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Full Version: Are auto darkening lenses worth it ?
Welding Forum > UKWelder > Practical Welding Questions
Hey all,

Are these auto darkening welding visors any good been pondering bout the idea of getting one whats the best type solar, or the ones that use batteries. and are they worth the extra cash compared to the standard hats out there biggrin.gif
Wish we had a pound for everytime this question has been asked !

The answer is that it is really down to personal preference, your work environment and your pocket.

If you are working on your own then an auto lens is great, but if you work with lots of other
welders around you the auto lens can be triggered by other welders striking up, plus more
chance of your helmet being damaged or stolen.

If you find that at the moment you can get away with just one lens shade for all your work, then
the Fixed Shade Auto Lens will be a better bet than the more expensive Variable Shade Auto Lens.
But if you are constantly needing to change your lens shade, then go for the Variable Shade.

There is very little difference in performance between battery powered and solar, so this is a minor
consideration when making your choice.

Auto lenses are great when you first learn to weld as you don't need to keep lifting up the lid
to see your work. But as welders get more experienced the majority to seem to prefer
the traditional non auto helmet. Much cheaper and much more robust.

Finally with helmets you get what you pay for. We sell over a dozen helmets here at UKWelder,
but we only offer helmets from the top European and US manufacturers. We could make
more money selling cheap Chinese imports, but we don't with good reason.

Click below to view our helmets. Even if you don't buy from us, these are all good helmets.

They definitely are a big help, especially when you have to place a weld very accurately , I managed without on for a year or so but as soon as I tried one I was hooked. I have seen some of the cheap as chips versions and they are soooo flimsy, sure they work but how long until they fall to pieces, bear in mind that they are being used in a fairly tough environment.

remember we are dealing with eyes here

suggest you ask what standard the lens is conforms to and ask your supplier to give you written proof

You will only get one set of eyes so what seem to be a cheap helmet may in the long term prove a costly mistake.

Tread carefully my friend and buyer beware
get the best one you can afford, in my opinion speedglass are the best and can be purchased at a very reasonalable price from U.K. Welder. lol laugh.gif
bought a optrel satalitte ose rrp 235 in local weling supply shop got it off ( no advertising allowed ) 120 BARGIN biggrin.gif it has a variable shade adjustment (4-9) and (9-13) din.

but its a pain in the bottom to set right due to all the fancy switches and buttons its probably because its new and need to get used to it but i'd say speedglass is the better manufactor there helmets are comftable and light.
QUOTE(sheff @ Sep 21 2007, 06:58 PM) [snapback]43759[/snapback]

get the best one you can afford, in my opinion speedglass are the best and can be purchased at a very reasonalable price from U.K. Welder. lol laugh.gif

If I were you the Speedglass would be my choice ( now owned by 3M ) total back up.. and the replaceable battery one is the one for me...

I agree speedglass are top quality even better with gold lenses
the problem i found with a speed glass is that if you are doing any positional welding with them any obsticals that are in the way can block the reacter part of the lens causing it to go clear.
but standing at a bench they are good welding screen.
Thanks for everyone's input, but with respect EuanBoy is asking if they are worth it,
not which one to buy.

i used the flip up combo screen for years just bought auto screen as work in confined spaces best thing i ever bought go for a good priced one m8
they are not worth it
QUOTE(webbo @ Sep 23 2007, 06:08 PM) [snapback]43851[/snapback]

they are not worth it

yes they are angry.gif
thanks all for the imput have seen alot of cheap ones on the go but think ile wait to get a decent one
of course they are worth it its just horses for courses and there is old timers on here who will say time and time again that they wouldnt use anything other than a standard bucket
and i will say time and time again if you can afford to buy a reactor light then go for it just try em and see
ow no they arnt
I suppose I am an "old timer" at 49 but I wouldn't swap my auto darkening shade for a standard mask any day. In tight spaces you can keep the lid down and still be able to see the job, sometimes there just isn't the space to lift the lid. Tig work, especially delicate or decorative stuff where your hands need to stay steady is made so much easier with an auto lens when striking the arc.

Definately WORTH IT, buy one from UKW now!!!!!

Regards, Jeff.
oh yes they are

buy 1 now or be doomed forever
I have a speedglass and it is a handy bit of kit to own . But saying that i hardly have any use for it and i do use my "bucket" still . I agree that they can help , especially tig welding . But nodding your head and getting the bucket to swing down and not losing where your hands are is an art . Which comes with practice , practice and practice . Automation is all around and getting used to it is not a bad thing .
Very rarely have i seen a welder using one on contract jobs , but i have not worked in the past 5 years so maybe things are changing . Still damned expensive though .
The Speedglas 9002 X is the unsure.gif best bit of kit you can get and if you get the old analague type there much better than the new ones.
we used speedglas, now M3 I think and changed them because of the expence. We use nedderman / ESAB now and there problematic. Stick to the better quality and keep your garentee slip handy
Personally,I think that they are worth it, mainly optimum use is bench/production welding where your not going to get the helmet activated by other arcs within your area.

Note on the battery vs solar debate, they are both ultimately battery operated, the conventional battery ones, such as speedglas etc, have 2 batteries which can be changed in the filter lens, where as solar powered ones, still utilise a battery but the solar power collected from the Arc light, is used to re-charge this battery. The downside is, if this connection from the solar sensors to the battery become damged, the lens is scrap. My advice, stick with changable battery types.
nigel 42
not so great for overhead welding
weneye wereont rigs
Whats wrong with a good old handshade ,

thats right get your head out of the bucket and use some talent and try welding with one hand and stop worrying if your wearing the latest trendy shade

i use a speedglas 9000 with the v lens in it and i can honestly say it's the best cash i've ever spent (on something for work ) and when you team it up with the adflo system it's the berries. only thing with the adflo is that it can kind of restrict the size of hole you can squeeze yourself into (fnarr, fnarr) but in general i use it any where i would have used a normal screen and it's never let me down yet. just don't leave them lying around and look after them. c&c
Hi folks new to this forum
yes i think that they are worth it especially if you have to work fast

As to all the recomendations for speed glas I've tried them (my previous employer had them) and couldn't get on with them, the cradle is to flimsy for my liking and you can't adjust it fore and aft

I use an Optrel solarmatic comfort btw and it has never failed me (touch wood)

as for the hand shields there fine for some folks, but i tend to put them down and two minutes later "where the (insert your own expletive) have i put that?

great for fabrication but i still use the bucket for weldin
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