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Best Safety Glasses for Engineers (Updated 2020)

Liz Miller Learn Robotics

About the Author, Liz Miller, Founder/CEO @ Learn Robotics

Liz graduated with a degree in Robotics Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and researched drones at UPenn's GRASP Lab. Liz is a former Raytheon Engineer, where she managed major $MM automation projects worldwide. Today, she's the driving force behind Learn Robotics, offering the Robotics Career Blueprint for Engineering Professionals and beginner courses through the Online Robotics Class. Liz is a third-generation entrepreneur who is all about the application of innovation in robotics, automation, and AI. Follow Liz on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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No matter if you’re an engineer in a factory, working on a construction site, building robots in a lab, or participating in hobbies that put your eyes at risk, safety glasses are a must-have.

It’s important to wear protective glasses anytime you’re in a hazardous environment. Safety glasses can protect your eyes from debris and splashes while being comfortable and even stylish.

Safety Glasses Buyer’s Guide 2020

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20,000 workplace eye injuries happen each year. The crazy part is that 90% of workplace eye injuries are preventable by wearing proper eye protection. That statistic alone should convince you to wear safety glasses.

With the help of this guide, you’ll gain a list of the top picks for safety glasses and options to match your budget and personal needs.

1. Highest Rated Overall

With over 3,500 positive reviews and an affordable price of $11, the NoCry Safety Glasses are at the top of our list. The lenses have a scratch-resistant, anti-fog coating and UV protection.

You can use the NoCry Safety glasses at work, at a job site, or even for sports. They’re a versatile pair of glasses that everyone should have in their arsenal.

NoCry Clear Safety Glasses for Men and Women;...
  • STRONG, DURABLE DESIGN. Thanks to the tough, polycarbonate wraparound construction, these...
  • LIGHT, COMFORTABLE AND ADJUSTABLE. These protective glasses have extendable arms and an adjustable...

2. Most Affordable

If you’re looking for an affordable, yet rugged pair of safety glasses, then the DEWALT DPG94-1C Dominator is a good pair to check out. They’re comfortable enough for all-day use and feel sturdy and well-made. Some reviews even mention that they provide extra clarity at night.

Choose from clear, tinted, or mirrored lenses with 99.9% UV protection. For the price, they’re well worth the money and can protect your vision.

DEWALT DPG94-1D Dominator SAFETY Glasses, Clear...
  • Rubber tipped temples provide a non-slip comfortable fit
  • Full frame with larger lens provides excellent coverage

3. Best Anti-Fog & Scratch-Resistant

It’s time to buy new safety glasses if yours are very scratched or fog up all the time. Even light scratches can cause blotches and impair visibility. The best anti-fog and scratch-resistant safety glasses are the ToolFreak Agent Safety Glasses.

They’re stylish and have impact-resistant lenses with soft ear rests. There’s also a curved frame that’s designed to wrap around your head for a better fit and full eye coverage. You can purchase both clear and tinted lenses for either indoor or outdoor use.

ToolFreak Agent Safety Glasses, Clear Wraparound...
  • PROTECT YOUR EYES: Forget about flying hazards harming your eyesight and slowing you down. We’ve...
  • PROMOTE BETTER VISIBILITY: Do not compromise with anything else other than distortion free when it...

4. Best for Daily Indoor Work

If you’re someone who works all day on a shop floor or in a factory, then you’ll want to check out the Encon Wraparound Veratti safety glasses.

They’re comfortable enough for long days at work and include polycarbonate lenses with 99.9% UVA and UVB protection. These only come in clear lenses, so they’re best for indoor applications. Learn more about the Econ Veratti safety glasses on Amazon.

Encon Wraparound Veratti 307 Safety Glasses, Clear...
  • Protective eyewear with untinted lenses can be used indoors and outdoors and don't interfere with...
  • Polycarbonate lenses resist impact, have anti-scratch coating to prolong lens life, and provide...

5. Best for Outdoor Work & Sports

Oftentimes you’ll want a pair of safety glasses that can be used outdoors for work and sports. The Pyramex I-Force goggles are both sporty and provide complete eye protection. These safety glasses have dual lenses.

The outer polycarbonate lens protects against scratches, while the inner acetate lens prevents fogging. The Pyramex I-Force goggles exceed MIL-PRF 32432 High-Velocity Impact standards and provide UVA/B/C protection. You can read more about these safety glasses on Amazon.

Pyramex I-Force Sporty Dual Pane Anti-Fog Goggle,...
  • Ratcheting quick release interchangeable temples and strap
  • Scratch resistant polycarbonate lens provides 99% UVA/B/C protection

When to wear Eye Protection

It’s important to wear eye protection whenever you’re working in a hazardous environment. Most factory jobs require safety glasses and additional PPE including work boots, gloves, and sleeves. It’s a good idea to wear protective goggles if you’re working with chemicals or in an environment subject to debris. When in doubt, wear safety glasses anyways. It’s better to not need them than to have an eye injury.

do I need safety glasses at work?

There are a variety of other workplaces that require safety glasses including laboratories, construction sites, and machine shops. Depending on the type of work you do (welding, construction, industrial automation, etc.) will dictate the safety glasses you’ll need for your job. Some facilities have specific requirements for the type of protective eyewear that’s allowed.

There are also options for eyewear including UV protection, polarization, and protective goggles that you can wear over prescription glasses.

Requirements for Safety Glasses

Most workplaces define the requirements for Safety Glasses. Check with your Health and Safety department or lab manager to figure out the exact requirements. A lot of shops require ANSI Z87 standards at a minimum.

If you’re wearing prescription-grade safety glasses, you’ll also want to wear peripheral protection or side shields to protect debris from entering your eyes from the side. All of the safety glasses mentioned in this article have wrap-around lenses that protect your face and peripheral vision, which preclude the need for side shields.

Common Features of Protective Eyewear

If you work indoors, chances are you’ll want clear and shatterproof lenses. However, if you work outdoors, you may want additional features. Some safety glasses have polarization and UV Protection.

Polarization & UV Protection

Polarization blocks light that’s reflected horizontally making it easier to see reflective surfaces.

UV Protection is a must if you work outdoors. UV radiation can cause significant degradation in your vision if you don’t take certain safety precautions. Safety glasses that have UV protection filter out harmful UV rays from the sun.

UVA protection is common in most protective eyewear; however, if you work outside, it’s a good idea to make sure your safety glasses have UVB and UVC protection as well. Tinted glasses may or may not have UV protection, so be sure to verify this before your purchase.

Over-Glasses Protection

If you wear prescription glasses, you’ll want to find safety eyewear or goggles that can be worn over your glasses.

Here are some good options:

Should you wear Safety Glasses under a Face Shield?

You should absolutely wear safety glasses under a face shield. A face shield is only designed to be a second layer of protection against hazards and debris.

You can be at risk for injury if you don’t wear safety glasses underneath a face shield. Face shields have gaps around the sides, which don’t provide significant protection to the eyes. Safety glasses completely cover the eyes and provide better protection against debris.

How to Keep Protective Glasses from Fogging Up

After a long day of wearing safety glasses, the last thing you want to deal with is a foggy lens that makes it difficult to see. The best way to keep safety glasses from fogging is to make sure you buy ones with anti-fog lenses and to use anti-fog wipes.

best safety glasses for construction

Small scratches can also give a cloudy appearance. Be sure to store protective eyewear away from objects that can scratch the lenses.

What Safety Glasses should you buy?

At the end of the day, the best safety glasses are ones that you’ll wear, while providing maximum protection to your vision. Here’s the full round-up of our top picks. 

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with a friend. Be sure to comment on your favorite pair of safety glasses below!

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