Best Welding Respirators In 2020 – Reviews With Buying Guide

We have been hearing from a lot of readers that they want to know what the best welding respirators are. We asked professional welders and instructors if they could advise us on this subject.

The professionals we spoke to had several respirators that they recommended for use while welding.

They considered the comfort of the respirator as well as the efficiency it had. 

Best Welding Respirators

This is understandable because a respirator that is uncomfortable will not be worn no matter how well it performs.

The following respirators were the top picks of the professionals and instructors that we consulted. They are not listed in any particular order. No matter either you are using a pipeline welding machine or MIG welder a respirator is necessary for your purpose. 

Best Welding Respirators Reviews 2020

1. Shark 14417 Welding Fume Respirator

This respirator is lightweight and comfortable to wear. It weighs less than one pound, about 13.6 ounces. You can work in it for long periods of time without feeling uncomfortable.

Shark 14417 Welding Fume Respirator

The respirator measures 6 inches x 6 inches x 3 inches. It is a half mask so it can be worn with your welding helmet. It has two metal fume cartridges that make it ideal for anyone who is welding, grinding, or cutting metal components. It is designed to have the Shark 14419 metal fume cartridges used as replacement cartridges.

The metal fume cartridges are positioned on either side of the nose piece. They angle outwards so they do not interfere with your line of vision while you are working.

The respirator will effectively trap small particles of metal and contaminants that can be introduced into the air while you are welding, doing grinding procedures, or cutting metal.

Normally those particles would be breathed in and they would settle in your nasal passages or travel into your lungs causing respiratory distress and discomfort. This respiratory aid will help you to be safer and feel better at the end of the day.

2. YLOVOW Respirator Dust Mask Paint Mask

This respirator is made up of food-grade silicone materials for your protection and comfort. The silicone materials are softer than many other materials so they do not irritate your face and they are more comfortable to wear. The elasticized silicone straps allow you to create a custom fit for your face.

Many respirators are hot when you wear them, but this unit has a front flow valve that reduces the heat and moisture you are exposed to. This feature will allow you to breathe more freely and will reduce the instances of fatigue caused by shallow breathing.

This half-face respirator is recommended for individuals who are painting, using chemical components that strip paint, chemicals that polish metals and other items, welding, grinding or plasma cutting.

The mask is reusable and the filter boxes can be removed and replaced so you always have the perfect amount of filtration and protection.

The silicone materials create a lightweight mask that is comfortable and durable. The position of the respirator filter boxes will not interfere with your line of sight. This mask will increase your safety and improve the quality of the air you are breathing while you are working.

3. Scott Half Face Mouth Cover Reusable Respirator

This half-mask respirator is smaller and less bulky than most of the half-mask respirators. You can comfortably wear this mask while you are wearing your welding hood and the respirator filter containers will not interfere with your helmet.

Scott Half Face Mouth Cover Reusable Respirator

The exhaust valve for the unit has been purposely placed so you can exhale easier and the air you exhale will be quickly removed. This makes the unit cooler to wear because the heat of a respirator is caused by your warm breath. You will breathe easier and stay cooler wearing this device.

It has a contoured sealing flange that will comfortably sit against your face to provide the best fit possible. The flange is designed to eliminate pressure points and provide you with a comfortable fit. The straps for the respirator are fully adjustable so you can customize the fit and have the device make the best seal on your face.

It is recommended for use by people who are welding, cutting metal, sanding metal or wood, doing general manufacturing work, painting, and many other jobs. The respirator is available in sizes small, medium and large so you can easily find a unit that fits perfectly on your face size and shape.

4. Beinil Half Face Gas Masks with Respirators

This respirator mask is small and creates a low profile. It has one centralized air filtration that is positioned to point straight away from the face. This design allows the mask to be worn more comfortably. It includes protective eyewear that seals around your eyes so no dust or foreign matter can get into your eyes while you work.

Beinil Half Face Gas Masks with Respirators

It has a silicone breathing valve that allows you to breathe easily while you are wearing the device. It can effectively filter out small dust particles, fine mists created by chemicals and fumes from paints, solvents, and chemicals you may be exposed to.

It has fully adjustable straps that allow you to create the perfect fit for your head and face. It is lightweight and weighs only 11.4 ounces. It improves your breathing and that improves your oxygen concentration so you feel less fatigue and general malaise while you are working.

It is designed to be used by people who are doing smelting, painting, welding procedures, plasma cutting, grinding, construction, working around pesticides, working around solvents and chemicals, or any other task that exposes you to contaminants in the air you are breathing.

5. MSA Advantage(TM) 200 Half Mask

This is a lightweight respirator that is comfortable to wear and will provide you with complete protection. The rubber of the mask is a thermoplastic that is soft and does not cause discomfort or irritation to the face of the wearer.

The device has a specialized curve design so it rests comfortably on the contours of your face and provides a greater seal to keep contaminants out. It has adjustable straps to further customize the fit on your face.

It is a half-mask so you can wear it with other devices like welding hoods, safety glasses, and goggles. It is a low profile so the filter boxes do not interfere with your vision. You will be able to see clearly and be safer while you work.

It can be effective for people with allergies to wear while they cut their grass, people who are welding, cutting or grinding metal, as well as people sanding wood or metal, auto-body workers, people working around chemicals and people who are working around pesticides.

Wearing this mask will improve the quality of the air you breathe. It will reduce your chances of getting sick or having breathing complications.

How to choose the best respirator for welding?

There are many factors that you should consider before you buy a respirator. You want to make sure that you get a device that is designed to protect you according to the jobs you are doing. Consider the following things about the respirators to help you determine which one to buy.

Filtration Features

The main reason for wearing a respirator mask is to stop contaminants in the air from being breathed in. This is done by passing the air through a filter before you breathe it. The filters are your safety feature so you want to make sure the respirator you buy has the best filtrations system possible.

Some masks come with only one filter and others have two or more filters. The number of filters needed increases when you are working with more hazardous solvents and fumes.

Comfort

The perfect mask is one that is comfortable to wear. If the mask is comfortable you can do your work and it will not bother you. If the mask is uncomfortable then you will be frustrated by it as you try to work and you will be less likely to wear it while you work.

You want a mask that quickly removes exhaled breath so you are cooler. The heat of the mask is the biggest discomfort that people report.

You also want a mask made from softer materials. The softer materials will conform better around your face and they cause less skin irritation. Thermoplastic materials and soft silicone also allow the mask to be lighter.

Size and Customization

Every human is a different size and we all have faces that are different sizes. To be certain that your mask is going to protect you completely you must consider the size and the ability to customize the fit.

Some respirators come in one size should fit most people design. You want a respirator that comes in a small, medium and large design so you can be sure that the mask will fit comfortably on your face. If the mask is too large it will sit too high above your nose and will not seal. If the mask is too small it will sit across the bridge of your nose and create pressure points that are painful.

The straps that fasten the mask also increase the amount of customization that you have. You want to buy a mask that has straps that are fully adjustable. You want to be able to get the perfect fit and adjusting the strap that holds the unit in place is the best way to get that fit.

Filter Replacement

You want to buy a mask that allows you to replace the filter cartridges easily. You have probably changed the filter on your air conditioning unit before. You know that as the air comes through the filter traps particles of dust and dirt and becomes clogged by those particles. You want a filter that is either washable or can be totally replaced so you always have the best filtration and have less obstruction that can reduce your ability to breathe freely.

FAQs

Q. Do welders need to wear respirators?

You can weld without wearing a respirator. The respirator is designed to stop particles of fine metal dust, chemical mists, and harsh fumes from entering your airway. If you reduce the number of contaminants that you breathe in then you will increase your ability to breathe, and that will reduce your fatigue, headaches, and upper respiratory issues.

Q. What type of respirator should I use for welding?

You need to use a respirator that is a low profile half-mask device. You want something that you can wear while you are wearing your welding hood. You do not need a respirator with attached safety goggles. The best design for welding is the single air filter design that has the filter face forward just over the mouth.

Q. What type of respirator should I use for welding galvanized steel?

You want to wear a respirator mask that is half-face coverage so you can wear your welding hood. The filter of the mask needs to have at least a P2 rating so it can filter out the fumes, and particles created when you weld galvanized materials. The P2 filters are designed to reduce the exposure you may have when metal fumes or present like when you weld stainless steel, aluminum, or galvanized steel. They also help reduce or eliminate nuisance odors and toxic fumes from solvents and chemicals in the air.

Q. Do you need a respirator for TIG welding?

You can weld without wearing a respirator, even if you are doing TIG welding. For safety reasons you should be wearing a respirator when you are welding. When you weld fine particles of the metal are dispersed into the air and you breathe those particles in.

Those fine pieces of metal can be passed through your airways and become lodged in your lungs. You can suffer from breathing complications, respiratory issues like coughing and difficulty breathing, and serious issues that require hospitalization and treatment. Always wear a respirator when you can because your health is more important than anything else.

Final Note

A lot of welders do not wear respirator masks while they weld. This is a dangerous practice that can lead to breathing complications and respiratory health issues. The masks are designed to keep you safe and keep you healthier.

Older masks were often hot and uncomfortable. They were bulky and heavy, and most welders found them to be constraining. The new respirator masks available today are lighter, they are less restrictive, and they are better at filtering out any contaminant that does not need to get to your lungs.

Richard Boyer
 

Richard wants to educate you, inform you, and prepare you to make the best decision you can concerning welding related items.

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