Welding Masks?

As per my other post, I'm considering buying a small Mig Welder.
I will, obviously, need a welding mask and I've been looking at the
'automatic' ones.
Some seem very cheap. Are they any good?
I've done some arc welding (very little) and find the 'old fashion'
always dark masks a pain, so really fancy an automatic one.
I confess to being intrigued that some are 'solar powered', given they
are, presumably, mostly used indoors. Do they perhaps use the energy
from the arc?
Reply to
Brian Reay
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Over here in the USA we have the ubiquitous Harbor Freight stores that sell mostly Chinese stuff. They sell three auto dark welding hoods. One, that has blue flames on the side, is the easiest for me to see through. I'm sure there exists on your side of the world the same hood. I use mine for loaning out and for when someone wants to watch me weld. I use a much better personal hood but I can weld fine with the cheap Chinese hood too, it just takes more effort to see. The cheap solar powered hoods have a couple lithium coin cells inside that get recharged by the solar cell in the hood. Eventually these batteries fail. Then, if you are careful, you can crack the lens case to get at the batteries and replace them. I did this on one hood by adding battery holders because the original batteries were spot welded in and I don't have a battery spot welder. Youtube has plans for easy, quick and dirty battery tab spot welders so if I ever do this again I'll try fabbing one up. Eric
Reply to
etpm
Cheap autodarkening masks are about as good, in terms of eye protection, as the expensive ones. The main difference is they the more expensive ones can (sometimes) have a larger viewing area, can be a little clearer when off, and the masks can be more comfortable.
But both work equally well, and in general for occasional use I have no compunction about recommending the cheap ones (though maybe avoid the very cheapest), they are perfectly adequate.
-- Peter Fairbrother
Reply to
Peter Fairbrother
Thank you, that is encouraging- I was concerned the cheap ones may not give adequate protection. I recall, many years ago, my father having some eye problems (temporary) when somehow he'd been exposed to an arc without an eye shield. I wasn't keen to repeat it.
Reply to
Brian Reay
They often come with flat batteries from being in the box for months. Just put it in front of a halogen work light for a few mins and it is ready to go. you can look at the filament of a 500watt one and make out the coils of the filament as a good confidence test. After initial charge they seem fine and run off the arc power.
Reply to
Bob Minchin

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