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Welding helmet.......

Towpack

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Any recommendations for a good reasonably priced reactive welding helmet. Lots for sale on Ebay from around £15 but how good are they?
 

Shayne

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I like to read reviews of what your actually buying so screwfix and toolstation give me a benchmark of £35 . A no quibble returns policy makes selling rubbish pointless .
 

Chris

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Generally auto darkening helmets have a four point rating. The best you can get is a 1.1.1.1 and the worst a 3.3.3 .3 The numbers relate to things like optical clarity. There is a world of difference between the top and bottom screens. One of the most important things that you need when welding is to be able to see what you're doing! A cheap helmet is a false economy like most things. I bought an ESAB that was new old stock not long ago and it was £70. It's very good indeed.

Have a read here. Incidentally for those wondering just what I am doing with my self at the moment - I'm running a welding business......
1) Optical Class (1 / X / X / X)
This section could also be referred to as accuracy, as it rates the level of distortion the lens provides. As an example, looking through rippled water would provide a great deal of distortion, while a clear pane of glass would provide almost none. A rating of '1' would be earned if there is minimal distortion, resulting in a clear picture with crisp, accurate details.

2) Light Diffusion Class (X / 1 / X / x)
This section focuses on what many of us would see as the traditional definition of clarity: whether the image is blurry or not. While cheap glass will often feature impurities and cause extra light diffusion that will blur the image, quality glass will not, resulting in a better and clearer image. A '1' rating here would mean a clear and uniform image, with no blurring or extra light diffusion in certain areas.

3) Luminous Transmittance Variation Class (X / X / 1 / X)
This category is concerned with how consistently the lens' auto-darkening function works. The shade of your filter should darken uniformly across the surface of the lens, with no dark or light areas in comparison to the lens as a whole. A lens that is completely uniform with the same level of shade in all sections would garner a perfect score of '1'.

4) Luminous Transmittance Angle Dependence Class (X / X / X / 1)
The final spot in the EN 379 rating scale refers to the clarity of your filter when looking at an angle. A poor quality lens may distort the image you're looking at when you look down, up or to the side, making the image look dark, stretched, blurry or distorted. A perfect '1' quality lens would maintain a consistent shade and image quality, no matter what angle you're looking from.
 

Gary820

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I use a 3M speedglas, had it a few years now. Wasn't a cheap one at the time but works great.
 

Towpack

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Cheers guys, some useful info there. I'd prefereably like to but one over the counter instaed of mail order as returns are easier. There's a Screwfix and a Machine Mart near us and they have a selection with some good rviews so may well end up getting something locally.
 
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Chris

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Just make sure you can spare inner and outer lenses - easily. You can get through them easily and if the auto screen is a cheaper one, it will suffer far more from a pitted screen. If you go with a no-name helmet and they sell spares then get them now whilst they're available.
 

Towpack

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This is looking like the favourite. Spares available and gets good reviews and ratings according to the criteria listed by Chris. A bit more than I wanted to spend but what the hell!

Helmet
 

SteveJB

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Seally do a good range you can get over the counter from your local car and commercial vehicle parts specialist and other things to help with your welding
 

BobMurphy

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An old thread, I know - But - I bought a new Auto-darkening helmet back in June 2016 but didn't use it as my old SIP helmet was working fine, but starting to show its age. Recently I pensioned-off the SIP started using the new one. I wasn't very happy with it.

Its a Futuris FF650 with a sensor rating of 1:1:1:2, it has a solar panel AND a battery, a split range of 5-8 / 9-13 and a 'grind' function (i.e. its OFF !). It has 'Sensitivity' and 'Delay' dials inside and an external dial for 'on' and the filter range.

I bought it from my usual Welding Supplier (Northern Industrial Alloys) so it should have been good, the helmet plus some grinding disks was £78 -.

Today I was having a quiet time after a late lunch (went for the Covid Vaccine this morning) and decided to have a really good look at the helmet and re-read the instructions.

No clues in the instructions, everything set-up correctly so I removed the ADF screen in order to clean it both sides and also get to the inside of the outer shield.

I was putting the screen back in when I noticed a small wrinkle on the inner glass . . . . . .

Aaaaaggggh - its got a green plastic protective film over the glass :doh:. There is no mention of it in the instructions or on the box. I peeled it off and I CAN SEE :eusa-dance:.

OK, I'm an idiot - but I thought I'd mention it in case anyone else is caught out.

Bob.
 
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