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Good Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

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  • Good Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

    Does anyone have an opinion on the subject? I have a cheap Blackstone model and I find myself struggling to see the weld puddle at the lightest setting (9). Its a few years old. Thought I would try this model OPTREL K6803 ( E680 ). Thoughts??

    Who do I think you are...?

  • #2
    HAP: what current and process are you welding with?
    What consumable are you using?
    Have you tryed wipeing off the front of the lense? it often gets covered in smoke, especialy with flux core mig welding.
    Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


    • #3
      i like my lincoln 100% solar ,but i adore my miller elite


      • #4
        I have the same - or similar - problem... but I have pretty well determined that my 70 yr old eyeballs are the culprit. I have 3 friends in the same general age group and they are also having a similar problem -- one told me recently he had gotten to where he wouldnt even attempt to weld anymore because he just made a mess After my last few attempts, I may have to give it up also.

        This getting old SUCKS
        Last edited by Bill Pace; 05-16-2010, 08:42 PM.
        If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


        • #5
          I have had my Optrel for over 7 years now and it has worked great. Had to buy a new one about 3 years ago when my old one dropped several stories and broke. Other than that no problems. There are a few other members here that also use the Optrel and will reccomend them.


          • #6
            My main and favorite helmet is a Huntsman 951P with an 1100IVXL lens.I recently aquired a Miller Elite and like it a lot.

            What ever helmet you get make sure you can get replacment lenses easily.


            • #7
              If you are wire welding, try shining a quartz light onto the area you are welding. That will help those 70 year old peepers quite a bit to see the weld. Mine aren't but 60 but it sure is hard to see the weld joint thru an autodarkening hood without the extra light. JMHO



              • #8
                After years of using a standard lens hood I bought a HF auto dark hood and I like it. I don't weld enough to pay for an expensive one.

                I have found that a spot light on the work where I am welding does wonders for seeing what I am doing. Normal shop lighting is not enough for anyone, young or old.
                It's only ink and paper


                • #9
                  I have a Speedglas that's been great for the couple of years I've had it...Provided I don't forget to turn it on. :blackeye:



                  • #10
                    try shining a quartz light onto the area you are welding.
                    I have found that a spot light on the work where I am welding does wonders
                    I have tried this extra light with my HF hood (not with Quartz) and have a problem with the added light making the hood darken prematurely. Either of you had that problem - do you position the added light over your shoulder or something - or (probably the case!) is my hood just too sensitive? I am gas wire welding...

                    I have tried 2-3 other hoods and still had problems following the bead, though not with extra light...
                    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


                    • #11
                      I have a blackstone one aswell and love it, I find a good cleaning does wonders with this mask and the .$45 clear lens for it makes it almost cheaper to change the lens than clean it. If I were to go and buy a new helmet right now it would be one of the 3M ones with the air filtration for breathing or the Optrel


                      • #12
                        To help see the weld edge, go to a stationary store and buy a silver lead pencil.
                        Put a line beside the weld with the pencil. When you strike the ark the line looks like a mirror.



                        • #13
                          I chose the Northern Tool AD helmet because it had good reviews and a large window.

                          The large window helps me when I am wearing bifocals and have to cock my head to get the workpiece in focus. That can be an issue with the standard size window.

                          Only complaint about the NT is the headgear friction never seems just right. It either falls down when I don't want it too or else it won't fall down when I want it to. I gave up on the friction adjustment and just leave the helmet down all the time.


                          • #14
                            The optrel helmet is one of the best out there. Worth the price.


                            • #15
                              I had a autodarkening helmet with a Kemper module (Swiss made). Then I decided to buy a Speedglas (3 months ago).
                              The difference was like night and day. Speedglass also offers manification lenses that clip inside of the helmet. Speedglas are not cheap, but they are perfect.

                              Having a good light is essential. Preferably no light from the back (or a hood over your helmet that prevents light coming in from the back). A realy strong light (500W quarz) also makes a big difference.