Auto-darkening or not...

  1. Dadweld New Member

    Goring, Oxfordshire
    Good evening,

    Would I notice a massive difference between a Starparts (one of these),
    and an ESAB Savage A 40.

    I have the Starparts one and although I feel like I'm on fire when wearing it, I don't see the weld very well to begin with. It's the initial flash that seems to delay a decent view of what I'm doing.

    I have seen on here and elsewhere that the A 40 is highly regarded. This is a hobby for me although I've been at it rather more than I expected due to lockdown.
    I still need to see what's going on immediately without breaking the bank. Maybe a fixed dark helmet would be better.

    Many thanks for your comments.
  2. Ashley Burton

    Ashley Burton Member

    Auto Darkening all day long, Makes a world of difference & you can actually see what your welding before striking an arc
    metalmelt likes this.
  3. Lewis_RX8

    Lewis_RX8 Member

    Probably depends on what you're doing but the auto-darkening helmets are now so reasonably priced its a clear winner in my books.

    Started off with a fixed shade but would why give yourself a disadvantage especially starting off.
    Ashley Burton likes this.
  4. cianh91

    cianh91 Member

    kildare ireland
    I spent probably 6 year with a fixed before going auto and it makes a world of difference. I still keep a normal one for if I have an emergency job and it’s bucketing rain .
    I have an Esab sentinel and I love it but one the lads in work has an Esab warrior I think it is the one below the savage and it’s lovely only really on tig I’d notice much difference
  5. mdr

    mdr Member

    Derbyshire (currently), England
    It's impossible to argue against the fact that an auto-darkening helmet allows you to see your work before and then during welding.

    However, I personally find nothing beats a fixed shade glass lens (from a named brand like Parweld or Weldability) for optical clarity. Plus it sits in the shed and will work today or in a year's time. No batteries, no charging, no hassle. I've been flashed by an auto-darkening lens. I've never been flashed by a passive/fixed lens.

    My honest opinion is: a fixed shade, with a branded glass lens is like HD/4k compared to cheaper auto-darkening lens. Now if you suggest that a £200-£500 auto-darkening is optically brilliant I wouldn't argue. And if you're welding all the time you'll probably get your money's worth out of it. However, a glass lens is something like £2 on eBay and easily replaced. For the hobby welder (like myself) avoiding dead batteries, expensive outer lens cover replacements, troubleshooting the helmet's behaviour, and knowing it will "just work" is nice to know. if it breaks or goes missing it's a total of £15 to replace. Plus cheap plastic passive helmets are very light in weight.

    If you get an auto-darkening helmet: get a very good one (look at replacement parts like outer lens etc. and check they aren't too expensive) and then look after it well. Otherwise, buy a passive glass lens for no money, struggle with the darkness before the arc starts, but enjoy cheap carefree welding.

    Note: If you're welding outside I'd recommend a smaller viewing window to minimise the sun/clouds reflecting in the glass rather than going for a larger size glass.
    waddycall, Gragson and 8ob like this.
  6. 8ob

    8ob Forum Supporter

    moscow on thames
    Another vote for fixed shade, many dead auto darkening lids later and I find my self going back to old faithful.

    waddycall, minimutly and Gragson like this.
  7. bricol Member

    N.Yorks, UK
    Hobby or business, you only get one set of eyes. I bought a second hand adjustable shade Speedglass from a work mate 20 plus years ago - I stopped flashing myself from not getting the mask in place in time. That failed and I replaced with with another second hand Speedglass, this one with only one shade. Bought a job lot of inner and outer protective screens for it - in 15-20 years, I've changed them once - taking them out and cleaning them helps their life.

    I have a cheapo one too - and I get a headache if I use it I think it takes that little bit longer to go dark.

    I have back up fixed glass one for emergency use - but not needed it. Changed batteries in the Speedglas two or three times - I keep spares just in case. I find just opening the battery drawers and closing them again usually brings it back to life. Buy a good one, and look after it.
  8. minimutly Member

    Pembrokeshire Wales
    Me too spent over £200 on auto darkening helmets. I still use them though, learned how to replace batteries etc. Have both....
  9. waddycall

    waddycall Member

    United Kingdom
    I prefer a fixed shade. Doesn’t take long to get used to nodding the lid down without losing position. Definitely see more clearly than the cheap auto ones I’ve used. Mine is hobby use only.
    Dadweld likes this.
  10. Liquid Metal

    Liquid Metal Member

    Essex, UK
    Personally i prefer passice lenses any day of the week.

    But, also depends what youre doing.
    If tig welding (which 75% of the time at work I am), quite often an auto will flick light again, if line of sight from the arc to the sensor is compromised. No matter what make shield it is. Ive tried speedglass, lincoln and even optrel autos before now forntig work, but always go back to a passive lense. Also, the vision clarity you get through a passive lense (especially a decent one like Aulektro lenses, cant speak for the cheap bulk buy ones, dont use them) is second to none. Youll never get clarity like it through an auto lense.
    If you're mig or stick welding, then they can be a benefit sometimes (especially mig welding under a car), but people got by for years without them so arent a necessity at all.
    minimutly likes this.
  11. Davey223 Member

    What do you think of the A40
  12. WorkshopChris

    WorkshopChris Forum Supporter

    South East Essex
    If you have done it for long enough it becomes an inbuilt reaction, if only I had a pound for every time I start nodding while wearing an auto-darkening mask.
    Robert. and metalmelt like this.
  13. metalmelt Member

    WE use both Speedglas and Esab auto darkening at work and we all carry fixed types as well as different shade glasses and personally I find each has its benefits and liabilities
  14. Krazzt New Member

    ADF is more convenient, protects your eyes better and allows you to work faster. But I would suggest to buy a good one, the one that has a certification like din and din plus.