Comparing Face Shields (Woodturning)

Comparing Face Shields (Woodturning)

Hi I’m Mike with Craft Supplies USA and today we’re going to take an in-depth look at face shields. A face shield may be the single most important piece of safety gear for woodturners. It provides protection for the crown of your head and your entire face This is particularly important for woodturners because we need to protect ourselves from the work piece itself, not just the dust and shavings. We offer several different face shields, all of which means the ANSI Z87 standard for safety. And they all feature adjustable headbands and replaceable visors. First up is the Apprentice Face Shield. This is our least expensive face shield, but don’t let the price fool you. This is a good face shield. It has a ratcheting headband and crown height loop that are very easy to adjust. The fabric lined foam pad is extremely comfortable and it absorbs sweat better than the others, but it isn’t as easy to clean. On the sides are friction adjusters for the visor. You don’t want them so loose that the visor wobbles around and you don’t want it too tight that you can’t lower it one-handed. The fricion adjusters tend to loosen over time, but they’re very easy to re-tighten. One other adjustment that’s unique to the Apprentice Face Shield is that it has a stop when lowering the visor. And there are four stop positions to choose from, so you can adjust where it bottoms out and that’s a nice touch. On the business end is a 1 millimeter thick polycarbonate visor that is very easy to attach. First align the button hole in the center, then slide it sideways. Wrap the visor around the headgear and pivot the finger up to hold it in place. The Apprentice Face Shield is the lightest of the three, weighing in at only 7.9 ounces. It’s light enough to wear for long periods of time and it’s great for kids too. Up next is a 3M Tuffmaster. It’s a very high-quality industrial-grade strength face shield and it’s made in the USA. it has a ratcheting headband with nice positive clicks, but the crown height loop is a little hare to snap into place. The headband pad is soft neoprene foam that can be easily removed and wiped clean. The visor friction is factory set and we’ve found over time, it stays put. if it’s too stiff for your liking, you can adjust it, but the knob is hard to turn may require pliers. The polycarbonate Tuffmaster visor is the thickest of the three shields, measuring in at a whopping 1.75 millimeters thick. it also wraps farther around the sides and farther down than the Apprentice Face Shield. This really helps keep shavings from going down your collar. The visor installs by aligning the keyed holes on each side of the shield, then pivoting it forward until it snaps closed. The think polycarbonate lens and industrial build quality do come with weight gain. The Tuffmaster weighs in at 12.6 ounces. The last face shield we’ll discuss is the most unique. It’s the Bubble Visor. It’s made in the USA using very high-quality components, the ratcheting headband and crown loop are easy to adjust and have a nice fit and finish. It has a comfortable foam headband pad that can be removed and wiped clean. The visor friction is very easy to adjust using the large, easy to adjust knobs. The unique shape of the bubble visor, kind of like a space helmet, provides significantly more space between your face and the visor. It’s perfect when wearing a dust mask while turning, which we always recommend. The visor is easy to put on. Simply rotate the fingers horizontally, align the holes in the visor and rotate the fingers vertically to lock it in place. The Lexan visor measures 1.6 millimeters thick and provides great face protection without feeling huge. It has an anti-fog coating that really works, but it does require care. Don’t clean the visor with glass cleaners or you’ll ruin the anti-fog coating. The Bubble Visor weighs in at 10.7 ounces, right in between the Apprentice and the 3M Tuffmaster. The next step up is a face shield respirator like the Trend Airshield. These have a lot of nice features that we’ll cover in a separate video. I hope this helps you better understand the features to look for in a quality face shield. All three of these face shields are great choices and provide the protection needed for woodturning. Safety glasses may keep shavings out of your eyes, but they are no replacement for a face shield, should a piece come off the lathe. Always wear a face shield when turning. If you liked the video, be sure to subscribe to our channel and give it a thumbs up. Also, check out our entire selection of woodturning supplies at

9 thoughts on “Comparing Face Shields (Woodturning)

  1. Good starter video. I'm curious whether each of these meet the ANSI Z87 standard from 2003, 2010, or 2015. Also, with a rating of "Z87", these faceshields are designed to protect against BASIC IMPACT, nothing more. Actually, if you read the manufacturers data for most faceshields, it will likely say they are "secondary protection" and should be worn over "primary protection", which is properly rated safety glasses or goggles. In order to get "HIGH VELOCITY IMPACT" protection, one will need to wear protection rated "Z87+". Generally this means wearing safety glasses with this rating and a faceshield over them. If a blank on the lathe comes apart while spinning, the face shield will offer little if any resistance or protection. Many people feel that with a face shield (even a Z87 rated one) they are protected. Unfortunately that simply is not the case.

  2. If you liked the video, give it a thumbs up and be sure to subscribe to our channel!!

    Visit us online at for the best selection of woodturning supplies in the industry.

  3. thank you I have the blue one by 3M and I was having a hard time getting it to stay on my face without it falling completely around my face and thanks to this video I know it was there little knobs on the side that needed to be adjusted so thank you for that!

  4. I've seen some horrific looking pictures of accidents from exploded angle grinder wheels. Are any of these face shields suitable for stopping a few ounces of spinning angle grinder wheel traveling at 200 mph ?

    According to this:

    The outer edge of the wheel can exceed speeds of 120 m/s (430 kph).

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