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Another try on Optrel e680 helmet PROS/CONS

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  • Another try on Optrel e680 helmet PROS/CONS me out here if you can! A few days ago I asked the group about experiences with the Optrel e680 helmet and a lot of people viewed the post, but I got no replies or any kind of input about this helmet. Is there really no one that has used this helmet? Maybe it really is either too new or just totally unpopular and, therefore, no one has any experience with it. Can that be the case? ANYWAY, if there is anyone on this forum that has used or has any kind of experience with the Optrel e680 helmet, I would like to hear your experiences and opinions about what it is like. I would like to hear all pros and/or cons as I am considering purchasing this helemt due to what is apparently very good color fidelity and it may help with some apparent vision problems I have been having with TIG welding as I age, though it is kind of spendy. Being pretty practical minded, I don't want to buy a spendy helmet and discover after the purchase that it really isn't very good, ESPECIALLY if anyone on here has some thoughts about it or experience with it.

    Any and all input would be appreciated!

    Last edited by dondlhmn; 09-22-2011, 11:12 PM.
    Don J
    Reno, NV

    Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

  • #2
    Buy it buy it buy it!!

    I've posted many times on here concerning how much I like the Optrel line of helmets. I currently have an Optrel Satellite and two Optrel e680' s. I keep one e680 in the shop full time, the Satellite in my truck full time and have a "new in box" e680 in case one of the others gets smashed/ run over/ dropped/ whatever.
    Notice I didn't say in case one craps out. The e680 I use everyday at the shop now has almost 5000 hrs on it, and the Satellite in my truck must have near double that.


    -They are crystal clear, very little color change

    - they are less expensive than any equivalent helmet

    - they are lighter than the Elite series by Miller

    - the external controls are VERY user friendly

    - I've never had to change a battery....EVER


    - I haven't found any cons yet, but I dare you to try

    As far as I'm concerned, I will never buy another helmet. I own or have owned Miller Elites, Jacksons, Speedglas 9002x, Fibre Metal pipliners, Wendy's pancake shields. I still pick my Optrel's everyday over ANY other hood on the market.

    How's that for a sales pitch?
    Big Blue 400D
    Trailblazer 302
    Miller S-32 suitcase
    12VS suitcase
    Lincoln LN-7 (BIG suitcase)
    Victor torches
    Lincoln 350MP with 35' push-pull gun
    Lincoln PrecisionTIG 375
    Spectrum 1000 plasma cutter


    • #3
      I have over my miller elite for the last 4 1/2 years at at around 1500 hours a years "" not bad "", with no problems except changing the batteries twice, at a big $5.00 each time. The elite has a huge window and yes it is crystal clear. The button for grinding is on the inside compare to outside, which hasn't caused me any trouble to switch.
      It all comes down to preference.
      This is just to make your choice a little harder.


      • #4 make that helmet sound pretty darn you have stock in that company or something??

        Thanks for the input!

        Daniel...thanks, but I am probably ALREADY making this decision hwaayy harder than it has to be!
        Don J
        Reno, NV

        Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.


        • #5
          You guys have pretty much convinced me to try the 680e - is the best price at Airwweld = they show $310.00 free shipping.

          Local AirGas would not match that price and I would add tax on top of that.

          3 hours later - Gave AirGas last chance to match price and the did. Ordered, will be here Monday from Dallas distribution center - they had 6 in stock.
          Last edited by TxDarth; 09-23-2011, 03:47 PM.
          Roger Troue

          Retired since 2004

          Miller 211
          Miller 200 Syncro
          Miller 375 Extreme


          • #6
            As for best price, google shopping helps there:

            I'm looking to purchase one myself. I don't really really need it right now... but the right deal etc. I'll do it.

            There are 3 possible cons with that helmet.
            1) Smaller viewing area than Miller Elites Not sure it matters. I'm always surprised at the stuff I _DON'T_ see in my peripheral vision while welding. Not sure I use the extra viewing area.
            2) Slower reaction time. The new Optrels look to improve this. If you are doing lots of little start and stop welding operations this could be a fatigue issue.
            3) No X-mode equivalent. The Miller Digital Elites (which have their own cons BTW) have a mode that triggers on electromagnetic disturbance. Bascially, when TIG welding, the helmet goes dark when the high frequency turns on - even before the arc is established. No eye fatigue.

            A couple of pros that might not have been touched on.
            1) color. Natural color vs. greenish color or even dark gray helps on some materials like stainless.
            2) I believe the Optrel is one of the few auto-dark hoods that claims its OK to weld overhead. I can tell you the Miller's have a lip that can (and will) catch a spark/spatter - enough to affect the gasket around the lens.

            The guy that came and bought my old TIG welder showed up with an Optrel - not sure if it was an e680 or an earlier model - like e670. It essentially was DOA. Battery dead? Not sure. I didn't try sticking in the sun - didn't have time. Used my two Miller's instead. I believe the Optrels don't even have replaceable batteries. I have a DQF helmet (circa 1997) that still works on the original batteries...
            Con Fuse!
            Miller Dynasty 350
            Millermatic 350P
            -Spoolmatic 30A

            Hypertherm PowerMax 1000G3
            Miller Multimatic 200 - awesome portable MIG (and stick and TIG)
            Miller Maxstar 200DX - portable TIG and stick


            • #7
              Originally posted by con_fuse9 View Post
              2) I believe the Optrels don't even have replaceable batteries. I have a DQF helmet (circa 1997) that still works on the original batteries...
              I just looked at a sheet on the optrel e680 and they do have replaceable batteries...2ea CR2032, which I think you can get at about anyplace that has watch or heart pacer or such batties.
              Don J
              Reno, NV

              Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.


              • #8
                About Optrel helmets. I’m on my 3rd. The first was a Satellite model I picked up at a pawnshop for $10. I wasn’t going to spend the $$ to buy one without trying. It worked and was like wearing a miracle!

                then I upgraded to the e680,which I still use and it’s even better. I bought another one to keep on my truck.

                Optrel’s outclass every other hood I’ve used in 55 years of welding. I won’t weld with anything else.

                Artist Blacksmith
                Historic Downtown
                Paris, Texas
                Dynasty 200dx
                Trailblazer 302
                12VS wire feeder
                Lincoln 215
                Miller Passport
                Miller 375 plasma
                Hossfeld bender
                Antique SA200


                • #9
                  Ten year old zombie thread...


                  • #10
                    2011...wish the prices were still the same


                    • #11
                      You ain’t kidding.


                      • #12
                        Did a quick google search Thursday and Amazon popped up with a E680 for $1k
                        Wasn't convinced so this morning went on Ebay and found the same E680 for under $300 (new in box/shipped). I don't use my auto darkening hood very often. Prefer passive lenses for some reason. Still not sure why I even clicked buy now. It'll be here next week.


                        • #13
                          The e680 arrived. Lightweight. Comfortable headgear. Crystal clear when open. Typically my beef with autodarkening lenses in general is the shade. Shade 13 (in this hood) is NOT dark enough to safely weld dual shield for any long periods of time.
                          I wonder what tests these products go thru to accurately measure the shade of these units. Seems a standardized control would be beneficial for future welders (as this technology is rather new in comparison to passive lenses).
                          Any one have information about how manufacturers are proving the Shade value of their autodarkening hoods?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Electric4Life View Post
                            The e680 arrived. Lightweight. Comfortable headgear.
                            I don't see that model listed on the Optrel site, Amazon shows one but the price is $$$$. It sure looks like the e684 which I do have and like
                            West coast of Florida


                            • #15
                              Could be an obsolete model if it's not on the website and probably why it was a grand on Amazon lol