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FridgeFreezer

Cheap-ish welding helmet recommendations?

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There's plans afoot to teach my better half how to weld :ph34r:, but currently I only have my Speedglas helmet and I'm not keen to invest quite that much in a backup / spare which may or may not see very much use.

I don't trust the £15 Chinese eBlag ones, and someone on here recently had a Screwfix one (I think) go bad... so any suggestions in the mid-price reasonable-quality sort of zone?

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I have an eBay special big view one. Had it about five years and seen regular use. It was about £80 if you can bring yourself to trust it I think it’s a reasonable trade off between usability and price. It also looks like a blue skull so I can weld more better with it.

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R-tech welding have some cheaper ones. Their machines have good reputations (I have 2), so I'd be inclined to trust their helmets.

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Machine mart do some for £50 ish don’t know how good they are but there welding machines are reasonable.

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Ideally 4 sensor screens that will switch at low amps will work best on vehicle repairs or thin low power bench work .  Have a look on www.wirs.co.uk  they are the most competitively priced on industrial spec stuff ~ I have a Miller Elite , they do have cheaper units

cheers

Steve b

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I bought one of these recently, reckon it works very well used it when my footwell was welded in a few weeks ago. the guy who did the welding used the same helmet, 

https://www.wellyweld.com/products/BritArc-3037-Variable-Welding-Headshield-72563.aspx

 

the place I bought mine from has a shop in Fareham  https://www.wellyweld.com/depots/fareham.aspx

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On 12/29/2018 at 7:59 PM, mickeyw said:

R-tech welding have some cheaper ones. Their machines have good reputations (I have 2), so I'd be inclined to trust their helmets.

My R-Tech helmet is excellent, particularly for the £80 £65 price tag. 

Edit: pretty sure it's one of these:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F172406601716

Edited by lo-fi

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Avoid the parweld 4 sensor, mine has been swapped out twice for failing sensors under warranty...so unreliable it only does grinding duty. 

Will your budget stretch to the cheaper Speedglas? I still use my first speedglas 100 for MIG, 13yrs and still works great.

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2 hours ago, HoSS said:

Fixed lens, just no. PITA. 

Absolutely!

I paid £60 for a small-window version a few years back, still works perfectly fine now.

I would go to a bigger window if buying one now, when in awkward spots it can make a big difference to visibility.

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16 hours ago, Red90 said:

Just get a fixed lens helmet.  They always work.

Fixed lense is literally the last thing you want when learning!!

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33 minutes ago, landroversforever said:

Fixed lense is literally the last thing you want when learning!!

Meh.  I don't think it makes much difference really.  Auto lens are handy when you are in a difficult spot that makes lowering the helmet hard.  When learning, you will be in a really easy position and lowering the helmet is simple.

I'm also assuming he is teaching MIG and there is little use for auto darkening as you are not moving during a start.

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Still gives you two hands free.

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You don't use your hands to lower a welding helmet.....

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I do. I suspect others do too. I've had too many tweaked ears or pulled hairs, or displaced hearing aids to let it do it automatically.

With a smaller viewing panel, the resting position is more important as well, so by hand it is. Of course you only need to lift it when you finish welding, not each time you pause or move the torch to a new spot.

It may not be what you do, but clearly you are more accomplished than I am.

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My original one died and needed a replacement fast so cue Amazon Prime and sourced a Tacklife PAH03D for £60 and I've been genuinely very very impressed with it. Use it for both TIG and MIG and grinding. Came with a bunch of spare parts, case and has replaceable batteries which I wouldn't normally expect on something this price.

I've never experienced an expensive helmet but a friend who has and compared this very favourably, particularly even before you considered the price point.

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On 12/31/2018 at 3:21 AM, Red90 said:

Just get a fixed lens helmet.  They always work.

I have one, it cost me £3 and it's worth every penny. There's a reason the world uses auto ones now and there's a reason I spent as much on my Speedglas helmet as my MIG - it's because it makes the whole job so much nicer in so many ways. You can work faster, see more clearly, be more accurate, work in confined spaces, and easily spot when you're on fire :SVAgoaway:

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On 12/31/2018 at 8:10 PM, Red90 said:

Meh.  I don't think it makes much difference really.  Auto lens are handy when you are in a difficult spot that makes lowering the helmet hard.  When learning, you will be in a really easy position and lowering the helmet is simple.

I'm also assuming he is teaching MIG and there is little use for auto darkening as you are not moving during a start.

Because it's a whole lot easier. Even with MIG there's a chance you'll waggle around and not see until you've got an arc.... by which point the weld is nowhere near where you wanted it. And as a beginner there's even more chance, even if you can rest the torch while you're welding.

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On 12/31/2018 at 7:32 PM, landroversforever said:

Fixed lense is literally the last thing you want when learning!!

I have to disagree Ross.
When I learned to weld that was all there was, and I can't say it was a problem. Mastering the helmet nod was just part of learning to TIG.

Fix lenses ain't so bad really. Sometimes I still use mine when MIGing under a car as it can help with access. We are very spoiled today.

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3 hours ago, landroversforever said:

Because it's a whole lot easier. Even with MIG there's a chance you'll waggle around and not see until you've got an arc.... by which point the weld is nowhere near where you wanted it. And as a beginner there's even more chance, even if you can rest the torch while you're welding.

We will just need to disagree.  I've worked in the the welding fabrication business for 30 years. I have worked with hundreds of welders all over the world.  I've seen dozens of people learn to weld.

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I can't use a fixed helmet because of where I live.

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look at r-tech kit.

just spent a bit of time on their website myself.

used rtech stuff befer and have no issues with it. always wise to stump up for a couple of spare lense covers.

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48 minutes ago, FridgeFreezer said:

I can't use a fixed helmet because of where I live.

Where, civilisation?

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30 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

Where, civilisation?

I was going to say "2019" but yes, you guessed it! :SVAgoaway:

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