Why Do I Need A Mask? What Is The Best Dust Mask?
The National Health Admin prescribes that the normal measure of fine dust be close to 1mg/cubic meter over a 10-hour shop session. While this is relatively low, over hours of work, it can build up and become a hazard to you. To be frank, dust is unavoidable.
With that said, I will be a good friend and help keep you safe. There are a number of masks that claim to be the best dust mask, however, here is a list for you to choose your best dust mask for woodworking.
The masks will be ranked from worst to best using a star rating system from one to five containing the classes of quality and price, to help grade them. The higher the quality of performance and lower the price, the higher the rating. Here is an example of the rating system; Quality: Grade from A-F and Price:$-$$$$$
Related: Top 7: Best Woodworking Clamps
5. N95 Particle Dust Mask
- Quality: C
- Price: $$
This N95 Particle Dust Mask is a disposable mask. For this reason, it is usually the cheapest option. What this means is, while this mask will be one of if not the most accessible to get in terms of money, the quality of the product will suffer because of it.
Most of these masks are usually a one size fits all, with minimal adjusting room. Instead of buying one for every day, most would rather invest in one for the long haul. However, in addition to the price, there are also some other pros to add.
For one, the quality is one the higher end in terms of cheap masks. So it is not like your getting some cheap plastic. Perhaps most importantly, the N95 exceeds the standard recommendation by both the CDC and WHO for health care workers treating airborne diseases.
For most workers, that is the key factor and is why they turn to this cheap alternative. Here are some extra sources to check it out for yourself.
4. Comfy Mask By Breathe Healthy
- Quality: B+
- Price: $$$
For this one, your pretty much getting what you are paying for, comfort while on the job. Before anything else, some people like to put comfort over everything to help maximize their output on the job. This is the main reason for why you should turn to this product.
The Comfy Mask by Breathe Healthy gets an A+ in terms of quality of material, not the quality of performance which is what the rating is targeting. Just on looks alone, when comparing the Comfy to the other masks on this list, it is the most pleasant looking one of all.
Another reason you should look for this masks is the fact that it is easily reusable. A quick wash and dry of this mask and your good to go. The reason some turn away from this mask is perhaps the price.
For just ten bucks more, you can get number two on this list, which when compared to the comfy, is a productive machine of a mask. For more information on this mask, check out the links below.
3. 3M Powerflow Respirator
- Quality: A+
- Price: $$$$$
Get ready to open your wallet wide open for this mask. The 3M Powerflow Respirator looks like something a Batman villain wears. Look up Bane from Batman, you’ll know what I’m talking about. This mask can be looked at as an investment, however, for many, the one-time payment is too much to handle so they do not buy it.
Also, like mentioned before, what looks more comfortable to wear, this mask or the others on this list. Compare them and you’ll see. However, the pros and the performance on this thing helps it sit at the top when compared to the others.
How does this sound, pros: air-flow, fog free, and multi-purpose. The constant air flow feels amazing and will keep you cool on hot and long working hours.
It also does a good job of keeping fog off the glass and is good enough to protect you in almost any situation, not just woodworking dust. If you’re willing to dig deep into your pockets, as an investment, the links are below.
2. 3M 7500 Respirator
- Quality: A
- Price: $$$
Don’t feel too bad if you can not make a payment for the previous mask, this mask ranks this high because it is the money saving alternative to the last one. At only around twenty-five bucks for this mask, combined with the performance quality, this mask can easily top your list.
This mask is also the comfortable version of the previous one. While it may not have all of the same perks as the 3M Powerflow, this 3M 7500 Respirator is this high on this list for more of its own perks. One of them is the design of this mask.
The design is unique in that it has a combination of a hard outer shell with a soft silicon inner shell for comfort. This design provides protection for any extreme situation where any object might fall on your face while softening the blow with its soft design. Further information on this mask is provided in the links below.
1. Elipse P100
- Quality: A+
- Price: $$$
Numbers two and one on this list can easily be switched for many people. The have the same type of design and can also be found around the same price, although generally, this one will be around five bucks cheaper. Unless you’re that tight on money, that shouldn’t be a problem.
What puts the Elipse P100 above the 3M 7500 you ask, simply put, preference. They are basically one in the same except for some key perks on the Elipse P100 that put it over for me.
For me, it was the fact that the P100 had an appropriately tight fit and was proven to capture 99.97 percent of airborne particles. Qualities that the 3M 7500 didn’t have.
What it comes down to is preference and your situation financially. Some only need a disposable day to day mask while others can afford the high-end masks. For me, while I would rather invest in the 3M Powerflow Respirator, financially I am currently unable to.
However, you better believe that when the time presents itself, I will make that investment. The qualities of the 3M Powerflow Respirator do not compare to the rest for me so that is why I will be switching in the future.
To end, just remember what I mentioned in the beginning, as a friend your safety is important to me, that is why I made this list. Don’t forget to like and share!