Auto Darkening Helmet... cheap vs high dollar?

being a newbie MIG welder I have a hard time seeing with the cheapo helmet I initially bought. I plan buying a auto darkening one. I'm just a
home/hobby occassional welder.
What is the big feature difference in the $60-$80 darkening helmets
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberF092
and the higher $ ones (besides the Earnhart name).
Will I regret buying the cheapo one?? or will it work fine for my 30 minutes a month welding??
Thanks in advance
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I
minutes
The difference is that if you buy a good one, you buy only one.
HTH
Steve
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You wont regret the cheapo, I have a $60. HF helmet and use it almost everyday, works perfect. The "it costs more so it lasts longer" logic isn't always true. The plastic may be more durable on the more expensive helmet so it may resist damage when getting knocked around, also the adjustable headband may be stronger on the more expensive one, but i honestly cant say you would be dissapointed with the cheaper helmet. I believe the main reason for the cost diparity is because the lens is smaller on the cheaper helmets, and it is assembled in china. Go buy the HF, I haven't read any negative reviews and mine is almost a permament fixture on my head. good luck, walt
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I bought what I thought was a "good one" for $165. I made the mistake of dropping it, from about 5'...... big mistake....... the window cracked & then only half would go dark......... so, I invested $275 in a new Miller wide-screen job (plain black, w/o the red & orange flames) which is really nice. Moral to the story........ safety first, starting with not dropping your helmet.

I
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About 1-1/2 years ago I bought a cheap Autodarkening helmet and returned it loosing my shipping costs, the lense was not very clear and I was more happy with my old standard helmet. For Christmas someone bought me the HF autodarkening helmet and it is MUCH better than the one I bought 1 year before. I have been happy with it so far.
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I absolutely love my HF unit, I think it is the same one you point out. One thing to use to evaulate the various ones is the response time, the faster the better. Some cheap ones are down in the 1/1000 sec range, but this one is 1/20,000 sec. Mine is fully adjustable for tint over a nice range (9-13), and the off time can be varied as well. It works very well for TIG.
Dennis
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