When you think about work clothing you may not readily include one item that I find absolutely essential: safety glasses. Fortunately, the new generation of glasses look nothing like they did a couple decades ago. Back then stylishness apparently didn’t make the top 10 lists of manufacturers who were designing products primarily to protect your eyes. Now, if your glasses don’t make you look like you just stepped into the Matrix, you’re not up with the times. Edge Eyewear has a very extensive line of safety glasses, with fifteen frame styles and almost twenty lens options to choose from. We got to try out several of their glasses, and here’s a blow-by-blow of what I thought of each.
KHOR Series with Polarized Aqua Precision Blue Mirror Lens (TSDKAP218)
These glasses are beautiful to look at, and even better to wear. They are a nylon half-frame design with lenses that wrap around your head such that, strain all your want, you won’t ever perceive the edge of the lens (something that was true for each of the glasses I reviewed). The arms are a split design, with a hard plastic upper post and a soft rubberized lower post that joins into a soft tip that clasps behind the ears. This same rubber is used for the nose piece. These lenses, which are available on many of the Edge models, actually block a significant amount of red and infrared light transmission. The result is a higher perceived contrast overall. I found that it “dulls” the color somewhat, but with the benefit of providing more detail, particularly in bright or white areas. If you’re painting or doing something where improving contrast is going to benefit you, these are excellent lenses on a comfortable and stylish frame. $34.95
Brazeau Series with Polarized Copper “Driving” Lens (TXB215) and Anti-Reflective Lens (XB111AR)
The Brazeau has a full nylon frame with a soft rubberized coating that travels along the entire base of each arm all the way to the tips which rest behind the ears. Like the Recluse, the Brazeau safety glasses feature a pair of soft TPR temple tips that actually do very well at keeping the glasses in place—even when they get wet or when you sweat. I had two pairs of these to test. The first pair came with the Polarized Copper lenses, which Edge calls their “Driving” lens. What it does, among other things, is filter out a significant amount of blue light. The result is a nice bright image that works just as well on cloudy days as it does on sunny afternoons. The other pair came with the Anti-Reflective lens, which isn’t so much about providing shade for your eyes as it is about UV blocking and reducing glare. These safety glasses are great for when you may be going in and out of a well-lit building or you’re working on a cloudy day or in an area that isn’t getting direct sunlight. I found the Brazeau glasses to be really comfortable to wear, and not just on my head. When I passed them around, the consensus was that these glasses work well on a variety of head shapes and sizes. $34.95 & $17.95
Reclus Series with Smoke Lens (SR116)
The Reclus is a very straightforward, minimalistic design. It’s simple, comfortable and attractive. Even after hours of use there was little to no felt pressure at either the bridge of my nose or the area above or behind my ears where the arms make contact with my head. The Smoke lens blocked a good amount of light, but with a more natural tone. When I put them on it felt as if the sunlight had been dialed back ever so slightly. These are just great safety glasses. $17.95
I’ve worn a lot of different types of safety glasses, from all sorts of manufacturers. What I like about the Edge Eyewear products is that every single pair is rated to ANSI Z87.1+2010 and then they also built them to handle the Military MCEPS test “Ballistic” standard. There’s a lot involved in that, but suffice it to say that they will stop a 16D nail fired from a pneumatic nailer positioned 2′ away, or a 1/4″ steel ball traveling at 660 ft/s. With safety glasses costing as little as $10 these days, I might want to pay a little more for a certification that I know actually means something. You probably should as well.
There are nineteen different lens styles you can order with many of the Edge Eyewear models. But what does each really do in practice? We took a photo with our DSLR camera and placed the glasses over for each. Below is a sneak peek at what you might expect to see when you wear at least the four lenses we utilized. Pay particular attention to details like how much more the reflected tree pops with the polarized Aqua Precision Blue lenses, or how much of the Blue light is pulled out by the Polarized Copper.
Clint Everett DeBoer, when he’s not remodeling part of his house or playing with the latest power tool, enjoys life as a husband, father and avid reader. He has a degree in recording engineering and has been involved in multimedia and/or online publishing in one form or another for the past 18 years.