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Thread: Welding Helmet Question

  1. #11
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    Dec 2003
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    Regina and Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
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    BTW...if you are just learning to tig...get an auto dark.
    A lot of beginners have enough trouble trying to flip the lid down using their head/neck...they don't need learning how to weld to complicate issues.
    I'm not kidding...one of the funniest things you'll ever see...a room full of begineers all sitting at welding tables...all with fixed lens helmets.
    We flip our heads and the lid pops down...they try it...lol! Helmets flying across the room...headgear slipping down across their eyes...helmets falling over backwards and landing on the floor, helmets landing on their weldments...knocking them off the table..
    I love watchin that...funny as hell. They look as dumb as I did!
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    So. Cal.
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    I give another vote for the optrel, I am on my second one since they first came out. My first one survied many falls from scaffolds over the years and only failed after falling 7 stories down. The helmets are well made and worth every penny.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    2,071

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    Personally I use a Jackson next gen but I guess only because it has held up so well and has all the features I need or want, I have never owned an Optrel but I have heard nothing but good about them. The guys I know who have the Optrel really like them and they are becoming more popular all the time, must be a good reason for that!

  4. #14
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    Dec 2007
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    Richmond BC, Canuckistan
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    Your eyes are extremely important so this is not an area where you want to buy a cheap helmet.

    I would highly recommend getting a helmet with 4 sensors as it's easy to block the sensors with your arm and get flashed.

    The Optrel is nice but the curved plastic lenses are expensive, with a flat lens I just buy a sheet of 1/16 lexan and cut it to fit.

    Look at the Jackson nexgen. It has 4 sensors and a larger wiew area.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    107

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    Quote Originally Posted by radkins
    Even after well over 20 years that these things have been around this myth still persists and it is a just a myth, you will not damage your eyes if the lens reacts slowly or even fails to react at all. The electronic function of the lens has nothing to do with the protection from the UV/IR rays as these are absorbed by the lens material and is fully functional whether the lens switches or not, the darkening shade filters light in the visible spectrum and the UV/IR is already gone at this point. Your eyes do not receive any damaging rays whether the lens is dark or not as these helmets provide 100% of available protection in the light or dark phase meaning it is a myth that you will receive a few milliseconds of exposure before the lens goes dark, you will not! Myths and urban legends about this are common and you will hear all kinds of BS stories about people damaging their eyes because a helmet was darkening too slowly but these stories are simply not true, the lens just does not work that way, and if it were true then the product liability and workers comp lawyers would have put them out of business years ago!

    This is very true. I am a Physics teacher not a welder so I am not the greatest welder, but I know that the properties of the glass are what will protect your eyes from harmful radiation not the auto-darkening feature.

    Think of it like this, It has been proven, over and over again, that there is nothing in the universe that can travel at the speed of light....NOTHING (as long as it begins life at less than the speed of light). So how could any helmet react fast enough to stop all the harmful rays at start up?

    The answer is simple...they would not be able to... and that is an indisputable fact. That means that anyone using an Auto helmet is getting flashed every time they use it(at least a little), if the myth was true.

    I have a Speedglass, but only because it was a gift. I like it, but even so, I have been flashed a few times.

    This would make a great Mythbusters topic.

    Get the HF one if that's what your budget allows and have fun.
    \"I see\" said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.

  6. #16
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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by morehelium
    Your eyes are extremely important so this is not an area where you want to buy a cheap helmet.

    I would highly recommend getting a helmet with 4 sensors as it's easy to block the sensors with your arm and get flashed.

    This is exactly the type of myth that I was talking about! You will NOT get "flashed" if the sensors get blocked and the lens fails to darken, it happens all the time. You will get a momentary, but harmless, flash of bright light but no damaging rays and even if it is somewhat startling it is nothing to be concerned with. federal standards simply would not allow any helmet that would pass harmful amounts of UV/IR, not even for a moment, and these helmets will not pass these rays whether they are dark or not. The number of sensors does make a difference but this difference is in convenience and comfort not safety.
    Last edited by radkins; 11-26-2009 at 03:56 PM.

  7. #17
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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil McCrackin

    This would make a great Mythbusters topic.

    Get the HF one if that's what your budget allows and have fun.

    I have actually seen this demonstrated back when these helmets first came out. Understandably that was quite a bit of concern about this, at the time, very new product and of course everyone's first thought was are they safe? The local welding supply had a rep from Jackson come around to the local shops and explain to everyone how they worked and why they were safe, safer even than a conventional helmet. He explained that the darkening function of the lens had nothing to do with filtering UV/IR and that part was very simple to do but it was the darkening function to make the lens usable that was the hard part, safety never was an issue. They then demonstrated that the harmful rays were stopped even before the lens switched and the the protection was the same even when the lens did not switch at all, even with the sensors blocked with electrical tape the lens passed no more harmful rays than it did while in the dark mode. Even now after all these years these things have been around it is still commonly believed that a person gets a tiny dose of rays during the time it takes for the lens to switch but this is simply not true, government regulations would not allow it.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    4,448

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    MY Hobart self darkening helmet flew across the shop yesterday. I was seeing spots for the "LAST TIME" with it.

    When it hit, it broke. I got it in the original box fixing to ship it back to them, it is old, been in a dark gang box while I had health issues.

    At first you could charge it up in the sun light. NOW, well it works, then a minute later it does not work. SURPRISE. SPOTS.

    First generation POS? Hobart Customer service said they have repaired the issue.

    I can say, I am not a rich guy, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
    Excuse me, I farted.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Luton,UK
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    1,774

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    Reasons to buy anything more than a very cheap Chinese helmet;

    Weight of shell.
    Quality of 'suspension system' (including hinge friction).
    Controllability; My Translight has shade, sensitiviy and off delay.
    Veiwing area, the bigger the better, esp. for TIG.

    Reasons to buy a cheap helmet.

    It's safer than a fixed. There's a lot of temptation to tack weld with eyes shut with a fixed.
    It's much easier to learn with an AD.

    As well as my Translight I have a Chinese helmet that cost me 15 (about US$25) for use when I have guests or am tutoring. It works just fine but is not as 'nice' to wear.


    You can often fit the AD insert into another helmet, so if you've got a favorite fixed shade helmet it might be worth looking at buying a cheapy just for the insert (ex disply with bits missing perhaps?).


    Before I had an AD helmet I would use a 300watt halogen worklight to illuminate the weld so I could see.

  10. #20
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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by EVguru
    It's safer than a fixed. There's a lot of temptation to tack weld with eyes shut with a fixed.

    Yes it is safer for the very reason you mention but because of another popular myth some people actually believe just the opposite. The reasoning, although flawed, is that if you have to do a lot of tack welding it is better to use a conventional helmet or just use the "look away" method because of the momentary exposure that occurs (actually it does NOT occur) during the time it takes for the lens to switch. The belief is that this "exposure" is cumulative and eye damage can result from to much accumulated exposure from the multiple tack welds. Of course this simply does not happen since there is no exposure during the time it takes the lens to switch but many people still believe it anyway.

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