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welding helmets

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by big83chevy4x4, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    i got a new job as a mig welder, and i need to supply my own helmet. i have a higher end auto harbor freight helmet. this is fine for what i have needed so far, ocationally welding, but using it 8 hours a day 5 days aweek, i would rather have something alot better.

    ive been thinking about a hobart auto helmet, but i wonder if its really any better than the HF that i have. what brand should i get? i want an auto darkening, the good non auto hoods ive used i can see alot more. instead of just the weld, i can see more of the work piece. its kinda what i want out of a good auto.

    i will most likely put up with my HF for a few weeks before i can afford a good helmet. im thinking of spending up to $300. what brand should i look into?
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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  3. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    that looks like a nice helmet, you can get a purdy one for about $245 on ebay with free shipping. though id probably buy it from the local welding shop, i like the keep the money local, its bad here as it is.
     
  4. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    I paid 249 for mine at airgas,, the miller..top of the line...

    there are some swedish helmets ..speedglas etc that are top of the line.. 350 or so..
    Ive tried most of them.. we see the ones at welding school and how they get abused and how they stand up and feel

    ona scale of 4.. 4 being best
    HF 1.... do you really want to trust your eyes to a chinaman
    MIller 3.5
    Jackson 3.5
    Speedglas 3.7

    I really like my jackson next gen... its easier to turn on with gloves on... but my miller is slightly more comfortable and has a slightly bigger viewing area... but the jackson doesnt need special batteries and they have lasted for a year already.. the miller needs special ones.. who knows how long they last

    both helmets have solar
    the millers headband broke week one.. replaced for free... noticed a slight discoloration inside the lense while doing that.. argued with airgas and they gave me a new one without waiting for miller to replace

    cam
     
  5. ProJunkRacing

    ProJunkRacing 1/2 ton status

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    i have a decent craktsman one don't know how much auto darkening , it is better thn a hf one i like it but whould spend more if it was my lively hood at steak
     
  6. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    never heard of speedglas, did a search and from what i can tell its made by 3m. didn't see a price anywhere.

    id rather get something that ive heard about before, so im leaning toward the jackson nex gen or the miller elite. both seem to be quite comparable. ive heard that the miller battieries preaty much don't need to be replaced, and the jackson does. not sure how true this is. the miller has a 18 month warenty and the jackson has a 2 year.

    the big thing i don't like about my HF is i can't find any replacement plates without ordering them online.

    cam, how does the miller or the jackson compare to a fixed shade lens? can you see alot more of the work peice like you can with a fixed shade? this will be the biggest desiding factor.
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Miller claims 3000 hour battery life...

    Rene
     
  8. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    I really cant tell the difference between them.. when you look at the miller from the outside it looks alot bigger.. but when youre looking through them you cant really tell...
    The next gen uses regular aa batteries the miller uses the expensive round ones... the next gen has slightly better headgear... the miller has a nice rubber rear piece... the next gen seems a little more durable.. the miller comes with a nice carry bag...and extra clear lenses

    for me.. and it may be that Im biased using all red welders that the next gen is slightly better for me... I listened to the welder salesman and bought a second helmet to transport to school..

    Some of the new generation helmets have special ducting to pull fresh air from behind you so you dont get plume air.. some have hookups for fans and stuff.. getting pretty fancy..
    You cant go wrong with either helmet.. I have warrantied both and they both stood behind their product... next gen actually let me trade up when my first gen took a dump outta warranty... for a heavily discounted price.. which I thought was super fair...
    Of note... remember these helmets dont like to be dropped or receive rough handling... I treat mine like a baby

    Compared to fixed lense... theres NO comparison... after you have one you wil wonder how you ever welded without one... it wont make you a better weldor BUT your starts will be much cleaner because you can see what youre doing and where the work is in varying light conditions... really great for tig.. I dont ever stick an electrode during starts.. which happened occasionally when I had a fixed shade because I couldnt see the edge of the work

    cam
     
  9. gauder

    gauder Banned

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    I've got 2 Optrel helmets. Swiss made. Good chit!
     
  10. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    i should clarify what i mean by seeing more, with my HF, i can see the arc and only about 1" around it, everything else is pitch black can't see anything once i start welding. with the fixed shades, once i start welding i can see out the entire glass, it really helps in tight areas and longer welds, that i have found.

    i love the autodarkening compared to a fixed so you can see everything with the hood down, sometimes i can't start an arc with a stick welder where i want without my autodarkening helmet.
     
  11. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    One of the teachers of my welding class was a pro-welder and he swore by his Speed-Glass helmet. It looked like it was an awesome helmet. I personally have a Hobart autodark. It cost me about $200 and it is a nice helmet for most things. If I had to spend 40hrs a week in it though i might step up to something better.

    To answer your question is Hobart better then the HF helmet...yes. A good buddy of mine had the HF autodark and both he and I agree that my Hobart was alot better then his HF. The HF are ok, but the Hobart is nicer to spend time behind then the HF.

    Harley
     
  12. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    the company uses speedglas, i tried one today, i didn't care for it too much. its nothing to do with the quality or the lens itself, but the head band kinda irratated me, and it had to be tilted alot further down so i could see out of it. it was hitting my chest when looking down slightly. maybe its because im used to my HF. these were all beat to hell anyway, so they might be different when new, but i can't immagine too much.
     
  13. tomseviltwin

    tomseviltwin 1/2 ton status

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    [​IMG]


    I got this one cause it looks cool. You can get the plain one from Airgas for about $230. I like it alot.
     
  14. tx_sub

    tx_sub 1/2 ton status

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  15. ProJunkRacing

    ProJunkRacing 1/2 ton status

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    those look the same minus the paints
     
  16. Bushwhacker

    Bushwhacker 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Our guys in the shop all use speedglas or optrel. Very good stuff.

    Clay
     
  17. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    ive got a nexgen and really like it. my buddy has a miller, not sure which model. but one of the middle of the pack autodark ones. viewing area is a tad smaller, but the headgear is much nicer than my jackson. the pivoting action seems to work alot better. has kind of a ratcheting action. my nexgen is always falling down when i have it up. if i tighten it up enough to keep it from falling, i gotta do some headbanging to get it to come down.

    if i bought a new one, i'd probly get a miller. just causs of the headgear. i think the jackson lense is better tho.
     
  18. readymix

    readymix 3/4 ton status

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    I use a Hornell SpeedGlass 9000X
     
  19. K5MONSTERCHEV

    K5MONSTERCHEV 1/2 ton status

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    Or if your into NASCAR. Heres mine. Miller.

    [​IMG]
     

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