As with a number of discoveries all over the world, welding didn’t just happen overnight. As is usually the case, the discovery was an accident, and then years later, someone else innovated on the idea, and then someone else innovated on the subsequent ideas and so forth. What remained constant though, is that an electrical arc had to be used to join metals together.

From this process, various hazards arise out of them. The first is the intense light emitted by the arc. It is much more intense than staring directly at the sun and has been known to send people to the hospital with severe nerve damage. This is a reason helmets and screens are mandatory.

The second is the heat and the spatter produced. These are capable of burning holes through the skin and causing severe damage to the areas they affect. This is why gloves, jackets and work boots are mandatory. Aside from just getting your feet burnt, you could also slip if you’re working in areas affected by moisture or oil of some form.

Another important thing to remember is the use of a respirator. It’s not all forms of welding and associated works that will require a helmet. Some just need protection for the eyes, and maybe nose to keep debris from flying in and causing severe damage. The respirator though is for what comes next.

The odors that are emitted while you’re underway with your weld are known to be acrid, and cause various illnesses and discomfort. While you have your protection goggles on, the best welding respirator will offer you increased protection while you work on your beautiful weld without having to worry about your health.



Top Respirators From Harmful Fumes For Welders in 2020

1. GVS Ellipse P100 Dust Half Mask Respirator

The GVS Ellipse P100 is something that you will definitely have to look into getting if you want something that will comfortably fit under your welding helmet. The main defining feature of this mask is a small size it is available in. This makes it very easy, and very comfortable to slip on under your helmet.

The other defining feature is it's weight. At just 6.4 pounds, when you get into the groove, you will barely notice that you have it on. And it is convenient to put on. It comes with multiple strap positions, which allows for adjustments for every type of person out there.

Pros

  • It is much cheaper than most other respirators out there.
  • The lightweight makes it a joy to operate with.
  • It's easily adjustable.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, it won’t serve you for very long.

2. 3M Half Facepiece Respirator 6200

The 3M Half Facepiece is one of the most popular respirators out there. A good reason why is the brand name behind the product. 3M has been known to come up with products that are of the highest quality, and also serve the user well for a very long time.

On this one, there is also something else that makes it quite a popular product to have. The ability to have your own filters on it makes it a must-have for the welders who have different needs for their masks. And since 3M offers a variety of filters, you can switch them up depending on which job you’re doing.

Pros

  • Filters are always a welcome addition.
  • It is comfortable to have on for long periods.
  • Can handle different varieties of welding fumes.

Cons

  • It can be bulky to have on.
  • It will cause fogging over goggles.

3. 3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6700

Sometimes, it can be a bit cumbersome to have on two different pieces of protective equipment for the job. This is especially true when you’re handling various things and have to switch between the different responsibilities.

The time wasted in between putting on and taking off two different pieces, and the effort, and just too much. It is perfect for work environments with materials and what not flying around in the air.

That’s why 3M came up with the 3M Full Facepiece Respirator, to cover your breathing, and protect your eyes. This functional respirator comes in different sizes to fit a wide variety of people out there. It is also one of the most comfortable respirators on the market, as 3M went out of their way to ensure that it can be worn all day with a strong seal for protection.

Pros

  • Features a specially designed valve to cool air in-mask and prevent fogging.
  • Great visibility from the mask.
  • Offers one of the highest levels of protection.

Cons

  • All these features come with a significant price tag.
  • It does not come with filters.

4. 3M Rugged Comfort 6501QL/49488 Respirator

The 3M Rugged Comfort is another half-face popular respirator among welder. Especially when working for long hours, instead of taking everything off to let your face breathe. This mask gives you a chance for some fresh air without compromising your safety.

In this case, 3M thought of the welders who usually feel choked, or labor breathing while operating in respirators.

This mask was designed with high airflow to help reduce feelings of being choked, and still protect you from poisonous fumes. It also comes with a quick-release latch for when you want to hold quick conversations with colleagues.

Pros

  • 3M put some thought into the design.
  • Cools airflow to reduce moisture.
  • The airflow is high.

Cons

  • It does not come with filters.
  • The straps are poorly placed.

5. Breath Buddy Respirator Mask

The Breath Buddy Respirator Mask is a product that is well-loved beyond the realm of welding. Woodworkers and various other professions that require a product that filters air have all loved this product over the years. This is because of the filters that are known to operate at a 99.95 percent efficiency level.

The active carbon filters are also known for removing the bad odors around the places its been employed. This is why it’s a favorite of welders and others who work with strong smells. And all of this convenience and features are packed into a comfortable package, a package that is designed to be worn all day.

Pros

  • Excellent efficiency of the filter.
  • Excellent removal of bad odors.
  • Comfortable to have on for long periods.

Cons

  • Is a bit of a burden on the budget.

6. Miller Electric Half Mask

Well, this list wouldn’t be complete unless Miler Electric made an appearance. This is a company that has made a name for itself, not just for the welding consumables, but also for the wide range of personal protective equipment. This is just but an addition to an already impressive lineup.

The Miller Electric Half Mask is a respirator that’s small enough to fit under most of the welding helmets available. Miller Electric saw it fit to include a non-return valve to ease the burden on the wearer. This helps by taking out a large portion of the fatigue associated with using a respirator.

Pros

  • Can comfortably fit under any welding helmet.
  • It uses a high-performance filter.
  • It does not cause the user’s goggles to fog up.

Cons

  • The only color, magenta, can be a turn off for many.
  • The price can be steep for some people.

7. 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6391/07003(AAD)

Ah yes, it may look like this list was well-curated to not look like a 3M infomercial, but despite our best efforts, it’s difficult to discount just how good they are, and they’ve been over the years. The inclusion of this respirator in the list is a testament to the quality of their products.

The 3M 6391 P100 is designed to be easy on the pocket. But that does not mean they have compromised on the quality. In fact, the only competitor to the Breath Buddy is this particular respirator.

It combines its lightweight, with adjustable straps to provide an amazing experience while you’re working with it. Best part is that this mask includes protection against oil-based aerosols.

Pros

  • Is versatile enough to be used in a range of environments.
  • It is designed to be operated with for long stretches of time.
  • It is quite easy on the pocket.

Cons

  • It is prone to fogging up work goggles.
  • The only color, pink, may put some people off.

8. Organic Vapor Full Face Dustproof

Yes, this list has been filled with half-face respirators, and yes, that’s because they are some of the best out there. However, that doesn’t mean the only full-face mask here is the only one worth mentioning. This IVSUN respirator is the other one, and it brings us to the end of the list.

The Organic Vapor Full Face Respirator Safety Mask is known to offer protection against a wide variety of chemical compounds such as acetone, benzene, chlorine among many others. The other thing that makes this respirator well-loved is the fact that it is quite comfortable, and offers versatility to many a user.

With great protection for both your eyes and lungs, the Organic Vapor Respirator Mask is made with high quality that will last you a life time of welding projects. They have thought of every level of protection needed to keep you safe and super easy to clean.

Pros

  • Is built with anti-fogging technology.
  • Offers full-face three dimensional protection.
  • It is built to last a lifetime.

Cons

  • Not compatible with glasses.
  • The price may be steep for some.

Buying Guide For Welding Respirators

There are numerous safety precautions that a welder should take in order to remain safe while they’re working. If goes without saying that you should invest in things like gloves and a helmet, but don’t forget about a respirator mask. This item will prevent you from breaking in dangerous fumes that are coming from a specific product you’re working on.

Protecting your lungs from permanent damage can be achieved if you select the right welding respirator. But, do you know the different features that you should be looking for when you’re doing your shopping?

The Fit

You’ll be wearing your respirator mask along with a welding helmet, maybe goggles or another safety item. You want to make sure that the respirator mask that you choose is going to be comfortable if you’re wearing those other items as well. Something that’s flat and not very bulky will be able to fit nicely under your helmet.

Filtration Level

There are multiple levels of filtration that you can choose from. If you’re going to be wearing this product, it’s helpful to know that it’s actually doing its job. A respirator that filters extremely small particles and odors will be your safest option. If replaceable filters are used, make sure you can source them easily.

Material

Some cheaper materials will have odors of their own, so find out what kind of material is used for the respirator that you’re considering. You also want to pick something that you can easily clean or wipe off periodically. Something that needs to be replaced frequently isn’t really an affordable option.

Price

There’s a fine line between an affordable welding respirator and one that’s too expensive to replace as needed. It’s likely that you’ll want to replace your respirator at some point.

After all, this is an item that you’re going to have over your face. You’ll be breathing through that mask. Choose something that’s affordable and effective, but it should be affordable enough that you feel ok replacing it when the time comes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Welding Respirators

Q: Do I really need to wear a respirator mask when welding?

If you have been welding for awhile, then you understand that there are fumes that will come off a welding product. This isn’t necessarily true for every metal that you’re working with, but some are more dangerous than others to breathe in. It’s a good idea to have one on hand for when the time comes that you need one.

Q: How do I maintain my welding respirator?

The respirator that you buy should come with its own instructions on how to properly clean and maintain it. You want a respirator that has the ability to be wiped clean and disinfected regularly. Make sure you’re using safe products that are safe for your health. 

Q: What materials require a welding respirator?

If you’re welding anything that has a painted coating or may have lead in it, this is when you’ll want to put on your respirator mask.

Conclusion

There are many excellent contenders on this list of the best welding respirators. Some offer full face protection, others half. Others are wearable inside welding helmets, others would require some cartoon level contortionist to be able to fit inside a mask.

However, when it comes to overall value in terms of cost and protections offered, none come close to what the Breath Buddy Welding Respirator has to offer. If you like what you see and have read, don’t think too hard, take a deeper look into what it can offer and see if it's the best fit for you.