Prescription Safety Glasses
I hate fumbling with goggles over my
prescription glasses, so I’ve given up.
Don’t regular glasses protect my eyes
well enough in the workshop?
No. Normal prescription glasses,
even if they have plastic lenses, are no
substitute for safety glasses.Bite the bullet
and buy a pair of prescription safety
glasses with polycarbonate lenses and
permanent side shields.They’re available
wherever you buy your regular glasses.
They can be made in any prescription
and cost no more than a regular pair of
Safety glasses are different from regular
glasses in three important ways.
• First, the lenses are thicker and have
much greater impact resistance. Polycarbonate
lenses are by far the strongest.
• Second, the frames are built differently.
They won’t allow a lens to pop out toward
• Third, safety glasses have side shields that
wrap around your face like goggles. Side
shields not only protect your eyes, they
help prevent other accidents, too. They
keep distracting dust out of your eyes far
better than standard glasses, so you can
concentrate on what you’re doing. (Safety
glasses are available without side shields,
but we don’t recommend them.There’s no
reason to go around half-protected.)
You can get safety glasses with side
shields that are detachable, so one pair of
glasses could serve you both in the shop
and on the street.The problem is,detachable
side shields are easy to lose or misplace.
This story originally appeared in American Woodworker June 2002, issue #94.