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Thread: Hood for the Money?

  1. #1
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    Hood for the Money?

    I have been helping a young man learn the trade(s)**; a couple times a week we work together in my shop for 2 hours in the afternoons. He's able to do this due to home schooling program and his parents willingness to drive the distance to get him to the shop.

    We're learning lots of different aspects of the metal trades, and welding is obviously one of the bigger factors in an apprentices' scope of learning about metal work.

    He doesn't have a reliable welding hood, and I use the Optrel; so, should I ask his parents to buy one - OR? is there a lower priced alternative that might be suitable for a beginner?

    I guess I'm asking for a Forum based "Hood-for-the-Money" comparison of the the Forum's experience? I don't want to suggest his parents pay (approx) 500$US for the current Optrel model just because that's what I want to "see through".

    On the other hand, I don't want this young man to be at a disadvantage as he learns to weld (gotta spend time looking at the arc) so I'd welcome remarks about "$ vs Quality"

    thanks for any replies.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

    ** Gub'mnt schools, at least in our area, have stopped teaching the trades in schools! How would a young man/woman/person prepare themselves for a working career if they don't learn the trades' many skills and techniques while young? At graduation, they won't be trained enough to get a job- assuming some apprentice or beginner position; if they haven't been able to find some access to training in the basics of trade-craft! (end rant)

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  3. #2
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    A passive hood would probably be just fine I'd imagine. Pretty reasonable price compared to a good quality AD.

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  5. #3
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Hey Kevin,

    I bought this from NorthernTool.com on a vid recommendation from Jody C. I’ve been nothing but pleased. It’s my first autodarkening and it has worked perfectly for three years even in cold weather. Still 39$


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    I have a big knogin and I can get my drop down respirator inside pretty easily.

    Also I applaud your teaching efforts. I’m just a hobbyists but I owe the basis for anything I am doing now to the steadfast efforts of my late father. Dear dad, sorry I broke so many of your tools over the years.

    Regards
    Last edited by Continuum; 01-30-2021 at 06:17 AM.

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  7. #4
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    I bought one from Amazon, the brand is TACKLIFE, I've had it for 2 or 3 years now. It's been good, good clarity and puddle visibility is good also, has a grinding function, adjustable from 5-13 IIRC, and sensitivity adjustment and replaceable batteries, And it has an awesome headgear! $59 or $69 at AMAZON.
    Last edited by CAVEMANN; 01-30-2021 at 08:54 AM.
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  9. #5
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Is there a local supplier nearby ?? Many will have hoods to test drive or at least try on.
    Headgear and styles vary along with the tinted shade. Check you tube for hoods that show what the arc looks like.
    I don't have much confidence on the cheap auto darkening. The Miller digital infinity is what I'm considering. My current Miller is first generation digital elite.
    This is a post on hoods. You could search for more.

    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/showthrea...welding-helmet

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  11. #6
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    ESAB Savage A40 @ about $80 bucks from Cyberweld. Been using it for a while now. Only drawback is specific cover plates. Can't just drop by the LWS & get a replacement.

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  13. #7
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Thanks to all responders, good info and after reading the thread I should have found before posting (? thanks BD1) I have a better picture of features versus price.

    Think I will review with parents to see what kind of budget this oldest son, but a sibling of four others! has to expect for his hood?

    Appreciate time and info, thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

  14. #8
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    My first helmet is an Antra AH7 that I bought off Amazon and I still really like the viewing area and electronics on it. It's also very light. The only knock most folks had when I read the reviews was that it doesn't stay open as well as some with more expensive headgear. I think they've upgraded the headgear since I bought mine. After a few years the headgear on mine was getting a bit ugly so I retrofit one from a Jackson helmet and it's an improvement (read about that online). For $75 I think it's right up there in the mix for best bang for the buck. I've used quite a few much more expensive helmets and they certainly aren't multiple times better the way the price is. I'm looking at an Optrel next, but I don't think that's remotely necessary for anyone starting out.

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  15. #9
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    I too would consider passive with flip shade. If he gets serious, then he can change and have knowledge of what he wants.

    I have purchase several A/D helmets second hand, pawn shops. Just because they are a good deal. Have several on my shop for visitors.

  16. #10
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Do you have to drive to Anchorage for a LWS?

    If you order online, how long does it take?
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  17. #11
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Continuum View Post
    Hey Kevin,

    I bought this from NorthernTool.com on a vid recommendation from Jody C. I’ve been nothing but pleased. It’s my first autodarkening and it has worked perfectly for three years even in cold weather. Still 39$



    I have that exact hood, I use it a lot (mind you that's hobby-ist "a lot"). It doesn't have the best field of view, but other than that, it's been great. I usually grab it instead of my other cheap (more expensive, but junk/sensors suck) or jackson (kept in cloth bag for when I learn to tig). I forgot where it came from until now.

  18. #12
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Continuum View Post
    Hey Kevin,

    I bought this from NorthernTool.com on a vid recommendation from Jody C. I’ve been nothing but pleased. It’s my first autodarkening and it has worked perfectly for three years even in cold weather. Still 39$


    Name:  72F18CAB-0808-473A-AE88-257930325FC5.jpeg
Views: 379
Size:  99.2 KB

    I have a big knogin and I can get my drop down respirator inside pretty easily.

    Also I applaud your teaching efforts. I’m just a hobbyists but I owe the basis for anything I am doing now to the steadfast efforts of my late father. Dear dad, sorry I broke so many of your tools over the years.

    Regards
    Northern doesn't even have a shipping cost to where Kevin lives :0

    I called and they said they would have to check with shipping department.
    Ed Conley
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  19. #13
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Shipping from Cyberweld

    $75.00 :0
    Ed Conley
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  20. #14
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    Shipping from Cyberweld

    $75.00 :0



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  21. #15
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    tapwelder, a flip up or traditional hood is in the mix, but I ended up with cervical spine surgery from flipping my hood for too many years. It was a pretty big deal so I'm leaning away from flip up (or heavy hoods) and tend toward the auto-darkening.

    broccoli1, we have AirGas/AirLiquide and a Matheson as well as a local private metal vendor with a small inventory LWS in the entry/office part of that business.

    So, we don't have to go to ANC for much

    Thanks for the replies,

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

  22. #16
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    if he likes welding and plans to stay with it, either as a hobby or as a career, why not just get a good helmut now. makes no sense to buy a piece of crap $75 now and a good one 1yr down the road. if hes unsure, buy good one now anyway and you could buy it off him at 50% discount later

    me personally would stay away from the cheap junk. like weldmark for example, but all the other brand cheap hoods are likely no better. junk from china is all it is. not worth $5.
    miller digital elite is exceptionally good for the money and only $215 to your door. optrel is another excellent choice. both are good for grind/cut/weld

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  24. #17
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Yep, Weight could be an issue. I was referring to a flip lens. So, he could keep it on all the time. Use it as a shield for grinding. Otherwise, I would get an A/D with a grind mode. To encourage wearing face protection at all times..
    Also, I know a few folk sensitive to arc flash when using A/D.

  25. #18
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by cornchip View Post
    if he likes welding and plans to stay with it, either as a hobby or as a career, why not just get a good helmut now. makes no sense to buy a piece of crap $75 now and a good one 1yr down the road. if hes unsure, buy good one now anyway and you could buy it off him at 50% discount later

    me personally would stay away from the cheap junk. like weldmark for example, but all the other brand cheap hoods are likely no better. junk from china is all it is. not worth $5.
    miller digital elite is exceptionally good for the money and only $215 to your door. optrel is another excellent choice. both are good for grind/cut/weld
    his door is in Alaska, gonna be more that $215.00 as the free shipping only applies to the lower 48.
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  26. #19
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Morin View Post
    tapwelder, a flip up or traditional hood is in the mix, but I ended up with cervical spine surgery from flipping my hood for too many years. It was a pretty big deal so I'm leaning away from flip up (or heavy hoods) and tend toward the auto-darkening.

    broccoli1, we have AirGas/AirLiquide and a Matheson as well as a local private metal vendor with a small inventory LWS in the entry/office part of that business.

    So, we don't have to go to ANC for much

    Thanks for the replies,

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK
    yeah I found the Air gas there.

    Miller Welding Helmet - Black Classic ClearLight Lens 287803 $104.00

    If yer student would be good with that one I'll buy it for him.

    Unfortunately the only other hoods in stock were considerably higher $$


    I could not find how much one off Amazon actually costs for the shipping without going through the checkout process.


    Or if he finds one at one of the other vendors I could purchase over the phone, I'm down.
    Ed Conley
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  28. #20
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Ed, thanks for the very generous offer, I'll contact parents, explain your generosity and see what they say? I can't imagine its anything but thanks very much!

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

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  30. #21
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Ed, thanks again for the generous offer to buy the new Miller hood for my friend who's learning the trade.

    His parents seemed pretty shocked, but after taking time to consider they've decided to accept your offer and I've given them your web page and name and showed them our exchanges here.

    I'm sure that we can make arrangements to pick up the hood from the store. The young man's name is Bryce Hopkins and he and his parents will be in contact I'm sure.

    Thank you for your kindness to a young welder and his family.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

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  32. #22
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Morin View Post
    Ed, thanks again for the generous offer to buy the new Miller hood for my friend who's learning the trade.

    His parents seemed pretty shocked, but after taking time to consider they've decided to accept your offer and I've given them your web page and name and showed them our exchanges here.

    I'm sure that we can make arrangements to pick up the hood from the store. The young man's name is Bryce Hopkins and he and his parents will be in contact I'm sure.

    Thank you for your kindness to a young welder and his family.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK
    It's at the counter at Air Gas.

    Bryce's name is on on it.

    Did the transaction with an employee named Ronn Ross.

    dat's root beer cheers to Bryce and real beer to you.
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  33. #23
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Kudos to both Ed and Kevin for helping with this young mans future.
    Mike

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  35. #24
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Thanks to all who contributed information and to Ed for the gift of a new hood for Bryce.

    I'm starting him with drafting using a conventional board and tools before we move to CAD/CAM/CADD and he's been watching some TIG and we'll continue working in TIG and MIG observing then drawing sketches of the various elements of what's happening under the hood, in the next month Bryce will begin with stick and progress to MIG and TIG.

    The goal is to build a welded aluminum boat with Bryce, one he's either designed or participated in the design. We'll draw a skiff or riverboat and build that using the soon to be practising welding skills, and plan that the boat is an initial step in learning to design build in welded aluminum.

    We meet a couple times a week for a couple hours, and are working on his drafting while we build his portable drafting table and he accumulates drafting tools, skills and learns the 'conventions' of drafting.

    We're still in lines and layout now, but will be introducing curved battens and 'fair' curve in a month while we begin to weld a little steel with stick.

    Thanks for everyone's kind words, informative experiences and generosity. Our 'home school marine science' program is probably a few years long but as we all know there's lots to learn before building something that sophisticated. And it requires lots of trade skills and plenty of practice. So we'll just work at learning more, and see how we do?

    I may haul his Dad and friends in the shop to build a skiff while we're in progress of learning the details just to allow Bryce to see all the reasons for the time practising all the skills and ideas that may be a little daunting without a demonstration of how all this 'fits' together.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

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  37. #25
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    Re: Hood for the Money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    It's at the counter at Air Gas.

    Bryce's name is on on it.

    Did the transaction with an employee named Ronn Ross.

    dat's root beer cheers to Bryce and real beer to you.
    This is incredibly kind....just awesome!
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