I bought an auto darkening hood soon after I got my MIG welder, that was in July of 2001. I've used it a fair bit, I don't weld for a living but I do a bit of welding here and there.
The old hood was not working so well anymore, basically I could not see crap through it, I had replaced the old plastic clear lens front and back several times, but it was still not clear. I took out the AD lens assembly and cleaned it very well several times, still I could not see, I even had my glasses prescription checked, it was just fine.
Do AD lens wear out?
From what I understand they work like a window blind.....
.... is it possible that over time some of the blinds get stuck?
One day I was looking at my old fixed lens hood and I thought I would give it a try while arc welding, just like the pipeline guys well I could not believe how clear the view was through the fixed lens compared to my AD hood. I decided to get a new AD hood. I did a bunch of research and I finally decided on the Jackson Safety W70 BH3 hood. I can blame Lanse from YouTube fame ChuckE2009 partly for this, as his review is a good one....
Thanks for the great review, it sold me on the hood.
BTW Lanse's YouTube channel is a must for anyone learning to weld, great videos and he is entertaining.
Here you can see the old SuzuKid EyeBorg on the left and the new Jackson W70 BH3 hood on the right.
The other thing that I really disliked on the old hood was the headgear, I guess it was worn out, but it did not work well and was not comfortable, the new Jackson hood is a LOT lighter too, bonus.
I got to try it out for about 30 minutes today, I cannot believe how much better I can see now, so I have zero excuse for doing a poor job with my welding.
Here are two beads I ran with my TIG welder, which I'm still learning how to use (Obviously)
Indicated with the welding filler rod.
Maybe better than before, but the biggest thing is that out of the dozen or so beads I ran today I did not one time dip the tungsten into the puddle contaminating it, requiring a stop and grind.
Then I ran out of argon, and it's been a while since I had the tank refilled, so it needs to be tested. If I'm lucky I'll get my full tank of argon gas back in 10 days.... Oh well, lots of other work to keep me busy.
Sure is nice to have the new hood, should have done this a while ago.