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auto darkening welding helmets

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mcagauto
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auto darkening welding helmets

Post by mcagauto » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:12 am

hi Im looking at buying a new auto darkening welding helmet any suggestions? Thanks
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by acourtjester » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:08 am

I have a Miller Pro-Hobby I bought it because of the #8 to #13 shade range.
Low amp Tig was a little hard for me to see. One problem is the attachment of the removable front panel it popped out when pressing the power on button by that corner. Small DIY fix and it good now. They may have change that mount by now????
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by Thumper » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:00 pm

I use the Miller Elite Digital's, a welding helmet is just like everything else in that you get what you pay for. Its protecting the only set of eyes god gave you so I WONT go the cheapo route!!! The Elite's have a wide verity of adjustments to fit your needs or uses so that's my choice.. Sure their fairly expensive but what are your eyes valued at??

Just whatever you do is buy a good one,,, I burned my eyes BAD once before using a cheapo. It wouldn't darken quick enough and burned them pretty good and that SUCKED!!!!! hurt like______ !!

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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by beefy » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:21 pm

Thumper wrote:I use the Miller Elite Digital's, a welding helmet is just like everything else in that you get what you pay for. Its protecting the only set of eyes god gave you so I WONT go the cheapo route!!! The Elite's have a wide verity of adjustments to fit your needs or uses so that's my choice.. Sure their fairly expensive but what are your eyes valued at??

Just whatever you do is buy a good one,,, I burned my eyes BAD once before using a cheapo. It wouldn't darken quick enough and burned them pretty good and that SUCKED!!!!! hurt like______ !!
I've had the same experience with lens reaction time with my lower end helmet. I'm not getting burnt eyes or anything but the initial bright flash is not comfortable. When I can afford it I'm going to spend a few hundred on a much higher quality welding helmet. No experience but I've heard you get a clearer view of the weld with better lenses.

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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by weldor2005 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:41 pm

Thumper wrote:I use the Miller Elite Digital's, a welding helmet is just like everything else in that you get what you pay for. Its protecting the only set of eyes god gave you so I WONT go the cheapo route!!! The Elite's have a wide verity of adjustments to fit your needs or uses so that's my choice.. Sure their fairly expensive but what are your eyes valued at??

Just whatever you do is buy a good one,,, I burned my eyes BAD once before using a cheapo. It wouldn't darken quick enough and burned them pretty good and that SUCKED!!!!! hurt like______ !!

Not to say your experience ins't true as if it can happen it will happen, just to follow up on what I've been informed on standards involving all auto-darkening helmets...

Regardless of the reaction time or the shade you have it set at, it is required to filter out the harmful UV rays that will give your eyes the burnt effect. The brightness on the other hand just pisses you off.
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by SeanP » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:44 pm

Quite a good review over at welding tips & tricks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB42War0wnA
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by btburn » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:37 pm

I love my Lincoln Viking. It has a big viewing area and was a very good price for me being a home garage shop tinkerer.
I have had it for a couple years and haven't been let down by it.
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by mcagauto » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:10 am

thanks for all the info when I buy one I will post my findings
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by mcagauto » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:22 am

I went with the Lincoln Viking 3350 I love it so far sometimes I forget that I have it on. Thanks for all your help This site is the best $20 I spend all year ;) ;) ;)
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by Joe243672 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:27 pm

I have Miller digital elite and two optrel helmets. The optrel panoramaxx is hands down the best i have ever used. I have used lincoln,esabs and many cheap no names.
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by Rokcrler » Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:32 pm

Thanks for bringing this up... im in the market for a new hood.
Currently have a Digital Elite but thinking about the Esab A50, but the Digital infinity also looks appealing.
Im now discovering my eyes are not as good as they used to be...even thought about cheater lenses....
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by plasmanewbie » Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:34 am

Rokcrler wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:32 pm
Thanks for bringing this up... im in the market for a new hood.
Currently have a Digital Elite but thinking about the Esab A50, but the Digital infinity also looks appealing.
Im now discovering my eyes are not as good as they used to be...even thought about cheater lenses....
Same issue here, just can't see like i used to and having to lighten up the shade on my helmet which is likely accelerating the decline of my eyes. I can see OK for mig welding in most cases but fine tig I can can't see much and often get walking off path which is frustrating.

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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by Rokcrler » Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:30 am

plasmanewbie wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:34 am
Rokcrler wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:32 pm
Thanks for bringing this up... im in the market for a new hood.
Currently have a Digital Elite but thinking about the Esab A50, but the Digital infinity also looks appealing.
Im now discovering my eyes are not as good as they used to be...even thought about cheater lenses....
Same issue here, just can't see like i used to and having to lighten up the shade on my helmet which is likely accelerating the decline of my eyes. I can see OK for mig welding in most cases but fine tig I can can't see much and often get walking off path which is frustrating.
I have to setup lights around what im working on to see or i too go off path...
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by SegoMan DeSigns » Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:12 pm

mcagauto wrote:
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:22 am
I went with the Lincoln Viking 3350 I love it so far sometimes I forget that I have it on. Thanks for all your help This site is the best $20 I spend all year ;) ;) ;)
Now you just need to learn not to nod prior to the bright light , it only took me 10 years to deprogram that action. :HaHa

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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by djreiswig » Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:17 pm

I have to setup lights around what im working on to see or i too go off path...
Add some lights to your helmet. There's lots of possibilities. Here's one idea.
https://www.instructables.com/Welding-m ... Lights-UP/

Or mount a headlamp to the top of your helmet.
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by plasmanewbie » Mon Nov 29, 2021 12:19 pm

Crazy that I just struggle through it, a helmet light is a great idea I never thought of :Like

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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by acourtjester » Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:57 pm

I bought this one about 2 years ago and love it, I do Tig with it fine. I wear my glasses under it and do not need extra lighting as talked about above.
Not bad for 78 :HaHa :Yay
https://www.eastwood.com/panoramic-view ... elmet.html
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by plasmanewbie » Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:26 am

Sweet looking helmet and I like the panoramic view, I may have to try one and not a bad price. WOW, I sure hope to be like you at 78 years of age AC, very impressive and then some. :Like

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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by acourtjester » Tue Nov 30, 2021 8:45 pm

My older brother died at 83 from complications of dementia, so I like to keep the old mind going plus I have fun :Yay
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by adbuch » Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:43 pm

I actually use two different helmets - one for tig and the other for mig. For tig I use an old school Jackson with manual flip-up front lens holder, fixed shade 9 lens with magnifiers (cheaters) installed. For mig I am currently using a Lincoln auto darkening also with magnifiers installed. I purchased the Lincoln several years ago when the auto-darkening lens in my original Jackson finally died. I used that original Jackson for close to 40 years, also with magnifiers installed. Several things I don't like about the Lincoln are the weight (much heavier than my Jackson) and not so comfortable. It would also be a real pain to use when laying on your back under a car. I did recently purchase a new auto-darkening lens for my original Jackson so I can get back to the light weight more comfortable helmet for mig.

My tig helmet has a specially coated Z87 shade 9 lens, which is really great because it allow for dropping down one shade (from 10 to 9) for better visibility. I do a lot of smaller work on some of the tooling I make so I need to be able to see the details clearly. I also like the fact that when not welding I can flip up the front cover and have very good visibility because of the 2.25 magnifiers installed in the helmet plus the 2.25 glasses I wear for welding (and general shop use). The auto darkening helmets don't really go to clear when switched off, so they make it hard for me to see details while inspecting the work.
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This is the Lincoln I use for mig. I don't really like it - but have been using it for at least 3 years now. It does have good visibility, but sort of heavy and not all that comfortable. I'm using a 1.75 magnifier in this one for a little bit longer focal length, as my head is usually a bit further away from the work when mig welding as opposed to tig.
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I recently bought a replacement auto-darkening lens for my Jackson (the original finally quit after about 40 years) and I will most likely go back to this helmet for mig - particularly for out-of-position work and when laying on my back under cars.
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Last edited by adbuch on Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by adbuch » Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:52 pm

This is the replacement auto-darkening lens I just installed in the Jackson. The originals are no longer available.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TM ... UTF8&psc=1
Lincoln 2x4 auto darkening lens.jpg
Most of my welding currently is tig for some of the tooling I manufacture.
The photos show tooling that I use on my own machine. So marked up and some scratches from use.
I would not have very good luck if I tried to use my mig helmet for this sort of work - just too hard for me to see the details while I am welding.
20211130_205209.jpg
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by adbuch » Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:56 pm

acourtjester wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:57 pm
I bought this one about 2 years ago and love it, I do Tig with it fine. I wear my glasses under it and do not need extra lighting as talked about above.
Not bad for 78 :HaHa :Yay
https://www.eastwood.com/panoramic-view ... elmet.html
Tom - that is a nice looking helmet at a good price. I agree that we need to keep active with our minds going to stay sharp. I'm only 71 - so I've got a few years to go to catch up with you.
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by wheezer » Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:37 am

After using a few helmets over the years I settled on the Optrel Crystal 2.0- the view through this helmet is amazing, extremely clear with a shade 2 at rest.Unbelievable optical quality.Light.
I keep a cheap Lincoln auto dark around for visitors/helpers which is actually a nice helmet, hundred fifty bucks IIRC.

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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by adbuch » Wed Feb 09, 2022 11:17 pm

wheezer wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:37 am
After using a few helmets over the years I settled on the Optrel Crystal 2.0- the view through this helmet is amazing, extremely clear with a shade 2 at rest.Unbelievable optical quality.Light.
I keep a cheap Lincoln auto dark around for visitors/helpers which is actually a nice helmet, hundred fifty bucks IIRC.
Wheezer - based on your recommendation - I recently purchased the Optrel Crystal 2.0 to try it out for MIG work. The magnifiers I ordered just arrived today, so I will be trying it out soon and comparing to my Jackson with Lincoln auto-darkening lens. One thing I noticed right away is how light weight it is, and very comfortable to wear. I will report back after I do some welding with it.
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Re: auto darkening welding helmets

Post by tinspark » Wed Feb 23, 2022 1:06 pm

I have been using an older Miller Digital Elite, which I purchased at least a decade ago and just purchased a new headgear for it, which is still a bulletproof and amazing hood IMO. But I just sprung for the new Lincoln Viking 3350. I was sold on the 4C lens which has been around for a bit. But the new model now has a grind button on the outside of the helmet which looks really convenient. Most with a grind mode have to be switched over and back with the hood off. Which is the case with my older Miller Digital Elite isn't a deal breaker, But with the new Viking Just push the button and grind away! plus the clearer lens should work really good ..Its delivers today so I will play around with it and see how it works. I teach a welding class at our local apprenticeship school tonight, so I might have opportunity to play with it then.. It was medium range on the price at Bakers Supply $290 with free shipping.
Also the Vulcan from harbor freight is comparable, and apparently made by the same manufacturer. But the viewing size is a little smaller. That one is about $150 I think. But they go on sale often. No external grind button yet on theirs, but it will probably be coming soon
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