View Full Version : Auto Darkening Welding Helments

David Terhune
11-08-2003, 02:13 AM
I will be doing lots of welding this winter on My A Coupe. I used an old style shield (not a helment but a shield with a handle to hold)on the B, cause I didn't want to pay $200 for a auto helment. I just received an ad from Harbor Freight that lists an auto dark helment for $56. Has anyone tried these "discount" helments?

11-08-2003, 06:11 AM
when you get it tell me how it works images/icons/grin.gif

11-08-2003, 07:35 AM
I bought an auto dark helmet from Harbor Freight about 2 years ago for $99. I worked great. My eyes never hurt and I felt like it worked perfectly. But then I don't have much welding experience. My eyes felt fine. My friend bought one and it didn't change quick enough and his eyes hurt the first day. He took it back and go another one with no problems.

11-08-2003, 07:10 PM
i beileve from talking to the welders i work around that you can get diffrent lenses with faster are slower rates of adjustment on the speed as well as some of the auto adj. helmets have adjustments you can make to speed up are slow down the process. at least that is what i have been told hope it helps...

Dave Russell
11-09-2003, 12:57 AM
I think that the HF helmet is as good as any. Here is an interesting link on the subject:

tony barnhill
11-09-2003, 01:27 AM
About the only thing a hand-held shield is good for is looking over the shoulder of the guy doing the weldng!

David Terhune
11-09-2003, 02:51 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone, Tony, if you have the Restoring MGB GT book, maybe a Porter book, Nigel uses this type of shield!

11-09-2003, 10:17 AM
I really enjoy mine.Seems I never have the extra battery as they don't seem to last that long even when not used.Was told by the sellers that they are looking for light at all times even with the switch off.any one else noticing short battery life?

David Terhune
11-10-2003, 01:14 AM
Well I ended up buying a new plain helment with a flip up shield (Hobart). Thanks for all of the input and suggestions.

11-10-2003, 04:34 AM
To me, a welding helmet is a piece of safety equipment, and there is one area where cost shouldn't be a primary consideration.
I think my eyesight is worth the two hundred bucks, or whatever it takes these days, to buy a quality helmet.
But, to each his own.

Mark Jones
11-12-2003, 12:09 PM
I recently bought a solar-powered autodarkening helmet that was on sale from Princess Auto. Wow is it ever slick. I had never tried to weld before this past weekend and it sure was nice removing the helmet from the "learn to weld" equation. It couldn't be any easier: Put the helmet on, put the tip on the spot to weld and pull the trigger (MIG welder) and the helmets view area darken instantly.

Dave Russell
11-12-2003, 07:37 PM
Did you ever try to weld in a tight, dark place while in a cramped position? As you know, the hood has to be down BEFORE you strike the arc. Kind of hard to see exactly where you are striking in the total darkness of the hood.

I would guess that the real pros who do this everyday might not have a problem. For us occasional welders the auto dark is easier to use.

11-12-2003, 07:46 PM
I need as few distractions as possible, and it is a lot less hassle. (I spit out my gum, too)

My nephew is taking a vocational welding course at the local community college. So he borrowed my auto darkening hood to try it out. Seems a lot of his classmates tried it out too, and everyone is ready to get one.

11-12-2003, 09:10 PM

I have never really had much problem with it. But all I ever had was a hood, I am so poor and I have to make due with antiquated technology thats why I drive an LBC. Now you have just pointed out my glaring poorness and I realize I am poor and I am gonna go cry now.

Cheers, graemlins/thirsty.gif graemlins/driving.gif graemlins/cryin.gif

11-13-2003, 04:06 AM
Why not just go with a normal hood? Why do you need an qutodarkening one? Thats my question, esp. if cost is an issue.

Cheers, graemlins/thirsty.gif graemlins/driving.gif

David Terhune
11-14-2003, 01:24 AM
Walter I'm with you! I bought the $19.95 plain hood. I stood in Harbor Freight for 30 minutes looking at those auto darkening models, but went poor and bought more tools instead!

01-27-2004, 07:25 PM
I bought a plain helmet for my welding course, but "upgraded" by putting an auto darkening filter/lense into it. It was about NZ$190, which is probably close to US$80 (?)

Anyway, it works so well I can't work without it (Never managed the "flip down" action that old hands use)

01-30-2004, 02:13 PM
Hello I always had a problem with little parts configured at such way that even though protected,an immediate blinding would cause trouble. The auto-dark helmet I purchased from HTP(U.S.) years ago was and continues to be excellent. The batteries last for years even in the cold.My welding has improved.I would recomend a Good quality auto-dark helmet to most anyone.

John Loftus
01-30-2004, 08:46 PM
Having just a shield must be tough. I know that for me it sometimes takes two hands to keep things steady (now, now, keep your minds out of the gutter!).

I'm just getting started with my MIG welder and with all the cost of getting started I went with a regular welding helmet. I have found that if I keep a very bright light aimed at the work that I can see the work piece well enough to place the tip. It's like wearing very very dark sunglasses so you just need to light things up really well.

But hey, it must be nice to have the auto-dark type lenses. I noticed the really expensive ones have flames on the helmets which really isn't my style. Doesn't anyone make them in BRG??


[ 01-30-2004: Message edited by: John Loftus ]</p>

Mr jaja
02-08-2004, 12:16 AM
I got a Solar power auto darkening two years ago from HF. Best investment ever made. At work I used a Battery powered more expensive one and the Batteries are empty every time you need them. The news buy at work is a Highend Solar powered . never again with out them.

02-25-2004, 09:27 PM
One thing I've noticed with my solar powered helmet is that if it's not been used for a while, it seems to take a bit of getting going again, anyone else had this happen?

02-26-2004, 03:09 AM
I really need to go out a buy an auto helmet. What I do now is arrange my 500 watt halogen shoplights so they illuminate the area I am going to weld. They are bright enough to see the area through the lens. You need to arrange the light so that it does not reflect off the inside of the helmet. Not always convenient, but does help.