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A Better Welding Helmet?

Kevin may have found a better welding helmet, thanks to its glass lens and a unique feature .... As this how-to video begins, Kevin is surveying his Miller Performance welding helmet with its auto-darkening lens, inside controls and solar panel that picks up the welding light to power it. Kevin notes that the helmet also has a battery that needs to be changed occasionally. The downside for Kevin, though, is that this is one of those welding helmets that has a plastic lens, and it bothers his eyes. He can't see as clearly as he could through the old glass lens, fixed shade helmets. Kevin has discovered, though, a "new guy on the market," Accu-Strike. The helmet is light - possibly carbon fiber - and it has a red face shield with a fixed-shade lens in it. The folks at Accu-Strike also put a 2.5 "cheater" corrective lens in it for Kevin, who wears glasses. One of the cool things about this helmet, though, is that you can raise the face shield simply by moving your chin. "Hey, Mom! No hands!" Kevin demonstrates how it works, then shows the mechanism inside. There's the usual head gear that goes around your head and also a chin bar with the same sort of adjuster as the head band so you can adjust the chin bar for a good fit. Then you just open your mouth to raise the face shield with its darkened lens. You can open it all the way and lock it open for situations like grinding, then nod your head to close it. When you're doing piecework, though, like Kevin's railroad spike plant sculptures, where he's grabbing one, placing it, welding it, grabbing another, placing it, welding it, adding new pieces all the time, you can flip up the shield and close it again with just a flick of your chin. Kevin demonstrates how this works as he creates the base of one of his Shitake Agaves. As the video shows, he can move a lot more quickly and confidently by being able to repeatedly just flip up and drop the lens to position the spikes. But, says Kevin, the cool thing is that the lens is glass, not plastic, which provides a crystal clear view. He looks forward to seeing how many people reach for this helmet rather than the auto-darkening helmet. Finally, Kevin mentions that you can get also get a version with a fan to keep your head cooler.

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