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#4596425 - 12/06/17 07:26 PM Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet?
Carbon12 Offline


Registered: 03/10/15
Posts: 198
Loc: MO
I am not a welder but I am considering giving one to my Dad for Christmas? Do any of you use these regularly or is it safer to stick with a traditional helmet? Does the auto darkening helmet make it easier to get the stinger situated and hold it there before striking the arc?

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#4596433 - 12/06/17 07:31 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Carbon12]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20461
Loc: Upstate NY
Everyone is using auto darkening.
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#4596449 - 12/06/17 07:43 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Carbon12]
expat Offline


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 5396
Loc: Canada
I use one with my MIG, it makes a huge difference. The funny thing is your eye does not see the lens darken, just the image changes to seeing the arc light not ambient light. Kind of strange yet seemlessly user friendly.

I use a $5 chinise solar powered lens replacment in my standard pipeline welders helmet.

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#4596451 - 12/06/17 07:44 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Carbon12]
PiperOne Offline


Registered: 10/25/17
Posts: 184
Loc: A Highway Near You
Went with an auto dark about 10 years ago, never again will I buy anything else. They are reasonably priced now too.
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HDEO in Diesel Engines. No spark plugs here.

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#4596464 - 12/06/17 07:51 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Carbon12]
sw99 Offline


Registered: 03/22/06
Posts: 2120
Loc: Colorado
Love my Jackson BH3 WH70! There are a wide range of differences and quality in the helmets out there today.
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#4596474 - 12/06/17 08:02 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Carbon12]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5519
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
The biggest concern is the time to darken. Some are longer than others. After hours of welding, your eyes will get fatigued.

The fastest lens you can get will minimize this smile
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#4596478 - 12/06/17 08:05 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: expat]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: expat

I use a $5 Chinese solar powered lens replacement in my standard pipeline welders helmet.


I tried these, but have been VERY disappointed with many of its functions, and (LACK of) features.
(Especially having too light of shade, and non-adjustable).

.
Honestly, the blue flamed Harbor Freight helmet for $40 is a good buy. I used one for years.

I currently have a 3M Speedglas 9100 FX Welding Helmet - HUGE step up!!
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#4596498 - 12/06/17 08:18 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Carbon12]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32640
Loc: ME
They are great. The worst problem I find is when I accidentally block the solar panel and get a much brighter experience. Still has the default shade though so I don't go arc blind. This only happens when I'm crawling around under a car up on stands... the helmet makes my head "assembly" that much bigger.

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#4596509 - 12/06/17 08:22 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Donald]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: Donald
Everyone is using auto darkening.


Not me and I have four weld certs.

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#4596549 - 12/06/17 08:45 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Merkava_4]
Langanobob Offline


Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 208
Loc: Reno, Nevada
If you compare the clarity of the view of the puddle with even an expensive auto-darkening helmet and a cheap standard lens side by side, the standard lens is very noticeably better. AD lenses have a real advantage when striking an arc but once youíve established an arc you can see better with a conventional lens. This is important for me since my eyes arenít quite what they used to be.

But for a gift for your dad Iíd say the AD lens is the way to go.

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#4596578 - 12/06/17 09:06 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Carbon12]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Huntsman 951P plus a Glass Weldmark 4-1/2" x 5-1/4" filter lens under the clear polycarbonate lens.


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#4596579 - 12/06/17 09:06 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Langanobob]
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4858
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: Langanobob
If you compare the clarity of the view of the puddle with even an expensive auto-darkening helmet and a cheap standard lens side by side, the standard lens is very noticeably better. AD lenses have a real advantage when striking an arc but once youíve established an arc you can see better with a conventional lens. This is important for me since my eyes arenít quite what they used to be

But for a gift for your dad Iíd say the AD lens is the way to go.






I noticed the same thing. The problem is the ad ones flicker while the standard lenses stay nice and steady. Mine was turning my eyes red.
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#4596649 - 12/06/17 10:17 PM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Carbon12]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7162
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
I have both types, both have advantages. I like the gold colored conventional lenses for TIG welding. Interestingly I can move my head to reflect some light back on the work with the gold lens. Plus the large gold lens is optically water-clear when welding and has a HUGE field of view. Great for welding when out of position, such as looking down over my nose.

The Miller auto lens is uber fast, has adjustable darkness and allows accurate viewing before welding. However, it's optically inferior and has a narrow field of view. Even so, this is the one I use most.
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#4596712 - 12/07/17 12:30 AM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Cujet]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: Cujet
I like the gold colored conventional lenses for TIG welding. Interestingly I can move my head to reflect some light back on the work with the gold lens. Plus the large gold lens is optically water-clear when welding and has a HUGE field of view. Great for welding when out of position, such as looking down over my nose.


I've used those and instead of seeing one stick electrode, I'll see three stick electrodes in a row. Which one am I welding with? Well, all three of course. You can have all those gold lenses you want; you'll never have to worry about me buying them up before you get to the store.

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#4596779 - 12/07/17 06:22 AM Re: Anyone use an auto darkening welding helmet? [Re: Merkava_4]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7162
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
I've used those and instead of seeing one stick electrode, I'll see three stick electrodes in a row. Which one am I welding with? Well, all three of course. You can have all those gold lenses you want; you'll never have to worry about me buying them up before you get to the store.


Interesting, most of my work is light TIG stuff, so the gold lens is great. Maybe that's why I've not noticed 3 images. Certainly, I can see how it might happen. I'll look for it next time.


Edited by Cujet (12/07/17 06:22 AM)
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