We think the Skullerz Odin Anti-Fog Safety Glasses are the best safety glasses and should cover most people well enough. They provide superior protection and durability along with a comfortable fit and should be a mainstay in most home workshops. They also have a wide variety of options available, making them more customizable than many of the others on the market.
On the other hand, they’re not the best for every specialized task you might come across, so we made sure to dig deep and come up with the right glasses for every situation the home handyman might come across. Let’s jump in, and then we’ll help you figure out which pair you need to keep your eyes protected when you’re hard at work.
These were undoubtedly our favorite of the various models we tried. Think Oakley safety glasses at a fraction of the price and you’ll be on the right track to understanding why we fell in love with these.
Top 5 Safety Glasses
|Skullerz Odin Anti-Fog Safety Glasses||Z87+||Glasses||Check Price|
|DEWALT DPG82-11/DPG82-11CTR||Z87+||Goggles||Check Price|
|ARAN SAFETY Anti-Fog Approved||Z87||Goggles||Check Price|
|Edge ‘Brazeau Torque’ Polarized||Z87+||Glasses||Check Price|
|JORESTECH Eyewear Protective||Z87+||Glasses||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Safety Glasses
Skullerz Odin Anti-Fog Safety Glasses
At first glance, the Skullerz Odin are an obvious knock-off of Oakley brand glasses. They’re also a fraction of the price and there doesn’t seem to be nearly as much quality differential as Oakley would have you think. That said, they’re a bit more expensive than many of the options on the market.
They’re rated for high-speed impact, and while we didn’t exactly crack them with a hammer we did find that the frame and lenses seem to be able to hold together under normal use. The lenses are made of clear polycarbonate and available with a few different tints depending on where you’re working.
The prices will range depending on whether you want polarized lenses or not, but despite the relatively high price we feel that they’re the best value for your dollar.
If you’re planning on using them in a dusty environment, however, you’ll need to purchase the gasket seperately.
Pros and Cons
- Z87+ rating
- Available in a wide variety of lenses
- Extremely durable construction
- Great value overall
- Not suitable for dust without the gasket
- A bit expensive for just workshop use
2. Best Safety Goggles
If you’re looking to ensure that dust stays out of your eyes while maintaining an incredible amount of protection from any larger debris flying around, DeWalt has you covered. These are some of the best safety goggles on the market and they can be purchased with clear or smoked lenses depending on what you’re doing.
The form-fitting gasket on the front of the goggles is a nice touch, and they wear comfortably for most people. These strap on, and used properly it’s hard to find any better protection from the vast majority of DIY or workplace hazards.
The wrap around sides are great and the form-fitting rubber gasket makes them especially sweet. Add in a relatively low price and you’ve got a clear winner for the best safety goggles currently available.
DeWalt nearly always outdoes itself, and it’s clear the brand makes only the good stuff for those at work. If you need extra protection, give these goggles a shot.
Pros and Cons
- Anti-fog lenses
- Incredible durability
- Excellent gasket for dust protection
- Highly durable frame
- Sometimes slide when used with respirators
- Fog quickly in humid environments
3. Best Lab Goggles
ARAN SAFETY Anti-Fog Approved Wide-Vision Lab Safety Goggle
If your primary needs are protection from chemicals, then you should probably opt for these goggles. We recommend them instead of the DeWalt above because they’re quite a bit cheaper and exposure to chemicals can quickly leave a pair of goggles unusable depending on what you’re working with.
They have a silicone gasket which is form fitting and the vents are designed not to let things condense on the inside of the glasses. They come with a great elastic headband which makes them easy fitting on nearly any adult’s face as well.
They’re also able to fit over most precription lenses quite easily. Our only issue is that they’re only rated at Z87, instead of the higher grade of Z87+, so they shouldn’t be your go to for grinding and other applications where high-speed projectiles can be a problem.
Within the lab, however, this is a great set of goggles. You may want to pick up a couple, but they’re optimal for working with chemicals even if they’re not the most debris-resistant on the market.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent gasket
- Easy to adjust over glasses
- Indirect ventilation system
- Anti-fog lenses
- Not the best for taking hits from large debris
- Not suitable for super fine dust
4. Best Polarized Glasses
Edge 'Brazeau Torque' Polarized Safety Glasses
Coming with a stylish frame and polarized lenses at a great price, these are a great pair of safety glasses for shooting, outdoor work, or any other application where you may not need a ton of extra protection from dust.
The polarized lenses block out UV and also allow you to see out even as the light gets dimmer. Overall the sturdy frame is also a big bonus, but we’d recommend something with a gasket if you’re looking for a pair of dedicated working glasses.
The lenses do get dirty fairly easily, but without actually trying we didn’t seem to be able to scratch them. The frame also feels a bit “cheap” despite being quite durable.
For outdoor applications without looking like you’re wearing safety glasses, these are great. We don’t recommend them as a go-to set for those who are working however.
Pros and Cons
- Polarized lenses
- Extremely scratch resistant
- Wrap-around sides
- Don’t really look like safety glasses
- No dust protection
- Feel fairly cheap despite being durable
5. Best Budget Safety Glasses
JORESTECH Eyewear Protective Safety Glasses
When it comes down to it, sometimes you just need the basics and you don’t really want to spring for a more expensive set of goggles or glasses. These come in a pack of a dozen and end up only costing about a dollar each despite their Z87+ rating.
They’re also available with different lenses and frames if that’s your thing. It’s an extra little bonus, but not an unwelcome one.
While we don’t really recommend these for those who are looking for the maximum protection, their cheap cost and high durability can make them appealing to those who aren’t looking to spend a fortune. Indeed, a full set of these costs less than most of our other picks.
For a cheap, durable set of safety glasses, consider picking up one of these packs. They’re easily replaced, cheap, and hold up remarkably well when it comes to debris.
Pros and Cons
- Come in sets of a dozen
- Z87+ rating
- Durable frames
- Wide variety of lenses and frames
- Debris protection only
- Not suitable for heavy-duty projects
Why Use Safety Glasses?
Because you’d like to have your eyes intact.
There’s no way around the fact that safety glasses are the best way to ensure that one of the most easily damaged pieces of your external anatomy are protected from debris, particulate matter, and the occasional disastrous accident.
The importance of safety glasses when working with power tools is hard to overestimate. Even relatively benign tasks can sometimes have unexpected results, sending large chunks of debris your way if something goes wrong.
And, let’s face it, many of us opt to neglect this vital safety equipment when we’re working, especially at home. The truth is, most eye injuries could be avoided with the use of safety glasses.
So, unless you’re planning on rocking an eyepatched look after a painful and expensive trip to the hospital you really should have a pair around and use them whenever you’re putting your eyes at risk.
If you’re working in a more at-risk environment, then they’re even more essential. There are a variety of different models which provide more or less protection depending on what you’re doing, ranging from simple polycarbonate lenses to full goggles which can keep even the finest debris away.
The important thing is this: even if you have the best safety glasses on the planet, they’re not going to do you any good if you’re not wearing them.
Your glasses are one of the most essential pieces of your workshop, as inspiring as the pirate look might be the pain and loss of depth perception can easily lead to further complications down the road. When it comes down to it, a little bit of plastic or glass between you and your project can be a major lifesaver and that means it only makes sense to invest a little bit of extra time and money into making sure you have the best safety glasses available.
Compared to Normal Glasses
Chances are that if you’ve been doing the DIY thing for any length of time you’ve probably improvised safety glasses at one point or another. We’re certainly guilty of dropping a pair of sunglasses down for a particularly debris-filled tasks on occasion.
While they’ll work in a pinch, they’re not going to protect from extraordinary circumstances or actual debris.
Regular glasses aren’t made to take impact like safety glasses. Neither the frames nor the lenses can really handle the same amount of force and generally they don’t provide any protection from the sides, top, or bottom either which makes them a stop-gap measure at best.
Just spend the money to get a decent pair, even if you go with a budget option.
And then use them, otherwise you’ll join the infamous ranks of “it could never happen to me.”
Types of Safety Glasses
While we’re pretty cautious about recommending any given pair of glasses, the truth is that most people are going to find that the majority of really high-end safety glasses are just too cumbersome for regular tasks like drilling wood or working on a vehicle in the driveway.
Standard Safety Glasses
For most tasks, these are pretty much ideal. They’re generally lightweight, provide a durable forward lens and side protection, and have a rigid frame which can take an impact and keep your eye protected.
That doesn’t mean you should go exceptionally cheap with them, cheap safety glasses have a tendency to shatter with any real impact, but even that’s better than nothing.
For those who work in environments with a lot of particulate matter, such as drywall dust or other fine matter which can be released into the air, goggles are a much better option. They’ll allow you to keep stuff out of your eyes.
Goggles tend to be more expensive, of course, and it’s important that you make sure they have both a good seal with your face and a high-quality lens to avoid any problems with larger debris which may be produced during a job.
Recently, fine meshes have come to the market instead of the traditional lenses which make up the vast majority of the market when it comes to safety glasses.
Where larger debris is the primary problem, think running a chainsaw for instance, they’re perfect. They can take a hit much better than even superior plastic glasses and they don’t fog or distort which is important for obvious reasons.
They’re a bit overkill for the vast majority of work at home, but for those who are regularly facing high chances of larger debris they can be an absolute eye-saver.
What to Look for in Your New Safety Glasses
Once you’ve settled on the type of glasses which are the best for your individual application, you’ll also need to ensure that everything else is in order with the glasses. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can tell at a glance if a pair of glasses is worth the money, and there are some features which people find quite useful.
The ANSI rating of glasses is imperative. While it’s a voluntary measure on the part of manufacturers, you really don’t want to trust a pair of glasses with the safety of your eyes without it.
This rating means that the glasses have passed a test which ensures that they’re safe to use in the field or workshop.
There are two main ratings to look for:
- Z87-This is a basic impact rating. The test involves dropping a steel projectile weighing 17.6oz from a height of 50” onto the lens of the glasses. The lens must remain intact.
- Z87+-The rating for high-impact involves shooting a ¼” steel bearing at the lens and frame of the glasses, which must remain intact after the impact in order to pass.
There are a wide variety of different, special ratings as well, the most relevant for the average person are the following:
- D Rating-For dust and other finer particles, glasses can bear a rating from D3(small particles and splashes) to D5(super fine particles)
- U Rating-These are for UV protection, and they’re rated from 2 to 6.
- L Rating-Protection from visible light, these range from 1.3 to 10
There are also various specialized applications, such as infrared and welding protection but they’re a bit more specialized and outside of the scope of general safety glasses. It’s always best to follow OSHA guidelines if you’re working around those sorts of things.
Even lenses which pass the ANSI-ratings can have problems. One of the biggest ones we found with cheaper safety glasses was the fact that they tend to produce some minor distortion.
While they’re still better than not having a barrier in front of your eyes we found that they could also lead to some mistakes when working. Most people can account for this, but it’s important to be aware if you’ve got distortion going on.
The style of the frame is something which many people spend a lot of time deciding on. We’re not convinced it’s important to look good while you’re working, but it is a consideration which many people spend too much time on.
If you’re inclined that way, just make sure that you don’t make it the deciding factor in your final choice.
The pricing of your glasses is a big factor for many people. While there are a ton of relatively untested pairs out there for just a couple of dollars, we shied away from them. A pair of safety glasses is an investment in making sure that… well, you still have your eyes in case something happens on the job.
Cheaper pairs also tend not to last as long, this is particularly true for glasses which are rated Z87 instead of Z87+, where the frames aren’t tested alongside the lens.
Basic Eye First Aid
Even with the best glasses around sometimes things still happen. Something may hit just right to penetrate a lens or you may end up with a black eye even though you’re mostly saved from the impact of the debris.
We’ve compiled some basic first aid tips to help you avoid further incidents.
In the event that a dangerous chemical gets around your eyewear, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your eyes open. Closing them can allow the material to do further damage under the eye.
Remain calm and rinse your eye as soon as possible. Fifteen to twenty minutes is the recommended time, so if you don’t have an eyewash station handy it may be easiest to step into the shower as quickly as possible.
Dust and Particulates
If you manage to get a large amount of particulate matter in your eyes, then you’ll want to flush your eyes as soon as possible. Do not rub your eye, as this can cause micro-scratches which will lead to further damage.
Once you’ve flushed your eye you should seek medical attention to make sure that everything is removed. This is particularly important for particles like glass powder, where their further presence will cause more damage as time goes on.
Punctures and Cuts
The most serious form of injury is punctures, and how you handle things immediately can be the difference between keeping your eye intact or not.
Do not rinse in this event. Instead, keep your hands away from your eyes and immediately seek out medical attention after finding something to cover your eye to act as a protective shield. Even a styrofoam coffee cup can work in a pinch.
The important thing is not to aggravate the injury.
This is the most common form of eye injury that you’re likely to sustain as long as you have taken the appropriate measures to protect your eyes in the first place.
For the most part, a cold compress will handle this but keep an eye out for the following signs and seek medical attention if they occur:
- Persistent pain
- Changes in vision
- Any visible injury to the cornea
- Drainage from the eye
Seeking medical attention after any sort of eye injury is a good idea. There’s no reason to risk your eyesight to act tough, eye injuries can be permanently debilitating after all.
We recommend seeking out immediate medical attention for all but the most minor of injuries. Even if your first aid measures are effective there can still be unseen damage which will cause further complications.
Of course, your best bet is just to make sure you’ve got your safety glasses on in the first place as they’ll save you from the vast majority of eye injuries as long as they’re appropriate for the job.
Safety glasses are something pretty much everyone should have around the home, since even relatively minor jobs can result in some impressive damage if things go awry. With your vision on the line it makes sense to invest in the best pair possible as well.
For the average homeowner we still feel the Skullerz Odin Anti-Fog Safety Glasses is the way to go. They’re affordable without being cheap and provide superior protection to virtually everything in their class.
Whether you’re planning on doing drywall or need them to make sure that OSHA doesn’t come down on your boss, investing in the best pair of safety glasses is something you should do now rather than later. If you find yourself needing a pair, after all, it may already be too late.