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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Clovis, NM
    Posts
    44

    Default Good CHEAP autodarkening helmet.

    Ok, I know I'm asking for something that a lot of people have strong opinions against, but here it goes. I know there are a lot of cheap helmets out there and many of them are cheap garbage, but i've read where many guys are very happy with their inexpensive AD helmet. I've seem numerous on Amazon that have really good reviews, but I trust the opinion I read on here as the real deal.

    So, its my b-day and I decided I want to get an inexpensive AD hood. There are plenty out there in the forty to sixty dollar range and may get one of those, of there's a much getter one for less than $100, I may go that route. What specific helmet would you guys recommend?

    I have a passive helmet and that's all i've got. I've never used an AD, but I'm tired of the first strike of an arc being in the dark.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Bossier Parish La.
    Posts
    549

    Default

    How cheap do you want to go and how much are your eyes worth to you?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Clovis, NM
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Obv my eyes are worth more than my welder is, but i've read that even some of the cheaper helmets say that their helmet protects from UV even when the lens is off and doesn't darken. I don't mean to start an adjustment our debate, butfrom your answer (another question) I get the idea you don't believe in using an inexpensive helmet.

    Like I said before, I've seen them in the forty dollar range, but might be willing to spend $100 if its really that much better.

    If there's one you guys use that works great for you, what make and model is it?

    I don't weld all day for a living, but when I do work on a project it is for several hours a day, a few days in a row.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    577

    Default

    I have millers pro hobby. I've had it for 5-6 years. Works fine, has some adjustability. Head gear is fine. Only thing is it is not auto on capable, so you must remember to turn it on or you will get flashed. No biggie for me though, I have just made a habit of hitting the on button when input on the helmet

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    27

    Default

    About 5yrs ago I got me a cheap harbor freight, I got it for my overhead par t of a stainless mig test, it worked out great, I didn't have to worry about burn in it up (which I did) still works just fine

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    400

    Default

    I got a cheap Hobart one several years ago from Tractor Supply was about $70 at the time. It has been fine for my use but it is not adjustable and I think it only darkens to #10. No battery to change it is always on and charges from the light but when it decides to die it will likely be permanently dead as it is not easily serviceable. Just be sure the one you buy darkens enough for your use. I have been told the same thing about UV that they all protect against UV darkened or not but it's not too comfortable if it doesn't darken.---Meltedmetal

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    96

    Default Good CHEAP autodarkening helmet.

    optrel bo20 lens ,slam her in any 2x4" receptacle helmet (got them for 12$) you got a pretty good auto darkening helmet!

    shade 3-10
    awesome lenses

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    193

    Default

    I have a pre-3M Speedglas 9000X that I've been using for more than ten years. I like its light weight, long battery life and relatively large viewing screen. It's a good one, but they are rather expensive.

    For a second hood in another area of my shop, I just got a Rhino on Amazon. It was less than $100 delivered. It has a larger viewing area than my Speedglas and works just as well.

    There are many good units in the $100 range but Rhino is the only other one that I've used besides the Speedglas.
    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Milermatic 252
    Lincoln AC/DC "Tombstone"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    601

    Default

    Here's my local supplier, Welders Supply in Wisconsin. They have some reasonable prices. It maybe worth it to look. Money well invested.
    http://www.weldersupply.com/C/32/Helmets

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    metro Detroit
    Posts
    88

    Default

    I got a kobalt from lowes 2 years ago and 1 (forgot what brand) and it's lasted a year.

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