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.
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|
|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|
The top best product
- 1 3M 7162 Organic Vapor Spray Paint Respirator- Best Full Face Protection
- 2 SAS Safety 2985 Non-Toxic Dust Mask-Simplest in Design
- 3 3M 8661PC1-A Home Dust Mask- Best Budget Pick
- 4 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
- 5 MONATA Reusable Dust Pollution Mask with Activated Carbon Filter and Earloop for Woodworking House Cleaning Gardening and Outdoor Activities (2, Black Gray)
- 6 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)
- 7 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator-Best in Efficiency and Practicality
- 8 Safety Works 817664 Toxic Dust Respirator-Premium Quality Mask
- 9 3M(TM) Respirator Assembly Half Facepiece-Most Versatile Applications
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.
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.
Why We Recommend It: The SAS Safety Dust Mask is a high quality mask, perfect for protection from all kinds of particles.
Adjustable nose metal piece.
50 disposable masks in a box.
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.
Why We Recommend It: The 3M mask is perfect for DIY woodworkers as well as household workers.
Provides protection from most household particles.
Contour fit included.
Longlasting and durable.
Lightweight and easy to remove.
Cannot be used for professional applications.
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
Why We Recommend it: Due to its advantages, this mask can be an excellent helper in any kind of work or pastime.
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.
MONATA Reusable Dust Pollution Mask with Activated Carbon Filter and Earloop for Woodworking House Cleaning Gardening and Outdoor Activities (2, Black Gray)
Why We Recommend it: This dust mask for sawdust has several advantages, providing protection in any kind of activity.
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.
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)
Why We Recommend it: Due to its advantages, you can use this mask for different purposes without fearing for your health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Made from a durable thermoplastic elastomer.
Easy to adjust straps.
Comfortable and soft.
Suitable for all kinds of applications.
Hard to talk through it.
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!