If you are an occasional user, it will do just fine. As with any quality
piece of electronical equipment, I keep mine in a sealed cabinet, resting on
my gloves and hat when not in use. The headband cracks, otherwise, and the
heat and cold don't do it a lot of good if it's just hanging from a hook.
Plus there's always a danger of it getting whacked. Treat it softly, and it
should last a while. Go get some batteries in advance, as they always go
out right in the middle of an important project on a day and time when the
store is closed.
I am curious how much difference there is between the LCD panels of
the different auto-darkening helmets. I've got one substantially
cheaper than the HF model, and I find trying to see to weld almost
impossible. I've spent quite a while adjusting how dark it is, and
there doesn't seem to be a sweet spot between "the spark is bright
enough to leave spots on my eyes" and "all I can see is the spark".
So I'm wondering if it's my eyes or my helmet. Hopefully my
Like I said, just keep decent care of it, and if you're an occasional user,
it will do. I've heard a lot of satisfied HF autodark users. Joe made the
comment that his isn't working too well, or he isn't doing something right.
I have a NexGen EQC. My second. The first was stolen. I welded for about
two days with my old Jackson, and went and bought another NexGen. I love
it, and have only a couple of minor complaints.
With autodarks, you usually get what you pay for, and on the high end stuff,
the only things that make the difference are personal things like how it
fits, how easy the controls are to work with gloved hands, quirky things
like the lights or sun triggering them.
I have seen pipeline welders with the crappiest plastic helmets with tire
tube headbands that could pass x ray every time. Sure, good equipment
helps, but knowing the basics helps a lot, too. I suggest that if anyone is
considering doing much welding that they get a good hood, and that can be a
used one. If it is only for occasional use, any old thing WITH THE PROPER
SHADE and other safety precautions will do. When a person progresses to a
certain level, they will know if they want to continue with what they got,
or move up. Tools have a lot to do with making things, but a good craftsman
can make nice stuff with just the basic tools and enough talent.
The problem with the cheap HF type autodarkening is the speed of darkening.
All the helmets will stop the harmful rays without the helmet even being on.
But your eyes will get tired if you do a lot of welding. Some of the cheap
helmets are 0.25 Seconds to darken, while my Jackson is 1/25000 seconds.
Mine is a Nexgen and I love it.
"Calif Bill" (clip) The problem with the cheap HF type autodarkening is the
speed of darkening.
The HF helmet definitely darkens in less that 1/4 second, and I doubt that
ANY helmet is that slow. In 1/4 second looking at an arc, you would develop
a blind-spot-after-image that would make it impossible to see the puddle.
No one has reported that problem. I like my fifty buck HF helmet at lot.
With a $300 top-of-the-line helmet you probably get better head band and
nod-friction adjustment. Since you don't have to nod the auto adjust
helmets, that's not really very important.
On Thu, 12 Mar 2009 16:00:21 -0700, the infamous Pilgrim
scrawled the following:
Most of us swore by them. A few swore at them for some faint line
(which many of us were unaware of until it was pointed out) in the
I don't recall safety (all built to ANSI standards) being an issue at
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government
from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Absolutely a good professional welder can do wonderful work with crap
equipment. For those of us who are only hobby welders and don't get
enough practice to become that good, good equipment makes a big
Interesting that mix of units. :-)
0.25 for 1/4 while 1/25000 for 0.00004
How about using 250 m sec and 40 u sec (u for micro no Greek letters)
Sorry. These kind of things seem to jump out at me.
I was JUST at a site about a month ago seeing a review on the HF and a
another of the cheapo helmets being compared to some of the 300.00 and
400.00 dollar units. For the life of me I can't find the link but the
consensus was that he liked the Cheapo one quite a bit better. I
remember something about the weight of the newer helmets being a
nuisance (although made VERY well) because they would eventually 'tilt
forward' on their own and coming down when he bent down to pick up rod
or whatever... The other thing was the comfort inside the helmet.
The adjustment in the helmet was more secure and the helmet seemed to
fit better. He noticed NO difference in FLASH between the two
If I remember correctly, the only other helmet that beat out the
cheapo ones, was one with the air-tight rubber seal and Oxygen tank.
It was like $600.00 bucks or something though....
There are several grades of these, at least on the shelves at the
local store. I've had the one that ran about $20 on sale, about drove
me nuts. Really small viewing area and it was rather long on
darkening and lightening. I then got the one that runs about $80 list
on sale for about $40, this one was much better, much larger viewing
area, standard size cover glass, user-replaceable battery and more to
the point, almost instantaneous darkening and lightening. The
controls are external, too, not on the module inside the mask. The
head-fitting adjustments were better, too. Pay more=3Dget more. I've
been using mine for gobbing and dobbing with TIG.