Twin_Cam SuperDork
2/6/12 6:13 p.m.

So I filled out the ol' tax forms last night, and Uncle Sam sees fit to give me back a touch over $1,000. Most of that will go to replenishing my savings account which took a hit buying my upright, but I've decided to spend the rest on a sweet welding mask, as I've been doing more welding at work, and I already have a good pair of gloves.

I figure a budget of $150 would enable me to buy a comfortable, lightweight, auto-dimming (perhaps even solar-powered) mask. Correct me if I'm wrong, and recommend some. Whatever it is, it has to be DARK. All the helmets I've used (borrowed) at work, even on the darkest setting, it's still a little too bright, still leaves really bad "green" marks in my vision.


Toyman01 SuperDork
2/6/12 6:17 p.m.

I just picked up one of these from Northern because the Harbor Freight one I have wasn't dark enough. I have been using it for about a month now and love it.

JoeyM SuperDork
2/6/12 6:38 p.m.

My harbor freight one does just fine....I would get a faster one, though, if I was welding all day long

stumpmj Dork
2/6/12 6:49 p.m.

I have a Miller Pro-Hobby helmet. At the darkest setting, I can barely see the arc. It also has a replaceable battery. No complaints from me.

Streetwiseguy SuperDork
2/6/12 7:19 p.m.

I like my Miller Elite enough I'm thinking of buying a new one after about 5 years of pretty heavy use.

2/6/12 7:29 p.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: I like my Miller Elite enough I'm thinking of buying a new one after about 5 years of pretty heavy use.

X2. I had a Nice Next Gen, but it crapped out and at $400 plus I can buy a few of the Millers.

Is it just me, or does Lincoln not play in the helmet market? Al my welding kit is Lincoln, but the accessories are all Miller.

BigD Reader
2/6/12 7:51 p.m.

I love this dude's channel, and in this video he basically says that the cheapo Northern helmet (HF has the same one with different colors, with the right flyer and coupon, you can get it for 34 bucks) is actually a little better than the big dollar ones. I asked my engine builder about helmets and he said the main benefit of the expensive helmets is low light work because of multiple sensors.

This is the one I have (again, don't buy for retail, keep your eyes open and you can get it for 34 bucks)

cwh SuperDork
2/6/12 8:48 p.m.

I used an HF for years with no complaint at all. Mostly MIG, so quite bright. Never a problem

JoeyM SuperDork
2/6/12 8:56 p.m.
BigD wrote: This is the one I have (again, don't buy for retail, keep your eyes open and you can get it for 34 bucks)

Yup. Same here

2/6/12 9:12 p.m.

My friend just ended up with a case of flashed eyes using the same Princess Auto helmet he bought a few yeara ago. No indicatin of failure rthat he was aware of, but not going there with my eyes.

Princess Auto- Canuk HF

duetto_67 New Reader
2/6/12 9:40 p.m.

i've used a HF version for a few years now, just in my garage on and off type use. Never an issue but don't know that i wouldn't spend a bit more if it were an every day count on it type thing. i'm always amazed when it actually works.

2002maniac HalfDork
2/7/12 7:58 a.m.

If you do any low amp tig welding a cheap helmet will flash you because they lack the sensitivity of the nicer hoods. I picked up a used jackson nexgen on ebay and it is lovely helmet. HUGE screen, multiple sensors, comfy headgear, and grind/torch modes make it worth every penny.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo SuperDork
2/7/12 8:07 a.m.

Harbor Freight auto darkening works great for me. Cheap as E36 M3, too.

Twin_Cam SuperDork
2/7/12 3:31 p.m.

Cool, thanks for the recommendations. I'll look into some of them. There's also a Hobart on Amazon that caught my eye, does Hobart make decent helmets as well as welders?

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