Medium priced auto-darkening helmet recommendation?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by yelcab, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    I would like a recommendation for a medium priced auto darkening welding helmet.

    1. I don't weld everyday, so would like to not spend a fortune
    2. As of now, only flux core MIG
    3. I would like a solar powered one, instead of a battery one because the battery always run out

    Thanks, there are too many on the market and reviews are not all that clear.
  2. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002

    I 1 Fluxcore MIG, a 2nd MIG, a TIG, and OXY to gas weld/cut. I have used fluxcore a lot. FC is super good that's how steel building skeletons are done and with "your" machine you can FC a thicker piece of steel than you could MIG. I have an expensive miller helmet (my 1st, 20+ yrs old and I still have it) and a northern helmet, and a harbor freight helmet I leave in my racecar trailer with my harbor freight emergency trackside welder. They all autodarken. I can tell you they all work the same way solar power with darkening dial. I can't honestly say 1 is better than the other. In my opinion you want these things:


    solar power NO batteries!

    darkening dial You want to be able to dial down the darkeness or brightness of the weld pool

    ridges on the helmet face so when you drop or take off helmet the lens cannot get scratched while helmet rolls on ground

    easy cheap access to replaceable polycarbonate protective lens over the autodarkening lens element. You want that especially with FC welding because FC welding is dirty compared to MIG TIG. The FC spatter can hit the polycarb and burn destroy it & obscure it over a short time. The smoke of FC obscures polycarb lens then you take a dirty cloth or leather glove to rub it off as you are working then scratch your lens. Yeah you can be more careful but that's life in a hurry especially when you are focused on the project.

    I would not trust harbor freight with my eyes and bought that helmet and welder when I broke my steering rack racing at CoTA. But you know when the welding helmet works. You know what it is like when your eyes gets flash bulbed when someone takes a picture. When in a dark and you strike that arch see the flash helmet darkens you take helmet off and don't see flash effects you know helmet is working good and giving you protection.
  3. ferraridriver

    ferraridriver F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2002
    Bay Area Calif.
    Full Name:
    Lincoln Viking, lots on eBay for cheap.

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