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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
    May 2011
    Location
    Bossier Parish La.
    Posts
    549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmydoc1 View Post
    Obv my eyes are worth more than my welder is, 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.
    I have had some of the cheaper ones, and they did not last for very long. Some less than a year of just intermittent use, some a little longer. If you go too cheap, it ends up costing more in replacement costs over a period of time. You could buy 4 $40 hoods and still be needing a hood, or buy a better one up front for $120 and use it for years to come buying only once. That's what happened to me. I now have a Miller Elite and like it. Its light and the head gear in comfortable and I paid $120 for it.
    I'm thinking of getting some fixed shade lenses to put in the other hoods so they can still be used. They are still in good shape, just don't darken anymore
    . I'm tired of buying cheap stuff and needing to replace it many times, instead of investing in something quality to begin with. It's cheaper in the long run to spend a little more now than a littleless several times over.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    3,112

    Thumbs up

    Maybe a different way of looking at GOOD & Cheap...

    Got my Miller Big Window Elite about 10 years ago for approx $250..

    that works out to $25 per year..

    if you don't count new batteries every 3.5 years (at approx $5 a set)

    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know......

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
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    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    At the epicenter of the Green Mountain Range in VT
    Posts
    277

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmydoc1 View Post
    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.
    I asked this question of Lincoln. The answer I got was not convincing at all. They said if you feel discomfort, you could be damaging your eyes. They recommend fixed shade or a reputable manufacturer you trust. Dark does not equal UV protection. Better quality lenses give better protection at lighter settings.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    551

    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

  8. #8
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    388

    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

  10. #10
    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

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