Blue Demon helmets

DavidR8

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Hi all, wonder if anyone has experience with the Blue Demon 9300 or panoramic helmets?
 

DavidR8

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Just get that Optrel. You are deep into welding now. Pony up buddy!!
My problem is the Optrel is over $600 in Canada... I have a hard time justifying that as a hobbyist.
 

ericc

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There is a huge difference between a low end auto dark helmet and a high end one. There is much less difference once you go up a little in price past the lowly Harbor Freight. There is very little difference between low and high end in a fixed shade (passive) helmet. The only big thing I can think of is that a pancake helmet have a lot less annoying leakage of light from behind. I solve that problem by only welding during certain hours and facing in the right direction!
 

DavidR8

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I have an older Esab autodark now but I have a really hard time seeing the puddle.
I have replacement lenses coming for it, I’ll see if that makes any difference in clarity.
There’s also a new Esab Sentinel A40. Might have a look at that as it has the same lens rating as both the Blue Demon and the Optrel.


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7milesup

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My problem is the Optrel is over $600 in Canada... I have a hard time justifying that as a hobbyist.
Ouch. Yeah, I forgot you were from the great white north.
I did a search on the helmet you mentioned and as you found out too, there doesn't seem to be a lot reviews.
 

Buffalo21

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I have 2 Optrels, excellent helmets, but to me they are too big and bulky, i went back to the Speedglas SL (superlite), only 12-14 oz, and tight to the head.
 

Aukai

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Are you welding on a bench, on the ground, or crawling under, around a car chassis, and how important are your eyes?
 

DavidR8

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Are you welding on a bench, on the ground, or crawling under, around a car chassis, and how important are your eyes?
At the moment only at a small bench for TIG, I don't have a large welding table to make large objects so when I made my tablesaw base that happened on the floor. :apologize:
I don't anticipate crawling under a car or anything...
My eyes ar very important to me...
 

Aukai

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So a normal size over the counter helmet will work, check on what helmet size(slim, regular) you would like. At my age visual clarity, and protection are important(old age needs more light). Find a welding outlet that has a show, and try the different helmets, or ask friends to try different ones. I would send you my Lincoln, and Optrel, but customs would freak. :)
 

DavidR8

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So a normal size over the counter helmet will work, check on what helmet size(slim, regular) you would like. At my age visual clarity, and protection are important(old age needs more light). Find a welding outlet that has a show, and try the different helmets, or ask friends to try different ones. I would send you my Lincoln, and Optrel, but customs would freak. :)
Thanks, that is good advice. There is a display at my LWS if I recall correctly. I'll check it out and see if I can demo some of what they have.
 

Janderso

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I have the Miller digital elite. It’s ok, I can’t see very well, I put the magnifying inserts and that helped.
If I put light on the area on the bench it’s better.
I would like to have the opportunity to compare in an industry sponsored event.
 

aliva

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I have a Miller helmet, much cheaper, smaller and a larger viewing window than the Optrel.
Optrel are good but way over priced. I believe the Miller was only about $200.00. Also some Miller helmets have a grinding button on the side.
Push the button and the helmet won't auto darken so you can grind the work area. Don't have to put a face shield on to grind
 

Janderso

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Yeah they do have weld, cut, grind modes.
Mine has four sensors which is importan.
I like some of the new helmets with peripheral vision panels.
How come some welders are still using the flip to weld feature?
Why not auto darken?
 

Aaron_W

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I have an older Esab autodark now but I have a really hard time seeing the puddle.
I have replacement lenses coming for it, I’ll see if that makes any difference in clarity.
There’s also a new Esab Sentinel A40. Might have a look at that as it has the same lens rating as both the Blue Demon and the Optrel.


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New lenses should help. I changed the lenses on my medium cheap helmet after a semester of stick welding and it made a huge difference. Not so much that I'm not shopping for a better helmet, but it was a much bigger improvement than I expected. The Lenses are cheap too.


I'm in the same boat as you, the helmet I have works ok. It is better than the really cheap ones, but I know there are better out there, just a matter of how much do I spend. I've found the Lincoln 3350 which many seem very happy with for $220, but the videos posted showing the Optrel Crystal 2 are pretty convincing. Best price I've found on the Optrel is $430 which does a lot to cool the jets on buying a new helmet and just continue on with the one I have. I would love to be able to try out a few in person, but I don't have any idea where to find welding equipment shows under normal conditions, and I doubt we will be seeing any before 2021 with all the additional distancing precautions now. Most of the stores around here wont even let you try on jacket, so sticking 300 heads a day into a welding helmet to run some test beads seems unlikely.


Not sure if it would be ok running a Lincoln helmet with a Miller welder, is that like crossing the streams?
 

Janderso

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I just checked out the video on this helmet. Dang, I may need one of these.
David, buy it.
 

DavidR8

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I just checked out the video on this helmet. Dang, I may need one of these.
David, buy it.
Yeah I probably will.
I was practicing again today and it’s really hard to see the puddle.


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Saguaro Slim

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Happy ESAB Sentinel A50 owner here - I received a $200 rebate when I bought the Rebel 215i last year, that paid for a big part of the helmet.
I love the external grind button! Just gotta remember to punch it again when I'm back at the welding table...
I'm probably going to spring for the magnifying lens soon:(
Are you running too dark of a shade level on your current set up?
 

rwm

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Wow! I was not familiar with Optrel. If that lives up to the hype I may need one. With any helmet I need magnification at my age.
Robert
 

DavidR8

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Happy ESAB Sentinel A50 owner here - I received a $200 rebate when I bought the Rebel 215i last year, that paid for a big part of the helmet.
I love the external grind button! Just gotta remember to punch it again when I'm back at the welding table...
I'm probably going to spring for the magnifying lens soon:(
Are you running too dark of a shade level on your current set up?
It’s currently set at just bit darker than 10. That feels about as light as I’d care to go I think even for low amperages.


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Aukai

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What is the proper way to set tint? I have gone down until I have visual spots after a short weld is done, then set it back darker.
 

DavidR8

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So #10 seems to be ok then?


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Saguaro Slim

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Since you've got fresh lenses on the way, try those first. Change the batteries (if you haven't already) when you change the lenses.
The OSHA chart says the minimum is #8 up to 150 amps for GTAW.
#10 is fine, if you can see. You may need to go down, not below 8...
 

erikmannie

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My favorite helmet is a Miller Classic (about $80). I almost always use Shades 9 or 10. I never use anything less than 9 for arc welding. I have much more fancy helmets, but I almost always reach for the (slightly) more lightweight econo autodarkening hood.

I always use 2.5X cheaters. I find the Millers easy to set up for the cheater lens.

Two of my helmets don’t have the cheaters, and I use those helmets if I use my 3X or 5X eyeglasses.

I cannot weld without at least 2.25X magnification.
 
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DavidR8

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Since you've got fresh lenses on the way, try those first. Change the batteries (if you haven't already) when you change the lenses.
The OSHA chart says the minimum is #8 up to 150 amps for GTAW.
#10 is fine, if you can see. You may need to go down, not below 8...
Unfortunately it doesn’t have changeable batteries. the batteries cannot be changed without invasive surgery to the auto dark assembly.


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Ken from ontario

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My speedglas is 10 years old but I don't know how the older ones compare to the newer technology as far as sensitivity settings go especially if you plan on doing a lot of Tig welding.
This thread on the welding web is a good read:
 
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