Helmet for £100?

  1. hooblah Member

    Messages:
    451
    south london
    I'm buying a new mig, so obviously that means I have to buy a new lid.

    I've currently got a crappy sealey solar powered thing which is more of a hindrance than anything. I'd like something that allows me to see clearly (or clearer at least) and is comfortable.

    It'll be used for mig and tig. I don't weld constantly so I'm reluctant to spend more than £100. When I do weld, it's mostly car related. I could be welding on a bench or under a car, so versatility and ease of use is key. It will get scratched and not handled with the greatest of care, so I don't need something silly expensive. Also due to this, spare lenses will have to be reasonably priced.

    I have been recommended an Optrel weldcap. The price seems reasonable. Reviews seem positive from what little I can find. Any downsides?

    Any other siggestions? Am I asking too much for £100 or should I up my budget?
     
  2. metalmelt Member

    Messages:
    593
    Location:
    UK
    Esab current do one at around £85 on Amazon and have a good name and strong following.
     
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  3. Rannsachair

    Rannsachair Forum Supporter

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  4. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of some trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    Cumbria
    I thought they looked like a great idea... until I tried it on.

    It's uncomfortable, restricts your view just as much as a proper hood, and doesn't shield you as well as a full hood.

    Then imagine the number of times you flick a hood up and down for tacking up, etc. You can't do that with a weldcap.

    I reckon the reason why it's fairly cheap, is because Optrel made loads of them and then realised no-one wanted them. They've got a very few genuine uses....

    Me, I'd have the Esab A40, or save up and buy an Esab A50 or a Speedglas 9100xi. My bro has the predecessor to the A40, and I have two A50s, no real complaints :)

    Or save up even more to get one of these fancy Optrels.
     
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  5. MoreWellie Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    I was surprised to find a lot of helmets aren't rated for overhead use, guess this applies to the cheaper ones primarily but might be worth checking before you buy

    Not the same thing but I also realised how much I didn't like laying under a car and welding sideways after a stray spark went in my ear
     
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  6. MattH

    MattH Member

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    Bristol
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  7. Jay1st

    Jay1st AdeptusMechanicus wanna be.

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    Location:
    South West FRANCE
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  8. DavidL

    DavidL Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    nr Wigan, Lancs - UK
    Agreed - the Alien XXL (I believe that's the one Jay is talking about, up from the spaceview) is good - if Tom can't sort you out, they're 95 quid from Amazon.

    It's very light indeed and seems reliable even on low power TIG, which my (admittedly older) Parweld and (much newer but cheaper) Lidl ones have not, particularly in bright conditions.

    Lovely big viewing window and the true colour is nice. Controls are user friendly but I sometimes leave it in the wrong shade range (5-9 Vs 9-13) and forget and wonder why the shade adjustment isn't working properly!

    Got a cheater lens holder on the back across the whole of the viewing window, but I've been unable to find a cheater of the right height, so end up with a bifocal welding helmet :)

    I do find it seems to need a bit of adjustment each time I put it on though? Either my head regularly changes shape or the headbands are a bit funny :)
     
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  9. hooblah Member

    Messages:
    451
    south london
    Oh really? Everything i've read so far has been positive. You make some valid points though.

    I'd love to get an Esab A50, but what worries me is the likelihood of damage. I can stomach £200 if it's going to last 10 years without breaking. The lens looks very open to the elements and easily susceptible to scratches and burns. Not a problem for tig, but for miging in tight spaces and overhead this could be an issue.

    How does the A40 compare? Does it give you a true colour view?

    Ha. I doubt my crappy sealey helmet is rated for working under a car either, but it's managed just fine. I don't like welding under cars either, but sometimes it happens.

    Nice. What are your initial impressions Jay? Would you advise to go with something different?
     
  10. Jay1st

    Jay1st AdeptusMechanicus wanna be.

    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    South West FRANCE
    I only tested it for like 5mn with a MIG, and at the moment it gives excellent visibility, cant fit a cheater lens but for the price i cant ask for more.
    The field of vision is huge compared to a regular helmet, and it's really really clear, can see the molten puddle moving around without any problems. I have to add i'm vision impared so it helps a lot !
     
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  11. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of some trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    Cumbria
    I've had my plain A50 for 2 years + and my air-fed A50 for 14 months. TBF most of my work is TIG, but I've wore out a few front lenses from MIG and stick.
    The lens are quite flexible, in fact the whole lid is very flexible, makes knocks and bangs less serious to the important parts.
    The A50 is awesome, I've worn it for an 8 hour shift before, it's that comfy :)

    If you want robustness though, you need a Speedglas 9100xi.

    The Warrior Tech (replaced by the A40) wasn't, but the new A40 is true colour :)
    https://www.esab.co.uk/gb/en/products/ppe-accessories/helmets-and-head-protection/savage-a40.cfm
     
  12. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    1,426
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    It says "Diopter / cheater lens - Yes"
     
  13. DavidL

    DavidL Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    nr Wigan, Lancs - UK
    I can confirm the Alien XXL has the slots for a cheater lens (or two) but I appreciate I may be at crossed purposes with the Esab/etc.
    Screenshot_20200908_184010_com.google.android.apps.photos.jpg
     
  14. duncans

    duncans Member

    Messages:
    681
    Location:
    leicester
    if you look around you can find a decent mask I got an ESAB A40 like new with 4 brand new cover lenses and a little one not sure where that goes I've not looked it cost me all boxed up £110.00 I thought what a bargain .
     
  15. skotl

    skotl Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    7,377
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    I see rtech have reintroduced their true colour mask too: https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/r-tech-true-colour-xxl-auto-welding-helmet/

    There seemed to be an issue with their original models and they removed them from sale. The fact that they are available to buy again suggests to me that they've fixed whatever the issue is.
    That said, even though I'm an rtech fan, if the parweld was the same price or cheaper I'd be tempted to go with that, given the issues with the original rtech.
     
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  16. Tom Orrow L

    Tom Orrow L Welding Supplies Direct

    Messages:
    2,562
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    Got a Bohler Guardian 62 on offer at £90 if that's of interest to you?
    If not, as Matt says the Space view is a good shout, and we've got plenty in.
     
  17. leslie7324

    leslie7324 Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    I asked were they any good before but no one answered.
    Is this the same one for £90?
    https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/27229-alien-true-colour-automatic-welding/
    Is it GYS that makes them?
     
  18. Chris Snow Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I recently wanted a new helmet and was looking to spend ~£100 like you, ended up with an A50 and it is really comfy and simply works, you soon forget you are even wearing it!
    Touch screen while a bit unnecessary is fine to use, external grind button is very nice if you need to "adjust" some welds :p
    Comes with spare protective lenses and they are not expensive to replace.
    The shape does mean the outer cover will likely get scratched but the ergonomics probably outweigh this unless you drag it around upside down lots!
     
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  19. DavidL

    DavidL Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    nr Wigan, Lancs - UK
    Sorry, I maybe missed your earlier question. But yes, it's the nicest mask I've had (but then I've only had a Parweld and Lidl one beforehand,)

    Yes, that MM link appears to be the same as mine.

    In answer to your GYS question; I *think* so.
    I couldn't see GYS on the box (which I'm afraid I've long since thrown), but it appears to be theirs; GYS is referenced in the instruction card and if you do a Google, you find the instruction PDF on the gys site
     
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  20. Jay1st

    Jay1st AdeptusMechanicus wanna be.

    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    South West FRANCE
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