Cheap auto-darkening welding helmets

These things seem to be available for a wide range of prices, from £21 on eBay up to £nnn, with a bulge around £50. On the basis that spending
too little usually results in wasted money I'm tempted by the £50 ones - has anyone any experience of them? Or are the super-cheapies actually OK?
Dave
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

i've had a 30 quid cheapie for about 4 years now (back then 30 quid was the very cheapest you could get one for)
it's always worked as i wanted it to, only hobby welding but i've built a few things like a dog carrying trailer for a motorcycle, 2 hitches on my motorbikes, a substantial rear bumper and slot in tow bar jobbie for my motorhome, a push bike rack and a motorcycle towing rig for the motorhome, plus the little welding jobs that all add up.
to be honnest with me at least, i'm more likely to need to replace the helmet because i've run it over or lost it than need to replace it due to malfunction,
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gazz wrote:

I've also had the cheapest possible, but for around 8 years. Having moved this summer I have had to weld all new lathe/mill stands, benches, racking and a 4' wide custom gun cabinet and it still works fine.
The only thing that was an issue (and this may be the same on more expensive ones) was the material coming off the headband, but that took two minutes to fix.
The most puzzling thing is that mine isn't solar recharging and I have no idea how the original battery is still alive.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do they have a battery? I'd always assumed the welding arc provided the power. You may not be able to see the photo cells
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
newshound wrote:

Most new ones seem to be solar powered (and I guess the arc counts as a small sun) but when I bought mine they weren't available cheaply so I have one with a battery.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Some have a battery, mine does! It equates to the 50 pound ones at 100 dollars Canadian.
Steve R.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Cliff Ray wrote:

That's the most important point to pay attention to. Check wether the battery can actually be replaced. There was a more expensive model on the market (Speedglass?) that was solar and had a battery inside. But that cell was cast in with some resin. After 3 years, it was empty and you almost had no chance to replace it. Well almost, model engineers will always find a way. :-)
I'd also check wether it has some welders association approval (DIN or whatever). Though Chinese copyists won't stop from faking that too.
Nick
--
The lowcost-DRO:
<http://www.yadro.de>
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gazz wrote:

Me too - £25 off eBay - good enough for occasional DIY
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Dave, I bought one for £39 at a car show some 6 years ago. I bought the "adjustable darkness" solar powered version and it is still working adequately for my limited needs. In hindsight they had cut costs by making the screen a little smaller than ideal and the other part of the helmet is cheaply made and very tightly fitting, however it has lasted OK once I stuck the adjustment knob on properly. I feel that if I was to purchase another I would make sure the screen is at least the standard size and the helmet it'self was big enough to feel comfortable when worn for extended periods.
Regards
Keith
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jontom snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Scrap my earlier comments on cheap helmets. I just checked and the one I have is a Jackson Translight 390 which I can now only see for £140. I am pretty sure it cost less than 50 quid on offer when I bought it, but that could have been wishful thinking or just overshadowed by the price of the TIG.
The problem now is I feel more guilty about throwing it around :(
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jontom snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Thanks, and to everyone else who replied.
D
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My £200 is currently running with the (far better) lens set for a £40 in it. OTOH, the £200 hat doesn't fall onto your nose.
* Batteries are better than solar
* Go for standard size cover glasses
* Helmets with two tilt adjuster knobs (i.e. a positive position stop) are much better than cheap friction locks, but you have to pay a lot to get this feature (all 50p of plastic that it must cost!)
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The first one I bought, a long time ago, wasn't fail-safe; when the unit suddenly failed, it went light, rather than going dark. Ouch. I always check for that feature now before purchase.
I don't do enough welding to buy a top of the range unit, but I do expect basic safety feature like fail safe. Karen
If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.' Catherine Aird
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Duracell Bunny wrote:

The interesting thing to know about these welding helmets is: They don't filter UV with the LCD. So no matter wether it is on or off, there is no UV-radiation behind. UV is completely filtered in a layer in front of the LCD. But you will be a bit dizzy if the helmet switches off while welding. This sometimes happens to me (with my helmet) while welding some construction and a tube or such gets in front of the solar panel. There are some helmets that are said to be more intelligent regarding this "feature".
Nick
--
The lowcost-DRO:
<http://www.yadro.de>
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The cover class will stop all the ultraviolet and most of the infra red even without the LCD part being on. So the danger is far more in perception than in reality. Unless you are up a ladder and fall off as a result :-(
Mark Rand RTFM
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes they do work, but make sure that you can get replacement covers for the front of the lens. They are not all the same size. BTDTGTTS
Rick... (The other Rick)
Science and sound engineering will always prevail in the end "for nature cannot be fooled" [Feynman]
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

My local paper has a guy selling them every night ... £50 versions. Thought about getting one, every time I catch an arc flash :-)
Rick (not sure if I am Rick, or yet another Rick)
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.