Why Do We Wear Safety Glasses for Woodwork?

Are you someone who works on wood? Do you wear safety glasses while woodworking? If your answer is a ‘no’, you are playing a dangerous game.

No need to tell you that your eye with its retina, lens, pupil, is one of the most complicated and delicate of your organs.

And you never know when and how dust, debris, or even chunks of wood fly around while woodworking.

It can have hazardous effects if it comes in contact with your eyes. So it’s a must to wear safety glasses for woodwork.

Why Do We Wear Safety Glasses for Woodwork

Why should we wear eye protection while woodworking?

If you wear eye protection, 90% of work-related eye injuries can be avoided. But I believe people really aren’t aware of it because studies show that each day about 2000 workers in the US take treatment for job-induced eye injuries. 

As I said, when you are cutting, drilling, sanding, cleaning, or painting a piece of wood, there are umpteen chances for your bare eyes to get in contact with hazardous particles.

Foreign objects like fine dust, debris, or pollen can get your eyes irritated and allergic. Fine dust from treated wood may contain chemicals. This can cause allergic reactions or inflammation.

There are also high chances of any sharp debris getting thrust into your eyes. Such threats can have life-long effects on your eyes and can even affect your eyesight.

So, if you are the one who works on wood, keep it in mind to wear proper eye protection right from when you enter inside your workstation.

See also: 4 Best Dust Masks for Woodworking

What to Wear?

Many of you might be confused about how to choose the right kind of eye protection wear that suits you. Well, let me introduce you to some of the common types of eye protection wear available in the market and their use.

  Safety Glasses

Safety glasses guard your eyes from usual levels of dust and debris. Buy a glass that fits on your face and covers your face from your eyebrows to cheekbones.

Carefully inspect the glass and make sure that your glass meets ANSI’s standards. Check for its padding against the face, nose bridges, and templates that extend to the ears if it fits your comfort level. 

If you are someone with eyesight issues, models are available that can be worn over your prescription glass.

You can also get your safety glasses customized according to your eyesight but that will be quite expensive. There are also models with LEDs that provide better vision while working.


Goggles are the perfect choice for protecting your eyes from the spray of fine dust particles like sawdust. For comfort and convenience, look for goggles with foam padding, anti-fog coating, air vents, and scratch-resistant lenses. You can wear a prescription glass comfortably under goggles. 

Goggles are available in three variants. Directly vented models allow a free flow of air into the space between the lens and your eyes and thereby, preventing condensation and providing a more comfortable fit.

Non-vented goggles are fully sealed and provide maximum protection to your eyes. In indirectly vented goggles, the hooded vent prevents condensation and liquids or chemicals from splashing on your eyes.  

Choose the one that suits the nature of your work. Goggles are available with dark and transparent lenses; transparent lenses will be convenient for woodwork. 

Face Shields

Face shields are best at protecting from hazardous pieces of debris or wood injuring your face. Face shields not only protect your eyes but your face.


However, it doesn’t fully seal your face; face shields are open at the bottom. So, face shields don’t really protect your eyes against fine dust, dirt, or pollen.

But you can wear goggles or a safety glass which are effective against fine dust, beneath face shields for double protection. Face shields are a good option for people who wear prescription glasses. 

Now, let me suggest one of the best models available in the market for each type of protective eyewear. 

Dewalt DPG51-1C Radius Clear 10 Base Curve Lens Protective Safety Glasses 

This safety glass ensures maximum coverage and protection. The glass comes with rubber-tipped temples to provide a secure, comfortable fit and a soft, rubber nosepiece that makes it a non-slip, comfortable wear. Its polycarbonate lens is impact and scratch-resistant.

MCR Safety 2410F Verdict Polyvinyl Chloride Strap Foam Lining Safety Goggle with Smoke Frame and Clear Anti-Fog Lens 

It comes with an elastic strap foam lining with indirect ventilation. The frame is made of polyvinyl chloride material which is impact and fog resistant. It has a clear lens with 85% light transmission. It will comfortably fit over your prescription glass.

Lincoln Electric OMNIShield Professional Face Shield – Anti-Fog & Anti-Scratch Coated Clear Lens – Premium Headgear – K3752-1 

The face shield’s inner lens coating provides enhanced and consistent visibility to reduce frustrations caused by lens fogging. Outer lens coating provides improved abrasion resistance and durability.

Its high-density clear polycarbonate lens is 90% thicker than standard face shields. The shield comes with a cushioned front and back headband to eliminate pressure points and evenly distribute the weight of the shield. Its unique shell & lens profile contour to the head and neck to deflect impacts.

There are myriad varieties and designs available in the market. Always buy your safety wear diligently. Check for the rating and customer reviews. And make sure whether its specifications meet your demands and expectations. 

A few Tips For You

1.) A sunglass or prescription glass is not designed to protect your eyes from potential threats. So, never use it as an alternative for safety glass.

2.) Before buying eye protection wear, think about the nature of your woodwork and buy the product that suits your work. 

3.) Never buy low-quality products. It will induce strain on your eyes. 

4.) It’s not so safe to wear contact lenses while woodworking even if you’re wearing eye protection. Contact lenses make it more complicated if your eyes get any accidental contact with dust or solvents in the air.  

5.) Put on your safety glasses or goggles after a careful round of inspection. Look out for any scratches, brittleness, or cracks and immediately replace the item if found damaged

6.) Take regular breaks to give enough rest for your eyes while you work.

See also: 5 Best Hearing Protection for Woodworking

What to do if your eye gets injured?

1.) If dust or debris gets into your eyes, never rub your eyes. Keep your eyes open and flush enough water to your eyes. Consult a doctor to make sure if it has made any scratch or damage to your eyes. 

2.) If any object gets stuck on your eye and gets wounded, don’t try to remove it or wash your eyes.  Seek immediate medical care. 

3.) In case of any blows to the eye, wrap an ice block in a cloth and place it over your eye in 5-10 minute intervals. Consult an ophthalmologist to examine your eye for any internal damage. 

4.) Never ignore or self-treat if your eyes feel a burning sensation, loss of vision, redness or irritation, double vision, bulging, bleeding, or any discharge. Consult an ophthalmologist immediately. 

Never turn a blind eye to these life-saving hacks for a safe and healthy work-life. Always wear eye protection while woodworking or doing any other jobs. Keep your eye on the ball while woodworking. Have a happy workday!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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