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  1. Default TIG helmet recommendations

    Just starting TIG welding and I need a good auto-darkening helmet for fine work. It has to fit my large head and a respirator mask and darken at very low TIG amperage.

    Weight may not be a big issue as I don't plan on any long days of welding.

    I keep coming back to the Lincoln Viking 3350 4C with its $50 rebate. it has good low amperage sensitivity, but the Miller X-mode sounds interesting too.

    I haven't tried them on yet, but the Millers sound like maybe a smaller fit and might have enough comfort space for. The Lincoln seems like one of the larger ones.

    I am open to looking at others.

  2. Default

    I did some digging around as well and gave the Vulcan ArcSafe (Harbor Freight $150) a shot. It actually fits over my glasses, safety glasses, miller respirator and was light and pretty comfortable and you can put in your own batteries. I'm no pro and don't spend tons of time under it but visibility is great, and it came with a bunch of replacement lens covers and works great in both weld/grind modes. I couldn't justify spending any more and if I had timed it right, I could have used a coupon (not all of them work). I've only had it down to 35 amps however, and you may be talking more like 5 so I can't speak to that. My dome is medium sized. I think I read that this was based on a Lincoln helmet and after looking at the image they look very similar. Good luck

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny55 View Post
    I did some digging around as well and gave the Vulcan ArcSafe (Harbor Freight $150) a shot. It actually fits over my glasses, safety glasses, miller respirator and was light and pretty comfortable and you can put in your own batteries. I'm no pro and don't spend tons of time under it but visibility is great, and it came with a bunch of replacement lens covers and works great in both weld/grind modes. I couldn't justify spending any more and if I had timed it right, I could have used a coupon (not all of them work). I've only had it down to 35 amps however, and you may be talking more like 5 so I can't speak to that. My dome is medium sized. I think I read that this was based on a Lincoln helmet and after looking at the image they look very similar. Good luck
    Thanks, I like the manual for it that just downloaded.

    The minimum TIG amperage rating is 10 amps.

    That's not bad, but I plan are doing some really fine steel welding and I have seen some helmets TIG rated down to 5 amps (or some say less than 5 amps).

    The mid-range Miller and Lincoln helmets aren't much more with a coupon or a rebate.

    I think most all of them are made in China, so HF ones could be close in quality if they wanted to be.

    I didn't think to download a helmet manual before I saw the download at the HF website.

    i'm going to see if I can download more helmet manuals to compare.

    I might end up with the Vulcan after I figure out the 20% coupon price and such though.

    I'm not against buying from HF, I'm just looking maybe a lower TIG amperage rating.

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    I will need reading glasses or a cheater lens in the helmet too.

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    I may try a fixed shade helmet to start with.

    I wasn't sure how suitable they might be for TIG welding, but for the power I'm using, it was recommended to me to try 10 or 11 shade in an auto-darkening helmet and I noticed that those two shades seem to be the most common for fixed shade helmets.

    When i start serious building I'll likely switch to an auto-darkening helmet so I can better see what i am doing, but for early practice, a fixed shade might be alright.

  6. Default

    Gee,

    For a fixed-shade, while TIG brazing, I'd step down to a 9, as you'll be doing lower amperage with no base metal dilution.

    Otherwise, the latest variable-shade, auto-darkening lids from Optrel and ArcOne are what I'd recommend. I have an ArcOne IDF81 that I like well, even though its included headgear has the stops only on one side (which made it pretty faulty), so I modified/changed it out to a common Jackson 370 headgear that I like better than any other headgear, and the mod only costs about $15.
    Everlast 210 EXT (2015)

    www.youtube.com/newjerusalemtimes

  7. Default

    I see the Lincoln Viking 2450 is TIG sensitive down to 2 amps DC. It has 4 sensors. It's around $200 and there is a $50 rebate, "this month". The, "digital" version is another $40, but i don't know what that is. Maybe the controls? I'll see if the local store has one I can try on.

  8. Default

    I did finally find a TIG power sensitivity for that Jackson helmet and it was a low number and that one sale price does look like a good deal for it. The one common complaint about it is about the tension adjustments for holding the helmet rotated up. In the field I can see where removing and setting down the helmet might be difficult, but in my shop, I can lift the helmet off when I want.

  9. Default

    I noticed the low current TIG sensitivity, the mid-range Millers are rated at 5 amps while the mid-range Lincolns are rated for lower current, but Miller does have the X-Mode. For lower current sensitivity from Miller requires the top line models. Lincoln has an economy model rated to 5 amps TIG current. It is on sale for even less now and gets good reviews. I might get it until I figure out what I need and what I don't need, just get used to wearing a helmet and if it gets scratched up or broken, no big loss. I am really looking for something good down to 3 amps though and the Miller X-Mode is interesting.

  10. #10

    Default

    Personally,
    I think some brands get bigger kudos because of their Spaceman helmet look or some cool whizbang design or graphics.

    If you want top technology and good, excellent clarity with some very high quality workmanship, take a look at Jackson. I personally have and recommend that product.
    The helmets are not the coolest. Rather they are old school still in much of their designs. But retro is in these days, so consider it like Columbus rediscovering America and take credit for it when you find out why the old timers preferred the older designs. Any good welder can rock any design in helmet. But the lens is where the key is for me.

    Mine is no longer made, which was the Jackson Executive EQC. It is available in some places it appears. But excellent. Would work with TIG.

    But here is one that is the most excellent replacement, and probably the one I'll go with when mine dies. Also the Moresafe (original company that designed this look that Jackson bought) design is very functional.
    https://www.bakersgas.com/NAS138-461...CABEgILvPD_BwE


    Oh, and the most important thing is that the cover lens are available everywhere, and are cheap. Very cheap. No special size or fit, and standard for all Jackson helmets. Their new head gear is comfortable and functional as well. Clarity and Optical ratings are the highest in the industry. 1/1/1/1

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by performance View Post
    But here is one that is the most excellent replacement, and probably the one I'll go with when mine dies. Also the Moresafe (original company that designed this look that Jackson bought) design is very functional. https://www.bakersgas.com/NAS138-46118.html
    I might just have to go with this Jackson Welding Helmet Stars & Scars with the TrueSight II Lens
    $272.25

    I am hoping it will also help keep some of the sun out, when working outside.
    Last edited by mbmalone; 07-04-2019 at 11:18 PM.

  12. Cool Miller XMODE

    Quote Originally Posted by BikeShop View Post
    I noticed the low current TIG sensitivity, the mid-range Millers are rated at 5 amps while the mid-range Lincolns are rated for lower current, but Miller does have the X-Mode. For lower current sensitivity from Miller requires the top line models. Lincoln has an economy model rated to 5 amps TIG current. It is on sale for even less now and gets good reviews. I might get it until I figure out what I need and what I don't need, just get used to wearing a helmet and if it gets scratched up or broken, no big loss. I am really looking for something good down to 3 amps though and the Miller X-Mode is interesting.
    I have the digital elite.
    Powertig 250ex.
    Down to 5 amps works perfect but.
    I only use x mode it triggers from the high freq.
    So it seems the Elite does not care if there are any amps at all it triggers.
    Less than $200 eBay.
    I like everything about it.
    IMO.

  13. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ynotweld View Post
    I have the digital elite.
    Powertig 250ex.
    Down to 5 amps works perfect but.
    I only use x mode it triggers from the high freq.
    So it seems the Elite does not care if there are any amps at all it triggers.
    Less than $200 eBay.
    I like everything about it.
    IMO.
    Great. So I take it the X-Mode works whenever the power begins an arc?

    Some things I plan to do are really small.

    I was thinking to get a number 9 torch, but I might get the mini-size below that.

    I've seen a few helmets that claim sensitivity below 5 amps, but that Miller X-Mode sounds like it might be a good choice for low power.

  14. Default

    I've looked at the Jackson reviews and it seems they might not a great fit for my large head. Larger people seem to like the Lincoln helmets. I do wear reading glasses when I work now and they are 3 or 3.5. I see some people combine reading glasses with low cheater lenses, but I was thinking I might be alright with a high cheater lens and just some safety glasses. I might rethink that try wearing some reading glasses. I'm still considering all brands of helmets right now.

  15. #15

    Default

    They are a good fit. I am 6'2" and 300 lbs. I have a pretty good sized melon with a decent length carrot attached. These have cheater lens built in capability or ones already built in. I've tried on others and had tight fits. Especially Arc One. But I've always had excellent head room and clearance.

  16. Default

    I'm still leaning towards a Lincoln 3350, even though it is bit heavy. I don't quite understand all of the inside and outside lens covers. Are they just to protect the lens or do they alter the lens somehow? on the cheap end of low TIG power rating, this low cost auto darkening Lincoln is rated to 5 amps TIG and goes down to a 7 shade.

    https://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-u...ncolnElectric)

    https://www.amazon.com/Lincoln-Elect.../dp/B07BKJDZ2M

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lincoln-...19-1/305058210

    Only 2 sensors, but if they are both working, that should be alright for most shop work.
    Last edited by BikeShop; 07-04-2019 at 03:37 AM.

  17. #17

    Default

    I've read lots of issues with the Lincoln, and they have changed models several times. The cheaper ones are pretty much junk and as good as a cheap harbor freight unit. A lot of issues with inverter welders. They work ok for transformers but not so well for inverters. The jacksons have been around a while and are stable and are US made for the most of them. These cheap lincolns are not very clear on clarity and quality. There should be a number rating system. And no one is publishing it. That means junk.

    The lens cover is 100% a must. It prevents the shade from getting damaged by sparks, spatter, and molten drops of metal, also from impacts and scratches. These you should change nearly every day if you do it right. 60 to 80 cents a piece is much better than 10 bucks a pop of some brands.

  18. Default

    I haven't seen too much negative about the Lincoln helmets. I doubt i'd go with a cheap one. I like the idea of the Miller X-Mode but their helmets seem to have short lives. That one low cost Lincoln stood out to me as most of the cheap helmets have higher minimum TIG amperage ratings. I'll take a closer look at the Jacksons. The Optrel helmets are some I want to consider too. If the outside lens covers are for protection, I take it that the inside lens covers are an easy way to keep dust and dirt off of the lens without having to wipe it down. I wasn't sure if they had any other purpose other than to protect the lens.

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