View Full Version : Good auto helmets for TIG?
01-10-2007, 12:00 AM
Wanted to inquire what you all are considering the "cat's meow" for protection (helmets)? I just got done with 6 months of procedures on my eyes, and want to batten down the hatches. Are the automatic helmets all they're cracked up to be? I have absolutely no problem shelling out $200-300 if it will be a stalwhart.
If it makes any difference, Im a newbie learning on a Dynastar 200DX. I did a search, but was flooded with tons of beta. Not all of which was pertinent.
01-10-2007, 12:53 AM
I have and use a Huntsman VLS auto darkener. It's an older model, I've had it for about 6 years but it works flawlessly.
I have never had an issue with blocking the sensors while welding out of place. I often switch from MIG to TIG and back and can use the same hood. It has 9-13 variable shade, delay adjustment, and a sensitivity adjustment.
I also have a Hobart VLI? (Older flame hood with solar powered auto darkener). I have never really like this hood but it serves it's purpose. I keep it in my chase truck in case I need it when I'm racing in the desert.
The Hobart I have has a tendency to get blocked easily when welding out of place but it was 1/3 of the price as the Huntsman. It has variable shades but no other adjustments.
I'm sure there are newer, more advanced lenses/hoods out there now but I have been really satisfied with my Huntsman VLS.
01-13-2007, 11:57 PM
Good beta there. Anyone else?
Bob at WeldingMag
01-14-2007, 11:23 AM
I'd suggest using the "search" function on the WeldingWeb menu bar. There are probably no fewer than 30 threads on this topic. Suggested keyword searches are "which helmet" "auto darkening" etc.
01-14-2007, 12:36 PM
Did and Done, but still curious for my application. Looks like most of the info is limited to "cheapest" rather than best protection. Most is suited less towards TIG, and more towards MIG. Not a big difference as they will do it, but some are simply better suited to my needs. Thanks for trying to set me on the right track though!
Goodness, I love this machine...
01-14-2007, 12:39 PM
Speedglass make nice helmets. They work with any sort of welding, iindoors or outdoors. I have an older one. It's also very lightweight.
01-14-2007, 01:06 PM
Make sure what ever you buy is rated for tig as some helemts do not work properly when using a tig.
I have a miller elite series helmet which works prefectly, really worth the money. I also have to of the better ones from harbor frieght and they actually work great so far. they are only about a year old so as to the long run, who knows.
If I was majorly worried about quality and safety. Go with the miller series. Go to your local dealer, they might be able to let you try one out.
01-16-2007, 09:49 PM
I've got Jacksons Nexgen.....I like it lots. Got a deal thru school though.....225 smackers. battery powered with override when you are welding. And the grind, torch, weld settings....Nice hood.
01-17-2007, 08:34 PM
Figured to share what I decided on...Picked up an Optrel Satellite (Cosmic Copper Baby). Got a fair deal on it new for about 240.
One of my concerns was having less gapage between the hood and my head. Some of the others had quite a gap that allowed ALOT of reflective flash from behind. Comfort was also a nice benefit.
Really liked the high end Miller, but had too much gap and for some reason looked cheap. I know they arent, but it just looked hokey and the Mrs even commented on it (shot down). I wanted the Maple leaf model originally.
Also really liked the 3m Speedglass masks. Nice ventillation and fit. Lots of nice features and like the idea of having the controls inside. Unfortunately it didnt fit right (pinched in all configurations).
After all the shopping (2 whole days) I must admit that this was the best $ spent yet. I can actually see what Im doing throughout the entire process, and have no need to take off my hood while grinding/chipping/etc. This in turn adds to my safety factor.
For anyone sitting on the fence about these helmets Id encourage you to go and take a good solid look not only for safety, but to make gains in becoming a better welder!
One last thing, I was amazed at how many hoods are not suited to TIG and especially inverter TIG systems! This is something that everyone should be aware of.
Safe welding = good welding!
01-17-2007, 09:08 PM
I just got my Miller Elite at my local welding dealer, paid $257. So far I like it a lot, big difference from the old farm supply store auto darkening special I used to have. I have used it in TIG and Stick applications and it works well, plus has a big veiwing window and 4 sensors.
01-18-2007, 07:34 AM
I used to have a cheapie, then tried a friends Speedglass - Now I have my own, there is no way I'm going back..
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