3M™ Anti-Fog Safety Eyewear Sets New Standard for Visibility - Pro Construction Guide

3M™ Anti-Fog Safety Eyewear Sets New Standard for Visibility

Recently released safety eyewear from 3M™ is winning over remodelers, cabinetmakers and maintenance workers who are tired of sacrificing clarity and comfort to protect their eyes, according to a Pro Construction Guide Field Test.
Pro Construction Guide Field Testers
Joseph Stazzone — Chicago, Illinois
Cresten Dashnaw — Aurora, Colorado
Stephen Campise — Naples, Florida
Curtis Cox — Lakeside, California
Joe Foshee — Mabelvale, Arkansas
Patrick Spencer — Biloxi, Mississippi
Chad McDade — Rogers, Ohio

Safety Eyewear with Scotchgard™ Protector is designed for working in challenging situations such as hot & humid conditions, indoor & outdoor work, physically demanding tasks and climate-controlled areas.

All three pieces of the collection, which can be purchased separately, use scratch-resistant lenses that block 99.9 percent of UV rays and provide limited protection from light as well as moderate impact hazard. The glasses (MSRP:$24.99) are available with clear lenses or gray lenses (for reducing sunlight during outdoor work). Clear-lens goggles (MSRP $29.99) are also available for more hazardous grinding and ripping work. All three models use lenses treated with Scotchgard™ Protector Anti-Fog Coating. According to 3M™, this coating resists fogging by flattening beads of moisture into a thin, transparent film that allows light to pass through with less distortion.

Full product specs:
3M™ Anti-Fog Eyewear with Scotchgard™ Protector, Black/Blue, Gray Lens
3M™ Anti-Fog Eyewear with Scotchgard™ Protector, Black/Blue, Clear Lens
3M™ Anti-Fog Goggle with Scotchgard™ Protector, Gray/Red, Clear Lens

Seven Pro Construction Guide Advisors used the eyewear in March while installing drywall and ripping lumber in three southeastern states, remodeling bathrooms and attics in Chicago, Colorado and Ohio and chipping cement off equipment in Southern California. Product and compensation were provided. All opinions are their own. All seven said 3M™ Anti-Fog Safety Eyewear with Scotchgard™ Protector offered significantly better visibility than other safety eyewear they had used. This is a critical feature, they said, because their work often requires frequent movement between outdoor and climate-controlled environments. All recommended the eyeglasses to fellow construction Pros for their superior anti-fogging protection, comfort and grip, and six recommended the goggles.

Curtis Cox

Curtis Cox

“The biggest advantage is not having to remove my eyewear to clear the fog, allowing me to keep my glasses/goggles on my face, where they provide the most protection,” noted Curtis Cox, equipment manager and lead mechanic for Standard Drywall, Inc. in Lakeside, California. “There is less of a chance I could be injured from a trip because I can’t see or because I’ve removed my glasses to clear them.”

That’s no small detail given that 90 percent of workplace eye injuries are preventable with the appropriate eye protection, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Joe Foshee

Joe Foshee

Superior anit-fogging

“I usually don’t wear eyewear here in Arkansas due to the humid conditions,” said Joe Foshee, who owns the Nailed It! carpentry shop.

“You put a pair of safety glasses on and they immediately fog up and you are just defeating the purpose. These did not fog up on me at all, which is a first for me when trying to use safety glasses.”

Joe Stazzone

Joe Stazzone

Chicago firefighter and part-time carpenter and landscaper Joseph Stazzone was delighted the glasses did not fog up when he entered his attic, where the temperature was 50 degrees lower.

“I was very, very surprised about that, because safety glasses usually do fog up, and then you can’t see,” Stazzone explained. “Then you have to wipe them off, but in the attic, you often don’t have the space to do that.”

The anti-fogging worked during a drywall installation in steamy Naples, Florida, according to Stephen Campise, a maintenance carpenter with a local school district.

“Going in and out of a building putting up sheetrock, they never fogged up,” Campise said.

In Biloxi, Mississippi, full-service builder and remodeler Patrick Spencer’s only complaint was that water droplets formed when he wore the glasses with an N95 respirator during extremely humid conditions.

“The exhaled air from the mask tends to exit from under the nose and goes directly under the glasses,” he noted. “This is in no way related to, or a fault of, the glasses and would probably happen to any eyewear. I also experienced issues with this back when I was a paramedic and required to wear safety eyewear as well as masks. If 3M is interested, I have some ideas for a possible solution to this common problem.

”Cox said he preferred the goggles over the glasses when it came to removing cement from the undercarriage of equipment with a chipping hammer.

“They gave great protection and never fogged up,” Cox said. “And you break a sweat running that gun.”

Cox asked co-workers to test the eyewear while demolishing drywall, metal studs and CMU (concrete block) walls. They said they preferred the goggles over the glasses because the goggles provided better protection from flying debris and dust without fogging.

Patrick Spencer

Patrick Spencer

“The 3M goggles were probably my choice for extremely hazardous tasks such as grinding/cutting metal,” chimed in Spencer. “They form an airtight seal around your eyes and prevent small particles from getting in your eyes. Regular safety eyewear will still allow flying debris to enter the eyes and require you to wear a face shield as well as glasses.

”Kitchen and bath remodeler Cresten Dashnaw of Colorado noted that the absence of vents to keep out debris caused his goggles to fog after 10 minutes of demolition work and after a few minutes of being worn over his forehead.

Clear, undistorted vision

Advisors described visibility through the eyewear lenses as “fine,” “clear,” “really clear,” “very clear,” and “undistorted.”

“Very impressed,” said Chad McDade, a remodeling carpenter in Rogers, Ohio. “It didn’t feel like I was looking through something.”

“I could see better in every job I did wearing the 3M™ Anti-fog Safety Eyewear,” said Cox. “I would recommend them, especially for damp and humid areas or big guys like me that heat up and sweat while working.”Spencer said that while many cheaper brands of safety eyewear tend to distort one’s field of view, the visibility of lenses in 3M™ Anti-Fog Safety CEyewear with Scotchgard™ Protector was “very clear and undistorted.”

Lightweight-comfort, good grip

All seven Advisors described the glasses as comfortable, including two who said they forgot they were wearing the glasses because they were so light. Five observed that the glasses never slipped or moved when worn on the faces.

“The nose piece and other parts of the eyewear that contact your face appear to be made of the same or similar material as you find on expensive sunglasses/eyewear that are designed for sports/activities,” noted Spencer. “It’s almost as if when they get damp with sweat/moisture, they become slightly sticky and stay put.”

In South Florida, Campise said that while other safety glasses hurt his ears, “These are amazing.”Stazzone was disappointed that the glasses slipped when worn atop his closely shaved head. McDade — who described himself as a “big guy” — said the temples were a little short for his large head. Dashnaw, on the other hand, was surprised that the lenses fit his wide face.

Stephen Campise

Stephen Campise

“[That is] a little hard to find in safety glasses,” Dashnaw said.

Surprising durability

Three of the Advisors described the glasses as durable, although Cox said the goggles held up better in dusty environments.

“The glasses required cleaning more often in dusty environments, and this caused some scratching when working with the CMU walls and debris,” he explained. “The goggles held up best in the end with full visibility and almost no scratches.”

Cresten Dashnaw

Cresten Dashnaw

Although he initially thought the glasses looked “flimsy,” Dashnaw said the glasses are holding up better than other pairs he has bought from 3M™, Harbor Freight and online vendors.“They worked well but didn’t perform like these and last like these,” he said of his previous safety glasses. “I can already tell these are going to last a few months, and safety glasses come and go for me.”

Suggestions for improvement

  • Address the interface between the glasses and an N95 mask to direct exhaled air away from the glasses and prevent fogging.
  • Devise a one-way venting system for the goggles that prevents fogging during extended periods of use (more than 15 minutes) without compromising protection from dust and particles.
  • Provide a pouch for carrying the goggles on the user’s belt since wearing them on a hard hat stretches out the elastic headband.
  • Change the design to reduce slipping when glasses are worn on top of shaved or bald heads.
  • Improve the comfort of the goggles’ elastic band.

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