When it’s a person’s first time to buy a product, the usual first line of action would be to ask. One would go to friends and ask if they had tried a certain product and if it really lives up to it’s advertisement. I think second would be to find a second product to compare the first product to. Through this, the person feels like he or she has exhausted all the possible choices. You see, when a person buys something, he or she doesn’t want to regret it. A perfectly reasonable train of thought since the money you will be spending is something that you have worked hard for. Of course you want to make sure that the product will be worth it.
I think most online shops have reviews but if you want to read a lot from those who have already brought it. I think Amazon is a great source for reviews. I chose a couple of Auto Darkening Welding Helmets and some reviews about them. I like reading reviews about products because it somehow give me an idea if the product really works. Let’s start with:
1.) 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100
Amazon sells it for 452.95 US dollars and it comes with free shipping. The features of this product:
– Helmet is able to give additional protection from UV rays and Infrared radiation
– Gives a better optical quality to the worker with a precise view of the work area
– It’s very comfortable to wear because of the presence of foams around the neck area
– Has an auto darkening filter that goes from light to a dark shade in approximately .1 milliseconds after a welding arc is detected by it’s built-in sensors
– weighs: 2.09 pounds
Here’s a costumer review about it:
I was in the air between the XXL and the XL- just over battery life mostly, ended up going for the XXL and so happy I did, the side views make this helmet ideal for confined space, you can see the guy next to you while you’re welding, and have just enough light coming in so you don’t have to lift the hood. The hood fits really good with the Miller LPR-100 respirator, and just barely fits the 3M half mask respirator with the organic cartridges- kind of squeezes the cheeks a little, but keeps the helmet at a good angle for overhead. All the parts are replaceable too, which is my last point, the front grey cover gets burned up pretty quick, and with the large lense you get a lot of use out of it before you have to change clear lenses.
2.) RHINO Large VIew + Grind Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Unlike the first one, Amazon sells this at only 99.88 USD and it comes with a free shipping. Does a cheaper price mean a cheaper quality? Not necessarily. This welding helmet has a superior carbon design and an over 10 square inches of welding vision. The features of this product are:
– Light and/or dark shades of shade # 4 and grind mode / Shades # 9 – 13
– Reaction time: 1/25000 millisecond
– Has a low battery indicator
– Power sources of 2 replaceable CR2032 batteries and a solar panel
– Headgear: Ratchet style with headband
Here’s a costumer review about it:
I bought this because I was tired of using fixed shade welding helmets. It was definitely a great buy. I like the large viewing window a lot because you have lots of different angles that you can see with it. I have read a lot of reviews that say these masks are flimsy and they do feel flimsy but it can take a beating. I have hit a lot of things while wearing this and apart from some scratches it is perfectly fine. I have used a $270 auto dark and I say save your money and buy one of these.
3.) Jackson Safety BH3 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet With Balder Technology
This one is a little pricey but it has great reviews about it. It is being sold on Amazon for 300.86 USD but just like the other two, this comes with free shipping. I think any product that’s being sold above 35 USD is offered with free shipping. Anyway, the features of this product are:
– Weight: 2.75 pounds
– Claims to have the best EN379 ratings (1/1/1/1) for the best optical clarity, diffusion of light, variation of luminous transmittance, and angular dependence.
– It is lightweight, high density plastic shell that protects the wearer’s head, neck, forehead, and ears from sparks and splatters.
– has a variable shade of 9 to 13 to shield and protect the eyes from radiant energy during welding.
Here’s the most helpful review about it:
I figured I’d choose the best review since you’d probably want to know if this product is really worth that price.
At first I thought the helmet was DOA, because I couldn’t get it to turn dark while holding it up to the sun. After calling Kimberly Clark, they told me that it’s wave-length specific, so it won’t go dark with the sun, but it will with a welding arc (also does go dark with a regular light bulb, so that’s how you should test it, with a light bulb). Which is pretty neat if you ask me. No more having the helmet go dark when a bright glint of the sun hits the metal when welding outside.
I’ve used it for a few hours tonight, MIG, TIG and flux core. It works great. I don’t know how, but I really do seem to see quite a bit more than with my old helmet, both in light and in dark mode (old helmet is a run-of-the-mill cheap auto-darken helmet). I find myself flipping up the helmet alot less, and while in dark mode I can clearly see the joint ahead of my weld, as well as the puddle itself at the same time. And the head band is very comfortable, works flawlessly (easy to nod the helmet to come down) and it adjust easily. I could wear this all day.
The one thing that I don’t like about the helmet, is that there isn’t a TEST button, or even an on button. You just have to trust that it’s going to go dark when it needs to, even after sitting for a long time. I’ve gotten so used to hitting the test button on my old helmet, just to make sure that it’s actually working after sitting for a few days. I like the peace of mind of a test button, or at least an on switch. But, if this thing is reliable as it’s supposed to be, then I guess there’s nothing to worry about. So far, no problems.
In short, it’s comfortable, very easy to see ( both in light, and dark mode), it works very well and is adjusted very easily. As a weekend garage warrior, it is a bit more $ than I wanted to spend on a helmet, but as nice of a helmet as it is and as well as it seems to work, I think I can probably live with the cost.
Another thing I like about checking the reviews on Amazon is that under a person’s name you will be able to see there “Verified Purchase” so you know that these people who are leaving reviews for a certain product are not pulling your leg. These reviews are legit. And with the product description alone, it’s a bit hard to be convinced that this is the product that you should be buying so the reviews, especially the detailed ones, are helpful indeed.
Happy Shopping! Oh, yeah, don’t forget to share this article with your friends.