Welding helmet - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Welding helmet

Tell me about your welding helmet?

What's actually needed for a less than part time, hobbiest welder, primarily working on a project car?

I'm sold on the auto darkener.
1/20,000 - 25,000 seems to be standard.

How important are four sensors vs two?

HF, are they inexpensive due to quality or lack of safety features?

I don't need a $300 Lincoln / Miller for project welding.

Suggestions?

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 02:08 PM
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I think the one I bought is an arc one. Got it in 97. Works flawlessly! No need to overspend on one. Mine has an adjustment knob from very light to very dark. Solar powered too.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 02:54 PM
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I have an arc one and the "blue flame" hf, both auto dark. both seem to work as good as the other. never been flashed by either of them.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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The Blue Flame seems to have good reviews on line.

Wife,........."You drove how far for that thing?"
Daughter,..."Theres no inside and it stinks."
Friend,......."Dude, thats a rusted piece of sheet."
Son,.........."This old car is cool."

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:30 PM
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I've heard lots of folks rave about the 'blue flame' but I just couldnt bring myself to trust my eyes to something from Harbor Freight. I mean no offense to the folks who have them and like them. This was my opinion.

I also probably weld a little more than a typical hobbyist though. I have a Miller Digital Performance (black) that was around $160 if i remember right. I've had it for 5 years and LOVE it.
It has 3 sensors but what I really like is that it has cut and grind modes. I put it on 'cut' when i'm running the plasma cutter, bounce it to 'grind' to clean edges, then to weld to...weld. I never have to take it off. The screen goes to a light enough shade that I can see whats going on pretty easily.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:41 PM
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Save Phace. Mine came from Summit. It's the Gen Y helmet.
Actually improved my welding because I'm more consistent (not
having to screw with flipping a manual helmet down/up).

Seems like it was a bit over $100.....

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:52 PM
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The HF auto-darkening helmet works fine. I've been using mine since 2008 with no issues other than one of the little coin-style batteries inside it died so I flashed myself a couple of times before I tore it apart and replaced them with a battery hack and now it's back in use again.

Regarding trusting your eyes to a HF product vs any other, pretty much all helmets have UV protection regardless of whether the darkening tech is working or not. Yeah, you'll flash your eyes so you temporarily see spots but you won't do actual retinal UV (or IR) damage even with darkness all the way off.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:03 PM
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Had a miller for years, now a snap on because the Miller died after 8ish years of semi-regular, hobby use.

I'm in the "don't trust the cheap ones" crowd when I'm messing with my eyes.

Maybe I'm drinking the kool-aid, but especially with sheet metal welding, that's a quite a few on/off cycles. If I'm not sure that it's flashing at it's advertised rate, it's worth the money to me.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:23 PM
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I've got a lot of hours welding on the plain old HF auto-darkening helmet and don't notice any difference between it and the nice helmets I used in school. I've had my HF helmet since 2010 and it works great.


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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:10 PM
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My harbor freight has two mode, one for grinding and one for welding. If you are using a plasma cutter or a torch for cutting you might want a shade 5 which the harbor freight doesn't have. The harbor freight works great for young eyes. It has shades 9-13 for welding. My problem is I couldn't see the work at a shade 9. I bought the Miller because it has all three modes, welding, cutting and grinding. This way I don't have to buy something else for cutting and keep track of multiple shields. It also has a shade 8 which I use for welding. I really like the Miller, I got mine from cyberweld.com
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:32 PM
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I've got two HF helmets. One at home and the other in my truck. No issues with either one.

Tom

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 08:51 PM
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I have a Hobart auto darkening hood I bought 4 years ago for a little over $100 that I love. I also have a Snap On solar powered auto darkening hood I paid probably $500+ for about 18 years ago that was always to dark.

When it comes to your eyes, or anything that can kill or disfigure me, I'll avoid HF. OK, after the last time they sold me something that almost killed me I will ALWAYS avoid Harbor Freight! Can't understand how they have not been sued out of business. I'm hoping to help in that endeavor!

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:58 PM
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same idea for helmets
I weld quite a bit at work about the most I've ever used is the dark HF cutting glasses ,when I put the floors in my 66 I bought a HF blue flame never used it
I'm a bad example
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Last edited by 2nd 66; 03-17-2017 at 10:01 PM.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd 66 View Post

same idea for helmets
I weld quite a bit at work about the most I've ever used is the dark HF cutting glasses ,when I put the floors in my 66 I bought a HF blue flame never used it
I'm a bad example
Good luck with that long term.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailbender View Post
Good luck with that long term.
25 + years

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