Everyone wants to weld with or at least try the unicorn of welding lenses, the AO Weld Cool and as most of you know they stopped making them a while ago causing them to fetch often outrageous prices, as high as $500 (good ol’ supply and demand). This has left welders with very few options, some get lucky and score one for a decent price from someone who doesn’t know what they have (or in my buddy’s case finds a stack of them still new in the package tucked away in the corner of his shop), and some give up their first born for one. Many companies have claimed to replicate the “Cool Blue,” but we all know it’s BS, that is until now. Phillips-Safety has developed a line of drop in filters that turn your standard lens into the closest thing to a Cool Blue that I’ve come across and at a fraction of the cost ($79.99 for the 4.25″ x 2″ and $169.00 for the 5.25″ x 4.5″).
I received the first prototype “Super Magenta Drop In Welding Lens” from Phillips back when I ordered a couple of their gold lenses (shades 9 and 10). It came enclosed in bubble wrap and had tacky brown paper on both sides protecting it from scratches. The filter, as the name implies is magenta in color and approximately 1/8″ thick. I unwrapped my gold filters, stacked the Super Magenta on top them and looked into the lights in my house (it was night time otherwise I would have used the Sun) and the light appeared almost white, far from the traditional green tint.
When welding with the filter in place, the blue is very apparent. It’s a darker blue than the AO provides not darker overall, but a darker shade of blue. I consider the AO to provide a light blue, the Super Magenta provides a pure blue. I paired several lenses with it (Phillips gold, Comfort gold, Anchor Gold, and Omni gold) and found I liked it best when used with a Comfort gold shade 9. I found this combination, when TIG welding with amperage’s over 120amps was not dark enough for me as I experienced some post welding flare once I raised my hood. Paired with the Comfort lens your field of view is pretty amazing compared to your standard passive lens, you can see not only your work but everything around you in a vibrant blue hue. Imagine wearing a pair of sunglasses with blue lenses and that’s what it looks like under the hood once you light up. The clarity of whatever lens you choose to pair it with is not affected at all, virtually everything remains the same except for the color spectrum, specifically the puddle and arc itself. The arc becomes white with all lens combinations and the puddle color varies from light orange, light yellow, gold, and white depending on the passive lens you combine it with.
I put a in a lot of time under the hood with this filter and the only downside (if you can call it that) that I found is the filter slightly darkens the shade of the lens in front of it, not to a darker shade, but it’s noticeable if you’re looking for it. Aside from that, I don’t have one single complaint about it. As a matter of fact I was sent two additional lenses and filters to try and have yet to use them because I like this one so much.
At the time of me writing this, I have no reason to not recommend this filter to everyone and don’t see me coming across one anytime in the future. I have let others use my hood and everyone that has wanted to know where they could buy one immediately (but they weren’t available for purchase at the time). Well, today I have good news and that is they are currently available for purchase through Phillips-Safety’s website.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be reviewing both their AlloWeld and Super Blue Drop in Welding Lenses so, stay tuned.