Safety glasses

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Ed 1 year, 7 months ago.

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    Can prescription safety glasses be purchased reliably online? Does anyone have a positive (or negative) experience with any particular online shops in the US? Do I need to ask for anything special from the optometrist when getting a prescription?

    I don’t need protection from liquids, just dust and chips at the lathe and bandsaw. I’d also like the prescription just for working at the bench, so I hope to find a frame that stays put when bending over at funny angles.



    Larry Geib

    I’ve had no problems whatever with Warby Parker, Fetch, and rxSafety.
    Some people swear by Walmart, but I have no experience with them. The first two don’t offer ANSI approved glasses, but I find an aviator style lenses hav always been adequate for chips and such. That style closes the gap around the bridge for me.
    When ordering online, make sure the Optometrist includes the Pupilary distance on the prescription form, which I just include as a jpeg of with the order. For some reason, they don’t always put that on unless you ask.

    Sometimes that comes as a single distance, but it’s probably better if he can measure each eye from center. People aren’t symmetrical. Not all optometrists have the equipment for that.

    Also, see if he can help you with Bridge width, and you should have an idea how big the lenses you want are. I prefer frames on the small side, and lately I’ve been tending towards frameless. More expensive , but I like the light weight. That’s why I ordered RXSafety.

    The firms I have purchased from are very good with solving problems if you aren’t satisfied. And in the case I broke a pair, Fetch gave me new ones ( in the first year)

    Also, Warby Parker and Fetch have walk in stores you can shop in in some cities.
    They are right next to each other in Portland.

    I’m toldd Walmart has a full satisfaction guarantee.



    I just went through this process. So I went to my insurance provider’s website, and their site said that I could purchase prescription glasses and get my vision benefits if I went to So I went, and they had a “Vision Insurance” button at the top of the page where I could enter my information, their site did a lookup, and populated my insurance into their price calculator, so for each pair of glasses I looked at, I could see what (if anything) I’d have to pay out of pocket.

    They had a handful of purpose-built safety glasses which meet the ANSI Z87.1 standard and which accepted single vision or progressive/multi-focal lenses. They also have an option for almost every pair of glasses to get prescription lenses made from some proprietary impact resistant polycarbonate, and in the end I felt comfortable enough getting those instead of the dedicated safety glasses, partially because I wanted the “stay-put” grip that I’m familiar with from Oakleys, which I’ve worn for decades, and partially because I’ve been hit by more than a few objects in various pairs of Oakleys over those decades, and like Larry mentioned above, I’m OK with their level of protection. So I got the Oakleys with the polycarbonate prescription lenses, all paid for by my insurance, all online. They contact my eye doctor for me to obtain my prescription (I had to approve that, no big deal at all), and it was all done.

    I wore them for the first time in the shop today, and they seemed great. I didn’t need their protection, thankfully, so I can’t speak to that, and hopefully I never will…



    @lorenzojose , @etmo Thank you for the suggestions. I’ll see what I can find.

    Ed, which of the Oakleys have you found meet your “stay put” requirement? Do you think you could lean over and look at work from the backside (when your head is nearly upside down) and still have them not flop around?



    @ed — yes, the typical Oakley style, their sportier stuff, like this:

    That style will stay put very well on me, they’re light, and the plasticky nose piece and temples are grippy. But if you chose a style with heavy rims, or without the grippy plastic pieces (maybe something like this: ), I don’t have confidence that those would work, although I can’t speak from experience.


    Richard Guggemos

    I use safety glasses with bifocal readers built in. The upper lens is a 0 prescription, lower +1.50 Cheap ones from eBay have worked fine, FWIW.

    On the other hand, I’ve known folks who,seem to look up a lot. And they’ve had to get reverse bifocals which don’t seem to be available as generics.




    @rickgugg , thanks for the suggestion. For me, that won’t work. I need the whole lens to be at the same prescription or else I invariably end up with my head in a position where I’m on the wrong side of the bifocal line or, heaven help me if I try, the wrong place in the progressive lens. Right now, I use a cheap pair of drugstore glasses with simple spherical correction selected to work for head-to-bench distance and am accustomed to walking around a blurry shop or looking over the tops of them. I’d keep doing this, but need side shields and appropriate lenses for occasions at the bandsaw, lathe, and grinder.

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