Best Respirator for Woodworking – A Guide and Comparison

Why do you need dust mask for saw dust?

best respirator for woodworkingWhether you are a woodworking enthusiast or a professional woodworker, you have to be sure to wear the best respirator for woodworking to avoid the possibility of developing respiratory diseases. For those working with wood projects, the wood dust, chemicals and fumes pose risk to the respiratory system. These effects on your health may not be apparent at first, but they can take toll over time. Just imagine the amount of inhaled dust that can clog up your lung tissues. Initially, some develop sensitivity to dust and other certain materials. However, prolonged exposure, especially to certain chemicals commonly used in woodworking, can result in serious respiratory diseases and even cancer.

But while all respirators filter out the air you breathe, no two masks offer the same level of protection. Each respirator provides different level of protection, so be sure to pick the right one based on your needs. For instance, cheap, disposable masks provide very little protection and thus are only preferred for use with general home cleaning tasks. If you are working with very find wood dusts – common in woodworking projects – you would need a mask that can provide maximum protection.

Many of the regular masks available in your local shops are intended for use in general cleaning, as specified on its label. Others provide more protection such as protection against hazardous dust (asbestos, silica, lead, pesticides, fumes, and other gases). There are also dust masks specifically intended for woodworking or construction. And since not all of these masks are ever the same, you have to carefully read the labels to know which one will provide you maximum protection for a specific woodworking project.

Features to look for in a wood mask

When looking for a dust mask for woodworking, make sure to pick one that is certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The rating granted by the NIOSH denotes a respirators ability to filter very fine particles. For instance, an N95 marking means the wood mask can filter up to 95 percent. The NIOSH marking is one of the first things you should look for when picking the best respirator for woodworking.

Aside from the NIOSH rating, you should also check the comfort features of the wood mask. Respirators come in different forms. Those that use soft nose foam, multiple headbands and a foam face seal usually cost more – but these are more comfortable. There are also respirators that are equipped with exhalation valves. This extra feature ensures easy breathing while using the mask. But the “half masks” made of silicone or rubber with disposable filter elements provide the ultimate protection and comfort. These often come for a price, but your safety is guaranteed!

Next up, you may want to consider the weight of the respirator. It should not be too heavy that it can hamper your work. Moreover, you would also check on how it affects the view. These are just a few features that need to be checked.

Here’s a quick comparison of these respirators:

ProductNIOSH-certifiedFiltersRatingPrice
Elipse P100 Half Mask Respirator
GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 Half Mask Respirator
YesTwo P100 Filters4.6/5Check Price
3M 8210PPB1-A-NA Plus Particulate Respirator
3M 8210PPB1-A-NA Plus Particulate Respirator
YesFace-piece particulate respirator4.4/5Check Price
RZ Mask Model M1
RZ Mask
-Active Carbon Filters3.9/5Check Price
3M Mold Remediation Respirator Kit 68097
3M Mold Remediation Respirator Kit 68097, Respiratory Protection
YesParticulate Filters4.7/5Check Price
3M 8000 Particle Respirator N95
3M 8000 Particle Respirator N95
YesParticulate Filters with advanced electrostatically charged filters 4.3/5Check Price

Now that you know what to look for in a wood mask, let’s now take a look at five of the best respirators for woodworking.

Top 5 best respirator for woodworking

GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 Half Mask Respirator

GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 Half Mask RespiratorThe GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 Half Mask Respirator is a go-to respirator for both the professional and the amateur woodworker. It practically answers all that a woodworker needs in a respirator. It is rated with NIOSH P100 and uses HESPA (High Efficiency Synthetic Particulate Air Filter). At just 4.65 ounces, you would not notice wearing this half-mask. It is available in small/medium and medium/large size. To ensure maximum protection, it has twin filters and multiple straps. Meanwhile, the central non-return air valve makes breathing easier. But perhaps, best of all, this respirator for woodworking is economically priced.

3M 8210PPB1-A-NA Plus Particulate Respirator, 20-Pack

3M 8210PPB1-A-NA Plus Particulate RespiratorLightweight, comfortable and NIOSH-certified, the 3M 8210PPB1-A-NA Plus Particulate Respirator pack is a must in every woodworker’s workshop. This particulate respirator uses 3Ms advanced electrostatically charged microfiber filter media. To ensure secure seal and custom fit, it uses cushioning nose foam and an adjustable noseclip plus the two-strap design keeps it in place while you work on your project. The adjustable noseclip does not only ensure proper fit and better seal, it also minimizes the possibility of eyewear fogging. One great feature of this respirator is its compatibility with other hearing and eyewear protection. This is perfect for major woodworking tasks like sweeping, bagging, sanding, and grinding.

RZ Mask Bonus Pack w/5 filters, Model M1, Black, Size Regular

RZ MaskDesigned for use in situations where extreme air filtration is required, the Model M1 is RZ Vision’s pioneer product in this field. It features a 4-way stretch neoprene body that is known for its durability and maximum performance even in the toughest woodworking tasks. The adjustable Velcro strap system allows it to fit well into any head size. It can be fitted with a disposable Active Carbon Filter that is known to provide the best air filtration. It also has a discharge valves to prevent condensation and blurring of view. Plus, the mainframe of the mask can be washed by hand using soap and water.

3M Mold Remediation Respirator Kit 68097, Respiratory Protection

3M Mold Remediation Respirator Kit 68097, Respiratory ProtectionThe 3M Mold Remediation Respirator Kit is a unique respirator that can protect you from undue exposure to mold and similar organic compounds due to mold. It is not only suited for woodworking but also for other home cleaning tasks where exposure to mold is expected. It is duly certified by NIOSH with a rating of P100. The kit is available in medium and large sizes. Each kit comes equipped with a full face piece and particulate filter. It is very lightweight and balanced making it not burdensome while you work.

3M 8000 Particle Respirator N95, 30-Pack

3M 8000 Particle Respirator N95Last among the best respirators for woodworking, the 3M 8000 Particle Respirator N95 pack, offers air filtration from non-oil based particles. The N95 mask is made of patented filter media with Advanced Electret Media, which binds very fine particles to it. Meanwhile, the nose foam and adjustable nose clip help guarantee secure seal and custom fit while you wear it. The dual-strap design further adds to its secured fit. Available as a 30-piece pack, the 3M 8000 Particle Respirator can be used for different woodworking projects and even for your every day home applications.

Final thoughts

Before you even think of starting a new woodworking project, make sure that you have chosen the best respirator for woodworking to help ensure that your health is protected. Always remember that nothing is more important than your health.

Author: John Clax

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