Welding Helmet Recommendations


Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 4, 2003
So my cheap horrible freight auto helmet must be done, it does not get dark fast enough when you strike an arc so I had to close my eyes for a second the other day on a quick project.

So looking for a new one thats good , well better than HF but not break the bank account. I saw an old thread from 2011 on this but guessing there are maybe newer options out by now. Lmk what you guys are using and like or dislike.


Veteran Member
Oct 4, 2002
I have the harbor freight too. Have you tried putting it out in the sun for a day? I could be wrong but think it has a battery that is recharged by a solar cell in the face. Also there are controls that set response, maybe something needs to be cleaned with some tuner spray. Good luck.


Veteran Member
Mar 20, 2018
Most Homedepots have a decent (<$100) Lincoln hood in stock. A couple of my guys have hoods bought off of amazon for great prices. The amazon pieces work great (unless you have a dud) just make sure you can get replacement lenses and things for the hood.

jeff swisher

Veteran Member
Apr 26, 2018
Yukon Oklahoma
I welded often and had to have a really good hood and HF was not it.
For home hobbyist it works fine and best bet is just get another one..Both my boys have the HF auto helmet and they work fine.

My welding helmet has 4 sensors and replaceable batteries that last about 800 hours.
NexGen helmet is what I have and 8+ years and it has not failed me.
It has welding mode grinding and torch mode and very adjustable .
Cost me $350 way back then and I think they are about 70 bucks cheaper now.

I get twisted up under a car welding exhaust or frame and a pipe blocking the 2 sensors on a cheaper helmet and I get blinded.
With a big viewing area and sensors at all 4 corners you will never get blinded from blocked sensors.

Yes it hurt a little when I forked over the money for it but I would do it again if it ever dies.
Why not spend the money for a good one and be done with it. Your eyes are more important than cash. I have the Lincoln Viking
works well for real low voltage (tig) and normal welding. Only down side is $200+



Veteran Member
Aug 1, 1999
I got a Hobart at the local Tractor Supply some years ago. Works great and not a lot of money. Has weld and grind (off) selector and usual settings. I always test it with a Bic lighter, the spark triggers it. How did we ever weld without the auto helmet?

jeff swisher

Veteran Member
Apr 26, 2018
Yukon Oklahoma
I zapped myself with the old school helmet really good once not really good a couple times Lincoln AC225 stick.
Close the lid and the welding rod moved in the clamp it was damp/drizzling outside and I was sweaty.
The end of the electrode touched my arm where it was bare and my hand had a damp glove on, I was holding the ground on the item to be welded.
Welder set on 90 Amps.

I was getting juiced up by electricity and was trying to pull my arms apart to break the circuit.
Hard to do when you are juiced up.
I said to myself pull it apart "bundle of sticks".
I got it apart and figured too wet for welding.

That is not the worst electrical shock I have got though.
Never got enough to cry or get hurt, just a wake up call I suppose.


Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Dec 9, 2009
Gordon from Jacksonville Fl
I'll second the Hobart with grind/weld switch. Think I paid around $80 for mine and other than swaping batteries out never have had any problems with it. When your buying something as important as a welding helmet Harbor Freight is not going to be my firs choice. I mean how much did you spend on your welder? Buy a good helmet!

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