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Auto Darkening Welding helmet with a non replaceable battery

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  • Auto Darkening Welding helmet with a non replaceable battery

    I'm a new welder and I'm looking to buy my first helmet. At Tractor Supply they carry this helmet for $100 (METAL MAN® AUTO DARKENING WELDING HELMET, 9-13 VARIABLE SHADE) The drawback in my mind is that it has a non replaceable battery, it is solar powered. I am a student so I'm lucky to get home on the weekends so this helmet will usually sit for a week and then get used and maybe sit for a month or more. Do I need to worry about the non replaceable battery going bad because of infrequent use?
    Thanks for your input!

  • #2
    i dont think id worry that much about it. a lot of helmets id think are used this way.


    • #3
      Auto Dark. Hoods

      I bought a cheapo Auto Darkening Hood several years ago from one of the mail order tool suppliers (I can't recall the name off hand ) I was using it with a TIG set up that had no foot pedal, I was flashing myself every time I picked up the torch..
      When I finished the job I put the hood in it's box and put it away to keep it nice and fairly clean. It was also a Solar powered type with adjustable Shade.
      Last week I tried out my new HH187 wire feed and thought I'd try that hood, so I got it out and sure enough it worked like a champ !! It had been in that box for about 5 years..... BH


      • #4
        I have a couple from Harbor Freight that use replacement battries... both worked fine
        Jim Young


        • #5
          I have a cheap auto and hate it. Solar powered and with only one or two sensors it goes light in the middle of a weld sometimes and fails to go dark on cue once in a while. Shelved it then had a job I wanted to try it out on. I reckoned it would be able to handle it because I knew I wouldn't be throwing shadows at it. The 'battery',muerte at first, revived after an afternoon in the sun. But it's still a POS.

          The first time one of my standard hoods flashes me I may buy another auto, but I won't jack around, it will be something top of the line. I like my eyes too much.



          • #6
            My first was a HF "Western Safety"..$49.00 back then, and it worked flawlessly...indoors. The problem I had with it was outdoors, where the sun would trigger it, then I'd have to hold my hand over the sensor to get it to "lighter" again...that got old, so I bought a closeout Miller XLIX with the non-replaceable battery...that was six years ago, and it has never run out of juice. The first time you un-box it, place it facing into the direct sun all day (you'll have to rotate it 10 degrees every hour).

            The Miller is brighter "off the trigger",and has a nicer liner, but the HF seemed to shield while welding just as well.

            Plus, my MIller is an American Flag model, and looked ALMOST too pretty to use in my shop. It has held up well, but a new liner won't be too far off in the future. The close-out price from an individual who had 60 of them was $110.00 (I think) all brand new, in the box.

            Tractor Supply had the Hobart helmets on deep discount just recently, so check their holiday ads...all their stuff is top notch...I use their gloves exclusively now.
            "Good Enough Never Is"


            • #7
              Nem helment

              I talked to my uncal he has been welding for 35 years and he said you get what you pay for. If you buy a cheap helment that is what you get buy a good helment and it will last for years if you take care of it.


              • #8
                I got this Auto Darkening Welders Helmet and have been using it for about a year. I am TIG welder myself