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Thread: Safety Glasses

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Lebanon, TN

    Safety Glasses

    I hope this is the correct forum for this question/thread.

    I'll be 62 tomorrow, up until two months ago I had near 20/20 vision in both eyes, only requiring the use of 1.5 readers for stuff up close.

    Just before Thanksgiving '18, I had shots in my eyes to slow the damage my type one diabetes is doing. Unfortunately one of those shots gave me a Staff infection, which lead to emergency surgery and ultimately a 75% loss of vision in me left eye.

    So now Safety Glasses have a very real new level of importance to me.

    I hate to admit that I only occasionally wear a full face shield, but do wear a respirator any time I'm cutting or sanding.

    So I'm looking for suggestions of where or how to get good set of bifocal safety glasses. Preferably a full size lens with the lower half set to a prescription level.

    I've never had any prescription glasses, so I'm not sure if this is something I should look into down at a Lenscrafters or the like.


    P.S. This latest condition may slow me down in my other favorite hobby (motorcycling), but I don't let it intend to get in the way of my woodworking.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Your first stop is with an optometrist. That's doc who examines your eyes, and gives you a prescription for lenses. You take that to an optician, who makes glasses for you from that prescription. In some states, the optometrist and the optician can be the same person. In other states, they have to be separate businesses. The optician can make any style of glasses for you, including bifocal safety glasses.

  3. #3
    I would avoid the low cost "big box" eyeglass outlets. Product quality can vary widely. My wife and I recently decided to try one of the low cost place out of three pairs of glasses all of them had badly distorted lenses due to the lenses not fitting correctly in the frames. The lenses were fine until they were installed in the frames. The store refused to fix them as they claimed distortion was normal.

    Go to a professional opthomologist, that deals with safety glasses for industry and get genuine safety glasses with side shields.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 01-11-2019 at 11:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Grassy Lake Alberta
    I wear safety glasses that use an "optical insert" behind the safety glass lens. They are a wrap around style,the good thing is when the lenses get scratched up the safety part is like 13$ to replace. I have two pairs,clear and darkened for outdoors. I like these because I wear my glasses all the time and therefore my safety glasses are always on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    River Falls WI
    I started buying my progressive bifocal glasses as safety glasses. I like them, besides that they are cheaper than regular glasses. I also do not forget to wear them. Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Wayland, MA
    I have a pair of progressive bifocal safety glasses with side shields that I got through my job that work quite well and offer good protection because I wear them continuously in the shop. Glasses you don't wear are completely useless! Similarly plastic glasses you wear over your regular glasses tend to be uncomfortable and taken off, rendering them useless.

    Most discount sources don't offer real safety glasses, a real optician or specialty supplier should be able to get them for you. We have a guy in a truck who visits all around the area a couple times a month who is an excellent provider. By the time you get progressive lenses with all the anti-scratch coatings be prepared for a bit of sticker shock, my last pair was over $400. Compared to an eye injury that's nothing, of course.

    The best safety glasses are the ones you will wear -- all the time, without fail. While there are obviously hazardous situations that require a lot of protection, eg face shields while turning or grinding, many eye injuries happen due to "freak occurrences" that happen when you are doing things you don't regard as dangerous. Comfortable, high quality eyewear rated for impact that you can and will keep on all the time is the best protection. Don't forget the side shields! You come to ignore them pretty quickly and they increase the protection level quite a bit.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sorry to hear of your journey. I pretty much avoid bargains in brain surgery, parachutes and eye care. I went the direction with the most coverage I could get. I also wear glasses outside the shop but, these are safety rated frames (designed for frontal impact) and impact resistant lenses.


    Not a great fashions statement this side of the 1970's but, comfortable enough that I will suddenly notice I am still wearing them while out at the grocery store .

    Unfortunately there is a trend toward bargain eye wear just as you can get your teeth straightened through the mail. Do yourself a favor, seek out a well recommended optometrist, get a good exam and a proper pair of specs. Reduced vision in one eye will foul your depth perception and reduce your light intake. Both can cause what would be a minor boo-boo in the living room to become an injury in the shop. Your brain will eventually make up for this pretty well, I speak from experience. Take extra care until things balance out.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Huntington, Vermont
    Like Glenn and Roger I wear specs all the time, safety rated frames with scratch resistant high impact plastic lenses and removable side shields that I get through my optometrist/optician's office.. There's a pretty good variety of frames available. They are expensive, over $400 with photochromic lenses, but well worth it for me. I am not great at remembering to don the side shields, but the fact that I always have them on has saved me untold misery several times. In one incident years ago I dropped a drill with a 1/4" bit chucked up on the floor. The drill bit broke, ricocheted and cracked a lens, but no injury resulted. I have worked with many people whose vision didn't require correction, and most of them wore safety glasses rarely- not a good risk especially if one eye is already compromised.

  9. #9
    You might pay attention to how the frames fit around your nose, my safety glasses close things off pretty well, but my readers do not. I have gotten tiny specks in my eye while wearing my readers.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    East Texas
    In my experience many optical companies are no longer providing prescription safety glasses, apparently out of concerns about liability issues. When I purchased my last pair, I found Walmart was the only place I could get them. I admit that If I was willing to drive 50 miles to Seattle I might have had different results.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Hatfield, AR
    Get your prescription then visit

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Central Missouri, U.S.
    I've tried Zenni and one other online company, although not for protective glasses, and I won't do it again. The low price is, obviously, tempting. The service after the sale was non-existent.

    In both cases, I was using my current prescription, a prescription that works great on the glasses from my local eye doc. In both cases, there was distortion that was not seen with my local glasses. In both cases, they said sorry, but we followed the script you sent us.

    For me, lesson learned.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    All I wear, all day, every day is a pair of progressive bifocal safety glasses with glass lens. Expensive! This pair cost me $700.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Deep South
    I have two pairs of prescription glasses obtained from Zenni Optical and I like both of them. I am accustomed to paying several hundred dollars for glasses but not any more. I can't tell the difference between Zenni and any of several pairs I got at the Ophthalmologist's office.

  15. #15
    You can get wrap-around safety glasses with a bifocal reading lens for less than $20. I think the big box stores have them, I order them from Amazon.

    Bob Lang

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