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  • Welding Helmet Recomendations

    Since nobody seems to be alive on the welding forum I'll try here.

    My Optrel Satellite went TU and a new filter is 373.00. Soooooooo I'm lookin' fer a new one. Helmet that is.
    What's your favorite helmet and why?

    Go!

  • #2
    My next one will be the one that you open with your chin. Works wey well. I can't think of the name right now.
    "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
    world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
    country, in easy stages."
    ~ James Madison

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    • #3
      There are lots out there, most are not as good as the Optrel (personnel opinion, I use an optrel also) but the most important thing you should consider is whether you would trust you eyes to a cheap Chinese shield like the HF one's or spend some more on a better one.
      The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

      Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

      Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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      • #4
        No. I think I'll stay with the higher end stuff.

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        • #5
          Mine is a Speed- um - something or other. Spend the money on an auto-dark. They are adjustable from 7 to 13 or so. You look out of clear glass, approach the work with the stinger, strike the arc and the glass goes instantly dark. Not even the perception of a flash.

          They aren't perfect. Mine doesn't work in direct sun and it will flicker under blinky flourecents. But open shade or indoors under good light and it can't be beat.
          Last edited by Forrest Addy; 08-03-2012, 11:25 AM.

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          • #6
            I like my Huntsman 1100IVXL and my Miller non-digital Elite.My main dislike to the Optrel is finding cover plates.

            Forrest,Speedglas.
            If it has it,adjust the sensitivity and it will not flicker.

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            • #7
              I still have a working Optrel Solarmatic..and I recently purchased a Sif Lite (link) which complies with all the latest EU regs,and is as good if not better than the solarmatic ...at a tenth of the price.

              Rob

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              • #8
                OK, the HF can be called "cheap chinese junk" to which you are afraid to trust your eyes..... Suit yourself, that doesn't hurt ME at all.

                I had a Jackson (IIRC) and later a different lens (after the Jackson crapped out and flashed me very nicely) in class. I have subsequently used an HF, and found that my ability to see the puddle was about 4x better with the HF than with the jackson, and a bit better than the replacement. The HF has a green-tint basic lens that seems to be good for visibility, and the auto-dark works well and does not fuzz up the view like teh Jackson POS.

                BY the way.....

                WHERE do you think basically ALL helmets have their lenses made? I bet if you check, you will find that most of the mid priced and all of teh cheaper ones come from CHINA...

                Might include the one that was so good that it crapped out on you..... and most others in teh up to several hundred bucks range. Even any MIA ones, if you can find one, probably get the glass in china.... nobody in the US knows how to make it anymore.
                1601

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

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                • #9
                  I used a "Prostar" for years, which is Praxairs autodark hood, I used it on the job (industrial/commercial construction) and it held up well as its fairly rugged and the head gear seemed to hold up to constant use. For at home use, I have been using the Miller Elite autodark. I like the Miller as its light and the the settings/adjustments seem to work well and be accurate. I don'tknow how it would stand up to the inevitable wear and tear of daily construction, but since retiring, I'm not sure how well I would stand up to that anymore either.

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                  • #10
                    This is the helmet I bought while in school like a million years ago. It has been my only helmet ever. I use it for stick, MIG, and TIG. I have no idea what shade lens is in it anymore. It has been as reliable as water is wet.

                    See it there, hanging in its spot all ready to go, no dead batteries.

                    Andy

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                    • #11
                      There are quite a few you tube reviews of helmets out there.

                      The high end ones do have some really nice features --if these features are worth the money to you buy the one that is feature complete in your opine.

                      But, don't be worrying much about failure of the auto dark --cheap or expensive.

                      Auto dark is a misnomer, they should be called auto light, because they all fail into full dark mode.

                      Try it for your self, pull the battery, turn it off, whatever --the screen will be full dark. The device fails into safe mode, not the other way around.

                      Do you really think the lawyers that rule the world would allow the potential liability of something that had a failure mode that exposed your eyes to a flash or worse?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Forrest Addy View Post
                        Mine is a Speed- um - something or other. Spend the money on an auto-dark. They are adjustable from 7 to 13 or so. You look out of clear glass, approach the work with the stinger, strike the arc and the glass goes instantly dark. Not even the perception of a flash.

                        They aren't perfect. Mine doesn't work in direct sun and it will flicker under blinky flourecents. But open shade or indoors under good light and it can't be beat.
                        Speedglas is the name you're looking for and that is the brand I have, just don't know the model #. I was lucky and found on one Craig's List for less than 50% of the new price. It is by far the best helmet I've ever had. They were bought out by 3M at some point, but I think the helmets are still made in one of the Scandinavian countries. I have glaucoma & cataracts so I probably should not be welding at all, but this helmet gives me fantastic protection. More info is available here: http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...3M.com/welding

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by + or - Zero View Post
                          There are quite a few you tube reviews of helmets out there.

                          The high end ones do have some really nice features --if these features are worth the money to you buy the one that is feature complete in your opine.

                          But, don't be worrying much about failure of the auto dark --cheap or expensive.

                          Auto dark is a misnomer, they should be called auto light, because they all fail into full dark mode.

                          Try it for your self, pull the battery, turn it off, whatever --the screen will be full dark. The device fails into safe mode, not the other way around.

                          Do you really think the lawyers that rule the world would allow the potential liability of something that had a failure mode that exposed your eyes to a flash or worse?

                          Over the years I have read over and over again like a broken record of people flashing themselves with auto flash helmets because of some failure or simply blocking the sensor.
                          Andy

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                          • #14
                            There are many ways to get flashed. The interesting thing is that the harmful rays are blocked by the glass itself, not by the tint. Even when you are flashed you are not hurting your eyes.

                            I have used the HF model and a Miller digital elite. I like the ergonomics of the Miller model better. It fits well, it's light weight and I only get flashed when I do something dumb like leaving it in 'grinding' mode. I seem to see better with the Miller, but that might just be that I've learned to use bright light when I weld so that the arc is not the only source of light.

                            Dan
                            At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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                            • #15
                              auto darkening is nice

                              next one will be speedglass with an airfilter, too much crap inhaled during welding. Big dollars but I've only got two lungs

                              Current one was a no name, bought from the welding store, seems better made than the really low end stuff.

                              My only complaint was, at the time, unless you spent for the speedglass, the were all covered in ridiculous paint jobs, flame, skulls etc. I feel like an idiot wearing it. More or less works well; I often wish things were clearer but not sure how much that's the fault of the mask
                              .

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