Orbeez guns have become an increasingly popular toy among children and teens. These toy guns shoot small, soft, water-absorbent polymer beads called Orbeez. While Orbeez guns are marketed as a safe and harmless way to have fun, many parents and property owners have concerns about the potential for these guns to cause damage, specifically by breaking windows.
Let’s analyze whether Orbeez guns actually possess the power to break different types of glass windows, and provide tips on how to enjoy Orbeez guns safely without causing unintended damage.
How Orbeez Guns Work
An Orbeez gun is typically a plastic toy gun that is powered by a spring piston or an electric motor. The gun is loaded with small Orbeez beads that absorb water and expand in size. When the trigger is pulled, air pressure propels the Orbeez out of the barrel at high speeds.
The power and velocity of Orbeez guns can vary greatly depending on the specific model. Lower-powered spring piston models may have a muzzle velocity around 150-200 fps. More powerful electric automatic Orbeez guns can reach 250-350 fps. There are also high-powered sniper-style Orbeez rifles that can achieve muzzle velocities over 400 fps.
Key Takeaway: The power of Orbeez guns ranges widely, from less than 200 fps for basic spring models up to 400+ fps for electric automatic and sniper rifles. Higher muzzle velocity equals more force.
The greater the muzzle velocity, the more force the Orbeez will have when hitting a surface. This force is an important factor in determining if an Orbeez gun can break a window.
Can Orbeez Guns Break Different Types of Glass?
Whether an Orbeez gun can break a window depends on several factors:
- The muzzle velocity and impact force of the particular Orbeez gun model
- The thickness and type of glass
- The distance the Orbeez travels before impact
- Any existing chips, cracks, or weaknesses in the glass
Low-Powered Orbeez Guns
Basic spring piston Orbeez guns with muzzle velocities under 200 fps generally do not pose a significant risk of breaking glass windows or panels. The soft gel Orbeez beads lack the mass and hardness to shatter most glass, especially at lower speeds and from longer distances.
However, these low-powered guns can potentially crack windows that are already damaged or composed of thinner, cheaper glass.
Medium-Powered Electric Orbeez Guns
Electric automatic Orbeez blasters with muzzle velocities in the 250-350 fps range have the potential to break certain types of glass under the right circumstances.
At close distances of around 10 feet or less, an electric Orbeez gun could shatter thinner annealed glass used in some old windows. Medium-powered Orbeez guns are unlikely to break modern tempered glass car windows, but could leave chips or cracks if the window has existing damage.
High-Powered Orbeez Sniper Rifles
High-powered Orbeez sniper rifles capable of 400+ fps muzzle velocities can break thinner glass panes at longer distances compared to lower-powered models.
If fired at close range, even thick tempered glass could potentially shatter from the impact of hardened high-speed Orbeez. This is especially true if the same area of glass is repeatedly hit.
In general, the more powerful the Orbeez gun, the greater risk it poses to different types of glass.
Which Types of Glass are Most Vulnerable to Breakage?
Some kinds of glass are more prone to shattering from the impact of Orbeez projectiles:
- Annealed glass – This common type of glass used in some windows and table tops is annealed, meaning it is slowly cooled to relieve internal stresses after being shaped. While affordable, annealed glass breaks relatively easily from impact compared to other types of glass.
- Heat-strengthened glass – While stronger than annealed glass, heat-strengthened glass is still highly vulnerable to shattering from impact. It cannot withstand as much force as tempered glass.
- Thin or cheap glass – Glass that is exceptionally thin or made from lower-quality materials has a far greater chance of breaking from the impact of Orbeez beads.
Essentially, the cheaper and thinner the glass, the more susceptible it is to breakage from Orbeez guns. Thicker tempered glass found in newer windows and car windshields is much more resistant.
Tips to Prevent Orbeez Guns from Breaking Glass
While powerful Orbeez guns can break the more fragile glass, especially at close range, there are some steps you can take to enjoy Orbeez battles safely:
Use Lower Powered Orbeez Guns
Stick to basic spring piston Orbeez guns rather than electric automatic or sniper rifles to reduce the risk of breaking glass with the lower muzzle velocities.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Stay at least 15-20 feet back from any glass windows or objects when shooting Orbeez guns. The farther away the impact, the lower the force on the glass.
Closely supervise children playing with Orbeez guns. Make sure they understand not to purposefully aim at glass objects.
Check Glass for Damage
Inspect nearby glass for any existing chips, cracks, or weaknesses that could increase the chance of breakage from an unintended Orbeez strike.
Use Protective Barriers
Place plywood boards or install protective window film to act as a barrier absorbing the impact of any stray Orbeez beads.
Play in Open Areas
When possible, use Orbeez guns safely away from the glass in open outdoor spaces or designated fields rather than enclosed spaces surrounded by windows.
Key Takeaway: Using lower powered Orbeez guns, maintaining distance from glass, supervision, and barriers can help reduce the risk of breakage.
Can Orbeez guns break car windows?
Most Orbeez guns lack the power to easily break car windows made of modern tempered glass. However, High-powered sniper Orbeez rifles could potentially shatter car windows at very close range, especially if repeatedly striking the same spot.
What about house or building windows?
Thinner annealed glass panes in older homes have a higher chance of breaking from Orbeez gun impact. Newer windows made with tempered glass are more resistant. Still, powerful Orbeez rifles could break these at close distances.
Can stray shots hit indoor glass objects like mirrors or tabletops?
Yes, any indoor glass objects could crack or shatter if carelessly struck at short distances by a powerful Orbeez gun. Supervision and barriers are key for indoor use.
Does Orbeez leave marks on the glass even if they don’t break it?
While they likely won’t shatter-resistant glass, Orbeez beads could potentially leave small scratches or sticky residue on windows or other glass surfaces.
How can Orbeez be prevented from breaking glass doors or partitions?
Install Lexan polycarbonate panels rather than real glass in any doors, partitions, or other structures where unintended Orbeez impacts are likely. Lexan is shatter-resistant and ideal for safety.
Orbeez guns can be enjoyed safely by following precautions. While the highest-powered Orbeez rifles do pose some risk of breaking more fragile glass, the vast majority of Orbeez blasters have limited ability to shatter-resistant modern tempered glass, especially from distances beyond 10 feet.
Supervision, barriers, avoiding aiming at glass, and maintaining safe distances are key to preventing unintended window or object breakage. With proper safety measures, Orbeez battles can provide hours of carefree fun for kids and adults alike.