Worried about the effects of woodworking dust on your lungs? Sure! It might not affect you immediately, however, in the long run, it is bound to damage your respiratory system. This is where we come in! To help you save your lungs from long-term damage, we have compiled a list of the best respirators for woodworking. The article goes into depth about how you can battle lung damage and still be a pro at woodshop! Read ahead and find our top picks of the best dust mask for woodworking as well as respirators for woodworking.
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
- Lightweight and comfortable fit
- Versatile application for beginners as well as professionals
- Removes 99.97% of all particulate matter
- Can be used with other PPEs
Half Mask Respirator includes a comfortable yet practical design at an affordable price. The P100 rating means it can remove 99.97% of all particles including wood dust and other toxic elements. In addition, the device is lightweight and includes Particulate filters and a non-return valve at the center.
Dust Half Respirator is small in size and hence, can be used easily with other forms of protective equipment. Moreover, it is perfect for all kinds of applications so beginners and experienced professionals can use it with ease.
Respirators For Woodworking & FAQ
30 Second Review
Respirators and Dust masks allow professional and amateur woodworkers to work safely without the fear of damaging their respiratory system. The equipment filters out all particulate matter while some can even filter out toxic vapors. This helps create a safe working environment. Most respirators are rated by NIOSH according to their filtration capabilities. When looking for the perfect fit, ensure that the respirator is lightweight, comfortable and does not hinder your breathing.
Types of Respirators:
When searching for the best respirator for woodworking, you might find a couple of different types. Needless to say, all these types have their own advantages while having a few disadvantages. The respirators used particularly in woodworking are the air purifying type called Air Purifying Respirators (APRs). These remove all particulates by filtering the air you breathe in. Furthermore, some models can even filter out vapors and gases.
Some common types APRs are:
- Particulate Respirators (Masks)
- Chemical Cartridge Respirators.
- Gas Masks.
- Powered Respirators (PAPRs)
On the other hand, they can be classified into two types based on the coverage of the protection.
Half Face Respirators cover the face from the nose to the chin. They basically protect the respiratory system from all kinds of particulate matters especially woodworking dust. Furthermore, they can be paired up with other protective equipment including safety goggles, ear muffs, helmets, welding masks etcetera.
Also, folks who wear prescription or polarized glasses can easily use these without any disturbances. Moreover, they are cheaper and lightweight.
On the other hand, they do not protect other parts of the face and you might need goggles to protect your eyes from the dust.
Full face respirators cover the face from the eyes to the chin. They provide protection from particulates to the eyes, face as well as the respiratory system. As a result, you do not need to buy extra safety goggles. However, they tend to be a tad bit expensive and heavyweight.
Nonetheless, the real problem is that they cannot be used with welding helmets or other PPEs due to the bulky design.
What Size Respirator Do I Need?
It is imperative that your respirator or mask fits perfectly to your face. Otherwise, you could end up with gaps that allow the particulate or toxic vapors to enter through them. This could be lethal to you or might cause you injury in the long run. Thus, a proper fit is important for a secure seal.
You can find your size by performing an official fit-test. This method is OSHA approved and requires fit testing materials or a kit. Generally, the basic test involves you wearing a mask inside of a hood. A mist is then sprayed inside your hood and you are asked to breathe in a number of different patterns.
If you can detect the mist by tasting or smelling it, it means the seal is not secure and the mask does not fit you. Of course, the right cartridge filter is important to filter out the materials properly as well.
Woodworking does not involve too many risks, so you can easily skip this step if you want. You can follow the unofficial and cheaper test:
- Put the respirator on.
- Tighten the straps until you think the mask is securely sealed without being too uncomfortable.
- Press hands gently over the holes to cover them completely.
- Breathe in.
- If you can still breathe, it means the mask has a leak or it doesn’t fit.
- If you cannot, then the mask has securely sealed itself.
Types Of Respirator Filters
Respirator filters provide protection against most airborne particle matter. These include smoke, wood dust, asbestos, arsenic, lead etcetera. They are less bulky and are often called pancake filters. They can be divided into further 9 types based on the number of particles they can protect against.
NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) rates these filters as follows:
|95||95% efficiency against all kinds of particulate||95% efficiency against most particulates including oil||95% efficiency against all kinds of oil-free particulate|
|99||99% efficiency against all kinds of particulate||99% efficiency against most particulates including oil||99% efficiency against all kinds of oil-free particulate|
|100||99.97% efficiency against all kinds of particulate||99.97% efficiency against most particulates including oil||99.97% efficiency against all kinds of oil-free particulate|
- N for Not resistant to oil,
- R for Resistant to oil,
- P for oil Proof
For most woodworking applications, even an N95 is sufficient, however, it is recommended to go for the 100 range for long-term benefits.
How Long Do Respirators Last?
Most respirators are reusable so they can last as long as you don’t break then, In fact, most high-quality respirators can last up to 3 years. On the other hand, if your respirator is not reusable, then it lasts only as long as its filtering capacity. The more dust is in the air, the shorter it will last since the dust tends to clog the filter inside.
Once there is too much filtrate on the filter, you might not be able to breathe properly. The reusable versions can run into the problem as well, however, you can easily change the filter paper to have them functioning as good as new.
For more information on filters and respirators, watch this video.
Pro Tips When Choosing a Mask
Consider the following tips:
- Masks with adjustable nosepieces ensure a tighter fit.
- Foam face seals often found in disposable masks are more comfortable and practical.
- A center valve or exhalation valve makes it easier to breathe.
The Best Respirator For Woodworking
When it comes to choosing a respirator, you might often find yourself plagued with the question: ‘What is the best dust mask for woodworking?’ To settle it for once and for all, we have reviewed the highest rated respirator and dust masks below. If, however, you are running short of time, then simply look through our comparison table to make a quick choice:
|Product||Type||Weight||NIOSH Rating||Intended for|
|New dust-proof Mask Respirator Similar For 6800||Full face respirator||1.43||None||Professionals|
|Non-Toxic Dust Mask||Dust Mask||0.423||None||Beginners|
|Jugaogao Face Mouth Protection||Dust Mask||0.353||None||Beginners|
|PM2.5 Breathable Mouth Mask||Half face mask||0.4||None||Both|
|Anti Dust Unisex Mouth Face Mask||Half face mask||2.4||None||Both|
|ALVAGO Bike Mask with 4 Extra Filters||Half face mask||None||Both|
|Dust Half Respirator with Replaceable and Reusable Filters Included||Half face respirator||None||Both|
|Reusable Half Face Cover, NASUM M101 Face Cover||Half face respirator||1.0||None||Both|
|Induschoice Anti-dust Spray Chemical Gas Dual Cartridge Respirator||Half face respirator||1.2||None||Both|
The top best product [hide]
P95 class filter.
Wide field of view.
Provides the perfect fit.
Includes both eye and respiratory protection.
Comfortable and lightweight.
Not suitable for glasses wearers.
Adjustable nose metal piece.
Perfect protection from all kinds of particles.
Can be easily disposed of.
Easy to put on and remove.
The elastic strap is weak and can break easily.
Provides protection from most household particles.
Contour fit included.
Longlasting and durable.
Lightweight and easy to remove.
Cannot be used for professional applications.
activated carbon filters can be replaced easily
adjustable strap and nose clip
multi-use in various leisure activities
goes well with safety glasses
easy to use
easily copes with pollution and smoke
does not have a universal fit
short term use
used for multipurpose work
double one way valves
average size, stretchy and adjustable
mask material is of high quality
suitable for people with asthma and severe allergies
easy to clean
it's hot/sweaty when wearing
slight odor during first use
Dual one-way discharge valves
99% Replaceable Carbon filters
easy to clean
high efficiency protective filters
sits well without slipping
has small size
glasses fog up while wearing a mask
Easily adjustable straps
Easy to use and remove
Efficient air filtration
Can be reused for a long time
Gets condensation in the mask after a while
P100 NIOSH approved
Perfect for all kinds of protection including wood dust
Easy to remove and put on
Doesn't interfere with safety or prescription glasses
A little heavy
Made from a durable thermoplastic elastomer
Easy to adjust straps
Comfortable and soft
Suitable for all kinds of applications
Hard to talk through it
Trend STEALTH/ML Stealth Air Half Mask
Although all the dust masks and respirators hold their own, Half Mask Respirator stands head and shoulders above others! Moreover, the mask is perfect for professionals and amateurs alike. It protects your lungs from almost all particulate matter. Also included is a non-return central valve that helps in easier breathing.
All in all, our best respirators for woodworking are bound to help you breathe easily while working. They are comfortable yet practical units that ensure that your job or hobby doesn’t get the best of you! They protect your respiratory system from sawdust and other harmful particles. Let’s not forget that these are known carcinogens when breathed in. Your lungs will definitely thank you for using a respirator!