Best Safety Glasses For Welding – Most Protective Picks

Best Welding Safety Glasses

This guide will cover our top choices for the best welding safety glasses available. Whenever you’re working with metal, eye protection is a great idea and is mandatory in all professional situations. All job sites and welding fabrication shops will require eye protection, but if you’re working in your garage then it’s your call.

Sparks, slag and shards of metal can all be very dangerous to humans, so we recommend putting on your eye protection before firing up your machine or your grinder.

This article will cover our favorite safety glasses that we use for welding jobs. These will protect you when you are cutting and grinding, but they are also great to wear under your welding hood incase any sparks fly in. Sparks and slag have sneaky ways of finding their way under your hood, and many optical injuries are caused this way.

There are safety glasses with clear lenses and safety glasses with shaded lenses. The clear lenses are great for general protection, while the shaded lenses are great for oxy fuel cutting and brazing. This guide will first cover the top rated clear glasses, and then the top rated shaded glasses.

There are also models that come with tinted UV lenses. These are great for sun protection, but you’ll need a legitimate shade 5 lens if you plan on cutting with a torch setup.

Miller Electric Spark Safety Glasses

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These clear glasses from Miller are a top favorite of shop welders and fabricators. They have an anti fog coating which is one of the best we’ve seen. This is important because many (if not all) welding jobs will make you sweat – and you don’t want your glasses to fog while you’re busy working.

They have a nicely curved profile with a “wrap around the eye” type of fit. This will protect you from sparks flying in from the side. This is an important feature especially if you have other workers nearby. Often times eye injuries aren’t caused from your sparks – your buddy who is 10 feet away can also pose a real hazard.

These lenses are made of a high grade polycarbonate that is shatter proof. These will hold up for months at a time, even if you end up dropping them along the way.

These glasses meet the ANSI Z87.1 Standards, and are also accepted by OSHA.

We find that these glasses last the longest in our shop, and we always keep multiple pairs around.

Dewalt Dominator Safety Glasses

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These are some all around heavy duty glasses. They feature rubber tips on the temples and nose which keep them firm on your face. This non-slip feature is super handy for long days when you don’t want equipment failing on you.

These Dewalt’s are more of a full frame design – the larger lens means more eye protection and more face coverage. Similar to the Miller’s, these have that “wrap around the eye” fit which means more protection for your peripherals.

One unique feature of these glasses is that they protect against 99.9% of UV rays. This “Dominator” model has different lens shades depending on how much sun protection you want. If the clear lens isn’t your thing, you can select a gradient lens if you find yourself out in the sun most of the time.

These glasses meet the ANSI Z87.1 Standards.

NoCry Anti Fog Safety Glasses

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These safety glasses feature a polycarbonate lens construction which is also the “wrap around” style featured in the Miller’s above. The lenses are double coated as well as un-tinted. This means maximum optical clarity with little to no lens distortion.

These are also fog resistant, although we’ve found that they aren’t as resistant to fog as the Miller’s. The side temple pieces and nose pieces are adjustable. This is a more uncommon feature which allows for a custom fit to anyones face. We found that this adjustment really does cater to multiple face profiles, wider heads, etc.

The NoCry’s have UV protection built in. This will cover you for at least 90% of UV rays, but it isn’t as protective as the Dewalt’s shown above.

The best feature of these glasses is the NoCry warranty. If you aren’t satisfied with your glasses, they will replace or refund your purchase 100% of the time.

Carhartt Carbondale Safety Glasses

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Safety glasses are rarely stylish, but these Carhartt’s actually look pretty cool on the job site. They feature a flexible rubber nose piece. We found that this is way more comfortable than other models, and it won’t leave any marks on your nose. The rubber grips quite well and lets the glasses sit snugly for an all day fit.

The temples are also rubber injected – which adds even more grip and comfort. The lens is fully polycarbonate as well as scratch resistant – and offers 99% UV protection. The lenses come in a clear model as well as different shades. The tinted options are best if you find yourself out in the sun on most of your jobs.

These also meet the ANSI Z87.1 standards.

KleenGuard Maverick Safety Glasses

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These models are tinted which is ideal for sun protection on outdoor job sites. They feature an anti fog coating which will keep the lenses clear in humid settings.

The side shields will protect you from sparks and debris flying in from the side. This is important if you are close to other tradesmen on the job site. The lenses are UV resistant as well as scratch resistant – this makes them durable for all day outdoor usage.

They come in multiple lens models based on preference, so if you prefer a clear lens then you can go with that.

This glasses modern design allows them to look like a regular pair of sunglasses.

These also meet the ANSI Z87.1 standards.

Miller Slag Shade 5 Safety Glasses

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If you plan on using an oxy-fuel setup for cutting steel, these are a great pick. Although using a torch doesn’t require a high shade, you still need eye protection to avoid getting blinded. The shade 5 will keep your eyes safe as you perform your cutting operations.

These glasses have an anti fog coating along with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses. They have a form fitting wrap around design which makes them a safe choice for complete eye protection.

You can also use these on super sunny days when clear lenses just won’t cut it.

These also meet the ANSI Z87.1 standards.

Hobart Shade 5 Safety Glasses

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These are another great option if you plan on cutting with an oxy-fuel setup. The lenses are mirrored which tends to offer more UV protection than a traditional lens.

These glasses are also shatter proof with a polycarbonate lens construction. They can resist drops and abuse very well. They are extremely scratch resistant which means they will last longer than other models.

We love to use these on long days when we are using a cutting torch on a regular basis.

These also meet the ANSI Z87.1 standards.

Uvex Hypershock Safety Glasses

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These glasses from Uvex feature lens tints for almost any scenario. These options can be catered to low light days and sunny days. However, the clear lenses are always an option if you tend to do more work indoors.

These safety glasses also feature permanent lens coatings. These coatings offer anti fog and anti scratch properties that make the glasses last a lot longer than other offerings. This permanent bonding technology holds up against repeated lens cleanings over time.

These also feature a sleek side profile which allows you to wear any hat, hard hat, or welding headgear of your choice. The side temples will not interfere with other headwear that is necessary for the job.

The molded nose and and inserts allow the glasses to grip firmly on your face. They rarely slip even throughout a long days work. The hinge mechanism is top notch and stands the test of time.

These also meet the ANSI Z87.1 standards.

Uvex Avatar Safety Glasses

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These glasses feature a half frame construction. This means that there is more room for the lens to reach down further on your face. This equals more eye protection and a wider lens surface. These are extremely impact resistant and can withstand large drops with ease.

They have a high quality anti fog coating which will keep you seeing clearly on those hot days.

They feature wire cored temples and a multi material technology. The amount of smooth rubber in these glasses will keep you comfortable all day long.

They are extremely adjustable for any face size. From heavy weight contractors to skinny teenagers, these will fit just about any faces structure.

Wrap Up

Safety glasses tend to scratch relatively easily due to their plastic lenses. Items like this that don’t last very long are referred to as “consumables” in the welding world. For this reason, we tend to buy in bulk and look for good deals on pairs of glasses. Some models come with actual glass lenses; although these are more durable, they do have their downsides. Clear glass lenses were extremely popular back in the day and brands like American Optical still have a large cult following – and can be bought on Ebay and other vendors of vintage goods.

Sparks from grinding will melt into the glass lenses over time, and eventually ruin the lenses. They look like little bb’s that have fused with the lens. For this reason, plastic is now the most common lens material in todays safety glasses because it reflects sparks so well. Although the plastic nowadays is extremely durable in terms of not breaking, it is prone to scratches.

With this information in mind, you may want to invest in a really nice pair such as the Uvex’s or the Miller’s, or you may want to buy several pairs of a more affordable option. It largely comes down to personal preference, but one thing is for sure – safety glasses are essential!

Thanks for reading.

Featured image credit : Wikimedia Commons Archives

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