Iíve been on the forums a lot as part of supplementing my college welding program. The different topics on MIG, TIG, SMAW as well as equipment I found to really aid in my technique and equipment choices. For that I am extremely grateful. This is my attempt at adding to the forum, as a thank you and to share some of my experiences on selecting a welding hood. My experience in welding is approximately 1 year in a college program, compared to most on these forums my knowledge is limited so I would say this review is not comprehensive and should be read with my background in consideration.
The first welding hood I purchased was a Miller Digital Performance. The reason for purchasing this hood at the time was itís from a well known and reputable company, the lens size, auto darkening adjustability features and the user friendly LCD interface. The second welding hood I purchased was the 3M Speedglas 9100xx. The primary reason for this purchase was due to having a hard time achieving a comfortable fit with the Miller Digital Performance which will be discussed in further detail.
Although not a major contributing factor in any decision, I think the accessory options that come with a purchased can be considered ďperksĒ. The following is a table that gives a side by side view of what I received with each purchase.
|Replacement Outer Lens||Y||Y|
|Replacement Inner Lens||Y||Y|
Provided with each welding hood came the usual standard stuff. Manual, company stickers, replacement lenses. The helmet bag from Miller I prefer just because of the size and material it is made of, it has a softer liner on the inside. The 3M bag is extremely large and the material feels similar to that of wind breaker. Where 3M pulled ahead is providing the welding cap, which is moderately heavy weight material with a mesh inner lining, the additional sweatband I found to be a nice touch just because I tend to sweat a lot and having to save a few bucks here and there on a headband is just kind of icing on the cake. Here is a picture of the helmet bags side by side.
|Battery||2 x CR2032 (Lithium 3V)||2 x CR2450 lithium|
|Lens Size||4.27" x 2.87"||3.81" x 1.85"|
|Dark Shades||5, 8-13||5, 8-13|
|Cheater Lens Compatibility||Y||Y|
3.81Ē x 2.62Ē
Figure 1 shows the makeup of the miller headgear as a whole unit, while figure 2 shows the 3M.
Both headgear have two supporting straps which are adjusted fairly easily and feel very secure with the retaining tabs feeling very sturdy Fig 3 and fig 5 show the tabs on the Miller.