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Up Topic Welding Industry / Technical Discussions / Western Safety auto dark $70 helmet?
- - By New2Welding Date 03-26-2003 17:10
Part number 46092 from Harbor Freight. Western safety brand. Made in China. Western China? :) The "auto darkening mechanism" is labeled ANSI Z87.1 1989. It also says UV/IR up to 15 (DIN). The lens is listed adustable 9-13 and clear 3-4. Response time is listed as 1/20,000 sec. On sale for $69.99.
Is this safe to use? Occasional use only, but still want to be sure.
Have there been any known problems with manufacturers labeling a lens/helmet as meeting a standard when it does not?
Do you know if there is database where one can verify testing and compliance to the standard for particular make and model?
Thank you much!
Parent - By Dirtrider (**) Date 03-26-2003 19:02
I just ordered on elast week off Ebay, the same Western Safety you speak of. I will hopefully receive it in the next day or so. I am NOT a professional welder, just starting out as a matter of fact, but I will certainly give you my personal opinion of it once I get to use it.

BTW, I paid $65 including shipping.
Parent - - By DaveSisk (**) Date 03-26-2003 20:07
I have one of those. Works very well, but there are a couple of things I don't like:

1) I do mostly TIG and sometimes you get a flash that is faster than 1/20000 of a second. I doubt there's a auto-darkening helmet that's fast enough to shut out everything.

2) This particular model doesn't have a sensitivity adjustment, so if you have a bright light reflecting off of your work surface (mine is a sheet of aluminum, which is very shiny), it'll sometimes darken when you don't want it to!

3) The headgear is really cheap and dinky, and won't stay tight. My fix: go get one of the $8-12 or so regular hoods from Harbor Freight (one that has a good head-gear) and switch them out. I looked at headgear in a local welding shop, but just the headgear was around $25-30, so getting a whole hood and throwing part of it away was considerably cheaper.

All this said, I love the auto-darkening hoods. I'm a hobby welder also, and I couldn't imagine going back to a regular hood now!


Parent - - By Dirtrider (**) Date 03-26-2003 20:20
Literally just opened mine up. As's always something. It appears to be the same thing as the Western Safety, but the box says BR Welder on it. There is no company contact info, no warranty info, just some instructions. Needless to say I just sent the ebay'er an email! You're right, it's cheap feeling, but it is light weight. I'll see what the bonehead has to say and try it out know the "Walmart Way"!! ;)

Parent - By DaveSisk (**) Date 03-27-2003 03:10
Actually, you'll really like the light weight. Change the headgear, and you'll feel like you got more than your money's worth....IMHO, anyway!

Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 03-26-2003 21:30
I didn't like the head gear in my Jackson either, I switched it out for the kind that works on a hard hat. The extra bells and whistles help in shady low light or in full sun, no flashing back and forth.
John Wright
Parent - By Dirtrider (**) Date 03-28-2003 13:55
Got a chance to use my auto helmet last night. Seemed to work flawlessly! Way easier than trying to flip the hood down, especially when just starting out like me.
Up Topic Welding Industry / Technical Discussions / Western Safety auto dark $70 helmet?

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