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Thread: Harbor Freight "Blue Flame" Helmet OK for TIG?

  1. #1

    Harbor Freight "Blue Flame" Helmet OK for TIG?

    Hi, I don't have a TIG set up so I can't test. Anyone out there with a Harbor Freight blue flame helmet and using it for TIG? Any feedback? Thanks.
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

  2. #2
    Member SpyGuy's Avatar
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    I haven't used that particular model, but it looks exactly like my HF auto-darkening helmet with the flame decals added. IMO, don't waste your money: everything about it is bad. The auto-darkening is finicky and is frequently triggered by sunlight. Even when it works, you can't see the weld clearly. And the head gear is absolute junk. I finally quit using it and went back to my old fixed-shade helmet (and my welds improved as a result because I could see the weld puddle more clearly). I'm still saving for a quality auto-darkening helmet.
    HTP VersaMIG (purchased 1988 )
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    Campbell-Hausfeld 3.2HP 60 Gal Compressor (only single-stage )
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by SpyGuy View Post
    I haven't used that particular model, but it looks exactly like my HF auto-darkening helmet with the flame decals added. IMO, don't waste your money: everything about it is bad. The auto-darkening is finicky and is frequently triggered by sunlight. Even when it works, you can't see the weld clearly. And the head gear is absolute junk. I finally quit using it and went back to my old fixed-shade helmet (and my welds improved as a result because I could see the weld puddle more clearly). I'm still saving for a quality auto-darkening helmet.
    Thanks. Good to know. Can't tell these things from the picture and the description. Need someone to provide first hand experience.
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

  4. #4
    Member SpyGuy's Avatar
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    From the research I've done, the Miller Digital Elite seems to be an excellent auto-darkening helmet system. I particularly like the X-Mode feature: it senses the electromagnetic field of the welding current and darkens the helmet, even if one of the four light sensors does not "see" the arc. It's not cheap though. It lists at $360, and the lowest price I've seen is $275.
    HTP VersaMIG (purchased 1988 )
    Systematics MHG8 Spool Gun
    ---
    Campbell-Hausfeld 3.2HP 60 Gal Compressor (only single-stage )
    Enco 9x20 lathe
    Rong-Fu RF-30 Mill/Drill
    Grizzly 5x6 Bandsaw
    Etc.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SpyGuy View Post
    From the research I've done, the Miller Digital Elite seems to be an excellent auto-darkening helmet system. I particularly like the X-Mode feature: it senses the electromagnetic field of the welding current and darkens the helmet, even if one of the four light sensors does not "see" the arc. It's not cheap though. It lists at $360, and the lowest price I've seen is $275.
    That's pretty cool. Never heard of that before - the designers really attacked that in an unconventional manner. I guess the only other way of absolutely ensuring you can't get flashed is the incorporate the helmet's circuitry with the welder (assuming the welder is "smart" enough to know when an arc has been struck).
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Here's an excellent welding helmet at a very reasonable price. It has 4 sensors and large view. I purchased this based on a review from "welding tips and tricks dot com". I highly reccomend it. I have the harbor freight helmet also that I now only use for torch and plasma cutting. The northern Tool helmet is used for welding of all types.

    Northern Industrial Welders Large View Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet | Welding Helmets | Northern Tool + Equipment
    Lincoln Idealarc DC250 with LN7 wire feeder
    RSG250 spool gun and controller
    Bridgeport Milling Machine w/DRO and Powerfeed
    South Bend 9 lathe WW2 vintage
    Devilbiss 6.5hp 80gal 175psi 2 stage compressor
    HF blast Cabinet modified for foot pedal operation better gun.
    Oxy acetylene torches
    Delta 4x6 band saw
    Hand and power tools up the wazoo...for mechanic work, wood work, electrical plumbing, and metal work.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Xalky View Post
    Here's an excellent welding helmet at a very reasonable price. It has 4 sensors and large view. I purchased this based on a review from "welding tips and tricks dot com". I highly reccomend it. I have the harbor freight helmet also that I now only use for torch and plasma cutting. The northern Tool helmet is used for welding of all types. Northern Industrial Welders Large View Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet | Welding Helmets | Northern Tool + Equipment
    Seems like a good price for a helmet with such a large view. Replacement lenses look pretty reasonable too. Nice find.
    Is it OK to want to break something just so that you can weld it back together?

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