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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Another cheap tool from HFT that works. If you have never had an auto darkening helmet, they are a treat to own. Sensitivity , amount of shading, and time duration to see through the filter after welding are all adjustable. I did own a really good one before that some thief made off with, so I know a little about them.

The good is of course the price and that the controls work. It is also very light in weight and that makes the thing more comfortable.

The bad is that it is paper thin, but that is not a durability issue because the thing is very flexible and not likely to crack. The unit is powered by the act of welding and the solar batteries do most of the work. However, it also relies on two coin cell batteries permanently soldered in that cannot be recharged, so in essence a throw away unit when those are depleted. "Expected' life of the batteries is five years, but who knows?

People have hacked repairs on them to make the batteries replaceable and that info is out there somewhere. I also like a nice clear shield, so I tape a sandwich bag over the plastic spatter shield and can see thru it in a perfect manner. Change it out every use and it stays like new

http://www.harborfreight.com/adjustable-shade-auto-darkening-welding-helmet-61611.html

I rate this one a BUY for the occasional user like me.
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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2,799 Posts
A farmer/customer of mine stopped by with this same helmet to see what I thought of it. Tried it out and it works great. For $35 it's a no-brainer. I've paid that much for regular non-auto darkening helmets.

First auto-darkening helmet I had was solar with sealed non-replaceable batteries. It went six years before giving up the ghost.

I agree with Slum... this is :thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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American Legion Rider
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23,543 Posts
I've had a cheap auto-darkening helmet for 15 years now. Best darn thing they ever came out with. But........I haven't had to repair anything in some time so I don't even know if it still works. If not I won't hesitate getting another from HF.
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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2,799 Posts
I hate to admit I paid almost $300 for a Miller Auto Darkening Helmet 4-5 years ago. :eek:

That said I use my helmet five days a week and some of those days almost all day long. The HF helmet likely wouldn't stand up to that kind of use.
 

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On The Road Again!
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I didn't buy the HF one because of the non-replaceable battery.
Instead I bought this one from Northern Tool. It costs a few bucks more, but it's worth it to me:
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200480403_200480403

It uses two AAA batteries. I remove the batteries from it when not using it. Works great.
Now if I could only learn how to make a decent weld....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think that i would agree with Offcenter. I did not know that such a helmet was available from northern at that price. My project is done and I just might return the HFT and order a Northern. FWIW, HFT sells other helmets with graphics and they charge as much as the Northern.

Thanks for the input.
 
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