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Best Face Shields for Hard Hats
Home » Top 8 Best Face Shields for Hard Hats (2020 Review)

Top 8 Best Face Shields for Hard Hats (2020 Review)

Top 8 Best Face Shields for Hard Hats
Construction work and physical labor jobs can be extremely hazardous. This is why safety equipment exists: namely, face shields that can be attached to hard hats. These face shields are intended to cover the user’s face in dangerous environments, such as when grinding or cutting. They can be attached to hard hats to make sure you keep both your face and head safe. This article will discuss what are the best face shields for hard hats.

Types of Face Shields for Hard Hats

There are various types of face shields for hard hats. They all work pretty similarly: a harness is used to hold a face shield in front of your face, protecting you from hazards. However, these face shields vary in how much of the face they cover and the materials they are made of. The following are the most common materials:

Mesh: This material is ideal for humid environments where ventilation is needed. However, it isn’t a solid shield for your face, so chemicals could splash through. Not suitable for impact protection.

Acetate: A material that is very resistant to scratches and chemicals, but is more difficult to see through. Also not impact resistant.

Propionate: Very resistant against chemicals, but generally not suitable to impacts.

Polycarbonate: The most well-rounded material, with decent protection against everything. It can also be coated with special materials to specialize it towards certain resistances, like chemicals or UV rays. Otherwise polycarbonate is not very chemical resistant.

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

MESTUDIO Industrial Safety Helmet

MESTUDIO Industrial Safety Helmet

This helmet is our top pick as the best face shield for a hard hat from this article. It comes with a lot more than just a face shield, such as the hard hat itself and ear muffs. It also comes with two interchangeable face shields, a typical plastic one and a mesh one, to use in different scenarios. It’s very affordable considering all of the different features it offers, and the head-strap can be adjusted easily to fit different sized heads. Considering the low price, vast array of extra features and ANSI protection certifications, it is our number 1 pick.
Pros

  • Has two face shields for different tasks
  • Includes ear muffs and hard hat
  • Very affordable price
  • ANSI Certified

Cons

  • Reasonably sturdy, but not the absolute highest quality

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Face Shields for Hard Hats – Buyer’s Guide

This guide will cover the many factors you need to consider when shopping for a face shield, including your personal needs and the types of tasks you need a face shield for.

What are Face Shields for Hard Hats?

Face shields for hard hats are panes of various materials that are held in front of your face by a head apparatus. This apparatus can be worn under a hard hat or on top of it. The face shield itself can be made of various materials, with some being better suited for protection against different hazards. Some are suited for protection against chemical splashes, while others resist severe impact, and some are just there to stop sparks from flying into your eyes.

What are the Types of Face Shield Materials?

There are four main types of materials used in face masks; mesh, acetate, propionate and polycarbonate. These four materials have different strengths and weaknesses.

Mesh: A metal mesh face shield for a hard hat is made of thinly crossed metal wires. The mesh lets air get through, increasing breathability. However, that’s the extent of wire mesh’s advantages. Being a porous surface, it can’t protect from chemical splashes. Moreover, while the mesh is strong enough to protect from small debris, it wouldn’t be enough from a high-speed projectile, so if fast-flying objects are a danger, mesh is not the right choice.

Acetate: The main purpose of acetate is to protect the user from chemicals. It is very resistant to chemical damage, such as acid or other corrosive liquids, and it is also quite resistant to scratches. However, it is not suited to heavy duty environments where debris can be flung at high speeds, as it is not particularly impact resistant. Moreover, acetate is not the clearest material, and is more difficult to see through than other materials.

Propionate: Propionate is specialized solely for protection against chemicals, and nothing else. It’s the type of face shield you would wear in a lab environment, but it would be unsuitable for any work environment that requires impact resistance. It could technically protect you against sparks or a lightly thrown pebble, but one of the other materials would be a better choice.

Polycarbonate: The most common face shield material, polycarbonate is best suited for impact resistance. If there’s a danger of your eye being poked out at work, polycarbonate is the way to go. It’s also heat resistant, so it’s a good material for a hard hat face shield for blowtorching. However, polycarbonate face shields come with many types of coatings that can increase their resistance to different hazards, like chemicals or UV rays.

What Type of Face Shield do you Need?

The face shield you need depends on the type of work you are doing with it. In a lab environment, propionate with its specialized chemical protection is the best choice. But in an environment where high speed debris is a danger, polycarbonate is the best choice.

As for acetate and mesh, these materials fall somewhere in-between. Mesh can protect against flying debris, but only somewhat. It’s useful for heavy duty forestry tasks, being breathable and sturdy enough for flung pebbles and wood chips. Acetate is not as chemical resistant as propionate, but is serviceable and scratch resistant. But it can be a little hard to see through isn’t the best choice for jobs that require high visibility. Ultimately, you’ll likely need polycarbonate or propionate, but the other two materials have their niche as well.

Also keep in mind what type of hard hat you have. A face shield for a full brim hard hat may not fit other types of hard hats.

The Best Face Shields for Hard Hats Reviews

This section will cover the best products available on the market right now in some detail. If you’re short on time and would like a concise list of the products and their pros and cons, please check the end of the article.

The top best product [hide]

MCR Safety 102 Safety Headgear Bracket


MCR Safety 102 Safety Headgear Bracket
This product product allows you to fit a face shield to a hard hat. It latches on to the top of the hard hat and has a foldable section you can attach the face shield to, allowing you to lower it in front of your face as needed. Products like this are generally made of plastic, and this one is no exception. However, its construction is good and it is still fairly durable if used properly. This adapter can fit many different face shields from many different brands, so if you don’t want to go and buy a specialized hard hat/face shield combo, this is an affordable alternative.
Pros
Cons

by on Amazon

Oregon Safety Protective Helmet with Visor


Oregon Safety Protective Helmet with Visor
This hard hat includes built in earmuffs and a mesh stainless-steel visor. The helmet itself is impact resistant and has six holes for increased air flow and breathability. A detachable sun peak and 6 point easy adjust harness ensure that you can fit the entire apparatus to your body with ease. Meeting ANSI standards, the flip up/down mesh visor is well-suited heavy-duty yard work where power tools may kick up small debris, while the ear muffs offer noise protection. All in all, a good value for its price.
Pros
Cons

by on Amazon

Howard Leight by Honeywell Leightning L3H Hard Hat Earmuff (1011993)


Howard Leight by Honeywell Leightning L3H Hard Hat Earmuff (1011993)
This product is yet another hard hat/face shield/ear muff combo. This combo is two pounds in total. The face shield is certified ANSI Z87.1-1989. The face shield is designed to protect the wearer from impacts, but not chemicals or similar hazards. The hat can be adjusted to fit heads 6-½ to 8 inches in diameter. Like the product before it, this one is designed primarily for impact protection, rather than any sort of resistance against chemicals. But unlike the prior product, the shield is not mesh, so it could still provide splash protection against liquids to some extent.
Pros
Cons

by on Amazon

MESTUDIO Industrial Safety Helmet


MESTUDIO Industrial Safety Helmet
This product is one of the best and our aforementioned top choice for a full face shield for a hard hat. It comes with ear muffs, the hard hat itself, and two interchangeable face shields, a typical plastic one and a mesh one, to use in different scenarios. It’s very affordable considering all of the different features it offers, and the head-strap can be adjusted easily to fit different sized heads. Considering the affordable price and versatility, it’s a great choice for your average needs.
Pros
Cons

by on Amazon

Sellstrom (S39010) Face Shield with Pin Lock Headgear


Sellstrom (S39010) Face Shield with Pin Lock Headgear
This polycarbonate and acetate wraparound face shield is specialized for high impact resistance, making it a hard hat with a face shield for fireworks or other dangerous tasks.. The wraparound design provides even more protection for your face than most face shields, protecting the neck to an extent as well. It is ANSI and CSA certified, and replacement parts are easily acquirable if needed. However, it does not come with a hard hat: it is just a face shield harness you could wear under a hard hat. Please note that the face shield itself is acetate: it is the fittings that hold the face shield in place that are polycarbonate.
Pros
Cons

by on Amazon

Clear Polycarbonate Replacement Face Shield


Clear Polycarbonate Replacement Face Shield
This product is a singular face shield, that you would buy to replace one on a different apparatus. That means it does not include any means of mounting the face shield: no helmet or harness. The size is 8 x 15.5 x 0.40 inches, and it can fit a variety of visor carrier models. It is extremely clear and easy to see through, but please note that this face shield is not suited for high impact risk environments. It is more suited to protection from splashes and minor debris, such as wood chips or pebbles.
Pros
Cons

by on Amazon

3M Mesh Face Shield


3M Mesh Face Shield
This is a 3M face shield attachment for a hard hat. It’s not a total face shield, covering the upper face more than the lower face. This metal mesh face shield for a hard hat is intended for use in forestry environments where breathability is needed but protection from small flying debris is still desired. While it could possibly be affixed to other models, it is only intended for use with the 3M Peltor Hard Hat Adapter P3EV/2 or 3M Peltor Cap-Mounted Earmuffs. It does not come with a hard hat so it must be used in conjunction with one. The materials used are tough and durable, but the face shield is only useful for the aforementioned environments.
Pros
Cons

by on Amazon

3M Speedglas Adapter


3M Speedglas Adapter
This hardhat adapter is specifically designed to let you mount welding headgear to your hard hat. As such, it is of a very robust design and is especially durable. However, it is specifically designed to mount 3M Speedglas series 9100 welding helmets, so it can’t be used universally. It is also not a face shield for a full brim hard hat, as it is designed to be used with lift hard hats. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but it’s durability and longevity make it perfect for use with a hard hat face shield for a torch.
Pros
Cons

by on Amazon

Face Shields for Hard Hats FAQ

Does this Product fit my Helmet?

Not all adapters/face shields fit all helmets or harnesses. Never assume a product will fit. Unfortunately, the only way to be sure of proper fitting is to check item specifications. Generally, companies make face shields/adapters for their own brand helmets, which can make finding the right fit a lot easier.

Does this Product Protect against...?

Some materials are self-explanatory. Mesh is never suitable for protection against chemicals and other splash hazards. However, never assume a product can protect you against any particular hazard. Check for ANSI or CSA certifications, which prove a product has been tested for protection against impact hazards. You can check online for what different ratings mean.

Can the Helmet be Adjusted to my Head Size?

Most helmets/harnesses can be adjusted to fit different head sizes. Most product descriptions will tell you exactly what the range of adjustable width is.

Does the Product have Replacement Parts?

Not all products have replacement parts available. The best way to determine if they do is to contact the item provider directly.

Why Can’t I see through my Shield?

Most face shields have protective films on both the inside and outside, to prevent scratches during shipping. Be sure to remove these to have the intended visibility.

TR Industrial Forestry Hard Hat with Ear Muffs

We consider this item to be the best one mentioned in this article. The reason for this is simple: you get the most for your money. This product includes a hard hat, ear muffs, and two types of interchangeable face shields (mesh and polycarbonate) so it can be used for various dangerous tasks, not just forestry. Being available at a very reasonable price and being of a decent quality across the board, it’s the best choice when it comes to getting more for less.

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Verdict

The TR Industrial Forestry hat is the best overall choice when it comes to price and versatility, but other options may be more affordable or better suited for niche tasks like fireworks, grinding, etc. Be sure to take the intended use of your face shield into consideration and pick a product with a material suited for the job: mesh for forestry, polycarbonate for heavy duty, propionate for chemicals and acetate as a middle option. Always check the specifications of the product you are purchasing to see if it meets your needs.

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