know, one guys favorite tool is another guys waste of money. I have welded hours on end without a problem. One thing is you don't need to open your mouth nearly as much as the little graphic does. Keeping your lips closed, just separating your teeth a little is all that is needed.

It is SOOO different that it takes a little time getting used to. But I wouldn't do without mine for anything!

Brian
 

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miller

If you dont wont to spend money the harbor freight would be ok. I have used jackson hobart and miller. I love my miller pro about $200 it has a #3 and then changes to a #10 but Can go up. The jackson I think had a #4 and that is dark I bet the harbor one has a #4. THe hobart I used also had a #3 and was nice. But I think the same as the miller. For my money I would and have gone with the miller.
 

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Q about light/dark changing time.

I'm a little confused about how the different helmet brands describe the switching time on their auto dark helmets.

For example:
Miller Pro Hobby is changing from light to dark in 1/12000 sec, while their more expensive Pro Elite use 1/25000 sec.

That makes sense, but when I look at Lincoln helmets, their entry level Viking Tribal uses 1/25000 sec, while their more expensive Vista 3000 uses 1/10000 sec???

I would say 1/10000 is a slower change than 1/25000, right? But in that case, the 200$ Lincoln Vista changes from light to dark slower than the 120$ Lincoln Viking...
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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robs ss said:
I would assume you can't wear a respirator with that particular helmet Brian.

Rob

http://www.1969supersport.com

It sure can, I wouldn't weld without one. I use a 3M disposable. You can't use a dual cartridge type, no. But you can use a single cartridge or a disposable as I do.

Brian
 

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staleg said:
I'm a little confused about how the different helmet brands describe the switching time on their auto dark helmets.

For example:
Miller Pro Hobby is changing from light to dark in 1/12000 sec, while their more expensive Pro Elite use 1/25000 sec.

That makes sense, but when I look at Lincoln helmets, their entry level Viking Tribal uses 1/25000 sec, while their more expensive Vista 3000 uses 1/10000 sec???

I would say 1/10000 is a slower change than 1/25000, right? But in that case, the 200$ Lincoln Vista changes from light to dark slower than the 120$ Lincoln Viking...


This is a classic case of marketing hype, as if 1/12000 of a second is a lot better than 1/25000 of a second. I guess it can be argued that it must be better but honestly in what way? The operator can not tell the difference, I sure can,t and I have been using these things since the first Jacksons hit market years ago. If you are concerned that you will be getting more exposure to UV/IR with the "slower" 1/12000th second model then you are concerned about exactly nothing. We have covered this many times before and the fact is the reaction time has nothing to do with UV/IR exposure since the radiation blockage is a function of the lens material and it does not matter how fast (or even if at all) the lens switches to dark. The darkening function of the lens filters the visible light spectrum while the UV/IR is absorbed/blocked by the outer lens material so you receive the same protection whether the lens goes dark or not. You will not burn your eyes with a "slower" reaction lens nor will you burn your eyes if it fails to darken, which it almost certainly will tend to do occasionally, the protection is ALWAYS there whether the lens is dark or not.


[EDIT] 1/12000 or 1/25000, I just noticed I have that backward but there's not any real difference anyway.
 

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oldred said:
You will not burn your eyes with a "slower" reaction lens nor will you burn your eyes if it fails to darken, which it almost certainly will tend to do occasionally, the protection is ALWAYS there whether the lens is dark or not.
Which is not the case with my Cherokee which when open has a clear lense. You MUST close it before welding or you will substain eye damage.

Brian
 

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Helmet

HF has a auto dark helmet with backup battery for 80 bucks.

I just got a used Speedglas 9000X for $100.00, same guy I just bought my Millermatic auto-set 140 with small gas tank (1 hour time on it) for $450.00, he was hurtin fer money, his loss my gain. :D

I checked on line and the welder is $809.00 new from Miller and the helmet is $455.00 new. :drool:

I also bought a very nice mig welding cart from HF for $49.95, sane exact color as the welder.
 

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Sounds like a pretty good score, Carlos. :thumbup:

One thing that I DID notice about the cheaper helmets, and worth mentioning in this thread, was that they had "non-rechargeable, non-replaceable" lithium-ion battery. What do you do when it goes dead ... garbage the helmet and buy another one?

The Hobart one uses alkaline AAA's.
 
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