In a world of excess and extravagance, it’s refreshing to come across a product that is neither of those things. What I’m referring to are Radians’ clear, scratch-resistant, wraparound safety glasses and their bottom-dollar bargain price of less than two bucks apiece. That’s far less than your average tall mocha latte.
Safety glasses are what every mechanic or backyard builder loves to loathe. Most are uncomfortable, prone to fogging up, and tend to get lost in your toolbox. That is until you find yourself under a pile of parts that used to resemble a car, but now everything that used to have a rounded edge has become a razor-sharp, tetanus-wielding chunk of floor pan determined to find its way into your unprotected eyeballs.
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At that point, you wish you’d bought even the cheapest pair of glasses or found the lost ones. But hindsight is 20/20. (See what I did there?). Does saving a few dollars make sense when your eyeballs are on the line? Radians seems to think it can offer something extremely inexpensive as well as safe, which is why you’ll find a huge price discrepancy between these and the Magids we recently tested.
To see whether or not you should entrust your eyes to Radians, The Drive’s Guides & Gear team took a closer look at these scratch-resistant, scratch-saving safety glasses. Here’s what we found.
Unboxing and Initial Impressions of the Radians Safety Glasses
There’s not much to talk about with the packaging for these glasses, as they come in a thin cellophane bag with a simple Radians logo across the top. I noticed how similar the Radians are to another pair of glasses I reviewed from 3M. Apart from the logo embossed on the earpieces and the 3M glasses costing nearly twice as much, they’re identical.
Radians safety glasses are molded, clear plastic, and designed to wrap around the head. No frills, no extras, just the simplest form of eye protection you could imagine. At this price, I certainly didn’t expect anything extravagant, nor was I disappointed. No frills are exactly my speed.
What these glasses lack in comfort they make up for in protection.
Using the Radians Safety Glasses
- Good: If you want cheap, look no further than these glasses.
- Bad: If you are at all worried about looks, comfort, or fitment, keep on scrolling. These are not the glasses for you.
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Although I love a good bargain, between the cost and the appearance I was skeptical of Radians glasses’ performance given their price point. When it comes to the strength of these glasses, however, I can say I was pleasantly surprised.
I performed three tests with the glasses. The first was a drop test. I’m sure we’ve all pulled our glasses to the top of our heads, put them on our hats, or hung them on the neck of our shirt or pocket only to inevitably as if they’re drawn like a magnet to steel, watch them tumble to the ground when we forget they’re there. For the test, I took it a step further.
At a height of 15 feet, I dropped the Radians onto my concrete shop floor. To make sure the first drop wasn’t a fluke, I dropped them twice more, for a total combined 45 feet in the air. Besides some light scratches on these “scratch-resistant” lenses, the glasses held up.
Test number two included a stream of superheated metal shavings. I lightly clamped the glasses in a bench vise and ran a grinder over a piece of steel about four inches away from the glasses for about 15 seconds. This gave the white-hot metal particulates a chance to penetrate the plastic lens of the glasses. In this case, the only damage was some mild pitting on the lenses.
For the third test, I stepped things up a bit with my son’s BB gun. It’s not exactly a real-world test, but it does mimic the sort of metal shrapnel that we can encounter when we work on our cars and trucks. Each lens took several shots from three feet away, escaping with only a few small dents. Another win was recorded for the Radians glasses.
The glasses held up to the abuse without compromise. Where they fell short was when I wore them. They are very lightweight, and the nosepiece was smooth, but because of the wraparound design, they rode against my eyebrows and began to fog. The earpieces were too long, too, so the glasses often fell down my face.
The fog is strong with this one.
What’s Good About Radians Clear, Wraparound, Scratch-resistant Safety Glasses
When it comes to cost savings, Radians has it figured out. It might speak to the effectiveness of these glasses to know Radians are not the only company utilizing these glasses. A quick search on Amazon showed several other companies carrying their version of the same glasses, including Bison Life, Jorestech, and 3M. In any case, there are loads of inexpensive options to protect your eyes, and Radians are among them.
If it means you miss out on one day’s caffeine fix for the sake of protecting your eyes, take the glasses. They may not be the most stylish or most comfortable option on the market, but they are the most affordable, and they offer the right safety. You can rest easy knowing you have something between your eyes and that 40-year-old, oil-soaked, dirt-covered, half-rotted away firewall you’re about to remove with a cut-off tool.
What’s Not Great About Radians Safety Glasses
During my time with these glasses, I noticed two big issues. The first was fogging, and I was surprised how quickly it happened. Within 30 seconds of putting them on, they began fogging up, and it never seemed to get better. If you can’t see through the glasses, they aren’t doing you any good.
The second was the fitment. If they weren’t fogging up, they were falling down my nose. The nosepiece is smooth, which is great for comfort, but it also makes it slick. The turns for the earpieces were close to an inch beyond my ears and the combination of the nose and earpieces meant I was constantly adjusting and pushing them back up my face.
Fitment is close to the face, leading to lots of fogging.
Our Verdict on Radians Safety Glasses
It’s always a good idea to wear safety glasses when you work in areas where things could fly or fall into your eyes. Radians makes the cost of entry very low for the sake of your vision, and at less than $2 a pair, you could have a pair in your truck, another in your garage, and maybe a pair in the house.
On the other hand, if the bucket of rust in the garage is going to take several Saturdays to clean up, it might be worth investing in something more comfortable. The constant adjusting and fighting the fog means less time wrenching. Inexpensive is the word best describing the Radians safety glasses, and even with their shortcomings the value and their toughness make them a great pick for anyone needing the protection.
Inexpensive is the word best describing the Radians safety glasses, and even with their shortcomings the value and their toughness make them a great pick for anyone needing the protection.
FAQs About Radians Safety Glasses
You have questions. The Drive has answers.
Q. How do I stop my safety glasses from fogging up?
A. Wash your glasses with water and liquid dish soap, such as Dawn, then wipe them clean with a soft cloth.
Q. Will rubbing alcohol keep glasses from fogging up?
A. Isopropanol, or rubbing alcohol, is used most commonly, but a variety of detergents can also be used.
Q. Why is wearing safety glasses important?
A. Safety glasses are the best way to protect your eyes when working in hazardous environments.
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