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  • Fixing to take the plunge and buy a new helmet

    am fixing to buy a new welding helmet. I have researched and researched. I just want a second or third opinion before I spend $$$$. I don't do alot of welding but I hope to do more in the future. I just have to find the time. But I want a really good helmet for safety. (also looks, but I told the wife safety and convenience)

    I am thinking about getting the Miller Big Window Elite Series helmet. I was wondering if it was worth the extra money or should I just get the XLix Series. Although I was thinking for another 45 dollars or so I might as well get the big lens. I am assuming that the Big Window is the top of the line. I know that this is a Miller site and there is some loyalty here which I respect. But is Miller the best helmet you can get for the money? Is it better then Speedglass or Jackson?

    Thanks,

    Tau44

  • #2
    Tau44,
    I have 2 Xlix's one I bought for the little Bulldog and the other I bought for myself. I like the helmet but I have gotten flashed with it a bunch of times. If your welding on a bench or something where your not covering the sensors the helmet works great. I have since bought the Big window Elite and I must say I would buy another one. I like the optics and I haven't gotten flashed once. 4 sensors vs 2. I think it's worth the money. I also have a couple big window Jacksons and I like the Miller better. The Jacksons are fixed shade versions. I know someone with a Speedglass will check in. I understand they are a great helmet as well. Good luck!
    Bulldog
    5 Passport Pluses
    2 MM 212's
    MM 210
    MM 251 MIA
    MM 350 P w/Python
    Syncrowave 250
    w/ tig runner
    Trailblazer 302
    12RC w/meters
    Spectrum 1000
    Spectrum 2050
    2 Black BWEs
    Joker BWE
    Star & stripe BWE Digital
    2 star & stripe xlix's

    REAL TRUCKS RATTLE
    CUMMINS BABY

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    • #3
      Bulldog

      Did you get a plain black one or did you get a design one? I was going to get black but for 26.00 more i can get the design one. also how long do you think a welding helmet would last? realistically..

      thanks for your earlier reply.

      Tau44

      Comment


      • #4
        The Xlix's are stars and strips and the Big Window is black. I don't know how long they will last. I hope forever... I also use a magnifier lens in both and the lens just slides in. This is a great feature.
        Bulldog
        5 Passport Pluses
        2 MM 212's
        MM 210
        MM 251 MIA
        MM 350 P w/Python
        Syncrowave 250
        w/ tig runner
        Trailblazer 302
        12RC w/meters
        Spectrum 1000
        Spectrum 2050
        2 Black BWEs
        Joker BWE
        Star & stripe BWE Digital
        2 star & stripe xlix's

        REAL TRUCKS RATTLE
        CUMMINS BABY

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, I just bought the Big Window Elite Stars and Stripe helmet. I hope that my wife doesn't kill me when she gets the credit card bill. I told her that i needed a new helmet. But i didn't tell her how much I was going to spend. But I think I will enjoy greatly.... I hope it comes before the weekend.

          THanks,

          Tau

          Comment


          • #6
            Well the Miller hood only has a 1 year warrenty VS the speedglas has a 3 year warrenty.Choice is yours.Miller makes an excelent hood but they have the shortest warrenty period.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a Jackson 3 in 1 helmet.had it forseveral years have had no trouble with it.also have several other jackson fixed shade helmets. Jackson helmets are just more comfortable to me.have tried some huntsman helmets.go to a welding supply store and try them on before you buy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Tough decision. I have a Miller Big Window Elite and an Optrel Satellite. Both are nice helmets. I do not own, but do like the new Speedglass hoods.

                Whatever the brand you get insist on 4 independant sensors to avoid getting flashed in critical applications such as tigging vertical cooling tubes. As you move your head welding around a tube another tube begins to block the arc and most helmets will lighten up thinking the actual welding arc is gone when it is not. Man that is hard on the eyes! Make sure the sensors respond well to GTAW. Some of the newer units are far superior for TIG welding than helmets a year or two old.

                Consider such things as the sensors (number and placement),location of controls (inside or out), battery solar or both, headgear (does it fit you well), and general comfort and feel while wearing. Also do you need a grind mode where the helmet can be turned off for grinding purposes? You have to be comfortable and safe. You only have one pair of eyes.

                I am sure this will draw some sparks, but I have to tell the truth from my personal experiences. I have owned 2 Jackson EQC auto-darkening helmets. I gave one away because it was junk and wanted to throw the other in the lake. I opted for the trash can since water pollution is unlawful.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have used a Big window rescently and I own a Speedglas 9000x{old version of the new scene** and I also own the MillerXLix. The Xlix and the older 9000x are closely matched in quality and operation. The Big Window is nice and it would be my choice of the three. The shell of the miller hoods is a bit more rigid than the Speedglas and I do stick my melon in tight places so the pliable hood has advantages also.

                  Go Big Window, I am certain you'll love it.

                  Hawk: Ditto-Ditto on the Jackson- If you gave it away you charged him too much!!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey, quit badmouthing my Jackson!!! I have had my Jackson Journyman EQC for over a year,Works great, My old boss gave it to me and he had it for almost 6-7 years,Worked great for him too. Guess he must of got lucky HUH?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When you asked about getting a neat design or a black one, I think it depends on the type of work you do. If I just sat at a tig table I think I would like a nice fancy helmet but since I burn more rods then tig and I work in areas where I tend to knock my head around alittle bit, my helmet has a few battle scars on it. Every realworld welder I know and have seen, have some fairly rough looking helmets. Just my observations.

                      Kelly

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have had the Optrel Satelite for a couple months now and love it. What a difference a good auto darkening helmet makes, no more flipping and no more strike marks where you don't want them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Tau44,

                          Well as I see from the posts that you've already bought a Big Window Elite, but I'll take a few minutes anyway to respond to this post. I haven't used an auto darkening hood until a few weeks ago and quite frankly I don't see how I've done without one for so long. I have a Big Window Elite and love it, to date all I've had a chance to do with it is MIG welding on both aluminum and steel. The nice thing about it is I can adjust the shades accordingly as I weld aluminum with one shade darker than I weld steel but then I also weld at higher voltages and amperages on aluminum.

                          We have a relatively dark shop but when the lighting is right I can do fitups with the hood down which saves a ton of nodding and time. I have had it lighten up while welding 3 or 4 times but that was when the arc was blocked by another object and I wasn't flashed. Prior to having the Big Window Elite I was doing my tacking without a helmet at all since my neck is messed up and can't really flip my old helmet down, it's nice to be able to fit and tack without having to worry about raising and flipping my helmet. It's a real neck saver to say the least. I'm in the process of trying to round up some TIG equipment for home and when I do I'm going to buy another Big Window Elite because this one is working so well.

                          Have fun with your new helmet
                          Blondie
                          Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

                          Colt the original point & click interface!

                          Millermatic 35 with spot panel
                          Miller 340A/BP
                          Victor O/A torches
                          Lincoln SP125
                          Too many other tools to list

                          03 Ram 1500
                          78 GS1000
                          82 GL1100 Interstate

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            wife will understand

                            if you stress the fact that safty realy is the isue here all you wasted was the $26.00 for the cool paint.(i did it too ) the fact is you invested in keeping your eys, not somthing you want to risk just to save a few $$$$$. trust me my $$$ is probly the tightest here and the BWE was not hard to justify (just the paint)
                            you will love the helmit and your eys will thank you
                            thanks for the help
                            ......or..........
                            hope i helped
                            sigpic
                            feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                            summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                            JAMES

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                            • #15
                              Migmaniac70:
                              Please take no offense I had a Jackson for my first auto hood and during my mig class it failed in the light shade and I missed 2 days of work with gravel in my eyes. My wife as you may know takes good care of me, asked how much a hood like my instructor had cost and I told her $300-- she said buy one!!! The Speedglas 9000x came home the next day and I still love it. Since then the BWE and a couple other high end hoods have added features but I don't think that they are enough difference for me to justify the cash. I am glad you have good luck with them, but I will not recomend what I don't believe in. In this context I believe you would feel the same way. No disrespect intended.

                              Peace,

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