Most welding glasses are not strong enough to keep your eyes safe, if you are watching the eclipse with them.
A large number of people have decided if they cannot find eclipse glasses they will use welding goggles or glasses. The problem is most of these items are not dark enough to protect your eyes.
NASA recommends only using the darkest shades, 13 or 14, to view the eclipse.
“The ones we have are not strong enough to use and they still buy them,” said Washington ACE Hardware employee, Rick Colby.
Some people are running into a different problem, because all the welding glasses are being bought.
“I came in to look for welding glasses for my helmet, not thinking everyone was buying them up for the eclipse,” said Oxarc Welding customer, Steve Northway.
Welding glasses at ACE Hardware are sold out in certain stores across the country, even though they were only shade 8. The only usable thing left is a $130 welding mask, it has a shade 13 tint.
“I wouldn’t recommend it. Just to be extra safe. You know, you only got one set of eyes,’ said Oxarc employee, Javontae McCain.
The American Astronomical Society has a detailed list on their website of what will work to protect your eyes. There is no mention of welding glasses or goggles on the list. This does not mean all of them are unsafe, but you should exercise caution if you are using welding goggles or glasses to watch the eclipse.