Attention Welding Newbie!
An Auto darkening welding helmet is a must! I dont care what you typed in the google search bar to look for welding hoods: auto dark welding helmet, auto drakening welding helmuts,auto darkening helmets, pipliner welding hood,(I know I mispelled some words...who gives a rats ass? I did it on purpose to mess with the search engines.) hellraiser welding helmet, camo welding helmet, or jackson welding helmet, the bottom line is you need one.
If you are a hobby welder or a beginner, you especially need one. Why? Because you need to be lined up exactly in the right place before you pull the trigger. This will save a lot of grinding and will just plain make you look like you know what you are doing.
Getting ready to buy your first mig welding machine?
Then Please!.... Please! Get yourself An Auto darkening helmet!… Why? Because it will make you weld better. That sounds like BS sales talk doesn’t it? But I promise, it’s just the truth.
How can I make such a ballsy claim? listen up…
When you line up the mig gun to weld a patch in on your 1940 Ford door panel and are ready to pull the trigger, is your mig gun going to move a 1/4 inch to the right or left while you are flipping you helmet down? If it does, it’s going to take you about a second to realize it while your eyes focus, then another second to get back on track.
You just warped the metal from all that extra heat and metal you laid down while you were looking for the seam. Remember this! When you pull the trigger on a mig gun, there is no hang time. The mig gun is like a cold hearted woman and does not care if you are ready. It is laying down metal... I mean right now!
So guess what? You have to be ready right now! That’s what an auto darkening helmet does for you. It lets you be ready when the welding starts, not a second later, when it’s too late to recover. It’s not like you can just whip some white-out and get rid of the weld. You will have to grind it out. And grinding sucks!
I will say it again in case you didn’t get it the first time….Every single person who buys a welding machine should buy an auto darkening welding helmet! Even if you have to settle for a cheaper one… just get one. Did you click to order one yet? WTF? what are you waiting for?
Here is one way of looking at it:
If you weld for a living, and will use the helmet daily, get the best and get one that is adjustable from at least shade 9-12, response time of 1/20,000 second or less, has a delay and sensitivity feature, and is lightweight (around 20 ounces or less) and has 3 or 4 arc sensors.
This is no time to be a cheap ass. You wont be sorry for getting the best… only sorry if you don’t. The Top Three Helmets I would recommend and that match these criteria are:
Any Miller Electric Performance or Elite series (I know several welders that own these and love them)
Hornell Speedglass 9000x or 9002x (had one of these and liked it but it takes special clear lenses...the newer models are better at low amperage tig starts)
Check out this Jackson Welding Helmet... Jackson Halo X helmet with NEXGEN auto dark lens ( I have one of these too and really like it. It has a grinding mode and It also uses standard 4 ½” x 5 ¼” clear lenses)
One more Jackson Welding Helmet...
PS. I know I already recommended three helmets but I have to mention just one more…...The Jackson BOSS lens cartridge and HellRaiser helmet. This lens has the largest viewing area of any lens in the world!
If you are buying your first welder and will not weld every day, you still need a decent auto darkening helmet.
You probably don’t need an adjustable shade auto darkening welding helmet.
A fixed shade #10 auto lens will do just fine.
But here’s some great news …. Northern Tool Company has an auto darkening welding helmet for around 50 bucks I mean come on! A standard helmet will cost around 25 bones. For another 25 you can have a pretty decent auto darkening helmet.
So why not Get off your ass and order one. If nothing else you will have an extra helmet.
And believe me, when the job needs to be done yesterday and your helmet craps out, life sucks.
And here is the crazy part… it is adjustable from shade 9-13!
Another unbelievable thing is that 89 out of 90 users who wrote reviews for this auto darkening helmet would recommend it to someone else! I have not personally tried one of these yet. But for the money, and given the great reviews, if I was buying an auto darkening welding helmet for hobby use only, I would jump on this one without hesitating!! In fact, I bought one. My first auto darkening helmet was actually not a real auto darkening lens at all. Let me explain…I knew the benefits of having an auto darkening helmet, but I wasn’t quite ready to plunk down the 323 bones it cost to buy one.
At the time, (around 1995) Huntsman sold this certain model with a sliding lens and a mouthpiece attached to a pneumatic cylinder. The lens was held in place by a magnet and was moved up and down by either sucking on the mouthpiece or blowing on it.
It worked ok, but I got flashed a few times when the lens magnet failed and the lens bounced back into open position. I used in enough to realize some real production benefits though.
Then I ponied up and bought a SpeedGlass made by Hornell. I asked around and it got the highest reviews by far. So I spent the 323 bones and never looked back. I still use it today, 12 years later, so I definitely got my monies worth.
If you are welding production parts, or have to make several tack welds, an auto darkening welding helmet will pay for itself in no time. And if you are in business for yourself, like me, you really are losing money if you don’t have one. I would even say you should make sure your employees use auto darkening welding helmets as well even if you have to buy them yourself (or at least pay half).
If you don’t weld often enough to justify a high dollar auto darkening welding helmet, just make sure what you buy complies with Standards/Approvals: ANSI Z87.1/CSA Z94.3. Like the Northern Industrial Solar-Powered Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet that got great user reviews.