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.
Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
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