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Each year, dozens of welders are hospitalized due to exposure to harmful fumes and gasses. Apart from having immediate effects, this harmful fumes and gasses can cause terrible illnesses later in the future. Welding fumes are created from a mixture of fluorides, silicates, and oxides.
Not all types of welding produce the same fumes. When you weld on metals which are galvanized, plated or painted, your metals will produce fumes with zinc oxide, lead, or cadmium. Metals made of iron or steel, the fumes would mostly be made of iron oxide.
Best Welding Respirator – Quick Answer
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Although it is true that the amount of fumes and gasses released depends on the type of welding, it is still important to protect one’s self no matter the welding process being done. In addition to the danger of fumes, a welder’s face is open to spatter, particles, sparks and many other dangerous materials that fly around during welding.
Because of how dangerous inhaling these fumes is, welding respirators were invented. These respirators eliminate or drastically reduce these harmful fumes and gasses. A respirator is a piece of necessary equipment for anyone deciding to involve themselves in welding.
The level of professionalism matters little or nothing when it comes to safety. Your lungs need safety and protection from these fumes. A welding respirator is a piece of equipment that protects and covers your face during welding. Some masks are designed to cover only the nose and mouth. Welding without protective gear is dangerous and should be discouraged. Realize that out of the fifty welders hospitalized yearly, three die.
This comprehensive guide has been compiled to understand all there is to know about welding including ten of the best welding respirators available. The compiled respirator models have been tried and tested and can definitely offer you the protection you need.
Best Welding Respirator Mask 2019 Review
3M(TM) Half Facepiece Welding Respirator Mask – Best For The Money
This respirator is a half-mask and is produced by the 3M Company. This means it covers from your nose to your chin. It has different sizes and has a varying price for each size. This respirator is one of the most loved by welders. Apart from the fact that it is very reasonably priced and is consequently affordable, it is very durable.
It is also very soft and comfortable to wear. This is probably because it is crafted well and is made mainly of Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE).
The mask is lightweight. It weighs only 4.8 ounces which make sit comfortable for long-term and consecutive use. The lightweight mask offers safety at a low price. It is part of 3M’s 6000 respirator series. Apart from its other features, it also features and incorporates 3M’s Bayonet Filter Fixing System. The Bayonet Filter Fixing System enables a wide range of 3M filters. This means it is compatible which a higher amount of filters.
This mask comes with two filters. It comes in two colors; black and gray. The respirator is versatile. It can be used for a lot of purposes. It protects from particles and flying shards. It also is compatible with a lid however, the lid is sold separately.
GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 Half Mask Respirator – Top Rate Welding Respirator Brand
The GVS SPR457 is a half-mask which comes in different sizes. The mask comes in the color blue. It has a flexible design. This helps it to change and adapt perfectly to the face and features of the needed body parts. It is designed in such a way that when it is worn, it does not affect sight in any way.
It can also be worn without disturbing any eye and ear-protection equipment you may have worn. Its pore size is (µm)- 0.3 while its retention range is 99.97% (minimum efficiency). It is a great choice if you have other equipment you wish to wear with your mask.
It has a central non-return valve. The valve is large and is located in the middle. The valve is there to create a reduction of the user’s breathing resistance and consequently, the moisture build-up. It reduces them to the barest minimum.
It weighs a compact 6.4 ounces and features a non-slip strap. The strap provides added security. The strap can be adjusted into four different positions for comfort. It is safe to use in all weather conditions. It measures 4 x 4 x 1 inches. It comes with two filters. The filters have a slim filter design. They are manufactured by the GVS Filter Technology. They manufacture micro medical and automotive filters.
3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Mask
This respirator, also produced by 3M offers great protection against gasses, vapors, dust, and small particles. It is a half mask and so the protection offered is basically for your mouth, chin, and nose. It can easily be worn and taken off due to its design.
The one-hand touch drop-down features aids in wearing or taking off the respirator quite easily. It is also comfortable to wear. This is partly because the straps are soft having been made of spandex and polyester. it is made and assembled in such a way that the head cradle can be adjusted. Each mask can be tweaked and adjusted into three different sizes to fit a wide range of people.
This mask weighs a light-weight 4.9 ounces. It will not be unnecessarily heavy. With its Proprietary 3M Cool Flow Valve, you can be assured that your breathing will not make wearing the mask uncomfortable and wet. It is designed to aid breathing while exterminating breathing fog which would normally appear.
In addition, the respirator is durable, long-lasting and resilient. It has a firm seal and can work perfectly even in areas with very high-temperatures. It can also be comfortably worn with a wide range of other equipment. You can get it either in grey or in teal. The respirator is made of Silicone and Nylon. It makes use of 3M.
3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator Mask – Best Full Face Respirator
This 3M facepiece is a full face-piece. It offers protection against paint vapors, dust, mold, chemical vapors, etc. it is lightweight and has a great design to make wearing comfortable. It is extremely durable not only because of its build but also because of its silicone face seal.
It gives a balanced and comfortable feeling when worn on the face. As it is a full respirator, it offers added protection. It features a 3M Cool Flow Valve which eliminates breathe fog. You can comfortably breathe without having to endure the fog. The center adapter helps in the elimination of the breath-fog by driving downward. Generally, this full-mask is very comfortable and straightforward to use.
This 3M respirator is truly lightweight; it weighs a comfortable 7 ounces which is great considering it is a full-face mask. Its dimensions are 8.3 x 10 x 6.1 inches. This respirator is made of silicone and thermoplastic elastomer. It features large and convenient lenses.
They allow you to have a wide visibility range without interrupting your view or restricting it. It has some inbuilt optical correction which eliminates or limits distortion no matter the direction you look in. One great feature about it is how easily it is cleaned. Due to its smooth surface, you can easily clean it with a brush and water or a damp cloth.
3M Large Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Mask
Made with advanced silicone material, this respirator is a half facepiece. It gives optimum protection from the nose to the chin. it is extremely durable as well as comfortable. You can be sure to use it for a long while. It features a 3M Cool Flow Valve which eliminates breathe fog.
You can comfortably breathe without having to endure the fog. The center adapter helps in the elimination of the breath-fog by driving downward. It has a harness that works in two modes. It helps adjust the respirator to suit the user. You have two modes which are the drop-down mode and the standard mode.
The respirator is extremely comfortable. It is made of silicone material which enhances softness. It even has a great design which reduces pressure point and consequently gives a softer a comfortable feel. The head harness can be set to drop down when it is not being used.
This allows the respirator to come off easily. The durability is one of its selling points. The respirator is designed to last long without having a stocky and uncomfortable build. If you engage in welding daily, you can be sure to enjoy this respirator. It meets the safety requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard (29 CFR 1910.132). with this respirator, protection is guaranteed.
Miller Electric Half Mask Respirator Mask Review
The half-mask respirator, from Miller Electric, is a fine product to use during welding, or any circumstance that may expose you to harsh chemicals or irritants. I am a welder, and I have been using this mask in conjunction with a welding mask and safety glasses.
The fit is good, but my face is more slender than most. This product does have an adjustable strap so it should fit varying face sizes but one should be mindful when purchasing this product as it will be uncomfortable for anyone with a larger than average face.
The quality of this mask is fairly robust as the synthetic rubber forms a good seal around the mouth and nose. The filters are also of high quality and should only need to be replaced once every two months or so with moderate usage, (30 minutes to an hour of continuous welding, 3 days out of the week).
Due to the tight seal formed around the mouth and nose, air from your nose and mouth will not rise and fog up your safety glasses. As a welder, this is extremely important during welding as monitoring the arc and bead flow is essential for creating a good weld.
I’ve purchased many disposable respirators in hopes of holding back some irritants but in my experience, they degrade during use, which is rather troublesome. This respirator has completely eliminated that problem and I have been comfortably using it for over a year now.
If you want to save your money, time and preserve your health; I recommend buying this respirator. It reduces user fatigue through large exhaust valves. This lightweight respirator weighs only 5.2 ounces in dimensions 7 x 10 x 5.8 inches. It contains effective eye protection with an activated charcoal air filter.
3M 7162 Full-Facepiece Spray Paint Respirator Mask
This respirator is a full facepiece that gives protection to your whole face. The full face respirator can be used up to50 OSHA PEL. It is perfect for protection during welding jobs. It is a product of 3M and is one of their customer-favorite products.
It is versatile in its usage and can be used for welding, pesticide spraying, and painting. It is reusable and durable. Due to the design, it can be counted on to deliver optimum service and still last for a long time. A machine that gives off great service but has a short lifespan cannot be called high-quality.
It has an organic vapor relief feature. The vapor usually comes as a result of gathered steam from your breath. You can comfortably breathe without having to endure the fog. The center adapter helps in the elimination of the breath-fog by driving downward.
With the package comes with two organic vapor cartridges as well as four P95 filters. In addition, you get two filter retainers and two face shield covers. The mask is sure to fit up to 70 percent of people as well as people with a hat size that is smaller 8 ¼. It weighs 1.4 pounds and measures 12 x 12 x 12 inches. The filters and the cartridges will need to be changed from time to time.
PD-100 Full Face Organic Vapor Respirator Mask
PD-100 Full Face Organic Vapor Respirator is a professional full-piece respirator mask with dual N95 filters. It also has an impact-resistant lens. It offers protection against welding dangers such as fumes, dust, and other toxic substances.
The design is technologically advanced and suitable for professional jobs. The amplification diaphragm is large enough. As expected it has the anti-fog circulation feature. It features dual filters which are easily-replaced. The respirator has active carbon filtration.
The straps are elastic and high density allowing for easy adjustment. The cartridge can be replaced with minimal fuss. It works fine with 3M cartridges. It is durable and very comfortable to wear.
How Do Welding Respirators Work?
Welding respirators work through a couple of ways. They either protect the nose or supply it with fresh air. Some welding respirators filter the air thus purifying it and making it safe for breathing.
Some of these types of respirators can only protect you from particles and have no means of protection from gasses and fumes. This type of welding respirator is the most affordable as its functionalities are limited.
Another type of respirator is known as an air-supplying respirator. Rather than purifying already contaminated air, they supply fresh and safe air. They could either draw air from an unattached piece of equipment or they could produce air themselves.
Types of Welding Respirators
Welding respirators are of different types. To make a perfect choice, you should know about the types and the uses of each type. While there are several types of respirators, we will be looking at only some of them. We consider these to be the most important to welders.
Full-Mask Respirator– As the name implies, full mask respirators give protection to the full face of the welder. It covers most of the face including the eyes and nose. These are better because they offer eye protection not available in half-mask respirators. Good full-mask respirators are compatible with NIOSH-approved filters and cartridges.
Half-Mask Respirator– Unlike the full-face respirators, this mask covers the space from the nose to the chin. Although it offers protection, it is not as much the protection gotten from full-mask respirators. Full-face respirators are of different types and so if you are picking out this type, you must ensure it has a high rating as an assigned protection factor.
Powered Air-purifying Respirator– This respirator is connected to a helmet through a hose. It forces air into the filter of purifier through a blower. This allows you to breathe in cool air and also supplies cooling air to your face. It has a full-mask build as it covers the whole face.
It is one of the best mask types when dealing with harmful gasses and fumes. These types of helmets make use of cartridges and filter of different types. You must ensure that the cartridges and filters you buy are compatible which your mask type.
Disposable Respirators– These are quite similar to half-masks. However, they are disposable and hence, less expensive. They are not designed for long-term use. Due to their build, it is advisable to wear them under your welding helmet. It will be convenient to do this because the masks are very light and comfortable.
They will not hamper any movements. Each disposable respirator can be trashed after use. This mask should be used for welding processes with low rates of particles, fumes, and gasses due to the minimal protection it offers.
What To Consider Before Buying A Welding Respirator
- Facial Structure- Your head shape and facial structure play roles in your selection. If you pick a mask that doesn’t go with your head structure, you are in for uncomfortable welding moments. Your mask must either fit your head perfectly or must be adjustable so as to fit your head perfectly. There is nothing more uncomfortable than an ill-fitting respirator. Your facial structure amongst other things will determine your level of comfort. If you are welding for a long period, a mask that is highly compatible with your face structure is necessary. This is because, after a long period of welding, even comfortable masks tend to feel slightly uncomfortable. It would be suicide to wear an uncomfortable mask.
- Price- Before buying anything, you need to determine how much you are willing to pay for it. It is important to note that the price of an object does not dictate the quality. This is why it is extremely important to make suitable research before deciding on a respirator to buy. If you are looking for a mask with higher capabilities, you can expect to spend even higher. Some extremely cheap respirators are priced so ridiculously because they have reduced performance. Although price is not an indication of performance, it is better to steer of ridiculously priced goods. While you should have a price set in your mind, you should be flexible enough to add a few dollars to it in case your perfect respirator is a bit higher than your original budget. If you are on a tight budget, you should go for disposable respirators. This is because of how cheap they are.
- Welding type- As we have discussed before, different welding types release different particles, fumes, and gasses. If your welding type produces a lot of polluted materials, you will need an efficient full-mask respirator. If you are not exposed to a high level of contaminants, you can decide to get a half-mask respirator.
- Mobility- No matter the type of welding you engage in, you will need to be able to move as you please. A mask that restricts the control you have over your body, in general, should not be used. When welding, the control (or lack of it) that you have over your body will play a huge role in how your products come out. An item welded by a constricted welder is going to show signs of poor construction. Masks which pinch or scratch your skin can cause injuries and general discomfort. Be sure to wear masks that cushion your hands properly.
- Work environment- What sort of environment do you weld in? Is it one with good ventilation and space? Is there a high chance of over-heating? If your environment has a lot of heavy fumes, you would need a respirator which purifies or supplies air. If you are not frequently exposed to this, you can choose half-mask or disposable welding respirators.
- Filter Type- Pick a respirator with a filter that is capable of performing the functions you need it to. It must be able to purify the air you breathe. It must be extremely safe and durable.
- Performance- The performance is the most important thing aspect. Before buying a respirator, you need to consider if it can perform up to the level you need. If a mask performs well, it will let you be productive in whatever time frame you have. To be assured about a masks productivity, check its specifications as well as its reviews and ratings. A mask with higher ratings and reviews is likely to perform well. Do not buy any machine if you are not at least fairly sure that it can suit your needs.
- Durability- You need a welding respirator that lasts long enough. No matter how great a machine is, if it does not last long enough to be optimized, it is a waste of money. Your welding respirator must be built with durable parts that can withstand the rigorous day-to-day activities which welding entails. It must last long while providing optimum service. A little mistake is enough to cause a lifetime of problems. Welders do not have the luxury of being careless. In the same vein, their tools cannot afford to make even the littlest of mistakes. The need for your tools to be durable cannot be over-emphasized. You do not want a welding respirator that will fall apart on your face. Despite the fact that it is given that your respirator can not last forever, it should last throughout the duration it should.
- Extra features- How easy is it for you to change your respirator’s filter? Are the components which allow you to change the filters weak? Are the straps of your respirator reinforced and durable? All of these should be taken into consideration.
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How To Take Care Of A Welding Respirator
- Although durability depends largely on o the build of the welding respirator, your maintenance can wither shorten or elongate its lifespan. If you keep your respirator well maintained, you can be assured of optimum performance and lengthened or maximized lifespan. It also ensures that you are taking care of the most important aspect of the welding process; you.
- Before you use your respiration each time, you must examine. Examinations must also be carried out after use. This is done so that you can be assured of its state of being before and after use. You will be able to detect any tears, snaps, and dents and thereby fix or replace accordingly. You will also be able to notice any worn out parts or any ones that are missing, broken, or cracked. Next, examine the facepiece. There should be no dents, tears, rips, or holes. If your respirator has lenses, ensure they are not scratched, broken, or cracked. The parts should not be loose in any way. None of the gaskets should be missing. If you are using a disposable mask, you should have a nose clip present. Ensure that its nose clip should be properly placed.
- It is important to note that most welding pieces of equipment do not need lots of water. Respirators especially do not need to be soaked. Soaking them actually does more harm than good. Therefore, avoid soaking your welding gloves. Note that when washing, you only need to make use of soap, water, and a sponge. Neither of those instruments should be the tough and rough types. The soap, for example, should be a mild one that cannot cause damage or harm to your gloves. The water should be cool and not hot. You can make use of cold water, but definitely not hot water. In addition, the sponge should not be one with bristles that can damage. They should be tough enough to scrub clean, but also mild enough not to affect the gloves. After washing, do not squeeze to dry. When you are done washing, spread the gloves n an airy place. The airflow will dry the glove without damaging the leather. When the gloves are dry, examine them well to ensure they are not damaged. Also before every, it is advisable to check them to be sure they are safe to use.
- When you are not using the respirator, store it in an area that is neither humid nor exposed to direct sunlight. Do not store respirators in sealed bags or wet areas. They will get damaged due to the mildew as well as the mold that will grow on them.
- Lastly, record all inspection the glove has gone through. Take notes of repairs to be sure a similar problem is not developing.
Picking out a welding respirator does not have to be stressful. Each respirator compiled in this list is sure to meet up your standards and offer you protection in the best ways possible. If you are going for a full piece, realize that you may not be able to pair it with any other glasses or goggles for eye protection.