Welding involves the use of high powered welding torches. These torches produce harmful UV lights that are dangerous to the human eye. Exposure to them causes a painful condition known as welder’s flash.
To avoid this painful condition, it is required that you wear welding sunglasses when welding. Welding goggles use special shade lenses to protect your eyes. As such, they come in several different variations.
This raises the question, which is the best welding goggles? Like many other tools used in welding, different welding goggles are suited to various tasks. To help you with your search for the best welding glasses, we have compiled a list of our top 9 picks.
But before we get to the reviews, it is essential to know what features to look for when shopping for the best welding safety glasses.
Best welding glasses buying guide
The best welding safety goggles are identifiable with their features. With this in mind, there are several things you should look at before settling on a pair. Here are the main things to consider when shopping for a pair of welding goggles.
Lens shade number
Welding glasses come with number designations e.g., 3, 5, 10, 12, and 14. These numbers indicate the darkness of the lenses. Different welding processes produce arcs of varying brightness. Thus some will require a darker lens shade than others.
As a basic principle, soldering and torch blazing require a minimum lens shade of 3. Stick welding requires a minimum shade lens of 8-12. MIG and TIG welding will require a minimum lens shade of 8-10.
If you are a professional welder or even a hobbyist, chances are you will be wearing your welding glasses for long periods of time. Thus, comfort is of importance. Features such as rubber-tipped temples increase the comfort of the lenses. Look out for such features when shopping for welding glasses.
Apart from protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays, welding glasses also protect your eyes from sparks and flying particles. Thus, they also need to be impact resistant. Clear polycarbonate lenses are recommended for this purpose.
Some glasses come with additional impact protection features. These include side shields, brow guards, and wrap-around lenses.
As with any other product, welding glasses come at varying prices. The safety glasses for welding might be a bit costlier. However, it all comes to your needs. But generally, welding goggles are not as expensive as some of the other tools you use in welding.
Pro Tips : To avoid hazards in welding premise it is advisable to check the welding safety tips guide.
Best Welding Safety Glasses Shades 3
Shade 3 welding goggles have a +2 magnification. And are designed to make it easy for you to see the workpiece. Ideally, shade three glasses are not recommended for arc welding tasks. Instead, they are best suited for light blazing and cutting material.
Shade 3 glasses come in a variety of models and variations. The best shade three glasses have to be the Pyramex Shade 3.0 Safety Glasses, Scratch-Resistant.
Pyramex Shade 3.0 Safety Glasses, Scratch-Resistant.
The lenses help protect your eyes from infrared light. The sunglasses are also rated as high impact by ANSI. Thus, they are durable and will protect your eyes from flying debris. These aren’t designed for heavy welding tasks.
However, considering their price, this isn’t surprising. They are best suited for light brazing and welding tasks, where darker shades aren’t required.
Best Welding Safety Glasses Shades 5
Shade 5 welding glasses offer a darker shade than shade 3. However, they are not suited for welding processes that produce a bright arc, such as MIG welding. Rather these glasses are built for light processes including cutting, brazing, and torch work.
In this category, there are two sunglass models that we believe are a class above the rest. They are the Miller Electric Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses, Scratch-Resistant, and the Bolle Safety Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses, Scratch-Resistant, Black.
Miller Electric Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses, Scratch-Resistant
This translates to a lightweight pair of sunglasses with excellent impact resistance. The sunglasses are fitted with rubber pads at the ears. These pads help improve the comfort of the sunglasses.
The lenses have a reflective coating that helps filter 99% of UV rays. One other thing that makes them ideal is that they don’t fog up. Thus you are able to maintain fantastic visibility and peripheral vision.
Bolle Safety Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses, Scratch-Resistant, Black
Also, the lenses are quite thick. They provide up to 99% protection from UV rays and are also scratch-resistant. Weighing 0.16 ounces, they are very lightweight and comfortable to wear. They come with a neck cord, which helps secure them better.
These sunglasses offer a good seal around the eyes. The only problem is that they may be a bit narrow for some people. Nonetheless, they offer protection against UV lights and have a good fit.
Best Welding Safety Glasses Shades 10
Shade 10 welding glasses are somewhat of a unique breed of welding glasses. On the one hand, they are too dark for cutting or wearing in the garage. On the other hand, they are not recommended for high amperage welding. So what are they good for?
Shade 10 welding lenses are suited for low to medium stick and MIG welding. They mainly come in handy when you are welding in tight places. Places where a welding helmet will not fit. Of the various shade, ten glasses around the best have to be the Safety Glasses Protective Glasses Shade 10 Goggles for Melting & Soldering (E 5).
Safety Glasses Protective Glasses Shade 10 Goggles for Melting & Soldering (E 5)
The frame of the glasses is impressively lightweight and comfortable to wear. They are also fitted with adjustable earpieces. The lenses are made from polycarbonate, meaning they offer protection from UV rays and are impact resistant.
Also, compared to other shades of welding goggles, they are not too dark. Thus they offer clarity and vision of the workpiece. They have a snug fit, which might be a problem for glass wearers, but other than that they are an excellent pair of welding sunglasses.
KwikSafety (Charlotte, NC) EAGLE EYES Industrial ANSI (ANTI-FOG & Snug FIT) Welding Goggles
The glasses do come with a free shade ten welding lens, but if this does not satisfy your needs, you can always swap it with another. Unlike most other glasses, this offers complete protection of the sides thanks to the side guards.
The entire unit is made from a sturdy PVC material; thus, you can expect them to last for a quite long time. Also, they come with a flip-up cover that gives you a non-shade view of the workpiece.
Best Welding Safety Glasses Shades 12
Shade 12 glasses offer very little in terms of visibility. These glasses are designed for higher amperage welding due to them being dark. MIG, Stick, and TIG welding can be done using shade 12 glasses as the only thing you can see is the arc. Of the various shade 12 welding glasses out there, I decided to go with the Insight safety goggles as the best. And here is why.
Insight Safety Welding Glasses (Shade 12)
This makes them fit snugly and will not fall off. Also, they offer protection against UV rays from more than one angle. The glasses come with a microfiber bag and a zippered case, which is a great addition.
Due to their remarkably tinted lenses, they block out much of the UV light that comes from arc welding.
Best Welding Safety Glasses Shades 14
The highest shade of glass you can buy are shade 14 glasses. This is incredibly dark, and you will hardly see anything while wearing them outside. Their remarkably tinted lenses help protect your eyes from up to 99% of UV rays. Furthermore, they offer protection for IR radiation. These are suited to high amperage arc welding and in particular, TIG welding.
The title of the best welding glasses shades 14 has to go to the TITUS Welding Safety Goggles with Interchangeable Lenses.
TITUS Welding Safety Goggles with Interchangeable Lenses
They come with an adjustable strap to secure them to your face. They also have added padding around the lenses to offer improved comfort. Thus, you can wear them for a lengthy period.
The bridge of the nose is also adjustable. However, its hard plastic material may be a bit
uncomfortable for some people. All the same, they are an excellent option for high amperage welding.
Best auto darkening welding glasses/auto-darkening welding goggles
Auto-darkening welding glasses are an excellent option for all kinds of welding. Moreover, they are great for cutting and brazing applications. As their name implies, these types of glasses turn dark as soon as the arc starts. Thus they do not have a specific shade of dark.
Here are my top two top picks in this category.
Spargo Auto Darkening LCD Welding Helmet Mask Goggles Solar Welder Eyes Glasses
The filter returns to a clear state when the welding start. Thus you can easily inspect your weld with the goggles one. Apart from offering protection from UV rays, these goggles also protect your eyes from IR radiation.
Moreover, they come with sideguards to protect yours from flying debris. They are made from a hard plastic ABS material. Thus in terms of durability, they are quite durable and will serve you for a long time.
WeiMeet Sunlight Auto Darkening Welding Goggles
Made from a sturdy ABS material, it offers protection from UV rays as well as IR radiation. It also comes with an anti-glare feature. In addition to UV and IR radiation, they also provide all-round protection from flying debris.
The glasses also come with a bag for storing them. These glasses can be used for a wide array of welding applications, as well as metal cutting applications.
The best welding goggles depend on what your needs are. As is evident from the above reviews, some lens shades are ideal for light to medium welding applications. On the other hand, some are designed for heavy welding applications. In essence, it all comes down to what kind of work you are doing.