Safety goggles can prevent up to 90 percent of all eye injuries that occur in blacksmithing. They keep your eyes safe for a lifetime of good vision. It is imperative to buy them since it only takes the smallest metal particle making contact with your eyes to destroy your vision permanently.
Many think safety glasses are the same as regular eyeglasses. This isn’t true, as safety glasses are not safety glasses unless they meet specific criteria.
For example, they fit snug from the corners of your eyes and have a higher standard of impact resistance. Besides, in the United States, the federal government issues the safety guidelines. It is pertinent for all the workers to follow them to reduce the risk of on-job-injuries. Particularly, for professional blacksmiths, these guidelines are necessary. Therefore, safety eyewear companies create their products according to them and follow those standards too that are established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
To simplify your decision, we did our own research and discovered that there are mainly five features to consider in blacksmith safety glasses to make the right choice.
Understand The Common Eye Hazards
If you don’t know about the kind of eye-injuries and problems you can face in blacksmithing, you can’t perceive the feature of the blacksmith goggles either. Because the features reveal how safety eyewear protects you against specific workplace hazards.
Some common eye hazards that you face in blacksmithing are:
- Smoke and poisonous gases.
- Chemical splashes from the forge or burns.
- Cutting or welding light, or the welding flashes.
- Thermal hazards and fire issues.
- Flying metal particles and dust.
The safety eyewear protects from all these hazards. They are also routinely tested by the experts to see how they survive in the most unfortunate conditions. The tests and the risk assessments allow them to upgrade their product on a constant basis.
You also need to know which specific work-related exposure hazards you can face the most. It depends on your projects too. Some projects cause hot sparks and molten metal splashes, while others are associated with chemical mists or liquids.
Choose The Right Lens Color
Most people don’t ponder this aspect.
The color of the lens in the safety glasses determines its specialty. We agree there are safety glasses that are designed for all applications, but they lose their efficiency in some special projects. For instance, the visual quality can be reduced or discoloration can appear.
- The clear or transparent lens is the most common and most popular lens. It is promoted for almost all kinds of indoor blacksmithing applications.
- Grey or black color is great for the intense lights of welding. These colors reduce the amount of light that passes through them. However, they diffuse your surroundings too.
- Bluish lens lessens the glare and enhances color perception. We highly recommend blacksmithing goggles with bluish color or shade for beginners.
- If you deal with fog in your indoor environment, get the amber color shade. It provides greater clarity in fog and lets you focus easily.
- We have some rare types of infrared lenses too, though their main purpose is to limit hazardous ultraviolet, infrared radiation only.
Check The Lens Material
The quality of the blacksmith goggles depends on the lens material too. It is clearly and proudly defined by the manufacturers since it decides the price and the level of quality of their product. Each material-type has its unique advantages, such as:
- Optical Glass: The optical glass is expensive and heavy but it gives you incredible scratch resistance. It often has an anti-fog feature that gives distortion-free vision.
- Acrylic: Buy acrylic if you are going to work with liquid or any kind of liquid material. It is resistant to solvents but we won’t recommend this material for rough blacksmithing projects.
- Polycarbonate: It provides good protection against UV rays. The only drawback in Polycarbonate is it doesn’t give optical clarity as good as optical glass.
Look For Additional Protective Features
There are some additional features that can make your safety glass or blacksmith goggle safer and influence their level of acceptance too.
- Not all products are scratchproof; search for those products that have an anti-scratch coating.
- Some products prevent any kind of ventilation from entering the lenses which can cause fog and ruin your vision in extreme heat or in a humid environment. Make sure the lens you are buying has an anti-fog coating as well.
- Can you wear them on prescription glasses? It is possible to get customized prescription safety glasses too that provide complete protection and optimum visibility.
- UV Protection feature is luckily present in almost all blacksmithing goggles these days but it is still important to check. It stops those rays that cause damage to your eyes.
- Lens Tints term is also used as UV Protection. It reduces the intensity of the lights too.
Select The Right Frame
When it comes to selecting the frame type, you have to keep your face features and preference in mind. There are many frame options in the market like Unilens, Half-Frame, Full-Frame, etc. These options come with temple options too for comfortable fitting – soft-tips, head strap, ratchet temple, and telescoping temple.
The main thing that needs your attention in all these frame options is the ‘Coverage Area’.
The coverage area determines how the design plays the role in protecting your eyes. It is also directly associated with the overall fit of the glasses. Since some models don’t complement the overall dimensions of your face, for that reason, they won’t provide a good coverage area either.
For example, if you have a longer or wider face than normal, the unilens even with a good coverage area won’t work for you. It is pertinent to get a full-frame option. It will provide better protection for your entire face, and it will also sit as close to your face as possible for comfort.
This is all the information and features you need to ponder before buying the best blacksmith goggles. If you have more questions, send us an email or share your views in the comment section. Here are five particular goggles that we’ve found to be effective as well as affordable. Please, remember, we recommend products, but we don’t provide medical advice.
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