auto darkening helmets
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    odis's Avatar
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    auto darkening helmets

    Never used one before. Today I have been looking at different ones from Northern Tool and they have quite a few for what seems pretty cheap tp very expensive. Which ones are the most roomy, I wear a size 7 5/8s Stetson and have a good sized nose and wear glasses. I see Lincoln sells one with a fast reaction time for about 100 bucks. Any one have any thoughts on Klutch products?
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Thats kind of pricey, plus I would want to actually try one on first before buying one. The lenses in the other link look pretty good to me.
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    I have the cheap northern one. It works great as a hobbiest.

    Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
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    I have the same head size and... well, a large snozz...

    I have one of the Harbor Freight $49 jobbers that I used a "$20 off" coupon to buy. The plastic is a little thinner than the $179 Lincoln that I had but otherwise it works pretty much identically. In fact, I'm gonna buy one or two more of them to keep around.

    If I was doing this stuff professionally I'd spend more money but I'm just kicking around in my garage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    I have the same head size and... well, a large snozz...

    I have one of the Harbor Freight $49 jobbers that I used a "$20 off" coupon to buy. The plastic is a little thinner than the $179 Lincoln that I had but otherwise it works pretty much identically. In fact, I'm gonna buy one or two more of them to keep around.

    If I was doing this stuff professionally I'd spend more money but I'm just kicking around in my garage.
    Well thats me, 63 retired a hobbiest and have too many other things to get right now. First on that list is getting a 50amp 220 circuit breaker and wiring into the garage so I can update my welding rig to a bigger welder than my 20 yr old lincoln 110 wire feed. Then of course there is many more implements and attachments for the new tractor. I might have to go back to work!!
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    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odis View Post
    Never used one before. Today I have been looking at different ones from Northern Tool and they have quite a few for what seems pretty cheap tp very expensive. Which ones are the most roomy, I wear a size 7 5/8s Stetson and have a good sized nose and wear glasses. I see Lincoln sells one with a fast reaction time for about 100 bucks. Any one have any thoughts on Klutch products?
    Just recently had to buy a new 2" X 4 1/4" auto-darkening lens.
    My old one finally went out after 10 - 12 years.
    The old solar charge battery in it wouldn't keep it working with just arc light after it got dark.
    Would darken- undarken intermittently while welding, but still had enough shading where I avoided a flash.

    Bought a Radnor 24S, cost $92 from local Airgas welding supply place.
    Has 2 year warranty on it.
    Just a straight #10 shade, solar/arc light powered, non-replaceable internal lithium batteries.
    Switching speed = 1/2000 seconds.
    Dark to light delay = .2 seconds
    Eye protection = UV/IR to shade 16

    Also bought a 1.5 Doppler magnification lens, I wear contacts but decided to give my near vision a little
    boost from what some of the guys here have been saying about them.
    They are only $5 and after using it, well worth it
    You can get them in various Dopplers depending on your needs.
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    odis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cajun View Post
    Just recently had to buy a new 2" X 4 1/4" auto-darkening lens.
    My old one finally went out after 10 - 12 years.
    The old solar charge battery in it wouldn't keep it working with just arc light after it got dark.
    Would darken- undarken intermittently while welding, but still had enough shading where I avoided a flash.

    Bought a Radnor 24S, cost $92 from local Airgas welding supply place.
    Has 2 year warranty on it.
    Just a straight #10 shade, solar/arc light powered, non-replaceable internal lithium batteries.
    Switching speed = 1/2000 seconds.
    Dark to light delay = .2 seconds
    Eye protection = UV/IR to shade 16

    Also bought a 1.5 Doppler magnification lens, I wear contacts but decided to give my near vision a little
    boost from what some of the guys here have been saying about them.
    They are only $5 and after using it, well worth it
    You can get them in various Dopplers depending on your needs.
    Thanks for the info, stay dry down there.
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    As someone who welds for a living, I feel as though I should weigh in. Like many things, when it comes to welding equipment, you will get what you pay for. I have had hoods ranging in price from $15 to $550 and I can attest to the fact that (for the most part) a cheap hood is only good for occasional use.

    If all you are doing is fixing things here and there, maybe taking on one small project per month, then any hood will work. However, keep in mind that auto-darkening hoods don't work very well outdoors.

    If you are planning to do nearly any sort of continuous welding, get a good quality hood. Expect to spend $200 to $600 for a quality, professional grade one.

    A Harbor Freight special (or similar cheap hood) may actually take 1/100 of a second to darken upon sensing an arc. If you strike 100 arcs in a day, then that equates to a full second of eye exposure. 200 arcs = two seconds, and so on. If you don't think that is significant, try staring at the brightest light bulb in the room you are sitting in for a solid second... If that made your eyes uncomfortable, just remember that a welding arc is way brighter than any light bulb I've ever seen.

    I keep four helmets around; a nice solid lens helmet for TIG welding, a second solid lens on a hard-hat mount for working on equipment outdoors, a Miller Titanium auto-darkening hood for working indoors, and an old Jackson Executive auto-darkening hood on a hard-hat mount for when I make house calls to other shops. The Miller is my favorite because it is light weight and the lens has a super fast reaction time. It is usually the one I have at the shop where I work. It cost right around $220 and was worth every penny.

    Even if it is at the low end of the "professional grade" spectrum, I highly recommend a quality welding hood. You can go cheap on a burn jacket and gloves, but don't skimp on a helmet.
    Your eyesight is worth more than 'made in China and sold to you for $49.99.'
    Last edited by Evergreen; 08-24-2016 at 09:09 PM.
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    Your eyesight is worth more than 'made in China and sold to you for $49.99.'
    I'm a hobbyist welder at best, and I'm not going to trust my eyes to Harbor Freight and other similar companies.

    I have a Jackson that I'm happy with.
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    I have more ideas than ambition.


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