View Full Version : Auto Darkening Helmet

02-05-2008, 09:26 PM
I just received a new helmet from Northern Tools. My old one from Homier works fine, and it was a bargain for 30 bucks, but it always took too long to recover back to normal after finishing a weld. It also has a switch, so if you leave it on while you adjust the position of your project, and it takes too long to do so, the helmet turns off. Bam. you're seeing spots. The same if you forget to turn it on before you start welding.
I was going to replace the scratched lens covers, but my neighbor suggested a better helmet. Still wanting something affordable, I found one on Northern Tools for 50 bucks that had good reviews. It's solar powered, so you just put the helmet on and weld. As soon as you stop the arc, the lens goes back to normal. It's much better than the old helmet, which I'll keep as a backup.

BTW, I dropped the 007 which is part of my email address. The 007 has nothing to do with James Bond. My chosen username was taken, and 07 was suggested as an add-on. That was taken, and 007 was suggested as an add-on. That worked. When I first registered at AZ, I thought sure there was a Kid somewhere in the forum, so I added the 007 to TheKid. Since there is no other Kid in the forum, I dropped the 007.

02-06-2008, 02:37 PM
I have a similar auto-darkening helmet that my wife bought for me from Harbor Freight Tools. I like it a lot better than a conventional helmet, but even though they state it has a 1/20,000 second response time, there still seems to be a lag. I just remember to blink when I first start, and the time between arc flash and lens activation is over.

One thing I like about the HFT helmet is that it's adjustable from 9-13, and reverts to a 4 when not active. The only thing I wish it had I wish every helmet had, and is easily added: a hood to cover the back of my head. I often catch the reflection of arc light bouncing off the wall behind me in the lens, so I can see its reflection in front of me. Not good, in any case, as x-rays are still potent in reflection. A quick bit of fabric work will take care of that.

02-06-2008, 04:06 PM
Neither of my helmets have any delay when starting a bead, but the old one took about 20 seconds to go back to #4 when I finished the bead. Both adjust from #9 to #13 while welding. The new one goes back to #4 instantly. Soon after I started to learn how to weld, I added a baseball hat worn backwards to my protective gear to prevent the sparks from burning my hair. I also found it reduced the reflection off the gloss paint on the garage wall, but didn't eliminate it. I painted the side of the garage with flat paint, and that stopped the reflection. Now I'll have to paint the rest of the garage with flat paint because it doesn't look so hot the way it is.

Pagan Wizard
02-06-2008, 06:15 PM
I found these a while ago and posted them in the old forum but didn't get any responses. These things look pretty cool, most, if not all are solar powered and have auto darkening lenses too. Not a bad price either, with most of the helmets coming in at less than $75 USD's. I just wish I found these BEFORE I bought the helmet I already have. If I should feel the urge (or need) to replace it, it will be with one of these.

http://www.hoodlum-welding.com/hoods.htm (http://www.hoodlum-welding.com/hoods.htm)

02-06-2008, 06:40 PM
All those helmets priced $65-75 have standard lenses. If you buy one of those, the auto darkening lenses will cost another $107. Or you could by the A.D. lenses by themselves for $140.

Pagan Wizard
02-06-2008, 06:47 PM
OOOOPS!!!!! :o I missed that part. Sorry about that.

Richie Rich
02-06-2008, 08:02 PM
Soon after I started to learn how to weld, I added a baseball hat worn backwards to my protective gear to prevent the sparks from burning my hair.I picked up a hood similar to this one at my welder supply store made of fire retardant cloth. It ain't pretty, but it does the job...


.......Richie >>

02-06-2008, 09:21 PM
Excellent. Now I can save my hair AND hats!:)