The Best Plasma Cutting Glasses and Goggles for Your Eye Safety

Best Plasma Cutting Glasses and Goggles

Plasma cutting safety

One of the many purposes of wearing safety glasses or goggles when plasma cutting is to protect your eyes from radiation and UV rays.

Plasma cutting is a process where you use an accelerated jet of hot plasma to cut through electrically conductive materials. It can be used to cut materials made of steel, brass, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. The process involves electricity, ultraviolet light, and gas which makes it hazardous that’s why it is extremely important to take note of precautionary measures.

Safety is of utmost priority when performing plasma cutting. Proper plasma safety requires protecting your eyes, face, and your exposed skin. You need to shield your eyes and face with proper plasma cutting glasses, goggles, and/or helmet. You also need to wear a welding gloves, welding jacket, or any clothing that is flame-resistant just like denim.

Choosing plasma cutting glasses and goggles

Looking at plasma cutting arcs can cause damage to your eyes to an extent that you may go blind if your eyes are not properly protected. There are different types of plasma cutting glasses and goggles but you have to carefully choose the right one for better productivity, quality of work, and your comfort. Here are some tips in choosing the right one for you:

  1. Any welding helmet, glass, or goggle should meet the ANSI standards which makes sure that the helmets, glasses, or goggles have passed intensive testing to prove that they can provide 100% protection from ultraviolet light and infrared, survive basic and high velocity impact from flying objects, are durable to corrosion and flammables, protect the eyes from exposure to non-ionizing radiation and chemicals, and meet darkness shades and switching speeds in varying temperatures.
  2. Get the right shade by checking your plasma cutting machine’s amperage capabilities and consulting the guide for shade numbers depending on the amperes of your plasma cutting machine.
  3. There is a suggested shade number per ampere range but the general rule is to start with a shade that is too dark to see the weld zone and then try a shade lighter that will allow you to see the weld zone.

According to  ANSI Z49.1:2005, these shade numbers in the table should be followed when choosing the right glasses or goggles for cutting with plasma cutters given their respective amperage.

Arc Current (Amperes)Minimum Protective ShadeSuggested Shade Number (Comfort)
Less than 2044
20-4055
40-6066
60-8088
80-30089
300-400912
400-8001014

The Best Plasma Cutting Glasses and Goggles

Hobart 770726 Shade 5

Hobart 770726 Shade 5, Mirrored Lens Safety Glasses

Key specifications

  • Color: black
  • Dimension: 9.5 x 3.1 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.08 ounces
  • Material type: Shatterproof polycarbonate
  • Safety standards: ANSI Z87.1

The Hobart 770726 safety glasses features a form-fitting frame that has mirrored and shatterproof and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses. The frame is not adjustable but it includes a frame liner or padding made of soft foam that protects the eyes from debris, dust, and perspiration. This padding makes it comfortable to wear.

This is an affordable yet quality product that is perfect for protecting the eyes when performing plasma cutting because of its ANSI standard label and the shade number that is uses. Although this product claims to have scratch-resistant lenses, you still need to be careful in cleaning it because it still scratches.

There might just be some problems with the size since the frame is not adjustable so it might be too big for individuals with a smaller face and small for those with a bigger frame. It can also be challenging to wear it on top of prescription glasses. You may also encounter a little fogging while wearing it.


Bolle 40089 Safety Shade 5

Bolle Safety Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses, Scratch-ResistantKey specifications

  • Color: black
  • Dimension: 6.4 x 2.8 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.7 ounces
  • Material type: Polycarbonate / TPE
  • Safety standards: ANSI Z87.1-2010 and CSA-Z94.3-2007

The Bolle 40089 Safety Shade welding safety glasses is a stylish one featuring a full-frame that has a wraparound design that is black/gray in color. The lens coating is scratch-resistant. These safety glasses are perfect for plasma cutting because they meet both the ANSI Z87.1-2010 and CSA-Z94.3-2007 standards. It has an adjustable frame and a frame liner that makes it comfortable to wear. It has a 99.99% UV protection which is important in protecting your eyes while plasma cutting.

The design of these glasses is very modern and stylish. They have a great fit and are made of good quality and you can get them at an affordable price.


Miller Electric 235658 Shade 5.0

Miller Electric Shade 5.0 Welding Safety Glasses, Scratch-Resistant

Key specifications

  • Color: black
  • Dimension: 7.6 x 3.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Material type: Polycarbonate frame, polycarbonate metal lens
  • Safety standards: ANSI Z87.1

The Miller Electric Shade 5.0 wedding safety glasses have a wraparound x-ray frame design with a reflective anti-scratch lens coating and a black temple. Although they meet the ANSI Z87.1 standards and offer 99.9% UV protection, they don’t totally protect your eyes when plasma cutting with amperage more than 60. The shade of darkness is not enough to protect the eyes and you might still see some spots even while wearing it.

The materials are also cheap that’s why the frames tend to break easily and the lenses also easily scratch. It’s also annoying because the lenses are not replaceable. These glasses are affordable although they lack in quality .

These glasses are affordable and are great for plasma cutting but are too light for welding jobs. Despite not having a frame liner, it is still comfortable to wear. Some people even use it for other purposes such as for playing water volleyball.


Hypertherm 017035 Cutting Goggles Shade 5

Hypertherm 017035 Cutting Goggles in Shade 5 for Less than 40 AmpKey specifications

  • Color: black
  • Dimension: 8.5 x 7 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 7.7 ounces
  • Safety standards: ANSI Z87.1 and CSA Z94.3

The Hypertherm 017035 cutting goggles are soft body goggles that can fit over prescription glasses without affecting your vision. They are quite small for goggles but they give you a wide viewing area which is a great fit when plasma cutting and aside from that, they also meet the ANSI Z87.1 and CSA Z94.3 standards.

This safety googles work well for plasma cutting and grinding and are also comfortable to wear even when you wear them on top of prescription glasses. They don’t fog as well compared to other goggles since fogging is a common issue of goggles. They are quite expensive compared to other plasma cutting and welding goggles but you get your money’s worth because they are made of high quality standards that you won’t regret buying.


Servore Arc-513 Auto Shade Darkening Welding Goggle

Servore Auto Shade Darkening Welding Goggle Arc-513 Arc513 World's First TigKey specifications

  • Color: black
  • Dimension: 7.5 x 3.5 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Material type: Plastic/Silicon
  • Safety standards: ANSI Z87.1

The Servore Auto Shade Darkening Welding Goggle Arc-513 is a great product from Korea that works well for tig-tin-welding and plasma cutting. It looks very modern and you can say that a lot of effort has been put to create it. When you see it at first, it actually looks like VR goggles. This goggles looks bulky but it actually fits the face perfectly.

The shade level is adjustable ranging from shade number 5 to shade number 13 which is a great feature because it means that you can use it for different types of welding jobs aside from plasma cutting. It uses advanced technology which makes it very cool and sleek.

These goggles are expensive but it’s understandable given its great performance and outstanding quality.


Hobart 770095 Shade 5

Hobart 770095 Welding Oxy-Acetylene Goggle - Flip Front 2-Inch x 4 1/4-InchKey specifications

  • Color: Green
  • Dimension: 12 x 5 x 3.7 inches
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Material type: Plastic
  • Safety standards: ANSI Z87.1

The Hobart 770095 Welding Oxy-Acetylene goggles features a flip-up flexible green goggles, lens and cover lens that are replaceable, and adjustable elastic bands for maximum comfort. The advantage of this product is that the lenses are interchangeable which is good for more flexibility in welding and plasma cutting.

The weird shape and design make them uncomfortable to wear and they don’t fit all types of faces. These goggles may look bulky but they are actually lighter compared to other welding goggles. The only good thing about their shape is that you can wear these googles on top of your prescription glasses without feeling any pressure

A lot of people have also used these goggles to view an eclipse by replacing the shade number 5 lens to shade number 14 lens. The price is not bad but the quality of this product can always be improved.


KwikSafety 43237-2 Hammerhead Flip-Up Welding Goggles Shade 5

KwikSafety (Charlotte, NC) HAMMERHEAD Industrial ANSI (ANTI-FOG, Snug FIT) Welding Goggles | Flip-Up Shade 5 | Ventilation Plasma Jet Welding Torch Brazing Flame Cutting Gas Oxy-Acetylene GreenKey specifications

  • Color: Green/Black
  • Dimension: 3.4 x 3.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Material type: PVC material
  • Safety standards: ANSI Z87.1

The KwikSafety Hammerhead wedding goggles also has a flip-up front lens for a quick non-shade view, a well-sized frame that you can wear on top of prescription glasses, a snug-fit lip for comfort while plasma cutting or welding, an adjustable heavy duty elastic band, and an interchangeable lens. What’s great about this product is that it meets the ANSI Z87.1 standards and is also CE EN 175 F certified to meet European Standards.

This product claims that the lens is interchangeable but it seems quite hard to change the lenses. It is comfortable to wear for many but it still depends on the face’s shape and contour. It may not fit the face of some people especially those who have big noses. The elastic strap is not sturdy and strong enough to hold the goggles tight.

Compared to other plasma cutting goggles, this is cheaper and also lighter. The flip-up lens is resistant to scratches. It is also a very durable product despite its affordable price.


Hobart 770727 Shade 5 Lens Safety Glasses

Hobart 770727 Shade 5 Lens Safety Glasses

Key specifications

  • Color: Orange frame, black lens
  • Dimension: 8.6 x 3.3 x 2.3 inches
  • Weight: 3.86 ounces
  • Material type: Shatterproof polycarbonate
  • Safety standards: ANSI Z87.1

The Hobart 770727 safety glasses have a form-fitting frame made of shatterproof polycarbonate and a coating that is resistant to scratches. The lens is also made of polycarbonate and is anti-scratch. The frame comes with a foam frame liner that is supposed to protect the eyes and the face from debris, dust, and perspiration but this foam actually causes you to sweat a lot into the lenses which is such an inconvenience. It meets the ANSI Z87.1 standards and the lens seem properly shaded for plasma cutting.

These safety glasses are light and comfortable and are very affordable too although the glasses tend to lift up into they eyes when you are looking down. They are ideal for plasma cutting but cannot be used for welding. The size can fit almost anyone. The design and color is just quite odd.


Conclusion

Most of the plasma cutting glasses and goggles listed above use shade number 5 which is ideal for plasma cutting machines that have 20-40 amperes. If your machine has lower or higher amperage, then you would need a different shade number so it’s better to get plasma cutting glasses where you can either adjust or change the lens with a different shade number.

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to get safety glasses or goggles that meet the ANSI standards, preferably the ANSI Z87.1 standards. All products given here meet ANSI Z87.1 standards. Always take note that you should get safety glasses that meet the ANSI standards.

If we were to take these 3 important factors into consideration, there is not one product that satisfies all three factors. The Bolle Safety Shade 5.0 welding safety glasses is your best bet if you want something that meets both the ANSI Z87.1 standards and also offers 99.9% UV protection. If you prefer goggles and if you are also looking for one where you can either change or adjust the shade number, then I recommend the KwikSafety Hammerhead welding goggles because it meets the ANSI Z87.1 standards although it doesn’t guarantee UV protection.

Aside from the three important factors given above, there are also other factors that can help you decide on what kind of eye protection you can get for plasma cutting. You also need to consider other factors such as the comfort, the fitting of the frame, and if you are wearing prescription glasses, you probably need to get one that you can wear comfortably over your prescription glasses without sacrificing the view.

If it were just up to me to decide based on my personal preference, I would choose the Servore Auto Shade Darkening Welding Goggle because of its high technology and ease of use. I also love the fact that you can easily change the shade number plus it meets ANSI Z87.1 standards.


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