Miller Welding Helmet - the Digital Elite with X mode
"It aint my favorite helmet, but it is a good one "
Click the image below to check out How a Tig Finger keeps your fingers cool
The Mac Daddy of Miller welding helmets is the Miller Digital Elite.
But is it really that good? Is this thing worth over 300 bones?
This miller welding helmet has all the useful features that make it super useful....but also a few things I am not crazy about.
Watch the video above for a pretty good rundown on the good, bad, and ugly.
first the good things...
adjustable shade from 8-13
If you are like me, you dont know from one day to the next whether you will be tig welding razor blades at 5 amps, mig welding thick steel using 21 volts, stick welding a bush hog blade, or Tig welding an aluminum cylinder head at 250 amps. Believe me, for all this stuff you need an auto dark helmet thats adjustable, you could use shade 8 or 9 for extreme low amperage tig, and as high as shade 13 for 250 amp aluminum welding.
having to stop and change lenses is not practical. and using a number 10 for everything is not good for your eyes.
The Digital Elite welding helmet also has a cutting and grinding mode.
The cutting mode is adjustable from shade 5 to 8. 5 for oxyfuel cutting, and the 8 can be used effectively for plasma cutting.
again, very useful.
wearing a full welding helmet for cutting with an oxyfuel torch is better than cutting googles. You can wear glasses underneath if you need to and you can also use a magnifier in the helmet itself ( the digital elite has a slot for a magnifier aka cheater lens...the magnifier is a pain the the arse to get in place but once in, it aint moving.)
Grind mode is shade 3. You cant use just any auto darkening helmet to grind. The sparks will be detected by the sensors and will make it go dark...if you have tried grinding with your auto darkening helmet you know how annoying this is.
being able to grind without the sensors making the helmet go dark allows for this miller welding helmet to double as a grinding face shield. Lets be real...sometimes we are all tempted to grind with only safety glasses on...or worse, with no eye protection at all.
Having a welding helmet that doubles as a grinding shield makes it convenient to be safe.
X mode... also called emf. for electro magnetic field detection.
what does that mean? it means that not only does the helmet sense your welding arc, but it senses the electro magnetic field from the arc.
that means when you are welding down inside a 4" tube, and the tubing walls are blocking the arc from the helmets light sensors, the x mode will save you from getting flashed.
• 4 arc sensors....as a general rule the more sensors a helmet has the better
• darkening speed -- 1/20,000 second
• Weighs only 18 oz
But....This Miller welding helmet is not perfect.
Here are a few things I dont like about my miller welding helmet...
Having to use Miller welding helmet Clear Lenses. How hard would it have been to design this miller welding helmet so that standard clear lenses fit? Helmets that use non standard size lenses tend to piss me off. Because I know the only reason for it is to sell lenses.
Not designed for overhead welding. What? Read the owners manual if you dont believe me. it says this.."Do not weld in the overhead position while using this helmet."
That deserves a great big WTF. a list price of $389 with a caution to not weld overhead?
I bet if they used standard clear lenses, overhead welding wouldnt be a problem.
The buttons on the inside are kind of hard to press. The whole lens cartridge kind of gives a little bit when you press them..kind of spongy.
The batteries are not that easy to find at Walgreens. So on Sunday afternoon, if your batteries go south. your SOL.
thats about it. not much bad to say and a lot of good.
All auto dark helmets have a thing or two that can be improved.
A lot of people I have known say its the best helmet they have every used.
I do like mine ok, but I find myself using an old huntsman auto view cartridge in a 951p helmet more often than not.
I also have a Jackson Nexgen, huntsman turbo, speedglas, and a cheap 50 dollar auto dark from northern tool that I use as a backup.