Best safety glasses for working around the home

Monday, January 21, 2019

Why the best safety glasses will save your life

I saw this picture of these safety glasses on Reddit and I was like, YES, this is why one should wear a good pair of eyewear when doing home repairs and maintenance.

When using electric tools, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and hot metal parts spinning around at 1000s of RPM can fly directly into your face.

Much like a chainsaw that kicks back, these projectiles can rip apart your face in seconds.

Have you ever had a drill bit snap off a tool and fly off? I have but thankfully never at my head.

So we can imagine that dude that had his eyesight saved by wearing his protective eyewear, there's many a happy craftsman who still has his eyes because he was smart and put on his goggles.

If you want to keep your eyes safe in your head, then we suggest you have a think about buying some protective eyeglasses. These are actually some of the cheapest safety equipment you can buy, so why take a risk and not use them?

Early bird recommendation: the NoCry glasses with Clear Anti Fog Scratch Resistant Wrap-Around Lenses

What to look for in a pair of safety glasses?

There are several things to think about when buying safety glasses:

  • Only ever wear 'personal protective equipment' glasses that have been manufactured to a recognized safety standard. If you buy cheap and nasty, you run the risk that they will not reduce the chance of harm occurring. 
  • This means you want to look out for glasses that are advertised as having "impact-resistant lenses"
  • Filter out UV light radiation
  • Are easily washed in warm water and dried with a soft cloth
  • Polycarbonate construction suggests the unit will be sturdy
  • Fog resistant by way of a double coated lens
  • non slip nose pads

NoCry Safety Glasses 

These babies are some of Amazon's most popular sellers - likely because they are cheap, are made to safety standards and they look pretty good when worn.

The NoCry Safety Glasses are manufactured with strong and durable polycarbonate wraparound construction. designed with one thing in mind, to keep your eyeballs safe from direct and peripheral threat so serve as a great example of personal protective equipment in action.

The lenses are double coated and untinted which means little to no fogging up or optical distortion which is great for when doing hard physical labor.

These glasses protect your eyes from 90-100% of harmful UV radiation due to the 380nm UV protection lens coating - which is the highest industry standard for all UV protection in clear PPE eyewear lenses.

The side and nose pieces may be adjusted to give you a perfect fit without the slipping - no matter the face type or head size. You'll be able to wear them all day as their contoured design shape will hugs your cheekbone area, reducing pressure on your face. they are also very light and the soft rubber nose piece will let them sit lightly on your face.

They won't feel bulky or awkward even after hours and hours at the workshop turning a nice piece of wood.

Check out the price on Amazon.

If there is one slight drawback it's that this unit will not fit over your spectacles / glasses - not to worry though as NoCry have developed a pair that just that:

best protective eyewear for glasses

Many big name brands have got into the PPE safety glasses gig because why not, there's money to be made in having your customers be safe - after all customers who use tools need to buy new tools and replacement parts and they won't be doing that if they find themselves with a drill bit in their eye.

And it turns out, Dewalt make a pretty handy pair of personal protective eyewear:
Dewalt's glasses feature :
  • Rubber tipped temples to deliver a secure and comfortable fit
  • Tough, polycarbonate lenses which provide impact resistance
  • Telescoping temples can adjust for a comfortable fit
  • Cushioned brow protection for extra coverage protection
  • Ratcheting temples that adjust for a proper fit

Here is a glowing review from a user of these glasses who bought them on Amazon:

"Awesome pair of protective goggles. I fog up glasses all the time and never believed in "anti" fog lenses. I have yet to experience normal, everyday "excessive" workday fogging. Unless I'm sweating and not cleaning my lenses or I work in a cold place and move to a warm place, these glasses don't fog up. I worked in the coal industry operating a roof bolter which is a very hot job that requires safety glasses all day and these are THE BEST I've ever had. "

With a review like that, how can you go wrong? Check out the nice price on Amazon.

Can I get prescription safety glasses?

For those that need to wear ordinary glasses when working with tools and machinery, then prescription safety glasses can be a solution.

Many glasses are easily covered by eyewear, however, if you need to wear protective gear for a long time, the two units on the head can become bothersome so prescriptive safety glasses come into play.

Can I use safety glasses for sport?

While these kinds of glasses are generally designed to prevent injury from flying debris, you can use them for sporting pursuits to protect against flying balls - many racketball and squash players will use them just fine. However, if playing more of a contact sport, you'll need specs that won't come off. 

↠ Best chainsaw safety helmet with mesh visor? ↞

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Against my better judgment, I recently googled "chainsaw kickback accidents" and looked at some images which made my stomach churn.

You see, a chainsaw kickback is when the chain raises up back towards the use at a rate so fast that can have cut deeply into your face before you even realize your nose is split in two.

Or worse.

So, even though I use good practices to help prevent a kick back, as a keen woodcutter around the neighborhood, I thought it was time to properly invest in some safety equipment to protect my face from a lethal chain.

So I entered the chainsaw safety helmet market as a buyer with intent!

Frankly, anyone who uses a chainsaw should be wearing safety gear like gloves (like White Ox Gloves) and trouser chaps but at a minimum, a helmet with a face guard is simply common sense. It doesn't matter if you a weekend warrior or a seasoned professional.

I was pretty keen to get a helmet with a mesh visor because my neighbor actually has one which he uses when using his weed whacker. While he's not going to get a chainsaw to the face with the weed cutter, he's preventing any debris that gets thrown up from hitting his face.

Also, it may be obvious to state but given most people wear earmuffs when using a chainsaw, it would be quite handy to have a helmet that features muffs that really cut down on the noise.

So what did do? I simply went to Amazon and searched for a helmet that had the features I wanted - mesh visor with ear muffs.

And gosh, there was a lot to chose from. Plenty of big name brands like Husqvarna sell helmets but I didn't want to spend all my Christmas money on a helmet so I went mid range:

best cheap chainsaw safety helmet

It took its sweet time getting here over the Christmas period and then I realized I had to assemble it myself. It was pretty easy to do actually and soon enough I had it ready to rock and roll.

I installed the mesh visor and left the polycarbonate face shield for another day as I heard they can fog up pretty easily if you get all sweaty when chopping wood up.

I found the hat was pretty light on the head, so it felt good. The unit has a headband that you can adjust with a simple turn of the knob at the base. So it fits really well.

Here's yours truly modeling the thing as I'm about to mow the lawns:

mesh visor safety helmet

The ear muffs worked really well. I walked around the house and I couldn't hear the kids screaming at each other over whose turn it was to pick a show on Netflix so win.

It was fine with the lawns too!

The helmet was advertised as meeting the Z89.1-2003 ANSI rating which assures me that the helmet has been actually designed to help protect against chainsaw accidents.

This does not mean that it's foolproof however, just that it will help protect me. So that means I should always continue to follow safe chainsaw use practices.

Check out the helmet options on Amazon.

Best pH meter for testing Kombucha

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
ph levels of kombucha

How to test the pH of homemade kombucha with a meter

"Making your own" food used to be almost frowned upon as something best left to the hippies (like making apple cider)  but in a quest for a healthier lifestyle, people make so much stuff in their sheds and kitchen these days, it's the norm.

And so it is with kombucha.

I knew kombucha was more than a standard health fad that would pass when the people at work started drinking it and making their own. Crikey, you can get Kombucha tea and facewash and some lovely cleansing gels now!

Brewers of kombucha will still have the same pH level problems that the hippies had so if you feel you need to adjust the pH balance or 'reduce the acidity' of your kombucha culture then measuring the level is a great first step.

The problems to which we refer are brews that are not acidic enough to prevent pathogens such as mold or unwanted bacteria from growing and tainting the drink.

As kombucha ferments, the good bacteria produce and gluconic and lactic acid. These acids then contribute to lowering the pH level.

When freshly brewed a batch of kombucha will test at a ph level of a range between 4.5 and 4 and slowly begin to drop off. So, brewers will test the pH range to ensure they are at the right points of the fermentation process.

Once primary fermentation is complete, the raw kombucha will ideally produce a pH reading anywhere from pH 2.5 to 3.7. It's good to know that the higher the pH level, the sweeter your kombucha will taste.

So how do you test the pH of Kombucha brew?

There are two ways you can test the pH of your batch - using a food grade level pH meter or testing with a pH strip.

There are pros and cons of each - both in terms of accuracy and ease of use.

The short version is if you are on a budget and have a 'she'll be right' kind of mentality then testing with a strip will get you a ballpark result.

If you want an accurate result down to a single decimal place, then handheld digital pH testers are ideal.

How to test pH of Kombucha with a pH strip 

Fill a beaker or glass with the sample of the kombucha you are testing. Your glass must be extremely clean and free of any dirt or other contaminants that may influence the test result.

Take a pH strip  or stick from the pack and add it to the solution.

It will then change color.

You can now compare this color change to the color chart that was supplied with your strips.  For kombucha, you are looking for the yellow to light green result. If they match, you have attained the desired pH level for your drink.

Using a pH meter to test the pH level of a Kombucha brew

If you are dead keen on getting an accurate, scientific reading of your brew, then a handheld digital pH reader is for you. 

The beauty of this product range is you can go small or large - you can get a cheap pocket meter for 20 - 30 dollars on Amazon. If you want something with a bit more quality than consider the:

Oakton EcoTestr pH 2+ Pocket pH Meter for Kombucha

Oakton EcoTestr pH 2+ Pocket pH Meter review
This is a fairly popular pocket product from Oakton. The display is fairly large with a good viewing angle.

It has indicators for battery life (1000 hours) which means you can test your Kombucha for hours and hours!

The unit features 'one touch' calibration, and shows both the parameter and temperature readings at the same time.

The cap is designed to be leak-proof and can be attached to the top of the meter when not being used.

The cap also features a fill line, so you know how much kombucha sample you need to use to produce an accurate reading when using the cap as a sample cup (make sure it is clean before use!)

The housing is compatible with lanyards to prevent losing or dropping, but is still waterproof and floats just in case you drop it into your kombucha...

Many kombucha brewers use the Hach 9532000 Pocket Pro+ pH tester to get the results they need.


  • Backed up with built-in performance diagnostics, you never have to guess when to clean or calibrate the sensor. 
  • You also get replaceable batteries for convenient field use, and a large, easy-to-read LCD screen.
  • Automatic Temperature Compensation
  • Instructions are found in the manual, which may be downloaded.

What are you waiting for, order the Hach from Amazon!

As with all digital pH meters, they do need calibration from time to time so you will need to use them with calibration solutions as appropriate.

Many meters are also great for sampling water quality as well.

When and how to change the air filter of your chainsaw

Thursday, January 3, 2019
dirt air filter on a chinsaw stihl

I have to admit I first learned about changing filters from our vacuum cleaner as a kid.

It was an old, barely holding together thing that seemed to need its filter cleaned every 15 seconds of use otherwise it simply wouldn't run properly.

And neither will your chainsaw if it cannot suck any oxygen into the engine. This means the fuel will not burn efficiently and the performance of your cutting machine will reduce.

How often should I replace or clean the chainsaw air filter?

If you are a SUPER MAINTENANCE OF THE CHAINSAW kind of guy, then the air filter could be cleaned after eight hours of steady use, but truly, who has time for that?

Definitely, do it at the start of the cutting season (if you have one) and if you notice a performance drop off or you are using more fuel that feels normal.

You should replace the filter once per year if the chainsaw has had plenty of use. It will depend on the rate of use and the amount of dirt and debris the unit has had to contend with. The air filter will gradually degrade and wear out. Its pores can become larger (meaning debris can get through) and others pores may become too congested with debris.

If you are an average kind of joe, who uses the chainsaw infrequently, you should find your filter lasts for a vastly longer time before it needs maintenance.

In this context, don't get into the mindset that you need to replace the filter every year. Instead, take the time to inspect the filter once in a while and decide to replace on merit.

Removing the air filter

Use a  screwdriver or other suitable implement to open the cylinder cover of the chainsaw. Try not to scratch anything. Obviously, remove the cylinder cover and clean off any loose dirt or debris with a brush. You can then lift and release the metal latch that is probably holding the air filter in place.

Remove the filter and inspect it for dirt, damage or signs of aging. Make the assessment to clean or replace. 

Make sure you replace with a like for like part. You do not have to replace with the brand's version of the product, you can use an aftermarket filter if you wish, but make sure it is designed to operate with your brand. 

There are many replacement filters available on Amazon. Simply use the search tool for air filter and the brand name e.g. stihl replacement filter.

Cleaning the chainsaw air filter

If you are going to clean the filter prepare a soap and hot water combo in a bucket. 

Tap the filter on the edge (not the filtering part) to shake off loose dust. You can also try and use a vacuum clean or an air compressor to blow the muck out. 

When you've removed as much as you can, submerge the filter in the bucket. Give it a little bit of time to soak and then give it a light scrub with a soft brush. Some players will give it a light scrub with an old toothbrush. 

Let the filter air dry and most certainly do not install and use when wet!

Some filters will not be happy if cleaned with gas or solvents.

Speaking of lint filters...
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