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Thread: time for a new helmet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    26

    Default time for a new helmet

    Sold a welder and the guy talked me out of my hft helmet. It was old but still doing fine. Just had to spend some time welding under a trailer in a very tight spot and could have sure used a large view helmet. Sooo the question is what do I get for the extra money if I buy an expensive one like a Miller Elite as compared to for example the one that Northern Tools sell. I'm going to hit 60 next week so the eyes need all the help they can get!! Has anyone ever had the chance to try them out side by side? Thanks, Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    The Four Flags City
    Posts
    529

    Default

    I have had a Huntsman 1100IVXL for close to 20 yrs that I really like.I had the chance to pick up a Miller Elite very reasonably so I did.The Huntsman and the Miller are pretty close in performance.
    I bought a welder that came with a HF auto darkening helmet and I figured I would use it as a back up but in the light mode it was so dark I could hardly see so I gave it to my neighbor who was teaching his kids to stick weld.
    The bad thing with AD helmets is they go from one price extreme to the other.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Mount Clemens, Mi
    Posts
    2,536

    Default

    From a welding forum it seems that whether you like it or not there are two factories in China that make the guts for the AD helmets so whether you are buying a HF or other import hat you are getting the same basic AD.

    Now with that being said, the biggest difference is the number of sensors and their locations on the pick up area of the hat. the assorted modes and the other bells and whistles that it comes with.

    I have the Miller elite for TIGging. Low voltage turn on a lot of the others don't have including some brand Millers, Linc and other big dogs.
    I just replaced a HF AD that was 6 years old with another one. Battery finally died and wouldn't charge at the time. They have non replaceable battery. I bought another one, use it more than the elite. can't go wrong for the price with the discount off coupon.
    All of the helmets, meet the current US federal standards. If you compare the spec's of the lower end price helmets they are the same.


    Since I had the old one I couldn't resit and popped it apart, batteries are soldered in place. Saved the bits of the head gear in case one of the other hats parts goes south.
    Now I am not a working welder, nor do I use mine more that an hour or two at a time mostly. So if I get a couple years I feel it has paid for it self.

    You can get the insurance and get a new one if it quits. If it doesn't work out of the box you take it back, exchange or your money. Can't say you can beat that with Flea bay or some of the other stores that ask a lot of questions.

    Of course living 4.1 miles from an HF store has both its drawbacks and advantages! Habitat for humanities has a steady supply of tape measures, electrical meters, screwdrivers for use or sale.
    Glen
    Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
    I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
    All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    SF East Bay.
    Posts
    1,972

    Default

    I bought the Miller Elite after using the HF auto for a while. The bigger viewport allows me to use my bifocals. That made a big difference for me.

    I like it a lot. When 'off' I seem to be able to see through it much better than I can with the HF model.

    Dan
    Measure twice. Cut once. Weld. Repeat.
    ( Welding solves many problems.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    438

    Default

    I pretty much use my "instructor's hand held" mask exclusively these days. Find it much easier under vehicles, etc. You have to weld with one hand though............

    Last edited by Chester; 05-05-2012 at 12:43 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,414

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    I use a Speedglas with a blower and filter. Expensive but really worth it to me as the blower keeps the lens from foggng. It has a big window also which is great for me with my progressive lens glasses. There is a filter on the blower and the pack mounts on your back away from the fumes.
    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northeast, PA
    Posts
    577

    Default

    I have been putting some time in with one of these Jackson helmets and find it pretty nice. http://www.jacksonsafety.com/linkdet...roupid=3002530

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    50

    Default

    To PTSideshow and others - the batteries in a cheap auto-dark helmet are replaceable - if you are able to solder.

    Following link is a replacement battery: http://parts.digikey.com/1/parts/125...-2330-vcn.html

    I modified my helmet when one of the batteries began to fail. I also cut the case open but I mounted the batteries in battery holders ***outside*** of the electronics housing - similar to this mock-up (apparently I never took a picture of the finished repair and the helmet is 10 miles away at my workshop). http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/l...ternalbatt.jpg

    BTW PTSideshow - we are practically neighbors - I live about 1.5 miles from the Clinton Twp Harbor Frt store that you mentioned.

  9. #9
    gnm109 Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Forest
    I use a Speedglas with a blower and filter. Expensive but really worth it to me as the blower keeps the lens from foggng. It has a big window also which is great for me with my progressive lens glasses. There is a filter on the blower and the pack mounts on your back away from the fumes.

    I finally found something on which I could agree with B.F. The Speedglass line of helmets (hoods) is excellent. I have an old 9000X that I've bene using for more than ten years and it does a fine job. It used two 2032 disc batteries and they last for years.

    I like the adjustments for inside and outside welding as well as sensitivity as well. I vote for Speedglas.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Kendal, On
    Posts
    315

    Default

    I used to work with a guy that had an auto dark helmet that looked more like a goalie mask than any welding helmet I've ever seen. I don't remember what kind it was but it was actually contoured to fit your face a bit better than a normal helmet.

    Very comfortable, and well built and I'd love to find one to replace my china auto dark eventually. Just posting this in case somebody else has, or has seen one like it and can come up with a name.

    Edit: Just googled the speedglas helmets posted above and that looks to be what he had.
    Last edited by Dan Dubeau; 05-12-2012 at 09:12 PM.

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