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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am taking a welding coarse at the local vocational school at night starting in a week.
The brouchure says that everyone must supply their own welding helmet, gloves and safty glasses.
I looked at a few sights and saw that helmets come in all different shades numbers 9, 10 11,... and also auto darkening.
I'm not doing this for a living so I don't want to spend a million dollars but I don't want to wish I got something better after I bought something.
Any suggestions on what to buy and from who.

Thanks, Mark
 

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any welding place will have what you want. i use a #10 lense on my helmet. you can change out the lenses if you want so maybe you should pick up an inexpensive helmet and buy an extra lense.

as for the auto-darkening they are nice but the cheapest one i've seen is around $150. i've never used one so i don't know what they're like to work with, although i've wished i had one from time to time.

JB
 

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welding helmet

I would definately recommend an auto darkening hood. They are a bit pricey, a good one will set you back about $300. They are worth it, though, especially if you are planning to weld professionally or just often. I would recommend one that has settings for shades 9-12 and four sensors. If you are TIG welding it helps to have the extra sensors as the positioning of your hand feeding the filler rod can sometimes block a sensor. Also the auto darkening hoods are good for beginners because you can see where you need to start your weld and won't miss when you strike an arc.
 

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Eastwoodsgot one for $90 auto darkening. I have an automatic and I like it . Everytime I set up a weld with the old style and then nodded my head to drop it down I lost my positioning.:mad:
 

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I know I will be blasted for this, but I love my HF auto darkening hood. It is on sale now for $49. My next door neighbors son is a certified welder and he bought one for home use. He says it is as good as his expensive one that he has at work.

Vince
 

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After spending many years welding with a conventional hood and breaking suspensions and flip up lenses, the first advice I'd give to a new welder is to get an auto-dark helmet. Life will be much easier. Go with a cheapie until you find out what you like or actually need. I found one off eBay. It requires some batteries and you have to turn it on and off with a switch inside but it goes all the way down to shade 7 which is nice for low current mig on sheet metal.
 

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Just received my HF autodark last night 49.95, shipped free because I ordered over $50. It is great! I can concentrate on where my wire is and not have to move my hand to flip my helmet.
Good Luck,
Fred
 

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For those of you doing TIG, you might want to take a look at some of the TIG specific auto dark lenses. They work better with the high freq starts of a TIG and don't *shock* your eye's quite as bad.

I'm pretty fond of the Arc 1 hoods right now. IMO, they beat out the Jackson, MIller, and Optrel hoods, and the HF hood by a MILE!!

KP
 

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When I was a certified welder for Fluid Line Technology I used an Arc One Hawk because it was one of the lightest ones they made. I've used the Optrel Satellite OSE model and really liked it as well. It was more comfortable than the Arc One, had a grinding mode button with LED light inside the helmet to remind you that your in grinding mode, deflected fumes better and has an easy to replace spherical lens cover. Definitly too expensive for beginning welders at $350. I wouldn't recommend buying cheap if your welding alot. It wouldn't be worth getting an inexpensive automated helmet if it makes you go blind. You can't buy your eye sight back.

Something you'll notice with automated lenses is the venetian blind effect while welding. This is normal (not broken) and doesn't hamper protection of UV rays.
 

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fourbyfourblazer said:
When I was a certified welder for Fluid Line Technology I used an Arc One Hawk because it was one of the lightest ones they made. I've used the Optrel Satellite OSE model and really liked it as well. It was more comfortable than the Arc One, had a grinding mode button with LED light inside the helmet to remind you that your in grinding mode, deflected fumes better and has an easy to replace spherical lens cover. Definitly too expensive for beginning welders at $350. I wouldn't recommend buying cheap if your welding alot. It wouldn't be worth getting an inexpensive automated helmet if it makes you go blind. You can't buy your eye sight back.

Something you'll notice with automated lenses is the venetian blind effect while welding. This is normal (not broken) and doesn't hamper protection of UV rays.
A) Nice Blazer :D I wheel an 89 :D

B) You nailed it on the cheap hood thing. The Optrels are nice, but on their lower lineup (alot of what people here would be looking at) the quality seemed sub par. I guess it's a get what you paid for. I'm no real fan of the Hawk either, especially since it's primarily a single dark hood. The Vision is currently my hood of choice.

My suggestion, don't EVER buy a hood JUST on price. Take the extra 1/2 hour to go to your local weld shop and try a few on. It's amazing what's out there. Lot's of people sell hoods for a great price(like me LOL), try them on at the shop, then hunt for cost once you've maded up your mind on what you like.

C) That venetian blind thing FREAKED ME OUT first time I saw it. Now I don't even notice it :D

KP
 
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