Not what you expect

  • Advertise with us
Review by fuigb posted 10-29-2015 12:50 PM 7497 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Not what you expect No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

These googles are presented by Lee Valley as combing function and form: comprehensive eye protection (though “not certified for industrial use”) and a “cool retro look.” The look IS cool, if that is at all important, and the youngsters in your life are sure to point out that you resemble a Minion from the kids’ movie Despicable Me. Giving the children a laugh is about as much satisfaction as you can expect from these googles.

I’m a hobbyist, an evening and weekend warrior, but I do enough machining to not want to tempt fate so I thought to replace my unsatisfactory generic factory-sourced safety glasses with these googles from Lee Valley. Because I often work outdoors I ordered the then-available (no longer, per Lee Valley’s website) add-on tinted lenses and experienced my first regret: they simply did not fit in the googles no matter how I tried. Strike one.

In the course of a week I may wear these googles for a total of a few hours. Again, I’m a hobbyist and at that most of my time does not require safety gear of this nature, and so I was surprised to find that after a month or so of use my googles were RUSTING! Presumably the brief weekly exposure to sweat leads to corrosion. Metal rusts, everyone knows, but equipment designed to be in close contact with skin isn’t treated to prevent almost immediate corrosion? Please. Strike two.

Strike three isn’t really a full strike, but it is an irritant. A large part of my dissatisfaction with plastic industrial-grade safety glasses is their tendency to fog over. Fogged glasses quickly come off and are forgotten, thereby undermining their very reason for being. These Lee Valley googles also fog notwithstanding their “shielded side vents.” Visual clarity is better than I’ve experienced with the plastic specs but this really isn’t saying much.

Bottom line: buy these googles for a costume or to make little children smile, but if your need is for reliably functional safety eye-wear then pass these by.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View fuigb's profile


596 posts in 4176 days

16 comments so far

View smitdog's profile


471 posts in 3324 days

#1 posted 10-29-2015 01:06 PM

Those do look cool and I can definitely see the minion reference! Too bad they aren’t actually very useful, the lenses not fitting is inexcusable. Sometimes form over function is acceptable but rarely in the workshop :)

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3851 days

#2 posted 10-29-2015 01:18 PM

I bought 10-12 pairs of generic glasses from Harbor Freight for $1ish each. There always seems to be a pair laying around when I need one. Can’t imagine getting the urge to try something ‘cuter’.....although I do sometimes use a face shield when I do a lot of grinding.

Goggles like these have become popular with the motorcycle circles. I’m not sure why since I would think they would make peripheral vision terrible. I use a pair of gas station sunglasses. On the rare occasion I ride at night, I use a pair of the harbor freight safety glasses.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4085 days

#3 posted 10-29-2015 01:22 PM

I have to wear prescription glasses so I have to wear safety goggles over my glasses so these don’t look like they would work for me anyways. Thanks for the review.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2395 days

#4 posted 10-29-2015 01:23 PM

I have always heard good things about Lee Valley. It is a shame that these goggles are not up to standard. Have you tried contacting Lee Valley?

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3515 days

#5 posted 10-29-2015 01:52 PM

You can buy sprays that will prevent fog up, guys who use chainsaws all day for a living use it. Also rubbing a fine film of dish detergent is supposed to prevent it. I don’t know if it’s brand specific though.

View justgrif's profile


36 posts in 2852 days

#6 posted 10-29-2015 01:57 PM

Thanks for your review. I just got the Lee Valley catalog and spotted these, thinking they would be an interesting add to my shop. I think I’ll pass now and stick to the free ones the Ridgid rep gave me when I bought my R4512 table saw.

View fuigb's profile


596 posts in 4176 days

#7 posted 10-29-2015 02:26 PM

I have always heard good things about Lee Valley. It is a shame that these goggles are not up to standard. Have you tried contacting Lee Valley?

- WoodNSawdust

This is my first-ever negative experience with Lee Valley. Generally I’m happy with the products, but this the first non-tool item that I’ve purchased from their catalog.

To answer the question, no, I’ve not attempted to contact LV. It was right away that I realized that the tinted lenses did not fit, but going to war over $3 or the trouble of repacking and returning lenses for the same three bucks didn’t feel like it would be worth the effort. And then the problems with the rust… that issue has been a slow slide into a pit defined by ongoing efforts to scrub free the rust, treat the trouble spots, remove new rust… I’m not a complainer, and so in this case my initial thoughts were that I must be doing something wrong or abusive. But after six months I’m convinced that I bought junk, and while the $20 bite isn’t enough to really hurt I decided to write this review to alert others to the shortcomings (IMO) of the product.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View CooperDBM's profile


34 posts in 3564 days

#8 posted 10-29-2015 02:38 PM

It would be worth sending Lee Valley a copy of this review, even if you’re not looking for a refund. They do drop products due to bad user feedback. The descriptions of their items on sale often say they’re clearing out discontinued stock due to poor user feedback.

-- Dave, Ottawa, ON

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 3329 days

#9 posted 10-29-2015 03:57 PM

FWIW, Lee Valley even covers return postage in the first three months.

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4673 posts in 2496 days

#10 posted 10-29-2015 08:49 PM

You will have no issues retuning them to Lee Valley.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View UpstateNYdude's profile


966 posts in 3201 days

#11 posted 10-30-2015 03:48 PM

I had a pair just like those not quite as round and long in the goggle part but close, I switched over to these Carhartt safety glasses and they are awesome.

Oh and you can get add-on lenses, a sunglass set that do fit in, as I have them for when I use my chainsaw and yard work on bright days. They also have a bronze lense set which are supposed to make things appear brighter I guess, I haven’t order that set yet. But the thing I like about these is the strap and ear pieces can be interchanged super quick.

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View _Whitey's profile


17 posts in 2770 days

#12 posted 10-30-2015 07:38 PM

Let them rust a little more then throw them on a shelf in the living room. Tell your guests they are “Steampunk” Guaranteed to be a good conversation piece.

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4907 days

#13 posted 10-30-2015 11:25 PM

Maybe they don’t enjoy being referred to as “googles” by you ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View rhybeka's profile


5066 posts in 4340 days

#14 posted 11-01-2015 11:09 AM

I have those glasses as well but do not use them in my shop for the fogging reason (haven’t had a chance to try the anti-fog methods plus I already have a set of dewalt goggles in the shop that work just fine :) If my memory serves correctly, the tinted lenses weren’t meant to be installed alone, but with the glass ones in front since they aren’t meant to be protective and the glass ones are. Not sure if this is why you’re having a fit issue but thought I’d mention it in case they omitted that from the catalog!

They are great for minion/steampunk things though! :D

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View RPhillips's profile


1323 posts in 3055 days

#15 posted 11-03-2015 05:11 PM

If your looking for comfort and protection, check these out. The are offered in both clear and smoked lenses and even a few other combinations. Essentially these are “fectoggles” which are a hybrid safety glasses with foam sealing around your face similar to a goggle, but much more comfortable.

I have used them at work in a refinery and they performed nicely at keeping airborne “coke” particles out of my eyes without fogging.

Pyramex Wolfhound Tactical Shooting Glasses

Pyramex Highlander Safety Eyewear

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics