Best Welding Respirator To Keep You Safe

May 3, 2021

Top 5 Picks for the Best Welding Respirator To Keep You Safe

Award Product Image Product Title Price Buy
#1 Best Overall 3M Rugged Comfort...image 3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6501QL, Gases, Vapors, Dust, Small $18.99
#2 Runner-Up 3M Half Facepiece...image 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6300, Gases, Vapors, Dust, Paint, Cleaning, Grinding, Sawing, Sanding, Welding, Large $15.49
#3 Alternative Miller ML00895 Lpr-100...image Miller ML00895 Lpr-100 Respirator W/Filters, Medium/Large by Miller Electric $39.00
#4 Alternative 3M Half Facepiece...image 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Assembly 6391/07003(AAD), Large, P100 Respiratory Protection 051131070030 $24.76

Welding respirators can be the difference between life and death. 

The welding process can release many dangerous gases, chemicals, particles, and fumes that can pose serious health risks if you inhale them. 

Welding Respirators Review
man wearing respirator mask

Respirators will filter dangerous particles and clean the air as you breathe it in. Wearing a respirator can prevent many health effects, such as a variety of cancers and organ damage. 

When choosing a respirator, there are a few factors you should look for, such as comfort, weight, and field of vision. You should also make sure that you can wear it under a welding helmet and that it is certified. 

If you are relatively new to welding or are choosing a respirator for the first time, the number of options on the market can seem overwhelming. 

Fortunately, this guide will cover the best welding respirators to keep you safe. 

By the end of this article, you will know what respirator will be best suited for you and your workplace.  

Our Reviews Of The Best Welding Respirator for 2021

#1: BEST OVERALL: 3M Rugged Comfort Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 

3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Review

The 3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6501QL, Gases, Vapors, Dust, Small is a high-quality product that is both convenient and comfortable to wear. 

Its one-touch mechanism allows you to easily flip the respirator on and off while walking through the workplace. 

The respirator also covers only half the face, so it is compatible with many welding goggles and shields. You will also be able to exhale with ease since it has a 3M cool flow valve.

Benefits 

  • Easy to turn on and off with its one-touch mechanism
  • It keeps you cool and comfortable with the 3M cool flow valve
  • Built with durable materials (resilient silicone)
  • Adjustable head straps

Drawbacks

  • The silicone is a bit stiff and can be uncomfortable for some users

Extra Features

  • You won’t have to remove your face shield to raise or lower the respirator 
  • Protects in workplaces for concentrations that are 10x the PEL (permissible exposure limit)
  • Can withstand extreme conditions (high heat)
  • You can wear the mask for hours 

Buying Advice 

This is the best respirator for welding stainless steel. If you are looking for a comfortable, adjustable, and convenient respirator, this will be a great choice. 

Since the valve cover directs moisture and your breath downwards instead of upwards, you will not experience any major fogging. 

You also won’t have to worry about if the mask will fit you or not; it comes with an adjustable harness and spandex head straps that will fit just about any size of head.

Even if you work in extreme temperatures like high heat, this mask will last you a long time. The respirator functions well in a variety of extreme conditions and will have a long life. 

Featured Specs

  • Material: Polyester
  • Style: Half Facepiece
  • Color: Gray/Teal

#2: RUNNER-UP: 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6300

3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6300 Review

The 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6300, Gases, Vapors, Dust, Paint, Cleaning, Grinding, Sawing, Sanding, Welding, Large is a lightweight and comfortable respirator. 

The piece has adjustable straps that you can customize to fit perfectly to your head. This respirator is also very durable and will last a long time.

Another great thing about this respirator is that it is reusable. You can disassemble it, which allows you to clean all of the individual pieces easily. The kit comes with a storage bag to keep the respirator pieces in until you use it again.

Benefits 

  • You can disassemble the respirator 
  • It is reusable
  • It prevents the wearer from inhaling harmful chemicals
  • You can easily wear it with other safety equipment like goggles and face masks

Drawbacks

  • You must purchase the filters and cartridges separately
  • The mask is a bit small and can lead to pain near the nose and jaw

Extra Features

  • Compatible with 3M bayonet filters and cartridges 
  • Approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (OHSA)
  • Adjustable straps
  • Soft and comfortable material

Buying Advice

The 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator is great for those looking for a comfortable and sturdy fit. 

This respirator is compatible with both 3M filters and cartridges, so you can choose the product you prefer.

The mask is also small enough to work with facemasks, goggles, and other face equipment you may be wearing. 

Furthermore, the manufacturers designed this respirator so that the cartridges sit further back and away from the face. The position of the cartridges will increase the wearer’s visibility and balance while wearing the mask. 

Featured Specs

  • Material: Thermoplastic Elastomer
  • Style: Half Facepiece 
  • Color: Gray

#3: ALTERNATIVE: Miller ML00895 Lpr-100 Respirator

Miller ML00895 Lpr-100 Respirator Review

The Miller ML00895 Lpr-100 Respirator W/Filters, Medium/Large by Miller Electric, is a tight-fitting respirator that comes with filters. 

With its low profile design, you can wear protective face and eyewear with the respirator. The design also does not cut off your field of vision at all. 

The miller welding respirator is not bulky; it has a sleek design that will be comfortable to wear. Just because the mask is comfortable does not mean it lacks efficiency. This Miller respirator is very effective and will filter out harmful toxins. It is the best respirator for welding. 

Benefits

  • Will fit under a welding helmet
  • Adjustable straps 
  • Ergonomic design
  • Will prevent the wearer from rebreathing exhaled air 
  • Filters up to 99.97% of airborne particles

Downsides

  • Might need to change the filter every two or three weeks

Extra Features

  • The filter will last a long time, even in humid climates
  • Made of medical-grade materials
  • It has an extra layer of carbon that will remove organic vapor odors 

Buying Advice

If you are looking for a lightweight and slim-fitting respirator, this will be a great choice. The Miller ML00895 Lpr-100 Respirator is the best-rated air-purifying respirator with welding helmet. 

The wrap-around spark guard will protect the filters from any debris or splatter. Furthermore, the mask has P100 filters. 

No matter what climate or working conditions you weld in, this mask will hold up. It is made from durable materials and will not deteriorate. 

Featured Specs

  • Material: Various (medical grade materials, latex, and silicone-free, non-allergenic)
  • Style: Half Facepiece 
  • Color: Magenta

#4: ALTERNATIVE: 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Assembly

3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Assembly Review

The 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Assembly 6391/07003(AAD), Large, P100 Respiratory Protection is the best 3m particulate respirator for welding aluminum. 

Since this is a half-facepiece respirator, you will easily be able to fit a welding helmet over it. It is very lightweight and comfortable, which will work great for long hours in the shop. 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has also approved the 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator for use in areas with oil and non-oil particles, making it one of the best welding respirators to keep you safe. 

Benefits

  • Comfortable and convenient 
  • Lightweight
  • Filters are removable
  • 3M particulate filter

Downsides

  • Not as comfortable as other products for long-term use
  • You will have to replace the filters every so often 

Extra Features

  • It comes with two P100 particulate filters
  • Good for welding, torch cutting, brazing, soldering, metal pouring
  • Protects from asbestos, arsenic, and cadmium
  • Easy to adjust straps

Buying Advice

One of the best 3m welding respirators, this product will fit under any welding gear you need to wear, such as goggles, full-face masks, or helmets. 

The lightweight and soft material will be comfortable to wear for long days at the shop. You will also be able to replace the filters with 3m filters that are NIOSH approved.

This product will be one of the best welding respirators to keep you safe since it filters several dangerous toxins such as arsenic, asbestos, and cadmium. 

Lastly, this product comes from a globally recognized science company that has been in the industry for over a century. You will not be disappointed by the quality. 

Featured Specs

  • Material: Thermoplastic Elastomer 
  • Style: Half Facepiece Reusable
  • Color: Black

#5: ALTERNATIVE: NASUM M201 Reusable Half Face Cover

NASUM M201 Reusable Half Face Cover Review

The Reusable Half Face Cover, NASUM M201 Face Cover, Paint Face Cover for Painting, Machine Polishing, Welding, and Other Work Protection is the best respirator for welding fumes. 

Made of high-quality silicone, this respirator will feel soft and comfortable on your skin. This respirator also has adjustable straps and belts that you can customize to fit.

You also won’t experience any fogging at all with its anti-fog technology. This product will also be a great option for those who want to reuse the respirator since you can replace the filters. 

Benefits

  • Reusable 
  • It comes with two extra filters
  • Works well for soldering 
  • Lightweight and comfortable 

Downsides

  • You will need to replace the filters every 1-3 weeks
  • Assembly required

Extra Features

  • Made of food-grade silicone
  • The filter box will not install if you don’t properly set up the flow valve 
  • Soft face cover
  • You can adjust the wearing angle 

Buying Advice

This is the best respirator mask for welding. It is lightweight enough to fit well under your helmet, goggles, or face mask. 

You will not have any trouble breathing with this product. It has an optimal air circulation design that will keep toxic air particles out. 

Furthermore, this respirator provides a very tight seal that is also comfortable. With its dual filtration system, it will be the best respirator to keep you safe. 

This product is also one of the best deals on the list. The package comes with the respirator, two filter boxes, two plastic covers, and four cotton filters. Right off the bat, you will have enough materials to last you about four to six weeks. 

Featured Specs

  • Material: Silicone
  • Style: Half Facepiece Reusable
  • Color: Black

Welding Respirator FAQ 

Do Welding Respirators Work?

about welding respirators

While there are a few different kinds of welding respirators, they all work well at protecting welders from harmful particles and chemicals. 

When you work with metals at high temperatures, the process can release certain fumes and smoke. 

Welding respirators cover your mouth and nose. Their main job is to prevent welders from inhaling dangerous chemicals such as gases, particles, fumes, or other toxins in the air. 

There are a few different types of welding respirators, and all of them work. 

The most frequently used respirators for welding are chemical cartridge respirators and powered air-purifying respirators. However, there are also particulate respirators that are less popular in the welding industry. 

Our list consisted of chemical cartridge respirators. 

The most common particulate respirator is the N-95 mask. These masks do not protect against fumes or gases. They only protect against particles in the air. Due to this reason, these masks will not work well for welding. 

Chemical cartridge respirators will clean the air as you breathe it in. The respirator will remove any harmful chemicals and will protect you from fumes, gases, and smoke, as well as harmful particles. 

Chemical respirators sometimes come with removable or replaceable filters. These filters are what protect you from the particles in the air. The filters will remove the chemicals/particles from the air as you breathe it in. 

These masks are on the cheaper side regarding price and normally cover only half of your face. Welders should wear these masks beneath their welding helmets. 

Powered air-purifying respirators work similarly to chemical cartridge respirators. These respirators must contain batteries that are fully charged for them to work. 

These masks will cover the whole face, including your eyes, nose, and mouth. The respirators have small fans inside of them that draw the outside air in through the filter. 

The filters on powered air-purifying masks work similarly to the filters on chemical cartridge respirators. 

With that being said, for welding respirators to work properly, you need to make sure you use suitable filters. To do this, you will have to be aware of what kind of dangerous chemicals are present in your workplace and their concentration. 

If you use them properly, most welding respirators have an efficiency level of over 95%. 

Should You Wear a Mask While Welding?

Depending on the circumstance, you should wear a mask while welding. 

Experts recommend welding respirators when your workplace cannot efficiently ventilate the area to remove certain fumes, gases, or harmful chemicals. 

Welders should also wear a respirator when they experience oxygen deficiency. This event could happen if welders are working in confined, closed areas. 

The first option that many workplaces choose over respirators is ventilation systems. Many workplaces will install ventilation systems to replace dirty, toxic air with clean air. 

However, if your workplace does not have adequate ventilation systems, you will need to wear a respirator. 

Welding can release several dangerous welding fumes that contain silicates, fluorides, and metallic oxides. Furthermore, other chemicals such as rust inhibitors, paint, solvents, and any other coatings on metal can be dangerous to inhale. 

According to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers must ventilate a minimum area of 2000 cubic feet per welder per minute. If your workplace does not follow this regulation, you should wear a respirator to stay safe. 

There are a few ways to find out if your workplace has an adequate ventilation system. 

First of all, you can ask your employer to take you on a walk-around of the workplace and ask them to show you where the ventilation systems are and how they work. 

Another option is to refer to the Occupational Health and Safety Act rules. Review the guidelines, and ensure that your workplace is following them. If you notice that your workplace is not following the rules regarding ventilation, take it up with your supervisor and wear a respirator until the problem is solved.

Finally, it is your responsibility to be familiar with all of the safety policies in your workplace. These policies are in place to keep you safe. 

Even if your workplace has an adequate ventilation system, certain things can negate its effects, such as too many welders working at the same time or workers operating machinery in non-designated areas. 

To conclude, you should always wear a respirator while welding if you are not certain that your workplace follows the safety policies or the guidelines put in place by OHSA. 

What Is the Best 3M Respirator?

worker with 3m respirator

On our list, the best 3M respirator is the 3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6501QL.

Some other options include the 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Assembly 6391/07003(AAD) and the 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6300. 

3M is a science company with a team of researchers and scientists working to create products for various industries. 

One of their main products is 3M respirators. 

3M respirators use particulate filters to filter out harmful particles. Since the respirator is a chemical cartridge respirator, it will also protect the wearer from inhaling dangerous gases, fumes, and chemicals.

The best 3M respirators will have a tight fit, be easy to put on, and feel comfortable enough to wear for hours. 

All of the above 3M respirators are reusable. Reusable respirators allow you to change the filters every few weeks. 

Furthermore, you can choose your own filters with these respirators. Welders work in a variety of different environments. These environments will pose different dangers and have different levels of certain fumes, chemicals, and particles. 

With a 3M respirator, you can choose the filter that is best for your work environment. This is why they are the best welding respirators to keep you safe.

What Happens if You Don’t Wear a Mask While Welding? 

welder without mask

If you don’t wear a mask in a well-ventilated workplace, you will be fine. 

However, if you don’t wear a mask in an area that does not have adequate ventilation, you could experience some negative health issues. These health issues could lead to an uncomfortable few days, hospitalization, or even death. 

The main thing that could cause severe long-term health issues is welding fumes. Welding fumes can contain several dangerous chemicals and metals, including arsenic, aluminum, beryllium, manganese, lead, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen fluoride, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide gases. 

Some short-term issues that welding fumes can lead to include dizziness, nausea, and eye, throat, and nose irritation. 

Some more serious, long-term effects could result from prolonged welding fume exposure. These are larynx, urinary tract and lung cancer, and kidney damage. 

Some other chronic injuries include damage to the central nervous system and Parkinson’s disease. Chemicals such as carbon dioxide, argon, and helium could also lead to suffocation risks. 

Metal fume fever is the most common short-term condition that welders experience when they do not wear respirators or work in a well-ventilated area. 

The main symptoms are reminiscent of influenza: fever, muscle aches, chills, dizziness, and nausea. The condition mostly appears when workers inhale fumes related to copper, cadmium, and zinc (zinc being the most common). 

To prevent adverse health effects related to metal fumes, make sure always to have adequate ventilation. If you are not wearing a respirator, your workplace should have a local exhaust ventilation system. 

Furthermore, even if you are working outside, wearing a respirator will be ideal. Never weld in a confined space that does not have ventilation. 

Lastly, try to clean the metal surfaces you weld beforehand. This action will remove any coatings that could lead to dangerous fumes or gases. 

Conclusion

Welding respirators are essential to staying safe in the workplace. 

They will filter out harmful particles and rid the air you breathe of toxic fumes or gases. 

The best overall respirator on our list was the 3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6501QL, Gases, Vapors, Dust, Small. 

If you are looking for NIOSH-certified masks, check out The 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6300 or the 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator Assembly 6391/07003(AAD).

The Miller ML00895 Lpr-100 Respirator W/Filters will be the best welding respirator to keep you safe if you want a mask that you can change the filters on. 

If you want a reusable and comfortable mask, consider buying the Reusable Half Face Cover, NASUM M201 Face Cover.

Overall, wearing a welding respirator is never a bad idea, even if your workplace has ventilation. The masks will protect you from serious short and long-term health issues. 

Sources

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