Source for cheap-ish laser safety glasses?

As the subject says, I’m looking for a source for as inexpensive as possible 450 nm OD6+ safety glasses. They don’t have to be pretty, they don’t have to have fancy features, I just want to buy 6 or 12 of them so that a class can admire the new Snapmaker 2.0 without going blind.

I see that Amazon has some for about $35. The one pair that came with the machine looks like cheap Home Depot safety glasses in orange, and I’ll bet someone, somewhere knows where I can get the right stuff at a better price.

If that’s you, please chime in! Thank you.

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I’m sure you can find glasses, but with the high number you need it may be cheaper to build a partial enclosure instead. Using laser filtering acrylic like this has been great. Similar to welding, put up one screen to protect a group rather than putting everyone in the workspace in a costly helmet.

“Cheap” and “Laser Safety Glasses” really shouldn’t be in the same sentence, unless that sentence also includes the words “don’t buy.” You have to ask yourself, is the risk really worth it? Eyes damaged by lasers tend to not really heal well, ever. It’s a life-altering injury. My advice: spend the money, get the right stuff.

Also note, a CE marking on a pair of laser safety glasses means essentially nothing. Furthermore, there are a lot of forged CE certs and other fake certs out there for a lot of products in this field, particularly from a country whose name starts with the letter C. They’ll claim European certs. They’re fake.

Do your homework on it, and buy from a reputable US vendor that specializes in this area. Amazon is not a reputable vendor, and even legit stock often gets commingled with counterfeit stock. Also, if the product name includes the words “happy, shine, star, gold, or lucky”, it’s probably not a product you want to buy. Similarly, if it’s from a company with an overly-American name or marketing, there’s probably nothing American about it at all. Just my $0.02.

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Zero personal experience, but this guy generally seems to know what he’s talking about: Destructive Testing of Laser Goggles! - YouTube

Looks like his recommended pair is in the $50 range, which is about what I’d expect for a piece of certified, tested, valuable safety equipment.

We’ve used some $30 pairs for a while but most of them seem to have walked away. I believe they had an optical density (OD) of 6 at CO2 laser wavelenth (~10600 nm). It is hard to get the team to treat them with care because they are so accustomed to safety glasses that are 2 orders of magnitude less expensive.

I think I’ll be restocking with these slightly better pairs, and will attempt to do a better job making people understand their value.


I’ve been looking for acrylic with the recommended OD6+, to no avail so far.

Snapmaker sells an enclosure for another $519, but I’m hoping not to spend that much.

So after some investigation, Snapmaker’s enclosure isn’t even rated for the laser! Yeesh.

I found a rated, OD6+ piece of laser safety acrylic (6" x 12") for about $100, so am going to build an opaque box with the viewing window. It’ll only accommodate one viewer at a time, but it will also protect passers-by and window-lookers who wouldn’t have otherwise been protected. Bonus, I’ll put a fan in it and with a little bit of duct can ventilate it, too.

Thanks for the advice, all.

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After pondering this for a while I contacted my Epilog representative to find out why a simple piece of glass was all that was used for shielding on the Mini 18 I have in my classroom. He replied that there was minimal exposure simply by using the glass lid on the machine for reflected radiation. It isn’t recommended to stare at it for long periods of time, but watching a job cut wasn’t a concern from him at all. The machine I have is a 30 watt CO2 machine with glass, also my 150 watt CO2 Boss Laser has 1/4" OD3+ Acrylic shields on it.

It seems that any level of protection, even the OD3+ shield I linked earlier would provide more protection than my Epilog machine has and the power difference between the two machines is substantial.

It’s also worth noting that certain materials that are opaque to visible light may not be opaque to the particular wavelength of laser light. It’s just one of those other things that may not be a common concern, but still should be considered. I think @CarlosGJ has some experience in this area.

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Yeah, of course, the shielding has to block the radiation the laser is actually producing, rather than some arbitrary other radiation!

I know these definitely don’t qualify as cheap-ish, but when I was going through my laser phase I was able to get my hands on some of these Uvex laser safety glasses and I highly recommend them. I actually enjoyed wearing them more than my nice McMaster non-laser safety glasses.

In general, I highly recommend spending a good amount of money on laser safety in general. Your eyes are a valuable asset and in general, I’m a fan of keeping mine intact.

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Hi Michael. I’m not sure how prevalent these UV lasers are in FRC-- it seems that they are mostly used for lower power surface marking applications. To cut plastics for FRC applications, we (and I suspect most teams) are using a CO2 laser which delivers hundreds of watts in the mid infrared, so we’re using glasses designed for IR.