Respirators For Woodworking
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Top 9 Best Respirators For Woodworking (2020 Review)

top 9 best respirator for woodworking

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

3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6100

3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6100

  • 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.

The 3M 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.

The 3M 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.

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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:

  1. Particulate Respirators (Masks)
  2. Chemical Cartridge Respirators.
  3. Gas Masks.
  4. Powered Respirators (PAPRs)

On the other hand, they can be classified into two types based on the coverage of the protection.

Half-Face Respirators:

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:

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:

  1. Put the respirator on.
  2. Tighten the straps until you think the mask is securely sealed without being too uncomfortable.
  3. Press hands gently over the holes to cover them completely.
  4. Breathe in.
  5. If you can still breathe, it means the mask has a leak or it doesn’t fit.
  6. 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:

  1. Masks with adjustable nosepieces ensure a tighter fit.
  2. Foam face seals often found in disposable masks are more comfortable and practical.
  3. 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
3M 7162 Organic Vapor Spray Paint Respirator Full face respirator 1.37 lbs P95 Professionals
SAS Safety 2985 Non-Toxic Dust Mask Dust Mask 8.3 ounces None Beginners
3M 8661PC1-A Home Dust Mask Dust Mask 0.8 ounces None Beginners
BASE CAMP Dust Pollution Mask Half face respirator 2.5 ounce None Both
MONATA Reusable Dust Pollution Mask Half face respirator 1.44 ounces None Both
BASE CAMP Dust Mask Half face respirator 1.44 ounces None Both
3M Half Facepiece 6100 Reusable Respirator Half face respirator 0.32 ounces P100 Both
Safety Works 817664 Toxic Dust Respirator Half face respirator 0.8 lb. P100 Both
3M(TM) Respirator Assembly Half Facepiece Half face respirator 4.0 ounces P100 Only for industrial and commercial use

3M 7162 Organic Vapor Spray Paint Respirator- Best Full Face Protection

3M 7162
The 3M Organic Vapor Spray Respirator comes with a lightweight and reusable design. This includes changeable filters, cartridges, face shield covers, and filter retainers.
The respirator performs quite well when it comes to respiratory and eye protection for spray painting and woodworking. In addition, this full face mask provides the perfect fit for most folks.
Why We Recommend It: The 3M Full face mask respirator is highly recommended for professionals who want both eye and respiratory protection.
Reusable design including changeable face shields, filters, cartridges etc.
P95 class filter.
Wide field of view.
Can be reused a couple of times.
Provides the perfect fit.
Includes both eye and respiratory protection.
Comfortable and lightweight.
May not provide a complete seal in case of facial hair.
Not suitable for glasses wearers.

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SAS Safety 2985 Non-Toxic Dust Mask-Simplest in Design

SAS Safety 2985 Non-Toxic Dust Mask-Simplest in Design
Another best dust mask for woodworking is the SAS Safety Dusk Mask. The mask comes in a pack of 50 and helps to protect you from all kinds of particles including wood and dust. Also, the mask comes with an elastic band and an adjustable nosepiece to provide you with the perfect fit. Furthermore, the mask is disposable and is easy to put on and remove
Why We Recommend It: The SAS Safety Dust Mask is a high quality mask, perfect for protection from all kinds of particles.
Single elastic strap.
Adjustable nose metal piece.
50 disposable masks in a box.
Provides fit for all kinds of head shapes and sizes.
Perfect protection from all kinds of particles.
Can be easily disposed of.
Easy to put on and remove.
No NIOSH Protection.
The elastic strap is weak and can break easily.

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3M 8661PC1-A Home Dust Mask- Best Budget Pick

3M 8661PC1-A Home Dust Mask- Best Budget Pick
The 3M 8661PC1 Home Dust mask is quite efficient in dealing with most non-toxic particles. The mask is affordable and disposable as well, making it perfect for household use. Moreover, the dust mask includes a contoured fit and a soft metal nosepiece. The nosepiece elongates the life of the mask significantly by ensuring it keeps its shape. These lightweight masks come in a pack of 5 masks.
Why We Recommend It: The 3M mask is perfect for DIY woodworkers as well as household workers.
Soft metal nosepiece.
Provides protection from most household particles.
Contour fit included.
Comfortable fit.
Longlasting and durable.
Lightweight and easy to remove.
Easily disposable.
No NIOSH approval.
Cannot be used for professional applications.

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BASE CAMP Dust Pollution Mask Activated Carbon Dustproof Mask with Adjustable HOOK&LOOP Strap and N99 Filters Neoprene Air Pollution Mask for Allergy Woodworking Running

BASE CAMP Dust Pollution Mask
This dustproof mask will perfectly cope with any kind of pollution thanks to activated carbon filters. It captures up to 99% of dust particles, pollen, and various chemicals. Due to its high efficiency, it can be used when woodworking, painting, mowing, building, etc. Despite the double breathing valve, it’s lightweight and easy for using and breathing. A quality airflow valve minimizes the accumulation of heat and moisture. The mask is reusable, which makes it an economical option, especially if it’s used for a long-term project. But if necessary, the mask is easy to clean, and the filter can be replaced.
Why We Recommend it: Due to its advantages, this mask can be an excellent helper in any kind of work or pastime.
rapid airflow system;
activated carbon filters can be replaced easily;
adjustable strap and nose clip;
multi-use in various leisure activities.
a light weight design;
goes well with safety glasses;
easy to use;
easily copes with pollution and smoke.
has a noticeable smell of plastic;
does not have a universal fit;
short term use.

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MONATA Reusable Dust Pollution Mask with Activated Carbon Filter and Earloop for Woodworking House Cleaning Gardening and Outdoor Activities (2, Black Gray)

MONATA Reusable Dust Pollution Mask
Such a purchase can be the best investment in your health, as it has several advantages. This protective mask is made to isolate 99% of various fumes, harmful substances and dust. Double valves facilitate air circulation and also remove heat and carbon dioxide. This mask has a very comfortable wear. Due to the material from neoprene, it has a lightweight and elasticity, while ensuring a comfortable fit. It’s quite multipurpose and can be used for various tasks, including woodworking, pollution protection, cycling and skiing.
Why We Recommend it: This dust mask for sawdust has several advantages, providing protection in any kind of activity.
made of neoprene, lightweight and elastic design;
used for multipurpose work;
double one way valves;
average size, stretchy and adjustable.
good at filtering different particles;
mask material is of high quality;
suitable for people with asthma and severe allergies;
easy to clean.
does not have universal fit;
it’s hot/sweaty when wearing;
slight odor during first use.

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BASE CAMP Dust Breathing Mask Activated Carbon Dustproof Mask with Extra Carbon N99 Filters for Pollen Allergy Woodworking Mowing Running Cycling Outdoor Activities (Dark Green)

BASE CAMP Dust Breathing Mask
Thanks to its good structure, it provides up to 99% protection against pollution, smoke and flying particles. The nose clip hermetically closes the airways and prevents fogging. Special Mesh Construction is made of nylon, which gives excellent permeability, which means that such a mask is breathable and can be worn in hot weather. Adjustable straps and a clip will help to make the correct fit without slipping.
Why We Recommend it: Due to its advantages, you can use this mask for different purposes without fearing for your health.
Aluminium adjustable nose clip;
Multifunctional use;
Mesh Construction;
Dual one-way discharge valves;
99% Replaceable Carbon filters.
easy to clean;
high efficiency protective filters;
sits well without slipping.
ear loops are tight and uncomfortable;
has small size;
glasses fog up while wearing a mask.

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3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator-Best in Efficiency and Practicality

3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator-Best in Efficiency and Practicality
The 3M half face respirator includes a reusable design that ensures the perfect comfort and convenience. It comes with replaceable filters and cartridges that allows you to reuse the respirator time and again. Moreover, the respirator is NIOSH approved and provides efficient air purification against woodworking dust, particles, and vapors.
In addition, the respirator is quite soft and lightweight. The straps are easy to adjust and removing the mask is easy as well.
Why We Recommend it: The 3M Half face respirator is perfect for larger projects that require improved filtration efficiency.
Reusable and comfortable design.
NIOSH approved.
Easily adjustable straps.
Comfortable, soft and lightweight.
Easy to use and remove.
Efficient air filtration.
Can be reused for a long time.
Can’t be used while talking.
Gets condensation in the mask after a while.

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Safety Works 817664 Toxic Dust Respirator-Premium Quality Mask

Safety Works 817664
The Safety Works Dust Respirator is flexible, comfortable and practical, all in one! The low profile design makes it perfect to use it with other protective equipment as well including welding helmets. What’s more is that the cartridges include a contoured, streamlined design, making the respirator easier to wear. Apart from that, the headband on the respirator is easily adjustable and provides the perfect seal over your lower face.
Why We Recommend it: All in all, the Safety Works Toxic Dust Respirator can provide professional woodworkers with high-quality protection and efficient filtration at a very affordable cost.
Low profile cartridges.
P100 NIOSH approved.
Adjustable headbands.
Comfortable and provides a secure seal.
Perfect for all kinds of protection including wood dust.
Easy to remove and put on.
Doesn’t interfere with safety or prescription glasses.
Not very durable.
A little heavy.

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3M(TM) Respirator Assembly Half Facepiece-Most Versatile Applications

3M(TM) Respirator Assembly Half Facepiece-Most Versatile Applications
When talking about the best respirator masks for woodworking, none can forget the 3M TM half-piece assembly. The assembly is lightweight and offers easy to use comfortable features. This includes the 3M Bayonet Filter Fixing System which provides premium protection against all kinds of particulates including wood dust, lead, arsenic, and asbestos.
In fact, it allows you to breathe in an environment where these particles are more than 10 times the Permissible limit. The face piece is made from a soft thermoplastic elastomer which fits comfortably over the face.
Why We Recommend it: The 3M is the perfect tool for professionals working under heavy duty projects!
3M Bayonet Filter Fixing System.
Made from a durable thermoplastic elastomer.
Easy to adjust straps.
Efficient filtration and protection.
Comfortable and soft.
Suitable for all kinds of applications.
Cannot be legally used for non-commercial or industrial use.
Hard to talk through it.

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Our pick

3M Half Facepiece 6100 Reusable RespiratorAlthough all the dust masks and respirators hold their own, the 3M Half Facepiece 6100 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.

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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!

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