When working with wood in any respect, it is important to wear a respirator, which will block sawdust and other fine wood particles from being inhaled. Most residential areas do not have proper ventilation or dust collection systems in place. Even if you use a shop vac, it still expels most of the fine dust that it pulls in.
We’ve got some quick tips and things to consider as you look to purchase a respirator.
We know what you’re thinking. Respirators are uncomfortable, they restrict movement and breathing. If these thoughts match yours, its probably because you are currently using a low quality, ill-fitting respirator. The truth is, a high quality, properly fitting respirator becomes basically unnoticeable to the wearer.
There are many types of respirators, with different levels of coverage, depending on your particular environment and the type of wood you’ll be using.
Disposable respirators are best used for intermittent wear, they offer essentially the same amount of protection as a reusable respirator. The trouble comes, however, when you begin reusing disposable respirators. You’ll have to continually re-adjust the thin straps to ensure that the respirator fits properly, which becomes quite a nuisance.
A reusable half-face respirator is one of the most common and economical options. This respirator can be adjusted to a proper fit and can be worn comfortably for hours. As it says in the name, this respirator will only cover half of the face: the mouth and nose.
Our favorite reusable half-face respirator is the GVS Elipse P100 respirator. We love this respirator because it is lightweight, comfortable, and the filters keep out 99.97% of airborne particles.
A full-face respirator is for more intense, heavy duty jobs where you need to shield your face from potential debris. This type of respirator also offers a more accurate fit and a more stable fit. It can also be worn for hours at a time with comfort.
It is always a good idea to invest in a proper respirator to protect yourself from inhaling dangerous sawdust and small pieces of wood debris, which can be severely detrimental to your health.