Without doubt, the single most important piece of safety equipment should have when attempting any cutting or pruning in your garden is a good pair of goggles. It should go without saying that your eyesight is important and protecting it is paramount.
A good pair of safety goggles will protect you from a range of hazards including flying debris, pollen and poisons from plants and sun damage. Function should outweigh style but these days you can still look like a boss while battling your borders. Just remember, ALWAYS WEAR EYEWEAR!
The only real rule of thumb with protective eyewear is to wear it all the time. Clearly you’ll want to take them off from time to time, but if you are engaging in garden grappling, then please wear them. They don’t have to cost much, but financial cost pales into insignificance with the alternative is the loss of eyesight.
In order to narrow down the huge variety of protective eyewear available, here are some clear categories of gardening glasses within which we’ve picked our favourite pair for your personal perusal.
Best All-Round Safety Goggles
DeWalt have built a reputation as a reliable maker of hard working tools and their Auger Full-Frame Rubber Safety Glasses are a great example of the application of safety-conscious design. Anti-fog lenses with UV protection gives you clear vision in most circumstances, while the close fitting rubber seals will keep out all ne’er do wells. The elastic head strap will give you security in knowing they won’t come off in a hurry, and if they do, the trademark DeWalt yellow accents mean you’ll find them in an instant.
Best Over Glasses Safety Goggles
If you are an existing glasses wearer, then you’re already protecting your eyesight, however resist the temptation to rely on your usual specs in this context. If you are a constant gardener, you might choose to get some prescription gardening glasses, but the simpler alternative is a pair of over-glasses goggles.
These are never the most stylish solution, however you do get double the fun with the “”where did I leave my glasses” while they’re resting on your head” gag. So it’s not all bad. Here’s our pick!
These NoCry Over-Spec Safety glasses are spacious enough to allow most glasses wearers to fit their usual eyewear within the polycarbonate lens area, and the adjustable arms mean that you can find a comfortable fit with ease. The rounded lens mean that sideways intrusions from debris or plant use should be kept in check and they’re not a bad looking pair either!
Best Safety Goggles for Looking Bad-ass
Superheroes wear costumes to inspire fear in others and to generate heroism within themselves, and the same psychology can be applied with your gardening gear. If you’ve got a power pruning session with some tough topiary, these Bollé Tracker II glasses will get you in the zone the moment the foam eye seals hit your face. With an attachable headband as well as adjustable arms, and an anti-fog coating, these glasses will be a trusty sidekick in whatever war you’re waging!
Best Budget Safety Goggles
Money should not be a barrier to entry when it comes to personal protection and these Silverline MSS160s can be purchased for less than a cup of coffee. If you are on a tiny budget, get these and you will be well protected on all sides of your eyes and the vents will stop you getting to sweaty while you crack on with the tasks in hand!
Best Safety Goggles for Big Jobs
If you have some major league tree trimming on the horizon and you’re getting ready to bust out the chainsaw, a pair of glasses ain’t gonna cut the mustard, let alone the branches. So, in addition to any of the choices above, we’ve chosen the Oregon Yukon Chainsaw Safety Helmet with Protective Ear Muff and Mesh Visor Set (or OYCSHPEMMVS for short!) as our favorite big armour suggestion. Combining hard hat, ear defenders and face shield, you’ll be well protected against most things a tree can (and will) throw at you.
Truth be told, these big jobs are fairly rare for the everyday gardener, so it’s good to know you can hire this sort of kit along with the big power tools when you need them.
So that’s our picks! Whichever one you choose, please please please use them and don’t even think about using cutting tools without wearing them. You might get away with it, but I don’t want to even imagine what would happen if you didn’t. Play safe, people!