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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Dardanup W.A.
    Age
    67
    Posts
    41

    Default Auto darkening helmet

    I was just about to buy the Cigweld Weldskill, then saw that the battery is not replaceable, so no good for me.

    Being an occasional user, I need replaceable batteries, but I don't need any more than a basic unit like the cigweld. ($79 at Toolmart)

    Any recommendations for a suitable unit, up to $100 would be appreciated.
    Thanks )

  2. #2
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    4,434

    Default

    Equally important to battery replacement is viewing area and number of sensors.

    The $79 Toolmart helmet has a 100 x 67 mm viewing area which is acceptable.
    More area the better and even going to a 100 x 90 mm makes big difference and of course costs more

    A second KPI is more sensors will improve the helmet flash trigger. If the sensors are hidden by the work they may not trigger the lens
    The $79 Toolmart helmet has only 2 sensors and I would suggest there should at least 4 sensors on a helmet

    Not all helmets are suitable for plasma cutting because the minimum shade number does not go low enough. (Lower numbers are needed for PC and higher for welding)
    Maybe you will never need one but You'd hate to have to turn around and buy another helmet if you you did.

    Cheaper helmets also tend to have flimsier headbands that tend to break just past the warranty period. I bought two cheap helmets before deciding to fork out and take the above KPI into consideration.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Dardanup W.A.
    Age
    67
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Thanks BobL.
    The fact that I go for months, even a year, between welding jobs, and the fact that I only ever do small projects these days, I can't justify spending more than I need to for a basic unit.
    I have been using a hand held mask with a fairly small window for 45 years, but it is due for replacement, so I hoped to get a sub $100 suitable unit.
    The CIG appealed because spares are available, but non replaceable battery kills that one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Geelong, Australia
    Age
    52
    Posts
    162

    Default

    My previous mask was a Unimig one with non-replaceable battery- lasted me for around 10 years I reckon. There were some long periods of non-use in that time.
    I'm pretty sure the battery is recharged by solar while welding, or if you just sit it out in ambient light.
    I got a replacement mask but have kept my old one as looking at a few Youtube videos most of them are able to have the battery "replaced" with a small amount of butchery. One day I might be bored enough to open it up and see!
    My current one is a Weldclass Promax500 which cost a bit over $150. HUGE viewing area, 4 sensors, replaceable batteries and I'm really happy with it - but realise its well above the $100 budget you've set.
    They have a Promax 350 which has smaller viewing area, but otherwise the same as mine. I just found them on eBay for $129 delivered. If you can find a local reseller you might be able to squeeze them close to the $100 mark....

    Steve

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I also have the Weldclass Promax500 which has been great. I bought it locally here in Adelaide at a specialized welding shop.
    I did look at the CIG masks, but they had a smaller viewing area and the viewing clarity was not as good as the Promax.
    As mentioned, the batteries are replaceable in the Promax, which is another thing I would always look for.
    I hope this helps.

    Paul


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Dardanup W.A.
    Age
    67
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Thanks Steve, Paul & Bob.
    I have found a local supplier that will do the Promax 350 for $99, so I recon I might go for that one.
    If I ever need a lighter shade than 9 for some one off job, I will just use the hand held.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    USA, Oakville
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I don't know the Promax but when my old harbor freight helmet was damaged I bought a used Miller helmet for $80 from craigslist and have been using it for 3 years now. I am so happy with it and I don't want to have any other helmet because the sight is very clear and it switches really fast. Mine is Similar to this one:
    https://www.millerwelds.com/safety/helmets/digital-elite-series-welding-helmets-m00471

    As an alternative you can take a look at other well-known welder-brands like Lincoln, maybe Hobart..
    https://compare-bear.com/auto-darken...lding-helmets/
    Some also have solar panels so no battery change is required.

    So i recommend to check ebay or craigslist for good used helmets that are within your price range of $100

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wentworth Falls NSW 2782
    Age
    71
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Hare & Forbes currently have a sale on (ends tomorrow). Promax 350 for $100 + $10 GST.

    https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Welding-Helmets

    Findlay

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