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Top 5 Best Welding Respirators: Buying Guide + Reviews

Without proper protection, welding can be an acutely dangerous craft to practice and can cause pressing health hazards, especially to one’s lungs considering the harmful fumes and gases that are constantly being produced during the process.

Such high-risk health problems can be completely avoided by investing in a high-quality welding respirator, and that’s exactly what we’re going to help you with in this article, so you may want to stick around as we’re about to reveal our picks for the best welding respirators on the market.

Best Welding Respirators in 2020

Without proper protection, welding can be an acutely dangerous craft to practice and can cause pressing health hazards, especially to one’s lungs considering the harmful fumes and gases that are constantly being produced during the process.

Such high-risk health problems can be completely avoided by investing in a high-quality welding respirator, and that’s exactly what we’re going to help you with in this article, so you may want to stick around as we’re about to reveal our picks for the best welding respirators on the market.

3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6501QL, Gases, Vapors, Dust, Small,Gray/Teal
241 Reviews
3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6501QL, Gases, Vapors, Dust, Small,Gray/Teal
  • Easy on and Off: Quick Latch Design Offers an Easy, One Hand Touch Drop Down Mechanism for Putting the Face Piece on and Off While Moving in and Out of Contaminated Areas
  • Comfortable: Adjustable Head Harness Assembly Promotes a Comfortable Fit With Three Size Adjustable Head Cradle; Long Lasting Polyester/Spandex Straps
  • Cool Comfort: Proprietary 3M Cool Flow Valve Is Designed for Easy Exhalation to Help Keep the Wearer More Comfortable
  • Durable: Resilient Silicone Face Seal Provides Comfort, Durability, and Stability With a Soft but Firm Seal; Keeps Its Shape in High Heat Environments
  • Low Profile: Half Facepiece Design Offers a Wide Field of View and Compatibility With Welding and Grinding Shields

Pros

Cons

If you’re looking for a high-quality welding respirator that will provide a great deal of safety and that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to buy, this half-mask reusable respirator from 3M Personal Protective Equipment will surely win you over. The unit is available in 3 sizing options, which are large, medium, and small. This ensures getting a perfectly-sized unit for maximum comfort.

This respirator utilizes a silicone face seal that’s extremely resilient. The seal helps prevent you from breathing in harmful fumes. Further, the unit is equipped with a cool-flow valve that allows the user to regulate the temperature to their liking. As a result, you won’t have to worry about sweating while wearing this respirator, even in poorly-ventilated work environments.

As you can probably from its name, this unit features a quick-latch mechanism that allows you to remove the cover without having to undo the straps, which helps save a lot of time. The great thing about this respirator is that it’s compatible with a wide range of filters, so you won’t need to worry about not finding the right filter for it. In addition, it’s OSHA-approved.

You may be wondering whether this respirator comes with its own set of tilers or not. Well, sadly, it doesn’t. You’ll have to buy a set of filters separately depending on the substances you’re going to need filtered. We highly recommend you check out the OSHA chart for masks in order to find out the perfect size for you. A medium-sized mask is going to fit most average-sized people.

GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 Dust Half Mask Respirator with replaceable and reusable filters included
1,791 Reviews
GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 Dust Half Mask Respirator with replaceable and reusable filters included
  • Range of extremely light masks (130g), that fit perfectly to the shape of the face, without hindering the user
  • A unique and low profile filter, designed to fit the contours of your face to give the user the an unobstructed field of vision
  • Low breathing resistance to reduce the risk of user fatigue and to add additional comfort, thanks to pleated HEPA filters
  • NIOSH Approved TC-84A-6949
  • Made from soft thermo-plastic elastomer that is hypo allergenic (without latex, silicone and odor free) with an easy to adjust head band

Pros

Cons

If there’s one word we can use to describe this respirator, it would be ‘versatile’. This mode is a perfect fit for a wide range of purposes. Not only that, but it’s extremely lightweight compared to other units on the market, making it one of the most comfortable respirators on our list. Also, it’s available at an affordable price tag, so you don’t have to worry about shelling out a lot of money.

Despite being a super lightweight respirator, the GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 still manages to be highly durable, thanks to the high-quality thermoplastic material used in its construction. It’s able to handle some serious knocks without being damaged, which is something that a lot of serious welders will appreciate because they won’t need to buy new respirators for a while.

This respirator is compatible with P100 filters, which you can easily find on the market. We’re quite fond of these types of tilers because they provide a great deal of protection and they do a superb job of preventing lung cancer. Additionally, this respirator is equipped with a non-return valve which allows for ease of breathing. It also allows you to control the moisture level.

Sadly, this respirator isn’t available in a variety of sizes. However, it’s neither small nor big, it sits right in the middle of the sizing chart, making it a perfect fit for average-sized individuals. It also features high convenient straps that you can comfortably adjust without picking your face. You’ll be pleased to know that this respirator comes with a set of P100 filters as well.

Breath Buddy Respirator Mask (Plus Safety Glasses) Reusable Professional Breathing Protection Against Dust, Pollen, Pesticides, and Organic Vapors - Perfect For Painters and DIY Projects
1,066 Reviews
Breath Buddy Respirator Mask (Plus Safety Glasses) Reusable Professional Breathing Protection Against Dust, Pollen, Pesticides, and Organic Vapors - Perfect For Painters and DIY Projects
  • GET EXTREME PROTECTION YET BREATHE WITH EASE: This professional breathing protection set successfully blocks all organic vapors and fumes, pollen, dust and any other particles in the air. Best part? It is surprisingly easy to breathe with very little resistance using this mask. After a few minutes you'll forget you're even wearing it.
  • REUSABLE MASK, A PAIR OF GLASSES, AND POWERFUL FILTERS: This mask can be used over and over again. Also when you buy this product, you get a nice pair of high quality glasses, a pair of organic gas/vapor cartridges, and a pair of particles filters. Talk about a value pack!
  • FITS PERFECTLY, IT'S COMFORTABLE AND STAYS COOL: The straps for the respirator are well-designed, and fit comfortably. It has a cool air valve, so you are not sweating like crazy in it.
  • CRYSTAL CLEAR VISION: You'll always have a clear vision, forget once and for all about foggy glasses and obscured vision no matter if you use our glasses (included in this package) or yours.
  • ZERO ODORS GUARANTEED: This mask will effectively eliminate any hint of organic chemical vapor or fumes while you wear it, or your money back.

Pros

Cons

Breath Buddy Respirator Mask is considered by many to be the ultimate breathing protection apparatus on the market, but is it? Let’s find out. The very first thing that stands out with this unit is that it’s capable of filtering a wide range of airborne particles and contaminants, from organic fumes and vapors to dust and pollen, providing ideal protection for your lungs.

This is a respirator that you can use over and over again. And the package doesn’t only include a respirator mask, it also includes a pair of high-quality glasses, a pair of filters for particles, and a pair of cartridges for gases/vapors. And the best thing about this whole pack is that it comes at a fairly affordable price tag for all budgets.

This respirator isn’t to be looked at as just a welding respirator. It’s an extremely versatile model that’s ideal for a wide range of situations and activities. Considering that it also filters out fumes, ammonia, EVA foam, petroleum-based vapor, fiber dust, varnish, and organic gases, we’d use this respirator in construction work, woodworking, torch cutting, and even pesticide activities.

In terms of comfort, this respirator features well-designed straps that allow it to fit comfortably on your face without pinching your skin. In addition, it’s equipped with a cool air valve so that you’re not sweating while you’re wearing it. And lastly, you don’t have to worry about foggy glasses, the glasses included in this package almost always provides great vision.

Sale
3M Personal Protective Equipment Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6700, Paint Vapors, Dust, Mold, Chemicals, Small
64 Reviews
3M Personal Protective Equipment Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6700, Paint Vapors, Dust, Mold, Chemicals, Small
  • ENHANCED COMFORT: Lightweight, well-balanced, full face respirator design and silicone face seal for enhanced comfort and durability.
  • BREATHE EASIER: 3M Cool Flow Valve helps provide cool, dry comfort.
  • DIRECTS EXHALED BREATH DOWNWARD: Unique center adapter directs exhaled breath and moisture downward.
  • LARGE LENS: Provides a wide field of view for excellent visibility. Integrated optical correction limits distortion as you look from left to right.
  • EASY CLEANING: Smooth surface allows for quick and easy cleaning.

Pros

Cons

The Reusable Respirator 6700 from 3M is a respirator that’s built like a tank. The mask itself is made of highly-resilient silicone, which doesn’t only provide good durability, but it also offers a great deal of comfort. Moreover, the cover is also built from highly durable materials that will last you for years. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the costly price tag this unit has.

One of the best attributes that this respirator boasts is that it’s equipped with an extra-large lens that offers users a broad view, allowing users to have a better view of what they’re working on. In addition, the unit is fairly easy to put together and ease. What’s more, you can easily switch between air-purifying and air-supplied modes while the respirator is working.

The 3M 6700 also features a center adapter that helps get rid of all exhaled vapor by pushing it downwards, which helps prevent it from getting the lens fogged. The unit is also equipped with a cold flow valve that helps make breathing easier and more comfortable. We’d also like to point out it’s a NIOSH-approved respirator, so you shouldn’t have any safety concerns.

This isn’t just an ideal respirator for welding, it’s also great for furnace, splash, laboratories, and chemical cleanup. We’ve also noticed that this model can be used comfortably with eyeglasses, but you must make sure that your glasses are thin enough so that they don’t mess with the fit. Lastly, this is a respirator that you’ll find super easy to clean and care for.

Sale
Miller Electric ML00895 Half Mask Respirator, M/L, Single Filter
451 Reviews
Miller Electric ML00895 Half Mask Respirator, M/L, Single Filter
  • Pleated filter design allows for greater surface area to ease breathing resistance.
  • Wrap-around spark guard protects filter media from sparks and other debris.
  • Ergonomic mask shape minimizes dead air space to keep user comfortable and cool.
  • Slim design allows mask to fit comfortably underneath welding helmets.
  • Made of medical grade materials that are odor free, non-allergenic, latex and silicone free.

Pros

Cons

While most respirators on the market offer reliable build quality and functionality, the filters that they use tend to always be in question. Well, the Miller Electric ML00895 Half Mask breaks out of that mold because it’s utilized for the market’s top-tier filters, which allows it to deliver a great deal of protection. This is also a great respirator for welders that wear prescription glasses.

The size of this unit can be adjusted to your liking, thanks to the presence of 2 head straps that ensure a tight and comfortable seal. Moreover, it features a thermoplastic elastomer gasket that adds to the comfort factor and prevents you from sweating while working. Further, the respirator is designed in such a way that it helps keep moisture at a minimum to prevent irritation.

We noticed that there are no filters included with this product. However, you’ll find that it comes with 2 cartridges. The first cartridge functions as a filter and the second one functions as an inlet valve. You can forget about all the breathing problems you’ve encountered with other respirators that you’ve used in the past, as this model features an exhaust valve that helps with breathing.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind, however. Firstly, you need to know that this is a respirator that only works well against dust and airborne particles, so it won’t really do you any good against chemical fumes and gases. In addition, some users reported that this respirator doesn’t really fit well with hoods. All in all, a great filter for breathing in particle-free air.

The Verdict

Your safety and well-being should be your number priority in all work environments, and that’s especially important for welders since they’re prone to breathing in hazardous fumes and gases. Hopefully, one of the above-mentioned respirators has met your needs and budget. We’d like for you to share with us which one of the above-mentioned products you think is the best.

How Do Welding Respirators Work?

There are two main methods that welding respirators operate on. The first method is through the use of chemicals to filter and purify the air from any harmful particles. And the second method is through the use of an external air source. There are, of course, more specific aspects that come into play, and they all really boil down to the actual type of welding respirator at hand.

Let’s examine air-supplying respirators, for example. This type of respirator provides clean air to its user with the aid of a remote source of compressed air. Think of this type as a self-contained apparatus that comes with its own air supply. Particulate respirators, on the other hand, work by offering protection from harmful particles like dust. They’re more geared towards low hazards.

There are a great many types of respirators on the market today. And no matter the kind of work that you do, you’re likely going to find a respirator that’s perfect for the job. However, you should keep in mind that each type utilizes a different method of supplying clean air and your choice of which type to go for is to be made based on how dangerous your work environment is.

Types of Welding Respirators

We’ve already covered the general idea of how most respirators function in the previous section of the article, but we’d like to discuss it more thoroughly so that you can make a sound decision when it’s time to buy one. Here are the types of respirators that you can find on the market:

Full-Mask Respirators

Full-mask or full-face respirators offer full coverage over the user’s face. This type of respirators ideal protection from harmful particles in the air, as well as fumes and toxic gases. Most models that fall under this category tend to be equipped with face shields that keep your face and eyes protected from contaminants. This type tends to be compatible with NIOSH-approved filters.

Half-Mask Respirators

Half-mask respirators are respirators that are designed to cover a certain portion of the face and that are tight-fitting. To be more specific, half-mask models tend to cover the area from the nose to the chin. What do they protect the user from? Well, they’re perfect when it comes to providing protection against the fumes and gases that are released during the welding process.

There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind when picking out a half-mask model. Firstly, the respirator needs to sit tightly on your face in order to work effectively. Secondly, you must inspect whether it’s going to offer enough protection in your hazardous work environment or not. Generally speaking, half-mask respirators tend to offer an APF rating of 10.

Powered Air-Purifying Respirators

There are many different things that come into play in powered air-purifying models. These units tend to feature a hose that can be connected to a helmet, which is highly convenient for welding purposes. In addition, they tend to feature a blower that helps deliver air to the filter that’s inside the unit. As a result, you’re always provided with high-quality, clean air.

Powered air-purifying respirators are considered by many as some of the best respirators on the market due to the fact that they don’t just offer partial face coverage, but they protect your entire face, which is something that you as a professional or part-time welder should seek out. Further, this type is especially great because the air it provides is cool and easily breathable.

You need to keep in mind, however, powered air-purifying models don’t really come cheap. And we’re not just talking about the initial investment, powered air-purifying units require filters and cartridges in order to work ideally. You should also be mindful when choosing the right filters and cartridges for the contaminants that you’re exposed to in your work environment.

Disposable Respirators

If you’re someone that often wears a welding helmet during the process of welding, you should give disposable respirators some consideration because they’re constructed from thin materials that are super lightweight and comfortable to wear under a helmet. The great thing about having a disposable respirator is that you don’t need to clean it. Simply use it and get rid of it.

However, when it comes to the level of protection that this type of respirator provides, it’s a little subpar compared to its competition. Not only that, but they usually come with sizing issues, and that can be a problem because it can allow fumes and particles to get through it. Moreover, such models don’t have a great lifespan and tend to get loaded very quickly.

Reusable Respirators

If buying a welding respirator that you’ll end up discarding after a day in your workshop sounds like a bad bargain, then you may want to consider buying a reusable respirator instead. As you might have guessed, this type of respirator can be used more than once. However, you’ll need to replace the equipped filter whenever it gets dirty to ensure optimal performance.

Most reusable respirators feature an exterior that’s built from durable textile materials, which is why they have a greater lifespan than their disposable counterparts. And the great thing about these models is that they’re just as lightweight as disposable units and they don’t really obstruct your movement. They’re also easy to use and they provide great coverage and fit.

But just like all respirator types, there are things that you need to be mindful of if you want to get the most out of your reusable respirator. Firstly, you’ll need to check on the filters within the unit on a regular basis to ensure that they’re not in need of replacement. In addition, we recommend that the unit doesn’t get loaded quickly so that its protective abilities don’t deteriorate.

Selecting the Right Welding Respirator

Whether welding is something that you do for a living or just a part-time job, it’s prerequisite that you invest in a high-quality respirator before partaking in the craft to ensure your safety from the contaminants and noxious particles being released in the air during the process. Here are a few things to consider that will help you get the best bang for your buck:

Work Environment

The first thing you need to consider before spending your money on a welding respirator is your workspace and the type of contaminants and harmful particles you tend to be exposed to while welding. This will help you pick a respirator that’s appropriate for your situation. Further, it’s vital to inspect the ventilation in your area and base your decision accordingly to avoid overheating.

Assuming that your work environment is one that exposes you to a lot of heavy fumes, your best bet would be a powered air-purifying respirator because it will provide you with clean air from an external source, preventing you from breathing in those harmful fumes and gases. If you’re only exposed to fumes scarcely, you can go with a disposable or reusable respirator.

Build Quality

Inspecting the build quality of any product you buy is imperative to ensure its durability. Buying a cheap respirator with low build quality will not give you the durability you need as far as welding is concerned, which is why you should consider buying a high-quality respirator instead so that it can withstand greater deals of abuse and last you for a longer period of time.

After you’re done inspecting the build quality of the welding respirator’s exterior, it’s time to look at the internal components through which you can change the filters. This step is crucial since a lot of models on the market tend to boast rugged exteriors but very fragile internal components. Another thing you want to do is make sure that it features thick straps to ensure its resilience.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure that the entire unit is solid. If one of the respirator’s components gets damaged, the whole unit is going to be rendered useless and you’ll have to buy another one, so make sure that your money is well spent on a quality model. And if you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to go for a reusable model, rather than a disposable one.

Comfortable Fit

Obviously, the last thing you want is a respirator that will slow down your work, especially if this is something that you do for a living. It’s important to make sure that the respirator you’re about to buy sits comfortably on your face. Think about it, you’ll likely be wearing your respirator for a long period of time, and if it’s not very comfortable, you’ll end up with a poor experience at work.

When we speak of comfort, we’re not just talking about the fit of the respirator, we’re also talking about whether you can breathe in and out comfortably while wearing it. In order to make sure that the respirator you’re going to buy will always provide ideal comfort, you need to make sure that it features an adjustable strap that will allow you to modify its fit to your liking.

Another thing you need to make sure of when shopping for a respirator is that it needs to feature an ergonomic design, as it will add to the comfort factor significantly. Keep in mind that if you’re comfortable while working, your productivity will increase and the results of your work are likely to be a lot better. Not to mention that a great fit will ensure greater safety.

Filtration Unit

Inspecting the type of filter that’s equipped within the respirator you’re about to buy is one of the most important steps that you need to make before finalizing your purchase decision. You must keep in mind that not all filters are compatible with any type of respirators, so it’s your job to find a filter that’s designed for the specific respirator that you’re about to buy.

And like we’ve already mentioned, it’s crucial that you check the build quality of the filter and all its components, making sure that they’re highly durable. Luckily, most respirators are equipped with their own filtration units, so compatibility won’t be something you need to worry about at all. You must, however, inspect the unit’s effectiveness and sturdiness