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Thread: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

  1. #1
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    Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    I have this now....


    I just ordered this....Lincoln Viking 3350 series....is there really any quality difference, as far as protection for the eyes, and such? The Vulcan from Harbor Freight is nice, but I have found that I have to really tighten the headband more than is comfortable in order for it to stay in place, then when lifting the hood, it seems to want to fall off. If you have the Lincoln 3350 series, could you comment on the experience you've had with it?

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    protection for your eyes will be the same-

    You'll get clarity and some other functions with a more expensive hood.

    Head gear quality might be better but honestly my HF hood seems to be the only one that holds.

    My Hobart hood head gear sucks.
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    if your dead set on a lincoln i would of went with that 2450adv to be honest
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    its all about what you will be able to see. I have no experience with the Vulcan hood, but the Lincoln 3350 was the clearest hood I had owned up until Father's day when I got an Optrel Crystal 2.0. That one is the clearest hood I have tried so far. Better than the Jackson Truesight I had a few years back and better than the Miller Digital Elite, Jackson BH3, and a few other helmets my friends let me try.
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    The cost of a great paint job.
    That will not same a year welding.

    I use the black hood and save money .

    Dave

    FYI my hood is a Lincoln in black

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmelter2021 View Post
    I have this now....


    I just ordered this....Lincoln Viking 3350 series....is there really any quality difference, as far as protection for the eyes, and such? The Vulcan from Harbor Freight is nice, but I have found that I have to really tighten the headband more than is comfortable in order for it to stay in place, then when lifting the hood, it seems to want to fall off. If you have the Lincoln 3350 series, could you comment on the experience you've had with it?


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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    MetalMelter, you made a good choice with the Viking 3350. As Louie shared, it has a really good clear view.

    Name:  5B Viking 3350 4C.jpeg
Views: 141
Size:  545.3 KB
    The above is a picture taken through the 3350 lens.

    For comparison, here is a picture taken through the lens of my Jackson W40.
    Name:  4B Jackson W40.jpeg
Views: 146
Size:  498.7 KB

    Both pictures were taken with the same lighting in my shop.
    This is prior to auto-darkening, but this is very close to what I see when welding, so I believe it is a reasonable comparison - it shares the difference in lenses.

    Head gear is so personal, it is hard to give good advice. I like the 3350 head gear just fine. I spent several hours wearing my 3350 on Saturday, and it never felt awkward or uncomfortable.
    I suspect you will be pleased with your new helmet choice.

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    ToolFanGeoff, I really appreciate your pics for comparrison. This kind of sharing by folks with experience, to newbies at welding like me, is the reason why I joined this forum. The effort made to help guys such as myself along is a noble thing, and shows selflessness and willingness to extend a hand, even though it might be a little inconvienient to do so. Thank you, Sir! Thanks to every responder to my inquiry.
    Last edited by metalmelter2021; 07-25-2022 at 07:43 PM.
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    It is ever changing in the welding world. I am one of longest in welding since 1964.
    There have bind a lot changes.
    Like Stick welding was king 🤴 today it is fluxcore. TIG welding was only found in very few shops today most have a tig welder.
    Hood lens was just one type then was gold and today auto.

    Now we look at inverter welders time will tell on that one but looks good today.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmelter2021 View Post
    ToolFanGeoff, I really appreciate your pics for comparrison. This kind of sharing by folks with experience to newbies to welding like me is the reason why I joined this forum. The effort made to help guys such as myself along is a noble thing, and shows selflessness and willingness to extend a hand, even though it might be a little inconvienient to do so. Thank you, Sir! Thanks to every responder to my inquiry.

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    I've used Lincoln 3350s after my Jackson Boss crapped out. The Boss was about the clearest view hood at it's time. The 3350 is wayyy ahead of the Boss, clarity wise. The Lincoln headgear seemed flimsy at first but after using it a short while I got used to it and really like it. Another nice thing about the 3350 is clear cover plates aren't expensive and if need be, the outer is a standard 4x5 and the inner is smaller in one dimension and can easily be made from cutting down a standard cover lens.

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    protection for your eyes will be the same-

    You'll get clarity and some other functions with a more expensive hood.

    Head gear quality might be better but honestly my HF hood seems to be the only one that holds.

    My Hobart hood head gear sucks.
    I messed up the headgear on one of my hoods. Basically the same setup as the Hobart. I've been thinking about buying the headgear from a fancier hood and retrofitting it. I've even toyed around with the idea of buying the headgear from a PAPR hood and adding a seal to the bottom of my hood, and rigging up a DIY PAPR or SAR setup. A guy on another forum did that and it actually turned out really nice. Think he ran it of Ryobi batteries.

    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    https://www.amazon.com/Lincoln-Elect...a-858090002524

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    Nice choice and stand tall.

    I love my 3350. You'll enjoy the clarity.
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    I have the Vulcan hood - I had to move the depth adjustment (how low the band sits on your head) to deeper than what I am used to with other hoods.

    I thought it was just my head shape (big and pointy head lol), but it could be a common thing.

    That being said after that adjustment I haven't had any real problems/complaints with it falling off, even when accidentally hitting it on things while flipped up.

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowBlues View Post
    I have the Vulcan hood - I had to move the depth adjustment (how low the band sits on your head) to deeper than what I am used to with other hoods.

    I thought it was just my head shape (big and pointy head lol), but it could be a common thing.

    That being said after that adjustment I haven't had any real problems/complaints with it falling off, even when accidentally hitting it on things while flipped up.
    thanks for that tip!
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    For me the clear lenses are the kicker. I like cheap, readily available, nonproprietary lenses, also preferably the same size lenses. Not knowing how far you are in your welding. I would suggest buying several sets of clear lenses so, there vision/glare variable is readily controlled.

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    We hopping to here your choice

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmelter2021 View Post
    thanks for that tip!

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    We hopping to here your choice

    Dave
    I purchased the Lincoln Viking 3350, with the Viking 6X headgear. The Link that 52Ford gave is for the Viking 6X headgear, which I think he was saying I could replace the headgear in my Vulcan Helmet with the 6X gear if I wanted to…
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    Looks like great hood.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmelter2021 View Post
    I purchased the Lincoln Viking 3350, with the Viking 6X headgear. The Link that 52Ford gave is for the Viking 6X headgear, which I think he was saying I could replace the headgear in my Vulcan Helmet with the 6X gear if I wanted to…

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    its all about what you will be able to see. I have no experience with the Vulcan hood, but the Lincoln 3350 was the clearest hood I had owned up until Father's day when I got an Optrel Crystal 2.0. That one is the clearest hood I have tried so far. Better than the Jackson Truesight I had a few years back and better than the Miller Digital Elite, Jackson BH3, and a few other helmets my friends let me try.

    ^^^ This sums up my experiences.

    One thing to keep in mind is that a major company such as Lincoln probably put a lot more $ into R&D in terms of safety than Horror Freight did.

    I personally would not want to trust the long term health of my eyes to HF.
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    I agree.
    I purchased a few things from Harbor Freight But No safety gear. Almost all needs work.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by scsmith42 View Post
    ^^^ This sums up my experiences.

    One thing to keep in mind is that a major company such as Lincoln probably put a lot more $ into R&D in terms of safety than Horror Freight did.

    I personally would not want to trust the long term health of my eyes to HF.

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    Quote Originally Posted by scsmith42 View Post
    ^^^ This sums up my experiences.

    One thing to keep in mind is that a major company such as Lincoln probably put a lot more $ into R&D in terms of safety than Horror Freight did.

    I personally would not want to trust the long term health of my eyes to HF.
    Yeah, I get that. Back last fall when I first decided to get into welding, I was just purchasing a good quality machine [Miller Multimatic 215] so I wasn’t sure of the amount of welding I planned to do, so I bought a Yeswelder auto-darkening helmet. It was from Amazon.com and cost $39, so I used it once, and thought I probably should get something with better quality. Got the high end HF unit in the original post. Since then, deciding to really take things to another level for me, and actually go to welding school, and knowing there will be a lot of arcing going on by me and all around me, I figured this new Viking 3350 is an investment in my eyesight.
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    A buddy of mine asked me about better hoods and I told him the best view would be the Optrel Crystal 2.0. He did some research and wound up buying a Lincoln 3350 which he really liked. He saw an Optrel Crystal 2.0 at a local auction, new in box, and got it for under $100. He swears the Optrel is head and shoulders better than the 3350.
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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    I hate the Lincoln 3350, it's huge, it's extremely heavy, it doesn't stay up, I would not advise buying one, I bought on years ago and I don't use it.

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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    Buy an optrel, and modify the helmet to accept a Miller headgear,

    Optrel makes amazing helmets, but their headgear sucks, it's terrible.

    I have the optrel 2.5 Vega view, I'll get the crystal 2.0 next time I buy a helmet.



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    Re: Quality Difference? Welding Helmets

    G-ManBart brought up the Optrel 2.0 Crystal. It has fantastic clarity and view also.

    Here is a picture of the 3350 (view through the lens - on my bench)
    Name:  5B Viking 3350 4C.jpeg
Views: 104
Size:  545.3 KB

    Here is a picture of the Optrel 2.0 Crystal (same work bench and lighting)
    Name:  3B Optrel Crystal 2.0.jpeg
Views: 103
Size:  496.6 KB

    I tried to show apples to apples comparison - same camera, same lighting, etc..
    In my opinion, the Optrel is clearer and brighter. When welding I can tell there is a difference.
    I don't know if I would call it "head and shoulders better", but noticeable.
    The 3350 and Crystal are my two favorites right now. The 3350 has become my first reach helmet for MIG. The Crystal is my first reach helmet for TIG.
    This thread has me questioning why this is, but I am not sure... Maybe it is what I was working with when I got the helmets?
    I do know that as I get older, optical clarity becomes more important to me.
    I am 59 years old. My grandfather taught me how to stick weld on a Lincoln tombstone when I was 9. I have been hooked ever since - 50 years of hobby welding.

    MetalMelter, not trying to derail your thread, just trying to share that you did good in your choice. Like Freebird said "stand tall".

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