The 5 Best Safety Glasses Currently Available
Safety should always be the number one priority in any workshop. Accidents may only result in small cuts or scrapes most of the time, but when you work with power tools and other heavy-duty equipment, that risk can elevate to dismemberment or even death.
While most DIYers love to invest in advanced equipment and the best tool kits, you should first put your money towards safety, where leading brands and advanced equipment can save your life. Before you put big money down on tools, make sure that you have all the safety gear you need first.
Among the most important of the safety gear you absolutely need to get are safety glasses to shield your eyes at all times while you’re in the workshop. Your eyes are one of the most fragile parts of your body, and once they’re damaged, that’s it. You simply should not work with any sort of tools without safety glasses.
In this article, we’ll take a look at five of the best safety glasses on the market today. We will also highlight the different factors you need to consider while shopping for your own pair of safety glasses.
In This Article
Best Choice: Sellstrom Sealed Safety Glasses/Protective Eyewear w/ Anti-Fog Smoke Lense Coating
The Sellstrom Sealed Safety Glasses/Protective Eyewear w/ Anti-Fog Smoke Lense Coating is a lightweight and durable set of safety glasses that offers anti-fog coating, scratch-proof lenses, and tinted UV protection.
When you put on safety glasses, you expect them to have a different feel. You expect them to feel like unusual accessories that will take some time to get used to.
That isn’t really the case with Sellstrom’s S70001 XPS530 Sealed Safety Glasses. Upon wearing these glasses, they will feel very natural. These are some of the most comfortable safety glasses, and they’re not going to get into your way.
Compared to some other safety glasses, this pair is a bit on the smaller side. Keep that in mind before purchasing one. But aside from the slightly smaller design, you won’t have anything else to really complain about.
The smoke-tinted lenses excel at cutting down on UV rays, while the anti-fog coating prevents fog accumulation, and the co-molded temples fit snugly over your face. The soft bridge nose pads are similarly worth highlighting because they make it easier for you to wear these glasses for an extended period of time. Additionally, these glasses feature an optional strap that can help keep the glasses on your face.
It’s also worth pointing out that these Sellstrom glasses meet the U.S. military standards for ballistic eyewear and they also feature a Z87.1 ANSI rating. Count on these glasses to keep your eyes completely safe whenever you have them on.
Item Key Features:
- Meets U.S. military standards for ballistic eyewear
- Extra comfortable thanks to co-molded temples
- Includes a fire-resistant strap
- Features a slim profile
- Smaller than some of the currently available safety glasses
Premium Pick: ReadyMax SoundShield Safety Glasses w/ Anti-Fog, Scratch Resistant Lenses & Built In Hearing Protection
ReadyMax SoundShield Safety Glasses are a high-quality set of safety glasses that offers built-in hearing protection, anti-fog and scratch-resistant coating sure to protect you with maximum comfort.
Newer pieces of workshop equipment are doing better in terms of keeping their noise production in check, but of course, there are still those items that cannot avoid causing a ruckus. Drills and circular saws in particular are notorious for their noise production.
The Readymax Construction Safety Glasses from SoundShield are high end safety glasses designed to help minimize the amount of noise you have to endure as you’re working.
These glasses come with retractable earplugs built into the frame. You can pull them out easily and place them into your ears whenever you are planning to use your noisier tools. The noise won’t be canceled out completely, but it will be reduced significantly.
Your eyes will also be effectively protected from the sun and any other intense light sources by these glasses. The lenses are scratch-resistant for added durability.
The anti-fog coating is a nice finishing touch that gives the Readymax safety glasses a versatility and quality that makes them useful in a variety of circumstances.
Item Key Features:
- Retractable earplugs offer good protection against noise
- Earplugs can be easily replaced
- Lenses are scratch-resistant
- Anti-fog coating applied
- More expensive compared to many other pairs of safety glasses
Best Value: 3M Virtua CCS Personal Protective Eyewear w/ Anti-Fog Lenses & Foam Gasket
The 3M Virtua CCS Personal Protective Eyewear w/ Anti-Fog Lenses & Foam Gasket is a great set of safety glasses for someone on a budget. It offers anti-fog lenses and even has the option to add earplugs so you can protect your ears from hearing damage.
We’re going from the premium pick to the budget pick next. To be clear though, the lower price point attached to the 11873-00000-20 Virtua CCS Protective Eyewear from 3M is not an indicator of poor quality. You can count on this pair to protect your eyes effectively.
At first, the lightweight frame may feel somewhat odd because it hardly makes an impression on your face, but you’ll probably grow to like it. The glasses are always there on your face even if they don’t always feel like they’re on.
The specially designed frame of this 3M pair is designed to accommodate the addition of corded earplugs. Earplugs are not included, but it gives craftsmen the ability to select earplugs that best fit their crafting needs.
The manufacturers have added anti-fog coating to the lenses of these glasses, but it doesn’t last very long. After using these safety glasses for a while, you will probably notice more and more fog buildup.
As long as you don’t live in a humid area, these glasses are worth considering because the price point attached is hard to beat.
- One of the more affordable pairs of safety glasses
- Lightweight design does not leave much of an impression on your face
- Can be paired with earplugs
- No earplugs included
- Anti-fog coating will not last long
- Frame is less sturdy than some others
Best Bifocal: MAGID Iconic Y50 Design Series +2.0 BiFocal Lens Safety Glasses with Side Shields
The MAGID Y50BKAFC20 Iconic Y50 Design Series +2.0 BiFocal Lens Safety Glasses with Side Shields are great safety glasses that offers magnifying options for people who need to do detail work on their crafts in safety.
You’re probably not expecting much from safety glasses in terms of vision enhancement, but you will find items out there that can help in that department. For instance, the Y50BKAFC20 Iconic Y50 Series Safety Glasses with Side Shields from Magid can offer both protection and magnification.
The magnification diopter is built into the lenses. This is what allows you to see better with these glasses. For those who do frequent detail work, these safety glasses allow you to get up close and personal to your craft without having to switch glasses or buy a magnifying headband.
The lenses themselves are very durable and are scratch-resistant. You will be able to continue to see clearly through them even if they’ve been dinged a few times. Present around the lenses are side shields. These are meant to provide additional protection, although they can also make this pair of glasses feel somewhat uncomfortable.
When you’re done using these glasses, you can store them away easily using the included carrying case.
- Will make it easier for you to see smaller details
- Lenses used are scratch-resistant
- Lenses feature an anti-fog coating
- Glasses hold up well against UV rays
- Side shields can make you uncomfortable while wearing these glasses
Welding Pick: Wishlink Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Safety Goggles
The Wishlink Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Safety Goggles are auto-darkening safety glasses with filters to protect from the light released by welding. They’re sure to protect your eyes during your welding projects.
Last up, we’re going to look at some specialty safety glasses – a pair designed specifically for welding.
One of the coolest features of the pair of Wishlink Solar Powered Auto Darkening Welding Safety Goggles is that it features auto darkening. Obviously, you’ll be exposed to plenty of intense light while you’re welding, so having glasses that can tone that down is really helpful.
The auto darkening feature is made possible by the solar cells. You won’t need to purchase batteries to get these welding glasses to work.
Additional protective features come in the form of double filters. These are designed to protect against powerful UV and infrared rays of light. The lenses are also very durable and they need to be since they will be hit a lot while you are completing your welding projects.
Weighing in at 3.2 ounces, these welding glasses are on the heavier side, but that is typical for this type of item.
Be careful where you store these welding glasses though. The auto darkening feature may be affected if these glasses are allowed to get wet.
- Has an auto darkening feature
- Makes use of solar cells
- Double filters protect against harsh lighting
- Very durable lenses
- Prone to water damage
- May be heavy for long-term wear
Who Should Buy Safety Glasses?
The answer to the question of, ‘Should I wear eyewear when working with tools?’ is almost always, ‘yes.’ Your eyes are one of the most vulnerable and exposed parts of your body, and eye damage can cause blindness and chronic pain that severely changes how someone goes about their day-to-day life after injury. However, some projects are minute enough that safety glasses are not necessary, while some projects pose enough risk that safety goggles should be used instead. In what situation is wearing safety glasses the right choice?
Safety glasses should be used whenever particles, flying objects, or dust are at a risk of moving around and getting into the eyes of workers. This can mean anything from sawdust to broken tool bits. Therefore, someone doing something as minor as putting a hole into a wall may not need safety glasses, but someone bending metal or cutting wood should take pains to ensure they own a pair of safety glasses with side shields.
In some cases, safety glasses do not offer enough protection to your eyes. In such instances, care should be taken to use safety goggles instead, for a comprehensive seal that can protect your eyes from all angles. The best safety goggles should be used when chemicals are present, so that gases, fumes, and splashes of chemicals can’t get in your eyes in the event of an accident. Most of the time, however, safety glasses are an appropriate form of protection for the workplace.
Even in the event of small-scale, low-risk projects, it’s good practice to wear your safety glasses and protect your eyes.
Important Features to Consider
In this section, I’ll highlight the factors that can significantly affect the performance of a pair of safety glasses. When looking through info sheets and product listings for safety glasses, these are the things you need to keep in mind.
Meets ANSI Standards
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is in charge of setting quality guidelines for numerous products and safety glasses are among them.
For safety glasses in particular, ANSI rates how well they can handle impact.
According to All About Vision, you need to look for the Z87 mark on the pair of safety glasses. This indicates that the pair in question is capable of handling “basic impact.” If you are seeking more protection, try to find pairs that can offer Z87+ protection as that mark is only issued to glasses that can withstand “high impact.”
The absence of an ANSI mark does not automatically mean that a particular pair of safety glasses will not be able to protect you, though you may want to check it thoroughly first.
Additional Protective Features
Since we are talking about safety glasses here, it’s not enough for them to just be capable of withstanding some shrapnel heading toward your eyes. That may be the most important consideration, but ideally, you want protective spectacles that can do more in terms of keeping your eyes safe from harm.
Try to look for safety glasses that offer protection from ultraviolet rays. Working for long hours under the sun can be tiring enough on its own. With insufficient UV protection, your eyes may not be able to hold up as long as you need them to. You may end up having to cut your workday short at that point.
Safety Gear Pro notes that even green or grey tints on safety glasses are helpful because they can reduce the intensity of the light pouring in via the lenses.
Additional protection against excessive amounts of heat and light is also crucial if you do a lot of welding in your workshop.
Some safety glasses also provide better seals for your eyes. Along with protecting against projectiles that are heading straight into your eyes, these glasses will also be able to repel shrapnel coming from unusual angles.
Coatings on safety glasses are not what you would describe as essential features, but they can be extremely helpful depending on your working environment.
One of the most frequently used coatings for safety glasses is something that discourages the buildup of fog. For those hobbyists living in states where things can get pretty humid, it’s a must to get safety glasses with anti-fog coatings. Otherwise, you may end up spending more time in the workshop cleaning your glasses as opposed to getting things done.
Safety glasses may not be particularly expensive, but you still don’t want to buy something that only lasts for a few months in your possession.
It would also be really annoying if you’ve cleared out your schedule so that you can spend the bulk of your weekend in the workshop only to find out that you need to go to the store to purchase new safety glasses because the old pair broke.
Durability-focused features that would be great to see on safety glasses include scratch and heat resistance. Scratch resistance is especially important given how often the glasses are exposed to high-speed projectiles.
As much as possible, safety glasses should go unnoticed while you’re in the middle of working. That won’t be possible if the glasses you’re wearing are too heavy.
A bit of extra weight is fine if the manufacturers make up for it with additional features. If the safety glasses are heavy for no reason though, it’s best to look elsewhere.
Not everyone has ideal 20/20 vision. Having poor eyesight can obviously be a huge obstacle while working, which is why it’s nice to have some pairs of safety glasses that can help people see better.
Make sure to get a pair for yourself if your eyesight is not as good as it used to be.
Some pairs of safety glasses are loaded with more accessories by their manufacturers. Popular choices for accessories in this case include earplugs and straps.
Obviously, earplugs are more than welcome in the workshop especially if you spend a lot of your workshop time using high-powered equipment. Earplugs that are connected to the safety glasses are even better.
Straps are great to have simply because they will ensure your safety glasses won’t fall to the ground while you’re moving all over your workshop.
You will be pleased with the performance of all the safety glasses listed above. They all deserve to be considered among the best safety glasses. Still, the pair that stands out from the pack is definitely the S70001 XPS530 Sealed Safety Glasses from Sellstrom.
As long as this pair can fit you, it’s an item worth purchasing. The comfort it provides is top notch and is only outdone by the level of protection it offers. It also meets the appropriate safety standards. The added strap is a nice touch as well and it will surely prove helpful while you’re working.
Prioritize this pair of Sellstrom safety glasses the next time you go shopping for workshop gear and get to work knowing that your eyes are protected from injury when you start your next DIY project.