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What kind of welding helmet do you use, & are you happy with it?

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  • #16
    Calweld,
    I use my BWE all the time in the field. I weld on truck and trailer frames all the time. It's great to put your lid down and still to be able to see when your crawling up through a truck frame under a broken 5th wheel frame. As far as grinding goes my BWE doesn't have a grind position. It is possible to weld and grind with the helmet. What ya need to do is turn the sensativity down so the sparks from the grinder doesn't activate the helmet, also set your delay to 0 so if the helmet does darken it won't stay dark. Now to be hone iisst it will darken now and then but is it no big deal. It beats not having an auto darking helmet.
    Bulldog
    5 Passport Pluses
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    2 Black BWEs
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    • #17
      The cover plates are for sure more expensive. I cant remember what I paid for a 3 pack but you could get a gaggle of the standard ones for the same money. The Optrell has the controlls on the outside whitch is nice but I usually take it off and wear regular safety gasses when I grind any way.
      The Optrell has a grind mode.
      To all who contribute to this board.
      My sincere thanks , Pete.

      Pureox OA
      Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
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      • #18
        I too have 2 "old fashion" flip ups with 2x4 lens. I agree with calweld about the abuse they take in the shop & also the field. I always thought (just my opinion) that the A/D helmets might not hold up to getting dropped & banged around. Anyone else use & abuse them? I wouldn't want to have to replace one at that price because it got knocked off of a piece of equipment I'm working on. I also wondered about the non-replacable batteries. What happens if they stop working? I could justify one if I constantly was doing repetitive work sitting/standing at a table but as for now I don't mind flipping it up/down as needed. The smaller lens opening doesn't bother me either.---MMW---
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        RCCS-14

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        • #19
          hornell speedglas utility, two thumbs up. My back-up helmet is a Selstrom 2x4 with gold lense, which also works great.
          hre

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          • #20
            I use the Jackson NextGen. I love it.

            Calweld- I run a portable welding rig almost everyday, the NextGen has held up really well. The outside coverplate is a standard, but the in side is made to fit. They cost about $2.00 each. You can set the sensitivity, but there is also a setting for grinding (shade 3) for cutting (shade 5).
            sigpic
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            • #21
              didnt have time to read all the post as the wife is calling so ill just give my $.02 and go.
              i hve the BWE have used it inside and out with flux core and c-25 MIG and plasma cutting. love it will get another without a dought if i ever lose or destry this one.
              like Paul Seaman posted the top hoods in his order it is all personal preferance once you get up into that level of hood, and i highly recomend you be at that level, my foolish father has 2 of the HF cheepos and dosent like auto hoods cuzz he keeps getting flashed. ithink you can see the point here right. FWIW i have never been flashed, love the 4 sensers and the huge viewing window. helmit is way lighter tan my first standerd dark hood.
              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]
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              • #22
                Originally posted by mmw
                I too have 2 "old fashion" flip ups with 2x4 lens. I agree with calweld about the abuse they take in the shop & also the field. I always thought (just my opinion) that the A/D helmets might not hold up to getting dropped & banged around. Anyone else use & abuse them? I wouldn't want to have to replace one at that price because it got knocked off of a piece of equipment I'm working on. I also wondered about the non-replacable batteries. What happens if they stop working? I could justify one if I constantly was doing repetitive work sitting/standing at a table but as for now I don't mind flipping it up/down as needed. The smaller lens opening doesn't bother me either.---MMW---
                one day i was working on a piece of equipment and we had a 3/4" rod welded to it wich overhung the workpiece by probably 8 feet. there was a piece of tube steel resting on it so when finishing up the job i was cleaning up a bit i reached over and pushed the piece of tube off of the rod (not thinking that the rod would spring up......DUH) the rod shot up hitting my Optrel hood sending it 8 mabey 10 feet into the air then crashing down to the cement floor. i thought to myself well i just wrecked a $250 hood but at least i don't have thousands in dental bills. i then picked up the hood put it on and looked up at the shop lights and it worked!! i was glad the rod wasen't a few inches lower it would have hit me in the eyes, nose or teeth!! OUCH. so AD's are more durable than you think! and not to mention all the 2 foot drops off of the top of the welder, bench or tool box. and the non replaceable batteries i have had my Optrel for 5 yrs now in heavy use (mabey abuse) with no problems at all.
                The one that dies with the most tools wins

                If it's worth having, it's worth working for

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                • #23
                  First off I am definately a "big window" person, so I personally dont even look at any of the smaller units. I have had a snap on/blue point hood that I used for a long time without problems, loved it variable shade, great battery life, standard aaa battery. Then I bought a dynasty 200dx, and thats when the trouble started, the tig arc was so smooth, I kept getting flashed with it. The auto darkening filter would shut off as I was welding, as these hoods usually rely on 60hz flicker to activate, thats why when you look at shop lights they go dark. I also borrowed my friends miller a/d helmet at the time (this was before the big window 4 sensor elite version), and I had the same problem. I then went to hornell (speedglas) and have nothing but great things to say about their helmet, just make sure you dont get stuck with dead batteries, you probably wont have spares in the shop. My friend also has an optrel which he likes, I have never tried it, personally I am now a speedglas user, and couldnt be happier.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by trevwelder
                    I use the Jackson NextGen. I love it.

                    Calweld- I run a portable welding rig almost everyday, the NextGen has held up really well. The outside coverplate is a standard, but the in side is made to fit. They cost about $2.00 each. You can set the sensitivity, but there is also a setting for grinding (shade 3) for cutting (shade 5).
                    If you lower the sensitivity can you grind at the "weld" setting without darkening the lens?

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                    • #25
                      Calweld,
                      My speedglas lives in a truck. It sees a lot of dirt, falls, rain, snow,and the occasional toss. I haven't had it hiccup at all. I carried my old flipfront Jackson for a year before I decided that the AD lid would be dependable. I get clear lenses for $1.50 OR 2.00.
                      Jeff
                      Attached Files
                      Jeff

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                      • #26
                        Hey JHall,
                        That pic looks like a place where I've spent alot of quality time . Is that an agg hopper?
                        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


                        • #27
                          No, it's under the jaw of a Cedarapids rock crusher.
                          Jeff
                          Jeff

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                          • #28
                            Ok cool,
                            I've worked on them too.
                            Thanks,
                            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


                            • #29
                              Miller BWE Click image for larger version

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                              Attached Files
                              Passport
                              Cricket XL
                              BWE Roadster
                              Miller is my Friend.
                              Hypertherm PowerMax 30:D

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by alha
                                I've heard/read a number of good things about auto-darkening helmets. They sound like they are the bomb diggity, but aren't cheap. Are they really the way to go, and if so, who makes the "best" one? If I am going to be spending that much on one, I want to get the best one available, as the cost between the lower priced ones and the top isn't that great. Any thoughts/suggestions/opinions are appreciated.
                                I think it's already been covered, but you asked so I'll tell you my progression.
                                I started with a Jackson standard 2 X 4 still have it & use it some. Got a Harbor Freight A/D helmet & was in love! Auto dark is the way to go!!! After the batteries leaked & ruined it, I bought a Miller BWE, it's a good helmet, lightweight & comfortable, but it's the only Miller product I've ever been disappointed with! I HATE the auto-off!!! It's easy to see through, & after a defective A/D module was replaced, I've never been flashed with it. It just doesn't work good for me. I bought an Optrel & it's great! the grind button is outside & easy to find, even with gloves, the wide range of shades is great, I use the Optrel for everything! Grinding, plasma cutting, MIG, TIG & stick. If you can , try several brands before you buy so you get one that "works" for you. I'm not trying to put the BWE down, it's a good helmet, & I love the graphics (Stars -n- Stripes) it just doesn't work for me.
                                Syncrowave 180 SD
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                                Cya Frank

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