I use a cheap welding helmet all the time. One of the best places to buy a welding helmet is online. I can remember ringing around all the local welding supply shops and asking for prices. I was totally blown away at how much these welding helmets can cost. For someone like me who doesn't do that much welding at all, I could not see the point in spending big dollars. I ended up buying a cheap auto darkening helmet from my local hardware shop.I actually bought it from Mitre10 (Australia) as at the time they had them on special for about $80. The thing was though that none of the local welding shops had anything in stock that was below $200. I can understand their point that if you are welding all day it's better to spend more money on a quality butt welding machine helmet. Some of the more popular and better-known brands are from Miller, Speedglas, Optrel, and Cigweld.The cheap helmet I have is the "Tecmen" brand. So far one of the problems I have had with this helmet is the plastic strap that goes around your head has broken in one place. I have had to fix it up with some strong tape.One of the downsides to buying a bargain price one is that finding spare parts may be a problem. For example where I bought the helmet from, last time I checked, they do not sell spare clear lenses or spare head straps. All helmets that comply with ANSI standards are designed to filter out most of the dangerous and harmful UV hand infrared emissions.Some of the cheapest helmets might only have the one shade setting, with mine you can actually go from about 9 to 13 in shade darkness. This allows for a wide range of welding possibilities. From low amperage TIG welding right up to heavier stick welding and flux cored welding.Another area that you might want to look at is how fast a cheap welding lens can switch over to its filtered welding mode. The more expensive welding helmets will switch a much faster rate. Inside them they have adjustable controls.