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  #1  
Old 03-31-2006, 02:49 AM
keenavv keenavv is offline
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Default what is the best auto-dark hood

So far my research says Jackson NexGen HSL100.
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2006, 05:23 AM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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Boy, you sure are gonna open a can of unimaginable wealth of information now.

Funny thing about auto-dark hoods and me. So many years of using the lighter flip down hoods for shop working has left me addicted to the head movement. I can weld 10 hr days on the farm and still want to raise that hood for a simple pause in welding. My hand automatically reaches for the lip of the hood by the time I realize I can see. And with the auto hood down, my head does that stupid bob a second before I pull the triger to drop what is already down. I look a little retarded at times if I'm being watched.

There's probably 10 or 15 different brands of hats, ranging from $100 up to around $375+.

I've seen some of the lower $ hoods that worked as cheaply as they cost. Stay away.

Personally, not being into color schemes, flames, skeleton heads or the need to have a welding machines logo plastered across the top, a basic designed hood that looked close to what I liked to wear in the past was my first buying point. That and looking for one that had the full view lense.

Second point that drove my purchase were the brands that the LWS in town was pushing. Looking at the prices there left me going back to the farm and using the 20 year old hood that worked just fine for awhile longer.

Finally, after doing a search here at SFT about which hoods some of the members used and checking the prices on-line, I went back to the LWS and found one that was new/used, still in the box and plastic. Bought, opened but obviously never used. Lucky find.

$100 cash out the door and it works fine. The mod # is something like XLI. Priced around $150 or a little higher maybe.

My point is, if you like the fit of the Jackson and the price is right for you, then you should find satisfaction in that investment. Jackson makes a good hood.

I know that eyesight is very important to protect and that some of the hoods out there aren't worth the risk.(cheapies/Imports). Still, with that in my mind, I can't see having to spend $375 for the convience of auto-dark either.

But I would have spent 200.

FWIW: Cyberweld, which handles decent products and resonable pricing, has your hood priced at $251 and some change, + shipping.
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Last edited by LW Hiway; 03-31-2006 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 03-31-2006, 05:01 PM
BULLDOG BULLDOG is offline
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Miller BWE has my vote.
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:35 PM
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Keenavv - not to get personal, but do you wear biforcals?
If you do, that matters. I had to get a Big Window Elite like Bulldog's before I could get my bifocals
and cheater aligned through the helmet lense. That little extra strip at the bottom made all the
difference for me. You might want to try one on - especially if you need the cheater like I did.
And if you haven't tried the cheaters, you might want to try one of those before you tie up
$200-$300 on the wrong helmet.
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Old 04-01-2006, 12:25 AM
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The HSL-100 is by far my favorite. One lens for all cutting, welding & grinding is really convenient.

The sealed switches are bulletproof, and easy to change the setting when you want to. With four sensors, there's almost always one to trip the lens, even when you're way inside a deep weldment.

Works well down to 10 amps (probably less, although the TIG is seldom set below 10A).

Although it's not in their catalog or website, I believe HTP is selling this model. They'll always match or beat the best price you can find - be sure to ask for the Uncle Barry price if you call. Steve or Jeff are the people to ask for. http://www.htpweld.com/
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Old 04-01-2006, 09:02 AM
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I have owned 2 Jackson's the electronics are fine, the head gear sucks. When you spend ~$200 on a hood you expect the head gear to be bullet proof. I have a Speedglas now, love it would not go back. I tried on Optrel the were comfortable and light but it is French owned so no beans there.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder
When you spend ~$200 on a hood you expect the head gear to be bullet proof.
The headgear sucks on my BWE. It won't stay adjusted, the side screws get loose & fall out and it screeches. But I can see through it and that's the bottom line for me. No matter how nice anything else is if you can't see through the window, it don't matter.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutter
The headgear sucks on my BWE. It won't stay adjusted, the side screws get loose & fall out and it screeches. But I can see through it and that's the bottom line for me. No matter how nice anything else is if you can't see through the window, it don't matter.
spend 40 hrs a week under one it will matter.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:44 PM
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I have to vote for Speedglas, even though the rivets in the headgear keep trying to pull out what is left of my hair....
That aside, it always works no matter what.Hot, cold, rain,snow, dropped,thrown etc.
And, It is small, and very light
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Old 04-01-2006, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder
spend 40 hrs a week under one it will matter.
But if you can't see through it, would you be under it 40 hours?
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