The Hobart 770756 impact auto-darkening welding helmet packs in more desirable features than you’d expect for such a reasonable price. Somehow the designers seem to have solved several problems which are very common amongst other welding helmet brands – but in doing so, they’ve created some significant flaws by neglecting other areas. Nevertheless, this helmet is an excellent value for money, so the decision on whether to buy it or not will probably come down to the issue of sensitivity. If acute fine-tuning isn’t really your thing, then this probably isn’t the helmet for you, but if you’re looking for a mask that can offer you the ultimate in sensitivity control then read on!
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Top class eye protection
Eye safety is of the utmost importance with welding, which is one area in which this helmet really delivers. It’s been made with the latest LCD lens technology, which is specifically designed to protect your eyes as adequately as possible. It really works: you won’t experience any blinding flashes or discomfort when working with this helmet.
The visibility on this helmet is visible, which makes it incredibly easy to see your welding puddle. This is mostly down to a nice large viewing area, but the added bonus is that it doesn’t fog, keeping your view unobstructed the whole time!
The lens built into this welding helmet is auto-darkening, so it will stay on light shade 3, but as soon as you start welding, it will darken on its own to protect your eyes. It has a fast reaction time and a range of dark shades of 8-13, which is more than adequate for many different types of welding. It also includes a dedicated grinding mode, which comes in really handy.
Durable and lightweight
You’ll be amazed at how thin this helmet is. This is down to being made from a polyamide material, which has the added bonus of being super strong. It can hold up to reasonably heavy bumps and impacts, which is perfect if you’re a bit clumsy or heavy-handed!
Hobart have created this helmet with a brand new headgear design, which has been made specifically to increase comfort. Add this on top of the fact that it’s so lightweight, and the result is a very comfortable welding helmet that can be worn for long periods of time without the risk of causing neck strain, fatigue or general discomfort.
There are no limits to the amount you can adjust the sensitivities on this helmet, which is fantastic. In practical terms, this means that you can just keep turning the dials until the settings suit your own preferences – however extreme they may be! To allow this function, the dials are extremely sensitive, so a little rotation goes a long way regarding sensitivity adjustment. Being able to tune a welding helmet fine to suit personal preferences so perfectly is a rare quality, but one that’s worth paying for!
Adaptable for wear with a hard hat
Safety is critical in welding, so anything that can give you more protection is worth taking seriously. If your job requires you to wear a hard hat for extra protection, then this welding helmet will accommodate it comfortably. That said, if you do choose to wear it without a hard hat, you can adapt it back so that it doesn’t feel too bulky and roomy.
Face shield stays up
If you’re an experienced welder, then you’ll probably have found that many helmets face the problem of continuously falling down; if you’re new to welding then this is something frustrating that you’ll soon discover for yourself! However, in designing this helmet, Hobart seems to have overcome the problem entirely. Detents in the hinges mean that the face shield actually stays up and in place when you want it to – and you’ll be surprised at how much this small factor decreases your stress levels!
It doesn’t affect the use in any way, but we can’t move on without mentioning the fact that this welding helmet looks pretty awesome. Its stylish design is sleek and modern, which will stand out in your workshop for all the right reasons – no more getting teased about owning an out-of-date style!
We’ve already mentioned the benefits of having such sensitive controls, but these come with downsides, too. You only have to adjust the dials a tiny amount to make a huge difference, so if you’re not careful, it’s straightforward to turn the dials too far. It might take some trial and error before you get the settings exactly right for you, but until then you do face the risk of blinding yourself.
Sunlight can affect the sensors
Although it’s great to have a welding helmet with sensors that are sensitive to light, you really want them to be affected by welding arcs alone. However, sunlight itself can pose a massive problem for the sensors. When they react to all this light, the lens becomes very dark – far darker than anything you’ll need for a welding arc. As a result, it can be virtually impossible to see what you’re working on, so this isn’t exactly the most practical helmet to use outdoors. That said if you usually work indoors and in workshops, then this shouldn’t be a problem!
Some users have reported that the viewing window isn’t made with consistent coloring – that is to say that different areas have different levels of darkness. In fact, these usually present themselves as horizontal bands across the width of the lens; the difference can be as much as two or three shades. As you can imagine, this means that there can be quite a difference depending on which part of the lens you’re looking through. If you find your line of sight usually lined up with a darker band on the glass, you might want to adjust the settings to be slightly lighter – but then you run the risk of being blinded if you look through one of the lighter bands. However, this is an uncommon problem that only a few wearers have mentioned, so don’t discount this welding helmet for this reason alone!
In a world that is continually making technological advances, some welding brands are joining in. That’s why having analog dials (as this helmet does) seems somewhat old-fashioned. Despite this, it does mean that the technology can’t fail on you! As long as they do the job correctly, you can probably overlook the fact that these controls aren’t digital.
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Features and Specifications:
Viewing area: 7.05 in² (3.81 x 1.85 in, or 9.7 x 4.7 cm)
Arc sensors: 3
Switching time: 1/25,000 second
Shades: light shade 3, variable dark shades 8-13
Delay control: 0.1-1.0 seconds
Sensitivity control: infinite adjustment for varying ambient light
Auto on/off feature
Power source: 1 replaceable lithium-ion battery
Weight: 20.3 oz (575 g)
Material: durable polyamide
Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 13 in (22.9 x 22.9 x 33.0 cm)
Included With Helmet:
Extra protective lenses, owners’ manual
There’s no doubt that this helmet offers a fantastic range of features which you won’t find in many other masks – and that kind of originality is usually worth paying out for.
However, it’s not infallible. The sensitivity is a significant issue with this helmet; some will see it as a plus point, while others will see it as a significant downside. It’s up to you to decide on which side of the fence you fall down, as it all comes down to personal preference.
If you are willing to take a risk regarding the sensitivity, then you can be pretty sure you’re getting a good buy. It’s got to be said that this is a great budget helmet which offers remarkable value for money.
Is There A Difference Between Welding and Metal Fabrication?
Many people use fabricating and welding as interchangeable verbs, but that’s not quite the case. In its most basic sense, fabrication is the process of creating a project out of metal, and welding can be a single operation during that process.
Simply put, welding joins together two pieces of metal, glass, or thermoplastics with similar melting points and compositions using fusion. Fabrication is the evolutionary process of creating a metal product, from layout and design to formation and finishing. However, in this ever-evolving industry, it’s likely that many welders can fabricate, and it’s more likely that fabricators can weld.
So, what are the differences and similarities between the two? Before you fill out your next apprenticeship application, Kempf and Harris take a look at the tools, processes, and safety precautions that go into each trade:
A comprehensive list of familiar fabrication tools for beginners, including various angle grinder discs and a set of Cleco fasteners, can be found here. Most metal fab tools can’t be used for welding because that process requires different, more specific instruments, including:
Cylinders with custom carts
Tungsten inert gas (TIG) consumables
Vice and vice grips
As for the similarities, both careers require cleaning supplies for disinfecting the metal. Experts use a wire brush and organic solvents, like acetone or a mildly alkaline solution, or a citrus-based degreaser without butoxyethanol (a chemical compound that can cause breathing and liver problems) to scrub away any grease, oily deposits, and germs.
To clean the facility after a hard day’s work, welders and fabricators use traditional mops and sweepers. For industry-specific cleaning techniques, these trade professionals often use surface protection films, floor finishes and coatings, and electro-cleaners.
Because welding is a metal forming technique, it goes hand-in-hand with sheet metal fabrication, and each trade uses similar processes, like assembling and bending, to get the final product. To clarify, there are different ways to weld, including oxyacetylene, TIG (the most common form in fab shops), and gas metal arc (GMAW) welding.
However, because sheet metal fabrication is the overarching process, it involves many different methods, including specialty techniques, which can include:
Die to cut
Because this industry can be more dangerous than others due to working with hot metal and heavy machinery, every welder and sheet metal fabricator should be aware of the safety guidelines in their respective shops. To help prevent injury, each tradesperson should own or be provided (at least) the following:
Fume extraction equipment
Protective, flame-resistant pants
A sturdy, fitted, flame-resistant jacket
Coveralls or leather apron
Heavy, non-slip working boots or steel toe boots
Thick leather working gloves
An auto-darkening helmet with the proper visor
Respirator or dust mask
To help create a safe work environment, each trade’s shop should have strict equipment storage policies (whether handheld or automatic), and every apprentice must be trained before using machinery on their own. Also, all tools should be thoroughly and regularly inspected for any damage.
When it comes to sheet metal fabrication and welding, both careers are essential. This trade is useful for every industry, from construction and housing to automotive and transportation.