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Welding Helmet Questions

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  • Welding Helmet Questions

    Got a new welding helmet for my b/day.
    It's a lincoln and says made in USA
    It's auto darkening #10 shade
    What exactly are the ones with variable shades used for? I am currently using a mig
    for home shop use (Hobart 175). I aspire to someday have capabilty for aluminum maybe a spool gun or Tig. I think if I were to get into a buzz box type stick welder I would probably use a fixed lens helmet so this autodark helmet would just be used for my mig work.
    My wife kept the reciept and I could upgrade without causing any trouble I'm just wondering if I really need to.

  • #2
    once you're used to that autodark, you'll never go back to the regular buckets.

    i've found the variable shade helmets good for welding in different enviroments (rather than different weldstyles) ... the one i currently own has 'infinite' adjust between (i think) 8 and 13. maybe its 9 and 11. anyway i only ever use it on the two extremes. lowest if i'm in the shop (where for the life of me i can never get enough lighting!) and highest when i'm welding in the sun.

    there are tig-specific autohelmets but i've never really noticed the difference. it might be a brightness/speed issue.

    to me, the shades are only meaningful between different welding processes (like gas, gas for aluminum, or arc/electro-weld)
    don't try to braze in your autodark helmet

    i've recently seen a new fancyshmancy auto helmets that have an 'emergency off' looking button on them. slap the button and the glass goes clear ... for grinding etc without flipping the top. local welding shop was asking $400 for them.

    for that kinda cash i'd better have a sales guy standing next to me pushing the button and handing me my anglegrinder.

    cute stuff, though.



    • #3
      You guys just gave me an idea. I was brazing up a leak in the exaust system on my truck and the occasional glob of hot metal would fall and splatter. What I really needed was a welding helmet with a brazing filter in it, about a #4 or so. I have a couple of spare helmets. I'll have to see if I can get a filter.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


      • #4
        I have an auto darkening helmet at work for the times that I get a few moments to prcatice tig or stick. I love that helmet. It is hard to imagine the days of not having an auto darkening shade. Dad had an old buzz box and a helmet with a #12 (?) shade. That was work. I had to hold a trouble light right next to the work to see what I was doing. And even then, there was not enough light to get going.

        You will like that helmet. Good luck.
        Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


        • #5
          I use a sparker ignition to test the speed of the lense, this separated the good from the poorly made.



          • #6
            I have one of those helmets and really like it as well. The only problem I can complian about is the solar part. I don't use it enough to keep it charged. Keep it in a window with direct sun light on it and you should be okay.


            • #7
              Buy a quality helmet right off, not like I did, buying two less costly ones that I was not happy with. All of the ones I used would auto darken quickly enough, but the most important thing is delay adjustment. In other words, you must have delay after the welding arc concludes. Without proper delay, especially evident when using high amperages, you will get spots in front of your eyes and you won't be able to see squat after a few beads. Adjustable shade is a handy feature so you can oxy acetylene weld and even use a plasma cutter. Bottom line is that adjustable delay is the most important feature to compare.


              • #8
                Evan, would one of the full face shields be what you need? For oxyacetylene that's all I use. I think I have a #3 and a #5.


                • #9
                  Dan, yes, that is what I have in mind. I actually have a helmet that is mounted on a hard hat. Perfect for messing around under a 4 X 4. My wife sells welding supplies so I'm sure I can get what I need (including a cheater lens )
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                  • #10
                    I thought you were talking about the solid face shield with the small rectangular glass lense.

                    I like the large plastic face shields that snap on to the head piece because of such a large field of vision.