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  1. #1
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    Default Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    Those of you who do stick rod welding know how difficult it is sometimes to start your rod in exactly the spot that you need to, especially when welding small parts.

    I think that one of the auto darkening helmets would be nice for this. Do any of you guys have experience with them?

    On ebay I have seen some very good prices (as compared to my welding supply store). Some of them require batteries and some are solar powered. Some are adjustable for different darkness levels.

    WHICH ARE BETTER?

    TBone

  2. #2
    Elite Member Tractors4u's Avatar
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    Default Re: Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    I have one that I use with my wire feed welder. It uses batteries. I don't have any experience with the solar type. I love mine. I do remember the stick days and how many times I saw spots from letting that rod drop a second too early.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    I researched and shopped for a while and finally bought an expensive one from the welder supply shop. I don't remember the numbers, but there is fairly wide variation in the response time. I opted for the quickest, even though I have no reason to say the others are less safe. Of course the quickest was expensive, but it has variable darkness. It is battery powered.
    Unfortunately, I deleted the links I accumulated, but I am sure others on the board have preferences to suggest, and a web search with various combinations of welding, auto dark, etc. will get you a lot of info.

    Once you try one, you'll never go back.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    Auto darkening helmets are the ONLY way to fly!

    I too have a wire feed welder and started out using the traditional type of helmet - welds turned out ok, but starting where I wanted to was a real pain, and I too "raised the hood" a little too early occasionally with the manual version - not good.

    I tried an "inexpensive" auto version from Harbor Freight, but it had a nasty tendency to not always darken! Sent it back - didn't ask for an exchange, just my money back. My eyesight is worth more to me than saving a couple of bucks on the front end.

    I wound up getting one from HTP America - works flawlessly. Plenty dark and none of the issues with the manual version. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

    They are pricey, but I find that mine has helped me become a much better welder because I can "Start @ square 1" every time now.

    Here's a link to HTP's helmets - I got the "Striker Ultra XL" version. Hope this helps....

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.htpweld.com/product_page/welding_helmets/helmets.html>http://www.htpweld.com/product_page/welding_helmets/helmets.html</A>

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    I like them alot. I tryed one of the solar ones and I didn't like it. The battery powered ones are much better than the solar ones. I definitely think they are worth the money.

  6. #6
    Bud
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    Default Re: Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    I bought one at Quality Farm for $130.00. It has a darkness range from 9 to 13, and it uses two triple A batteries. It does'nt make much difference on welding in the open, but it's great when you have to start a weld in a close area.
    Bud

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    BX2200, '52 8N

    Default Re: Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    I have one that has both batteries and solar backup/charger it's awesome.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    Hey fellas, Thanks for the advice on the helmets. I have been told by many that once you use one you would find it hard to use the other kind.

    I am going in tonight and compare response times and place a bid on one. I think I'll probably bid on one with the batteries.

    THANKS AGAIN!

    TBone

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    I bought an autodarking helmet at Lowes for I think $147. It uses two double aa batteries. It is shade 10 only. It works great. I don't know about the others but with mine, you have to uncrew two knurled screws on the inside of the helmet, and take the lense out. It has a small button on the front of the panel that you push, put the lense back in, screw in the knurles and you're ready to go. A bit tedious but worth it. It shuts itself off after 20 minutes of non-use.

    Here is an interesting thing though...last weekend I was using it and it wouldn't work properly. Wouldn't darken fast enough and sometimes not at all. I thought...new batteries needed? Nope, I had put the panel in backwards, with the button facing me! I didn't know this would be a problem and it took me a minute to figure it out. Turned it around and it worked perfect.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Auto Darkening Welding Helmets

    A little trivia...The technology in auto darkening helmets was designed for Air Force aircraft windows. They came up with this because the flash from a nuclear blast in the vicinity of an aircraft could blind the pilots. This probably cost the government billions to develop and we can get it for less than $500! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

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