This is How to Pick the Best Dust Mask for Woodworking, your guide to choosing a dust mask and taking steps to prevent yourself from airborne irritants. Your safety is very important, and I’ll show you a lot of good ideas to think about. Enjoy.
Buying the Best Dust Mask
Dust masks have come a very long way. A long time ago they were just paper masks that were completely disposable, and they really didn’t do anything but prevent very large particles from entering your body.
Very fine dust, which is extremely dangerous could pass right through the filter, and even though you thought you were protecting yourself, you really weren’t. Now, what is considered a disposable dust mask is pretty amazing.
They come in all types of different configurations, and they are even starting to get more stylish and trendy. You can even use it as a mask to prevent airborne chemicals from reaching your lungs, which is much more difficult than particles.
Consider these ideas on how to find the best dust mask for woodworking, and I’ll help you make a good decision.
Your safety is super important, so I’m glad you’re here because it shows you’re interested in protecting your body.
Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!
See Also: Safety Gear for Woodworkers
Consider the Reason for the Dust Mask
The first thing that you need to think about is what you are actually going to use your dust mask for. Is it particles? Is it paint? Is it lacquer thinner? All of these things can be protected with the right dust mask, you just need to know which one.
Take a look at the reason that you are considering finding the best dust mask, and make that your primary focus. If you do a lot of cutting, and you’re looking for a mask to protect you from particles, actively search for that.
If you’re looking for a mask to use while spraying lacquer, look for that. The masks will be very different, and they will be tailored precisely to your specific need. I’ll also keep you safer that way, which is the ultimate goal.
Do You Work Outdoors or Indoors
Another thing to look at is the venting system on the or dust mask, and a lot of times that has to do with whether you work indoors or outdoors. Temperature and climate can make a difference to your comfort, so it’s important to think about it.
Are you going to be working in an area that’s extremely hot? Extremely cold? These are things to think about and look for a dust mask that ventilates really well. After all, you don’t want to develop a lot of condensation around your mouth.
Also, working outdoors offers you more ventilation in general than working indoors. If you are trapped in a small shop, the air can fill up with sawdust very rapidly. In a case like this, a basic mask might not do anything.
Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!
Consider where you’re actually going to be doing the work, and the type of ventilation that you already have. Choose the best dust mask that can handle that environment, and you’ll be safer in general.
Disposable and Convenient
There is something to be said about just being able to use something and then throw it out after it run its course. Disposable dust masks are definitely an option, and this is truly a use it and throw it out solution.
The benefit of these mask is that there isn’t any care or cleaning that you need to learn how to do in order to make the mask effective. If you get the mask dirty, or use it enough that it’s beyond its life cycle, then all you do is throw it out.
This is super convenient, but it is a little bit more expensive. Over time, you will spend a lot more money than if you were to buy one reusable mask. However, the convenience factor will definitely be different with disposables.
Washable and Long Lasting
The other side of the coin is to buy a dust mask that is meant to be washed and cared for so that it can be used many times. This is where a lot of higher end and trendy looking masks land.
You can buy some pretty interesting reusable masks, and the technology behind them is also very good in many cases. They do require a little bit more care and understanding of the material than disposable masks, but you’re smart enough to figure it out.
Whatever mask you decide upon, make sure that you follow the directions for care and cleaning. After all, if you let the mask get dirty or worn out, the protection factor is reduced severely.
At this point you can get so bad that you might as well not be wearing a mask, and that’s definitely not the goal. Again, if you can’t see yourself taking care of a nice reusable mask, find the best disposable ones that you can buy.
Choose a Brand of Mask You Trust
No matter which type of mask you decide upon, it’s a good idea to choose a name brand that you trust for your first purchase. This is a good way of ensuring that you’re bringing home quality, and that’s a good decision when it comes to your health.
Another thing that it helps avoid is accidentally buying a dusk mask from a dishonest company that isn’t really interested in protecting your health. Sometimes there are crappy businesses that sell products that look similar, but don’t offer the same protection.
Safety is a multi billion dollar business annually, so it’s easy for people to see those dollar signs and jump into the game when they’re not ready. Some also jump in just to make a quick buck and run away.
Don’t fall for this type of product, and instead by name brand that you trust and protect your health the best you can. You are definitely worth it.
Read Reviews and Watch Videos
Sometimes, the best way to find out what product to use is to look at what other leaders in the industry are using. Odds are that they’ve already done the research, and if it works for them it may also work for you.
This is were actively following people online and taking an interest in what they do can pay off really big. If there is someone that you already trust, that you know is a very capable woodworker, you might already have a good head start on picking the best dust mask.
Many times, these people of already gone through the trials and errors of experimenting with different versions of their mask. You can save all of the money and time by simply catching up right where they are at this moment.
It doesn’t mean that that’s necessarily going to be the perfect mask for you, but it does mean that you get to jump ahead of some of the research. This will save you money for sure, and help you protect yourself.
Choose Something Comfortable to Wear
The most important thing you can do after you choose your mask is to make sure that it’s comfortable. If your mask isn’t comfortable to wear, you just won’t wear it. It doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles, or how cool it is.
Make sure that the mask is comfortable, and that you’re able to wear it for long periods of time without wanting to tear it off your face. If it passes this test, you are more likely to wear it, and it can only protect you if you do.
The best dust mask in the world does absolutely nothing if it sits in the box. In contrast, you could do better with a damp paper towel that you actually hold over your face. Make sure that your mask is comfortable and protect your most valuable resource.
See Also: 15 Great Places to Get Woodworking Wood
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know several different ways to pick the best dust mask, it’s time to get on it in the shop and take action. Start doing research, and start looking for features that you really want to see you and your ideal dust mask.
Watch the videos and pay attention to the leaders that you already follow. What kind of dust mask are they using? Even if they don’t out right tell you, they will probably answer and email. I do all the time.
Once you’re confident in your choice, hop online and pick one out. When it arrives, take some time to fit it to your face really well. Make any adjustments that you need to, and ensure that it’s comfortable and well fitted.
Now the only thing you need to do is actually wear it when you need it. That part I can’t help you with, I just hope that you do.
If you have any questions on how to select the best dust mask for woodworking, please Post a Question in the Q&A Forum and I’ll be glad to help. Happy building.
- 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
- 7 Published Books Available on Amazon
- 750+ Helpful Posts Written
- 1 Million+ Words Published