Post: What is the Correct Welding Shade for Oxy-fuel Welding and Cutting?

What is the Correct Welding Shade for Oxy-fuel Welding and Cutting?

Phillips Safety is always dedicated to providing its customers with safety equipment that they can be sure to protect them when necessary. This is inclusive of the world of welding, where Phillips Safety provides a variety of welding safety glasses that help to not only keep compliance with OSHA requirements but, more importantly, these welding glasses help to protect the user from the harsh environment of welding.

Proper eye protection is necessary for all forms of welding, particularly in oxy-fuel welding and cutting. Practicing the right welding safety will help protect the eyes against the intensely bright lights and harmful radiation emitted. This concerns the lenses, which filter out the yellow light or sodium flare.

Then the other requirement for welding safety glasses is other protective elements such as ANSI Z87.1 industry ratings as well. This will ensure anything flying from the welding process won’t harm the welder when they wear the appropriate welding glasses.


OSHA guidelines when it comes to the shade number and overall darkness are all about how bright the light is being emitted. Oxy-fuel welding and cutting specifically relate to the thickness of the metal being worked on. The higher the thickness, the higher the recommended shade, with the maximum shade requirement being a minimum of shade 5.

Other types of welding may emit higher brightness levels or even more harmful radiation being emitted. For those, you’ll be looking at much higher shade levels, but for oxy-fuel, shade five tends to be the maximum that will be necessary in almost all cases.

Of course, there’s no harm when it comes to going a shade level higher, and even being on the safe side with a shade level six that will be more than enough in this situation, and the plate thickness that even requires a shade level of at least five is six inches or more. One to six inches can use a lower shade level, and below one inch, even a lower shade level, but do keep in mind with a shade level of five, you can handle all common thickness levels.

If you don’t use the minimum or above, you’ll end up causing serious eye damage and possible long-term permanent vision impairment. This would have easily been avoidable with welding safety glasses.


You don’t have to worry about the shade levels, as Phillips Safety clearly states them on all their welding glasses, and a selection for Oxy-Fuel welding and cutting has been selected for consideration here.

If you find yourself using a welding shield and are only looking for the appropriate welding lens to fit into the welding shield, do keep in mind that eyewear underneath the welding lens could actually reduce the shade number, so always go for a shade higher when possible just to be safe. You can see your welding lens options for oxy-fuel welding and cutting here.

If you still aren’t sure which welding glasses are right for you, it’s a good idea to give us a call at 1-866-575-1307 or talk to us through our chat or e-mail us at

Our welding experts will be able to tell you what you need for your application.


Become a Distributor