The Best Welding Glasses To Wear To Protect Your Vision

One of the most important things to learn before you weld is that the welding arc can cause severe damage to your eyes if you do not wear the proper welding glasses. There is a condition called Photokeratitis Disease, which is more commonly known as "welder's flash," and it happens when the cornea of the eye is exposed to intense ultraviolet light from the welding arc. Basically, this condition is like getting a sunburn on your eye.

Welding glasses can prevent the welder's flash by ensuring the intense light is not allowed through the lens to the cornea. Each lens has a shade rating and there are recommended ratings for each welding job. OSHA has a detailed chart available for each welding type and the lens shade rating needed to prevent damage to the eye.

Below, we have answered some frequently asked questions about welding glasses and presented ten of the best ones on the market. Each has different shades of lenses and are used for different applications. Following the recommended shade/welding application is best when choosing which pair is right for you.

All the welding glasses and goggles that we have presented in this article are excellent and would more than meet your specific needs as they come up, but the best recommendation we can make is that you will be mindful of safety first and choose the glasses that are right for your project or job. Access the OSHA chart to ensure the proper shade and then use our suggestions here to pick the pair that will best cover those requirements.

Comparison Table

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Product FAQ

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Welding glasses are a form of eye protection specifically made for welding. Each pair has a shade number on the lens, and the higher the number is the darker the shade. The shade blocks radiant energy or light radiation that is given off by the welding arc. The glasses also protect the eyes from flying debris and fumes. Different levels of shade are recommended for different forms of welding. For example, torches or soldering require a minimum shade of 3. SMAW/stick welding requires an 8 to 12, depending on the amp of the welder.

1. What Are Welding Glasses?

Welding glasses are similar to safety glasses, except they have different shades of lenses that are specifically made to block the radiant energy from a welding arc. They come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, much like regular safety glasses; but the lens is the most important aspect of the welding glasses. The shade number indicates the intensity of the light radiation allowed to pass through to the eye. The darker the shade, the less light allowed to pass through.

2. What Shades Of Welding Glasses Are Available?

According to the OSHA fact sheet, the lowest shade is a 2, which is recommended for torch soldering (TS), and the highest is a 14, which is recommended for several operations including Carbon Arc Welding (CAW) and Plasma Arc Welding (PAW).

3. Do Welding Glasses Require Side Protection?

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When there is a potential for flying debris that could land in a worker's face or eyes, side protection is required, and most welding glasses have side protection. It is even suggested that welders always wear their glasses underneath their helmets because welders frequently lift their shields.

4. Are Shade Levels Fixed Or Adjustable?

Both types of welding glasses are available. Most safety-type glasses have a fixed shade lens. Adjustable lens glasses are usually bigger and slightly heavier but still lighter than a full welding helmet. We will look at both types of glasses in this article.

5. Are Welding Glasses Certified?

All welders should wear glasses and shields that comply with ANSI Z87.1 under welding helmets for OSHA. Some welding glasses have additional certifications listed as well.

How We Reviewed

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The following products we reviewed here in our article and are some of the best on the market. We looked at features, read countless reviews from customers, and looked at how well each pair complied with OSHA requirements. We have come up with an unbiased "best of" list so that you will have no trouble finding the right pair for you.

Overall Price Range

The overall price range for the products listed below is from around $8 a pair to close to $180.00 a pair. The fact that some of these are electric or auto-darkening play a part in the overall price. These glasses can be purchased from Amazon.com.

What We Reviewed

  • Pyramex Shade 3.0 Safety Glasses
  • SAFETY GLASSES PROTECTIVE GLASSES SHADE 10
  • Miller Electric Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses
  • Jackson Safety 3004761 Nemesis Cutting Safety Glasses
  • Hobart 770726 Shade 5, Mirrored Lens Safety Glasses
  • Servore Auto Shade Darkening Welding Goggle
  • TITUS Welding Safety Goggles with Interchangeable Lenses
  • Miller Electric Welding Goggles
  • TITUS 50mm Welding Lenses and Goggles
  • Forney 55320 Goggles

Pyramex Shade 3.0 Safety Glasses

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Features

Pyramex Shade 3.0 safety glasses are best for Torch Brazing or Soldering, which recommends at least a rating of 2. They have the look and feel of regular safety glasses with a full-frame design that protects the sides of the eyes from flying debris. The lenses are scratch resistant, and they offer 99% UV protection. They meet OSHA standards ANSI Z87.1-Impact.

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

Safety Glasses Protective Glasses Shade 10

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Features

These Athermal glass safety glasses offer a gray-green color that assures observation without fatigue. They offer high optical quality, dimensional stability, are resistant to radiation, and they are scratch resistant. These glasses are lightweight with adjustable earpieces and replaceable polycarbonate lenses. CE approved, these glasses offer a shade 10, which is good for many welding operations including Air Carbon Arc Cutting (CAC-A light), and Plasma Arc Welding (PAW, depending on the amperage).

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

Miller Electric Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses

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Features

The Miller Electric Shade has a 5.0 shade anti-scratch, reflective lens, with stylish, wrap-around frame design. The lens material is polycarbonate and offers 99.9% UV protection. The frame offers rubber ear pads, and these glasses meet ANSI Z87.1 standards. The 5.0 lens is ideal for Oxygen cutting and gas welding applications and can be used for torch welding.

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

Jackson Safety 3004761 Nemesis Cutting Safety Glasses

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Features

These glasses have a lightweight construction and have a sleek, sporty design. The lens is a single, wrap-around design that offers 99.9% UV Protection. Each pair comes with a neck cord, and they meet ANSI Z87.1 standards and are CE compliant. The 5.0 shade of the Jackson Nemesis is ideal for Oxygen cutting and gas welding applications and can be used for torch welding.

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

Hobart 770726 Shade 5, Mirrored Lens Safety Glasses

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Features

The Hobart 770726 with mirrored lenses are made from shatterproof polycarbonate and are fully scratch resistant. The form-fitting frame has a soft foam frame liner for better protection from debris, dust, and perspiration. The 5 shade is ideal for Oxygen cutting, gas welding, and can be used in torch welding. The Hobart mirrored glasses meet ANSI Z87.1 standards and offer a stylish option for welding glasses.

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

Servore Auto Shade Darkening Welding Goggle

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Features

Servore Auto Shade Darkening Welding Goggles can be adjusted from 5 shade to 13 shade and are good for several types of welding applications from oxygen, gas, torch; and Plasma and Air Carbon Arc. These goggles are ergonomically designed to contour with your face. They ensure a close fit with air permeability through a silicon skirt and air vent system for air circulation. The hardened coating on the lens offers shock-resistance and heat resistance. The shade control and sensitivity control buttons are on the side of the glasses and are easy to use.

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

TITUS Welding Safety Goggles with Interchangeable Lenses

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Features

Titus Welding safety goggles come with a variety of interchangeable lenses, so you can quickly move from one welding application to another. These goggles offer professional protection and are ANSI Z87.1 certified and EN175 compliant. These goggles have an adjustable nose bridge and a head strap that you can adjust to fit you comfortably. They come with a convenient carrying case, so you can store your lenses and switch them out easily, and the lenses come with extra padding if you need it. The lenses featured here are high 9, 11, and 14 and can be used for welding operations such as Plasma Arc Welding, Plasma Arc Cutting, and Carbon Arc Welding.

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

Miller Electric Welding Goggles

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Features

The Miller Electric Welding goggles come with adjustable sensitivity and adjustable shades 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 which are good from Oxygen and gas welding to Plasma welding applications. They require one C battery and rate a 1/15,000 second switching speed between lenses. They include 2 outside covering lenses, carrying case, head covering, have anti-fog film on the lenses, and they meet ANSI Z87.1, CSA, CE, AS/NZ standards.

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

TITUS 50mm Welding Lenses and Goggles

Features

Titus 50mm welding lenses and goggles adjust to the size and darkness that you need. You can replace these lenses with any 50mm standard lens. These goggles exceed ANSI Z87.1 standards and conform to CE EN166 regulations. They are durable, offering a hard-coated polycarbonate outer lens to protect your glass lenses and resist scratching. These goggles could be used with many welding applications as long as the appropriate lens shade is used. Keep in mind OSHA regulations for your particular welding project and use the proper lens.

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

Forney 55320 Goggles

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Features

The Forney 55320 welding goggles feature 2-inch x 4 1/4 inch number 5 shade hardened lens with a clear glass cover lens. These are designed for gas welding or plasma cutting only and offer ample room over regular eyeglasses. The lenses are 99.9% UV resistant and meet ANSI Z87.1 safety standards. These goggles are made by Forney industries, one of America's longest operating family-owned metal-working product companies, and they stand behind their products.

Where To Buy

Amazon.com

The Verdict

For our final verdict, it was difficult to have an overall favorite because of the lens requirements, but if we chose one that has the capability to cover pretty much anything, it would have to be the Titus welding safety goggles with interchangeable lenses.

The Titus goggles feature a high: 9, 11, 14; a medium: 5, 8, 14; and a low: 5, 8, and 11. They are also adjustable to fit your face, and customer reviews are positive on fit and usage. Depending on the welding project, you can order the necessary set: high, medium, or low, or keep one of each on-hand.

welder

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They also come with a durable case to keep the lenses in that you are not using, and they offer a more economical option than some others.

For lower shade requirement applications, we preferred the safety-glass type welding glasses. To use a torch to solder or braze only requires a 2-3 shade, so we really liked the Hobart 770726. These have a shade rating of 5, so they can be used for more intense light welding, but they are fashionable, fun, and would be perfect for torch welding. Safety before vanity, but for low shade applications, you can have both with these glasses.

We also featured two shade adjustable options, the Servore and the Miller, both of which have excellent customer reviews and offer a wide range of shade from 5 to 13. It was hard to choose between these two because the Servore is the world's first auto shade goggle, so it is an industry leader, but the Miller comes with lots of additional items such as a hood and carrying case, and it has several certifications. Because of the certifications, the Miller edged out the Servore slightly in our review.


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