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Welding helmet

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 50 Ragtop, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. 50 Ragtop
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 52

    50 Ragtop
    Member

    Anyone used one of the cheap auto darkening welding helmets that Harbor Freight sells? If so, do they work ok?

    Dave
     
  2. I've had one for a long time. They work fine!
     
  3. 510madmav
    Joined: Dec 29, 2009
    Posts: 814

    510madmav

    Only limited to level 10 or 11 shade I think. My miller shades 13
     
  4. Road_Rat
    Joined: Sep 23, 2007
    Posts: 187

    Road_Rat
    Member

    i know a lot of people will say its junk because of the HF brand but they work just a well as my auto lincoln hood does that i use everyday in the shop.its no optrel(whish mine was still kickin:() but it should be fine.hell for the price you can always just try one out and see it suits your needs..
     

  5. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,562

    hotrod40coupe
    Member

    I haven't had any problems with mine.
     
  6. sixtysicks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 135

    sixtysicks
    Member

    surprisingly they arent that bad. sometimes the lens flashes from random lights but not while your welding so its no big deal
     
  7. I've wondered this myself.

    Anyone know how safe they are for eye protection???

    Just because they get dark quick doesn't necessarilly mean they get to the proper level of darkness.
     
  8. Their reaction time is about five times slower than a premium one. If you use it a lot, you may get flash burn.
     
  9. I used one for years. I used the darkest setting and had no problems. If you need a hood buy it.
     
  10. cheviac
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 28

    cheviac
    Member
    from new jersey

    I have one and it works fine. My brother was a certified welder and said it might not be that good. He tried it and told me it seemed as good as his. No complaints
     
  11. Provience
    Joined: Dec 10, 2011
    Posts: 10

    Provience
    Member

    I have one, for the price it works very well. If I am going to be doing a bunch of tacking, such as lining up body panels or some such, then I don't use it because I seem to get a little bit of flash because it is slower (as already mentioned) than some of the nicer brands. It isn't too big of a deal though, I also have a non-auto helmet that works great for the frequent starts and stops.

    Standard welding, works good.
     
  12. Been using one for a year. Works great!
     
  13. Leevon
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 400

    Leevon
    Member
    from Nixa, MO

    You can't beat them for the price. The lens protectors get fouled up pretty quick, but they're cheap and easy to replace. I think there may be something to the auto-darken time and flash. I've gotten real light flash after heavy use, now this could be from reflections/position whatever but I wonder about the delay...
     
  14. Better than doing without, no matter how slow.
     
  15. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,904

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I weld all day, every day. My Optrel Sattelite will be pried of my cold, dead head. You get one set of eyes, this is not the place to save a dollar, or two.
     
  16. spooler41
    Joined: Feb 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,099

    spooler41
    Member

    I've been welding for more than 40 years ,and had a HF large port helmet for about 4 years , my only complaint is the shade dial needs more drag.No other problems at all.

    ...................Jack
     
  17. 32ratsass
    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 258

    32ratsass
    Member

    The darkening time on the HF better quality one ($69) is 1/25000th which is the fastest speed available, and it's shade goes from 9-13. I'm using one, and it works every bit as well as my high end Miller hood.
     
  18. 53 COE
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 688

    53 COE
    Member
    from PNW

  19. I need to update my knowledge more often. A few years ago it was 1/16000th for the best ones, and about 1/3000th for the chinese ones.
     
  20. peter schmidt
    Joined: Aug 26, 2007
    Posts: 657

    peter schmidt
    Member
    from maryland

    Only prob I have with cheap helmets is they seem to flash you alot more when you have the sensors blocked like welding in weird positions the more expensive helmets have sensors that can tell when you strike an arc even at weird angles. Heaving said that I used my buddy h f helmet and was surprised with it but I still would pony up the extra coin for a nicer helmet if you plan to do alot of welding. I have a Miller elite I bought used for 125 and I love it I had a fibremetal? Before that
     
  21. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,099

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    better than what you see too often, especially on the car/bike builder TV shows, where they do blink welding with no protection.
     
  22. perk30
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 321

    perk30
    Member

    I have the HF better quality helmet and it works great. A while ago when I was using it I was getting some flashes while welding so I stopped welding with it and finished the job with my non self darkening helmet. Turned out the battery was low. Replaced the battery, $3.00 and it has been working fine.
     
  23. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    shinysideup
    BANNED
    from ruskin, fl

    For 35 bucks they work well.
     
  24. 50 Ragtop
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 52

    50 Ragtop
    Member

    Thanks everyone. I won't be using it that often. I think I'll get the better HF one and go for it. When I was a teenager, I was told I would go blind if I didn't stop doing what I was doing too. That didn't happen!

    Dave
     
  25. BERNIES WELDING
    Joined: Mar 31, 2011
    Posts: 216

    BERNIES WELDING
    Member

    well i have said this before and i guess i will voice my opnion again........

    until the automatic darking welding hoods came on the scene, everyone bought and used a good old fashioned welding hood with the correct ready made dark lens. the only way someone got a flash burn was when you didn't drop the hood. the other way to get a flash burn was to look at the flash when someone was welding.

    personally i cherish my eyes and i like the ability to keep seeing. if it is that important to be like the rest and have one of those hoods then put in your reservation for your seeing eye dog and your white cane with the red tip.

    the worst P.O.S. that was ever created is those hoods.

    my opnion, take it or leave it.
     
  26. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 886

    RidgeRunner
    Member
    from Western MA

    As I've gotten a bit older I've gotten much more cynical. I still can't figure out how a tiny bit of damage doesn't reach and harm your eyes before the automatic lens reacts no matter how fast it works.

    Yes, I have used a borrowed HF automatic for a couple quick jobs only because it was within much closer reach than my own traditional hood and figured to keep an open mind I'd try one out. Those limited experiences didn't do much in the way of giving me any warm and fuzzy feelings of confidence.

    Unless I get some very convincing evidence to change my mind in the meantime, I'll be waiting 20 or 30 years to see what the long term effects on the eyes are with the automatics before I give up on dropping the hood.

    Ed
     
  27. ↑↑Ed↑↑

    My cousin, an oil field welder, has flipped the hood down by nodding for 45 years. His neck is now fubar.
     
  28. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    shinysideup
    BANNED
    from ruskin, fl

    Should be mentioned that it says its NOT acceptable for TIG,OXY/AC,Plasma arc, etc. I guess its just for MIG welding.
     
  29. not dead yet
    Joined: Apr 1, 2011
    Posts: 60

    not dead yet
    Member

    It will serve your needs if used for hobby projects...If you use it more than that you need to get a better quality. I have no problem with mine.
     
  30. blackdog
    Joined: Nov 9, 2011
    Posts: 35

    blackdog
    Member
    from Golden BC

    I weld for a living and dont think its an area to cheap out in no matter how much you welding you will do. You gotta take care of your eyes. This hobby aint cheap and this aint the place to save a buck.
     

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