Eye Ear Protection

By Randy Johnson

Whether it's a seat belt in your car, a life jacket in your boat, or goggles and earplugs in your shop, if safety gear is a hassle, we're less likely to use it. Although few woodworkers would dispute the importance of eye and hearing protection in the woodshop, even fewer actually do anything about it. The grim reality is that even the smallest flying chip can cause serious eye injury and noise-induced hearing loss is permanent—no surgery or medication can bring it back.

Because it's important to protect both your eyes and your hearing, we took a look at combination devices that promise more convenience and therefore the greater likelihood of actually being used. We wanted to know just how comfortable, convenient and effective they really are.

Our Field Test

We distributed sets of combination eye and hearing protection devices to 12 professional woodworkers and asked them to use the devices in their shops for seven days. The woodworkers ranked die eye/hearing protectors for comfort, convenience and effectiveness. Here are the results:

Optimuff

The Optimuff (Photo 1) received high marks from almost everyone. Prescription eyeglass wearers liked the attached safety glasses because they didn't interfere with their regular glasses. Most people found the Optimuff to be comfortable to wear and effective at blocking out noise. Marks were a bit lower for convenience because it takes a few tries before you get the hang of putting them on.

Optimuff

Pros

Comfortable

Model 0M-77L can be worn over prescription glasses Lenses are replaceable.

Cons

Takes practice to put on properly Muffs can be uncomfortable in hot weather.

Comments

Glasses meet ANSI Z87.1 performance standard Noise reduction rating: 26 dB Price: $21.50.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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