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  • cheap welding helmet

    Hey guys,

    I'm thinking about buying this auto shade helmet.
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...1850_200311850

    Do y'all think it's a good buy for a beginner.

    Thanks

  • #2
    well, beginner or long time welder ... you only have one set of eyes and once you fry them.. they are gone .. Compare the UV protection, darkening speed, type battries required, lense cover replacements, quality of the head gear, and anything else you can compare. I have two cheap HF Helmets, the small lense one works great, the large lens one makes my face fell like its been in the sun too long. My Speedglass one is great and a clear winner in all departments. My advice is to get the best that you can afford. In my judgement, your helmet is the most important piece of welding equipment that you will buy.. get a good one..
    these look like good comparisons for low end helmets http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94337
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94336
    check their specs against Millers

    Jim
    Last edited by JimYoung; 04-26-2007, 09:16 AM.
    sigpicJim Young
    www.JimYo.com
    www.youtube.com/jimyo01

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    • #3
      Although that is not an expensive auto-darking helmet I think I would start with a regular one. Like a jackson or fibre-metal. In-expensive and leaves some money to spend on more tools
      Scott
      HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

      Comment


      • #4
        helmet

        I have tried just about every type of helmet on the market today and I'm most comfortable with my trusty old Jackson hood. It is all a matter of personal preferance. I don't care for the auto shade lens either as I have damaged a few in my day and don't really trust them to work properly all the time either. I used to do alot of stainless welding in tight areas where you had to be very close to the item being welded and heat cracked the photo cells in them more than once. Dave
        Attached Files
        If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

        sigpicJohn Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
        Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

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        • #5
          Welding Helmets....

          Hey Homeschool,
          That helmet is a good one. I have one and have used it 12-20hrs/week for the last year and a half without any problems. It has a fast react time, sens. & delay settings, and is quite comfortable...for me. I also have 2 of the HF Blue Flame helmets that have the same specs. as this one. I believe they are made by the same company as the electronics are identical. They have been reliable and the shading adjustment works very well as I like #10 setting for MIG & #11 for TIG. They are reasonably priced and if one goes bad, I'll toss it and get another...to me they are a consumable......Denny
          * Complete welding, machine, & fab shop *
          * Mobile unit *
          * Finally retired *
          ____________________________________________

          * A man's word is his honor..... without honor, there is nothing. *
          * Words are like bullets..... once they leave your muzzle, you cannot get them back. *
          * I have no reservation to kill nor hesitation to die for the U.S. Constitution & the American Flag. *
          * Age is a state of mind..... at my age, you cannot fathom what is in my mind. *

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          • #6
            My dad bought me a HF auto hood years ago and I used it allot. When I started welding full time it broke down in no time! It was ok for occational use, but just couldn't handle hard working conditions. I replaced it with a Miller Elite and I can't beleive the difference. I was missing out! Now, if you are just the occational welder (2 times a month) the cheapy will probably work. If you are going to see allot of hood time, then I'd spring for the better hood. Your eyes are precious, treat them with care! I do notice a difference with my eyes when comparing the two hoods. The cheapy left a "red dot" in my vision for quite a while if I was under hood very long. The new hood greatly reduced this vision imparment. Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              i agree with dabar on this one the jackson hoods are the best around
              they stand up to almost anything and are pretty cheap too.
              i have a bwe and it is ausome, i had it at the hitch shop for a few weeks and if i wasent watching it 24/7 it would have been distroyed by others not being careful. i think we have run over like 4 welding masks this year driving on and off the hoists... also in construction would you want to drop you miller autodark$$$$$ or you jackson$ 4 storys?..
              Jorgensen MFG.
              Custom trailers:from utility to semi trailers i make em all.
              argonweld_bjorn@hotmail.com
              www.ehhitch.com

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              • #8
                I been having having a sellstrom for about the last 17 years and can't complain.About 10 years ago i bought a speedlens for it and wondered how I did without it.Just recently I bought the miller 29 roadster elite series and I really enjoy it.Auto-darken shields are the way to go.
                301 trailblazer
                12vs extreme mig box
                spectrum plus plasma
                steelmax mag drill
                millwaukee steel cutting skillsaw

                dewalt 14" cold cut off saw
                various hand &power tools
                spoolmatic 30a

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                • #9
                  They are reasonably priced and if one goes bad, I'll toss it and get another...
                  thats the problem with too many people today, we are getting used to getting cheap crap and judt figure its ok for it to break, i'll just get another one. thats why we have soo much cheap crap out there. what ever happend to buying quality once and expecting it to last.
                  i got a Miller BWE about 6 years ago. i use it inside and outside. i use it for MIG,TIG,Stick and plasma cutting. it has never failed me. i would never consider trusting my eyes to a cheapo hood. how many flashes are ok ???? i say none. get a good hood.
                  get a good one and demand it to last, you only have one set of eyes keep them safe.
                  thanks for the help
                  ......or..........
                  hope i helped
                  sigpic
                  feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                  summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                  JAMES

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have an HF auto darkening bucket, I also have a Fibre Metal that I like. I use the Fibre Metal one more than the HF one. I have several lenses for the Fibre Metal helmet and a set of the bifocals for it.

                    I wish I had a positive air flow welding helmet. You have one set of eyes and one set of lungs.

                    They can replace the lungs these days, but it will hurt.

                    Jerry

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                    • #11
                      Cheap is, ... well cheap

                      Let's all be flat out honest on this matter, I always side on caution and protection. I started out with a cheap hood, and didn't like it. I then bought my first cheap Auto hood, and didn't like it. I finally bought a hood I thought I would like - and do (Optel). Cheap first hood = $45, second auto hood = $125, Optel hood = $240. If you add up the progressive costs - $410, I would have been better off spending the $240 in the first place.

                      You only have two eyes - loss of vision in one or both is worth what?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jfsmith View Post
                        I have an HF auto darkening bucket, I also have a Fibre Metal that I like. I use the Fibre Metal one more than the HF one. I have several lenses for the Fibre Metal helmet and a set of the bifocals for it.

                        I wish I had a positive air flow welding helmet. You have one set of eyes and one set of lungs.

                        They can replace the lungs these days, but it will hurt.

                        Jerry
                        Man, lung replacement can't be good. Your right I do forget about the air I breathe sometimes.
                        Scott
                        HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the replies.

                          I only get to weld like 2-3 times a month so i thought this one would work. All the reviews on the site were good except one so I thought it couldn't be that bad. But today is my birthday and i did ask for an optrel so maybe i'll get one

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                          • #14
                            Cheap helmets...

                            Hey fun4now,
                            To respond to your first sentence:
                            Yes, the "cheapo"(as defined here) helmets are a consumable to me. My eyes are the most precious part of my body and I never jeopardize them in any way. I have 2 Nexgen's I use religiously, but the HF and Northern Tool units have worked very well and have not caused me any problem....in function or full eye protection. I'm in my 43rd year of welding and still welding without problems because I do take care of my eyes. I agree there are garbage items on the market, and we all have the choice to use them or not. I don't feel these 2 (Hf & NT) are garbage. I had 2 Miller helmets that didn't last a year and a half, tossed them and went to Nexgen. "Cheapo" products are the result of our demand for "cheapo" products....like it or not....Denny
                            * Complete welding, machine, & fab shop *
                            * Mobile unit *
                            * Finally retired *
                            ____________________________________________

                            * A man's word is his honor..... without honor, there is nothing. *
                            * Words are like bullets..... once they leave your muzzle, you cannot get them back. *
                            * I have no reservation to kill nor hesitation to die for the U.S. Constitution & the American Flag. *
                            * Age is a state of mind..... at my age, you cannot fathom what is in my mind. *

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Homeschoolweldor
                              as a seldom welder its probly fine for now but i would still look at maybe upgrading in the future if your use increases. my father has 2 of them and said he only gets flashed every once in a wile.


                              yorkiepap
                              not ment as a shot at you sorry if you took it that way.
                              thanks for the help
                              ......or..........
                              hope i helped
                              sigpic
                              feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                              summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                              JAMES

                              Comment

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