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Projects best welding hood for auto restoration work Need recommendations?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hashmat, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. Hashmat
    Joined: Nov 17, 2020
    Posts: 6


    Hello everyone, I am new here and recently my neighbor who is deep in welding invited me to work with him in his workshop. I was hoping if anyone of you can guide me which hood should I buy for our little adventure?
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  2. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,106


    I have been using my Harbor Freight automatic darkening helmet for about 4 years now with no issues
    I like the big lens as I am near sighted and have to take my glasses off to see to weld.
    Which ever hood you decide to buy remember good back lighting makes it much easier to weld. I have a small LED light velcroed on my helmet.
  3. Start with one like this, just in case you decide welding is not for you!

    I have had good luck with this H.F. helmet, it is inexpensive but still does a good job protecting your eyes. I believe if you look around their website, you can find a coupon for it specifically or use one of the 20% off one item coupons they put out all over the place.

    God bless
    Hashmat likes this.
  4. Chicster
    Joined: Aug 5, 2018
    Posts: 207

    1. Missouri H.A.M.B.ers

    Same here I've used a HF helmet for about 6 years and no problems/
    Hashmat likes this.

  5. Hashmat
    Joined: Nov 17, 2020
    Posts: 6


    Hi Thanks, I have also a weak eyesight of -6.25. what if I buy a miller helmet will it be okay? As for Harbor Freight I dont know will they help me with my condition.
  6. Hashmat
    Joined: Nov 17, 2020
    Posts: 6


    Thanks bill I will look into it.
    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  7. Hashmat
    Joined: Nov 17, 2020
    Posts: 6


    Do you feel any issue with screen foging or anything?
  8. Although I use a Lincoln Viking and absolutely love it, I too would go for the HF hood in your situation.
    Bill's Auto Works and Hashmat like this.
  9. Hashmat
    Joined: Nov 17, 2020
    Posts: 6


    Bill's Auto Works likes this.
  10. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,961

    from Burton, MI

    Have you asked your neighbor what he recommends and/or uses?
    ratrodrodder, Paul and 3quarter32 like this.
  11. b-body-bob
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 465


    I welded with one of the HF red helmets for years until they came out with the one with a larger screen and got one for Christmas.

    On that red helmet, the one thing I kept doing was bumping the knob or intentionally putting it in GRIND mode then forgetting to check it before I started welding. Ow my eyes.
    Hashmat likes this.
  12. Hashmat
    Joined: Nov 17, 2020
    Posts: 6


    He told me to get a miller but since I have weak eyesight I was looking for suggestions.
    flatheadpete likes this.
  13. ronzmtrwrx
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 549


    What process? TIG or MIG ? The reason I ask is this: I’ve had a 3M Speedglass helmet for years. My son got big enough to want to watch/learn so I opted for a cheaper brand helmet so he could watch. The cheaper helmet was fine as long as I was MIG welding, however, when I was TIG welding, the off brand helmet (not HF) did not react quickly enough to the arc and it would flash bright in his eyes before switching. Just something for you to think about.
    ratrodrodder and winduptoy like this.
  14. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,035


    I'm not seeing (pun intended) what the brand of helmet has to do with what might work with weak eyesight, but stand to be educated! I can understand factors like screen size, availability of 'cheater' (magnifying) lenses, and certainly quality / reaction time etc of the auto darkening function.

    I've had good results with the HF stuff though. Generic replacement auto darkening lenses are priced as to almost be considered consumables! Check evilbay.

  15. brokedownbiker
    Joined: Jun 7, 2016
    Posts: 609


    A Miller Elite helmet will work great for you, you can wear your glasses underneath. Or for much less money, the Harbor Freight helmets will work. The helmet won't improve your vision but it will protect it.
  16. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,690

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    None will improve your vision. Sometimes you can get a cheater magnifyer to put in the lens. Might want to add a little flashlight to your helmet to help you see in the "dark" before the arc is lit.

    HF will do you fine. I had a few of them and no issues. I did finally upgrade to a Miller Digital Elite, man that thing is nice!
    ratrodrodder likes this.
  17. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,434


    My wife always tells me "Don't buy cheap". In this case, it runs true.
    ratrodrodder, rockable and williebill like this.
  18. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,705

    from washington

    You should buy the Harbor Freight hood and take a welding course at a local college, unless your friend has a large pile of scrap metal and welding rod for you to practice for hours on end to get proficient.
  19. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,321

    Marty Strode

    For those suggesting the Harbor Freight helmet, this man's first question is important. I bought this one a few years back, 90% of the welding I do is Tig. It worked fine, until a young assistant read the label on the inside, and I switched back to my old standard helmet. I never have been one to read instructions, maybe I should change that. IMG_5812.JPG
    ratrodrodder, ronzmtrwrx and Paul like this.
  20. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,610

    from Brooks Ky

    I have had Lincoln and Miller helmets and several Harbor Freight ones. They have all done an adequate job. Unless they changed, the HF have NON-replaceable batteries, so while you save money initially, you have to replace them later on. My son bought a new Lincoln helmet with the NEW clear view technology. I'm a Miller guy, but I had to admit that this helmet was a great helmet and reasonably priced. Since my old Miller was giving me problems with a bad sensor, I opted for a new Lincoln clear view.
    When you first start welding, one of the things that often happens is that you think you see what you are welding when actually you just "kinda see" it. Now some of the problem is that old eyes often need some optical help. There are magnifying lenses available that fit in the helmets and aren't very expensive.....probably $10-$20. I just buy some $2 reading glasses and push them back close to my face. Then look to see that they are in focus for the distance you want to be from the weld. May have to buy one with a different prescription just for your welding needs as your everyday readers might not be quite right for welding distance. Couple bucks at the Dollar Store.
    Getting to the Helmet finally. I have noticed over the years that certain things make a helmet a lot more desirable. The main thing is having a clear view.....and I thought I did. I was wrong. These new clear view helmets really help you see the weld better and thats whats important......especially when you are learning to weld. Second is that you need a darkness range that allows you to get the correct lighting. The new Lincoln allows you to switch to a light shade for just grinding but it has all the adjustment range you'll ever need. Last is comfort......but comfort is nice once you realize it can be that way. Lightweight helps a lot and a padded head support are great.

    Now you can settle for a cheap HF, but honestly you will love it if you step up and get one of these Lincoln helmets. Then later on, buy a cheap HF helmet for crawling under cars and hard to get to welds......keeps the Lincoln from getting too beat up. The clear view is much better for seeing your weld clearly and that helps you make better welds.......
  21. woodscaper
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 42


    I just went from the hf blue flame helmet which the battery died and couldn't replace it, it worked good for what it was. Got a Miller digital infinity, I can see the puddle a whole lot better and it has a bigger screen. It comes with a holder for cheater lenses but I prefer close up glasses. The adapter limits you to the smaller cheaters. Get the better helmet.

    Sent from my SM-J727V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  22. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,385

    from Missouri

    Speedglass for me, no regrets. Have it for over 20 years now and only replace the battery once.
  23. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,637

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    My weld will never be worthy of showing off here, but upgrading my helmet made quite an improvement, mainly because I could now see how far I was from the surface. A good helmet is
    a better investment than almost anything else I have done.
  24. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,688


    I am using a YES hood right now and really like it. Plenty of room for my glasses and it let's in some natural light as well.
  25. 38bill
    Joined: Dec 20, 2019
    Posts: 74

    from Minnesota

    I purchased a Miller helmet when I bought my Miller welder as there was a rebate that made it reasonably priced. I'm not very impressed with it. It seems to eat batteries and the tilt mechanism would not hold the helmet up no matter how tight I tightened it.
    Paulz likes this.
  26. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,119


    Talk about a personal preference. Welding helmets are definitely up there when it comes to personal preference. Some like lightweight, some like sturdy. Some like auto-darkening, some don't. I do. I've had a Hobart Hood that worked fine for me with MIG and TIG but recently bought a Jackson to replace my 10 yr old Hobart. The Jackson is definitely an upgrade. Optically, it is much better but I think the technology has just advanced a great deal in 10 years. I definitely recommend trying one on before buying it. Get something you will be happy with and pay whatever it costs. You only get one set of eyes.
    ratrodrodder likes this.
  27. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,378

    from New York

    I really like my Miller classic
  28. I have a Hobart
    I like the autodark and the magnifying lens options.
    I would like to see some sort of a shield for the top if my head and the back of my neck other than my hat.
    Also a totally enclosed on the sides would be great for working outside to exclude ambient light.
  29. Paulz
    Joined: Dec 30, 2018
    Posts: 27


    I have a Miller Digital Elite and I love the lens (X mode especially), but have the same feelings about the headgear as you. I have the knobs cranked stupid tight and it's still too floppy for my liking.
  30. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,610

    from Brooks Ky

    Most people on here bought good quality helmets when they bought them.......but most have had them a long time and have never tried the "clear view" technology. If you get a "clear view" helmet, you will never want to get one of the older technology helmets. If you cheap out and don't get one.....well I tried!

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