welding helmets

General tips/tricks/tools that could be utilized on any platform.

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raygreenwood
Posts: 11739
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 3:01 am

Re: welding helmets

Post by raygreenwood » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:41 pm

Good review. Thanks! I am shopping around for a better kne than I have which is a basic autodark from Eastwood that came with my mig. Ray

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ProctorSilex
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:09 pm
Location: The Bowels of Maryland

Re: welding helmets

Post by ProctorSilex » Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:38 pm

I have a Lincoln K3034-1 Viking Black 3350 that I got for $195. With four sensors, it is pretty darn good. It is light enough and switches fast. It needs no batteries. I have not gotten any flash burn with it. I use it with TIG, MIG, and stick. I recommend it highly.
I also got a Hobart cheapy auto darkening helmet from Tractor Supply when it was on sale for around $40. It worked okay with stick, but it was awful with TIG because I was always getting a direct view of the arc. The sensors just do not pick up all the time or there is a delay. I think it was okay with stick because of the smoke. I never used it with MIG. I do not recommend it as I got flashed more than once and can't bring myself to use it again. I know some people like the cheap auto darkening helmets. I read reviews on my Hobart before buying and it had good ratings like the Harbor Freight. YMMV but it is not worth it for me.
When looking at auto darkening, check the reaction times and number of sensors. I almost got a highly recommended Jackson Balder helmet (touted by ChuckE2009 on youtube) on sale, but I skipped it because the reaction time was mangitudes slower than similarly priced models.
For smaller budgets, just get a fixed shade helmet and a few shades of lenses for no more than $50. Yeah, once you have experienced auto darkening, you never want to go back, but once you've gotten flashed, you never want to use a cheap auto darkening helmet again.
Get the safest helmet you can afford.

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