Pirate 4x4 banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,580 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok after all this talk about auto dark hoods I got to wanting to replace my Digital Elite because from day 1 the headgear has pissed me off. I've been very vocal about it here and will continue to be because there simply is no excuse for it. There was also a thread about the Digital Infinity and it's got the latest greatest Gen 3 headgear but from one member's description it didn't sound much better to me.

Other manufacturers have built quality headgear. This is not new technology. Plus you're already making it, it doesn't cost anymore to build it right or build it shitty.

Specifically my complaint is with the ability to flip the hood. A hood should positively stay up and then flip down relatively predictably when you flip your head. I know this is possible because I've got low-dollar hoods that do it wonderfully. So why can a giant like Miller not figure it out? I dunno, it's just one of the mysteries of the world I guess. Same reason they can't build a MIG gun to save their ass. I think they may have hired a bunch of the Ford engineers who were responsible for TTB and TFI to come design shit for them.

Also, I just don't buy or accept the argument that it's an auto dark so you don't need to flip it. Maybe I WANT to flip it. For a top-of-the-line hood that is not too much to ask. It's just not. It's like saying if your truck has an automatic you don't need to be able to manually select 1/2/3. My ass. Or since your truck has auto climate control you don't need to be able to roll down the windows, the vehicle will keep you comfortable at all times.

Plus as I said you're already building headgear, auto dark or not. The shitty design is not cost-saving, it's just poor design, plain and simple.

Nonetheless I decided to give the Gen 3 headgear a try. My LWS had it for $26 (about the going rate online). I did try a hood in the store with it and it seemed a little better, so I figured I'd give it a go.

Once I got it on my hood, same story. If I had the pivots adjusted loose enough it would fall all the way when I flipped my head, it also wouldn't stay up. Me being about 5'10" just standing at a table that's 38.5" high and looking down at it (slowly) it would still start to fall. So fucking annoying.

Apparently all they've really done with the Gen 3 is focus on comfort, and I will say if you're just looking for something you have to wear all day and you want it to be comfortable, I think this would be great. It uses a system similar to Giro's roc-loc which cradles the lower back of your head and it feels quite nice.

BUT! as with everything there is a compromise. This big swivel pad at the back of your head means two things:
1) you can't really easily just slip it on and off your head with one hand. You really need a second hand to guide the big swiveling pad and you need to pull it down into proper positioning each time.
2) in order to realize the benefit of greater comfort you need to use your second hand to tighten the knob each time you put it on AND you need to use both hands to remove the hood, too: one hand loosens the headgear (or it really won't come off easily and/or will surely take your cap with it) while the other pulls the hood itself off

So I'd say it may be great for guys in an industrial setting who rarely take their hood off during the day and don't need to flip much 'cause they're always making bright light. It really could be more comfortable for long periods.

For the average guy building a rig though (ie most of PBB), I'd say it's not better. I actually like my old head gear because at least once the band is adjusted I can just use one hand to slip the whole thing over my cap and off again.

Anyway, I returned the headgear and fortunately my LWS didn't care.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,780 Posts
I've had the unfortunate opportunity to use a miller hood on several occasions and have always been glad that I bought a speedglas. That being said, I've had my speedglas for over 6 years and I can't think of one single time that I've flipped it like I do my fixed shade hood.

I generally only use my auto dark for TIG and can't think of a reason that I would have to flip my auto dark hood down instead of just pulling it down.

Miller won't change shit until people quit buying their products. So if you just "want" to flip your hood then go buy a different hood and sell your miller on craigslist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,892 Posts
I'll agree that the lock up mech is too agressive. To get it to latch you have to push up hard enough that the band can slip off your head. I was planning to cut the ratcheting detents off or going back to the HF headgear on my old helmet.

But I can put the thing on my head with one hand. So I have that going for me...:flipoff2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,580 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Miller won't change shit until people quit buying their products. So if you just "want" to flip your hood then go buy a different hood and sell your miller on craigslist.
That's definitely in the next 1-2 month plan. I've dealt with and bitched about this Miller since around '08. It's just one of those things you put up with but it always bothers you.

I'm really curious about the latest Lincoln Vikings but I'd love to see one in person before ordering. I'll have to find a Lincoln dealer but that ain't easy around here.

Even with an auto dark in weird positions and/or poor lighting (combined with a less-than-ideal cover lens which happens - let's face it we don't all replace our cover lenses the second they should be replaced) I still like to lift the hood, figure a plan of attack and position my hands then flip the hood down.

I'm not saying everyone should want that but I maintain it's simply not too much to ask from a premium hood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,780 Posts
I'm not saying everyone should want that but I maintain it's simply not too much to ask from a premium hood.
I can't disagree with you. I've used a viking hood at an old job I used to work. It was a pretty nice hood. It would flip down for sure. It was a company provided hood so I MIG welded and TIG welded in it. Even with the auto dark I did still flip it when I was MIG welding as it was so engrained in my brain I don't think I could stop myself if I tried.

If I had to buy another auto dark right now it would be a Jackson truesight 2 with the Balder lense. Without a doubt it is the clearest most vivid lense I've ever looked through. Bright, whitish blue, and crystal clear image without any green hues. I think it's around $300. One of my guys just got one and it almost made me not like my speedglas anymore. lol.
 

·
Safety third!
Joined
·
11,374 Posts
I can't disagree with you. I've used a viking hood at an old job I used to work. It was a pretty nice hood. It would flip down for sure. It was a company provided hood so I MIG welded and TIG welded in it. Even with the auto dark I did still flip it when I was MIG welding as it was so engrained in my brain I don't think I could stop myself if I tried.

If I had to buy another auto dark right now it would be a Jackson truesight 2 with the Balder lense. Without a doubt it is the clearest most vivid lense I've ever looked through. Bright, whitish blue, and crystal clear image without any green hues. I think it's around $300. One of my guys just got one and it almost made me not like my speedglas anymore. lol.
Read my other thread, I was trying to choose between the newer 4C viking and the Jackson. The newer 4C lens is very similar to the balder lens but the hood was $100 cheaper. Jackson had nicer controls though imo but I can live. Check out the videos on youtube, they are damn similar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,892 Posts
Damn and here I thought for all these years I was going blind from whacking off too much, only to find out it's my HF helmets...
I thought my HF was just fine until I tried the new Miller. Night and day!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,202 Posts
I put the headgear out of a HF auto darkening helmet in a hobart and it works wonderfully, maybe worth a shot for $40 (throw away the HF helmet, it will blind you).
heh, all my helmets been dug out of the trash with broken headgear
really nice fibremetal ones, too

I found hobart headgear was the best on the shelf at my LWS, and they wanted like $6 each. Had to cut the square holes in the helmets bigger to fit it, but it works great and hasn't stripped out the plastic teeth yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
D60, I have the digital infinity. Love the hood, hate the head gear!
I also want to be able to flip my hood down. But am old and set in my ways, maybe the kids don't need to flip the hoods down?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,780 Posts
Read my other thread, I was trying to choose between the newer 4C viking and the Jackson. The newer 4C lens is very similar to the balder lens but the hood was $100 cheaper. Jackson had nicer controls though imo but I can live. Check out the videos on youtube, they are damn similar.
That's interesting and good to know. I never disliked that viking hood at all. The lense never bothered me. But the newer lense technology is really making some great improvements. Good to see that other companies are stepping up as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,580 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
heh, all my helmets been dug out of the trash with broken headgear
really nice fibremetal ones, too

I found hobart headgear was the best on the shelf at my LWS, and they wanted like $6 each. Had to cut the square holes in the helmets bigger to fit it, but it works great and hasn't stripped out the plastic teeth yet.
I don't think my LWS carries Hobart. I wonder if I could test out the hoods/gear at a TSC. I'll take look.
 

·
Mr. Lucky
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
I hate it too my old HF headgear was way better! I work in the welding supply industry and my customers constantly complain about the Miller headgear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,127 Posts
I have had zero issues with my Miller Digital Elite. I wear an old patrol cap turned around backward under it and it seems to fit fine, is comfortable and doesn't slip unless I am jumping around with it flipped up. I don't do the old "nod to flip down" deal since it's pointless with an auto darkening helmet. I can get into position with the helmet down and not have to worry about flipping it. About the only time I flip it up is too get some air or talk to someone and then I just flip it down manually. Honestly, the only welders I know that do still nod the helmet down are the ones who have refused to convert to auto helmets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
738 Posts
I guess I have Gen Two in my Digital Elite. It's comfortable for sure. It doesn't press pressure points like cheaper head gear does until you get it adjusted just right.

Some days I wear a backwards fitted ball cap, sometimes I wear welding hats, Some times a respirator, and sometimes I don't wear anything under my helmet.

I don't feel like I need to flip it down with a nod like my Forney glass hood, but it would be nice if it didn't creep down (no matter how much I tighten the knobs) if I want it up for a bit. I just want it so stay up.

Another thing that only happens with the Digital Elite head gear, when I flip my hood up, sometimes it doesn't want to go up and takes my hat off with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,580 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I guess I have Gen Two in my Digital Elite. It's comfortable for sure. It doesn't press pressure points like cheaper head gear does until you get it adjusted just right.

Some days I wear a backwards fitted ball cap, sometimes I wear welding hats, Some times a respirator, and sometimes I don't wear anything under my helmet.

I don't feel like I need to flip it down with a nod like my Forney glass hood, but it would be nice if it didn't creep down (no matter how much I tighten the knobs) if I want it up for a bit. I just want it so stay up.

Another thing that only happens with the Digital Elite head gear, when I flip my hood up, sometimes it doesn't want to go up and takes my hat off with it.
Yep. Plus to get the knobs even close to tight enough you feel like you're gonna snap them clean off. They stretch and flex and literally audibly creak, but they don't break.

I will say plastics technology has come a long way. The first time I removed the lens insert to change the cover lens I figured the little tabs that retain it would have a short lifespan but they've proven quite durable.

I just don't understand what went down in the testing lab.....I mean say you're Miller and you plan on putting these hoods in the hands of a bunch of sausage-fingered welders, and the first time you put the hood on you find it falls even though relative to other hoods you've worn before you're pretty sure you already snugged those knobs for the pivot.......ok tighten some more......hmmm better kinda.......repeat......repeat.....ok, go 'til the plastic creaks and you literally feel you've run out of adjustment.......AH! there it is, well sorta, it mostly stays up for a few seconds at least before beginning the Chinese-water-torture-esque slow descent toward your face.

It just makes me wonder if they actually ask real welders to use these before releasing a product to market.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top