Harbor Freight Welding Hood

My first autodark was a cheap HF a buddy of mine gave me as a thank you for fixing his boat trailer for him. I never considered one before
that. I was amazed at how much difference it made welding. Well eventually it died. I've had a couple autodarks since then, and even have a Lincoln right now. None of them have performed as well in my opinion. Maybe I just got used to the way the HF hood worked.
This seems to the problem, "Solar powered cells with battery assist provide up to 6 years of expected life under normal welding conditions (no battery change needed)"... or capable. I tried disassembling my original to get to the batteries, but is made to be broken if you try. I broke it. LOL.
I even bought another HF hood at one time, but I bought the slightly more expensive one that you can change the batteries on. It worked, but took to long to go light again.
All of the other hoods I have purchased have had replaceable batteries, but other things annoyed me. The knob fell (broke) off of one right away, all of them took to long to go light again after the arc shut off. One fancy name brand felt like I had a rock tied on the front of my head when it was up. One was too dark in its lightest setting.
Now I haven't bought a 200+ dollar hood, but I didn't buy all 34.95 on special Harbor Freight hoods either. Although to be frank the 34.95 on special Harbor Freight hood worked the best for me. I could set it so I could see for any kind of weld, and if I was working on thin sheet stacking welds it would go light quick enough that I could still see the metal glowing red so I could get the timing right easily for the next bump.
What's the answer? I hate to spend 200-300 on a hood to find out it still doesn't perform the way I want it to. If I welded more I'd probabloy just go get a new HF cheapo every 5-6 years when the battery died, but then if I welded the time my business might be important enough to a vendor to let me try an expensive hood to see if I can get it to perform the way I want. I could give a rat's ass about having a fancy brand name on the side of my lid. I just want one that performs the way I want it to.
I posted earlier today about running 8 foot of bead. I just used my plane old fixed lens hood for the whole job. Outside in the sunlight I can get away with that, although it is a shade or two darker than I would have liked.
P.S. That cheap HF hood is only sale again right now.
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wrote:

Greetings Bob, Of all the HF hoods the one decorated with blue flames was the one I could see best through. I have one in the shop for customers or to lend out. I really like my fairly new Lincoln but am gonna get another hood that has even better specs and is only about a hundred bucks. I don't remember the name right now but I'll post a link later today or tomorrow. Oh wait, I just remembered. Striker Supreme helmets. They have good reviews. Here's a link the a site that sells them. https://www.usaweld.com/Striker-Supreme-Welding-Helmet-p/supreme.htm Typical disclaimers except to add that I haven't bought mine yet so can't really know how good they are. But I have corresponded with a couple other guys who really like them Eric
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