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What type of Safety Goggles should you use for Woodworking?

Types of Safety Goggles that one should use for Woodworking

Man working wearing Woodworking Goggles

Safety glasses are essential personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with wood or engaging in woodworking activities. They are designed to protect your eyes from potential hazards such as flying wood chips, splinters, sawdust, or debris that could cause eye injuries. Accidents can happen unexpectedly, and protecting your eyes should always be a priority when engaging in woodworking activities. Wearing safety glasses is a simple and effective measure that significantly reduces the risk of eye injuries, allowing you to focus on your woodworking projects with peace of mind.

Importance of safety glasses during woodworking 

1. Eye Protection: 

Woodworking involves various activities that can harm your eyes. Flying debris, wood chips, dust, and even accidental tool slips can cause significant eye injuries. Safety glasses act as a barrier, shielding your eyes from these hazards and reducing the chances of eye-related accidents.

2. Preventing Injuries: 

Eye injuries can range from minor irritations to more severe damage, including cuts, abrasions, punctures, or blindness. Safety glasses provide a physical barrier that helps prevent these injuries and reduce the severity of any potential accidents.

3. Protection from Flying Debris: 

Woodworking often involves cutting, sawing, drilling, and shaping wood, which generates flying debris. These tiny particles can travel at high speeds and potentially cause serious eye injuries. Safety glasses with impact-resistant lenses act as a protective shield, preventing debris from entering your eyes.

4. Impact Protection: 

Woodworking safety glasses should provide adequate impact protection. Look for glasses that meet or exceed the ANSI Z87.1 standard, which ensures they can withstand high-velocity impact from flying objects or wood chips.

Man working wearing Woodworking Goggles

5. Shielding Against Dust and Wood Particles: 

Woodworking produces a substantial amount of dust and wood particles, which can be harmful when they come into contact with your eyes. Safety glasses with a snug fit and wraparound design help to minimize the entry of these particles, protecting your eyes from irritation and potential damage.

6. Comfort and Visibility: 

Safety glasses designed specifically for woodworking are crafted to provide both comfort and optimal visibility. They are lightweight, well-fitting and often come with features such as anti-fog coatings or ventilation systems to ensure clear vision and prevent fogging, even during extended work duration. 

7. Wraparound Design: 

Opt for safety glasses with a wraparound design or side shields. These features provide better coverage and protect your eyes not only from the front but also from the sides. They help prevent debris from entering your eyes from different angles.

8. Impact-Resistant Lenses: 

The lenses of safety glasses should be made of impact-resistant materials such as polycarbonate. Polycarbonate lenses are known for their durability and ability to withstand impacts without shattering, reducing the risk of eye injuries.

9. UV Protection: 

Consider safety glasses that provide ultraviolet (UV) protection. Although not directly related to woodworking hazards, UV rays can be harmful to your eyes if you work outdoors or near windows.

Curious ones can check out our blog on PPE in construction & farming.

Types of safety glasses commonly used during woodworking:

Man wood working while wearing safety goggles

1. Impact-Resistant Safety Glasses:

These glasses are made from durable materials such as polycarbonate, which can withstand high-velocity impacts. These goggles have a hard plastic frame and a lens that cover the entire eye area, with a seal around the edges to protect from dust, debris, and flying particles or objects that may form while using power tools like saws, drills, or sanders. They also have a foam layer or a strap to help absorb impacts.

2. Wraparound Safety Glasses:

Wraparound glasses offer additional protection by covering the sides of your eyes. They provide a better shield against flying debris from different angles and are recommended for tasks where there is a higher risk of objects coming from the sides.

3. Anti-Fog Safety Glasses:

When working in environments where there is a lot of sawdust or high humidity, such as woodworking shops, it is crucial to choose safety glasses with anti-fog properties. These glasses have coatings or ventilation features that help prevent fogging, ensuring clear visibility during your woodworking tasks.

4. Prescription Safety Glasses:

If you require vision correction, prescription safety glasses are available. These glasses can be custom-made with your specific prescription and also incorporate the necessary safety features to protect your eyes during woodworking.

5. Safety Goggles: 

Man working wearing Woodworking Goggles

In some situations, such as when using specific woodworking machinery that produces larger wood chips or debris, wearing goggles instead of safety glasses may be advisable. Safety goggles provide a more comprehensive seal around your eyes and offer enhanced protection against larger particles.

6. Ventilated Goggles: 

As woodworking often generates a significant amount of dust and debris, ventilated goggles have small vents or indirect vents that allow air circulation while protecting your eyes. This feature helps prevent fogging and ensures clear vision during your woodworking tasks.

To know more about the risks associated with woodwork, check out woodworking hazards.

What are the vital factors before choosing safety glasses in woodworking?

  1. Clear Vision: Choose safety glasses with lenses that have anti-fog coating or ventilation to prevent fogging, especially in situations where you may be perspiring or working in humid environments. Clear vision is crucial for accurate woodworking and maintaining safety.
  2. Comfort and Fit: Safety glasses should fit comfortably on your face without causing pressure points or discomfort. Look for adjustable temples and nose pieces to ensure a secure and customized fit. Comfortable safety glasses are more likely to be worn consistently, providing ongoing eye protection.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Inspect your safety glasses regularly for any damage or scratches that could impair their effectiveness. Replace them if they become significantly damaged or if the lenses are scratched and affecting your vision.
Man working wearing Woodworking Goggles

It's vital to choose goggles that are tested and certified by the appropriate safety standards, such as ANSI Z87.1 or EN166. Additionally, you should always read the manufacturer's instructions and warnings and follow any usage and maintenance guidelines.


Remember, it is essential to choose safety glasses that meet the relevant safety standards and ensure they fit well and are comfortable to wear. Regular inspection of safety glasses for any damage or scratches that may impair their effectiveness must be done. Timely replacement when necessary must be done without fail. If you follow the factors and parameters mentioned in the blog, you will choose better safety eye protection PPE.