welding masks

Hi -

I'm an ignoramus in need of advice - My boyfriend wants an auto-darkening welding mask for his birthday. He's building a car and wants an auto-darkening mask to go with his shiny new tig welder, instead of the hand-held mask with a screen which is always black. I've been looking on ebay and it seems like they start at about £25 plus £10 postage from the states. My question - are these cheap ones worth it, or do you really need to pay for quality? No point buying one which will still damage your eyes. And which brands are good?

Thanks for your help! M

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An interesting combination: TIG and handheld mask.


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Nick Mueller

As far as I'm concerned those hand-held masks suck for everything (except possibly watching a solar eclipse). I hate them!


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I think they're actually inspector's masks. And for rank newbies running their first 25 rods. The first time a newbie needs that second hand that's holding the mask, he'll buy a mask. I have seen inspectors use them, though. But the good inspectors I knew used to just use their old hoods to keep from getting flashed, and from getting rays from the sides.


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It was handy for my wife- she could watch me welding some pipe onto a trailer. I taught her more in 5 minutes than I learned in a month of "school."

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