welding helmet for colorblind
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    6

    welding helmet for colorblind

    Any color-blind welders out there? For 13 years I have used a Miller Elite auto dark helmet, and have always had trouble viewing the work area ahead of the puddle, even with work lights on the piece. I'm red-green color blind, and just heard that similarly "color-challenged" folks have had better luck with some of the newer technologies. It seems there is now a blue tint lens (Jackson Balder, Optrel) that works better for red-green color blindness. Or it could be snake oil, so I thought I'd ask.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Joliet, IL
    Posts
    824

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    I can't speak for the effectiveness of the newer lenses for that, but just wanted to throw in that 3M also has a new lense for the 9100XX now designated as the 9100XXi. It's called tru view technology and I finally got to try it side by side with my buddy's 9100XX to see how much of an improvement it was just the other day. It's only a subtle hue change, but definitely takes out the green.

    But I would guess that seeing in front of the puddle is more of a contrast issue and not so much color issue. I'm sure after 13 years you've tried a few different things, but have you tried backing your head up? That is more effective than trying to change shade or color.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    138

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    I'm red green color blind as well. I never considered how the tint of your lens might affect your ability to see the puddle. I never used an auto darkening lens until recently and when i did buy one i went with the 4C Lincoln 3350 and i like it pretty well. I do know that there are times when i can see the puddle better than others. I'd love to find out that a different lens could make it easier see the puddle, Keep us posted on what you find out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Ct
    Posts
    2,227

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    I'm red green color blind too, I don't think a different lens would help much, it's more of a contrast problem than a color one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    6

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    I had my helmet shoot-out, and the winner was a the Optrel e684. It was just so much easier to see the puddle and the base metal. I haven't been able to clearly see the bead trailing the arc for some years now, and with the e684 I could see it again, and that gave me more control. The color in the e684 is very neutral, which made it easier to see the different shades of the puddle. The Jackson BH3 was a close second, I could see the puddle much better than my old Miller Elite, it just wasn't as clear as the e684. Plus, the Optrel just felt like it was made better, and the auto-adjusting auto-dark feature is pretty addictive. I didn't care for the Viking, it was darker than the Jackson and the puddle was harder to distinguish from the base metal. Still better than my Miller, just not as obvious for my eyes as the e684. The Optrel 2.5 Vegaview was awesome with the off-state bright vision, but the optics weren't as good for my eyes under the arc. I called the Optrel distributor about this, because I really liked the bright vision the Vegaview had (it would be fantastic when crawling under the dash to weld a roll cage), but they said they could not put the higher-res optics of the e684 in the Vegaview because they could not jump from the 2.5 shade of the Vegaview to shade 13 when the arc starts. Whereas the e684 jumps from shade 4 to 13. Optrel also sent me some blue tinted interior lens covers to try with the e684. While they did shift the color, I didn't think they made it much easier to see than the untinted view.
    So there you have it. I'm sure with young eyes it doesn't matter as much, but for my older color-blind eyes there was a world of difference. My beads were immediately better once I could see, and the the LWS made me a great deal on the e684, so it was an easy decision.
    Last edited by 76m2002; 04-10-2017 at 09:57 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    5

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    Can you get cheater/diopter lens for the Optrel e684 or Vegaview?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    Well, it's easier to see a tig puddle compared to my Lincoln auto darkening. For mig, Lincoln works great. You can also use speed glass 9100 series and also easy & comfortable for the eyes. You can also work 6 to 8 hours a day by wearing this. Apart from this, you can use multiple hoods including HF auto, fixed shade hoods, gold lens, older Jackson EQC, Miller elite, and Jackson WS60. The bluish color of the Jackson WS60 lens gives the best view of the weld puddle of any hood. If you are color blind, buy this hood or the cheaper smart tigger wh40. Also, that is more effective than any other hood. The image clarity at all angles of viewing is also excellent. You will not be disappointed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cartersville, Georgia
    Posts
    372

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    To my knowledge, I'm not colorblind of any sort, but I do find drastically different results with different helmets, and the better one is not always the better one.

    My shop only makes parts from thin aluminum, so I'm almost exclusively TIGing aluminum, and use an Optrel Sperian (e680) for that. However, on the few times I need to weld steel to make shop jigs or as a favor for a good customer, I can hardly even use that helmet (both TIG and glue gun), and have to pull out the Miller Classic Elite. No amount of setting adjustment gives me the ability to see what I'm doing on steel with the Optrel.

    They are both a green tint, so I don't know if it's different colors so much as some intricacy that only my eye picks up, but it's a significant difference. Overall, the e680 is a much better quality hood than the miller, and was very highly rated before it was replaced with the e684, but it doesn't work with my eyes on steel, for some strange reason.
    Who is John Galt?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Cumbria, UK
    Posts
    451

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    Any issues with contrast, you should try ANY of the newer true colour lens tech,

    Optrel e684
    3M 9100xxi
    Lincoln 3350 4C
    ESAB Sentinel A50

    probably a few others too, but they are all really good.

    I have the sentinel, but tried the Optrel and Lincoln and liked em all really.

    You can see EVERYTHING better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    21

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    I never thought of the red-green color blindness affecting my ability to see through my hood, but I HAVE always had a hard time with that part. I'm kind of used to it now though.

    I can say that I have a Speedglas 9100XX (no "i"), and I can see better in my Optrel e684.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    AJO, ARIZONA
    Posts
    2,143

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    I don't know if it would affect your puddle view much, but it definitely affects depth perception. The optics have a huge effect for me when it comes to seeing the puddle and the work area around it. I got a relatively cheap AD hood from AMAZON, it says TACKLIFE on it for the brand, it's Chinese and has good optics and the headgear is the best I have ever used, battery and solar powerand fully adjustable lens, 2 ranges from 5 to 14 IIRC, delay and speed and 4 sensors and pretty light, about $70. Nothing fancy and it has a storage bag.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    2

    Re: welding helmet for colorblind

    Not colorblind, but I do recommend the Optrel e684. Very clear, and, yes, you can get cheaters for it. Unfortunately they’re proprietary and about $20.

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