There are people in certain professions that they can’t go a day without it then there are people who live in air polluted cities, the cities are so polluted that people can’t go through a day without respirators. Respirators come in different shapes and sizes.
Different respirators have their own side of specialization. Some filters out chemicals while some filters saw dust properly. Some are made to be used in cities where the air is highly polluted.
Not everyone is made for you, So, you will have to go through the pros and cons of some of the best respirators out there.
What is a Respirator?
A respirator is a mask like a system where there is filter or cartridges which filters out all those unwanted chemicals, odors or dust that you don’t want to go up in your lungs. This is a very important device for your protection.
There are different types and quality of respirator. Some are half facepiece while some are full facepiece. And then there are some which are just made out of cloths. Some come with adjustable straps while some don’t.
You will not feel the danger of breathing in all those harmful gases right now but sooner or later you will have to face the danger of breathing those.
How to Recognize Best Respirators
To recognize the best quality respirator, you will have to make up your mind about what you want. And as always you will be getting what you pay for. For a low budget, you will get a bit low-quality respirator.
While inspecting respirators you will have to look at a couple of few aspects to make sure that you get the best one.
Always double check the size that you are getting. Don’t just go ahead and get any random size that you want. If the size does not match then you just threw your money to the fire. If the size does not match up then you will have no use for the stuff cause all the unfiltered air will be getting in the respirator through various wholes.
Why Do You Need a Respirator For?
Not all respirator can serve all purpose. You need to figure out why you will be needing a respirator for. If you need a respirator for painting and get a particulate filter it definitely would not get the job done.
It is always better to get a respirator with elastic and adjustable straps. Elastic straps facilitate a lot more than you can think about. Having elastic straps will help you to drag your respirator to your neck without having to take it off.
Always look at what you are getting. The face seal is a very important aspect. This is the part of the respirator that will remain attached to your face. If this portion defects anyhow you are screwed.
Best Respirator Reviews
Not all respirators are worth the money. You will have to take a look at what you are getting for the money that you will be paying. Here we listed down some of the respirators that money can buy with very few drawbacks that we have also pointed out quite briefly.
1. 3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Respirator
The face seal of the respirator is a very important aspect. It says whether using this thing will be worth it. Even if the filter is good a bad face seal might ruin it all. This respirator comes with a resilient silicone face seal which is highly comfortable and durable. The quick latch mechanism on this thing makes it easier to use because you get to drop down the respirator without removing the head strap. This is the best respirator for woodworking.
What we liked
Every buyer has their very own perspective. So, there are many features that people might like but you will find it highly uncomfortable. Here are a bunch of features that we like and hope that you will like and find useful too.
This mask is highly comfortable. Especially due to the silicone face seal which sits just perfectly on your face with very little pressure. At times some mask creates so much pressure that it is really hard to keep it on. Some face seals have a leak on them that causes all the dust to get in and makes the mask completely worthless.
This mask is very airy. You will not even have to make so much of an effort to breath in. It lets in a lot of air very fast that you won’t even feel the resistance due to the filter.
Quick Latch Mechanism
The latch mechanism on this mask is highly praised. It lets you drop the respirator without going through the hassle of actually removing it. You might feel the need to take it on and off at times but the absence of this latch mechanism on some masks make it a tad bit uncomfortable and at times time consuming to do so.
The chord on this thing is adjustable so it makes it really easier to make it fit solely for you. This removes the probability that you might feel strangled by the due the chords.
This mask can be used for all sorts of stuff. It does not have any particularity that it can only protect you from certain types of dust. It can quite easily protect you from all those wood dust, metal fumes, air particulates paint vapors and many other types of gasses that you just don’t want to breathe.
What Users Are Claiming Badly
Like I have said previously that every customer judges things from their very own perspective. So, even if some customer might just think that some aspects are not suitable for then but it might be good for you. But then again everything has their pros and cons. Let’s check out some of the limitations of this product.
The Quality of Head Band or Strap
The headband or strap is elastic and the quality is not up to the mark. It gets torn off quite easily. This is a huge drawback on the part of this product. If the headband is destroyed then the mask is as good as destroyed.
The Face Piece
The face piece of this thing is really stiff and hard which makes it uncomfortable at times. What this does is that it prevents the silicon face seal to properly seal face and prevent the outside unwanted and unfiltered air to get in the mask. If this is the case the obviously having it won’t make a difference.
2. Safety Works 817663 Multi-Purpose Respirator
This patented piece of technology was given a lot of thought for design. This is an absolute masterpiece. It comes with low profile cartridges for an unobstructed view of what you are doing. This is the mask you want for working with lead, asbestos, toxic dust, fiberglass, ammonia, formaldehyde or certain acid gases. It goes without saying that this is the best respirator for painting.
What We Liked
There are plenty of things to like about this product. This does the job that it is supposed to do quite effectively. There are obviously aspects of this product that will be uncomfortable for you but the pros will overweigh those.
This is absolutely fantastic at its job. It even works properly after it is used to clean the 60’s vinyl which has a high probability of containing asbestos material. It did what it was supposed to do, keeping all those dust and dirt away from your nose. Even after a couple of days of sanding off the wall, it worked nicely apart from the fact that the filter got clogged.
Does Not Fog Up the Glasses
At times it is seen that while you are wearing glasses such as this you will end up having some sort of fog type thing in the lens’ of your spectacles. But this one is designed so perfectly is that none of that will happen. Most of the time you will have to wear eye protection along with respirator to do many sorts of work. But this one is all good to go.
What Users Are Claiming Badly
There are one or two things that might just hold you back while you are about to buy this. Nothing is perfect neither is this. So, it is bound to have one or two disadvantages.
Availability of Cartridge
Many customers made sure that there is an availability of extra cartridges as an extra precaution. So that the mask might not become useless. But as a matter of fact, the cartridges take a month or two to be shipped. Which is an absolute disaster.
And the worse part about this is that it does not fit any other cartridges other than its own.
The size of the mask is kind of small so it makes it uncomfortable to use at times. Even at times, it becomes difficult to have it fit your chin. Which is something you absolutely don’t want in your mask?
3. 3M 8511PB1-A- PS Particulate N95 Respirator
This top of the shelf respirator is particularly designed to give you a reliable protection against the non-oil based particles. This respirator comes in three different styles each specialized to protect you from a definite type of dust from sanding different things. The categories are for painting, drywall, and fiberglass. This respirator has two straps which are fantastic at their jobs.
What We Liked
This is a better-quality filter mask in many terms than some masks you might have used in the past. The construction of this mask is a bit different from most of the other masks out there.
Overall Quality of This Respirator
This mask is absolutely fantastic and with more depth than most another mask out there. The thickness is a bit more than others and is almost the thickness you want or need to have. It comes with two parts constructions in its depth. The exterior of the mask on the outside is rigid whereas on the interior it is soft which is what many customers look for in a mask.
The Air Flow
The air flow on this thing is out of the world. It lets so much air in so quickly that you won’t feel much of a difference. It is actually comfortable. You can even bike around with this thing and still take a while to feel the difference.
Quality of Filter
This mask is rated NP5. What this means is that it can even filter particles up to PM2.5 i.e. filters almost about 95% of them. Which is quite an impressive figure?
What Users Are Claiming to be Bad
I say it all the time that regardless of the quality of the product there is always pros and cons. No matter how top notch the thing is, it is bound to come with some disadvantages for some specific people. In this section of the article, we will be focusing on those aspects of this respirator.
Definitely Not for Long-Term Users
The density of the filter is too much. That is what many users are looking for in a product. But it is a double-edged sword. What this causes is that it makes it really difficult to wear for a long time. But this is definitely the reason you want this if you have issues with your immunology overlooking this disadvantage.
Not Adjustable Rubber Bands
The rubber bands on this thing are not adjustable. This makes it uncomfortable for a lot of people. You can’t just guarantee that you will fit in this mask. Adjustment is a must for versatile products. Many users are seen to be complaining about this. So, it is always better and more comfortable to have a mask with adjustable strap.
Swallows Up Petite Faces
Size is always an issue for some things that you will be wearing. And this one just does not come in different shapes and sizes. Many are complaining about this. It is definitely not worth buying if it does not fit you and make you feel even more uncomfortable.
If you have to use spectacles for the work at hand or you use spectacles then this is just not the one for you. This fogs up the specs quite quickly and this phenomenon is a huge red sign.
4. GVS SPR457 Eclipse P100 Half Mask Respirator, Medium and Large
This might just be the best one that you are ever going to use. This will give you relief from all those wildfires and unwanted pollution that you seek. You can see how cool it looks. This is a very low-profile mask, to begin with.
What We Liked
This is indeed a great mask. The quality of the mask is astounding. Overall this respirator can be claimed to be one of the best build out there. Has a really great build quality. There is room for two separate and prodigious filters.
The elastic band on this thing is said to be really great. These don’t get torn off quite easily unlike many other respirators out there. The quality of the elastic band is indeed one of the limiting factors for many respirators. And mainly having a respirator with torn off elastic band does not count as having any.
The elastic bands enable you to take off the respirator temporarily by just pulling it down to your neck. This is a great advantage, you won’t have to take off your glasses every now and then. This gets irritating at times.
The weight of this thing is definitely something that makes this one outstanding. Some of the respirators are so heavy that it is cumbersome to carry it around on your face. It is lightweight and definitely something that you can wear for a long time. Especially those of you who are wearing respirators due to your issues with the immune system or some sort allergy or asthma.
What Users Are Claiming to be Bad
Lots and lots of people are buying this. So, some are bound to have some issues with the product. Then again everything is imperfect so there has got to be some cons. Here aspects of the products that users seem to think of a disadvantage are discussed in brief.
The Plastic Buckle for the Strap
The plastic buckle for the strap is not as rigid as the rest of the mask is. Buyers have complained that this thing breaks within months after this was bought. If the buckle snaps then the respirator is as good as any other trash in your house. The buckles are what holds the strap to the respirator.
5. 3M 07193 Dual Cartridge Respirator Assembly
This respirator is NIOSH approved. This one is specially made for filtering solvent and different particulates. This thing is disposable and for the price it comes, this is what you should be expecting. Car painters who use this have no problem breathing with this thing even after working with this for a whole day.
What We Liked
It has all these advantages that make it perfect for use. No matter whether you will need a respirator for professional or personal use, this is definitely the one for you. It even comes at a very moderate about that you can’t just complain about.
Keeps the Odor Away
It can keep all those bad odors away. You will feel like that you are just breathing in fresh air from your backyard. The filter is of very high quality that along with all those dust it will filter away the odor too.
The filter on this thing is absolutely fantastic. It helps out a lot while working with volatile chemicals. The filter works out the chemicals so that you the user will not ever be harmed. You should be getting one of these respirators if you are working with chemicals and safety is your number one priority.
What Customers are Claiming to be Bad
Everything has their shortcomings. So, does this product. There is no debating around the fact that this is one of the promising respirators, especially for protection against those volatile chemicals.
You can’t change the cartridge of this thing which is really lame. If you can’t change the cartridge, that means this thing is only of one-time use. You won’t get to use it again by changing the cartridge. The fact that you won’t get to change the cartridge just gets to the nerve. For the price you will be paying for this, the replaceable cartridge is something that you will be expecting. This is just so lame.
The ventilation of this thing is really poor. It gets hard to breathe just after a couple of minutes. This is definitely something that a good respirator is supposed not to have.
6. 3M 6000 Series Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator
The 3M series of respirator is always a great seller. This one is really comfortable and convenient to use. It has all the prime features that you might want in a respirator. This respirator is NIOSH approved that means that you can count on the air purifying capacity of this thing. This is the ultimate protection against dust.
What We Liked
There are many features to like about this thing. Has a very few disadvantages. There is almost everything that you might just want in a respirator.
Fits Your Face Perfectly
This respirator fits the face perfectly. You will just have to get the one for your size. Getting the wrong one and complaining about it is completely ridiculous. Don’t go ahead to get the large one, cause you think that you are big. Even for 5 feet 150lb person, the small size fits perfectly.
This thing is very comfortable to wear. Does not give you much of a hassle to wear. For those of you who are hypersensitive to chemicals and have to wear it for a very long period of time. This is the one for you. The valve on this thing is really great and it does not get hot and humid in there. So, you will not be feeling uncomfortable while wearing one of these.
What Customers Are Claiming to be Bad
Overall this is a great mask. But some customers seem to have an issue with this.
Poor Quality of Straps
The poor quality of straps seems to be quite the issue for the user. The straps are made out of plastic. Which makes it non-elastic. So, it is quite disturbing at times. The straps are a bit chintzy.
This product does not come with some extra cartridges so you will have to buy them separately. This will cost a couple of extra dollars. So, that isn’t something that many users are willing to compromise on the price of this thing.
I am not even talking about a couple of extra filters. This thing does not come with any filters whatsoever. So, you will have to buy the filter, to begin with. This is a bit irritating for the price. Even if it is cheap.
7. SAS Safety 7650-61 Opti-Fit Full-face APR Respirator
Unlike the respirators I reviewed up until now, this one is not half facepiece. That means this mask will be covering your entire face. The silicone skirt on this thing offers great comfort and durability. The nose cup on this thing prevents fogging up. Many have claimed that this is one of the good respirators for painting.
What We Liked
This respirator is absolutely fantastic. People are loving it. So, let’s point out some of the reasons that you should obviously buy this.
Disposable Lens Cover
The lens cover is not permanent. You can change this whenever you need. At times the lens cover gets scratched. So, you will have to change the lens. If the lens is not disposable then you will have to dispose of the entire respirator. Besides the viewing area is really great.
The whole thing is rigid and really comfortable. The thing offers really great visibility. It protects your eyes and lungs simultaneously. Overall the respirator is really comfortable.
What Customers are Claiming to be Bad
There isn’t much to complain about this.
Can’t Wear Glasses
The disadvantage of wearing one of these full facepiece respirators is that you will not be able to wear your glasses
8. Miller Electric ML00895 Half Mask Respirator, M/L, Single Filter
Miller Electric is one of the best brands for various sort of hardware and tools. For those of you who have been working with wood and have gone through a couple of respirators already. This is the one for you because this will protect your lungs from all those dust. This is indeed the best respirator for welding.
The filter on this thing is absolutely fantastic. It will be keeping all of those cruds away from your sinuses. As an added bonus the latest filters come with a grid over the filter. So, when you will be adjusting this on your face, you will not be damaging the filter. Overall the setup and the quality of the filter definitely takes it to the league of some of the best filters out there.
Respirator for Welders
This is the respirator for the welders. This one fits perfectly under the welding hood or helmet. For some of you who has severe issues with allergy or immune system and has to wear a respirator while welding. This is definitely the one for them.
What Customers are Claiming to be Bad
Even though this one is a fantastic respirator it has some pros and cons to it.
Does Not Fit Under All Welding Helmets
This respirator does not fit under all welding helmets which is a bit disappointing. It is just not the perfect size to be used under all welding helmets.
Not the One for Metal Dust
This respirator does not filter all those metal dust while you are scraping which is just not something that you would expect from a Miller Electric Respirator.
Understanding Particulate Filters International Standard
As you might already have seen that some of the particulate filters come with labels saying that they are NIOSH approved. What NIOSH stands for is National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. What this organization does is that they perform a series of test to verify the quality of the particular particulate filter.
This institute has a series of test protocols to examine the effectiveness of the particulate filter. This is what they call Filtering Facepiece Respirators abbreviated as FFR.
Many of you might already have seen that some of the respirators are rated N95. What this means is that these masks are examined to have Ninety-Five percent efficiency. Similar is the case for P100 FFR. These masks are examined to have 99.97% efficiency.
When What Type of Respirator is Best
You can’t just buy one particular type of filter and use it for all purposes. As it has been mentioned earlier that every filter has some particular side that they specialize. For example, 3M 8511PB1-A- PS Particulate N95 Respirator is respirator which is made particularly for protection while sanding. Even though this one is made for sanding, it has 3 different editions each recommended for a particular type of sanding like one for sanding and fiberglass, one for Drywall Sanding and one for paint sanding.
There are some particular respirators which specialize in filtering unwanted chemicals which is a dire need for those working in a chemical factory. You never what you are breathing in at times while working in a factory.
At times you might need to worry about your eyes like what you are breathing in. That is when those full facepiece respirators come in.
These filters are best to be used in scenarios where you will be facing a lot of dust. These specialize in preventing the flow of minute particles through the respirator and hence the name Particulate Filter.
Full Facepiece Respirators
These respirators are particularly made for cases where you will be needing protection for both your eyes and face. These respirators are super good at their job. It seals perfectly does not let any air in. And the glasses are separated from the nose piece which prevents the fog.
How do Respirators Work?
A respirator has multiple levels of protection. There are a couple of stages that prevents the unwanted air to get in the mask.
First, there is the face seal. Most of the time the face seal is made up of silicone. Having a very good quality of face seal is very important. If it is not very comfortable when you can’t keep it on your face for too long. The face seal is what prevents the unwanted air to get in.
Secondly, there is the filter or cartridge or the filter. This one is the most fundamental part of a respirator. This is what filters the air and supplies the required fresh air. If this does not work as it is supposed to then the mask is as good as a trash.
Respirator Safety Tips
There are a couple of safety tips for wearing a respirator. While wearing a respirator make sure that you put the mask on that is donned properly. Again, while taking it off make sure that it is doffed properly. There are some clear sets of instruction as per this issue is given by the manufacturer in the manual. Make sure that you follow them.
There are ways in which you will do those safety checks and that is also instructed properly in the user manual. Doing in any other way without knowing properly just might do more harm than it does any good.
1. Are respirator cartridges interchangeable?
No, respirator cartridges are not interchangeable.
2. Are ventilator and respirator the same thing?
No, ventilator and respirator are not the same things.
3. How long are respirator filters good for?
Respirator filters are only good for a couple of days.
A respirator is a must for many occupations to prevent many occupational hazards like for welding safety. Not using any respirator will cause many diseases in the long run. Respirators have their pros and cons. Many respirators come with adjustable and elastic straps which is always a customer favorite.
The respirators on the market have been pointed out previously most of them work perfectly but like always they have their cons.