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Thread: Need welding hood advice please .....

  1. #1
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    Need welding hood advice please .....

    OK ... so I got my first welding helmet when I was 14 ... simple old time Fibre-Metal unit. Still have it 44 years later.

    That said, it is time for an auto darkening unit. I had a cheap one once (probably Harbor Freight) .. about 15 years ago ... it kind of worked.

    I do a bit of everything .... stick, MIG, TIG ....

    So I started looking ... had never even heard about "true color" ... or Optical 1/1/1/2 or 1/1/1/1

    Soooooooo .... where do I begin?

    I see you can spend $50 to $500

    Since I am more of a "hobbyist" ... just run a small one man business (I am a retired machinist ... am building a new shop 3500 sq ft, still have all my machines .. build the odd trailer .. always repairing something ... no lack of work, surrounded by farmers in rural VT) ... I would like to stay in the lower end of the scale if possible (say $100 - $150).

    That said, I want to be safe and keep my eye sight! I would spend $500 if it meant saving my sight.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks .... Mike

    Just FYI .... attached a picture. In the background it my original "Sears" 300 amp buzz box ... now 44 year old .. and in the foreground my AIRCO (Esab) DIP_PAK 300. Both are inside the house while I build the new shop (rest of the machines are stuffed into a tractor trailer beside the house). Behind the welders is my last project ... turned the mast off an old forklift into a elevator ... my wife was paralyzed from the shoulders down in a diving accident when she was 12. $40K to buy an elevator ... $2K to build one.

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    Last edited by xtal_01; 10-09-2020 at 12:27 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    You may want to look at new auto hoods for under $100.00.
    I purchased mine in 2017 for under $60.00 made by Lincoln at Home Depot.
    Works great.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by xtal_01 View Post
    OK ... so I got my first welding helmet when I was 14 ... simple old time Fibre-Metal unit. Still have it 44 years later.

    That said, it is time for an auto darkening unit. I had a cheap one once (probably Harbor Freight) .. about 15 years ago ... it kind of worked.

    I do a bit of everything .... stick, MIG, TIG ....

    So I started looking ... had never even heard about "true color" ... or Optical 1/1/1/2 or 1/1/1/1

    Soooooooo .... where do I begin?

    I see you can spend $50 to $500

    Since I am more of a "hobbyist" ... just run a small one man business (I am a retired machinist ... am building a new shop 3500 sq ft, still have all my machines .. build the odd trailer .. always repairing something ... no lack of work, surrounded by farmers in rural VT) ... I would like to stay in the lower end of the scale if possible (say $100 - $150).

    That said, I want to be safe and keep my eye sight! I would spend $500 if it meant saving my sight.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks .... Mike
    Last edited by smithdoor; 10-09-2020 at 12:43 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    For shop work I’d recommend a Jackson auto dark hood. They’re not expensive and they’re good hoods, I like mine a lot. For outside work, I use a Honeywell sugar scoop with an ArcOne Tradesmen lens (auto dark, fixed shade) or the Lincoln 4C lens, or if you want to spend a little more look at a pancake hood, great for outdoors. CMR is a great company for pancakes (use one at work with a Tradesmen lens).


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  4. #4
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Be for I purchased my auto hood in 2017, I only used the old fashion flip lens with gold lens. Now I will only use auto hood's.
    They can be adjust for 5 - 12.

    I do have one leather hood that is still flip type for tight locations but rarely in tight locations.

    Dave

    PS: I would not buy hood from Harbor Freight. Buy a better brand.
    I have purchased from Harbor freight but not safey equipment I draw the line at safety.

    Quote Originally Posted by xtal_01 View Post
    OK ... so I got my first welding helmet when I was 14 ... simple old time Fibre-Metal unit. Still have it 44 years later.

    That said, it is time for an auto darkening unit. I had a cheap one once (probably Harbor Freight) .. about 15 years ago ... it kind of worked.

    I do a bit of everything .... stick, MIG, TIG ....

    So I started looking ... had never even heard about "true color" ... or Optical 1/1/1/2 or 1/1/1/1

    Soooooooo .... where do I begin?

    I see you can spend $50 to $500

    Since I am more of a "hobbyist" ... just run a small one man business (I am a retired machinist ... am building a new shop 3500 sq ft, still have all my machines .. build the odd trailer .. always repairing something ... no lack of work, surrounded by farmers in rural VT) ... I would like to stay in the lower end of the scale if possible (say $100 - $150).

    That said, I want to be safe and keep my eye sight! I would spend $500 if it meant saving my sight.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks .... Mike
    Last edited by smithdoor; 10-09-2020 at 12:56 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    I really like the Lincoln Viking 3350 4C. The basic black helmet is around $220.

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  7. #6
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    I really like my arcone, and I prefer the gold lens in it too.

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  8. #7
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Esab SavageA40 is a good one for less than $100. Check at Cyberweld.com.

    Search the forum - someone has posted a photo taken through the hood...

  9. #8
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Here’s a shot of the view through my Savage A40.



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    David
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  10. #9
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    A more expensive hood does not protect yer eyes any better than one that costs less.

    Lots of good choices in yer $100-150 price range.
    Ed Conley
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  12. #10
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Pro star x540vp great viewing area. Reasonable price for a serious hobbyist or pro. Love mine.


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  13. #11
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    If you've used a fixed shade for 44 years, I suspect you're gonna be disappointed with an autodark. I've never seen an autodark that gave as good a view of the puddle as a fixed shade. I have a Miller Digital Elite that I paid about $275 for 10 years ago, but it can't hold a candle to my gold glass fixed-shade, so I only use the autodark for tacking or when under the truck or in a position where I can't nod down the shield easily...

    Also, be sure you'll be able to replace the headgear, since that goes bad after a while...one reason I bought a Jackson for my fixed shade (headgear is easy to get and not too expensive).
    Last edited by Kelvin; 10-09-2020 at 08:08 PM.

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  15. #12
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    I believe the harbor freight hoods are 90 day warranty.
    Most Millers are 3 years.
    I would go to local supplier and test drive their hemlets. Headbands, viewing area, and shade color all vary.
    Ease of adjustments too. Additional lighting will definitely help too.
    Many headbands on the expensive hoods have more adjustments. Not only hood drop and stop but also distance from face to inside of hood closeness .
    Definitely try before buying .

  16. #13
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    A more expensive hood does not protect yer eyes any better than one that costs less.

    Lots of good choices in yer $100-150 price range.
    Yup. All auto-darkening take a finite amount of time, around 1/20th of a millisecond to darken. So for those 1/20th of a millisecond, your eyes see the full brightness of the arc. You wont be exposed to any UV, just brightness. How well your eyes handle that depends on your eyes.
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  17. #14
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    I have been a hobbyist for a year or so, but one thing to consider is the size of the viewing area. My first mask had what looked to be a large window from the outside, but much of that was actually the area that is used for charging the battery on the helmet. My second one had a much bigger viewing area, and I greatly preferred that - easier to see what is going on.

  18. #15
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    I got mine on AMAZON, I think it was about 80 bucks, TACKLIFE BRAND, great visibility and color tones, 4 sensors, grind mode, very good reaction time and adjustable up to shade 3-5 and 8-12, it also has the best headgear I've used.
    Last edited by CAVEMANN; 10-09-2020 at 11:56 PM.
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  19. #16
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Thanks so much guys!

    After 40 plus years of my old Fibre-metal with a fixed gold lens, it is time to upgrade.

    It will be nice to stay on target rather than moving slightly each time I shake my head to drop the hood.

    Thanks again ... Mike

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  21. #17
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Like you I also started with a HF. It worked, for a while.Anyway I went online and nosed about.To cut through the lard and get to the ham I bought this one.What a huge difference. I am well pleased with this purchase.And, BTW, the salesman told me that the helmet was made buy Lincoln Electric..The one I purchased was like $89.98
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-Auto...met/1000003026
    Last edited by Kenskip1; 10-11-2020 at 12:14 AM.

  22. #18
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Darn ... looks like they have discontinued it. Was dropped from $119 to $23 final price and they listed as sold out.

  23. #19
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    I've tried a few of the lower priced 1/1/1/1 and 1/1/1/2 rated lens. They are better then the old Jackson Nexgen i use to own or the older Miller Performance of Elite lens i ve used. However the Lincoln 4C is probably the best 1/1/1/1 lens i ve tried so far.

  24. #20
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    I got mine on AMAZON, I think it was about 80 bucks, TACKLIFE BRAND, great visibility and color tones, 4 sensors, grind mode, very good reaction time and adjustable up to shade 3-5 and 8-12, it also has the best headgear I've used.
    I have one just like it and really like it. The thing I like the most is how light weight it is.
    Trailblazer 302
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  25. #21
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    Sooo ... did some looking ...

    If I am looking at a Lincoln for about $100, then I am looking at a "small" glass area .. about 6 sq inches ... Viking 1740

    Jumping to the 1840 series ...still small window ... almost $160

    The 2450 series with 9.3" of glass almost $200

    The 3350 series with 12.3 sq inches of glass is $250

    It seems from what most people are saying, the 4C Lincoln technology is very good ...in fact all the complaints in the reviews are of the headband.

    Obviously, I don't buy a hood often so I am looking at the 3350 series but I have to say $250 hurts the pocket book.

    Here is a "no name" alternative I found ... 4.4 / 5 on amazon ... 1/1/1/1 true color .... 14.8 sq in of glass .... $86

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VKNBJHM/ref=emc_b_5_t?th=1

    It sounds too good to be true and that is what scares me.

    Any thoughts?

    Mike

  26. #22
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    if you read the specs on the amazon helmet,it's really a 1/1/1/2 lens.

  27. #23
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    From what I can see this is an upgraded version with 1/1/1/1 ... but I am verifying this ... just sent the question to the seller.

    Thanks for noticing that!

    Mike

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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    ESAB Migmaster 250
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    HH125EZ - nice little fluxcore only unit


    Maxstar 150 STH - very nice

  29. #25
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    Re: Need welding hood advice please .....

    My only concern would be 'where do you buy replacement consumables' as most autodark helmets have a sacrificial clear outer lens that needs replaced periodically. If the yeswelder helmet uses the same lens as a name brand, seems like a good deal. Without the replacement parts, you may be out of luck in a few years. Also, does it allow insertion of 'cheater' lenses? (i.e., reading glasses for helmets)? Adding cheaters to both my helmets made an incredible difference to my old eyes.

    EDIT: in reading the Amazon page, I do see that it is 'cheater lens' compatible.
    Last edited by Dave66; 10-12-2020 at 09:31 AM.
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