10 Best Safety Glasses for Welders – Reviews and Guide 2021

Welding is a fun but dangerous job. It’s a no brainer that welding has many potential occupational hazards associated with it – which is precisely why you must always make sure to take all the necessary precautions when welding.

When it comes to safety, eyes are one of the first things that require optimal protection from welding. Apart from the sparks flying everywhere and the heat produced, welders are exposed to toxic fumes & electric hazards. The best safety glasses for welders will protect the welder’s eyes from all this.

Today, we present an article containing reviews of the top 10 welding glasses, a beginner’s guide, and additional information. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

10 Best Welding Safety Glasses Review

To ensure you get the best possible recommendations, we have constructed this list with the personal experiences of both ourselves and other real-life users. We went the extra mile for you because we care.

1. Bolle Safety Shade 5.0 Scratch-Resistant Black Welding Safety Glasses

We are kicking off this list with a brand that truly knows how to make the best pair of welding safety glasses for various purposes – and this product is a perfect example of their quality. It is, hands down, one of the best welding goggles. Keep reading to know why!

This level 5 shade glass will provide you with the best UV protection and safety possible. It gives a great, sealed fit, thanks to the foam padding and also great for stick welding. Often if the fitting is too tight, the user might develop a headache with prolonged use. That is not the case with this product.

It will block out any harmful chemical or mechanical exposure while you’re on the job. The polycarbonate lens is thick & durable, capable of blocking up to 99 percent UVA & UVA sun rays. Polycarbonate lenses can be used for plasma cutting, so blocking UV light and other level of protection wont be a problem for it.

There are a few minor drawbacks, though. Some users said the glass was too narrow for their faces. You have green lenses here, therefore, it will not work with ARC welding. However, it is perfect for oxy-acetylene jobs.

Pros

  • The scratch-resistant coating prevents unwanted marks
  • Best for oxy-acetylene torch work
  • Thick and gives up to 99% UVA & UVB ray protection
  • Fully sealed with a foam padding
  • Excellent optical quality with 180-degree distortion-free view

Cons

  • The fit might be too narrow for some
  • Not the best arc welding googles

2. Miller Electric Shade 5.0 Scratch-Resistant Welding Safety Glasses

If you are looking for the best value for your bucks, you can’t pass up on this terrific product from Miller. The brand is well known in the market for its welding kits, and they excel at making welding accessories as well.

Right safety welder glasses often come with a downside too bulky and tight for extended use. Some of them may cause headaches or leave unsightly weird marks on your face & head when kept on for too long. But the ergonomic design of the elastic frame has no such problem. However, you will not get the head protection from this eye protection gear.

You’d be happy to know that Miller has addressed that issue with this product. It is very lightweight and comfortable to wear. To prevent the issue of the leaving mark, this product comes with soft rubber padding around the lens frame, which prevents it from making marks.

And since Miller Electric welding googles are lightweight, you will not be getting any headache either. However, since it’s thin, it is prone to breaking. You also cannot use this for MIG or TIG welding, as it is not dark enough. If you need a darker shade for infrared radiation than we have other welding mask and glass reviews for different type of welding.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable for prolonged use, perfect snug fit
  • Anti fog coating maintains excellent visibility & peripheral vision
  • Meets the ANSI Z87.1 green standard
  • Polarized lenses
  • Stylish reflective scratch-resistant coating

Cons

  • Not suitable for MIG or TIG welding
  • Not very durable

3. Elvex WELSG31WS5AF Green 5.0 Anti-Fog Brow-Specs with Welding Shade

So far, we have talked about two trendy players in the market. Let’s have a look at a relatively new release now. This green, yellow-tinted level 5 shade welding glass is quite a strong contender if you ask me.

If you are used to working long hours during hot summer days, then you are no stranger to sweating and the inconveniences it brings about. Besides the discomfort and smell, sweat also gets pretty annoying by running down your forehead & getting into your eyes when you’re trying to concentrate.

Elvex specifically aimed to stop this from interrupting your work. They have added brow protection to protect your eyes from any incoming sweat. This pair of welding googles also prevents any dirt from being blown into your glasses.

This product is made to be very durable, as even high-velocity impacts cannot do any harm to it. Additionally, it also will not slip down your nose due to sweat & oils from your face because the nose bridge is vented and has anti-slip rubber.

Pros

  • Comfortable & functioning brow protection
  • 100% UV protection
  • High-velocity impact resistant
  • SuperCoat TM anti-fog coated
  • Vented nose bridge with anti-slip rubber

Cons

  • Yellow tint needs some getting used to

4. Edge SW11-IR5 Dakura Wrap-Around Military Grade Anti-Scratch Non-Slip UV Protection 400 Safety Glasses

We have a military-grade formidable pair of glasses made by Edge as our 4th contender.

This glass is no joke when it comes to maximum safety. Edge went the extra mile and did everything they can to make sure everything is fantastic. It is made with top-notch materials that are highly durable. Thanks to the straight side temples and flexible frame, it is quite comfortable too.

However, speaking of comfort, this glass is made to be small and tight-fitting.  That could be a problem for some people, particularly those who do not like tight pair of welding googles.

Let’s talk a bit about safety. Edge left no stone unturned to ensure the extra protection you will get from this glass – just look at the standard compliances and military-grade tag! If safety is your number one priority when welding, this is the best safety glasses for welding, you can get your hands on.sfghsfh

Moreover, I also enjoy the wide range of glass lenses you can choose from – they are enjoyable & stylish, some of them are very easy on the eye too.

Pros

  • Comes in 13 lens colors
  • Cutting edge materials for durability, flexibility, comfort, and style
  • Compliant with the latest highest safety standards such as ANSI/ISEA Z87.1+ & Z87+
  • Blocks 99.9% UVA/ UVB/ UVC rays
  • Reduces eye fatigue & visual distortion while providing a stretched peripheral view

Cons

  • Might be too small & tight for some people

5. KwikSafety PIT VIPER ANSI Industrial Anti Fog Anti Scratch Snug Fit Welding Goggles

For the glass wearers among us, wearing another glass on top of our already existing glass can be a real hassle – be it a sunglass, a 3D movie theater glass, or a welding glass! Lucky for you, KwikSafety is offering a superb product that is big enough to fit around your regular glasses. Pretty neat, huh?

If your eye is exposed to harmful radiation caused by ultraviolet rays, chemical changes may occur on the cornea, lens, and retina, damaging them in the process. This is why you need the best eye protection gear you can get – such as this one. It has a shade of level 5, which is enough to protect you from light welding jobs.

Ideally, this glass is perfect for infrared or plasma jet welding, with a maximum welding current of 1 amp.

But these welding safety goggles are versatile making it compatible with many welding types, and can also be used for oxy-acetylene welding process, brazing, soldering, blowtorching, blacksmithing, woodworking, sandblasting, sawing, flame-cutting, landscaping, et cetera.

The build quality is superb, with a snug fir and a heavy-duty adjustable band.

Pros

  • Multifunctional, can be used for welding, brazing, soldering, and more
  • Big enough to fit glasses in
  • Anti-fog & anti-scratch
  • Meets both American and Europe standards

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavier welding

6. Hobart 770096 50mm Eye Cup Welding Oxy-Acetylene Goggle

Our sixth pick is the most affordable pair among all the welding safety goggles in our list, and the value you get for the price is terrific. If you are someone who does some light welding here or there and does not want to spend too much for a glass, this one would be decent enough.

This glass is made with light welding jobs in mind, such as oxy-acetylene gas welding. So, do not even think about using this for anything moderately more demanding.

The design of these glass rocks is very sleek, so many users buy this for costume purposes. Who does not love a product that can get the job done and look cool while doing it?

This glass comes with an adjustable band, which is great because you can adjust the fit according to your head size, ensuring comfort. However, the material it’s made with is not flexible and does not give at all. So, even if you adjust it, you will not get the best snug fit you desire.

Pros

  • Eliminates 99.98% UV rays and 99.82% max visible light
  • Adjustable for a better fit
  • Looks pretty great, can be used for fashion or costume purposes
  • Perfect for light welding
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Not flexible, so the fit is not satisfactory
  • No padding for comfort

7. Hot Max 25064-6 #5 Welding Shade Lightweight Safety Glasses

Did you know that welding glasses come in many different tints, from green to purple to black? This glass from Hot Max is a stunning mix of dark green and grey, although it looks like a black frame. If you are rather particular about the shade rating of your glasses, I have a feeling you would love this product.

This glass is an introductory level 5 welding shade that is lightweight & comfortable, which is essential because when you are working long hours wearing glasses, they can get tiring on your face, especially if you are someone who is not accustomed to wearing glasses all the time.

With this lightweight glass, you do not have to worry about any discomfort due to continued use. It is also very affordable, with the six-pack costing the same (or even less) than what you would pay for a regular welding glass.

But, to make this affordable pair, the manufacturer did have to cut corners. Build quality of these glasses is not the best. Some users said these glasses felt slightly flimsy for them.

Pros

  • A good level 5 shade for plasma cutting & gas torch welding
  • Provides economical safety
  • Comfortable & lightweight
  • Blocks an impressive amount of light
  • Holds up to scratches well

Cons

  • Not suitable for regular use, the green tint makes you temporarily colorblind
  • Slightly flimsy

8. KwikSafety Ventilation Safety Plasma Jet Welding Torch Brazing Welding Goggles

If you have learned anything from our previous KwikSafety listing, it’s that they make unique products. This one is no different, either! KwikSafety, as a brand, continues to wow us. Professional or DIY projects, you must have one of these.

Let’s get the similarities out of the way first. Much like the previous product, this one has room for prescription glasses too. It is multifunctional and can be used in all the different ways we have mentioned previously.

As for the difference, this shade comes with a flip-up design. When you flip the upper layer up, you will get a regular clear glass. This can come very handy when you are working.

Bulky glasses like this often end up getting foggy due to body heat or heat from welding. It needs no mentioning how inconvenient it is to have to stop working to clean the glass from time to time.

Luckily, this particular model has four indirect vents to let the heat escape, preventing fogginess. But there is no anti-fog coating.

Pros

  • Professional grade OWL provides extra protection
  • Contains a flip-up from for non-shaded view
  • Four indirect vents prevent fogging
  • Multipurpose, suitable for plasma welding, blowtorching, sandblasting, and more
  • Flexible & comfortable, roomy for prescription glasses

Cons

  • Might be a bit too heavy for long time use
  • Does not deal well with sweat

9. Insight Goods Safety Welding Glasses

Up until now, all the glasses we have featured have a shade level of 5. That is good for light welding jobs, but what if you do more demanding work? Well, you are in luck, because these pair of welding goggles from Insight Goods are almost as dark as welding lens shades can get.

Insight Goods promises level 12 darkness for this product. Whether they are at level 12 is questionable, but these glasses are very dark nonetheless. They will indeed block out a lot of UV rays, keeping your eyes safe from harsh welding flashes.

Be wary of doing something extreme such as TIG welding, though, because some users have reported getting flash burns while wearing these. They are very dark, yes, but not level 12.

I liked that it comes with some added accessories too. They are very useful. The wraparound design covers your vision very well, even peripheral vision. It fits well, neither too tight nor too loose.

Pros

  • Extra dark, with level 12 darkness
  • Wraparound design protects eyes from all angles
  • Comes with a zipper case & microfiber bag
  • Very sturdy, will last for ages
  • Fits well, snug & comfortable

Cons

  • Might not be as dark as advertised

10. YESWELDER True Color Auto Darkening Welding Goggles for TIG MIG ARC Plasma Cut

We are ending this list with a banger. This YESWELDER creation is the most expensive welding shades on this list, and they sure pack a punch to justify the price tag!

These glasses can take on any shade ranging from level 3 up to level 11, which means you can do both light torch jobs as well as heavier TIG or MIG welding. The versatility it offers is truly astonishing.

What’s even more impressive is that you do not need to adjust the glasses for different shade levels yourself. They have dual sensors, which sense the level of bright light your work is giving off and automatically darken the glasses to that level in mere milliseconds.

If you think that all these instant readjusting will use up a lot of battery, we have another good news! It uses both lithium-ion batteries as well as solar power to work. Protective glasses using solar energy makes it one of the best pair of safety glasses providing you excellent protection.

This means, as long as you are working under the sun, it will not use any battery power at all. Pretty neat, right?

All in all, these are, no doubt, one of the best safety glasses for welders.

Pros

  • Solar-powered saves battery life
  • Can automatically switch between different levels of shade rating
  • One of the best arc welding goggles for heavy welding
  • Has a ‘true color’ feature
  • Auto-darkening feature
  • Very simple to use

Cons

  • Fit is not the most secure

Does Welding Affect Your Eyes?

Yes, welding affects your eyes. It is a dangerous profession that makes bright, visible lights. If you see these lights with the naked eye, it can damage your vision and blind them.

Apart from visible light, welding produces some invisible rays, such as UV & infrared light. These rays may not cause immediate damage, but if your eyes are exposed to them for extended periods, they will cause long-lasting damage over time. It may even affect you after years.

There are two main types of welding problem if they fail to wear the correct pair of welding glasses. They are briefly described below –

Photokeratitis

Imagine you have a sunburn but on your eyes instead of your skin. That is exactly what Photokeratitis is. It is caused by exposure to invisible rays we talked about earlier.

This medical condition affects the cornea’s thin surface layer and the conjunctiva, which is the tissue that covers the white part and eyelids.

Photokeratitis is treatable but very painful. During treatment, you are also not allowed to weld for several days, delaying your projects.

Cataracts

Your eyes get very likely to develop cataracts if you neglect wearing welding glasses. Cataracts are correctable too, but the surgery is quite expensive and uncomfortable.

To avoid both of these conditions, you must always wear welding shades with proper darkness when working. Adjustable shades are better for this. Because they can adjust shade levels according to your needs.

Buying Guide for Newbies

The best welding glasses will contain a few different distinguishable features. Before you settle for one, go through our buyer’s list to locate precisely what you should require from a welding glass, and then go from there. If you are welding than you are in a dangerous occupation, so make sure you are making informed decisions.

Shade Level

Welding glasses come in many levels of shades. Each of these levels indicates the darkness of the lens. Different welding jobs require different minimum levels of darkness.

For example, torch soldering & razing requires level 3, MIG & TIG welding requires level 8-10, flux-cored requires level 10-13, and SMAW welding requires 8-12 level depending on the amperage.

Consider what you will use the guide for, then follow OSHA’s detailed chart to know which level should your lens be. Auto-darkening glasses can switch between many levels, which is convenient.

Impact Protection

Apart from safeguarding your eyes from bright flashes and UV rays, welding glasses are also meant to protect your eyes from splashes, sparks, dust, and flying particles. This is why they should have resistance to impact too for optimal protection.

Some glasses also come with additional features to prevent further inconveniences, such as foam padding around the shaded lenses, brow guards, side shields, wrap-around, etc.

Size & Fit

An ill-fitted glass will cause you more annoyance than a convenience. How it feels and holds up after prolonged use is just as important as welding knee pads. Since you will most likely be using it for a long time, they should be as lightweight as possible, and comfortable too.

Proper padding or rubbering on the areas that rest on your nose and face will give you comfortable wear and restrict slipping. The size and shape and their compatibility with your face matters, too.

Lens Material

The most used materials for lenses are –

  • Acrylic

They are inexpensive and more lightweight than glass. Also, they resist scratches very well. But, the sight of acrylic lenses is not very clear. It might also not make a durable pair for proper protection.

  • NXT Polyurethane (Trivex)

Trivex gets an A-plus for visibility with the best protection functions and obviously including sun protection. They are very lightweight, and therefore, comfortable. However, these bonuses come with a hefty price tag.

  • Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate lenses are the most widely used material for welding glasses. They are lightweight and provide adequate protection from UV rays. These glasses also offer good impact and scratch resistance. But their visibility is not as straightforward as Trivex’s.

  • Optical

Optical glasses give optimal protection against scratches. They do not distort your field of view, either. But there are quite heavy and do not have good impact resistance.

Are Welding Glasses Safe?

Welding glasses are often recommended to protect the eyes from damage caused by welding. However, it is not yet confirmed if they are safe during prolonged use. Welding glass protections work by absorbing most of the ultraviolet and infrared radiation emanating from welding torches.

They are made of polycarbonate that is rated to block up to 13 different types of UV radiation. But in order for these glasses to be effective, they must be changed every 8 hours.

When welding and cutting metal, it is imperative to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from the high-temperature glare and sparks. Some people think that they can get away with wearing normal goggles for this purpose, but this is not the case.

Welding goggles are designed with a special filter that blocks infrared light as well as ultraviolet light. This is an important step in protecting your eyes because it prevents you from developing cataracts and other diseases later in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which shade rating level should I get?

This is entirely dependent on the type of welding you plan to do. If it is just soldering or torching, shades 3-5 should be enough. For massive welding works such as TIG and MIG, you need at least level 8 shades to protect your eyes.

2. How do welding shades work?

Welding glasses use shades that filter out visible light of specific wavelengths. Because of this specifying, you will see what you are doing, but the high brightness and invisible rays won’t pass through the lens. Therefore, your eyes will be safe.

3. Will wearing dark glasses all day affect my vision negatively?

This is an age-old myth. There are no scientific researches that imply that wearing dark glasses for long hours harms the vision. The only impact it will have is that your eyes will need a longer time to adjust when you take the glasses off. This is temporary, and no long-term harm will be done.

4. How long does welder’s flash or arc eyes last?

Welder’s flash, welding flash or arc eye are other names for the condition of Photokeratitis. Usually, the cornea can repair by itself within 1 or 2 days. So, it lasts anywhere from a few hours up to 48 hours.

5. What is the difference between a pair of welding glasses and welding goggles?

Welding glasses are like standard glasses, but with dark lenses. On the other hand, welding goggles create a seal on your face, providing an excellent protection.

6. What type of safety glasses should you wear when welding?

Optical radiation is the biggest concern for welders. Glasses and goggles dedicatedly made for welders are the best choice for industrial impact resistance. It should have side shields and the recommended shade from OSHA for the particular welding process. Choosing other features like polarization, filtration, and magnification will be based on our work requirements.

7. What are safety glasses used for in welding?

A pair of welding goggles is primarily used for eye protection. It protects you from flying fragments, heat, Intense UV light, infrared light, and other electrical hazards from an electric arc. No, a welding helmet is not enough.

8. What shade is best for arc welding?

According to OSHA fact sheet different types of arc welding require different lens shades. A shade number of 8 is required for Shielded Metal Arc Welding and light plasma arc cutting. Heavy welding can require a shade number of 10 or 11. Check the detail in the link we have provided.

9. Can you get welders flash wearing safety glasses?

99% of the time welding lenses made of high quality materials like  polycarbonate will protect you from welders flash.

10. At what distance is it safe to look at welding?

The welding arc creates UVR that can effect you from a distance of 50 feet. It can have the same effect even if the light is reflected from any other surface. And if you are near 10 feet without any protective gear, you may sustain eye injury. Just don't be near the welding area without protective gear.

11. Do you need to wear safety glasses under a welding helmet?

Welding helmets will not protect your face from flying materials, hot slag, and sparks. The sensitivity of your protective eyewear will protect you from welding flash. The correct shade of lens is also recommended by experts for UV ray protection. Get a pair of welding glasses with adjustable sensitivity for the most versatility.

12. Can you weld with shade 5 glasses?

A pair of welding safety glasses with shade 5 should be enough for common types of light welding duties such as gas welding and oxygen cutting.

13. Can you weld with prescription glasses?

Yes, you can. But make sure to have protective welding eyewear with the correct shade rating. And you will always need the helmet.

14. Does OSHA require safety glasses under welding hoods?

Working as a welder, you are required by OSHA to wear safety glasses at all times. It is important that you always have a pair of safety glasses available and within arm’s reach, even while wearing a welding hood. You should not just rely on the welding hood for this protection.

15. Do Welders go blind over time?

Welders who don't protect their eyes from the arc risk suffering welder's flash or photokeratitis, which causes temporary blindness and extreme discomfort. More severe injuries may result in permanent damage to vision. So make sure you always wear safety glasses!

Final Words

By now, you know that the best safety glasses for welders will protect a welder’s eyes against all the dangers of the job. All the glasses we have reviewed are great.

So, determine what you want from your pair by following our guide, and then choose a welding glass from the review list. Thanks for reading!

Cherokee Observer Team
 

We are a team of professionals who decided to go all-in for home products. Each and everyone in our team is an expert in their own right. And we are not leaving this post as we will be back with more updates and with accurate information as time progresses and the need arises.

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