Your lifestyle standardization is incomplete without a few professionals, and a welder is one of the most important among them. He isn’t just a road warrior but also holds an important part in the indoor activities. Either external or internal, his job involves an exposure to lethal fumes and toxins; therefore, it’s essential to use some safety tools to protect the respiratory system. This post aims to guide you about the best welding respirator among the hundreds available in the market.
The duration of exposure and level of danger may vary according to your job, but the risk of damaging the respiratory system is apparent. Therefore, you need to take all the parameters in consideration before buying a welding respirator. During the working process, fumes created from paintings, coatings, bases, heat, and fillers may reach your lungs and harm them a great deal. The welding respirator placed all the way through your nose and mouth works as a filter and protects your respiratory tract against the lethal fumes. Let’s move forward to the reviews and facts about the selected respirators.
5 Best Welding Respirator Reviews 2020
1. 3M Particulate N95 Respirator Valve
The comfort level is the key to productive working hours. It comes only when you feel easy with your conditions. For a welder, a respirator should be cool enough to work for long hours. As the name indicates, it has an M-shaped nose clip that fits comfortably and ensures breathability. Furthermore, the two-strap design makes it easy to use and light enough to wear for an hours-long job. The flow valve technology provides a comfortable environment by keeping the temperature cool inside. The humidity produced due to breathing is reduced and the heat generated through fumes is cooled down, effectively.
The non-oil made particles are such nuisance and create a lot of hurdles for welders. The manufacturers of the 3M respirator have designed it to beat them just the way you want. Wear it and filter the non-harmful dust particles witnessed during the sanding projects. Other than that, this respirator can also be used for pollen mold spores, sweeping, and fiberglass installation. Even though the non-harmful dust particles aren’t that lethal, they need to be fixed and filtered. So, wear this respirator during outdoor activities such as mowing and gardening and enjoy working in the clean and fresh air.
However, there are some precautionary measures you must take. Avoid using it for oil particulates, gases, odors, and vapors. You mustn’t also use it for toxic substances such as lead and asbestos. Since welding involves exposure to deadly fumes, you must seal the nosepiece properly to avoid any leakage.
2. GVS Elipse Half Mask Respirator
It is one of the most demanding respirators due to some of its unique and exclusive features. The Elipse P100 is easily distinguished among the others due to its low-profile and comfortable design. It has cartridges that stick out that make it easy for you to pass through confined areas during the welding process. In short, they protect you from banging and bumping into stuff. Moreover, it has a silicone facepiece that makes it comfortable to wear for hours. So, if you are looking for the best welding respirator to wear for a long period, this is a great great guy! Furthermore, it comes with a P100, or to be precise, a P100 with nuisance level organic vapor coverage. The ease of use is ensured with an adjustable and reusable design. You can simply take out the filters or cartridges when you don’t need them, or stick them back when you do. You can also change the filters when they are worn out. So, if you want a solution for the bulkiness of your contemporary welding masks with airflow, try it out!
Let’s talk more about its low profile design as this is what makes it distinguishable! As the name indicates, it has a half-mask structure that ensures a low profile and gives you a wide view of the field. Other than that, it works individually without intruding in other personal protective equipment such as welding hoods and safety glasses. Further comfort is ensured with two sizes i.e. small/medium and medium/large. So, buy the one that properly fits your face.
3. Miller Electric Half Mask Respirator
It is one of the most recent and highly preferred devices of Miller Electric. A lot of its features resemble with that of GVS P100 including the low-profile and reusable design. The design is robust but small enough to adjust under the welding helmet. Moreover, the ergonomic design ensures the internal environment remains cool and workable. The dead air spaces are minimal that give a high comfort level is maintained. Other than that, a welder faces most of the difficulty in breathing and it is important to keep it in control for proper functioning. The large, non-return exhaust valve maintains the constancy of the breathing process and eases it down as well.
The wearer can’t afford any disturbances because welding is a critical job. The respirator, helmet, and other PPEs must perfectly fit so that they do not cause any annoyance. Therefore, the Miller Electric has four strap adjustments on the head to ensure a well-tailored fit. Talking about its ergonomically-friendly design, the extra surface area provided by the special pleated design keeps the filter secure and enhances efficiency. Moreover, it works perfectly in both the humid and non-humid environments. The reusability feature makes it easy for you to change the filters as per the conditions around and your needs. It comes with two P100 filter cartridge and has a push-connect system. The P100 filters ensure filtration of oil vaporizers and airborne particles.
The quality is ensured with the valuable materials used in the manufacturing. Not only are they of the highest quality, but they are also biologically friendly. Therefore, they are odor and silicone-free and absolutely non-allergic.
4. 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator
This lightweight respirator has all the capabilities to work in a rough and tough condition. Its silicone faceseal ensures lightweight and the strong body structure makes it resistant enough to work in a harsh environment. Moreover, the quick lash system and special filters are the two unique features of this respirator. The former makes it easy for you to drop down the facepiece with one touch and take it on and off without taking off the head-hat. However, the latter makes it multitasking and compatible with other 3M filters including the 6000 and 2000, 2200, 7000, 5000 series. Therefore, it becomes multitasking and can be used in different working environments. Some filters are for dust and microorganisms while others filter out gases and vapors. So, select the one as per your working environment and protect your respiratory system in the best possible way.
Digging deeper into the facepiece structure, there are two mechanisms inside to keep you cool and comfortable: a special valve cover and a 3M propriety cool flow valve. The former provides a downward direction to the exhaled breathing air, and the latter keeps the internal environment cool and workable. It fits on your head just as stretchable jeans fit on your legs. The adjustable head harness on the facepiece stretches and conforms as per your head size and fits comfortable onto it. Furthermore, its low-profile design resembles with that of the GVS half-mask and Miller Electric respirator as it also gives the wearer an opportunity to get a full field view without intruding with other PPEs.
5. 3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator
Despite having a large full lens, this best respirator for welding is light enough (not more than 2 lbs) for wearing hours at work. Therefore, it’s easy to use and extremely comfortable. The full facepiece ensures the wearer gets a complete panoramic field view, thereby increasing productivity and security.
Other than panoramic lens and lightweight, it has two working modes. First is the air-purifying mode that purifies the air inside. The second one is the supplied air respirator mode that monitors and refreshes the air inside by providing clean air from an unpolluted source. It has been designed to work in versatile working environments with an ability to be compatible with different filters. Working in a dusty or microbial environment? Want to filter out vapors and gases? No problem! All you have to do is change the filter as per your needs.
Moreover, it won’t let you work in the hot air and humidity. The exhaled air and moisture is cooled down with the 3M Cool Flow valve. This specialized valve releases the hot air build up inside, thereby keeping the internal environment cool and work-friendly. Other than welding, its applications include chemical handling, furnace operations, masonry, sanding, and much more.
This respirator meets all the standards set by the government. Therefore, it is specialized to eliminate all the airborne particles and ensures the health of workers. Not only does it make your working hours easy, but it is more of a fun to wear it and work easily. What can be more exciting than enjoying your working hours?
Five Types of Welding Respirator
Respirators might seem straightforward equipment at first glance, but it undergoes extreme technological applications in extreme most conditions. Manufacturers have developed five different respirators for best use in different situations.
Let’s dive deep into the informational section for this respirator types.
1. Air-purifying respirator:
The air-purifying welding respirators are designed to offer the highest-quality air to the welder. You can connect the respirator with the welding helmet using a hose. Moreover, many air-purifying respirators come with a blower inside the tool.
It thus offers a cooling effect inside the welding helmet. Hence, it is regarded as the highest-quality respirator and provides maximum protection.
2. Half-mask respirator:
Half-mask welding respirators will cover only your mouth and nose. Its design enables it to protect your chin to the nose section. That’s why it got the naming half-mask respirator.
It is the simplest of all welding respirators. You must ensure a tight and snug fitting of the respirator for the maximum protection. Also, there should be no space between your respirator and helmet to prevent fumes and dust penetration.
3. Full-mask respirator:
It covers the entire face of the wearer from the chins to the tip of the head, and so got the name. It is safer compared to the half-mask respirators since it offers complete coverage. Since it fully covers your face, chin, nose and eye, you won’t have to worry about the harmful particles anymore.
Also, it keeps the fumes and dust at bay from the eyes, ensuring your visionary protection. So, you won’t feel irritation due to fumes and welding smokes during the welding job. It is a great bonus.
4. Disposable welding mask:
You will throw away these welding masks after one or several uses. It is made of lower-priced materials and is lightweight. The lightweight design suits long-term use, especially if you will have to wear the welding respirators throughout the day.
You can quickly wear them inside the welding helmet. The cheap material used for its manufacturing will suit affordable purchasing. Also, it won’t have to be cleaned, which is another convenience. Nonetheless, it is not as protective as the full-mask and air-purifying welding respirators and serves as a standard filtration.
5. Reusable welding mask:
If you are looking for an economic investment for the best welding respirator, the reusable welding masks will work best for you. Also, it frees you from the everyday hassle of buying a new welding mask newly.
The mask is made of sturdy and premium textile materials. Also, the filters used inside the reusable welding respirator are easily replaceable. So, you can use it for months with the replaced filter. You will need to maintain and clean the filters and the respirator itself, though.
How to Choose the Best Welding Respirator?
Knowing about the features of the famous welding respirators isn’t enough in order to get the best results. Choosing a right one involves a lot of factors; therefore, selection becomes a bit tricky. The exposure to welding fumes has potential impacts, ranging from short-term health hazards such as eye-irritation to lethal and long-term consequences like cancer and heart diseases. Therefore, you must not take your safety easy and buy all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and high-quality respirators and wear them with properly given instructions. Let’s talk about the tips and tricks to buying the best respirator for welding and ensuring the health of the workers.
Know Your Environment
It’s important to know where you are working and what type of environment you are dealing with. The welding process doesn’t always include welding; one has to deal with other activities such as painting and coating as well. Since different types of chemicals are released in different activities, you need a specialized filter for each activity. If your task involves exposure to different types of fumes, then you must use a reusable respirator, so that you may change the filters as per your needs. Similarly, if your job is dealing solely with welding, then you can go for the non-reusable respirators. Moreover, the powered air purifying respirators suit the harsh environments where breathing is difficult. These respirators ensure the internal environment remains cool and breathing remains comfortable. You can also go for the supplied air respirators in such environments because they ensure the supply of purified air from an external source.
Learn About Your Requirements
Since different types of respirators are available in the market with different features, it pretty much becomes a challenge to buy a suitable one. However, learning about your requirements will surely help you a great deal and ease the process. For instance, you should know how far your field view should be? For how long you need a respirator on? How long are your tasks and what activities are involved? When you are clear about the answers to these questions, its hell of a lot easier for you to buy the right respirator and increase productivity. For instance, you should buy a half facepiece reusable respirator if you do not need a full panoramic view and your job includes multiple tasks. Similarly, if you need to get a complete panoramic field view and you have a multitasking job, then you must go for a full facepiece reusable respirator. Also, learn about other job requirements and buy a respirator, accordingly.
Inspect and Test Before Buying
First, read the reviews and learn enough about the respirator you intend to buy. Then, always make sure to inspect and test it at the shop before buying. Even if you are buying online, make sure the store offers you a complete guideline and a return and exchange policy. This makes it easy for you to trust and be satisfied later on.
Respirator size and weight
The rule of thumb for the respirator size is straightforward. It should fit underneath your helmet perfectly without any discomfort and challenge. An enlarged welding respirator will not allow the helmet hood not closing correctly.
Also, weighty respirators will cramp you relatively sooner. So, you won’t be able to wear it for a long time use.
Filter type and availability
Some welding respirators will come with the filters while some will exclude it. In such cases, you will have to invest separately in buying the filter. Also, you should pick a filter that is easily cleanable for reuse. Whenever you see dirt or feel odors through the filter, you must clean it.
Air vent types
The comfort of wearing a welding respirator is attributed mainly to the airflow direction of it. The air vent direction should be downward for easy breathing and exhalation. Moreover, the downward air vent system prevents moisture build-up inside the welding helmet.
So, you get a clearer view of the working material for a more extended period.
It is connected with the comfort of a welder. The quick-release feature enables you to unclip and remove the welding respirator without taking off your helmet. So, it reduces workload and allows you to remove and wear the respirator whenever necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I care and maintain the welding respirator?
You must clean, care and maintain the welding respirator to keep you protected and safe from different hazards. So, it is recommended that you maintain and clean the respirator regularly, if not possible after every use.
You must clean the mask surface properly. Also, make sure the filter and cartridges are neat and clean before you use them. When you wash the filter, work gently on them. Furthermore, rinse it in lukewarm water for safety purposes. Finally, air-dry the protective welding respirators and filters to ensure your continued safety.
2. What is the longevity of the welding respirators?
It will depend on the type of the respirator and material used to construct it. Usually, reusable respirators will last for several months and even year, if you maintain and clean the filters correctly. Also, in a heavy-duty workshop, the lifespan of the welding respirator will be shortened.
3. Can I wear FFP3 mask for welding jobs?
Yes, FFP3 masks or respirators are suitable for arc, TIG and MIG welding jobs. The FFP3 protection should be readily available in a high-quality disposable welding respirator. It comes with fume-resistance and activated carbon filter. So, you will get relief from the welding nuisances such as fumes, odors, dust and ozone.
Welding is a process that involves exposure to harmful fumes and gases. Since these gases are hazardous to health, the welder must protect himself against them. The gases go directly to the lungs via the respiratory tract and damage the entire system. Therefore, buy a suitable welding respirator and ensure health and safety. Some of the best ones have been mentioned above along with their detailed features. However, each has different features and suit different environments. Therefore, you should know your environment and needs before buying the right welding respirator. Did this post help you in learning about the best welding respirators ? Have you learnt the tips and tricks to buy the right one?