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If you’re a welder — even an amateur — you probably already own a great welding helmet.  But what about friends who come over and want to “help?”  Do you have a helmet for them?  That’s a perfect time for a cheap-ass tool, and Harbor Freight has some deals that might interest you, like this auto-darkening helmet — complete with Discovery-channel-blue flames! — for $60.

It features a 1/25,000 second switching speed and a variable shade control that adjusts it between a #9 and a #13.  It appears to be (like most of these) solar-powered, but it also has a backup battery.

Blue Flame Design Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet [Harbor Freight]


12 Responses to Cheap-Ass Tools: A $60 Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet

  1. dan says:

    This is fantastic! Harbor Freight to the rescue again. They have a nearly limitless supply of cheap crap but every now and again it’s useful.

  2. Rob says:

    If my friends want to watch me weld, they can wear my regular welding helmet, why would they need an auto-darkening one? I’ve actually heard mostly good things about these HF helmets but for now I’m sticking to my Lincoln AD.

  3. Steve Thompson says:

    I had a HF auto-darkening helmet that never quite worked well. It wasn’t this model, so your mileage may vary.

  4. Randy says:

    I have a HF AD helmet, and it always worked really well. It’s the less fancy version (no blue flames and a little plainer shape). Totally worth the $40 I paid for it.

  5. eschoendorff says:

    I have this exact hood and it works excellent. I need to get me another one for when friends come over…

  6. Weldo says:

    I’m with Randy on this one. $40 and it works like a champ. The only problem I’ve run into is in in tight quarters where a spar or support may block the light sensor. Then you squeeze the trigger and WOW. That’s bright!

  7. ega278 says:

    I’ve been using my HF auto-darkening mask for over 2 years now and it works like a champ. I especially like the knob that allows for the shade darkness to be varied. I paid $40 for it when I first got it and it was worth every single penny. If this thing ever does go out on me I’ll go right back the HF and get another one.

  8. Generz says:

    I just picked one up for $50 with a recent coupon… great product, much more convenient than a traditional helmet.

  9. jon says:

    how does one change the battery?

  10. levi hendrix says:

    I love my AD helmet. it was cheap as hell only 50 bucks at harbor freight. it has not let me down so far and going on 3 years use. i reccomend it to any fellow welder and after using it you wont be able to go back to traditional helmets.

  11. zach goode says:

    ive been using this helmet at school and its great..it is a very reliable, rugged, and comfortable helmet..it may be cheap, but its just as good as the lincoln and miller ADs in the shop..only thing is that the lens knob is on the outside instead of the inside, and if you bump it and it turns youll switch shade #s but its never let me down. great helmet!!

  12. Rob Simpson says:

    This Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet is fantastic. It works excellent and more comfortable while welding. Thanks for sharing this information.

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